The Society of Young Magicians (known as the S.Y.M.) is the official Young Member Program of the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.), the oldest Magician's Fraternity in the World. The S.A.M. was established in 1902 and one of it's first presidents was none other than Harry Houdini.
Locally, under the direction of professional magician David Oliver, S.Y.M. Assembly #29 has grown by leaps and bounds. Beginning with three members in 1987, the assembly boasts an average yearly membership of almost 50 young people! For seven years, S.Y.M. #29 won the Society of American Magicians National Award for Outstanding Membership Growth.
Dedicated members and parents travel to monthly meetings in the Boston area from as far away as Cape Cod, Worcester, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and even southern Connecticut! The S.Y.M. is a lot more than just learning the secrets to magic tricks. At our monthly meetings, members work together in critiquing sessions designed to help correct performing techniques, create a sense of confidence and build self-esteem. Skills including on-the-spot problem solving, public speaking and creativity are nurtured into fruition.
Through performances for local area audiences, members have been able to use their creative energy to raise funds for other charitable organizations in a full-scale illusion and magic show, we call "Magic & More"¨. While several members participate as on-stage performers, many others are the backbone of th e show, running lights, sound and stage crew duties. Still others perform close-up magic throughout the audience during intermission. The shows are run entirely by the membership. Over 20 organizations have benefited from the performing talents of our Young Members. Churches, playground committees, the Boy Scouts Of America and other youth oriented groups have all been able to raise awareness of their groups and funds to support them with the assistance of S.Y.M. #29. However, our most important "Magic & More"¨ show was in the Spring of '99. This performance was to benefit one of our own members, in his fight against bone cancer. The members of S.Y.M. #29 are very proud of that show. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved.
Several of the members of S.Y.M. #29 have won national awards for their performances at various magic events. Members of S.Y.M. #29 have competed in competitions, both locally and nationally, against other Young Members as well as adult performers. S.Y.M. #29 is proud to have numerous first place trophies and awards from Tannen's Summer Magic Camp, The New England Close-Up Magic Competition, and the Society Of American Magicians National Convention Competitions. S.Y.M. #29 is the only S.Y.M. assembly to have had two recipients of the coveted Kleinmann Incentive Award For Most Promising Young Entertainer (A special award given by the S.A.M. National).
S.Y.M. #29 has even had some members booked as performers at magic conventions nationwide, including Tannen's Jubilee (New York), NEMCON (CT), SAMCON (MA), The S.A.M. National Convention (Boston, St. Louis, Milwaukee, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Orleans, Springfield and Las Vegas!), and the M.A.E.S. (PA) to name a few.
In June of 2012, Jann Goodsell, Executive National Director of the S.Y.M. and PNP of the S.A.M. flew in from Utah, along with S.A.M. National Secretary, Marlene Clark, presented David Oliver with a proclamation signed by National President of the S.A.M., Vinny Grosso. They, along with many surprise guests, showed up at our monthly meeting. In recognition of his 25+ years of mentoring and leadership of the Boston area S.Y.M., the National Council of the S.A.M. amended the official charter of our assembly, and changed the official name of the group to forever be known as:
The John Calvert-David Oliver
Boston-Area Assembly #29
of The Society of Young Magicians
Having an assembly named after you is one of the highest of honors that can ever be given by the S.A.M. council. Assembly names have been bestowed upon a limited and unbelievable list of performers in the past hundred years, including Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, Harry Blackstone, Siegfried & Roy, Al Baker, Herman Hanson and John Calvert. The official charter signing and council recognition of the name change took place in July of 2012 at the S.A.M. National Convention in Las Vegas.
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