Aldo and Rachel Colombini a big hit with Ring 161
By Bobby Warren
It's hard to imagine Aldo and Rachel Colombini are in the midst of their farewell tour, especially when they are so full of life, joy, wisdom, and humor.
The Colombinis recently stopped in Northeast Ohio to spend an evening entertaining and educating members of the Akron Magical Arts Society Ring 161 as part of their farewell tour of the United States and Canada. With the health challenges the couple faced over the past few years, they decided it was time to slow down and spend more quality time with each other.
News of Rachel's heart problems spread around the globe. Her need for surgery was featured in the October 2010 edition of “The Linking Ring.” As the story made its way around the globe, there was an outpouring of support for Rachel and Aldo.
Now, with Rachel's health much approved, the two are making their way across North America thanking those who were so supportive with their emails, cards and letters of encouragement, as well as donations. So, they opened up the September 13, 2011, lecture with a champagne toast.
As Aldo opened up the September 13 lecture, he told the group, “The most important thing is she is still with me. She survived open heart surgery.”
The surgery Rachel underwent at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on November 22, 2010, was experimental surgery. At one point, she was told she had a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the procedure. But she did, and she is back better than ever.
“Thank you, all who followed my horrendous health issues,” Rachel said. She joked she was being held together by a rubber band, “So, no rubber band tricks.” Where she once was taking 20 medications a day, Rachel now takes an iron tablet. “Thank you to the American health system,” she said. “I owe $200,000 in medical bills, but I am still alive.”
Before the surgery, Aldo and Rachel were on the road trying to keep all of their lecture commitments. Because Rachel was so weak back then, she would perform and explain one effect and then sit down. But with the successful surgery behind her, Rachel played an integral part of the lecture, not only with performing and explaining, but sharing several stories, imparting insights into performing and working the dealer's table.
Together, Aldo and Rachel demonstrated and taught 20 effects. Some required gaffed or special cards, but many were easy to make, and all were easy to perform. They showed card tricks, packet tricks, prediction effects, rope tricks and Tri-Color Cups and Balls, an effect using rolled up pieces of colored paper instead of traditional woven balls.
The couple made no apologies for trying to find the easiest way to execute a trick. “It's not about the method; it's about the effect,” Rachel said. “Use the easiest method possible to get to the end result. The lay person does not know what you are doing.”
For example, Rachel had some wondering how she was able to correctly predict a freely chosen card as part of her performance of Zodiac Code. Prior to giving the magicians the low down on how the prediction matched, Rachel taught a Harry Blackstone Sr. force. Then she let everyone in on the dirty, little secret: She used a One Way Deck. Because of some of the subtleties she employed, the deck did not appear to be a special deck.
Aldo kept everyone in stitches throughout the night. Rachel said this is what she has to put up with every day from the time he wakes up until he goes to sleep.
Aldo picked up a boomerang and said, “I thought I threw this away.” He asked one of the attendees his name. “Marvin,” the man said. Aldo said there was no Italian equivalent. He said he likes to try to make Italian names out of American names. The next attendee said his name was Matt. Aldo quickly replied Matteo was an Italian name. Aldo said he once asked a guy what his name was, and he said, “Miles.” He replied, “In Italian, your name is kilometer.” When he was about to demonstrate a card trick, he said, “To save time, I have already shuffled the deck.”
The lecture, and the lingering afterward, lasted about three-and-a-half hours, including a short intermission. Aldo told Michael Mirth and Robert “Shadow” Marquis after the lecture how this one lasted a little longer because the interaction from the crowd was good.
If you have the opportunity to attend the Aldo and Rachel Colombini Farewell Tour, then run, don't walk. You will be glad you did.