Members' Day with Harrison Houghton
A dozen members attended our St. Valentine’s Day virtual meeting, including one from Qatar in the Middle East – proving that there is an up-side to Zoom. It enables country (and even out-of-country) members to join in for the first time, on the same basis as everyone else. We hope many more will follow this example and decide to do so in the future – along with more of our ‘local’ members who still have to ‘get on board’.
Ian Brown began as a ‘warm-up’ act, reprising the online presentation he had created for his friends at the Bradford Astronomy Club. Indeed, the routines had been personalised for them, including an inter-planetary version of Donald Monk’s ‘magical portal’ principle. In a simple but effective ‘Just Chance’ set-up, someone was invited to choose either ‘THIS ONE’ or ‘THAT ONE’, and inevitably failed to win an expensive telescope.
The ‘main man’ of the afternoon was our very own Harrison Houghton, presenting the show he has been developing in lock-down. He also began with a ‘Just Chance’ scenario, involving a square and a circle and some potential prize money. He successfully predicted an item from a set of picture cards and plunged a pen through a lottery ticket. He was able to distinguish between red and black cards while blindfolded, citing Richard Turner as an inspiration, and presented multiple predictions involving gambling chips, a calculator and a wallet. He even sketched a wine glass which drained itself; all solid real-world material.
Harrison deconstructed the act during the second half of the afternoon, adding observations and advice about the technical side of this type of work, unknown to most performers until this time last year. It represented a steep learning curve, but made the day instructional as well as entertaining.