September 2014

  Vol. 5, #9 – September 2014


Official Newsletter

of the

Texas Association of Magicians


for all magicians everywhere!

In This Issue:
Your 2 Cents
TAOM Contest Winners
Order of Willard Awards
Bits and Pieces of Interesting Stuff
Coming Attractions
It’s a Wrap by Bill Irwin, 2014 TOAM President
The Last Word
What do YOU Think??question_marks_copy

What do you think!  Survey Monkey wants to know…or more specifically, future convention organizers want to know how you feel about magic conventions.  This important survey was put together by several past and future presidents of TAOM to provide information to make future magic conventions more responsive to your likes and dislikes. 

Everyone knows you can’t please all the people all the time, but this little questionnaire will help convention organizers better recognize what convention-goers want.

So please take a little of your time (less than five minutes) to complete the short survey on magic conventions. Your assistance is needed and will be sincerely appreciated.

TAOM SURVEY LINKfor magic convention survey

THANKS for your participation.


Cameron Rivers, a magician and master’s student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston, is conducting academic research that looks at magicians and the magic community.  He looking for participants both for the survey and for interviews. The research looks at who makes up the magic community, how and with whom magicians decide to share secrets, as well as the general culture around magic. To take part in the survey, follow the link below. If you’re also interested in being interviewed for this project or participating in future projects, there are instructions at the end of the survey.

SURVEY LINKfor Cameron Rivers’ Survey


And the Winner Is….2014contest_winnersWhat a lot of talent! The prestige of the TAOM contest trophy was raised a notch this year. Contestants from around the country and around the world graced the stage and close-up rooms of the marvelous Worthington Renaissance Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.The sweetheart of the convention was 8-year-old
Ava Byers from Dallas. resized__63x100_ava_byers_copy Her toes twinkled and her smile sparkled as her personality and charisma belied her young years. Her flawless magic to music from Disney’s “Frozen” brought down the house. She embraced the theme throughout the performance that included adorable dancing, card flourishes, productions and vanishes, and even a costume change. She appropriately ended the show with the production of real snow from water and a graceful snowstorm billowing from her tiny hands with the help of an elegant white Chinese fan.


David Rangel’s impeccable technique
combined with showmanship and an endearing smile garnered high praise from newcomers and seasoned veterans alike.
His smooth card handling and creative presentation wowed the crowd.



AND… for the first time in many years, TAOM judges awarded the BEST OF CONVENTION trophy.

Stewart MacDonald showed how talent and flair produce a professional show that pleases the crowd while it amazes them. He is now the proud owner of TWO trophies — Best Stage Act and Best Act of Convention.

Congratulations to all these fine performers.


Order of Willard Honorsorder_of_willard_receipients_2014_copy

The Order of Willard Breakfast was very well attended this year with hotel staff adding two tables to accommodate the enthusiastic crowd.  Five of the ten recipients for twenty-five year awards in 2014 were in attendance and are pictured here.  They are Charlie Randall, Dr. John “Ace” Passmore, TAOM Secretary/Treasurer Mary Cay Gold, TAOM Past President Justin Botter, and Robert G. “Bob” Adams.  Those receiving the award but not present were Eugene P. Willard, Roland A. Kringel, James W. Kent, Jason R. Caballero, and Steve Burton.

Three members not in attendance were honored for having been TAOM members for thirty-five years.  They were James W. Cook, Charles Golla, and Allen L. Paulyresized__58x100_scott_ow_50_year_plaque

TAOM Past President Scott Hollingsworth received a medallion and certificate for 50 years service to TAOM.

After an enjoyable visit with friends during breakfast and the awards presentations, the audience was treated to a great power point presentation by Master Payne that was both funny and informative.


Bits and Piecess_castWhooo Hoooo!! Esther’s Follies was named “Best Live Comedy” in the Austin Chronicle 2014 BEST OF AUSTIN Readers’ Poll. The cast says, “Thanks to our family of fans for lovin’ on the Follies! If you haven’t seen the show lately, come on down to see what all the buzz is about.”Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, dazed denizens of “dirty” Sixth Street in Austin stare disbelievingly through the window at Esther’s Follies at the comedic/magical goings-on, unwittingly becoming part of the show. They stare at Esther’s mainstays like the Patsy Cline parody routine, up-to-the-minute satires of Texas politics, or the ever-evolving scenarios proffered by magic-man Ray Anderson. Make a point to go to Esther’s the next time you’re in Austin; you won’t regret it!!

A. Lucio will present “The Creative Mind: The Psychology to albert_luico_brain_gearsCreativity” at the Austin October workshop.

This clinic will provide you with information and exercises on how you can explore your creative side. Mental Mapping, the information offered, can apply to more than just magic as Lucio gives insight to how creativity can affect your daily life. The clinic will include problem-solving and flash creativity games, associative and improvisational exercises, and a relaxing guided meditation.

The clinic will be held at Heroes Night Out, 1150 South Bell Boulevard in Cedar Park at 10:00 a.m., October 4th.

seance_postcardHouston Seance features Jack the Ripper – Jamie Salinas and Scott Wells will return to La Carafe in Houston for the seventh year to present a séance. This year will feature something completely different: Jack the Ripper. Yes, there is a relationship between one of the suspects and La Carafe that will be explored along with the history and the netherworld to seek out old Jack himself.

A “Mix and Mingle” social hour starts at 7:00 p.m. with Scott Wells resized__174x200_seance_cemeteryperforming up-close, bizarre entertainment. At 8:00, guests are brought upstairs where Jamie Salinas leads the group in a turn-of-the-century theatrical seance presentation.

Production dates are Wednesday October 1, Sunday October 5, Wednesday October 8, Sunday October 26, and Wednesday October 29. For details, go to and click on either picture for a short web link video.

alex_ramonRed Bluff native Alex Ramon will return to Texas for one show only on Sunday, October 18th. He received the Milbourne Christopher Award at the recent IBM/SAM Combined Convention in St. Louis for his many innovations in magic. His new show is a modern version of this ancient art form.

The show will be at the Cascade Theatre in Redding on Sunday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m. Discount (code “newmagic”) tickets are available at or by calling the Cascade box office.


Houston Magic Auction is coming again! Gather up your items and turn them into cash. Use that cash to buy someone else’s magic. It a great cycle! Set up starts at 1:00 on Saturday October 25 with the auction itself on Sunday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m. at the ISTSA Union Hall, 3030 North Freeway in Houston. For more information, contact Doug Kornegay.

resized__200x87_sam_insigniaFrom SAM Regional Vice President Michael Tallon:

Greetings, Compeers!

I’m writing to you with exciting news about a magic conference the S.A.M. will be holding later in Las Vegas November 14-16: the S.A.M. Magic Summit Leadership Conference. The purpose of this conference is “to
improve the local magic club experience, emphasize the value of friendships made through magic, gather ideas for increasing attendance and finding new members, making meetings more rewarding and fun, serving the community, and meet the challenges all clubs face in our fast-changing world.”

Please share this information with your Assembly members and get the conversation started. If anyone in your Assembly would like to attend, please let me know as soon as possible. I hope we can get a strong showing at this conference from the Assemblies located in the South Central Region of the S.A.M.! For details, go to

Hope to see you there!
Sincerely, in Magic, Unity, and Might,
Michael Tallon, S.A.M. South Central Region RVP


Banachek – The World’s Number One Thought Reader will perform one night only at Lee College Performing Arts Center in Baytown on Saturday, November 1.

Banachek reduces cutlery to a near liquid metal state and reads thoughts that no one could possibly ever know. His performance is an exhilarating journey into the unknown – a mind blowing display of incredible feats, ESP and impossible predictions.

Having astounded audiences across the globe, his talents are so incredible that he is the only mentalist ever to fool scientists into believing he possessed ‘Psychic powers’ then later reveal he was fooling them.

For tickets, go to The Lee College Performing Arts Center is located at 805 W. Texas Avenue in Baytown.

September 25, San Antonio – Dan Fleshman Lecture. Contact Doug Gorman at for details. 

David Sousa, F.I.S.M. Stage Contest Winner, will lecture at the following locations:

September 30, New Orleans (River Ridge) at 6:00 p.m. in the home of Gary Hughes, 10109 Walden Drive in River Ridge, Louisiana.

October 5, Dallas at 2:00 p.m. at Crosspointe,  2425 West Parker Road in Carrollton.

October 6, Houston at 7:30 p.m. at the IATSE Union Hall, 3030 North Freeway in Houston.

October 7, San Antonio.  Contact Doug Gorman at  for time and location.

October 8, McAllen at 7:00 p.m. at the McAllen Incubator, 601 N. Main Street in McAllen.

October 12, Addison – Mica & Judy & More at 2:00 p.m.  at the Addison Improve, 4980 Beltline Road.

October 29 – November 19, Austin.  Kent Cummins presents University of Texas Intermediate Informal Magic Classes.

November 1, Houston – Banachek, The Man Who Fooled Scientists, at Lee College, 200 Lee Drive in Baytown, 7:30 p.m. For tickets, go to


November 16, Dallas – Charles Gauci Lecture.   2:00 p.m. at Crosspointe, 2425 West Parker Road in Carrollton.

Main Street Attic Family Magic Show in on the second Saturday of each month at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m., Main Street Magic & Fun Co. in McKinney.

Second Saturday Magic Sale at Magic, Etc., 9:00 a.m., Forest Park Blvd. at I-30 in Fort Worth.

Monday Night Magic, The Humperdink’s Restaurant at Six Flags of Arlington, La Quinta Inn & Suites, 6 North Six Flags Drive in Arlington. All magic aficionados are invited to attend these informal gatherings that meet in the back meeting room each Monday evening. Bring your cards and props and practice your “chops”!

Arlington Improv presents Comedy and Magic for All Ages every Sunday at 2:00. This show is designed to have you in awe no matter your age! With a combination of comedy and magic, the FUN doesn’t stop. Go to for more details or call 817-635-5555.

Houston Improv  – Magical entertainers Ted Schwank and Carter Blackburn take you on a high-energy adventure of magic, illusion, and comedy. Details at

The South Austin Card Group meets on the last Saturday of each month, usually at the home of Ron Cartlidge. Get in touch with Lou Hornung at for details and to be added to the meeting notice distribution list.

A Message from Past President Bill Irwinbill_irwin5228ce2b31889.jpgGreetings from your Past TAOM 2014 PresidentTo everyone who played a part in the TAOM 2014 convention I wish to extend my appreciation for your work, ideas, and contributions. Those that have worked on a convention know that the life of the event can take
many turns, and the success is dependent on remaining flexible to changes, costs, and the personal needs of performers that others may never know about. Complaints and opinions are easily cast about, but a gifted crew considers the big picture and the needs of the dealers, performers, and attendees. To this crew we owe our thanks.

The beauty of the TAOM is that each year we get to have new life and a new focus for the convention. One year might focus on close-up, another year stage, and each year provides a chance for those wishing to grow an opportunity to do so. If you wish to stay in the lobby, that is your prerogative, for each attendee has their own interests and anyone wishing to expand their participation also has that right. So to those willing to take action through their Rings and Assemblies to make the TAOM better, thank you, for that is the professional approach.

In wrapping up the convention, thanks go to all the members of the planning and execution committees. At the risk of missing many, I would refer you to the bulletin for proper credit. With over 25 performers, tributes to Arthur Emerson and Doug Wilson, and special projects which created collectible badges, digital copies of a lecture, images from 12 years of TAOM history, and custom printed Color Montes, this was not an average convention. This years convention started by honoring our past and celebrated some of the finest performers in the world.

Friday night was fantastic as we heard Mr. Sims, a past TAOM performer, play his banjo, and join singer/songwriter Sonny Burgess as we gathered together. The evening ended with a tribute to Arthur Emerson and Emmy winner Max Howard’s production of The War Wizard. Each earning a standing ovation. Those wishing to expand their knowledge of working for the public were also able to attend a master’s class in restaurant magic, or even go downtown to Sundance Square where six performers entertained the crowd that was gathering for the ESPN event.

Saturday followed with stage contests and a first time presentation of miniature illusions. While there are many performers that work for magicians from convention to convention, the opportunity to watch professional performances and lectures by those who work for the paying public was a treat. Master Payne, Dr. Bedwell, Kevin James, and newcomer David Chandler showed what it takes to make a living in magic in the real world. The nights show built up wonderfully as we enjoyed to comfort of a real theater with tiered seating, a laser show by Laser Ninja, and a professional crew. The performers also got to experience a real lay audience, and the audience reciprocated to a wonder performance with two standing ovations. “We couldn’t stop laughing, and when we did it was only because we were amazed”. No one will ever look at the painting of the Last Supper the same again. Pix, Carnival of Illusion, Dana Daniels, David Chandler, Master Payne, and Ian Varella broke the house up.

Sunday followed with more close-up contestants than have been seen in several years, and a full Magic Gospel show that had some very fresh ideas and presentations. The dove productions alone were worthy of notice and Rick Honea was a pleasant surprise. Sunday’s lectures and PowerPoint presentations were fantastic and offered years of great advice. No smoke and mirror dealer shows, these presentations were for the audience, not for the backroom sales. Ending the evening at Casa was one of the strongest magic shows at TAOM for many years, and another standing ovation. Laser Ninja, Trigg, Shel, James Irwin, Sonny Fontana, Vanessa, and Kevin James started off fast and built to a powerful finish with the participation of local celebrity Oliver Tull. Even the magic camp kids and award winners got stage time on Sunday. Monday allowed those wanting more to attend lectures by Diamond Jim.

So for those getting out of the lobby, and attending the events, the talent was exceptional, the hotel was accommodating, Tri-Hawk media provided a wonderful AV experience, and the theater was a wonderfully pleasant change to seating at the back of a ballroom. Were there situations that could have been better, sure, but this convention was well ‘above average’ and there was no down time for those wishing to participate.

Bless you all, and our thanks to you for supporting the TAOM.
Bill Irwin, Past President TAOM 2014

The Last Wordjudy_passportWhat a convention! I hope you had as much fun as I did. The hotel was fabulous and the shows were great. The overall experience was super. Congratulations to Bill Irwin and the whole crew.Now a new year has started in our planning cycle for this unique venture we call “The TAOM”. In case you haven’t heard, I was elected Vice President and will head the organization for the 2016 convention in Corpus Christi.

I am doubly excited because Trixie Bond will lead the energetic, enthusiastic members of the Austin magic community to bring you another exciting convention in 2015. The website already has numerous tidbits and information to whet your appetite. Check it out — and watch future issues of Magic Across Texas for updates.

Judy Hollingsworth
TAOM Club Coordinator