A time to share

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Anniversary!

When I was a little shaver... Halloween was a BIG deal! Free candy! Yippee! As much as you could get! Dress up like a .... and FREE CANDY!
Now that I am a mature old guy... Halloween has changed, my views have changed...
But I'm not going to go there... haha..
Five years ago, I was 44 years old and put together a magic booth for treats without tricks night at the church I attend. Little did I know what this simple act would cause in my life.
Five years later I am a bonafide, semi-professional magician!
Yesterday I taught a magic class at the prestigious Bush school in Seattle.
Last March I travelled to NOrth Carolina to perform magic at the inaugural Christian Lifestyle Expo.
I have performed in churches, Senior Centers and private homes.
Living the dream baby!
My dream, small as it may be, is fun, interesting, and exciting!
Creating wonder and smiles for young and old!
About two years into this journey I had to pause and ask myself, "Self, where are you going with this? You are spending money and time chasing this magic thing. How serious are you self?" I told myself I would give it five years and evaluate where I am at with at that time. It is now "that time."
Teaching at the Bush school yesterday was the perfect opportunity to evaluate what I am doing and where I am going magically. My friend Isaac Louie had me fill in for him at the school. He has a done a great job teaching the high schoolers magic. There are fifteen in the class and I was amazed by the diversity of magic they were showing me. We opened the class with a round robin. That is where each person does a magic trick or a sleight. The people on each side of me were not prepared so I went first, breaking the ice so to speak. It was great. I felt like my mentor Tom Frank.
I performed the cut and restored rope with the Professors Nightmare ending. I was rewarded with several ooh's and ahh's during the performance. This was good feedback, letting me know the magic was being noticed.
I chose this effect because Isaac had shared with them the Professors Nightmare the previous week and we were going to be going thru it later in the class. My intention was to teach them a little about how to go into a trick and how to come out of it.
As the round robin progressed I had a glimpse of myself from four years ago at the magic sessions at Tom's Alki Magic Studio!
I could see how far I have come in these last five years.
I saw nervousness, adrenaline spikes and competition amongst the class members.
It was great. They were engaged!
O.k. so now I am a magician! Time to believe, and act, and carry myself as one!

This also marks the two years since my younger brother went into the hospital with liver failure. Two years, wow, went by REALLY FAST!

Last Monday I golfed at Druidsglen with Steve Ameden and Mike Laik. We had a great time. Steve and I walked the course and I shot an 89. It was a beautiful fall day, Mount Rainier letting us know the beauty of God's creation!
Tuesday I smoked the steelhead I caught last Friday. It turned out really,really good!
Wednesday I golfed again with Steve Ameden and Mike Laik, and this time my son Ryan joined us! We hit the links at Sumner Meadows. Sumner Meadows is a ball eatin' course!
I shot an 87, starting out slowly but getting better as the round progressed!
Of course yesterday was the teaching of magic at Bush school. I met Ryan afterwards at a Starbucks near Madison park. He informed me that my daughter, age 15 had gotten an invite to go to the Homecoming dance! Ryan was laughing because the invite came from a senior! This was funny to him because of something I had said to him while driving to Sumner Meadows the day before. I told him that "I bet some senior will be asking Katie out soon."
Prophetic aren't I!?
Katie is dealing with the challenge of not wanting to hurt the young man's feelings, but not wanting to go to the home coming dance with him either. She had already planned on going with some of her girl friends as a group.
I think she was a bit taken aback, and the timing is short as the dance is Saturday night.
The young man gave her 18 red roses which were left on her chair at school. I think Katie was a little embarrassed... so now it begins! :)
It's a wonderful thing to be asked, I just don't think Katie was ready for it or expecting it.
So, here it is Friday, Halloween 2008!
Love life, get busy livin', or get busy dyin'!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


As some of you might know, I am a member of the Bigfoot Clown Alley,
About a month ago, one of our members emailed me asking if I was available to perform magic for the South Tacoma Eagles club. They have an annual Halloween bash. Melon-E (her clown name) has done clowning for them three times in a row and the club wanted something different.
So today was the big day.
All went well and it was a good show. Everyone had fun!
Kids are an interesting lot to perform for. They do not hold anything back! They are actually quite funny and inquisitive. During the linking rings a couple of girls kept telling me to drop a ring. I was wondering why they would want me to do that?
Also, they grab anything and everything. Cutting the ends from the rope used during the cut and restored rope. Like those are valuable!
Afterwards they always come up and want an orange, until they realize I use fake oranges!
I find it very interesting to talk with them, and later the grown up parents.
The children are in awe of me and the adults are amazed.
After I left I drove to the Lakewood costume shop to give Melon-E some money. She works there.
It is a very nice place. I met the owner Dori and some young boy and his mother buying some magic. I demonstrated some magic for them. It was a lot of fun for me and brought me back almost 30 years to when I first visited a magic shop.

River Fishing

Friday I got up early... actually I never went to bed. My friend Larry invited to take me steel head fishing on the Cowlitz river. The Cowlitz is about an hour and a hlf from me. So we wanted to be fishing in the dark by 5 am. We were. I haven't really done a lot of river fishing, so this is always a treat for me. Larry was kind enough to supply all the gear, although I do own a nice set of chest waders. It was 31 degrees when we started, the weather was nice and the river low!
One of the guys with us got a fish on on his first cast. His drag on his reel was to tight and the line eventually broke.
At 6:50 I had my first strike (at least one that I knew about) and yelled fish on!
This was a nice steel head! She took off, leaped from the river a couple of times and headed down stream peeling line from the reel. I quickly, or not so quickly began working my way down river and trying to retrieve line as I went. The rocks are slippery and the current is fast moving.
Eventually I wore the fish out and he was netted by one of our party. She was about 10 pounds or so!
Later I caught another one and lost a nice one as well. In all we landed five and lost five. A really productive day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Been enjoyin' the semi forced, mini vacation, prelude to retirement time off, because of the Boeing strike, now into it's 48th day.
Filling my time with magic practice, good food and down time reading.
Yesterday was Joan's birthday! We spent a relaxing day smoking Salmon. The fishing was really poor this last season. I had some fish that has been vacuum sealed since 2007. It stayed nice because of the sealing process.Notice how nice it still looks! Also, there is the last of the white meated Salmon too. But I decided to smoke it. Katie said, it tasted best. I thought it was really good as well!
Usually I smoke two batches a year. This year it looks like only one batch will be smoked, and that will be a small batch. Usually I am able to fill up the racks entirely and use all five. I was only able to use four and they are not totally full or crammed tight. Bummer!
I love to be able to give away the smoked delicacy to friends and loved ones at Thanksgiving time or Christmas. This year will be light.
I have been invited to go Steel head fishing on Friday, hopefully I will catch some fish to supplement the small amount left in the freezer!
Like I said, it was Joan's birthday yesterday and some great things happened. Ryan took her out for lunch. They enjoyed Thai food! Ryan's church had an auction several months ago. One of the things auctioned by one of the parishioners was a dessert a month. Ryan purchased this for us. So, yesterday the lady, Lynn arrived with a huge chocolate cake and an apple tort! Yummy!
Since Lynn arrived just when the smoked Salmon was done, we sent her home with some! We also gave her a nice bag full of Asian pear apples from our tree. We harvested way too much for just us.
Life is good!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I know it's been a week since my last post, lazy I guess... enjoying the loooong break from work because I am on strike at Boeing... as you , my faithful 3 1/2 know, I did not vote to go on strike. I do not agree with our union on it's stance to support all democrats. I lean to the right more, and the left leaning union is not for me, they call themselves a non partisan political league, but they are anything but. They are definitely pro democrats. Which in today's lingo means... Marxist and socialist. Not American.
O.k. Last Saturday I did a gig at another Senior center in West Seattle called Daystar. It was a 2 1/2 hour walk around gig. I enjoyed and the people loved me and the magic!
I did some coin work. Things like coins across, Cross of India, the Gallo pitch.
I mostly did some card work along with the crazy man's hand cuffs and the hot rod.
Wednesday I went golfing at NewCasle. This is an upscale golf course but we got on for free. They have two courses at NewCastle, we played them both! I shot a 90 on one course and an 86 on the other! We had nice weather and a ton of fun!
We have been enjoying the baseball playoffs too. Our eldest son Ryan came home for a couple of days and it was nice having him around.
Today I had a gig for a child's first birthday party! It was some friends from church and I think they wanted to help me and my family out while I am on strike.Don't get me wrong, they love magic and I did a full show for them. They recently enjoyed their seventh wedding anniversary in August, so I performed Anniversary Waltz for them! I love this effect where two people sign different cards and they become one, just like two people who never knew each other get married and become one! I included some new material I have been working on for younger audiences. It was all good! Produced a cake
from a dove pan! Had some fun with balloons and the children were very good and laughing with me!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Magic @ MapleLeaf

I had a show for the people at The Stratford @ MapleLeaf today.
This is a senior center. The patrons enjoyed the show. It lasted an hour.An interesting crowd of about 50 people. Mostly senior citizens but a few younguns too. Everything went well!
They were very excited to have a magician come and perform for them. I was advertised for at least a week before the show. I did my regular one hour act. Tomorrow I have a two hour "walk around" gig!
Later I called son Ryan and we hooked up in Seattle. Spent some time with him at his home and the half price books.This was the view of the sunset and Seattle skyline from half price books tonight as we were leaving!
Today was his last day of work. Yep, he is 24 and quit his nice paying job with benefits. No economic down turn affecting him!
Actually this has been in the works. He can't stand his job and we have discussed this in detail. He is single and not tied down. He didn't like being cooped up in an office 8-10 hours a day.
There is more to life than making money and he wants to look into finding out more about himself and what he wants out of life.
I gave him my blessing. He is thinking of working up at Crystal Mountain ski resort this winter.
Hey, More power to him!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wow. Too Much Fun

We held a session last night at our home.
Gary arrived first and we discussed some things like tables and a little about "moving the moment." I hadn't realized that I had "moved the moment" in one of my effects until after explaining somethings about what I had changed. Gary quoted Dai Vernon to me. It was very illuminating to me to have it spelled out to me that that is what I had done! This shows me that I am growing magically. Pretty cool!
Gary and I began working on some ring and string magic. The more I get to know Gary, the more impressed I am with his large amount of magical knowledge and ability.
We hadn't planned on working on rings and strings but what he was doing was so very impressive that I suggested that he share it with Leslie and Jose when they arrived.
When they did arrive, Leslie presented me with a gift! A nice hand painted water color from his many travels.This is an actual place he has been to and painted the scene. Wow! Really wonderful!
I had three magic tables out in the living room. We discussed some things about them as well. I had them out because I was comparing the height of each and how it could affect performing!
I asked Gary to share his ring & string routine with the others. It was nice, my wife walked in and he performed his routine for her. She was amazed by it. So we got down to the reason for being there. The practice of magic!
Leslie wanted to get some video footage so he videod some. Garys' ring & string and then he asked me to perform and explain Bizarre Twist, which I did. Later we each performed during a "round robin." Jose performed Derek Dingle's "OutFlushed." I performed John Mendoza's "Routined Poker Mental."
Leslie performed a four card effect with a spectator choosing a card, a reversal of a card and it matches the selected card and more....
Then Gary took over!
He performed Two Card Monte in Leslie's hand. A very nice effect. My daughter came upstairs to tell me "good night." So, Gary asked her if she would enjoy a trick. He performed Two Card Monte flawlessly for her. He got a nice strong reaction from her, Sweet dreams!
We worked on the mechanics of Two Card Monte for awhile and Gary had to go because he has a job! Soon after Leslie and Jose left too.
I stayed up and got out a DVD and watched Laurence Miller perform and teach Two Card Monte. I also watched much more. Laurence is a local magician and his DVD Illustrators is top notch. I'm going to get back into viewing it and learning from it!
Of course after about an hour of watching that it was almost bed time, naturally I had to get some ice cream and eat a couple apples... so I decided to read for a little while. Book of choice? Dariel Fitzkee's book "Showmanship For Magician's."Good night!

Magic Kastle in Magnolia!

I was hired by a married couple to perform for their mutual 50th birthday party last Saturday night.
I found my way to Magnolia. I was told to look for the home that resembles a castle. Wow! Nice place. I arrived about 6:20 for a 6:30 time. The walk around I was to do started at 7pm. The place was a large home with an upstairs and down stairs area. People were everywhere.
I began my walk around magic with some ladies in the dining room. Wowed them with some great card magic and left them scratching their heads.
Performed about an hour of relaxed walk around magic, Hot Rod, Card on Ceiling, Marked for life... When I could use a table I enjoyed sharing Sympathetic cards and Zingone's 12 card mental problem. While standing, I shared the Biddle trick and Marked for life. All in all a good time!
About 8:15 everyone was invited to come into the large dining room and enjoy the parlor show.
Immediately I had two hecklers. One was from France. I had spoken with him earlier during the evening, he has been in America for eight years. He decided to try to take center stage as soon as I was announced. He just walks up and starts handling my props. Weird. I blew him away with some french. I took 3 years in High school, it was funny... after I spoke with him in French, (I think he was a little taken aback) I then bid him Au Revoir.(Good bye in French) This got a very nice laugh and he quit bothering me.
The other guy was just plain rude, later he told me "that every show needs a guy like him, right?" Yeah right! A thief is how I view people like that.
He showed himself to be an ass, he actually took care of himself when he found out he wasn't funny.
Had some great moments with everything I did. Chinese Sticks received some nice gasps as did the Acrobatic Knot. Cut and restored rope with the Professors Nightmare ending was really fun, the Negative spectator attempting to be funny was really trying during the ropes. Saying stuff like "hey, we need to measure the rope before you start, how long is it? is that a real rope" A real learning experience for me! Dealing with real people in real time. Later he told me "that every show needs a guy like him, right?" Yeah right! A thief is how I view people like that.
It was a crowd of all adults, so I had a hard time getting people to come up and join me at first, finally a gentleman came forward and we performed Lassoing a card to much amazement. I followed that up with Gazzo's Floating card amid much laughter!
I think this was a nice turning point in the show.
Laughter is amazing!
After this the Vanishing Bandanna kept them in high spirits(or maybe it was the consumption of alcohol)and followed that with the Egg Bag. I love the Egg Bag, but usually like to have a child help with it. No children available, so I chose a woman that was laughing at me when I "supposedly" put the egg under my arm. She was great. Her shocked attitude played wonderful when she discovered the egg in the bag after two failed attempts.
I changed pace just before the cups and balls finale with a nice Anniversary Waltz routine. This I performed for the Host's, Joe and Sylvia. It was a nice, touching effect! Left them almost speechless when their two signed cards became one. Someone in the audience audibly exclaimed, "Ohhh..."
I finished with my signature effect, the cups and balls. People were seated about three to five feet in front of my table. Didn't matter! This is an awesome effect. When the oranges started appearing at the end, the room erupted in spontaneous cheering. Nice!
I had to stop them momentarily to reveal the Spaghetti Squash from beneath the hat. This led to more cheering and applause!
What a great time!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Just Some Thoughts

I wrote this to my friend Tom Frank awhile ago. I am narcissistic (JK) and like what I wrote, so I am posting it here too.
I am not so naive as to believe I am in any way ready to give my friend Tom advice, but sometimes ideas and help comes from the darndest places. Tom has always struck me as a humble enough man to be open to those under his tutelage, besides, often we learn from our students.
I love Tom Frank and all he has done for me and for my magic. Anything I can do to return the favor, he knows...

From reading and journeying on the Magical mystery tour... I've found that the difference between an audience and a crowd is this: An audience is a listening thing, individual people listening and watching you perform. They don't bond with one another, they are separate from the other members of the "audience." While a crowd is an audience that becomes a crowd. There is a mentally shift akin to a mob. They have invested in one another. What happens to one in the audience has now happened to everyone when they become a crowd. They have bonded into a mob mentality, for good or ill, or "have now BECOME a crowd. They now laugh together and root for each other as one single unit.
Just my thoughts.
I am listening to Michael Ammars "Making Magic Memorable" cd. Watching you perform is akin to watching T.V. or a movie. It only employs the two senses, Hearing and sight. When you bring them into the show a whole raft of other senses are involved making the magic more memorable.One of the things he mentions. is the difference we as magicians need to give our audiences is the ability to touch the item. Touch is extremely valuable. This also helps bring the "audience" into that bonding of a crowd I mention earlier. Bringing someone up to "help" you or to be a "volunteer" allows that person to "represent" everybody else. People think, "that could have been me" and they relate as such. Then when they are a bonded crowd, when one tips, they feel it is appropriate for themselves as well, almost a guilt not to tip.
This is at least in theory from some Gazzo or other book I read.
Love you man! Good luck in the trenches!

Friday, October 03, 2008


Recently I was asked by a friend if the paste and cement job I performed on the 40 plus year old hibachi worked?
Well, Time will tell, but I have BBQ'd on it three times since I put Humpty Dumpty back together again!
Isn't that a wonderful looking fire!? I love steaks, and seafood and anything BBQ'd. Mouth watering! We cooked up some Tuna fish the other day as well. Turned out great. I don't know how long the Hibachi will last, but I'm gonna use it til it dies.

Yesterday I drove to my friend Mark Jensen's home. He lives in a beautiful home in Black Diamond.
I arrived at 11 a.m. and his son Spencer was home from school because of the flu. Bummer.
But I used Spencer and Mark to try out some new magic I have been working on. This was the suggested reason I visit with Mark. Mark has a very nice way with words. I was looking for a "way to go into it" so to speak with something I am working on with silks and transpositions.
After attending Ickle Pickle's workshop/seminar about a month or two ago, I picked up some of his items that I fell in love with.
It was really special for me to be able to actually perform for a child. Spencer is eleven years old. I felt sorry for him for being my personal guinea pig, but Mark assures me that he had a great time being the focus of attention.
He got to keep the life savers roll too! ;)
Mark and I enjoyed just talking magic and magic philosophy. We touched on selling yourself. This led to me asking him if he had the Michael Ammar book on magic. He does, so we opened it up to the section in the back and enjoyed discussing some points Michael shares.
This is great that sessioning for me has risen to a higher level than just learning a new card trick or coin trick!
I recently emailed Mark with some interesting (at least to me) thoughts on magic. Here is that email:
Right on! Thanks for the honest feed back.
I ask about the windows because it is something I need to really work on and be conscious of. I think one of the challenges with three fly for me is that I rarely perform it. Nor do I really practice it enough to be fluent at it. That's an interesting word. Fluent. Like learning a language. We often hear that someone is fluent in Spanish, German, Russian or something. Not just can they "get by" or speak it a little, but Fluently. Not like someone speaking "broken" English. I would like to be FLUENT in my magic. I am beginning to really enjoy the mind pictures that word is making for me. To be fluent at three fly three, or the misers dream, or fluent with the linking rings... Wow! That's a pretty cool concept. (to me).
Sometimes I guess, now that I think about it, I am doing magic in a broken English kind of way. Not good!
So, how does one become fluent at a foreign language? They immerse themselves in it in many ways. Take some "Spanish" lessons. Go to Spain and immerse yourself in the culture. As one becomes fluent, they begin to pick up different inflections and nuances to the language. Things like slang, or different dialects within the same language! Wow!
Just like making magic one's own.
Getting back to three fly...
Recently I performed it badly for a young lady. I somehow telegraphed the fourth coin. Right from the very "get go" she was aware of an extra coin. It was most likely because I tried to do something I was unprepared to do.
Tom once did a similar thing at one of his sessions. He performed Sympathetic cards without practicing in a while. He blew it and went into the kitchen to go thru it once and then returned and performed it flawlessly, but the damage had been done...
Becoming fluent I realize will be an on going forever process! I am looking forward to it!
Love ya man,
I think this can be applied to many areas of our lives, for instance, I lead a Bible study with several men on Thursday nights. We have several "new" Christan's attending. They are just learning the "language" of the bible and many of us are at various stages of "fluency!"
This is awesome!
By the way, as I was driving home from Mark's on Interstate 90. I saw a beautiful young black bear rambling along the side of the road. I have lived here my whole life, this is the first bear I have seen. It was wonderful!