Many years ago Santa Claus gave a magic set to a child. That girl learned almost every trick in the set. When spring arrived, she performed a magic show for her friends.
A visit to the Society of Young Magicians stirred those magic memories. Chapter 7 of the Society of Young Magicians meets every second Saturday from mid-October to the end of May at Riverview Community Centre.
Instructor Graham Wiebe teaches a class of seven-to-nine-year-olds and, following a short break, a group of 10-to-16-year-olds.
The day I attended, the classes were performance workshops whereby students performed a trick in front of an audience made up of Wiebe, his father Dan (who became involved with the Society of Young Magicians when he drove his son to meetings), parents, classmates and me.
The younger performers confounded the audience with tricks using cards, dice and other props. I enjoyed watching the Chinese linking ring trick. How does that work?
The focus was on the performer with Wiebe and the audience giving feedback after each performance. Wiebe, who began studying magic at the Society of Young Magicians when he was seven, gave advice gained from personal experience.
"Face the audience, have the volunteer come to you," he said, in a gentle, easygoing manner.
It was useful information, particularly for those students who would later perform at either or both of the Magic Showcase at the Lions Place on Portage Avenue and A Family Day of Magic in the lobby of Manitoba Theatre for Young People.
"It’s great to get your magic out in front of people," Wiebe said.
Carey Lauder, an executive member of the Society of Young Magicians in Manitoba taught magic at Riverview for many years. One of Carey’s former students is Darcy Oake, who was fifth in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent contest.
The older group of young magicians were more polished bunch. In fact, one girl from this older group had done a magic show at a birthday party before the Riverview class.
"Magic that happens in the spectators’ hands is better than that in the magicians’ hands," Wiebe said after one performance.
In a regular Society for Young Magician’s class Wiebe teaches two tricks. His father helps in the classroom. Sometimes the students use construction paper or other material to assemble a prop they will use when performing a trick. At the end of class, volunteers are invited to perform.
The Society of Young Magicians charges a yearly fee of approximately $100. This covers classes, a monthly newsletter, videotape and printed resources and a member’s card.
To learn more about the Society of Young Magicians in Manitoba, email Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.magicmanitoba.com
Dianne Doney is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge. You can contact her at email@example.com
Fort Rouge community correspondent
Dianne Doney is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge.