The 45th annual Michigan Magic Day was sponsored this year by the Percy Abbott / Monk Watson IBM Ring 386 magic club in Colon. Originally the brain child of magicians Stan White and Doug Dean, this regional convention rotates through different cities in Michigan every year. In recent years MMD has visited Flint (2013), Lansing (2012), Coldwater (2011), Grand Rapids (2010), Kalamazoo (2009), and Ann Arbor (2008).
2014 was the first time Michigan Magic Day has ever been brought to the Magic Capital of the World.
Festivities kicked off on April 11 with our traditional Night Before Party, held this year at the American Legion in downtown Colon. John and Tamara Sterlini started the evening rolling with a workshop on stage craft, followed by several hours of Open Mic talent hosted by our favorite college student, Trino “Just Trino” Schincariol. John Luca, Michigan’s current TVP, and Randy Vander Wal, our outgoing TVP, conducted a brief presentation to induct new members into the Michigan Magic Day Hall of Fame, including Clare Cummings (posthumously), Kevin James, Larry Thompson, and Marvin Mathena. Kevin was in attendance to accept his framed certificate and acknowledge his addition to the latest of two plaques, both of which hang at the American Museum of Magic in Marshall throughout most of the year. Carole and Krag Ryal announced a very gracious donation of a spectacular gift basket sent by the Magic Castle to help celebrate MMD 2014. Carl and Annette Thornton, owners of our local Five Star Pizza, catered the party, receiving what may well have been the loudest round of applause of the evening.
Saturday April 12, 2014
Saturday, the main day of MMD 2014, was at the Colon High school and opened at a very early 8 a.m. with stage and close-up contests for both Junior and Adult. Tamara Sterlini acted as Competition Chair, MC, and full stage crew, keeping the two hours of magic moving at a brisk pace.
The remainder of the morning included a lecture by Kevin Heller on the advantages of Performing Outdoors and a lecture by Ron Carnell on Marketing for Magicians. A short lunch break led to a dizzying afternoon of lectures by Duane Laflin and Kevin James. In between the almost back-to-back lectures, the 150 attending magicians made frantic trips to the dealer room where Steven Skindell, Tony Gerard, Martin Mercy, Roger Nicot, Jim and Michele Parkes, and Al Bach displayed and demonstrated their vast array of magical products.
Our break for dinner was scheduled at 5 p.m. with three hours to spend before the start of our Magic & Madness public show at eight o’clock. Of course, it’s rarely difficult for a magician to find something interesting to do in Colon.
About 35 magicians accepted the invitation of local historian Joe Ganger to tour Lakeside Cemetery, the final resting place of 28 magical celebrities, including three generations of Blackstones, Karrel Fox, Duke Stern, Monk Watson, and Don Alan, to name just a few. Joe Ganger has some great stories to tell as he wanders from marker to marker. Others used the dinner break to visit one or more of our three local magic stores: Abbott’s, Fab or Sterlini’s. A few, I suspect, might have actually found time to grab a bite to eat at the M&M, Phil & Dawn’s, Five Star Pizza, or the newly reopened Curly’s.
Magic & Madness
Eight o’clock. “Magic & Madness.” Raffles, drawings, and over two hours of extravagant magic, grand illusions, and yes, more than a little madness.
Duane Laflin, our MC for the evening, introduced the opening act, Kevin and Robin Heller. The Hellers were followed by Ric Carver, performing as mime and physical comedian Lupe, who had all the kids in the audience roaring with laughter. Duane and Mary Laflin closed the first act of the show. After a ten minute intermission that stretched to twenty as it always does, John Sterlini opened Act Two with his classical manipulation routine, followed by Jeff Boyer and family. Ron Carnell performed in front of the curtain to thank our Event Sponsors by calling them up as volunteers. Kevin James closed the show, followed with a curtain call by the performers — who were greeted with a standing ovation by a very appreciative audience.
Immediately following the show, all of the performers gathered at the doors to sign Event Guides, shake hands, and pose for pictures. The thirty-minute Meet & Greet was a fitting close to a truly incredible day.
Night Before Party Gallery
“Magic & Madness” Public Show Gallery
Thank you to everyone who sent me pictures, including Tamara and John Sterlini, Marien Hopman, and Mickey Blashfield.