Friday, May 25th-Lecture by Tom Vorjohan and Elections
Before our May 25th lecture, we will be having elections. If you would like to serve on the board (three positions are up) or be an officer, please let Mark Wiechman know that you are interested. The nominating committee has put forth their candidates for the 2018-2019 year. The slate is as follows:
Vice-President- Patrick Thernes
Board of Governors-Bob Hedlesten, Frank Johnston, Ron Lawson
Sgt. at Arms-Larry Payne
KT Magic will then be hosting our lecture by none other than Tom Vorjohan!
Tom is a native of Cincinnati where he started doing magic by hanging out with Bill Pryor at his “MagiCorner” twice a week starting in the 6th grade. Tom was active with the Counts of Conjuring, and then his chosen career path of being an engineer took him away. “This is indeed an honor,” Tom said about being asked to lecture to the Cincinnati Ring.
While in college in Terre Haute, Indiana, Tom began working once a month with the Jimmy Trimble Assembly at a restaurant called “Deli on the Green,” and this led to his first weekly restaurant gig at another establishment. That was 1985, and he has been working at one or more restaurants every week ever since! This includes restaurants in Dallas, Cincinnati, Evansville, and now Knoxville. He even had an opportunity to work at “Illusions” restaurant in Carmel, Indiana on several occasions. Although he didn’t move to Boca Raton, Florida, one of his favorite quotes comes from Bill Malone who said, “I’ve looked at 41 videos of people doing restaurant magic, and you are the only one who gets it.” Mr. Malone went on to tell Tom that it’s all about making people have fun and want to stay…and to come back.
This is a message that comes across in Tom’s restaurant magic lectures: strong magic plus great interactions equals fun times for all ages! Tom holds nothing back from his 33 years of experience working in restaurants. The lecture notes are nearly a hundred pages long and include everything from how to get started, when to work, why to do table hopping, and what restaurants to look at…up to how much to charge and how to pitch the concept of having a “house magician” to the management. Tom’s geeky side shines through because he actually has a formula you can use for determining how to charge. (Many have said this one piece of knowledge alone is worth their time to come to the lecture!)
This information is great, but the bulk of the lecture is about the magic. Tom has developed a style of hard-hitting magic that is ideal for family restaurants. In a typical night, Tom will bounce from a table of grandparents to several tables with parents and a couple kids and maybe even a young couple out on a date. “The Approach” is critical and the way that Tom engages an entire family (from the dad who is worried if this is going to cost him money to the teenager who would rather be texting to the over-active seven-year-old and his protective mother) so that everyone has fun and wants to come back.
- Tom’s favorite “Any Card at Any Number” that allows four people to have an active role in the effect.
- The tried-and-true “Multiplying Rabbits” and how this presentation morphs depending on the age or the children or the variety of responses from the family.
- Tom’s three-phase Ring & String routine that has been tested thousands of times to be his signature effect.
- A couple of Nick Trost’s excellent routines suitable for strolling with a full deck that allow for great interaction with the audience including having the spectators cutting to the aces.
- Several of the sight gags, one-liners, and conversation starters that Tom uses to determine whether a table wants to see some magic.
There are a variety of other effects covered depending on the interests as well as the interest level of the audience. Tom’s version of his Chop Cup routine is a great example of what Tom will discuss about a “Kamikaze” magic style. His Bill Change routine is one that you will not ever see again.
In addition, Tom will discuss the “power of latex” and using balloons in the restaurant to make the place seem like a party. While Tom is a three-time award-winning balloon artist, he very strategically uses his balloon talents in the restaurants to again get people to want to come back.
If you can get Tom to shut up and go home after a couple hours, you will be lucky. He has 33 years of experience working in the restaurants – with the managers and servers – and he has load of information (albeit “wisdom” some might say) to share during this lecture. Like his performances, Tom promises lots of fun as well as some great magic!