Category Archives: News

Ring 60 member spotlight

J.D.Stewart MD (Magic Dude)

I realized when I started back up with the club that I didn’t know hardly anyone. Wow, that is just knot, he he, right. If I don’t know you, how many others don’t. We are a club, a fraternity, a family, and this page, hopefully, will start introducing us to each other. Our spotlight this month is on our outgoing president the Magic Dude, that’s Mr. Dude to you, J.D.Stewart, who has just put up with two years of presidential glamour ( I think that’s what he said ) . So with no further ado. A big round of applause for…um…uh…what was his name again…o yea…Magic Dude.

Our past head honcho

Growing up I was a weird kid. I looked weird, was socially awkward, and very shy.

We were poor. And to save money my dad cut our hair. My mother made most of our clothes. But my dad did not know anything about cutting hair. And he did not improve with time. He was the perfect example not of 18 years of experience but 1 year of experience 18 times. And my mother was completely untalented in making clothes. I love them both. They tried. But neither of them had a clue. So I looked weird and wore funny clothes.

I thought shaving my head would make me look less weird. So I wore a butch hair cut from elementary through high school. Yeah looking back that was not a good idea either.

We also moved a lot. As a result, I was always the new weird-looking kid with funny clothes. That lead to me not fitting in and getting in fights a lot.

One day someone asked me to be in a play. I have no idea why. But they asked and I said OK. What I found out was the stage was the safest place on earth. As long as I was on stage no one hit me, no one called me names, no one made fun of me. As long as I was on stage I was safe. And I got to wear some cool clothes.

As I mentioned we moved a lot and the summer before my sophomore year in high school we moved to Las Vegas. It was in Las Vegas I discovered magic. What I found was with magic I could make anywhere a stage. And if anywhere could be a stage then everywhere was now safe.

Magic made my weirdness cool. Magic changed me.

I performed small shows through high school and a few shows in college. I then dropped out of magic for several years.

Then in 2001, I decided to get back into magic. That is when I joined Ring 60. I had never been part of a magic club before. I feel so blessed to have had Ring 60 be my first experience. The Austin magic community has been wonderful. The magicians are caring and sharing. I have also been blessed in being able to give back to this wonderful community.

The first trick I performed at the ring meeting was a ring and string routine I developed. It was bad! I kept working on it and developed several things with rope at the time. I started to branch out because someone said to me, “Oh yeah you’re the rope guy.”

I encourage you to perform at ring meetings. It allows you to get some flight time. And you have a sympathetic, supportive audience. Don’t worry about not being good enough. We all suck at the beginning.

Each month we will post another bio of a member of our extended family. So think about, your first magic trick, your first magic show, how did you get involved in magic, why you like magic, where was your first makeout spot, nope not that last one. We need to know more about each other. So, until next time. All magic to you and yours.

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TAOM 2021, Yes, it’s happening!


Fellow Magus, I received a set of reproduced old magical prints at my first  FISM convention, In Paris1973, that I framed and still hang on my walls.

The Harry Ransom Center in Austin, has permitted us to go through their collection and reprint a few unique posters. We will be gifting them to you as participants of TAOM 2021 in Austin. To the left is just one of the reproductions you will receive. An extremely rare Herrman, “An Evening in Spiritland”, 

We start the convention with a few lectures and a cocktail show. We have made some novel changes to the program this year. Each lecture will be repeated three times throughout the convention so you can pick the best time to attend.

We will be following the same formula for the close-up show and the close-up rooms only allow 80 people for a better performance experience.

Our convention hotel is the Courtyard by Marriot, Austin, Pflugerville and Pflugerville Conference Center. Technically it’s in Austin, 20 minutes from the airport, 185 miles from Dallas, 156 miles from Houston, 98 miles from San Antonio.

TAOM 2021 has negotiated a convention rate. $129 per night plus occupancy tax, currently at 13%. Free parking and WiFi. Breakfast for up to 2 guests.

Finally, attendees will receive one drink ticket for Friday night’s cocktail party. As you can see, the TAOM planning committee has been very busy over the last year to create the most unique and memorable convention possible. We are all excited about reuniting with our fellow magi and renewing old friendships and creating new ones.

See You There!

Bertil Fredstrom

President TAOM 2021

Ring 60 members gather for Penguin’s Austin Live Magic Expo

With the decline of brick-and-mortar magic shops fewer and fewer people get the experience of live magic demonstrations. Videos just aren’t the same. They are a disconnected experience. You watch from a distance rather than experiencing the effect with your own chosen card, or in your own hand. You also don’t have the chance to immediately ask questions. Ideas flow when magic is demonstrated.

Penguin, one of the major on-line magic dealers, set up a tour of different cities to let web-surfers partake of this live experience. It was essentially a dealer show, with tables set up in a hotel ballroom. Each dealer gave a demo lecture which included some tips and ideas for using the items they had for sale.

About 75 people were in attendance, including a number of Ring 60 members. Tonya Bush was photographing it all and she put together a nice video montage of the day.