The girl who fooled the Magic Circle

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Travis » 01/12/12 09:14 PM

I recall a story from several years ago (before the Magic Circle accepted women)about about a girl disguising herself as a male and getting accepted, only to be kicked out once her secret was revealed.

Can anyone confirm this story?
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/12/12 11:09 PM

This may be a different incident, but I believe Fay Presto was expelled from the Magic Circle years ago for being a woman. She had been a man (Oliver Winter) when she joined, and therefore eligible for membership at that time. At some point she transitioned into being Fay Presto and no longer male and therefore (at that time) no longer eligible for membership. I think the resulting publicity helped kick-start her career as one of the UK's top close up professionals:
http://www.faypresto.com/
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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/12/12 11:18 PM

According to the book "Circle Without End The Magic Circle 1905-2005" by Edwin A. Dawes and Michael Baily, it happened in 1989 when a "Roger Lloyd" was admitted as an Associate membership only to find out later that Roger was actually "Sophie Lloyd" masquerading as a male. The Council immediately declared the application null. You also read about it in the Council minutes within the Magic Circular for January 1992.


For reference, I think they voted to allow women in September of 1991.
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Postby Rafael » 01/13/12 10:08 AM

Travis,

I believe this link will answer your question:
http://www.conman.com.au/magic/cross-dr ... d-scammer/
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/13/12 11:26 AM

? They don't like to be fooled at the Magic Circle?

cue the video: Boys Keep Swinging. :D
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Postby Ted M » 01/13/12 12:22 PM

For how long were women barred from the other major magic organizations? IBM, SAM, other?
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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/13/12 12:28 PM

Ellinor Redan (1874 - ?) was the first woman member of the Society of American Magicians (No. 134).

http://www.geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Ellinor_Redan
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Postby Travis » 01/13/12 01:14 PM

Thanks so much, everyone!
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/13/12 01:30 PM

They've only allowed women in for the last 10 years?

While I'm glad they've finally gotten with the times, that was very long overdue.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/13/12 01:36 PM

More like twenty years, or a bit over.
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/13/12 03:35 PM

Oooops--my bad. Math skills diminishing with age...
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Postby El Mystico » 01/13/12 03:52 PM

Actually the Magic Circle allowed female magicians years ago - from memory, back in the 40s. But not many joined. And when they redrafted the rules they left that bit out, and no one noticed. Around 20 years ago, they allowed them in again.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/13/12 05:00 PM

I remember coming back from the States in 88 and going to the Victory Services Club - I think there were a handful of women members then? I'm fairly sure that the helper in Pat Page's shell game video (who I used to know, but her name has escaped me) was mentioned as the first woman member of the new batch.

Edit: could have been 90 or 91, come to think about it...
Last edited by Ian Kendall on 01/13/12 05:02 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Chronological SNAFU
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Postby Ted M » 01/13/12 05:07 PM

Exclusion of women from the Magic Circle doesn't really look like a mere clerical error...

Genii, vol 41, p 624 (1977):

THE MAGIC CIRCLE of London,
England, won a court battle to keep
women from becoming members.
Morine Vickers tried to join and
when she was turned down she took
the matter before an industrial
tribunal claiming it breached
Britain's new Sex Discrimination
Act. The Magic Circle contended
that it is a social group and does not
bestow professional qualifications
which would bring it under the sex
discrimination laws. After a series of
hearings the Magic Circle won out
and will remain an all-male organization
. . . for the time being.
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