Speakers/Chautauqua Catalog

Name Mr. Bill Martin
Email billm0688@gmail.com
Website http://mindreachentertainment.com
Phone 505/896-0100
Address PO Box 44547
Rio Rancho, NM  87174
US
Biographical Info Bill Martin is a magician, escapeologist, and retired Naval Aviator. He has been a Golden Gloves boxer, carnival wrestler, hardrock miner, tractor mechanic, and nightclub entertainer. He has performed Houdini’s famous milkcan escape on national television.
Program Title MYSTERY, MYTH, & MAGIC: Houdini
 
Program Description This presentation will include a discussion of the incredible life and times of Houdini, the greatest magician, escape artist and showman of his time. Bill martin will appear as be believes Houdini would return today; as the "GREAT and MAGNIFICENT SWAMI SALAMI." A magic show and discussion will follow, tailored for your appropriate age group from 5th grade to senior citizen. Throughout the show, you will learn how the Jewish kid from Budapest became known as the "the great self-liberator" to the new American immigrants, and how his dangerous escapes became metaphors for their personal freedom and newfound belief in themselves. Escapes will be demonstrated.
Series American Icons
Chautauqua Program Application (Booking) Click here to fill out a funding application for this program »
Program Title THE GREAT ATLANTIC AIR RACE
 
Program Description In 1916, the London Daily Mail offered a $50,000 cash prize for the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic. Many intrepid aeronauts attempted to be the first but none succeeded until 1919. Battling against time and weather to beat a British Army crew and other international competitors, a U.S. Navy Crew was the first to make the perilous crossing despite multiple mechanical failures. The details of this harrowing flight will be covered as will the development of the Curtis flying boat. In 1969, the London Daily Mail sponsored a modern Atlantic air race commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic event. $144, 000 in prize money again prompted feverish activity among international competitors. The two races, separated by 50 years, will be discussed. An historic film of the NC-4 departing Rockaway, NY and arriving in Lisbon and London will be shown. This presentation is in Power Point format with press clippings on display.
Series Conversations With the World
Chautauqua Program Application (Booking) Click here to fill out a funding application for this program »
Program Title tHE PORGY AND BESS OPERA WORLD TOUR, 1952-1956: Defeating Segregation in America and the Cold War in Russia
 
Program Description The Robert Breen production of the Porgy and Bess folk opera was a surprising force in desegregating theaters, hotels and public accommodations in America during the 1950's. Director and co-producer Robert Breen fought relentlessly to ensure that the public establishments treated his cast of 60 African-Americans with dignity and respect. The cast of talented artists included Leontyne Price, Cab Calloway, Martha Flowers, William Warfield, Maya Angelou and others who went on to open many doors previously closed to black actors. This highly acclaimed production toured five continents in four years and was the first American company to tour Russia since the Bolshevik revolution. Each cast member became an ambassador of good will as they played extended tours to packed houses and standing ovations. Often members of the cast would entertain impromptu in local clubs much to the delight of the local population. Overcoming racial tensions in America, and Communist intrigue during the height of the cold war, are part of this untold story. The history of the opera by Dubose Heyward and George and Ira Gershwin will be discussed with emphasis on the Breen production. This presentation is in Power Point format with photos of the cast throughout the tour. Related international correspondence and colorful posters will be on display.
Series Conversations With the World; Art, Music and Dance; American Icons
Chautauqua Program Application (Booking) Click here to fill out a funding application for this program »
Program Title THE PILOT WITH A MAGIC HAT: Escape in Vietnam
 
Program Description Bill Martin commanded an all-volunteer unit of Navy helicopter gunships stationed deep in the Mekong Delta in 1967 and 1968. His unit was part of the famed Seawolf Squadron which was the most highly decorated navy squadron of the Vietnam war. This PowerPoint presentation depicts the sights and sounds of actual combat during some of the fierce battles of the Tet offensive. Bill will explain his role in the freeing of 33 South Vietnamese POW's and his unusual part in the dramatic and hair-raising rescue of 200 orphans and eight nuns from the clutches of the Vietcong. Under the seat of his chopper he carried a folding magic table, collapsible top hat and a bag of tricks. Between firefights he popped into jungle villages more than 50 times to entertain families. This activity gained friends as well as important intelligence information but was not without risk. During one show a brave little girl spirited him out of the village just as the Vietcong were arriving. The infuriated Vietcong placed a price on his head. He will demonstrate a rope escape that probably saved his life when two Vietcong tied his hands behind his back on a jungle trail. Bill will demonstrate how he stunned his captors by escaping before their very eyes using a technique from a Houdini book. He will also perform some of his "Magic of the Delta." He will answer questions and offer insight into the tragic emotional struggles that still plague many Vietnam vets. Artifacts will be on display. A children's version, 5th grade and up, with less combat and more magic is available.
Series Conversations With the World
Chautauqua Program Application (Booking) Click here to fill out a funding application for this program »
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