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  Vol. 3, #3 - March 2012


Official Newsletter

of the

Texas Association of Magicians


for all magicians everywhere!

In This Issue:
Austin Magic Auction
Texas Magic Collectors Meeting
Coming Attractions
Houston Magician of the Year
Dallas Founders Night
Bits and Pieces
Magic Camp Birthday Party


That will happen on Saturday, April 14 at the 31st World Famous Austin Magic Auction. 

This year promises to be the biggest and best in more than a decade.  Over $25,000 changed hands last year, with buyers from all over the county happy about the top quality magic they procured at bargain prices.  The all-day magic show presented by the seasoned auctioneers is a treat even if you're not in the market to buy.  Check out the photos of some of the auction items at www.austinmagicauction.com    

Forty-eight sellers have registered hundreds of items for stage and close-up auctions that will begin at 8:00 a.m. in the First Baptist Church at Trinity and 9th Street in downtown Austin. The easiest entrance to the auction area is from the circular drive on Neches between 9th and 10th.

Texas Magic Collectors Meeting

Doc Seaton's beautiful home theatre will create an appropriate setting for the Texas Magic Collectors' Meeting the night before the auction.  President Claude Crowe will call the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. on April 13 and introduce speakers Arthur Moses, Bill Winters, Ron Cartlidge, Bruce Chadwick and Chip Romero.  They will cover diverse subjects such as Houdini, comic book magic, vintage magic photos collected by TAOM, and Virgil and Jule's career.  It will be a very interesting meeting. 

Doc's lovely home is located at 10511 LaCosta Drive south of Austin off IH 35.  To live up to his tradition for superb hospitality, Doc has asked that you let him know if you will attend the meeting.  RSVP to sseaton2@austin.rr.com as soon as you can. 





Dallas/Fort Worth - April 4 - Special Interest Groups combined meeting on Close-up Magic, Family Entertainment, and Mentalism at Humperdink's on NW Highway, 6:30 p.m. 

Houston - March 20 - Aaron Fisher lecture at IATSE Hall, 3030 North Freeway, 7:30 p.m.

Austin - March 22 - Aaron Fisher lecture, Texas Magic Supply, 715 Discovery Blvd, Ste.101
Cedar Park.  Details at

Fort Worth - March 24 - Lone Star Swap Meet at Magic Etc., located at Forest Park Blvd. and I-30 starting at 10:00 a.m.

Addison and Arlington - March 25 and EVERY SUNDAY - Improv Theatre magic and comedy shows at 2:00 p.m.   Details at www.improv.com

Austin - March 27 - JD Stewart at the Brick Oven on Highway 183 and Braker Lane, 6:30 p.m.  Details at http://jd-stewart.com/magic/public-shows

San Antonio - March 29 - Youngsters of SYM Assembly 114 will present a public show at the Rose Theater, 11838 Wurzbach.  Contact Dwayne Stanton at d.stanton@yahoo.com

Arlington - March 31 & April 1- Steve Reynolds workshop at  4:00 p.m. and lecture at 5:30 p.m. at B Magic Shop, 1902 W. Pioneer Parkway, #100

Houston - April 1 - Phil Kampf the Houston Children's Festival (Kids' Directory stage at Walker & Bagby) and 3 close-up magic tables, 3:30 p.m.

Austin - April 2 - Brian Brushwood on bar bets, swindles, and scams along with his recently-released "Scam School - Book 1".  Details at http://shwood.squarespace.com/  Ring 60 meeting, 7:00 p.m., IHop at Duval and Hwy. 183 North.

Austin - April 14 - World Famous Austin Magic Auction.  See the article below for many details.

Irving - April 15 - Bill Wisch lecture at 2:00 p.m. at Crystal's Pizza.  Complete information at www.thats-impossible.com/lectures.htm

Houston - April 17 - Bill Wisch lecture at IATSE Hall, 3030 North Freeway, 7:30 p.m.

Austin - April 26-28 - The Amazing Jonathan at Capitol City Comedy Club

Austin - April 28 - Fantastic Magic Camp Birthday Party at Highland Mall.

Dallas - May 1 - Annual Installation Banquet featuring John Calvert; more info next month.

Dallas - May 3 - John Calvert lecture; more info next month.

Houston - May 5 - World Class Close-up Magic at Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, Room 337, in downtown Houston, featuring the dexterous deceptions of Ben Jackson, Scott Hollingsworth, and Gary Plants.  For details, go to http://www.toptalentproductions.com/

Dallas - May 20 - David Stone lecture; more info next month. 

Austin - May 22 - David Stone lecture; more info next month. 

San Antonio - May 23 - David Stone lecture; more info next month.

Dallas - June 24 - Rafael Benatar lecture; more info next month.

Houston - June 26 - Rafael Benatar lecture at IATSE Hall, 3030 North Freeway, 7:30 p.m.

San Antonio - June 27 - Rafael Benatar; more info next month.

Dallas - September 23 - Dan Garrett lecture; more info next month.

Houston Magician of the Year

Gene Protas was named Houston's Magician of the Year at the combined Houston magic clubs' annual installation banquet and show in February.  Gene has given unstintingly of his time and expertise to club functions and regularly performs at children's hospitals in the Houston area. In the past, he has served as president of both Houston IBM Ring 39 and the Houston Association of Magicians.  He is currently president of SAM Assembly 19. 

Dallas Magicians Founders Night

Frances Willard Falkenstein was the guest of honor at the recent Founders Night meeting of the Dallas Magic Clubs.  She shared amusing and poignant stories of her days on the road and under the tent when she worked with her famous father, Willard the Wizard.  She also shared some rare vintage video footage from some long-ago performances.  Dallas IBM Ring 174 is the "Willard the Wizard Ring".  Frances and  her father were present when the club received it's charter in 1964. 

Bits and Pieces of Interesting Stuff

The Board of Directors of the Columbus Magic Club reluctantly announced the demise of Columbus MAGI-FEST.  After 80 successful years, the organizers recognized it was time to bow out gracefully.  The dedicated staff deserve accolades for decades of magic fun and education.  They have assured who signed up for a convention in 2013 that their registration monies will be refunded.  We bid them a fond farewell.

Central Texas magicians were saddened to learn of the death of Danna Luther on February 19.  She was the wife of Austin magician David Luther.   She was a member of TAOM and well- known in the Austin magic community for her devotion of photography.  She took photos at many magic meetings, auctions, contests, and conventions.  Her cheery smile and laughing eyes will be missed.

Another light in the magic world went out when Betty Blackburn passed away on February 24th.  Betty was a gentlewoman of the old school and widow of the late George Blackburn who was TAOM president in 1998.

Mike Smith. past president of the Fort Worth Magicians Club and current president of the Dallas Magic Clubs, was hospitalized in February when surgeons at Methodist Hospital installed a pace-maker.  Mike is doing well and will be back in the spotlight before long.

Dallas magician Earl Warren underwent quintuple by-pass surgery at Arlington General Hospital. He is recovering quite well, but without his wonderful defining Santa beard!

Magic Camp Birthday Party

Magic Camp is Celebrating its 20th Fantastic Year

In March of 1993, Robert Crampton suggested to Kent Cummins that he should combine his magic, juggling, and puppetry programs into a camp. Kent remarked that that might be a good idea, to which Mr. Crampton replied: “No, that’s a business plan!” And so it was. Kent recruited the assistance of Peter Hinrichs (AKA Peter the Adequate) who at the time was working with him on a number of projects under the umbrella of “Magic Hotline.” The Magic Camp officially opened in June of 1993, and was an immediate success. Kids liked it because it was fun; parents liked it because they saw their children enthusiastically learning new skills.

George Skaggs, Manager of Westgate Mall, generously agreed to provide open space to get the camp started. This space served the camp well for the first four years, but then closed its doors. However, as Robert Crampton often says, “That’s another opportunity!” For three years, the camp enjoyed the beautiful indoor and outdoor facilities of the Sri Atmananda Memorial School campus at 4100 Red River in central Austin.

The new millennium brought a new change in facilities. The camp began setting up partnerships with schools in the Austin Independent School District, thanks to the enthusiasm of several of the principals. Over the years, we have also had partnerships with universities, churches, sports venues and even a pizza emporium. This year we have “returned to our roots” thanks to the people at Highland Mall. We are excited to see what the future brings in this regard.

The Magic Camp owes a great deal of thanks to a great number of people without whom none of this exciting adventure would have been possible. Kent’s wife, Margot, handled the increasingly complex administrative chores of the camp for seventeen years. Kent’s mom was the “Grandmother-In-Residence” and puppetry coordinator for many of the first years and helped set the tone for much of what goes on at the camp. We also are proud of the awesome skills of Jason Caballero, our first counselor and Camp Manager and Gus Davis, also known as “Gusto the Great,” who was a camper at our first camp and later became our first Counselor in Training, a Counselor, Junior Staff Member, Camp Director, and eventually a Board member! In addition to these founding members, the Fantastic Magic Camp owes much to all of the members of the magic, juggling, puppetry and variety arts community who have so graciously given both their time and energy to insure the ongoing success of the camp.

The greatest thanks however, go to the many young men and women who started out as campers and have gone on to assume leadership roles in the camp. From our interns (Counselors in Training, Counselors, camp managers and even camp directors) and to their parents who made sure that their children could attend the countless hours of training necessary to work at the Fantastic magic Camp (some of our staff has had over 300 hours of Life Skill and Camp Management training).

Six years ago, Peter the Adequate moved to Branson, MO to perform and a few years later, Kent decided that it was time to let others take on the role of running the camp. With the help of Doctor Stan Seaton, a board was formed, a new director, Aaron Parker-Fasel, was hired and eventually the camp was sold to a new board made up of one of the camp’s early campers (Austin Witt), Aaron Parker-Fasel and a professional magician who had joined the camp a few years back. At that point, the camp was re-named “Fantastic Magic Camp”, as a tribute to its founder who for most of his career has performed under the stage name of “The Fantastic Kent Cummins.”

What started as an interesting idea has become the defining project in the lives of many. It has been an incredible privilege to be a part of these young people’s lives as they have grown from awkward campers to competent counselor, staff members and most importantly contributing adult members of the community, constantly amazing everyone with their caring, competence and creativity.

As Cody Fisher, our 1997 Camp Manager pointed out, “It’s really a life skills camp!”
Over the years, the camp has touched the lives of thousands of children and their families with its magic. Many of those children have only been able to attend because of scholarship funds generously donated by members of the magic community and others. A $25.00 donation provides a 50% scholarship for one camper to attend one day at the Magic Camp and a $50.00 donation will provide a similar full scholarship. If you would like to contribute to the Scholarship Fund, you may do so on their Scholarship Page.
The Fantastic Magic Camp will be celebrating with a free city-wide Birthday Party on April 28, 2012 at Highland Mall. For information about the party, the performers and other events and to view their Birthday Party Wish List, go to http://www.MagicCamp.com/birthdayparty

The Last Word

If I were a mind reader, I'd look into my crystal ball and tell you that the world is not going to end on December 21 and that the rest of 2012 will be a GREAT year for magic. Magic clubs are expanding their membership and their outreach into communities. The interaction between clubs across the state continues to grow -- San Antonio and Austin exchange meeting programs, Austin and Houston exchange performance dates, Dallas and Fort Worth hold many combined functions -- to name a few. Dozens and dozens of magicians hold multiple club memberships and support more than one organization. Clubs all around the state are more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others.

If your club needs a little boost, give me a call or send me an email. I'll find the help you need. If you are a magician without an organized group, let me know. I'll put you in touch with other magicians in your area. Who knows? You might create the best magic club in the state!

                                                   Judy Hollingsworth
                                                   TAOM Club Coordinator

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