Welcome to the Capital District's magic club. Members of our club include illusionists, close-up magicians, kids show magicians, magic collectors and magic enthusiasts.

The purpose of our organization is to promote the art of magic by learning to perform it well, to preserve its history and to assemble collections of past magicians and paraphernalia.

Assembly #24 is one of the oldest Assembly's in the Society of American Magicians. It is named after Past President Jay A. Gorham.  Jay was a Professor and Mathematics Chair at Hudson Valley Community College. He is an active magician and magic collector. After moving from this area to Arizona, Jay became the National President of the Society of American Magicians in 2004.



April 18, 2019

IBM Ring 186 will be meeting on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 at S. W. Pitts Hose Company, 226 Old Loudon Road, in Latham, NY. The theme for this meeting will be original and homemade magic. If you have a trick you developed or improved in some way, or a piece of apparatus you built, this will be your opportunity to bring it out and SHARE it with your follow magicians.

Please note: “Share” does not necessarily mean you have explain how the trick is done. Part of the fun with magic is figuring out how it’s done and enjoying how the trick is performed, not having someone tell you the secret.

If you do not have anything original, but would still like share something, go ahead and do it.


SAM Assembly 24 will meet on Tuesday, May 14, at 7:30 at S. W. Pitts Hose Company, 226 Old Loudon Road, in Latham, NY. At this meeting we will focus on coin magic. Allan Alexander has some very pretty matrix routines he would like to share, and I promised Chuck Tryon I would do a coin routine with a coin vanishing stand and a picture frame. Of course, if you have something other than a coin trick you would like to share, please do so.


Our fourth annual Sunday afternoon lecture will be held at the Fort Hunter Fire Station on Sunday, May 19 at 1:00 pm. This year we will be hosting Craig Dickson as our lecturer. The cost of the lecture is $20.00 without any discount. However, anyone who get his money to Ken before Saturday, May 11 may deduct $5.00 for registering early. If you are a paid member of Assembly 24 you may deduct an additional $5.00 from the cost of your ticket and that of one guest. Send your checks to:

Ken Marcinowski
1107 Raymond Rd
Ballston Spa, NY


Kaye, David. Seriously Silly: How to Entertain Children with Magic and Comedy. Kaufman and Company, 2005. May still be available from: www.sillymagic.com His price for the book - $60.00 and for the book and dvd together- $85.00.

Editor’s Note: All the sources I checked, other than Silly Billy's, list these items as being out-of-stock.

Many of us have gotten into the realm of doing magic for our children or grandchildren. I am one who took such a path. I often could not understand why children enjoyed magic some of the time and at other times they were bored. David Kaye’s book gives some excellent ways to present children’s magic and overcome this dilemma.

The book is divided into five main parts: (1) First Things First, (2) The Psychology of Performing magic for Children, (3)How to Routine Magical Effects for Children,(4) Solving the Problems of Performing for Children and (5)Time for Cake: Concluding Thoughts. Let me cite just a few of his ideas here. First you must like children (which as grandparents we all do). Next, speak to children as you would to an adult. Remember kids are not stupid and don’t need baby talk but… remember their experience may be limited so we should simplify and use words they can relate to. Children love to be part of the performance along with lots of laughing and yes even getting them shouting. Emphasize the entertainment over the effect. Finally he states that there are different ways of performing magic for 4 year olds, 9 year olds and teenagers and how to approach each group.

David Kaye not only talks about the theory and psychology of children’s magic but also gives great example of full routines. There are many good books on magic but this is excellent for the novice and expert alike.


I have used this as an opener and as an MC bit with good results. It is particularly appropriate before introducing another magician or as a warmup before beginning your regular show.

The magician vanishes a sponge ball by apparently tucking it under his left arm but ends up finding it under his right arm.

Ball to cube set. This set includes a hollow sponge cube which can be turned inside-out to form a sponge ball. There is also a sponge ball which matches the ball formed from the cube.

Turn the cube inside-out and have this inside-out cube (ball) handy. The matching sponge ball is tucked under your right arm. If you are doing this as an MC or an opening item in your act, you can have this ball under your arm before you enter. If not, you will have to find an opportunity to load this ball under your arm, which isn’t too difficult.

Many people have peculiar ideas about how magic tricks are accomplished. Some think it has to do with sleight-of-hand, “the hand is quicker than the eye” and all that sore of thing. Other folks think about magnets, invisible wires, and secret trapdoors. But today, I’m going to reveal to you the real secret of magic, and that secret is misdirection!

It is easier to give you an example of misdirection than it is to explain it. I will use this sponge ball to illustrate misdirection. Watch as I push this ball into my closed hand. Ball/cube is pushed into the closed left fist and turning it inside-out in the process. This leaves you with a cube in the left hand, As you do this, sweep the right hand fingers under the left hand fist, to suggest you might be stealing the ball back out.

Only you’re not quite sure whether it ended up in this hand or this hand. Hold up the closed left fist then the right.

But it really doesn’t matter because on the count of three I’m going to make the ball disappear completely. Hold both hands in front of you and move them up and down as you count, 1, 2, 3. On the count of three, bring your right hand into your left armpit as though hiding something under the left arm.

Now as you can see this hand is empty. Open your right hard.

And in this hand I have a cube. Open left hand to show the cube. The cube is part of the misdirection. People stop worrying about where the ball went and start to wonder where the cube came from.

Some of you may have thought you saw me slip something up under my arm. Did anybody see that? Some of you did. And some of you didn’t. If you thought you saw me put the ball up under my arm, hold your hands up. Hold them real high so I can count. To illustrate how this is to be done, raise you left arm as high as you can. At this point it becomes obvious that you didn’t hide the ball under your left arm as some might have thought.

Well, if you thought you saw me hide the ball under my arm, you are absolutely correct. I did hide the ball right here under my arm. Reach under you right arm and produce the ball.

And that is how misdirection is used to create magic.


Every Tuesday: THE MORNING MAGIC GROUP: meets at 7:30 at Panera in Saratoga. Call Cliff, Dave, Roger, or Helen for information or directions.

Sunday, May 19, 2019: Assembly 24, Spring lecture at the Fort Hunter Fire House with Craig Dickson. The doors open at noon and the lecture starts at 1:00.

August 2, 3, & 4, 2019: Festival of Fools in Burlington ,Vermont. This a FREE street performing festival with more than 100 of the best street performers from around the world. It is a family friendly event. For more information go to: http://www.vermontfestivaloffools.com/

Sunday, October 6: SAM Assembly 24 Annual Banquet at Dunham’s Bay Resort on Lake George. Details to be announced.


If you know of a magic related event or show which might be of interest to capital area magicians, send that information to me in time for it to be announced in our next newsletter.

Also if you would like to contribute an original article, trick or review of a book, dvd, trick or internet site, send it to me for inclusion in this newsletter. PLEASE DON’T COPY WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN UNLESS YOU DOCUMENT THE SOURCE AND HAVE PERMISSION TO SHARE IT.

Material should arrive on or before the first or third Tuesdays of the month to be included in the next newsletter. Send your information or contributions to: cliffordbruce@earthlink.net

Blind taste testing the magician's way...

Vinny Grosso gives a guest lecture.

Directory Sign Up Attention SAM Assembly 24 Members:   We would like to put a Membership Directory on this website. It will be a password protected page, so only other members would have access to it. Please consider signing up by clicking the button below and filling out the form.  Thank you.