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Topic: Differences between SAM and IBM?
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 6, 2006 10:34AM)
I'm just wondering what the differences are between the SAM and the IBM organizations. They both seem to be set up in roughly the same way, and have about the same goals.

So what are the differences, if any, between these organizations? Different philosophy, outlook, emphasis? Something not apparent from the websites? Or is the existence/quality of the local club the deciding factor? Inquiring minds want to know! SETH
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jun 6, 2006 11:23AM)
Hi, one thing that I perceive as a difference is simply the way that each organization is named. As a female magician, I naturally select SAM and not IBM - which I don't have any issues with. I'm just glad that I can call SAM my magic society and I'm a pround member of SAM. One can infer why and I'm sure there are historical reasons and such but I suppose that's for the Food For Thought section here at the Café.
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jun 6, 2006 02:42PM)
You are absolutely right, Seth, in that one of the key differences between the two organizations may simply boil down to the people who are active at your local Assembly.

But there are other factors to consider as well. They include the quality of the organization's monthly magazine (and I should tell you, the latest incarnation of M-U-M under the editorship of John Moehring is not to be missed). The quality of the conventions. And the availability of such benefits as a national Film Library, a $1,000,000 general liability insurance policy to cover performances, hospitalization assistance, and student scholarships. (All of these are benefits of joining the S.A.M.; I'm unable to speak with authority on the I.B.M.)

Message: Posted by: santlerconjurer (Jun 8, 2006 01:02PM)
Just to continue in the mildly political vein evolve629 started, If I remember correctly S.A.M.'s founding had something or other to do with Houdini's impatience with the I.B.M. What's the modern take on all this, or was it all so long in the dead-and-buried past nobody thinks about it anymore?
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jun 8, 2006 01:27PM)
Hi Steve,

There is no "modern take," since the tale is plainly erroneous. The I.B.M. was founded in 1922. The S.A.M. was founded twenty years earlier, in 1902 -- and Houdini was not a founder. He was elected to membership the very next year, in 1903, and went on to become National President of the S.A.M. from 1917 until his death in 1926.

Message: Posted by: santlerconjurer (Jun 8, 2006 01:57PM)

Anyway, look forward to bringing my family to see your show (first time) tomorrow night.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jun 8, 2006 02:07PM)
At one time you could only join SAM through an Assembly. The IBM could be joined without joining a ring. But some years back the SAM changed its policy and you can now join directly without joining an assembly.
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jun 8, 2006 02:18PM)
On 2006-06-08 14:57, santlerconjurer wrote:
Anyway, look forward to bringing my family to see your show (first time) tomorrow night.

And I look forward to entertaining you and your family. See you tomorrow!

Message: Posted by: Tommy1324 (Jun 14, 2006 03:01PM)
Personally I belong to both the IBM & S.A.M. and I am proud to say recently voted Vice President of SAM Assembly 50 in Music City,USA. Nashville,Tn.
Message: Posted by: Mike Gorman (Jul 10, 2006 02:09PM)
Both the IBM and SAM are fine organizations dedicated to encourage magic as entertainment and to foster brotherhood among it's members.

Both have affordable health and liability insurance plans and I find the magazines comparable.

The IBM is truly international in scope and has twice as many members, so if your travels take you to many countries, you can surely find a Ring or many members there. I think the SAM has a stronger youth program, but in general, local members will choose one organization or the other to join... many join both!

A joint IBM-SAM combined convention in 2008 will be held in Louisbille, KY. Many such combined conventions have been held in the past too! Both organizations are quality ones that have a combined interest in ETHICS in magic and both have signed agreements supporting each other in this area!
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jul 16, 2006 09:34AM)
Hey Neil, can you send me any info on health insurance and the SAM, my diabetes is getting expensive!
Message: Posted by: jhendrix (Jul 17, 2006 06:21PM)
S.A.M. and I.B.M. are great organizations. In a city where they meet seperatly the one that has the least number of members is the one that has the most hands-on magic. The larger one has the most intermission hands-on magic.
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 17, 2006 10:35PM)
On 2006-07-16 10:34, Scott Xavier wrote:
Hey Neil, can you send me any info on health insurance and the SAM, my diabetes is getting expensive!

Hi Scott,

I just sent you a PM.

Message: Posted by: MD Long (Jul 18, 2006 12:53AM)
I belong to both the S.A.M. assembly and I.B.M. ring in my city, and enjoy the company of magicians from both clubs. Thus I usually get several chances a month to attend magic meetings, and get to know more magicians and their combined wisdom in performing magic. What could be better than that?
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 24, 2006 01:22PM)
The Society of American Magicians is the oldest of the two groups having been founded on May 10, 1902 in New York City. The list of members and officers bears the names of the most prominent magicians of the era including Harry Houdini, who served as National President from 1917 until his death in 1926. His beautiful tomb bears the SAM Seal prominently beneath his bust.

If my information is correct, SAM currently reports just over 250 Assemblies in 30+ countries with a membership of over 7,000. Membership is $65.00 for new US members, $70.00 for new Canadian members, $80.00 for new International members and $20.00 for Youth (SYM) members. The variances in dues offset the different postage costs for MUM, the official and excellent SAM journal. Annual renewal is $50.00 for all. The SAM website is http://www.magicsam.com .

The International Brotherhood of Magicians was formed by Len Vintus, Dan Rogers and Gene Gordon on Feb 10, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Logically, the IBM was formed as an organization more closely focused on the needs and goals of multinational performers although I don't know this for certain. Like the SAM, the membership and officer rolls for the IBM bear the names of the most prominent magicians of each era...and the same prominent names are consistently shared between the two.

The IBM reports over 300 Rings in 30+ countries with a membership roster of over 17,000. New active member dues are $55.00 with annual renewal rates set at $40.00. Associate memberships are available at $25.00 for new members with an annual renewal rate of $10.00. Associate memberships do not include The Linking Ring, the outstanding official IBM journal. Youth memberships are availabe at $50.00 for new members with an annual renewal rate of $35.00. Youth memberships include The Linking Ring. An International World Delivery charge of $25.00 offers faster delivery of The Linking Ring outside of the United States. The IBM website is http://www.magician.org .

Both organizations share similar goals and programs. SAM offers hands-on guidance and fellowship through local Assemblies, an educational scholarship, liability insurance coverage, a quality endowment program for the magical arts, financial aid for members in need due to medical or healthcare demands, an incredible historical research facility that includes an extensive film lender library of past masters and their acts, one of the finest annual magic conventions in the world and, of course, MUM...(with due respect to MAGIC and Genii) one of the finest member-focused magic journals in print and available only to SAM members.

The IBM provides hands-on guidance and fellowship through local Rings, group health and liability insurance coverage, nationwide Internet services, free member websites, a growing historical research facility, a financial aid program for magicians in need due to emergency or medical needs, educational & historical research grants, the other finest magic convention in the world and The Linking Ring, the other finest member-focused magic journal in print (and on CD-ROM) available only to IBM members.

Perhaps, one day these two incredible organziations will join forces and combine their resources for the betterment of the entire magic community. In the meantime, membership in both organziations is hands down the best bet for anyone who is serious about the art of magic and magical entertainment. The journals alone are worth the price of membership. Frankly, if I had to choose between one or the other...I would have a very difficult time doing so.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Jul 25, 2006 06:33AM)
Thanks, Skip, for all the info, it was interesting and very helpful. SETH
Message: Posted by: DaddyDoodle (Jul 26, 2006 02:22PM)
Looks like there's quite a bit of interest in this topic. A similar thread can be found in the IBM forum at: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=170809&forum=196&7
Message: Posted by: dbmagic123 (Aug 6, 2006 06:45PM)
Conventions... I will not say anymore :)

Message: Posted by: wildwolf (Aug 7, 2006 10:00AM)
I am a member of the IBM (international brotherhood of magicians), SAM (society of american magicians)and CAM (canadian association of magicians) as well as a member of IBM ring # 49 out of hamilton ontario, canada. I wish there was a SAM assembily close to me, but the only one close is in montreal, canada. and it is a long drive for meeting. but I would like to say that all the groups have there good points, I have nothing bad to say about any of them. I can not wait to attend the conventions in 2007 (IBM)and CAM, 2008 (IBM/SAM). I find that they are all a great help, have great people that help the beginner as well as the youth that aspire to be great new magicians. and always avalible to just talk. I would recommend that if you want to join a magic group look at all your options and all that is offered to you and make your choice
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 14, 2006 10:55PM)
Back in the Dark Ages, when I joined the SAM (actually 1959), it was much more difficult to get into the club than it is now. Our assembly had an investigating committee. You applied, the people who vouched for you were supposed to know you for at least two years, and then the application was turned over to the investigating committee. They would approach you away from the club, ask you about your interest in magic, and generally make sure you weren't joining the club to (as Crandall used to say) find out how the breakaway wand worked.

In the 1970's this began to change. The board of directors felt that the SAM should be much larger, partially to make the cost of the printing of the magazine less expensive. They had huge membership drives. One misguided individual trolled the supermarkets in his part of Florida, approaching people as they shopped. He would do a trick for them and then ask, "Wanna know how that works? Join the SAM!" So they got a lot of people to join who stayed about a year, and then dropped out.

Now it has come somewhat toward the middle. The SAM is more open to people whose interest may not be extremely deep than it was, say 40 years ago, but it is not a "Hey! You want to learn how to be David Blaine, Join the SAM!"

The IBM has had a reputation for being easier to get into, and perhaps not being quite as serious about the Art. However, having been a member of the IBM for a long time, I can tell you this. The board of directors of the IBM is just as serious about quality magic as the board of the SAM. And why not? Most of them are members of both groups.

I'm also a member of the Magic Circle of London. I'm a Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star. What do I get for that? The knowledge that I have a lot of friends in London!

Seriously, if you live in a city that has one or the other club, join it. If you live in a city that has both, join both of them. What you get out of them is proportional to what you put into them.

In any case, you will definitely find people in both clubs who will help you, in spite of the fact that almost every organization has someone in it who will make fun of you. Don't let them bother you. Instead, ask them to demonstrate. If they do the thing you are trying to do better than you do, ask them for lessons!
Message: Posted by: Julian Kestrel (Aug 29, 2006 08:28PM)
The only real difference between the two organizations is that at the Sunday convention breakfasts, members of the SAM crack their hard boiled egg on the top and those in the IBM crack theirs on the bottom.

Julian Kestrel