2016 May

May Meeting Report: Hanging With Friends, Family

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By R.A. Dyer

Found cards, crazy coins and good friends: the May meeting of Assembly 206 featured all of that — plus a live goldfish in a glass of water.

Cranius Astounding

Cranius Astounding

Organized by Cranius Astounding (also known as Assembly Vice President Dan Page), the annual Friends and Family get-together had acts by Steve Farmer, Kent Cummins, Albert Lucio, Tim Dietz, Roger Gorss and Paprika. As per the evening’s theme, any friend of the club was welcome.

The meeting was well attended, with guests grouped around tables set up in the Assembly’s new performance space at the All Saints Episcopal Church near the Univeristy of Texas campus. Cranius Astounding served as master of ceremonies.

First up was Paprika, a longtime friend of Assembly 206. Also known a Connie Leaverton, Paprika is an accomplished variety artist and juggler with experience both in trapeze work and stilt walking. Paprika recently has been adding magic to her act and for Friends and Family Night she incorporated silks and an appearing cane into her already charming Parisian busking bit.

Paprika worked up front, performing before the entire room. The evening’s other entertainers worked as strolling entertainers, rotating about individual tables for 10-minute sets. Cranius, as the ukulele-playing MC, kept everyone on schedule.

Tim Dietz, who performs as Thimeos, produced a selected card from his mouth — pre-folded and marked. He also startled his close-up audiences with the unexpected production of a live goldfish in a glass of water. It was, in a word, awesome.

Steve Farmer — also known as the Blue Saint — performed card miracles and sponge ball effects, each delivered with an infectious million-dollar smile and his impossible-not-to-like countenance. It’s not for nothing that the kids love The Blue Saint.

Cummins performed an amazing card miracle.

Cummins performed an amazing card miracle.

Albert Lucio — also known as Albert Lucio — dazzled with his superb close-up skills. He found cards from various spots in the deck, worked through tough sleight-of-hand routines and added in some interesting self-working bits for good measure. Cards changed color, cards were located and predictions were made.

Roger Gorss, another accomplished close-up performer, dazzled with a number of card and coin miracles — including an unnerving bit in which coins kept reappearing in his hand.

But if an award was given for the evening’s single most amazing trick, that award might go to Kent Cummins. He performed a card miracle in which a named and marked card was found in a quite astonishing fashion. The effect is an original creation of the Austin veteran, and one he may start marketing soon to other pros.

NEXT MEETING: Summer Magic Showcase at Dozen Street — Thursday, June 16, 8 p.m. Follow us on Facebook for latest details.

FREE Now You See Me 2 Advance Screening with Richard Turner

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For the low, low cost of FREE you can attend an EXCLUSIVE ADVANCED SCREENING of NOW YOU SEE ME 2 with an appearance by card virtuoso Richard Turner.

NYSM2This magic-themed film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Jessie Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and more. Although the movie doesn’t open to the public until later, Now You See Me 2 is screening for FREE for SAM 206 members, their friends and others on Tuesday, May 31. You’ll also get a chance to catch one of the nation’s best card magicians, Richard Turner, live and in person.

This is a great opportunity for the Central Texas magic community. But you must RSVP in advance — and as quickly as possible.

WHEN: TUESDAY, May 31, 7 p.m.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes early. RSVP seats will be released on a first-come, first-serve basis at 6:45 p.m.
WHERE: ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE SOUTH LAMAR
HOW: Email Alexia Zamora at alexia@fonspr.com to reserve your spot — but do it ASAP. Really.


Magical Mystical Michael Kaufman

Michael Kaufman to perform at Dozen Street

JUNE 17: SAM 206 Magic Showcase

Join SAM 206 for its summer MAGIC SHOWCASE at the Dozen Street Lounge in East Austin. Expect magic and more. The event is FREE for holders of the SAM 206 event card.  The Dozen Street Lounge is at 1808 E. 12th Street. Show starts at 8 p.m.


For more information about SAM 206 or to see a calendar of local magic events, check out the SAM206.com website. Join the SAM206 Facebook page for the latest updates.

Nick Lewin Slays at Magic Movie Night

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SAM 206 President Jake Dyer, left, with Nick Lewin.

SAM 206 President Jake Dyer, left, with Nick Lewin.

By R.A. “Jake” Dyer

Talk about a trooper. Nick Lewin, one of the funniest magicians around, kept a standing-room-only crowd in stitches for 45 minutes — despite dealing with a tough travel schedule and a brutal head cold.

Lewin, the consummate professional, was the guest of honor for this year’s Magic Movie Night, an annual event sponsored by Assembly 206. The April 17th movie and show were conducted in tandem with the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, with a film presentation of The Illusionist. Lewin performed afterwards at the adjacent Highball Lounge.

“We had a great time — the movie was wonderful and Lewin was so funny,” said one very pleased attendee.

The evening began with lobby entertainment by Assembly 206 magicians Agustin Tash and Cranius Astounding. The magicians performed card miracles and a funny chain escape. They were joined by the Illusionist Stillamazing Joe Walden, a young magician from the UT Magic Club.

Meanwhile, inside the theater, Assembly 206 president Jake Dyer presided over a raffle. Awards were donated by Magic’s Theater, Esther’s Follies and the Alamo Drafthouse. Tickets cost only a dollar, but the proceeds brought more than $200 to Assembly 206.

And then came the 6 p.m. screening of The Illusionist, a 2006 film starring Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti. The critically-acclaimed film tells the story of a doomed love between a one-time itinerant magician and an Austrian princess. The film features famous historical magical effects — such as the Pepper’s Ghost illusion and the Orange Tree — albeit enhanced with CGI effects. 

Afterwards the crowd strolled over to the adjacent Highball Lounge, with Nick Lewin taking the stage at 8:30. And just as with the earlier film screening,  the house was packed. Suffering from a tough head cold and an even tougher cough, Lewin nonetheless made his magic seem effortless. And he remained as funny as ever, cracking jokes about his native England, about Texas and Texans and the startling contents of his trouser pockets.

All of it — the film, the raffle, Nick Lewin’s magic show — benefitted Assembly 206. The proceeds will help defray club expenses and help pay for more public entertainment in support of Central Texas magic and magicians, a key mission of Assembly 206.

“What a fun evening,” said one Highball attendee. “I just could’t stop laughing.”