RALEIGH MAGIC CLUB
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Club Who's Who
Sir Isaac Newton once wrote, "If I see further, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." Many of us found our way into the performance art of magic through the example, support and kindness of others. This section identifies our club members who have achieved national and international recognition through magic. We are most grateful to these talented and caring members for making this club what it is today!
Steve Beam
Publisher of The Trapdoor Magazine. Author of Semi-Automatic Card Tricks (Volumes 1 through 8), Digital Effects - The Magic of Joe Mogar, FFFF-ing Great Card Moves, Gourmet Card Magic, Counter Attack, Noteworthy,Hand-Picked Card Tricks, The Underhand Shuffle, Thimble Dexterity - Joe Mogar and Multiple Impact.
Tom Beaman
Past Territorial Vice President for the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Tom teaches Anthropology at Wake Community College and has led numerous archeological digs around the globe. 
                     John Chappell

Noted television and film actor and magician. John is known for his remarkable portrayal of Mark Twain as well as his classic characters in 10 (1979), Brubaker (1980) and My Best Friend is a Vampire (1981).  He also appeared as Buddy Dornster in WKRP In Cincinnati (1992-93) and as Michael D'Angelo in After Mash (1984). John's stories and personal insight into television and film work along with his unique style of magic makes him a Ring treasure. 

Michael Deering
Michael Deering served for nearly a decade as Ring Historian. Thanks to his painstaking efforts, countless documents, photographs and reports dating from the present back to the Ring's founding in 1970 have been carefully preserved.  Thank you for your service and effort, Michael.  
Michael Ellis
Past International President (1990-91) of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Appeared in 12 Broadway shows including The Duchess of Malfr (1946) with Elizabeth Bergner and John Carradine, Finian's Rainbow and Neil Simon's first hit Come Blow Your Horn. Presented the Margo Jones Award in 1962 for having presented the most new playwrights in the United States at his Buck County Playhouse. He was also one of the judges for the 1962 Miss America Pageant. 

Jon and Kelly Ferrante
Current proprietor of The Magic Corner Magic Shop. Jon and his wife Kelly have painstakingly preserved the welcoming atmosphere of Hughie Olmsted's original magic shop. Jon and Kelly are avid supporters of The Raleigh Magic Club and Magic Youth Raleigh. 

Michael Gorman
Past International President (1991-92) of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Mike also serves on the I.B.M. Youth Committee and is Editor of the informative Ring newsletter.  Mike originated and actively hosts the fun and informative mid-month magic sessions.
Jeff Jones

Master illusionist and family entertainer. Jeff is the mastermind behind Magic Backdrops, the beautiful and portable backdrops that turn any living room into a colorful performance stage. Jeff is also the owner and distributor of Learning Magic 101 beginner magic effects and similar magic-themed enterprises.

This ultra creative performer has excelled as a professional magician since his teen years.  He has produced brilliant full-stage illusion shows across the country and at one time worked with Siegfried & Roy. He maintains close personal relationships with many of magic's top name performers, yet he still warmly greets the most basic beginner as a welcome new friend. 
           

Joseph and Sue Lefler

Joe discovered magic at an early age and it grew into a lifetime passion. He toured with a dove and manipulation act with his beautiful wife, Sue, before settling down with a magic shop and the We Are Fun Entertainment Agency in Ohio. 

Joe created and sold the Lefler Table, still one of the most durable and popular magic tables available today.  He was a master carpenter who designed and built beautiful and durable illusions for many of the country's top performers.

Aside from the Lefler Table, Joe is probably best known for his groundbreaking Mr. Tricky balloon scuplting videos.  Joe's videos set the pace for creativity and simplicity when balloon sculpting was an almost unknown art form.  Many of today's top balloon artists started their trade with Joe's videos and they are still in demand today.

Joe loved everything connected with Christmas and always looked forward to his most cherished role as Santa.  He was an exceptional and very accomplished children's entertainer and a dear friend to all he met.

Joe was a member of the I.B.M., SAM (Past Assembly President), The Gathering, CMC, Triangle Santa Buddies, Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle, Kidabra International and the Raleigh Magic Club. Joe was also a U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran.

Joshua Lozoff
Joshua is another highly creative and extremely active professional. He is a truly accomplished magician and actor. His film roles include Clueless, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Feud, Terror on Highway 91, and Windmills of the Gods. Television roles include Step by Step, Sisters, Cheers and Adventures of Brisco County Jr
Hughie Olmsted

Hughie and his wife Virginia first opened The Magic Corner Magic Shop literally in the corner of a wallpaper shop in downtown Cary in 1975. Hughie's warmth and integrity quickly increased the demand for quality magic and costumesupplies and the shop relocated to Raleigh's Hillsborough Street just down the road from North Carolina State University. 

Ellison "Penny" Poland
Author of Wonderful Routines of Magic and Wonderful Routines of Magic - Addendum.
Steve Pressley
Author of Endless Possibilities.
Danny Reeves
Danny served above and beyond as Club Treasurer from 1985 to 2005. In 2004, Hughie Olmsted invited Danny and Mike Gorman to join him and Bob Knigge for lunch. The lunches quickly became a weekly affair with club members. With Hughie's passing, Danny stepped up and has been hosting the Friday lunches ever since.  Thank you, Danny.  Our fellowship continues to grow thanks to you!
Fred Rosenbaum
Past Territorial Vice President for the International Brotherhood of Magicians, North Carolina. Creator of The Szechuan Sampler mentalist effect.
Richard "Dick" Snavely
Dick Snavely was a founding member of Wallace Lee Ring #199. He and his wife Dot opened their basement to area magicians providing a meeting place for more than twenty years. He was always quick to offer a word of encouragement and was a warm and gentle man.

Dick was born July 1, 1927 in Hagerstown, MD and graduated from Hagerstown High School. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and earned his degrees in English and Drama from Lynchburg College. He taught English and Drama in Newport News, VA then completed his post-graduate degree in Theater Arts at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


He joined the Raleigh Little Theater in 1952 as technical director and director-manager. He moved on to WUNC-TV in 1967 where he produced the popular weekly
North Carolina People show. He received the Raleigh Medal of Arts for extraordinary achievement in the arts in 1991.

Dick retired in 1991 and devoted his life to his boyhood passion for magic. In 1997, Dick suffered a heart attack while returning from a summer camp show sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools. The Ring voted unanimously to honor Dick by adding his name to the Ring's title. On September 13, 1997 the club became the Wallace Lee-Dick Snavely Ring.


Courtesy of Michael Deering
William Spooner
Past International President (1985-86) of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. I.B.M. Medallion of Honor recipient (2012) - the I.B.M.'s highest honor.  Trustee of the Endowment and Development Fund (1982-Present).
William Wallace

William Wallace Lee was one of North Carolina’s most noted magicians during the 20th century. For more than four decades, Wallace the Magician entertained countless numbers of school children and general audiences throughout the country. The travels of Wallace Lee were extensive in the Carolinas and extended as far west as Texas. His northern travels took him through the Dakotas and Canada.

Wallace was a multitalented individual and had an early love for music. He played the trumpet with the Old Durham Orchestra. He served as a musician in the special services in the Navy in World War I.

Wallace Lee was born in Long Oak, Georgia on August 7, 1892. His family moved to Durham, North Carolina in 1903. Wallace received his education in the Durham public schools.  It was evident at an early age that Wallace had a keen sense of humor. Wallace once told me “I tried all the tricks a boy would possibly know and then started on a quest for more. It brought me pleasure to contrive something and then surprise or mystify my playmates.” He grew into manhood with the same desire to mystify and entertain.  His interest in magic began at an early age after seeing a performance of Herrmann the Great.  He decided he could do as well if not better than Herrmann, so he entered magic as profession at the age of 20. His show emphasized oriental and modern magic. It included Chalk Talk and ventriloquism. He soon became a master ventriloquist. Wallace made many of his stage props including his hand-carved vent figure. He used many colorful stock magic posters over his career.

 Wallace billed himself as a famous magician, cartoonist, and impersonator. He was well noted for his ability to double talk. Whenever Wallace attended a magic convention you would likely witness a crowd of magicians gathered around a seemingly confused gentleman who was applying his skills as a double-talk expert to an unsuspecting spectator. I first experienced Wallace apply his double talk skills at the 1955 I.B.M. convention.

 Wallace published a number of books and magic tricks. One of his most successful works was Math Miracles. He had a talent for mathematics and loved puzzles. Other publications include X-Jargon, Calendar on the Tip of Your Tongue, and Primer of Doubletalk.

Wallace was an excellent sleight of hand artist, as well as a stage performer. He died in 1969. At the request of his family, Ring 199 held an auction of his magic equipment in his Durham home. 
 
Courtesy of William E. Spooner
Roger "Skip" Way
Award-winning columnist and writer for The Linking Ring, The KIDabra Journal, and The Funny Paper magazines. His articles have also appeared in Clowns of America's Calliope and The World Clown Association's Clownin' Around journals. With Past International President Phil Willmarth, Skip is co-author of the I.B.M. Youth Guidebook used by the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Skip currently serves as the Territorial Vice President for North Carolina.  His website www.magic-nc.com actively serves all North Carolina magicians regardless of affiliation.  

Skip has served as the club's Youth Director since the creation of Magic Youth Raleigh in 2007.  He has served on the I.B.M. Youth Committee from 2007 to the present and has chaired this committee since 2009. 

As the club's Webmaster, he designed and maintains this beautiful site and maintains the club's informative Ring and Youth newsletters.

Skip performs professionally across the state as Happy Dan the Magic Man, a beloved children and family entertainer reminiscent of popular 50's and 60's television kidshow hosts.
Philip Willmarth
Past International President (2007-08) of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Parade Editor, The Linking Ring (1980-92). Executive Editor, The Linking Ring (1992-2007).  Recipient of the Academy of Magical Arts Literary Fellowship (2007). Author of The Magic of Matt Schulien (1959), Fun with a Handkerchief (1969), The Ring and Rope Book (1975), Jim Ryan Close-Up Series (1980), Trevor Lewis Close-Up (1981), Kopdell's Three Card Trick (Editor) (1988), The Knot Collector (1989), Trevor Lewis: Routines Matter (Editor) (2009), The Impostress Princess Expanded (2011). Editor/Publisher for the Jim Ryan Magic Series (4 volumes) and of four booklets by Eugene Burger (Audience Involvement, Secrets and Mysteries, Intimate Power, Burger on Schulien's Card Discoveries).

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Raleigh Magic Club Who's Who.

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