Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 21st July 2017

Joel Howlett gave a Magic Lecture to the magicians.   It is a long time since the club has hosted a magic lecture.  Beforehand, Joel had said “The lecture will include a variety of material including close up, stand up and even routines that can be used for kids - I am aiming to cater to a wide variety of the members interests...........”

He started by coming on stage with a rose in his hand, then plucking off a petal, he threw this in the air and it changed in the air into a red silk handkerchief..

From this red silk handkerchief, he made a large coin appear suddenly. The coin was at least 4 cm across.  The coin then multiplied until he was holding three of them. We asked ourselves, “How did he produce such large coins ?”

Joel showed us three Australian coins, and emptied them into a wine glass. The wime glass was sitting on the table in front of us all. When he  very openly tipped the wine glass into a spectator’s hand, the coins had changed into one large Chinese coin.

Next Joel did an effect called “Confabulation”, in which he asked a member of the audience where they would like to go on a holiday, another member how much they would spend and another who they would travel with.

Then,  he tore open a sealed envelope to reveal the exact information provided by the audience members correctly written down – giving us the impression that he had telepathically received our brain waves.

Joel did a card trick.  He displayed about ten cards fanned face up and asked a spectator to choose one.  This card he placed face up on the deck, and then expressed surprise that the card chosen was the only red-backed one in the group – and he showed us this was true.  The other nine cards were all blue backed.  Your reporter’s mouth fell open in surprise at this revelation !

These are only some of the powerful items that were featured in this excellent lecture, and all was explained in detail, with lecture notes.  You needed to be there !!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday June 23rd

Your reporter found it quite difficult to keep track of the tricks that were being performed at this meeting, because they were short items, and lots of them !  As this chain of miracles went past in a bit of a blur,  it was only possible to get down the titles of each….

The host was Al Hirschel, and the theme was “Card Tricks with a Borrowed Deck”.  He led off with the Seven Card Trick, then a Four Jacks Assembly, and lastly a Card Layout to find the chosen card. 

David Whitson did a card trick using an ESP deck.  Next he had a card chosen, then found it on a Chinese sign.

Card magician Michael Blakeman started with an item finding a chosen card, then switched a chosen card on a spectator, then did a trick called the Drunken Shuffle,  then did a trick that resembled Vernon’s “Triumph”.  Michael did a mind reading item in which he looked for the chosen card by looking into the spectator’s eyes for a “tell” when he turned over the chosen card in the series of cards.  In his last item, he found the chosen card by peeling off top and bottom cards of the pack.

The next card magician, Brad Burgoyne, also found a chosen card, then he performed an item similar to the “Drunken Shuffle”.    A hopeless mess-up of cards is transformed into order by one cut by the magician - but in the neat spread of face-up cards one is still face-down - the chosen card.

 John Ferguson performed “Handful of Aces”, and “Spectator chooses the Aces”.

The “Piano Trick” is a nice bit of mathematical magic applied to a card trick, and this was neatly done by Denis Norman.   A card  originally between the spectator's fingers magically and invisibly moves from an "Even" pile to an "Odd" pile.

A visiting magician, Craig Hardwick, had a card chosen, then “thirds” were stacked up and the “rejects” put into a spectator’s fist.  When the fist was hit, cards fell out and the chosen card only remained   -  Startling !

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Magicians you may meet when you come to the Club

One person who will certainly welcome you to the club is our President, DAVID WHITSON:

 David's interest in magic began at the age of seven. He learnt magic from reading books at his local library. As a teenager he joined the Magic Department of the Young Peoples Theatre in Newcastle. After completing a Degree in Drama David launched into a full-time career as a professional magician. He performs at schools, preschools, festivals, clubs, shopping centres, churches, as well as birthday parties. He was a winner of Bert Newton's National Television Program: 'New Faces'. David is a past winner of Newcastle's 'Magician of the Year.'

David's website for his new Eco-show is well worth visiting, and the address is


Another person you may meet at the club is our Vice-President, JOEL HOWLETT, of JD Magic.

Joel's first magic performance for an audience was at the age of seven, when after an audition he was invited to perform on an NBN Television telethon, an experience that intensified and animated his love for magic and the stage. Busking, birthday parties and Saturday Guest Appearances in shows, such as, 'The Rowdy Rabbit Fun Show' at the local shopping centre, helped to establish Joel in his early years as a confident and talented young magician.

Since those early days Joel's showmanship has matured and taken him around Australia and the world, where he has appeared, in his own right:
· As the Australian Representative at Disney World Florida for The Millennium Dreamers Awards
· Featured Guest Artist at the Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas in The Stars of Tomorrow Show:
· Featured Act on 'The Gala Show at the Adelaide Magic Convention, where he also won both the Junior Close-up and Open Stage Competitions:
· Also a guest act at The Australian Centenary Magic Convention:
· Special Guest in 'The World Festival of Magic' Show

Joel's website is  and it's worth while visiting it !

Friday, May 19, 2017

Welcome to the Club


Newcastle Society of Magicians meets on the third Friday of each month (except December) at 7.30 pm at Mayfield Bowling Club, 2A Ingall St, Mayfield.  The Club is opposite Albion Street, beside Park Street on one side and the Mayfield Swimming Centre on the other.  Check at the bar to find the room we have been allocated.

The meeting starts at 7.30 pm with those present performing magic (if they wish) for the others present. Around 8.30pm to 9pm there is a 10 minute break to get refreshments, then a business meeting starts that can last for a half hour to an hour depending on what events are coming up.

Contact Details
If you want to contact us by phone, you can ring our President, David Whitson, on 4947 4980, or our Vice-President, Joel Howlett on 4942 3593.

But, Will I Be Welcome ?

Anyone with a genuine interest in magic is welcome to our meetings.  The usual procedure is to attend for three meetings and then to apply to join the society. The current membership fee for one year is $20.

Because we meet in a registered club, those under 18 are expected to be accompanied by parent or guardian. While this may be inconvenient for some folk, meeting in a club means that room hire is only a modest expense, and we can keep our club fees down.

Upcoming Meetings for 2017 and Officebearers for 2017

The meetings of Newcastle Society will be held on the third Friday of each month (except December) at 7.30 pm at Mayfield Bowling Club, 2A Ingall St, Mayfield. The Club is opposite Albion Street, beside Park Street on one side and the Mayfield Swimming Centre on the other.

Friday 21st July - was Magic Lecture by Joel Howlett.

Friday 18th August - Cups and Balls, and Ball Tricks Generally - Noel Clair

Friday 15th September - Paper and Everyday Objects - Al Hirschel

Friday 20th October - Apparatus Magic - Andrew Pickard

Friday 17th November -  AGM and "Packet Card Tricks" - host John Ferguson
(this includes gimmicked decks and gimmicked cards)

Of course, you may not be interested in any of these themes.  No problem!  You are MOST WELCOME to bring along something entirely different that you have been working on and do it later in the performance section of the meeting.  The only reason for having a theme is to broaden our horizons, and if yours are already broader than these themes, so much the better !

Office Bearers for 2017

At the November 2016, Annual General Meeting, the following Officers were elected:
Patron:      Graham Holstein                  President:   David Whitson
Vice-President:   Joel Howlett               Acting Secretary:   David Whitson
Assistant Secretary:  Joel Howlett and Monica Howlett    
Treasurer: Al Hirschel
Archivist:  Steve Howlett                       Auditor:  Cyrus Taraparwalla

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 19th May

The theme this month was “classics and colour changes” with President David Whitson as host.
David opened with his “blooming flowers” followed by another colourful children’s magic classic – “The Magic Colouring Book”. Next came David’s very polished and well-rehearsed “Egg Bag Routine” followed by the “Chinese Sticks”.
Steve Irwin took the floor next with his version of Duane Lafflin’s "Colour Change Silk Routine”. This is the one with the false explanation and the sucker finish. Steve is doing the moves very well and he left us “baffled, bothered and bewildered” …………
Michael Blakemore entertained next with his version of the two card transpo effect. A card seemed to change on a spectator’s hand – well done Michael. A very magical looking effect!!
The night’s program closed with Joel Howlett who performed the classic “Wild Coin” effect (three Australian coins change to three Chinese Coins with apparently no moves) and the classic “Mental Photography Pack” (blank cards to printed cards).
After a short break of informal magic discussions, the business meeting followed.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 21st April 2017

Joel Howlett was leading the meeting, and the theme was “Silks and Handkerchiefs”.  He commenced by showing us Silk from Rose, then Coin from Silk.  This Coin production led into him producing multiple large coins.   Showing us a circle with paper across it, Joel punched a hole in the paper and from it produced a silk fountain.  He turned a black sash into a rainbow streamer.  What a cascade of colour !

Steve Irwin, the next performer, showed his right hand empty, and then asked Al to imprison that hand in a plastic bag and tie the bag to his wrist with rope so that nothing could get in.   Steve then took a red silk in his left hand, vanished it, and it instantly appeared inside the plastic bag held in his fingers in his right hand.   Everyone gasped with amazement, because it was so unexpected.

Next, Joel showed his ability with the Massal tube. Showing a square of material  empty, he twisted it into a tube, and from the tube produced a black and white silk picture of a flower in a pot.  Asking us to throw the colour from our clothes at it, he then produced a silk picture similar to the black and white one before, but with coloured splotches over it.   Then with a magic word, he produced a silk that not only was a fully coloured flower in a coloured pot, but also was of a size that was four times as large.

We know the zigzag effect with cards, with a banknote, and even with a woman.  The next performer, Noel Clair showed us a zigzag with rope – a device that gave the illusion that the rope was pushed sideways into two pieces, then he restored it. He did ring off rope, and made the ring disappear.

He did his rope routine, in which knots appear on a rope and disappear off it; the ends disappear off the rope; he tied a knot in the centre of the rope and removed the knot, then he put the ends back on the rope.  Next he made a rope pass straight through his finger.   A ring tied firmly on the rope came off easily, then went back on firmly. When he threw the ring at the rope, it went on to it immediately.

Joel produced a silk from his bare hands, vanished it, and made it reappear from mid air.  Next he did the Twentieth Century Silks.

Brad Burgoyne did a nice classical sponge ball routine: he appeared to break one sponge into two, transposed one sponge then two from his hand to the spectator’s, and multiplied two sponges to three.  The old classics have an inherent magical power !

Another classic is the Gung Ho Silk Box, which was used by John Ferguson to produce green, then red, then green, then red silks and so on as an introduction to “Traffic Lights”.  This is a chemical magic effect in which a liquid, swirled in a plastic bottle turns red in colour.  Then when the bottle is shaken, the liquid suddenly turns green. The colour change can be repeated many times – as long as there is air in the bottle !

Anthony Roberts showed us a small box, empty.  Opening it, he produced a silk.  These small silk production boxes are very useful.  Next he dealt cards fairly on to the table for one to be chosen – the 2D.  Opening a box in plain sight on the table all the time, he showed us the prediction he had written – the 2D.

The very useful prop, the Change Bag, was used to good effect by David Whitson, who used it to vanish red, white and blue silks, and then to produce from the empty bag a 2 metre silk Australian flag.  Noting that we should be welcoming to others, he said that the bag was made in Japan, the silks in India and the Aussie flag in Indonesia…..   From the change bag he next produced silk costumes of various animals such as a gorilla, that could go around our necks – and he challenged the spectators to put them on !

A new use for a classic prop, the Money Printer, was shown us by Andrew Pickard.  He used it to vanish a silk, by winding the silk into the printer.  Taking a tubular cover off a wine bottle, he showed the bottle was normal.  When he covered it up and removed the tube again, the vanished silk had appeared tied around the neck of the bottle !

What a night of magic !