A time to share

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

R. I. P.

Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the Presidential election:
Number of States won by: Democrats:19 Republicans: 29
Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Democrats:127 million Republicans: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in countieswon by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week end work

Saturday I slept in a little, but eventually found myself at our church property!
My turn to do outside clean up.
I arrived about 1pm and mowed the lawn (Using a riding mower) and used a blower to blow the parking lot. Our church recently sold and closed on March 12th. We had a large "Moving sale" this weekend too. Seems because the daycare has been closed now for some time that some teenagers decided to use the parking lot as their personal "burn rubber" track! I think the laughs on them however as there is lots of rubber chips all over. I cleaned them all up and the place looks great!
Sunday after worship I drove out to Tacoma. The Bigfoot Clown Alley I am a member of has one of those "Adopt a Road" areas. Seven of us showed up and made the work go very fast. I am finding out how important these types of projects are. Not just because of the clean up, but more importantly for the fellowship that gets built!
My alley meets once a month for the general meeting. We do some alley business, have some teaching time,lots of balloon tying jams, which I am not very good at, and some
team building time as well, this is usually in the form of some kind of game that involves helping each other.
Here we are trying to pass a balloon ring to each other, as you can see there is much hysteria going on!
We have many events coming up that we participate in, also this year our alley will be hosting the Northwest Festival of Clowns in Olympia, http://www.bigfootclownalley.com/nwfc/
This is a huge undertaking and it is amazing to see everyone pulling together!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week in Review

Wow, been some time since I spent any time posting here...
Don't know why that is.
Last Wednesday my friend Mike bought me a round of golf at Druidsglen near my home, It was a nice day! Sunshine and free golf! Got out of bed early, after four hours of what you might call rest, I did not fall asleep, and met him at the course. I didn't play very well but we had some laughs and a few good shots! I think I scored a 92, give or take. We also were able to sneak in a few extra holes, We got in an extra seven holes before it got chilly as the sun went down!
All week I spent gearing up for the Friday night gig at Erickson Theatre Off Broadway on Capital Hill.
I arrive at about 5pm for a gig that wouldn't start for me until 8:30. My nephew Lionel is a student at Seattle Central Community College. He is Majoring in film making and minoring in acting. The gig was to be some sort of fund raiser for his group. Also included would be the group Triple S dance company. South Side Sundays Company is a versatile dance company based out of Kent, Washington. Expressive, eclectic, and captivating, this dance company specializes in “informances”, informal performances, that range from comical and witty, to dark and intriguing. WARNING: Side effects may include momentary confusion, involuntary laughter, and the uncontrollable urge to move in random and mysterious ways.
I actually enjoyed watching them perform, they mixed dance with drama. I didn't care for some of the foul language used, but overall they were pretty good.
Also performing with us was the band, Soft Hills. About The Soft Hills,
"These Seattle artists create wondrous songscapes, featuring affecting vocals, sweet harmonies, gorgeous melodies and sensitively sparse instrumentation. The tunes from their new “Painted World” CD will envelop you in ethereal magic, colored with psychedelic swirls. This is indie folk-rock at its finest."
I really enjoyed their music.
O.k. my part in the gig was to emcee and entertain magically.
I introduce the evening at 8 pm with a bit about what was on the venue to a small crowd, or more to the point a small gathering of people, I think I counted 22 in all, including myself and the band members. When I performed the dance team, totaling six individuals upped the count to 28! Actually the total would have to be near 35. Not a great turn out. I was disappointed for my nephew Lionel. He put a lot of work into this evening. Two kegs of beer, wine and a lot of other things including a raffle that included messages, hand made bird houses and movie gift packs.
I opened my portion of the show with a new gag I saw Joshua Jay teach, the rock in the shoe. I walked onstage and began to limp, exclaiming I have a rock in my shoe, hopping on one foot, I take my shoe off to reveal an extremely large rock. Nothing, no expression from the audience, oh well, moving on...
I performed my regular set but ended with Sterling Dietz' torn and restored newspaper. It went great.
Actually my show was pretty good once the audience and I warmed to each other!
After the show, I entertained people in the Lobby with some nice card effects.
Somewhere in the evening, I performed card on ceiling for Lionel.(Lionel pulled a fast one on me, he signed my name on tha card haha) A small group of people had gathered, not knowing what to expect, when that deck of cards hit the ceiling with a loud Whack", utter astonishment and laughter ensued. I was asked to "do it" again!
My sister came over so I had her sign a card and promptly stuck it to the ceiling as well!
Before the show my sister and her husband arrived. We have been estranged for over three years. We have seen each other here and there in the last couple of years, at a family reunion and our younger brothers funeral. It is always awkward talking with her.
My older brother arrived too, he is Lionels father. His ex wife was there too. Quite a family affair! My brother and I have been somewhat estranged as well. Guess I have that effect on people. Sadly.
The story line in the torn and restored paper is very touching. My sister told me that it made her cry. This isn't the first time I have been told this by someone seeing this wonderful effect.
My brother helped me carry my gear, which seems to be increasing in volume... to my car.
He asked me if I have a lot of sadness in me. I told him no, not really. He began to tell me of all the sadness he carries with him.
I mentioned that I do have regrets, and sadness, but that I don't dwell on them. Life is short, I will be 50 next month and who knows how much time I have left.
I was happy to be able to share my magic and astound a few people, hear some laughter and put some smiles on some peoples faces!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday Night Out

Went out to dinner Friday night with our pastor and his children, actually they are about all grown up, their daughter is 23 and son is 17. We enjoyed dining at Azteca in South Center. The food was really good and we, like I said, enjoyed their company. It was hard to leave as we just seemed to want to keep on talking with everyone, it was kind of funny in a way because when we finally did get up to leave, we stood near the cashier and talked for another 10 minutes or so.
Once we got outside, we were still talking (at least the ladies were) until I finally just kind of said, "see ya" and slowly made my way to our car. (I did have to work that night!)
Our church building sold last Thursday, and will close on March 14th. We will be worshiping at an Elementary school in Kent for sometime. It is exciting and sad at the same time.
It will be interesting to see how God works in our midst in the coming years.

Wow! Had a great performance last night for about 80 singles at the Kent Nazarene Church. I performed about an hours worth of magic and a Little bit before the show too. A great, respectful crowd. They were into it the minute I began speaking!
It sure is interesting realizing the different "people" we can perform for. This was a "Church" group. Well behaved, well dressed etc. This Friday I will be performing for a different set of people at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway on or near Capital Hill. There will be a live band following my act, and a dance troupe before my act. I will be emcee for the event as well. My nephew informed me yesterday that alcohol will be available at the venue as well. This should be fun and challenging, stretching my wings too!
I introduced the Arrowhead Illusion to the group last night. In fact I closed with it. I used it as a teaching point for putting on the whole armour of God, Ephesians 6:10-17. I think it was well received.
Still, the cups and the balls seems to be the best effect I share, although the Lassoing a card gets great reactions too.
My wife has been joining more at my performances. That has been great. It is nice to not have to go it alone. I know I have at least one friendly face in the audience! :)
I also talked my daughter into coming to this one, she volunteered to let me use her for the arrowhead illusion! Believe it or not, that takes some guts!(She was great as usual and someone gave her ten bucks too!)
I know because I can see it in audience members faces when I invite them to join me in front of people.
Am still sweating bullets sometimes before a performance. Maybe because I don't do it every day, but it is a part time thing... I gotta tell ya though, I practice furiously before a performance, especially one in which I am potentially adding a new effect, or leaving something out.
Constantly worried about the flow of the show.
Usually, once I get rolling, things go pretty great!
Again no pictures to share for my faithful 3 1/2.
Last nights set:
Acrobatic Knot
Cut & Restored rope, Professors nightmare ending
Lassoing a Card
Floating Card
Vanishing Bandanna
Egg bag
Linking Rings
Cups and Balls
Arrowhead Illusion

I had planned to do the Linking Rings after the Floating card, but for some reason did Vanishing Bandanna. I didn't want the rings so close to the cups and balls. Both are fantastic "closer" pieces.
I once read or heard some magician say, Hey, it's o.k. if you have all closers in your act. That is a great idea, but still you want to routine them so they flow nicely. Not all Upbeat, not all mellow, a nice mix, an ebb and flow!
Don't know if I achieved that last night, but I had fun, they were laughing and clapping and smiling and cuttin' up!
What more could you ask for!?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Too Much Good Magic

Is there such a thing?!
I have a gig this Saturday at the Kent Nazarene Church. It is Valentines day as well. The group is a single group I will be performing for. I believe there Will be three churches singles ministries combines. Might be a large group.
I have 45 minutes which is my normal set, however, I am planning on introducing the Arrow Head Illusion to illustrate "putting on the whole armour of God."
That means something in my regular set must be taken out. I am also planning on performing the Anniversary Waltz for the couple that is hosting the event. Hey, It's Valentines day! Anniversary Waltz is a fantastic effect, something else must go from my regular set! AARRGH!
My cups and balls routine is 10 minutes, Cut it? OUCH! I love cups and balls! What about removing cut and restored rope and Lassoing a card!? OUCH again! Very visual magic! Plays big too!
I am in a quandary! How fun is that? To have too much great magic!

Monday, February 09, 2009

On Fire!!!

Torch of Dreams was Saturday past...
Sterling Dietz, Wonder boy of magic, actually more apt would be to call him a young man now as he is 17 and graduating from High School this year.
Sterling and company performed their Torch of Dreams tour stop in Renton Washington at the Renton High school Ikea Performing Arts center! Two shows, I took them both in! It was a great show featuring the Brothers From Different Mothers and the Magic of Sterling. Oh there was much more, the Foster High school dance team and some wonderful video too!
The show lasted nearly two and a half hours with a short ten minute intermission.
Earlier last month I was given two hundred tickets to sell. I think I sold nearly 80. I know it was at least 76, but alas, my memory fails me!
Four of the people I sold tickets to got invited up on stage...
I don't know if that's a good thing or not!
It was the first time I've been back to my Alma mater in 30 years! Of course the theater has been totally remodeled, I wouldn't remember it anyway, it wasn't one of my normal haunts back then.
I have watched Sterling now for about two years and it is great to see the growth as far as stage presence. He has always been relaxed in front of people performing, but now he is growing into his magic. It is suiting him more and more! He was on Fire!
I received this email from a friend of mine that attended the benefit concert:

Man , Oh Man, Oh man! The show was Fantastic!!!

We really enjoyed it. Merissa was looking forward to a rabbit coming out of a hat. I wasn't sure if that would happen so I told her to pay close attention. She fell asleep 20 minutes into the performances but woke up seconds before the bird appeared. She was so excited. I'm so glad you encouraged us to go. I haven't laughed so hard with my son in 10 years. It was a bonding I have waited for, for years. I thank you.

Your Friend, Karen

P.S. Did I mention, the show was Fantastic??

Another friend of mine told me he laughed so much his head hurt!
It was great day and everyone had a wonderful time!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What a Wonderful Life

Joan and I have been thinking about remodeling our kitchen...
Because of magic... you meet many different souls...
Jose came by today and took some measurements and gave us some great insight on our options and places to buy new cabinets etc.
AND... after that we sessioned for a few hours!

It was great sessioning with him. He showed me where he is at with his new Mendoza cups and balls routine, and I shared with him some card effects I have been polishing.
An effect by Harry Lorayne called "One Eyed Jack Sandwich' and then "Paper clipped" by Jay Sankey. I thought it was nice to go into paper clipped from one eyed jack...
Jose liked it too.
We went thru several dozen cards working on the Mercury fold!
Got a phone call from my nephew Lionel today. He is in acting school somewhere in Seattle. He asked me if I would be willing to do some magic for his group as they are having a fund raiser. What could I say? Absolutely!
This will happen on the 20th of February at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway. Should be a hoot!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Torch of Dreams

I was asked to travel to Olympia to a Top Foods store to perform magic for three hours on Saturday. The reason was to promote the upcoming Benefit Concert "Torch Of Dreams" starring World Teen Champion Sterling Dietz and the Brothers From Different Mothers!
I had an hour drive and arrived at about 2:15. I met up with the store manager, a young lady names Charlette. She was very excited and enthusiastic to have me there!
She got right to work setting me up and making me feel comfortable.
After a few minutes in one location near the front of the store, Charlette decided to move me to a more people traffic friendly spot, back near the meat department!
She also decided to hook up a microphone for me. It was a long three hour set. I must have performed the cups and balls four or five times. Linking Rings three times, Acrobatic Knot, and Cut and Restored Ropes four each and much more. I had a good time but didn't seem to have much success selling tickets to the upcoming show on Valentines day at the Olympic Theater. I sold exactly two tickets, and those I discounted because they are senior citizens.
I ran into several people who had seen my show in December of 2007! That was pretty cool!
For close up work I performed Crazy Man's handcuffs, Needle Thru Balloon, Hot Rod and Jumping Gems.
I performed some great card magic as well.
I hope I planted some seeds that will sprout people to see the magic of Sterling and the Bro's From different Mo's!
I was hoping to post some pictures from the day but I haven't received any yet, so I have this one as a remembrance of the nice people at Top Foods.They gave this food to me as a way of thanking me for coming out!
It was a great gesture.