January 2009

The President’s Message

WOW!  We made it to 2009!  Here we are, facing the vastness of an  unknown NEW YEAR.

The slate has been wiped clean. What we did in 2008 is now part of  history. Only the magic gods know what we will  do in 2009,.

I hope you have taken a  moment to write down a few notes to remind  yourself of what you’re going to do with your 2009.

Speaking for myself,  I’m making only one promise. I’m not setting 100 goals, making predictions on how much business my magic company will do, or what  new magic tricks I’ll create. Instead, I’m  making just one simple promise that I know I can keep.

The promise is simply this: “I promise to do my very best in every situation that I face this year.”  That’s it — short  and sweet; a simple promise I can remember!

We have an awesome opportunity to begin  the year fast, focused, and full of hope.  It’s easy — just  promise to do the best you can in all that you do. As for me, I’m ready to make this the best year of my life!  How about you?

Happy New Year! I look forward to hearing about what YOU  have in mind for 2009!



Get  to Know Your TAOM Board

TAOM  Historian Bruce  Chadwick was born and raised in Midland, Texas. He was  introduced to magic at the age of eight when his father ordered a few magic tricks from the Johnson-Smith Company. After earning an undergraduate degree in Religion and a master degree in Theatre Arts at Baylor University in the 1970’s, he moved to Fort Worth and earned  another masters degree from Southwestern Seminary.

He  boasts that he has never had a real job. During his college years, magic became his full-time profession and he has been at it ever since.  is a long time to be unemployed! he says, but he enjoys every minute of it, including a lot of work in churches  His love of  stage and platform magic led to his developing considerable skills as designer and builder of  stage illusions. Bruce’s  son Bronson owns the Illusion Warehouse magic store in Fort Worth.

Interests  outside magic include scuba diving.  Bruce  currently holds a DiveMaster rating and is working on his Scuba instructor  certification. 

In  1988, Bruce was president of TAOM for a very  successful convention in Fort Worth.  He  was elected to the position of TAOM Historian  the following year and has served our  association in that capacity ever since. We appreciate the care and dedication he brings to the job.  If you want to research a hit of TAOM history, just ask Bruce Chadwick.

Magic Across Texas

During the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas, March 1-4, 2009, TAOMs own Bill Palmer and Pete Biro will co-host a Mini-Symposium on Cups and Balls The symposium will feature Rafael Benatar, Antonio Romero, Johnny Thompson and Jason Latimer.

Bill says, “These are four of the best cups and balls workers in the world. Rafael and Johnny are friends of mine. I’ve met Jason Latimer, and I find him to be a really nice gentleman. I’ve never met Antonio Romero, but his work is delightful. And Pete Biro is just simply one of the best. It’s an honor to be in the same room with these fellows, much less co-host a symposium featuring their work.”

Bill will transport many of the cups from his immense collection for your viewing pleasure in display cabinets in the dealers’ room and will show his PowerPoint presentation on the history of cups and balls. This presentation was very well received in Berlin last summer and will, no doubt, be a highlight of the symposium.

Spotlight on Houston

Gene Protas has proven to be a most excellent choice to head the promotion and advertising campaigns for our convention. He has innovative ideas for the souvenir program, securing sponsorships, and promoting our convention.

Gene was born and raised in Brooklyn, attended SUNY Buffalo where he acquired B.A. and M.B.A. degrees and a lovely wife. He and Betty moved to Houston in 1981; they have one son who lives in Austin. Betty is the Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  After 26 years in the banking business, Gene turned his attention to other pursuits and invented a medical device for shoulder rehabilitation that his company sells all over the world.

In addition to magic, Gene’s  hobbies include photography and fishing.  His love of magic began at an early age and became serious when he worked his way through  grad school as house magician at the  Tralfamadore Cafe jazz club in Buffalo. Close-up is his forte, but he enjoys watching all magic. He and Banachek created and market an intriguing effect  called “Psi-Kalc”. Magic magazine published Gene’s “Ringtone Revelation” card prediction in a special technology issue in May, 2008.

Named  Houston’s Magician of the Year in 2006, Gene iscurrently President of the Houston Association of Magicians. He performs regularly at hospitals and charity venues all over the Houston and Galveston area. His greatest  satisfaction in magic comes from donating his time and talents to providing quality entertainment to those in need.

Houston Convention Update

In keeping in TAOM tradition, we have asked the TAOM contest winners from 2008 to appear at the 2009 Houston convention. The four winners on the right are Michael Tallon, Comedy; Rachael Dunn, Stage; Masami Ishizawa , Club; and Michael Williams, Close-up.Three  have confirmed already and Masami is hoping to  make arrangements to come from Japan. These rising young stars of magic will thrill  you with their award winning acts.

Michael Tallon is no stranger to winning contests  He and TAOM member Doug Gorman won the 2000 TAOM close-up contest in Dallas and they were finalists in several juried national and international competitions. His solo comedy act took home a well-deserved trophy from the 2008 TAOM convention.

Rachael Dunn is a vivacious, saucy young lady with an endearing smile and magic talent to spare. Mentor and tutor Trixie Bond has helped Rachael develop the poignant and charming stage act you will enjoy next  September.

Lending a mysterious Oriental flavor to manipulative prowess, MasamiIshizawa from Saitama, Japan, displayed the many skills she developed under the tutelage of FumioInagaki to win the Club trophy. We hope she can return to the U.S. for our convention.

Close-up artist Michael Williams blends comedy, talent, and presentation skills to a fine art. You’ll be amazed at the dexterity and marvel at this skill of this talented young man.

Final Thoughts

I trust  you’re well, back into the swing of things, and  doing what needs to be done to make this year a  great one.

A couple of months ago I wrote about the TAOM website and the great work that our webmaster Billy Godfrey is doing. One of my projects this year is to work with Billy to promote stronger communication with our membership through the TAOM.org website. With that thought in mind, here is a gentle reminder:

As this new year gets under way, many of our magic clubs around the state will have new slates of officers, contact information, and updates. We need for each club to forward the new information to enigmar@gmail.com  If you are listed on the Performing in Texas page, please check your listing to see if it needs updating.  Current information will help make our website a great resource for any guest or prospective member.

A big Thank You to TAOM Secretary/Treasurer Mary Cay Gold for the annual report. Generating and publishing the annual roster is a lot of work and garners little thanks. It is an important resource for all of us and we should let her know that we appreciate it.  If, by chance, you didn’t receive your copy, get in touch with Mary Cay at taom@hughes.net to check your contact information. Only members of TAOM receive this annual mailing, so if you are not a member, NOW is a good time to join.

Scott Hollingsworth, President

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