.:226/365: The Story Circle:.
As my mentor requested it of me, I have never joined a magician’s group, although that doesn’t in any way mean I should be hostile or anything towards them. Having said that, if there would only be one group I could ever join, The Story Circle would be among the top three groups I would choose.
The Story Circle, in their own words, took its name from a specific card from the game “Magic: The Gathering”. It’s a bit nerdy that I could actually tell you what the card does, but that’s not really the point of the exercise.
Originally a mix between a Wiccan and magic discussion group, the original founders, Mamot and Lei, came up with The Story Circle in 2003, and initially catered to both aspects, all the while not knowing that through their own efforts, this rag-tag group would become one of the most popular havens and budding grounds for new, up-and-coming magicians. As time went by, and when the Wiccan component of the site became absorbed by the Philippine Wiccan Society, Mamot and Lei began discussing around 2005 the possibility of redirecting the Story Circle Network towards a more close-up magic slant.
When TSC began aggressively pushing itself as a magician’s group, the first members to attend the first meeting were Mamot, Lei, Jiggy Tam (Yep. That’s Jeffrey Tam’s brother.), Rommel, and Richard Gutierrez (Not the same guy as the douchebag actor.). From there, a makeshift charter was set up, and the membership in The Story Circle began to steadily grow as more and more members from fellow group Filipino Street Magicians (FSM) felt the need to meet more often than once a month. From the twice a month meetings TSC had, it blossomed into a weekly gathering, and things started cooking.
Around the second quarter of 2006, key members Carlo and Mike first appeared, and believe it or not, Carlo had zero knowledge of magic at this point. Nomer, mentalist/pick-up artist extraordinaire, also showed up on this year.
The term “crashing” is nowadays a generally accepted term in local magic for doing the David-Blaine style guerrilla street magic on people, especially tables, and was coined by Carlo as it is essentially what the term implies: you crash a table and perform for total strangers. TSC coined this term, and it has been a term that has been used even by non-TSC members over the years.
Ultimately, as the years went by, and as more and more of the movers and shakers of the magic industry have interacted with the members of TSC (A few names that come to mind: Bearwin Meilly, Erik Mana, Anthony Billan Co, Ronnie Moraleta, Leodini, David Elefant, Sonny Minoza.), the group has grown exponentially, and currently enjoys an active membership of around 700 members or so. Most of these members have attended at least one gathering each, and are not limited to merely participating in the forums. In fact, several members practically make a pilgrimage out of going to a TSC gathering, particularly if they are based outside of NCR.
As a group, TSC has been encouraging a lot of younger performers, and has consistently been free of the politics inherent in most groups, for all the good and bad side effects such a setup entails. In doing so, they have allowed for a magician-friendly environment that seeks to hone the appreciation and skill of budding magicians, and has groomed some of these individuals into high-quality performers because of the sheer number of people willing to help and throw ideas at you. Not that these qualities are exclusive to TSC alone, mind you, but they are certainly readily observable. It’s also nice that there’s an ample emphasis on mentalism in TSC, what with key members in the group being mentalists and all.
So to TSC, with over seven years under your belt, here’s to even more success as you guys continue to blaze a trail for the younger magicians of the day. It cannot be emphasized enough how what is a relatively underground group of magicians has come to earn a respectable place in the annals of magic history.