Monday, May 21, 7 PM - Tom Dobrowolski Lecture

"This will Kill You!”  The Magic of James Patrick Ryan


For those who may not recognize his name, James Patrick Ryan, “The Darling of the Geritol Set," is a magic legend. To this day he is recognized throughout the world as one of the masters of close up magic.

For 20 years starting in 1933, Jim owned and performed at “The Magic Tap," one of Chicago’s legendary magic bars. The bar was frequented by the likes of Paul Le Paul, Johnny Platt, Matt Schulien and Ed Marlo.  

In 1967 while visiting and performing at world renowned “The Magic Castle” owner Bill Larsen tried to convince Jim to move out to L.A. and become their resident magician. Jim politely refused the offer so he could stay close to children and grandchildren in the Chicago area. In 1977 the exclusive by invitation-only annual gathering of the world’s finest close up magicians “Fecther’s Finger Flicking Frolics” instituted a “Man of the Year” honoree. The first honoree that year was Jim Ryan. 

His favorite thing to do in addition to performing was to share and teach his magic with those truly interested. Jim was a teacher, mentor and friend to some of the best close up performers in magic including Tom Mullica and Paul Gertner. 

I became a student and friend of Jim’s in the 1980’s when he was in his 80’s and I was in my 20’s. Over the next 10 years I would spend time traveling with, listening to and learning from Jim. He was my teacher, my mentor and my dear friend. 

This lecture includes some of Jim Ryan’s classic magic routines including Ryan's Dunbury Delight, The Twins, Ryan’s Ring, Rope and Wand,  Three Cards Across, his classic Cups and Balls routine and more.  I also will be teaching several of his favorite bar magic/impromptu items. If time allows I  also will teach a few things of Jim’s that have not yet been published anywhere. 

My goal with this lecture is to introduce Jim and his magic to magicians who have not had the pleasure of knowing him, to share some of Jim’s wonderful magic and to have a LOT of fun. That’s what Jim and his magic was and always will be about. I know this would please him immensely and make him smile.

Free for members. $10 for guests

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Coming Up - All meetings at 7pm

  • May 21- Tom Dobrowolski Lecture
  • June 25- Michael Kaminskas 

Past lecturers have included the following:  Aaron Fisher, Aldo and Rachel Colombini, Arthur Trace, Bill Abbott, Bill Cook, Bob Sheets, Bruce Bernstein, Chris Capehart, Chris Rawlins, Curtis Kam, Dan Fleshman, Dan Harlan, Dave Marcus, Darwin Ortiz, Daryl (twice), David Calzada, David Campos, David Garrard, David Merry, David Parr, David Regal, David Roth, David Solomon, David Stone, David Williamson, Don England, Doug Malloy, Eric Jones, Eugene Burger, Geoff Williams, Glenn Morphew (twice), Jaime Aponte, Jay Sankey, Jeff Prace, Jeremiah Zuo, Jim Krzak, Jim Sisti, John Jurney (3x), John Lovick, Kainoa Harbottle, Keith Cobb, Keith Fields, Kieron Johnson, Kozmo, Martin Mercy, Max Krause, Michael Ammar, Mike Hall, Mike Powers. Nathan Kranzo, Oz Pearlman, Paul Gertner, Paul Green, Peter Eggink, Richard Sanders, Sean Bogunia, Shawn McMaster, Steve Bryant, Steve Daly, Steve Draun, Tim Adamz, Tom Dobrowolski (5x), Tomas Medina (twice), Tony Noice, Trent James, Vinnie Grosso and Whit Haydn.

All meetings take place at Mr. Beef and Pizza in Mt. Prospect (1796 S. Elmhurst Road Mount Prospect, IL 60056) from 7-9 p.m. Unless otherwise noted, Conjuror's Corner meets on the 4th Monday of every month. In the event that Mr. Beef is closed (as it happened once), our alternate meeting location is the Denny's at Algonquin and Arlington Heights Roads. Map here.