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The Magic Circle is a Britishmarker organisation dedicated to magic. Its headquarters are in Londonmarker, and magicians who wish to join need to have known two members for a sufficient period of time (this is not necessary, but makes a successful application much more likely). These two members then act as referees on the candidate's application form and propose him or her as suitable for membership. Following the receipt and processing of the application, the candidate is invited to an interview, usually at the London headquarters with the examinations secretary. If the candidate proves suitable and sufficiently knowledgeable, a performance exam is scheduled. This takes place in front of judges, and the candidate must demonstrate skills to members in a rehearsed act. The final stage is by vote of members of council, who approve the candidate as a member. There are approximately 1,450 members (including Charles, Prince of Wales) in more than 40 countries. Members must be at least 18.

History

The Magic Circle was founded in 1905 after a meeting of 23 amateur and professional magicians at London's Pinoli's Restaurant. At this founders meeting, chaired by Servais Le Roy, those present decided upon the name of the Society - it was initially felt that the name of the Society should be the Martin Chapender Club, in memory of the noted performer who had recently passed away. However, it was then agreed that name "Magic Circle" would be more appropriate and that this name shared the same initials as those of Martin Chapender. The first official meeting was at the Green Man public house in Sohomarker, but meetings were later in a room at St George's Hallmarker in Langham Place, where David Devant and John Nevil Maskelyne were regularly seen.

Devant became the first president of the Magic Circle, and in 1906, Maskelyne edited the first issue of The Magic Circular, a regular feature for members ever since. The Magic Circular is now hailed as the longest running regular magic magazine in conjuring history.

The club was men-only until 1991, when a large majority voted to admit women.

The current President is Jack Delvin.

Motto

The motto of the society is the Latin indocilis privata loqui, roughly translated as "not apt to disclose secrets"; Members give their word not to willfully disclose magic secrets other than to bona fide students of magic. Anyone breaking this or any other rule may be expelled.

Headquarters

Since 1998, the Magic Circle headquarters building in central London has been available for meetings and corporate entertainment. It has been voted best unusual venue by the hospitality industry. A virtual tour of the building and information are available online.

The Magic Circle headquarters houses a theatre, museums, libraries, a dining room, a clubroom and bars.

Membership

Membership of the Magic Circle requires the applicant to undergo an interview and to pass a performance exam to show proficiency and skill. The alternative to the usual performance is a written thesis relating to magic. Members of the Society use the letters M.M.C. after their name. Applications for membership can be made by emailing the Examinations Secretary, Robert Cox MIMC (Gold Star) link title,

Members may take a further examination to achieve the degree of Associate of the Inner Magic Circle. The designation A.I.M.C. shows this higher membership. The A.I.M.C. degree can also be attained through thesis, and in rare cases, that is when a candidate gains 18 or higher out of a possible 20 marks in the written exam, examinees taking the M.M.C. exam are awarded the A.I.M.C. degree. Those who attain an A.I.M.C. degree as a result of a performance examination are given the A.I.M.C. with silver star.

Within the society, there is a number of members never exceeding 300 known as the Inner Magic Circle. Full membership of the Inner Magic Circle is denoted by the letters M.I.M.C. after the member's name. Membership of the Inner Magic Circle is by call of the society's president. The M.I.M.C. degree may be awarded with a gold star, in recognition of the holder's excellence as a performer, although not all holders of the M.I.M.C. degree are performers, and hence, not all are M.I.M.C. with gold star.

The Young Magicians' Club

The Young Magicians' Club is a group of magicians under the age of 18 which is sponsored by the Magic Circle. The group meets at the Magic Circle Headquarters, the Centre for the Magic Arts in Londonmarker. The club was started in 1996. Mandy Davis MIMC (Gold Star) currently serves as the adult leader of the club. Currently, Young Magicians Club has a membership of more than 500 members.

Young Magicians' Club's principal means of communication among its members is its bi-monthly magazine "Secrets" edited by Mandy Davis who is also the current Chairman of the Young Magicians Club. The worldwide membership also communicates through a members only on-line forum on the YMC web site.

Unlike the Magic Circle and other magic societies, membership in The Young Magicians Club requires no interview or exam and is open to all young people interested in magic. There are monthly all-day workshops for members who come from all over the country to take part. Adult members of the Magic Circle take on the responsibility of instructing the members of The Young Magicians Club. Local adult magic clubs will usually have a Young Magicians Club attached to it. Members of the The Young Magicians Club are eligible to join the Magic Circle at a discounted rate when they reach 18, but they must still face the rigorous examination procedure.

The Young Magicians Club holds their annual one-day convention every October. The convention includes lectures and the finals of two competitions with awards which include the Peter McCahon Award for Originality and the Kaymar Komedy Cup.

Recent growth

The popularity of the Harry Potter franchise has been one of the key reasons for the organisation's growth in the past few years, with membership demand doubling after the announcement of the first film in 2001.

Officers of the Young Magicians' Club report that the Harry Potter books and films are responsible for a 20% overall increase in membership.

References

  1. article_young_magicians
  2. News
  3. The Young Magicians Club
  4. Magicians - www.EntertainerFinder.com
  5. http://www.bekasimagicclub.cjb.net/
  6. CNN.com - Harry Potter books help spur interest in magic - August 28, 2000


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