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By Mike Maione Players Te p with the top respo
tr y to com
our monthly assembly meetings are time had 100 responses. When the responses are completely unaware of. Today, a
Y probably like the Long Island Mystics
Assembly 77’s meetings used to be. They
probably follow a standard format — a short
were tallied I started working with Microsoft
PowerPoint to build the game display.
PowerPoint is a highly regarded presenta-
PowerPoint presentation can include video,
still photographs, moving graphics, customized
animations, music, sound effects, slide transi-
business meeting, a lecture, or a theme show, tion program commonly used by speakers to tions, and links to other pages in the presenta-
and then finish up the evening at the local diner display information. It has all but replaced tion, as well as to other presentations, applica-
where the hardcore members share laughs and slides and overhead projectors in boardrooms, tions, and the Internet. Pretty much anything
trade stories or techniques late into the night. at conferences, and on the lecture circuit. It you can do on a Web page you can do in a
I enjoy our meetings, especially the diner comes packaged with Word and Excel in PowerPoint presentation and then some.
part, but I do tire of the repetitiveness. The club Microsoft Office. Like all mature computer I created my own template, starting with an
shows each month tend to feature the same per- applications, it has expanded to include fea- original animated GIF for the background that
formers and the same themes repeated year tures most people don’t utilize and casual users simulates a marquee with chaser lights. For
after year. As a result, I am always looking to each round of the game, a new slide was creat-
borrow or invent something that deviates from ed with the three to five top answers for each of
the usual. If you are looking for a novel idea to the various survey questions added as text in
change your club’s meeting from humdrum to the basic outline. A graphic bar was placed over
humdinger, instead of just another silk magic or each answer to hide it from view.
liquid magic night, you may want to consider a During the show, the cover bars vanish
magic-oriented game show. when clicked on, using the customized anima-
Our most recent foray into originality was a tion feature. For fun, we added buttons to dis-
magic-based version of the popular television play one, two, or three large red X’s, a buzzer
program Family Feud, complete with a project- sound, applause, and the popular theme songs
ed game board, music, sound effects, prizes, played at the beginning of the Family Feud
contestants (costumed club members pretend- show and at the start of each round.
ing to be families), and answers culled from A laptop computer connected to a digital
surveys of 100 magicians. By all measures it projector was used to project the display onto a
was a huge success and certainly different. large screen. A second computer/projector
Here’s how we put ours together. You can setup was used to keep score. However, in ret-
do the same. rospect, a better and far less complicated solu-
Using a free online survey service — tion for keeping score would have been a sim-
www.surveymonkey.com — I created a ten- ple white board — low tech, but just as effec-
question survey. I asked things like “What’s tive.
your favorite magic word” and “Name a famous Scorekeeper Lou Johnson, emcee and The most difficult part of the production
TV magician.” Using various magic on-line game creator Mike Maione, and Pat for those who want to attempt it will be the
resources like SAMtalk, I sent the survey to Darienzo who served as computer oper- “lockout.” Fans of the game show know that
magicians around the country and in a short ator and judge. at the beginning of every round a question is
00 MUM January 2007
PHOTOS BY SHERE
gives the number on
Magic Al Garbe r [second from right] dman look on.
Cohen and Steve Ro
as team mates Ben
Jeff Miller and
Ben Cohen face
the rules. -off as Mike M
The Long Island Mystics Assembly 77’s Magic
Family Feud game show, much like the popular
put to the one player from each team in a face- Our program consisted of three games. In TV program, pits two “families” against each
other in a contest to name the most popular
off. During the face-off, the player that the first game, Family A competed against
responses to survey-type questions posed of 100
“locks-in” first gets to answer the question. A Family B. In game two, Family C competed people — in this case, magicians. Here’s how
light signals which contestant locked-in first. against Family D. The winners of each game some of the answers stacked up.
Luckily, one of our club members, Steve competed against each other in the third and
Rodman, has a lockout for his Game Show on final game. Because each Family was com- Name your favorite magic word?
Wheels, a party entertainment his company prised of five contestants, 20 players were able The top 5 answers:
sells, so we did not have to build one. For to get involved. Abracadabra, Presto, Hocus Pocus,
those less fortunate, a lockout is not that com- We also encouraged club members to be Shazam, Alakazam
plicated to construct. Inexpensive kits are creative and form Family teams prior to the
available on the web for those who like to tin- meeting. They lived up to the challenge and Name a card magician.
ker. For a less expensive low-tech solution, three Families came to play in costumes. A The top 5 answers:
you can use a battery-operated closet dome fourth team was created from members who Dai Vernon, Cardini, Ed Marlo,
light. Place the light between the players. showed up to the meeting, their names drawn Michael Ammar, Harry Lorayne
When they face-off, the first player to hit the from a hat.
light, wins the face-off. I recommend that you To fill in the natural breaks between games, Name your favorite coin trick.
The top 4 answers:
make someone the official judge, just in case we added some spoof TV commercials pro-
the face-off is too close to call. You’ll also duced by member Pat Darienzo. One commer-
Hopping Halves (Sun & Moon),
need someone to work the computer, someone cial spoofed a well-known Coca-Cola ad; the Matrix, Scotch & Soda
to keep score, and an emcee to ask the ques- other was a public service announcement that
tions and interview contestants. promoted club membership. Both were well Name a packet trick.
done, and very funny (and can be viewed at The top 4 answers:
www.limystics.org.) Color Monte, Wild Card,
Inexpensive prizes were given to all con- Twisting the Aces,
testants, winners as well as losers. But there B’Wave
really were no losers because everyone had a
great time at a very unusual and extremely Name a famous TV magician.
entertaining meeting. O The top 4 answers:
David Copperfield, Mark Wilson,
Mike Maione, who performs profes- Doug Henning, Criss Angel
sionally as the Silly Magician, is a
past president of the Long Island Complete the sentence, “Magic is better
Mystics Assembly 77, and recently than…”
The top 4 answers:
Powerpoint slide shows the 2rd and 4th served as M-U-M's official photogra-
A real job, Anything, Sex,
most popular answers to the question, pher for the S.A.M. convention in Doing nothing
“Name your favorite magic word.” Louisville.
January 2007 MUM 00