Why Join the Society of American Magicians?
In response to the question “Why join?” there are many benefits and perks for becoming a member that can be found on the national website. And it is no small thing to become a part of the history or this organization as can be found in this excerpt:
“The Society of American Magicians, founded on May 10, 1902, in Martinka’s famous magic shop in New York City, New York, is the oldest and most prestigious magical society in the world. For over a century it has promoted the ideals shared by Kellar, Houdini, Thurston and more than 47,000 others world-wide who have held membership in the society. Those ideals include the elevation of the Art of Magic, the promotion of harmony among magicians, and the opposition of the unnecessary public exposure of magical effects.”
The First Step to Join the S.A.M.
Full discloser: I, the Manhattan Magician, have been accepted into S.A.M. National but am in a pending status for my local NYC assembly (chapter).
That said, joining the Society of American Magicians can itself be challenging. Thankfully I had the help of Sterling who does a terrific job for MagicSAMpa1 (Manhattan Assembly) as a webmaster and a kind of communications director updating MagicSAMpa1’s website and sending email subscribers information on the latest happenings in the magic world, especially in New York City.
Presenting Yourself as a Magician
As far as joining S.A.M. goes you need to present your magic bio to them and then get cleared by the secret panel. And submissions don’t always end with a positive result. Why? Because true magicians and magic bloggers (like myself) have a certain way that they communicate that can be recognized by other conjurers.
If you don’t pass this prestidigitator test you won’t be admitted into the national organization. But once you do make it through this phase you will be sent an official document as well as a tie clip and a membership card that has your ID number on it. Again, I thankfully had the help of Sterling to guide me through this process.
Once you have been admitted as a member of the national Society of American Magicians you then have to go through another procedure to actually gain admission to your local assembly. This can be even more difficult than getting into the national organization. Why? Because during this stage you have to actually prove your abilities as a sleight of hand artist live and in person.
On the Path
Again, true practitioners of the wizard trade will be able to tell if you’re not a genuine magician. They know the way your fingers should move and your body language should express, including the use of misdirection and more. I mention all this because I am at that very place on the path.
Manhattan Magician’s Experience of Becoming a Member of a Local Assembly
I’ve been admitted to the national organization but have yet to be accepted to my local assembly. And since I’m the Manhattan Magician, meaning I live and work in the city, the assembly I seek membership of is the very first chapter to exist, MagicSAMpa1. In fact, Harry Houdini himself was the president of this chapter from to June 1917 until his mysterious death on October 31, 1926.
Where is the Manhattan Magician Now in this Process?
I recently attended a meeting of MagicSAMpa1. It was a very positive experience which included interacting with magicians who were showing each other magic and sleight of hand as well as culminated with a performance by Bruce Kalver.
The Top Secret Part of the Meeting
While at the meeting I was recognized as an inductee so during the top secret part of the get together, I and another inductee, Zachary, were asked to go into a sound proofed adjacent room. Zachary and I talked extensively about magic, and about a half hour or so later were both readmitted to the meeting for Bruce Kalver’s performance.
Appointment for Proof of Being a Magician
Also while at the MagicSAM1 meeting I met a gentleman named Stephen with whom I need to contact soon to do my “Magician Proof” with him. So that is where I am now in the process. After I meet with Stephen I will then need to get four magicians’ signatures to finally be accepted to my local New York City assembly.
In closing I’d like to say that my experience with the national organization and local assembly of the Society of American Magician’s has been great. Stay tuned for the next phase in this adventure!