Quirky BYU clubs fit unique interests

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Theron Christensen, a member of the BYU Abracadabra Magic Club, performs tricks during a show at The Wall. (Collin Judkins)

BYUSA currently recognizes more than 200 clubs that fill a wide range of interests or career goals for more than 30,000 students.

Two notable clubs are the Abracadabra Magic Club and “Weird Al” Yankovic Fan Club.

Abracadabra Magic Club president Collin Judkins co-founded the club with five other students in 2014: Theron Christensen, John Meservy, Justin Gessel, Ethan Williams and Cameron Smith.

“Originally, we started it to have a time and place we could get together, practice and perform shows as a club,” Judkins said in an email.

The club has performed many shows at The Wall, including three Harry Potter birthday party shows. For the last two years, club members have performed during Care Week. On Nov. 17, they will perform again to benefit Musana, a charity empowering women in poor countries to break the cycle of poverty.

While the shows are a huge part of the club, the club also has regular events.

“Our weekly club activities focus on learning and teaching new effects, practicing old ones and learning principles of performance that will make better performers out of anyone who attends,” Judkins said.

Judkins said one of his favorite parts of the club is getting creative with experienced club members.

“Creating something in the magic community that has never been done before is exciting,” Judkins said.

But he also loves working with new members, Judkins said, because watching them catch the vision and excitement of magic is rewarding.

“It’s not a closed-door club,” Judkins said. “People can come watch a few tricks and leave or stay to learn some basic principles.”

The Abracadabra Magic Club isn’t the only unique club on the BYU campus.

The “Weird Al” Yankovic Fan Club started two years ago by former president Will King. King said he’s a huge Weird Al fan, and he originally created a Facebook group for friends.

“Well, why not make this all of BYU,” King said he thought while founding the club. “I imagine there’s at least three other people out there that would want to know about stuff involving Al.”

For the club showcase, they did a showing of Weird Al’s 1989 movie “UFH” in the Wilkinson Center. The club even chose refreshments based on Weird Al references.

“Oreos, because he has a song called ‘The White Stuff,'” King said. “Rocky Road, because of his song ‘I Love Rocky Road’ and, everyone’s favorite, the Twinkie wiener sandwich, which is featured in the movie.”

Last summer, King reached out to a radio station to ask how he could get Weird Al concert tickets for club members. King said he thought they would have to earn the tickets through janitorial or other work.

“They just called me up, had me sing ‘Eat It,’ and said, ‘All right, come pick up six free tickets,'” King said. “So six of us got to go the concert.”

King also met Weird Al and received a signed poster addressed to the BYU fan club.

Student Mary Bishop has since taken over as president of the club.

She said the club will show a screening of “UHF” this school year. The club’s activities are partly tied to Weird Al’s schedule, with many activities revolving around his new tours or albums.

“We’ll keep following and celebrating his career as we have, while we look forward to his future endeavors,” Bishop said in an email.

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