IBM Singapore Ring 115 conducted its first meeting of 2022, themed ‘Comedy/ Money Magic’ over Zoom. Co-hosted by Enrico Varella and Kenneth Chia, it was attended by 29 members and 2 special guests – professional magicians, Ferdinand Flores and Shawn Chua.

Enrico outlined the evening’s agenda and reminded members to pay their subscriptions for the new year.

IBM Singapore Ring 115 conducted its first meeting of 2022, themed ‘Comedy/ Money Magic’ over Zoom. Co-hosted by Enrico Varella and Kenneth Chia, it was attended by 29 members and 2 special guests – professional magicians, Ferdinand Flores and Shawn Chua.

Enrico outlined the evening’s agenda and reminded members to pay their subscriptions for the new year.

Ferdinand Flores is a friend of IBM Ring 115. He is aka The Chubster, a popular magician from the Phillippines who specialises in family and kids entertainment. He is currently the Territorial Vice President of the I.B.M in Philippines. Chubster presented a short virtual act. The first effect had everyone chose one of 13 Avengers’ superheroes and freely moved either vertically, horizontally or diagonally several times. Surprisingly, all ended up with Ironman, which was already predicted by the performer. His next trick was the “put-behind-the-back, turn around” effect with a picture of a rabbit in a hat where the rabbit vanished, reappeared and changed to a dove, flowers and a panda. He continued his energy-and-comedy-infused performance with a ‘misbehaving’ silver sceptre, ala magic wand, which had a mind of its own eg. appearing when it should be vanishing, jumping about and poking him in his nose. In his final trick, he was able to predict which one of 6 jumbo cards would be left behind when one card at a time was freely eliminated by members of the audience.

Shawn Chua, an ex-member, has an engaging career which ranged from magic, music recording, virtual shows, stand-up comedy and ventriloquism. He is currently the resident magician on FM91.3, and does a short routine weekly over radio Facebook live pages. He also had the honour of being the first Singaporean to be invited to take part in the inaugural episode of ‘Asians Got Talent’ series, which indirectly opened other doors for him. In his interactive and comical performance for the evening, he invited a few guests to respectively think of a number, an animal, and a supermarket item. A written prediction, sealed inside an envelope and placed in view throughout the performance, was opened and the prediction inside proved to be correct for all the 3 items.

Charles Choo passed a blade as well as a ribbon through a playing card secured onto a contraption. It was then retrieved from the contraption and shown to be fully restored. He performed a zig-zag cigarette effect where the restored cigarette was transformed into a rolled-up $50 note. Next, he presented 4 Kings and deftly transformed them into 4 Aces.

Ian Tan took his Induction Test. He commenced with a coins matrix effect using 4 coins and 4 cards with the picture of a hand printed on them. One at a time, each of the 4 coins vanished to congregate under one card, and then in a flash, the coins moved back to be under each of their original cards. Next, he had a $50 note marked and then placed inside a purse, only to vanish and reappear inside a small locked box. His final effect was an impressive presentation of a linking rings routine using 4 small metal rings.

Jeremy Pei changed a $1 note into two 50 cent coins placed inside a wallet. He next vanished 4 ancient Chinese coins, one at a time, from a coin stand, to reappear inside a locked frame. He used 3 mah-jong cards to perform the popular “Colour Monte” trick. Still using the mah-jong cards, he caused 5 identical cards to magically turn face-up and then face-down, and then changed into 5 different cards of the same design.

Goh Yin Xian recommended several new products from Magic Makers in his dealer show. He demonstrated the Chinese Mystery Square Circle which was a miniature square-circle trick, Money making Paddle where coins and a dollar note multiplied when placed on a wooden paddle. The “secret” was revealed to be a mirror attached to the paddle. In Money Maker Illusion, he had a magic roller which could “print” white papers into dollar notes. His final product was “Wu Fu Ying Chun” which could transform a stack of various vouchers into $50 notes, change a $50 note into a red packet and then into a piece of décor with the Chinese character “Fortune”, and change 4 red packets into a pair of long red banners bearing wishes for the Lunar New Year.

After a short break, Enrico Varella delivered a short lecture on: what is magic and what is not, types of comedy, examples of famous magic comedians, comedy magic vs magical comedy, and examples of comedy one-liners.

Using 2 small sponge (Egyptian) mummies, John Teo shared how to identify a real from a fake mummy. He ended by concluding that the “fake” mummy was actually a “daddy”, when baby mummies magically appeared with the “real” mummy. His second effect was Hopping Halves done with 2 large coins: an American coin and a Chinese coin with a hole.

David Fillary presented a clumsy magician failing to perform a trick with 2 coins while following the instructions from a magic book. Finally, both coins vanished from his fist and his wedding ring appeared in their place. Next, he transformed 3 brass coins one by one, into silver coins. His final effect was an interesting Okito Box routine using 4 coins.

Kenneth Chia showed he could multiply money simply by splitting various dollar notes from a red packet and proceeded to transform a $10 note into a $50 note, which was further transformed into a gigantic-sized $100 note, to the rousing music of ABBA’s ‘Money Money Money’.

Jeremy Pei rounded off the evening with his dealer show. He demonstrated “Silk to Ferrero Roche”, a Ferrero Roche production box, Tenyo’s “Chocolate Break” where a piece broken off a block of dark chocolate was transformed into white chocolate and then restored to its original, whole state. The final item was “Extreme Burn: Locked & Loaded” where a stack of magazine papers instantly transformed into $50 notes.

As the lucky draw randomiser was not ready, it was decided that the evening’s draw be postponed to next month.

2022’s first meeting closed on a high after an evening of magic performances interspersed with humour by special guests and members, a presentation and dealer shows.