A time to share

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This Halloween marks my fourth year in magic! One more year to go to sit down and calculate if all the time, money and effort has been worth it. I got started because my pastor asked for volunteers to run a booth at a treats without tricks night.
I had done some magic in my early twenties, vanishing cigarette, scotch and soda, penetration frame, dime and penny transposition, so I put it all together and ran a booth. Kids were brought by and I did some magic and handed out candy. One man in particular loved the magic and just stayed at my booth laughing at the expressions on the children's faces. This got me back into magic and the rest as the saying goes is history. I doubt seriously if I could quit now. We'll see what transpires over the next year!
This Halloween also marks the one year anniversary that I was disowned by my older brother. It was a year ago the 31st that my younger brother nearly died from liver failure and I tried to find a way to bring him home with me if he made it through the ordeal. He did make it through the ordeal and lived for another seven months.
I did not have any contact with any of my brothers and sisters in those seven months until the time of his death. By that time it was too late, my brother was in a coma and I never got to speak with him. I spoke with my brothers and sisters last at his funeral in June of 2006. What a waste.
Tomorrow I have to stay after work to take a hands on mobile crane test. A new requirement by Boeing.
Happy Halloween?!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fifty As Well...

Today is your birthday... so happy birthday to you!
My lovely wife of 26 years turns fifty today, oops!
Well, it hardly matters as she is still a stunning beauty!
We had some company over on Saturday to celebrate and basically just enjoy each others company!
It was a nice relaxing time and fellowship.

Tonight we will go out to a nice restaurant, I know she loves seafood, so I am planning on taking her to Ivars Acres of Clams!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Learning Experience

Friday night I performed a set of magical effects for my friend Jay's mothers 75th birthday party.
I was the entertainment. Jay told me there might be up 150 people there.
I am guessing that about half that actually showed up. Jays mom is Doris. She kind of reminds me of my mom, kinda feisty!
Anyway, there was ONE child present. I like having children in the audience.
Children are natural laughers and gigglers.
See the movie Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.
I had a tough time getting the audience into the magic or into me. Maybe it was me? Maybe it was the magic? Maybe it was the average age of the audience? Maybe I am wrong and just reading more into their silence than I should? Have you ever heard of stunned silence? Haha.!!
I wore a suit and tie to perform in for the first time. I found it kind of hindersome. ( I just made that word up!)
I opened with the Legend of the five Mystic rings. It went technically well, but the audience was just sort of sitting back in their chairs staring at me, hmmm..
After that, I performed the Chinese sticks with the father in law military theme to try to get them applauding and on my side... There were nice gasps and whispering in the audience, I could see a woman smile way in the back.
I dove into cut and restored rope next. Funny to see peoples faces and their looks of astonishment. Doris' grandson Jason told me afterward that it was really good. (Thanks Cellini)
Since I had a piece of rope in my hand at the end of the last routine, I invited a man up with a finger ring to do Ring, Rope and wand. He had a nice large wedding ring made of white gold. After the effect, he claimed I bent his ring. There is no way I bent someones ring. I wonder if he was just trying to throw me off my rhythm.
Afterwards I spoke with him and he insisted that I bent his wedding ring. I wasn't going to argue. I don't honestly see any way that that can happen. There is just not enough pressure during the effect for that to happen. Kind of put a damper on my evening though.
Next I performed the Egg bag routine, seemed to go over well, I couldn't get the lone child to come up and help though. Great routine, but even greater with a child. Like I said, learning the ropes!
Banana Bandanna, lassoing a card, Anniversary Waltz, and of course, Cups and balls rounded out the set.
Looking back, perhaps too much magic. Nine effects. Learning the ropes!
Lassoing a card made for stunned looks on many faces. Anniversary Waltz turned out to be quite effective, and the cups and balls ending, well, it blows them away every time.
I did a small bit of walk around afterwards as people were eating cake. Many people told me it was great. I handed out a few business cards too.
I just didn't get the "High" or connection I seemed to feel last Sunday. Learning the ropes!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Brooklyn Roads (Neil Diamond)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Wow, Fifty, what a grand, lofty number! Half a century! Half a hundred!
My brother that dis owned me turned fifty today. What a milestone.
Mixed emotions running through me all day today. Love, anger, hurt, nostalgia, memories...
As I was driving to work today I put in some Neil Diamond. Had me teary eyed all the way to work. My older brother John turned me on to Neil Diamond when we were young teens. Shilo, I'm a believer, stones and oh so much more... he ain't heavy, he's my brother... the song that got me tonight was Brooklyn Roads.

It was too close to home, too close to the truth of brothers growing up, fightin and loving and playin ball and learnin good things and bad. Learnin about girls, drivin cars, smokin pot and drinkin beer. Runnin from the law and sometimes gettin caught, Skiing at the pass, bailin each other out of trouble.
I didn't call my brother today to wish him a happy birthday. I am still hurt and bitter about the way things went between us during our younger brothers ill health and subsequent death. It's not easy when someone you looked up to and admired tells you they dis-own you as a brother. Especially when you did nothing to them to deserve their ire and hate.
Sometimes life's a bitch. It doesn't have to be, but blood ties... oh how they are different.
Fifty years on this planet. What do we have to show for it?
John is one of the smartest people I ever knew. He could read a book and figure anything out just about. An awesome carpenter. Really more of an artist with what his mind sees in wood working. A strong athlete, black belt in Tai Kwon do. Loved to ski, scuba dive and sky dive. Served our country in the army in 1976. Father of five. And a grandfather.
I miss what used to be, no going back though, only forward.
Tired of living in the past, we must learn to live with the past.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Joan's sister

Joan's sister spent the weekend with us. She has been diagnosed with a "Frozen shoulder." This is quite painful and she was scheduled to have her shoulder manipulated Friday morning. Joan took her in to the hospital and picked her up later too. Arlene was on medication and it was good to be able to do that for her.
Good job Joan! You are awesome!

Finally some light

at the end of the tunnel. Spent Saturday taking lots of stuff to Goodwill from my in law's home. We had an estate sale last weekend and the stuff that didn't sell... our son Ryan took a nice kitchen table, three living room end tables that had nice glass tops with oak trim and six dining room chairs, some miscellaneous tools and his uncle Jim repaired his rear door and window of his vehicle. A nice day for him!
We filled up a large green "huge haul" with a lot of furniture too. Sunday I went back and met Ryan there and we loaded up a nice sectional couch for him. That just about emptied out everything. The house is being painted Tuesday thru Friday and then it will just about be ready to put on the market! Finally!
I finally got to see Ryan's new place when we delivered the sectional. He is living with two other young men at this time. Sharing rent. They were happy to get some decent furniture. It's a nice place in downtown Seattle. A rambler.
Right on!

Birthday party magic

Some friends at the church I attend had a birthday party for their six year old son Drew. I arrived at 6:30 pm just after they had eaten dinner... I set up and everyone sat around in the living room. I had two steps above them as it was a sunken living room. Seven children ages 5-12 and 11 adults, we won't discuss their ages!
Since it was a six year olds birthday I wanted to make sure and include him specifically in some magic. I started off with the bird catcher trick. I get down on the floor to their level and we have a bit of fun. Drew's' grandmother wanted a closer look so she joined the children on the floor. Next I performed a twisting the aces trick for Drew using animal cards. He trained his to roll over and I trained three, I couldn't get his to roll over because it was trained to only roll over to his voice. Drew's eyes got REALLY BIG when his animal rolled over for him!
I performed the Chinese sticks to much laughter and oohs and ahhs. No one had a frog hair again!
The Legend of the Five Mystic Rings went pretty well. I still feel like I'm flashing but no one ever says anything, in fact Drew's mom said she really liked the rings and so did his uncle, I'll keep working with them. The silent pass through always causes a gasp. A really pretty moment in the linking rings.
Cut and restored rope went well and I dove tailed it into Lassoing a card. That got some nice oohs and ahhs and clapping too.
Well by now I'm on roll, so I took up my grand fathers bag trick and of course it went great too. Drew's cousin Anna is still mystified as are all the other relatives! Fast becoming a fan favorite as well as the the Vanishing Bandanna which I performed next to raucous laughter and much clapping, of course I ended with the patented Cups and Balls. I wasn't going to perform the cups and balls as most there had seen it last Sunday during church. I spoke with Gary and Carrie(Drew's parents) about it and they both said that everyone loves it. Besides, seven of the 18 people there had never seen it. The children were really close to the performing table and I had to work to keep the angles tight. Still, I think there were two times when the loads were caught. The first was a normal ball in my right hand, but as soon as I loaded it into a cup, she was baffled about where it went, she knows she saw it, but then it was gone? Her younger sister caught a glimpse of one of the oranges. They were sitting below the table, I could tell by the look of surprise on her face and gave her a knowing touch on her nose. It was funny when I finally revealed the orange she "caught" because she said, "I saw that one." I asked her if she saw "this one?" Or "This one?" She said "No." So I said "How about this one? Or that one?" By this time everyone was laughing because of her obvious astonishment at missing the other five. Not too mention their own astonishment when six oranges suddenly appeared from beneath three cups and a pumpkin appears from beneath my hat! Quite an explosion of spontaneous laughter and applause and shakes of the head in bewilderment.
I finished my set with one more special trick just for Drew's' grandparents who celebrate their wedding anniversary next month. Anniversary Waltz, a splendid card effect for couples.
I was still very nervous before the performance. As I was practicing before I left my home and on the drive there. I cannot understand why this is still happening. I am doing good shows, getting nice reviews from my audiences. I practice hard and often, so I know I am going to be fine, when will this ill feeling pass? I mean honestly, I was performing for a six year old child's birthday.
I find it comical at times that I stress out over these things.
I used to play many sports and always was nervous before tip off or the opening pitch. As the game wore on I settled in and usually had great times and played very well. So what is it? Performance anxiety? The need to prove myself? After each performance there are always little things I could have said or should have said that would have improved the whole. Of course the audience doesn't know any of that, so why can't I relax with my magic, secure in the knowledge that my magic works and is well received?
Maybe just time and effort and a thousand more performances?!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lazy Friday

Yep,just enjoyin a lazy Friday...
got off this morn at 6 am, slept for 4 hrs and got up so I can sleep tonight. Watched the Yankees lose to the Indians. I'm one of those Yankee haters!
Getting ready for a birthday party magic show on Sunday. The boy will be six. They are a family that goes to church with us. I think there will be about twenty people there. Should be a good time. His sisters were asked on Wednesday who is the funniest person they know. They both said, Tim Flynn. Haha.. they really enjoyed the Vanishing Bandanna trick I performed on Sunday. It was a truly fun and funny effect.
The weather is now cold and fall has fallen upon us. Cleaned the gutters today, brought fire wood from the back 40 up to the house last week. Had our first fire in the fire place last night. Yep, time to start hunkering down for the next five months.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Weekend Magic

Got out of bed around 8:30 having not slept too well. My mind was working overtime as it often does when I am getting ready to perform. Had a gig scheduled for 12:30 at Farrington Court senior center. Yep, my second one there! I went thru my routine before I left and felt pretty confident about it. I arrived early as I feel it might be important to be ready whenever they are. Never can tell what might come up.
Well, the weather was a bit chilly but a band was outside playing when I arrived, I figured I'd be performing outside again. My hands were a bit cold so I was pondering whether or not to do the opening effect I had planned. Daryl's Three Fly Three. I have not really performed this effect for a lay audience of any size. Then I found out they wanted me to set up in the cafeteria, O.K. no problem, whatever you want. I decided it was time I did some strolling magic. I have not done this before, I walked around and found a table that had no food... All those DVD's finally paying off, haha... I had a good time, did some great card tricks, threw in a hot rod and crazy man's hand cuffs now and then... I think I got to about three tables...Then I got set up and Michelle ushered in some children, they all sat on the floor. Lots of older people eating and trying to get seats to eat. The band finished outside and decided they wanted to eat also. The place was packed and with not enough seating for everyone. O.K. maybe you should perform outside, Cool! Let's do it...
Outside I go and there are ponies and circus type attractions... Here we go... gonna earn some money!
I got set up, I decided against performing Three Fly Three, Not going to perform something so new at this stage...
I opened with the Mental Photography deck. It went real well, alright I'm off and running...
I introduced my grandfathers bag trick next, this was my first "live" showing of this effect. It went splendidly! I think this will become one of my favorite magical effects. The "wows" and "oohs' were just to much fun to ignore!
Then I performed Cut & Restored Rope with the Professors Nightmare ending, dovetailing that into a ring, rope, and wand trick. Next, I performed the classic Lassoing a card where I have a spectator pick a card, they lose it in the deck, of course I can't find it, end up lassoing it with a rope, this trick is astonishing if sold correctly!
Linking rings followed that up, again a bit of trouble with the rings, confidence my boy, you lack confidence and about 200 hours of ring work. The trouble was in the initial count, sometimes these old fingers don't work too well, it went well after that and I heard some great gasps with the silent pass throughs...My patter was off some with the linking and unlinkings, I slowed down to catch up!
I finished with the cups and balls. My bread and butter. Not! It was great to perform for a "lay" audience, Wow! What a difference! And they pay me for this too!
Afterwards, I received many compliments on my magic, I often asked people what they liked best, their responses were very wide ranging, So, that didn't help too much as I try to whittle my act down to six tricks...I also did some more strolling magic and had a great time with it.
Didn't sleep too well again, magic on my mind... Going to perform for my church congregation. It's Kid's day at our church...
I have been working on a few new effects and have been wanting to perform them, next Saturday I am entertaining at a child's birthday party, I had been gearing up for that when my pastor asked me if I'd be willing to do something for kid's day, what could I say, absolutely!
I thought he wanted a quick ten minutes so I figured I would do two effects. Later I spoke with him and he wanted about twenty minutes, so I ended up doing five effects that ran about thirty minutes...
Man was I nervous wreck before going on, new material, a crowd of about 100 plus...
I have known these people(most of them) for twenty years give or take...
Well, I dazzled em! I blew them out of the water! God made me shine. I had a BLAST and so did they, we in tune and rockin and rollin... I am still high from it all!
You da thought I was a professional magician or something, it was like striping a solid drive about three hundred yards with a wee right to left draw down the middle of the fairway. Man I want to bottle that feeling and let it out every time I perform.
Synergistic it was! Flowing man! Now I can quit!
Opened with Daryl's Acrobatic knot, it was a smashing choice and the laughter began immediately, don't know why, I don't consider myself a comedic kind of guy...
Must be daryl's patter lines! Thank you Daryl!
I then did the Ring, Rope, and wand, mainly because I figure that since you have some rope available, why not use it. This trick went very well too, the response wasn't as audible, but I was told later by several people that it was really good... hmmmm.
Again I performed Gazzo's egg bag routine, not quite like Gazzo, but close enough. This routine is superb! A definite "A" list effect! Thank you Gazzo! The little boy I brought up on stage was four years old and precious, a sure fire can't miss if handled properly. I was lucky, he was a bit too young but it all worked out! I love that effect!
Well, now for something funny and new. The amazing Banana Bandanna trick, I saw Oscar Munoz perform this at Day of Magic last October. It only took me a year to finally learn it and perform it. This effect has comedy built into and it didn't disappoint. I made funny faces and the crowd had a blast. One woman who just had her wisdom teeth removed... well, she was trying not to laugh but it was just too funny...
Another keeper I think! I have been looking for a comedy piece to add to the show, I think I found it! Thank you Oscar Munoz!
And of course I finished with the cups and balls...
I don't know what happened, I think it was the nice crowd. Mostly friends, but many invited guests. I think a larger crowd that is well behaved, a church going crowd with no chance at any hecklers... well, I don't know? Maybe it was just God allowing everyone to enjoy the day and magic. It was magical for me and I got to be careful because with all the sincere compliments I received, I could get a big head and start beleivin in myself!
Things I learned, Slow down after an effect, a vanish or appearance, I tend to walk on my applause and laughter. Let the magic sink in for a moment before moving on.
Have fun and the audience will as well. I had a faux pas here or there, but they ended up being funny instead of killing me, Being light hearted allowed this to happen. Don't take myself too seriously, this is a hard one for me.
All in all. In a word.