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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Is it worth joining? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of omagico
I've never been to a meeting, but is it really worth it to join?
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Profile of Dave Scribner
Like any other club, magic related or not, a meeting is what you put into it. Some clubs are good, others not so much. I've been a member of some clubs that I looked forward to attending and still others that I really didn't care if I went or not.
Where the magic begins
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Inner circle
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Profile of Anatole
It isn't clear from your statement "I've never been to a meeting" whether 1) it means that you are a member of the i.B.M. parent organization but haven't ever attended a local Ring meeting, or 2) whether it means that you haven't joined the parent organization yet. I'll try to address both situations,

Being a member of I.B.M. was one of the best things I did as a magician. If you'll forgive my long explanation, the following will tell you why:

1) Joining I.B.M. has many perks, primary among which is _The Linking Ring_ magazine which has a monthly section of tricks and routines, historical articles, essays, trick and book reviews, ads, etc. I feel the magazine is outstanding. I have also contributed many tricks to _The Linking Ring_ over the years.

Being a member of I.B.M. also provides networking opportunities. When I planned trips to Germany in 1972, I contacted the IBM International Secretary and got contact information for magicians there. I wrote to them before my trip and learned about IBM Ring meetings in Munich and a gala magic show in Baden-Baden where I not only saw the show, but was invited to dinner with some of the performers like Topper Martyn and Patrick and Mia. When I was in Duesseldorf a magician invited me to stay in his apartment while he moved in with his girlfriend for a few days, thus saving me a lot of money on hotel expenses. When I arrived in Herrmannsburg, I called another magician and told him I was in own and about to check into a hotel. He said, "Don't do that. You can stay with Marianne and me in our guest room."

2) Depending on the general experience of the members of any given IBM Ring, there are many opportunities for growth. The Ring that I joined in Norfolk, Virginia was held at The Magic Shop, which was owned by a former touring pro--Earl Edwards. The backroom of his shop had counters of professional magic merchandise and books, and a platform stage with lights, curtains, backdrops, a sound system. That was where all the meetings of both IBM Ring 103 and the teen magic club that they sponsored were held.
The first year that I was a member of the teen magic club, Bob McAllister was one of the members. Bob was a local TV personality who later went on to fame in New York as the host of "Wonderama," a syndicated kids show. At the first teen meeting that In attended, Bob showed me a tip on a card move that I had used when I did my short act.

Both the teen magic club and the IBM Ring had newsletters that I contributed articles and tricks to. I was the staff illustrator of those newsletters, and that experience led to work illustrating books for various magic publishers like _With Deck in Hand_ by Roger Sherman (published by Micky Hades International) and _Tricky Stuff_ by Roger Sherman, published by Magic Methods. That experience led eventually to illustrating John Bannon's first book _Mirage_ for KEE-West and later Bannon's book _Impossibilia_ for L&L, followed by _M.I.N.T. Marlo in New TOPS_ and _The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley_ for L&L. (BTW, my training as an artist was limited to junior high school art classes, so my real education in illustrating was learned on-the-job doing those newsletters).

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Peter Cuddihy
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Peter S. Cuddihy
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It is always a worthwhile endeavor to meet Magicians you do not already know. You may make a new friend, discuss alternative handlings for effects you already perform, or learn something completely new. Since we are all social beings, it is worth checking out a local club to see whether it is something that you might be interested in. Only you can make that decision for yourself. Good luck!
Ray J
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Inner circle
St. Louis, MO
1089 Posts

Profile of Ray J
On Dec 16, 2019, omagico wrote:
I've never been to a meeting, but is it really worth it to join?

This is a really old post I'm replying to, but I think it should be bumped because the information could be helpful for newcomers to this part of the forum.

When things get back to "normal", and hopefully they will, anyone wondering whether it is "worth it" should make a phone call to someone on the board of the local chapter, introduce themselves and ask if they could attend a meeting in order to see what it is all about. That's the best way to know if you are fortunate to be in a town with a vibrant chapter or not.

So reach out. The worst that can happen is you learn something.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
Magical Moments
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Profile of Magical Moments
Good idea to see if you can attend a meeting to check it out. I doubt that they will say no.

Perhaps the most important thing to check out is whether or not the members introduce themselves to you and acknowledge you. If they ignore you, find another ring or assembly if you can and see what they do.

Believe it or not, I have seen potentially new members show up at a meeting and not a single member (except myself) made the visitor feel welcomed. They are happy just talking to the same people every month and watching the same magic every month. Amazing, huh? Then, they complain that the member number is down. I wonder why!?

All rings and assemblies are not the same! Some have a clue and some do not, period.

Another thing I have noticed which disgusts me is the amount of politics present with some of the rings and assemblies. They do not get it. Everyone is supposed to be there to have fun but human nature dictates the inevitable.
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Profile of AnthonyCC
I think it is worth it for the option of getting the performers insurance alone, not to mention the new lifelong friends you will make at the meetings.
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Profile of mentalvic
I wish I could report favorably on my local ring but I can’t. After the body-shaming for being overweight, I was bombarded by anti-Obama hate email from an officer until I told him to stop emailing me. I didn’t look back and let my IBM membership lapse. I went to a ring meeting last about 15 years ago and haven’t been back since; the same people are running the show and I know that my gay, democratic socialist self is NOT welcome in the IBM.
There she was, a dodgy old prune in a tiara, rushing at me waving a sword. Do all knights suffer this whilst being made?
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Profile of darrylrose
Yes it is! Smile
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