Peoria Magicians Assembly

Creating magical experiences everywhere we go.


2014 October Meeting Report

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (15)

On October 25th we held our Magic Teach-in for kids. Char Gott, Regis Kormick, Kyle Bassett, C.J. Diamond, and Michael Baker each taught easy to learn tricks. Brad Borland and Rodney Nordstrom were on hand to assist. The turnout was low with only 10 kids in attendance, but it seemed to be a fun time for all involved.


That evening, we had our Tribute to Houdini show to kick off Magic Week. Performers included Grant Golden, Troy Keefer, Jay Zentko, Brad Borland, Matthew Gardner, Kyle and Mollie Sue Pfister, Kyle Bassett, Michael Baker, and C.J. Diamond, who graciously flew in from Boston to be part of the show. Each performed with a tie-in to Houdini. Dennis Peacock served as the MC. Kyle Pfister supplied projection screens that had clips of Houdini running before the show and during intermission. Several other PMA members played integral roles taking tickets, serving concessions, running spotlight and doing close-up magic. The turnout was better than expected and the audience seemed to really like the show.


Happy Magical Halloween!

2014 September Meeting Reports

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (8)

Fall is in the air in Peoria!! Our September meeting took the guise of our annual picnic. As we have in the past, we held this at Marquette Heights, and we thank Barb Griffin for securing the use of the pavilion. There were a number of members and guests, and lots of great food. The PMA supplied the chicken, the Gardner family supplied the drinks, everyone brought wonderful side dishes, and a handful of magicians supplied the entertainment after we ate.

September also saw the Diamond Jim Tyler lecture and the final two appearances at the Riverfront Market for 2014.

Our October meeting began with some business, mostly associated with the Teach-in and Houdini Tribute show. Scott Gardner won the drawing in our quarterly incentive program.


Our theme of rope magic was well represented beginning with an in-depth discussion and demonstration of ropes through body. Regis Kormick, Jay Zentko, Grant Golden, and Kyle Pfister all participated. Grant then demonstrated and explained the Pretzel Bow Knot that vanishes, and Silk Through Rope.


Michael Baker used pieces of orange and black tissue paper to make a Jack-O-Lantern mask. Brock Cassidy showed his furry dragon pet and Rodney Nordstrom showed how two chosen card values come together in spite of the deck being well shuffled. Actually he showed us the .001% of the time that it doesn’t work! It was kind of funny because the trick usually will work.

2014 July Meeting Report

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (14)

So much magic happening in Peoria! July has seen the following events: We had a 10 day run at the Heart of Illinois fair, with several PMA members taking a turn at performing on stage each day, plus many showing up to perform close-up magic in the entertainment tent. Rodney Nordstrom, Jay Zentko, Kyle Bassett, and Michael Baker performed at the Riverfront Museum in conjunction with the Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit. Plus, we have performed our summertime gig at the Farmers Market twice this month!


On top of that, we of course had our monthly board meeting and our regular meeting.


This month’s meeting theme was Magic & Music. To start the meeting, we introduced ourselves to several guests, who came to check us out after learning of us through some of the public events and from other members. It’s great to see all the new faces!


There was a brief bit of business to bring us up to speed on upcoming events, and to recap those just finished.


Jerry Tupper performed a very nice routine called, “The Mother of all Diamonds”, where several lumps of coal magically transform into a shimmering pile of diamonds, except for one that served as a lesson to the magician. Jerry had appropriate music playing in the background.


New member prospect, Matthew showed his chops by performing a coin in a nest of boxes, appearing cards, and a mentalism trick with numbers on cards. Very accomplished for a young person, he will make a good addition to our group.


Terry Meridan performed an appearing wand. The prop was not behaving well, so there was some input on how to remedy the problem, so it will work better. Helping each other is part of what we do here.


Michael Baker performed his spin on René Lavand’s Three Card Monte to Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”.


There was a lot of discussion of techniques with music, different sound systems, how to choose music, how to choose magic to go with a piece of music, how to edit, etc. Overall, the meeting was good and seemed to be enjoyed by all!


2014 June Meeting Report

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (2)

The June meeting began with updates on upcoming events, including the Riverfront Museum, the HOI Fair, Farmers Market, the Teach-in and the Houdini tribute. We learned the date for the Diamond Jim Tyler lecture will be September 18.


Jerry Tupper won the first of our incentive program $50. Prizes. Congrats!


Next, we went straight to the magic part of the evening with our theme Grab Bag. Grant Golden had gathered a nice array of various magic tricks that were all then hidden in bags. Each attendee was given a bag by a drawing, and each had a few minutes to study their trick and then perform it.


Jay Zentko was able to make a silk vanish and reappear with a unique gimmick, not often seen. Regis Kormick demonstrated rope through neck and body. Michael Baker made coins appear in two small cups, and Jerry Tupper performed Comedy Split Deck.


Brock Cassidy did the One Ace Trick, Grant Golden showed a wand and silk trick. Rodney Nordstrom had a Die, Rod and Tube penetration, and also performed Devil’s Nails. Kyle Bassett made salt poured from a shaker change to a ball and then demonstrated rope through neck.


Barb Griffin showed three cards and one disappeared. Grant Golden then read the risqué patter that Barb was wise enough not to use. Bob Sumner showed a torn and restored bill. Michael Couri performed with a deck that caused selected cards to vanish. Brad Borland performed a growing wand and a rattlesnake prediction effect.


Many comments were heard that this was a fun meeting. Several of us gathered at a nearby restaurant for dinner, drinks and more magic.


~ Michael Baker

2014 May Meeting Report

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (6)

May meeting report


Our May meeting began with President Rodney Nordstrom giving brief business updates, mostly regarding upcoming events. These included the Riverfront Farmer’s Market (2nd & 4th Saturdays through the Summer), the Believe It or Not Show at the Riverfront Museum July 19, a possible segment with Mark & Gretchen from WHOI-TV, the teaching session and Houdini Tribute in October, and the Bradley basketball halftime show with date TBA.


Rodney and Michael Baker gave a review of Abracorndabra convention this past weekend.


The magic theme for tonight was Flower Magic. Michael Baker began by demonstrating and describing a spring flower segment he once used. This involved a small folding screen that continued to produce flowers and finishes with a shower of several dozen flowers. Michael also demonstrated a trick with matches.


Paul Buob came very well stocked with the many flower devices he uses in his stage show. This involved appearing roses, flowers to silks, color-changing flowers, light up roses, and a floating rose, among other really fun ideas and props. Paul also showed a few ideas with silks that he uses in conjunction with the rose magic.


Grant Golden brought a new Botania, which he recently purchased at a magic auction. This adds to his ever-growing collection of Botanias. He also demonstrated a Garden of Flowers shawl, and discussed ideas for improving the handling of it.


There was a bit of conversation, drinks and dinner, and of course a lot of magic following the formal meeting at a nearby restaurant.


Submitted by Michael Baker – PMA Secretary

2014 March Meeting Report

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (7)

On March 1st we held our annual auction at Congregational United Church in Pekin, where our Past President is the pastor. Thanks to him for arranging this location for us. The event was filled with many tables of regular sale items and the auction block was humming with the larger and higher priced items. Lots of members sold their items and many others went home with their newly acquired goodies.


Our March meeting was called to order by PMA President Rodney Nordstrom. There were 13 members in attendance.


The topic was “Present your favorite magic trick or discuss your favorite magician”. It was interesting to get feedback on the most popular tricks and favorite magicians.


Much of the evening’s discussion was aimed at our annual show on April 5th at Expo Gardens’ Opera House.. Rodney outlined our goals this year. Media blitz will start next week with several television and radio appearances by our magicians. Our show lineup includes eight magicians and our MC, Jay Zenko on a Matinee and Evening Show, too. Many different disciplines of magic will be included, from manipulation to comedy, and from mentalism to illusions.


As part of our arrangement with Expo Gardens, we will be doing 20 performances at the Heart of Illinois fair in July.


Also in July will be a performance at the Riverfront Museum, in conjunction with their exhibit theme of “Believe it or Not”. In the same area of town, every other Saturday throughout the summer, we will have a tent at the Riverfront Farmer’s Market, where we will perform close-up.


As if that weren't enough, we are also planning a "Tribute to Houdini" for October and will be performing at the men's Bradley University basketball game later this year in front of over six thousand people! We want to thank all those who are volunteering to perform at the events this year and our backstage help, as well!


Posted on March 23, 2014 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (2)




The following members were in attendance: Brad Borland, Michael Baker, Jay

Zenko, Dr. Jerry Tupper and Rodney Nordstrom.

Members not present were Grant Golden and Kyle Bassett.

Our meeting started with approval of the board minutes for February 3rd, by

unanimous agreement.



The Apollo Theatre possibility was revisited. It was the general consensus

of the board that we should proceed with additional information from the Apollo and that

it would be a HOUDINI TRIBUTE. It was also discussed that we need a partner with a

local group to help with attendance and possible defray some cost. Naturally, in the

event we have a partner on this endeavor some sort of monetary split would be

expected. Rodney will continue to update the board on developments and report at the

next meeting. October 25th

was discussed as a possible date. Expo Gardens was

identified as a back-up plan.


Jerry Tupper has made contact with Brian Ualenhopt from the Boy Scouts. We

are planning an event on October 25th

at the Opera House at Expo Gardens primarily

toward teaching magic to youngsters. It was also discussed about the possibility of the

Boy Scouts earning a merit badge for their attendance and participation. Other youth

agencies could attend if they wish. Jerry will continue to work with the Boy Scouts while

board members will attempt to identify other groups who might want to participate in the

magic training on October 25th



No discussion. This topic was tabled.


Rodney reported that he is still pursuing the opportunity to present magic at the

local libraries. He will continue to develop this opportunity for local magicians to present

for one hour at various libraries.



Jerry indicated that he contacted Dave Osborn about the use of Troublefree as a

place for our lectures. Jerry said that David was acceptable with that.


A final list of performers was prepared by Michael Baker. Performers and the

amount of time allotted to each were agreed upon. Michael Baker also indicated he had

a contract with the sound and lighting provider for the same terms as last year. The

evening show will consist of Ken Tassalar, Gambit, D’Nordo, C J Diamond, Michael

Baker, Jerry Tupper, Grant Golden and Troy Keefer. The matinee show will be the

same performers and adding Troy Keefer’s son, James, to the performers list.


Brad Borland, our Treasurer, reported that we made a $175.60 from our auction

last week. Our ending balance for February was approximately $4,400.


Rodney said we were asked to perform at the Farmer’s Market by Sharon

Graham every other Saturday morning as we have done at the riverfront for the last

three years. It would start June 14, 2014 and be the 2nd

and 4th

Saturdays thereafter.


Rodney will contact all media late March regarding the April 5th



Rodney will call SAM at IBM for insurance quotes for the main events this year.


Rodney and Michael met with the director of the Peoria Museum. We might have

the opportunity to do a show(s) during Ripley’s Believe It Or Not month in September.

The location is not ideal but does offer close-up opportunities on a 50 ft. screen.


Posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The following members were in attendance: Brad Borland, Michael Baker, Jay Zenko, Dr. Jerry Tupper, Grant Golden, Kyle Bassett and Rodney Nordstrom.

Our next club meeting is set for Monday, February 17th at 7:00 o’clock at Schnucks Grocery Store in Peoria and the topic will be LOVE magic.

Auction: our auction this year will be held Saturday, March 1st at the Congregational Church, 2200 Willow in Pekin, Illinois (corner of Willow and Parkway). Any questions should be directed to Jerry Tupper at (309) 673-7899. Doors open at 11:00 for dealers with the formal auction beginning at 12:00 to 6:00 P.M. Tables available for $10.00 per table for items selling for less than $10.00.

Apolo Theatre the possibility of doing a tribute to Harry Houdini during the month of October to coincide with his death was discussed. The group was generally in favor of pursuing this opportunity but we need more input and information.

Bradley Basketball half time show. The board generally agreed that it was worth pursuing to perform at a half time Bradley Basketball show that would last approximately seven minutes. We have many months to develop this opportunity but seems like a good chance to get public exposure for our group. Rodney will keep the board informed.

Our annual show will be April 5th. Many members expressed an interest in performing at this year’s show which will be held on Saturday, April 5th at Expo Gardens. The Board agreed to hire the sound and lighting guy from last year at the cost of approximately $250.00. There will be two shows on April the 5th one at two o’clock which will be the child’s matinée and then Saturday evening at 7:00 consisting of all members who wish to perform. So far the list includes about 8 or 9 possible performers and minutes per performance will be adjusted accordingly so that all wishing to perform would likely have an opportunity to perform. Gambit will be designing the tickets entitled AN EVENING OF MAGIC and matinee tickets will be priced at $5.00 per person for both children and adults and the evening show will be $10.00 with one free ticket for the child and $5.00 for each additional child. A two color ticket system will be used as it worked well last year. Gambit will forward ticket design to board members this week.

Libraries: We will be pursuing doing performances at local libraries. Also discussed was the possibility of setting up glass display cases at the library. The library is getting some ideas for us to explore, e.g. dates and $ budget.

Boy Scotts: Jerry said he has some contacts with this group and will contact them to see if we can possibly do some teaching so they could earn some kind of performance badge.

Jerry Tupper said that he would contact Dave Osborn from Trouble Free Plumbing to tell him that the auction will be changed to a new location this year. We do want to thank him for letting us use his place to meet. It is also agreed that we would like to keep the lectures at his place for this year if it is okay with him.

Web Page: Gambit gets a big Kudos for his work on our web page.


2013 November Meeting Report

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Our monthly meeting was held on December 16, 2013 at Schnucks Supermarket with 13 in attendance. The topic was Silk Magic and we had several members who demonstrated their routines. First was our President, Jerry Tupper, who demonstrated a changing color silk and silks to rope routine. Then Grant Golden discussed the advantages and disadvantages of diamond cut silks and the various sizes and use them in a routine with a Hank Ball. Grant also did a Tenkai technique and silk through rope. He ended with a fresh routine with a coin vanishing in silk. Our newest member, Kent Tazellar, did a perplexing thimble routine on his first night at the meeting. Way to go Kenneth. We welcome Ken’s son Patrick too.

Also discussed was our annual banquet set for Sunday, January 19, 2014 at Hy-Vee on Sheridan Road here in Peoria. The price is $15.00 per person for the buffet, which starts at 5:30 and our featured performers are our own Remarkable Jay Zenko and J.R. Thomas from Champaign. Please make reservations by calling our treasurer Brad Borland.

Our club auction is the first week in February where members sell their well-used wares. Other magic groups are also welcome to sale. We do not have any lecturers for the first part of the year and are considering a new location more conveniently located for our members. Also discussed was the third annual show at Exposition Gardens in Peoria. It will be the first or second weekend in April and two shows are planned. In the past, these shows have been well received by our community. The shows feature our experienced stage magicians so save the weekend to come out to support the club.

Summer of Magic (June-July 2013)

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (1)

Lots of magic happening in Peoria this summer, including performances at the Heart of Illinois Fair July 12-20, and at the Riverfront Farmers market on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays all Summer, as well as our regular meetings.


The June meeting began with President Jerry Tupper having various members give updates on the events mentioned above, and discussion on new business cards for the PMA.


We had one guest this evening, Logan. Jerry Tupper began the magic with a silk production that transformed into a silk fountain with a flag finale. Very pretty and appropriate to the theme of Patriotic Magic very soon before the 4th of July holiday.


Michael Baker brought along a new item he had made, The Okito Tea Canister Mystery, which he performed. A decorative tea canister with a borrowed object inside magically moves from one tube to another and a fishbowl on a stand shows up in the other tube. Michael then performed his Famous Five Card Trick at the request of Grant Golden.


Gambit did a cool trick with reversed card, in which the entire deck reversed itself around a selected card. He then did Francis Menotti’s toxic prediction. Finally, he demonstrated his handling of The Hopping Halves.


A few days later in this week of lots of magic, Oscar Munoz treated us to a fine lecture. He showed several things he entertains children with, including his strange ability to sneeze up donuts, seemingly by the dozen. He also did a well-polished Linking Ring Routine, among many other great pieces of magic.


President Jerry Tupper opened the July meeting by presenting Doc Lowery with a can of road kill possum in honor of Doc’s vent puppet, Awesome the Possum. Guests, Logan and Bob were then introduced to the group.


We next heard updates on the Heart of Illinois Fair, where several of our members were performing. There was an official club good-bye for CJ Diamond, who is moving to Boston later this month. We are also having a going away party at Bartonville Diner. CJ graciously gave everyone a gift of a group of magic effects that he had compiled into very nice give-away packages.


Grant Golden began the theme for the month of “Magic with a Message”. He showed rope and silk tricks that tied nicely into his message of fire safety.


Terry Meridan demonstrated how it is impossible to catch a bill dropped, even though it is easily within the grasp of the person trying. Jerry Tupper was the unfortunate person who kept missing the money, but segued nicely into his performance, with “The Mother of all Diamonds”, a wonderful story with a message about having patience.


Mike Tate showed his floating water bottle and then gave a safety message using a finger in a box that came alive. Michael Seyfert showed several effects with rope, including Ring & Rope, Pet Ropes that changed color and then blended into striped ropes, and Jump Ropes.


Doc Lowery shared a gag he used to use on TV called Frozen Hair Tonic. Finally, Jerry Tupper returned to the spotlight with an inspired rendition of Gene Anderson’s “Old Mother Hubbard” Die Box routine.


There was a lot of small group discussion after the meeting before several of us met across the street at a restaurant for dinner, drinks and more magic talk.