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jimmy talksalot
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Please forgive my spelling.

For a while now there has been an emerging group of magicians who feel they are renegades and have left the societies to work with others like minded.

I feel this is sad.

So here it is;

well for those of you who have had any dealings with the magic societies this ain't new to you.

they suck,

they have digressed from their original glory as a faternity

usually at best it's a bunch of old timers who want respect but have failed on providing any of their obligations. and who showed little respect to the ones before them.

they also think we arn't aware of what they are supposed to be providing.

venues, performance halls, practice studios, practical working material instead of packet close up tricks

they should be providing lectures from real workers more often.

if they want more money for this they should be providing the above mentioned so we could afford to give more.

heck years ago I provided venues, a performance space and practice studio for the local magi in el paso, tx. and I wasn't a teacher or a society recieving dues I was just a back yard show working guy. you can ask baltazar fuentes or jamie ohara about my magic shop there.

so these society guys have no excuses don't listen to them. if they need to go out of pocket they should they are supposed to be servants, I did and I wasn't elected to anything.

don't get me wrong we should also be getting more involved in good work and with money.

many sams and ibms have guys who barely know anything about magic yet they are our presidents and leaders because they got a lot of money from their "real jobs", the problem is they ain't spreadin it around to help us indure the pain of them bein there.

when you go to these places all you see is a bunch of guys with cards in their hands pretending....where the hell do they work any way?

cellini provided us with a alternative in his following and followers.

like Slydini [his teacher] and the old masters, he provided;

venue, costume, show structure, practical working material, practical props and tools, lectures by qualified pros, and much more over the exstent of his life.

its just a shame how we treated him in his own country especially how the societies have treated him, unfortunatly I saw some first hand, and most of the time he took it and showed humility. but some times he lost it.

if were gonna act like we are the other society or the renegades who don't need one then we should behave twice as good as them to get crediblity and so we don't screw up beginners heads.

if we reject the societies we should never become the same problem.

with all that said the proper thing to do of course is to try and correct the problems in the sam,ibm,taom, and all the others that we have come into.

we should be cleaning house. With that said, I am

a strong believer in our tradition and the societies believe it or not
Payne
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Boy, I'm not touching this one with a ten foot pole (appearing or not)

But I'm certainly going to fix popcorn and sit back and watch the fireworks.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
drwilson
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Some local Rings are like the crummy ones that you describe, others offer mentoring, venues, group shows, and the other things that you say are lacking. It is up to the local members to provide these things. There isn't a group of nasty old guys holding on to all the goodies. Some of our members build props, and will help others build things. Some of our members work well in a group show but can't fill an entire hour by themselves. Some of our members are fantastic sources of knowledge and wisdom, and share freely if you ask them. It is up to each member to think about what they want out of the Ring, and to find it.

A Ring, or other magic club, is not a low-tuition College of Magic that can provide everything that a performer "needs." What does a practice studio cost? What does a lecture from a working pro cost (at least as much as booking a small show of theirs, or they are stupid for lecturing!). How is this supposed to appear out of thin air for a group of people paying local Ring dues? A whole year's worth of dues wouldn't rent a rehearsal studio for a week.

There are plenty of venues around if you have an open mind and are willing to work a gate split.

I don't regard this post as part the fireworks that Payne is looking for. Maybe someone will light a Roman Candle or something soon. I am just trying to talk sense, and am baffled by a worldview in which a bunch of nasty old codgers are sitting on bags of money for the sole purpose of thwarting the careers of aspiring artists.

Yours,

Paul
Father Photius
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Well I'm aware of the problems in El Paso, and the few who started them still are around doing their thing. There is a ring on paper here but no real ring and as long as that group is around probably not going to be a magic club. Been several attempts to restart one, very few interested. But that is just one group of individuals, who, as you say, really don't know that much about magic, just like to blow their own horns like they do. I've been in magic over 50 years ,belong to a very well known magic family, and the local El Paso gang still wouldn't tell me where they held their meetings (because there were really none). Don't judge all magic societies by the clowns in El Paso. Jamie is a fine magician, and he doesn't judge societies by the behavior of a few. I find great fellowhsip and support in all three of the US organizations I belong to. Not at all as you have stated that they are a bunch of old foggies trying to keep it to themselves. In fact the organizations are full of some very bring young people who are clearly the on the cutting edge and future of magic, and they are very active in the organizations, plus the organizations are very supportive of them. I've belonged to rings and assemblies that were tremendous organizations of magicians, who helped each other, supported each other and learned from each other. El Paso is a world unto itself in more ways than one, and all it takes is a few bad apples to spoil a bunch. There are still some great magicians here , who do support each other, and do get along, and don't think you need 100 dollar dues and excluding kids to keep the magic to themselves. In any location if a ring or assembly goes bad, it is possible to create another one that avoids those problems and individuals. And you can have a local magic club without affiliating with either.
I currently belong to the Dallas Magic Clubs, though I live in El Paso, and the Dallas Clubs is both a Ring and Assembly, plus has some members who are not members of either organization (but can't vote or hold office). It is a great club with some great people, and I've never seen a group get along better or be more supportive of each other. You had a bad experience, but don't judge the whole of the various magic organizations by that.
Maria Ibanez, the Current SAM president is a wonderful person, she puts a lot of time into helping members get the most out of the organization. Just go read the SAM forum here and see how much she is involved even with the smallest questions or problems, now getting help from the top honcho is a sign of a organization that tries to help its members.
Phil Willmarth, the president of the IBM is a very good magician and a very good leader as well. He also goes out of the way to be open and available to the individual members of the IBM. He is a very approachable guy and takes his job seriously. I had no trouble walking up and speaking to him at the IBM. He takes time and listens, he does not try to put forth some agenda of the old foggies. He wants the IBM to be an organization that benefits its members and puts a lot of effort into seeing that it does just that.
Gay Blackstone, the president of the board of the Academy of Magical Arts has done an outstanding job (even though I'm prejudice, since she is family). She has led the Academy to good sound financial status after a period of trouble. She has done a lot to increase what the Academy does and can do for its membership. She is a lady I've personally seen sit and listen carefully to both members and non members concerning their likes and dislikes about the Castle and the Academy and has taken that information to heart. She is very approachable, very attentive and very interested in what the membership and potential membership think the academy should be doing and is or isn't doing right.
In fact all three of the major organizations in the US are doing a bang up job and always trying to improve. If you want change, then get involved. Join, run for office, participate. Don't stand on the outside and blame the whole based an a few loose nuts in El Paso.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Skip Way
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Your Ring or Assembly is only as good as the people who speak up and drive the program. If you're waiting for someone else to speak out and lead the way...then stare into the nearest mirror for the problem.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
mrunge
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That's right. You're magic club is only as strong as YOU make it.

If you don't like what is going on, get involved. Work with others who feel as you do and change the way things work.

If all else fails, start your own club!

Mark.
Dave V
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I was a member of SAM for one year. It came with registration when the convention came to Las Vegas. We had no SAM assembly in the area, so I let it lapse. On the other hand, I've been an IBM member for over 20 years with no local club to speak of. Darwin's weekly meetings pretty much supressed the competition as nobody could compete with a once a month meeting vs. weekly with big name lectures and performers coming through on a regular basis.

We have a local IBM group now, but although they're active in their own way, I've always felt like an outsider. Mark posted "If all else fails, start your own..." Well, in a way I did, along with a few other people. I was one of the 25 charter members of IBM's Ring 2100, and was voted their President, a title I've held since about 1994.

We've brought together nearly a thousand IBM members who, like me, had no local meeting place for one reason or another. It's primitive by today's online standards, but we get by.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Merlina
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Please forgive the double post -- wanted to make sure the word got out



Greetings, as President of one of the "societies" that Mr. Jimmy Talksalot is aluding to, and without any intent of getting into a this for that type of commentary, I wish to address some of his concerns and issues.

This "ain't", "they suck," "they have digressed from their original glory as a faternity" -- Mr. Talksalot, judging by your avatar on this forum and the choice of verbage (ain't . . . faternity instead of fraternity) I would assume you are not from the charter group of the S.A.M. when it formed in 1902 but rather from a more recent group of those who are into magic at the present time.

Referring to the leadership of the associations or societies as "a bunch of old timers who want respect but have failed on providing any of their obligations, and who showed little respect to the ones before them". Respect is earned through ones labors and actions and the type of respect earned is in direct proportion to what we ourselves put into the mix, let me explain. The Professor, Dai Vernon, earned his respect through his well known skills, impeccable reputation, willingness to share of himself and his magic and much more; this is the case with all the greats and those we respect (contrary to what you state that you see) Slydini, Harlan Tarbell, Jay Marshall, Richiardi, Doug Henning, Al Goshman, and so many others.

The"old timers....have failed on providing any of their obligations", is another loaded comment. It sounds as though you are asking to demand those things you feel are the obligation of those in the societies to provide for you. Societies, clubs and associations are pretty much like a bank, you get out of it what you put into it.

You say we think that you "arn't (should be aren't) aware of what they are supposed to be providing". Please enlighten us on what it is you feel we are not providing for the members? Where exactly in the membership application, constitution and by-laws or any other written or implied means of communication of the societies does it state that we are to provide you "venues, performance halls, practice studios, practical working materials, etc."?

You say that "they should be providing lectures from real workers more often" -- again, you get out of societies what you put into it in direct proportion. Let us take for example an assembly, ring or club which has 30 members (that's a good average number to use), if each of those members pays $30 dues a year, that means the club takes in $900 revenue in dues a year. The average cost for a lecturer is somewhere between $250 and $300 plus a hotel night; taking the low end of the expenses, this would mean you could hire 3 lecturers a year if you don't have to pay for a meeting room or any other expenses. This naturally does not leave any money for postage and printing of the monthly newsletter, which clearly is going to be one of the benefits you will demand that the societies are not providing. This also doesn't leave any money for a website, which being a member of today's group you would also demand to have. Let us assume that the group wishes to put on a fund raising show or other event to generate some income, if all members are like you who feel the group owes them, how many members do you think you could get to perform for free so the club could make funds to bring you those lecturers you want?

THANK YOU for having provided "venues, performance space and practice studio for the local magi" reading a little further in the same paragraph you ask us to ask about your "magic shop there" It is great that you had a magic shop and were able to provide the above facilities - this was mutually beneficial to you and the magi who were provided not just a place to meet and practice their performances but also a place to purchase their needed effects. This works very well at several other magic shops around the US.
PLEASE do not assume that those who are in leadership positions with any of the societies are "teachers" who "receive dues" - these are volunteer societies and we are all volunteers who put in countless hours and funds our of our own pockets in the promotion and towards the advancement of the art.

You state that "these society guys have no excuses don't listen to them. if they need to go out of pocket they should they are supposed to be servants, I did and I wasn't elected to anything" -- Understand one thing -- we are here as volunteers because we choose to be and because we are more than willing to give of ourselves and of our time --in many cases this involves giving of our families and privacy in addition to our monies. I won't speak to this year, but last year as President Elect, I was over $10,000 out of pocket in expenses in addition to the countless hours that I spent away due to travel, conference calls and other society related business. As far as "I did and I wasn't elected to anything" I have just one question -- were you doing for the good of magic and the magicians or were you doing with the ulterior motives of getting something in return ... ie getting elected?

"many sams and ibms have guys who barely know anything about magic yet they are our presidents and leaders because they got a lot of money from their "real jobs", the problem is they ain't spreadin it around to help us indure the pain of them bein there." Again, I won't speak for any of the other who get a lot of money from their "real jobs" but I will address your suggestion that they "ain't spreadin it around to help us indure the pain of them bein there" -- I hope you are not suggesting that you be paid for the privilege of belonging to one of the societies. As the President of one of the societies, let me tell you a little about my background and how all this has come to be....I've been a professional magician in south Florida for over 30 years now, served as President of the Florida Magicians Association 4 consecutive terms, have served as officer in both IBM Rings and SAM Assemblies locally, have served as Regional Vice President of the Society of American Magicians before climbing the chairs to the current Presidency. Have I performed and worked during all these years? You bet! I've performed for royalty, past Presidents, regular birthday parties, library shows, educational shows at schools, fundraising shows for quite a few benefits, 6 weeks of volunteer work in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew with the 13th Army Band at the tent cities, have just started the 22nd year as a volunteer at Miami Children's Hospital VACC Camp for the pulmonology department and much, much more. I perform with doves, rabbits and love birds. By the way, I am also a member of IBM, Order of Merlin and a member of The Magic Circle, AIMC with Silver Star.

"when you go to these places all you see is a bunch of guys with cards in their hands pretending....where the hell do they work any way?" In case you have not caught on yet, I am not a "guy" although I am one of the guys at the club and although I do some cards, I don't walk around with a deck of cards -- as far as "where the hell do they work any way?"
just read the preceding paragraph and you can get an idea of where I for one have worked.

Some of your next comments concern me a great deal -- "if were gonna act like we are the other society or the renegades who don't need one then we should behave twice as good as them to get crediblity and so we don't screw up beginners heads" -- "if we reject the societies we should never become the same problem." -- "with all that said the proper thing to do of course is to try and correct the problems in the sam,ibm,taom, and all the others that we have come into." -- "we should be cleaning house." Is this bitterness and anger speaking out at some perceived injustice?

Please PM me with a phone number and I will gladly give you a call and try to discuss with you what has happened at what level to make you feel this upset - I don't promise to be able to solve whatever has been done in the past, but I do promise to provide you a listening ear and a sounding board and if there is anything in my power that I can do to help at least make you feel as though someone cares, then I will do just that.

Remember my motto -- you've got to have a dream to make a dream come true.

Keep a dream in the making

Maria Ibanez
National President
Society of American Magicians
harris
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Thanks Maria..

I also read this post on the S.A.M. spot...

I might add (not that she needs defending) that Mrs. Ibanez presentation is both magical and emotional. Seeing her work in Boston(05) brought smiles and tears to this nearly normal guy.


Harris
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Kent Wong
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Jimmy,

It's easy to sit on the sidelines and complain. The real question is, what are YOU willing to do about it? For the most part, the people who run the local rings do the best job they can with limited time, money and support. So, at the end of the day, you have two options:

1. whine and complain without any active support - in which case, the club may actually disappear altogether; or,

2. step up to the plate and actively make your club the type of organization you think it should be.

The success or failure of your club is entirely up to you. The club is a privilege and it is your responsibility to make it a success. If the club fails and you've done nothing but sit on the sidelines and complain, there's no one to blame but yourself.


Kent
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harris
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E

Glad to see that you wrote..

"a strong believer in our tradition and the societies believe it or not"

We are not perfect..(that's the royal "we" of me and my puppets) though I don't speak for SAM(oops..S.A.M) there is always room for improvement in any organization both on the local and national. I have had talks in person and on line with folks at the top of both.

I have seen Slydini and Cellini through my contacts with these groups..
The former has gone on to the great close up table in the sky. One of his relatives writes for the Linking Ring.

harri3s(the 3 is silent)
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mrunge
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Thanks Maria, for a wonderful letter. I am, and have been for years, in total awe of you and your abilities. You have personally helped me in the past and I know how HARD you have worked for magic and those involved in the art.

You are totally right. It is whatever one makes of it. One can't sit on the side, complain, do nothing, and expect everything to happen and be handed to them.

JimmyTalksalot, your name says it all. You talk to much. You should take a deep breath, go back and read (several times) Maria's post and give it a LOT of consideration. When you figure out that it's NOT up to others to make you happy, you'll be well on your way to success.

In the art of magic, as in most areas of life, you're not owed anything. Get up off your backside and get to work!

Mark.
Scott F. Guinn
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First of all, Jimmy, don't sweat getting banned. We don't ban people because they say they don't like magic societies.

Having said that, let me add that it seems to me you've made an awful lot of suppositions. While I personally no longer belong to either of the two "Big Abbreviations," I bear neither an ill will. My philosophy is simple: if you belong to one, contribute to it and do what you can to make it better. If you don't like where they're headed and can't do anything about it, simply don't renew your membership.

I've belonged to four magic clubs (2 rings, an assembly, and an independent) over the years. Two of them were wonderful and two of them were awful. It's just kind of the nature of things--there is good and bad everywhere. Support the good to the best of your ability. Do what you can to fix/salvage the bad, and if that becomes impossible or too taxing, simple remove yourself from it.

Personally, I prefer to have a session with a few close friends with similar interests. But that's just me...
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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jimmy talksalot
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There has been a lot of accussations made on my motive, character, and spelling. I know I started it and I know you shouldn't throw rocks if you live in a glass house. In my defence I have never been accused of sitting on the side lines complaining, or
doing things for the magic community for political ladder climbing. any one who knows me, knows this is not in my character. I have been active and have seeked no reward and obviously I am seeking none here, unless you believe that I was foolish enough to think I was gonna get a pat on the back for saying these things from the society loyalists. I am a firm believer in the societies and recognize them as my authority.
the problems I have mentioned are merely the tip of the ice berg and folks I'm not your problem it's the large body of magicians who are, or are becoming fed up. If you think I'm making this up go to the sidewalk shuffle and read some of the comments. or the other Café. or simply ask some of the old timers how it was in the old days compared to how it is now. you see that's a big part of my point a lot of you don't even know this is going on.

I love our art and our tradition and I have defended it all my life as much more then a hobby, but attacking critisim to keep your postion isn't gonna help our lifes work.
I ment no disrespect I just thought the socities should know what is being said and why there arn't more active members.

I'm a traveller and I travel to many towns in the us working as a magician and I meet a lot of magicians and this seems to be a theme. this not isolated.
mrunge
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Well...thanks (I guess) for clearing this up for me. I hope you find happiness one day in the world magic community.

Mark.
jimmy talksalot
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I was talking about the magic community in the u.s. like I've stated continuessly.

mrunge, it seems I have rattled your cage.

make no mistake I am not bitter.

I have taken your advice and reread posts, please reread all of mine.

although you may have reason to be a little offended because I am suspicious that you are exactly who I have been addressing.

and I hope you can find happyness in the world inspite of people like me sharing it with you.

your pal jimmy
Eric Evans
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I can attest to the fact that Jimmy does something for magic every day he works, which come to think of it is most everyday. I don't know that I could say the same thing about the rest of you because I don't know you and certainly hadn't heard of you before I read this thread. So I don't know what you guys do for magic, you all seem to know each other though, kinda ironic.

Anyway, I posted this a few minutes ago on Danny Hustle's most excellent website and it'll probably be a good thing if I just stop right there and post it as is:


I don't really think it's possible to change people, until they see the need to change for themselves. And even then one can or will probably be merely a signpost for their own sudden discovery.

I am ****ed that IBM changed their website and I can't access club information without having to be a member. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. I guess the only magicians I see in the future will be in the streets and not some "clubhouse". It was nice while it lasted though, I met a lot of nice guys out there and some real, real workers.

Guys like Donovan, in Vancouver Canada. Donovan, if you're reading this or you hear of it, let me tell you brother, you ROCK. You help me keep the faith Bro.

But then I didn't meet Donovan through the IBM, or the SAM, I met him through the aegis of Lee Asher.

Back to the topic at hand-- Clubs.

I'd really rather not talk about the unpleasantries of the present, rather appreciate those past meetings in Albuquerque, headed by the likes of Dusty Cravens and Bill Fienning when I met many greats.

I think Jeff Sheridan and Eugene Burger have the right sort of idea or a little better perhaps. I don't know. They're really smart those guys.
mrunge
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Jimmy, you must have me confused with someone else. I'm not offended at all by anything you say. You don't bother me in the least.

I'm not the one complaining. I'm happy with my magic and those I'm associated with. I work constantly, on a daily basis, for the good of our magic club and do all I can to promote it and help others trying to either learn, or get started, in magic.

I'd suggest going back and, yet again, re-reading the advice freely shared with you. You'll notice that everyone else seems to feel, as I do, that you must have some kind of problems with your experiences in magic.

Again, I wish you the best and hope you can get over the bitterness you seem to be displaying in all your posts, including your sarcastic response above.

Best wishes.

Mark. Smile
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I love sessioning in and outside meetings.

At ring 129 meetings one will see small groups outside in the hall sharing close up ideas with each others. We have a wide range of folks from I saw Chris Angel a few times, to collectors to lecturers to workers in the "real world."

Our group has lots of growth and changes over the years..A couple of months ago we had an open brainstorm on improving it.

I make lots of mistakes including calling this thread S.A.M. (I posted both places on this topic)

Harris "palms of aluminum foil" deutsch
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Daveandrews
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Jimmy, I am confused and don't like to be.
Am I missing something vital here? I'm not sure what is being said. I could make a guess and be wildly missing the point.
I would just like to know - in a nutshell - what exactly is being discussed here. Why? Because I have a gut feeling that something 'important' is trying to come out, but isn't quite making it. I could be totally wrong, however!

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

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