A time to share

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Big Five-Oh!

Saturday, March 28th...
Tim Flynn hit the half century mark. I don't know whether to be excited or??? Haha..
Well, the alternative, hmmm...
Had a great day as my family planned a celebration. The food was excellent, and we had about 25 people join us for a party, no presents, just their presence.
Friends young and old came, and we enjoyed each other's company.
The birthday cards were awful! :)
Man, I've never seen such ugly, old man cards in my life. It was all in fun, we had a good laugh!
I got a nice cane for when I'm hobblin'
I asked my neighbor if he had his welding helmet handy as the candles on the cakes were extremely hot and bright!
I still have a lot of hot air as I was able to blow out all the candles in a single breath!
Look at the young girls astonished look! Totally funny!
I performed about ten minutes of magic for our guests, a young girl wanted me to 'pull a rabbit out of my hat.'This is the best I could do!

Our oldest son flew in Friday and stayed the weekend. He has been in Colorado for about three months. It was very nice having him home.
Sunday morning we received a call from our son Eric, he had just landed in San Diego! Home from his second tour of Iraq! That is a wonderful birthday present! Home, and safe!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good Thing

I'm turnin' 50 this Saturday!!!
Why is that a good thing?
Because my lovely wife decided to have a few people over to celebrate and that means we have to hide things, er I mean to clean the house up a bit... :)

We have lots of interesting things that we have gathered in the last couple of years. Things from my wife's parents home and things form Ryan moving to Colorado.
I have Craigslisted some stuff, with some success, we are now tossing stuff and re organising as well.
hahahaha... One way to motivated to clean the homestead!

Last Sunday, after church, I drove to Tacoma and attended my first Tacoma Magic club meeting.
It was a good time, lots of quality magicians, guys like Steve Dobson, Rick Anderson,and John Villareal to name a few. The meeting lasted two hours because the restaurant was closing at 4pm. Some of us headed across the street to a piano bar. Sessioned a bit with Steve Dobson and a man named Brian. John Villareal joined us, but he was engaged in conversation with a guy named Mark. Mark is a chronicler of magic and magicians.
I was the new guy as well as Brian, and a man named D'orr.
Brian has some really nice card work as is to be expected because he is a student of Steve Dobsons.
I met D'orr two weeks ago at my clown alley meeting. He is FIRED up about magic! He called me Sunday evening simply to talk magic because his mind will not shut it down! I remember those wonderful days! His excitement is catching!
After I got home I took my family out to dinner to Mercer Island to a restaurant called the Islander.
My friend G.G. Green was performing walk around magic there.
We enjoyed a good meal and then spent about a half hour with G.G. as his shift was ending.
He performed some great close up for us.
Chosen card in M&M's pack, Charming Chinese Challenge, which is a three coin routine where three coins are threaded onto a ribbon, and magically removed! G.G. also performed a nice sponge ball routine!
Too bad I had to end the day at a place called work.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not Feeling Guilty!

I was feeling a little guilty to be paid $175.00 for a magic gig for a friends parochial school.
I don't know why I feel like this.
But after performing, which involves so much more than just showing up and jumping up on stage and some tricks like a do...
I arrived at the church at about 7:40 am.
Had to unload the car of all the paraphernalia to make the show a success. My working table, sound system and all the props.
Setting up, testing the sound system etc.
I was ready to about 15 minutes before show time! All was in readiness.
The children began arriving about 8:40. This was the time I thought I was to start, but I am learning that when someone gives you a start time, it really means that is the time people will begin arriving!
I think there were probably 150 children and adults. The children were from kindergarten up to grade six, so my guess is age 5 to 12.
Mixed in were some teachers.
As the children began arriving, I found myself the center of attention, kids whispering, there's the magic guy, or there's the magic man, or Mr. magic. or he's the magician.
It is quite fascinating.
Many of them, especially the little girls, want to meet you, and tell you their name, so many names!
They were all very sweet!
The show went really well, some teachers were worried about holding the youngest ones attention for 40 minutes, I told them it will be a high energy show and it should be alright!
It was!
It was marvelous to be marvelous. The intake of breath, and the ooh's and aah's when the knot jumped from the white rope over to the red was a nice indication that they were all paying attention!
It got better from there!
We all had a good time, we all seemed to just be enjoying sharing the magic and the moments.
Fresh faced kids! Wish we adults could remain that way!
I am glad that I put on a good magic performance for them. It is important to me to be a good magician. For many, this was most likely their first introduction to magic and a magician. As I perform magic, I am cognizant of the fact that I represent all magicians out there, And that for these young minds, I am their first impression to this great art. I hope they all had fun, I think they did. All I have to go by is their reactions of laughter, wonderment, their applause, and of course their innocent, childish smiles!
Also, being asked by several if I could come home with them, and perform at their birthday party doesn't hurt either!
As I was driving home, having realized that I was pretty tired, (A one hour performance, which in real time took about four hours. Driving time both ways, packing and unpacking and setting up and tearing down.)(These hours are normally when I am sleeping) It dawned on me that I had earned my pay! No reason at all to feel guilty for doing a job well done!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Astonishment VS. Manipulation

Recently watched a short interview by Paul Harris. He was talking about astonishing people with magic vs. fooling them with manipulation.
It was a very good, revelatory interview.
It caused me to stop and think about what I am trying to do with my magic.
It is one thing to be able to work hard and become a good manipulator of say, cards or coins. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that... in fact I am into doing just that. I gain some wonderful satisfaction from pursuing this craft in that area of expertise, having said that however, the other side of the proverbial coin is, can you astonish people?
Does what you do look like real magic? Or do people think, well, he is a good manipulator of coins or cards, "I don't know how he did that, but I saw something, some movement, I know when he did it."
Here is a picture of a young girl, this look on her face is the look of pure astonishment!

I think I had just revealed her card as it floated right out of the middle of the deck!
What is my magic to be about!?
Look at the pure, unabashed joy on this man's face! He is having a GREAT moment!
I caused that!
That is a great thing. When you look out over your audience and see joy. It is very uplifting.
I have a show in a few hours at a Church near me. I will be performing for K-6 graders.
I am excited to uplift them and bring some joy into their lives! This in turn uplifts me.
My mentor Tom said to me that Shakespeare once said that an entertainer is only as good as his audience, and right now, I suck! He said this to try to break the ice and maybe get a laugh. To try to get the audience to loosen up. But the fact is, it is a true statement!
I would like for my magic to truly be astonishing!
So, I will strive to be astonishing myself!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Was Giggling

As I drove away...
Last night I worked overtime, in fact it was all weekend....
When I work over time, I am the only Motive Equipment Operator on plant.
That means I have the whole plant to cover for fork lift operations, Towing of airplanes and perhaps some Mobile Crane work, never know what you're going to get on a weekend!
I had to do a lot of work "in plant"...
Normally this area is covered by six drivers, recently however, Boeing laid one of them off. Anyway, I digress...
I was working in plant and met some people I don't normally get to see. We got to talking and of course one thing led to another and, well, you know... I shared some magic with them!
It started out with a Hot Rod performance, and the Jumping Gems.
I left them gaping over those two items, but knew I would see them about three hours later as I would have to go back and move some more freight for them. I planned well and devious! Devious Nuka! Like setting up your prey! Haha...
An opportunity to get some practice in for an appreciative audience.
I started the next set out with the Biddle trick, Blaine called over another co worker, I think it was someone that he thought would be able to catch me out. His name was Dave, we call him the pest. An older gentleman that is sort of an intellectual. Left him speechless and he walked away.
My audience was now down to two. I performed a trick called One Eyed Jack Sandwich by Harry Lorayne, Blaine's eyes bugged out, then I dove tailed that into an effect by Jay Sankey called paper clipped, now he is muttering to his co worker, who by the way didn't have much to say, but just stared with his mouth open.
Well, I thought that would be my set, but as things sometimes go, another co worker walked over, borrowed my cards and proceeded to do a card trick himself, you probably know the one, where someone selects a card and loses it in the Deck, then deals them out face up, he deals your selection but deals past it, stops, and then says, "I'll bet you ten bucks the next card I turn over is your card." Of course this is a sucker bet, you've already seen your card turned over about three cards ago, anyway... Blaine bit, but without betting...
Since I had my "Magic Wallet" with me, I performed 'Marked For Life' and "Bizarre Twist."
Blaine again was speechless, his co worker said, "but weren't all those cards blue?"
As I was preparing to get on my horse and ride out of town (My fork lift)...
Blaine asked me if I do anything other than card tricks? Wrong question as I was wearing some rubber bands on my wrist. Like I said, I was loaded for bear! :)
Crazy man's hand cuffs three times, the last with his fingers.
I was going to leave it at that but now he says, do you do anything with coins?
So, for a finale, I performed a new effect I have put into my repertoire, It is Double Deception. Two spectators hold the four corners of a handkerchief. You freely place two fifty cent pieces on the hank, and proceed to visibly pull one thru the hank.
Their expressions were, well, Priceless.look at the photo above, the person bent over with a total look of bewilderment is the only picture of their faces that comes to mind!
I hopped on my forklift and drove away, silently howling with laughter!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Busy Friday

Got up early today, the garage door repair man came over at 1pm... supposedly...
I woke up at about 12:15, took a shower, shaved etc... got some coffee going, enjoyed some quite time with my wife and the newspaper, He calls about quarter to 1.
Gonna be late, shows up about 2:30. Half hour or so, and a 130 bucks later, the broken spring on my garage door is replaced, and we're good to go. A man arrives at about 3 pm. Names D'orr. (like Christian Dior) I met him on Tuesday at my clown alley meeting, seems D'orr wants to learn magic.
Nice fellow, 66 years young. Loves magic, has a wonderful childish laugh. I shared with him many things, he's laughing and chuckling the whole time. My wife tells me after D'orr leaves that I ought to hire him to come to all my shows. One of those people who has that infectious laugh!
D'orr and I sessioned for 3 1/2 hours! Wow, how time flies when you're having fun!
Coins, cards ropes and more. He wants it all baby!
I know exactly how he feels. It is a funny, good feeling, to see how far I've come in five and half years. D'orr got excited about magic a year ago after watching Mac King perform in Las Vegas. He's been fired up ever since!
Again, I know the feeling!

After a nice dinner of beef stew, my family settled in to watch a movie. Katie chose this one it was a Will Smith movie with Charleze Theron. They were misfit super heroes. The name of the movie is Hancock, I cannot really recommend it. Actually quite a let down in my opinion from the quality of movies Will Smith and Charleze Theron have put out in the past.
The movie was about a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10.
So that was my busy day! Now I am at work and getting on with Saturday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Tuesday evening I took a drive South on highway 18, I found myself at the Fife Community Center where there was already a nice gathering of Bigfoot clowns!
Roger Lander was already teaching some great balloon sculpture. Man that guys got some talent. He is an excellent teacher as well, very patient.
After Roger was finished, about an hours worth of teaching, I took center stage and demonstrated the sponge carrots I use in some of my shows. These are supplied by Dan Garrett. http://www.dangarrettmagic.com/
I also have a few sets of sponge banana's. I use carrots because they go well with my rabbit in the hat puppet. Carrots and rabbits, it fits! :)
I took several orders for carrots, bananas and pickles too.
Next month I Will teach the use of these fun props.
After I finished my demo, Sean Melicher taught us all about beginning juggling. Well you can imagine how funny this was! Sean has a nice low key teaching style as well, he started all us green horns off using silks. We would toss one in the air, then the other, we were instructed to "let em fall to the floor."
After a few minutes of this, we moved onto tossing balls in the air, first one then the other. These too we let fall. It wasn't long and soon we were tossing two balls and finally a few of us tried three. I did try three but didn't do very well.
More work, like a year or two might help! :)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy Annversary

It is snowing as I type, Sunday, March the 8th, 1:45 pm..
Just got home from church about a half hour ago. It started snowing about that time,and now it is beautifully covering everything!
Yesterday brought in my 28th wedding anniversary! I know, it is hard to believe that someone so young looking... could actually be married for that long... Yes, My wife is very young looking! Sweet lady that she is... put up with me and my antics for over 30 years if you include our courtship time!
We took in a nice anniversary meal at Anthony's Home Port in Des Moines... this is the actual site where I proposed to Joan. On the pier at the Des Moines Marina!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Wild Magic Seminar

I mean World Magic Seminar, in Las Vegas, My first trip to Vegas, never did make it to the strip!
Smoke and red eyes.
Magic and Mystery!
Laughs and more.

Meeting new people, sharing magic,making friends, making memories, and being mystified as well as mystifying...
To a wonderful land of Alakazam!
They are Mark Wilson and his lovely assistant and wife, Nani Darnell!
Mark Wilson is the pioneer of magic on television! The Magic Land of Alakazam ran for four years from 1960 to 1964 in the United States.
Mark Will be 80 years young this year!

Met some of the "old guard" in magic, men like The legendary Johnny Thompson, also known as, "The Great Tomsoni!" He performed his cups and balls routine, complete with voice imitations of the late great Dai Vernon, and Max Malini!
Johnny is 74.
The incomparable Howie Schwartzman, he is also 80 years old. Still has some great magical chops!

Roberto Giobbi and Raphael Benatar were also in house, teaching and mystifying everyone. They were wonderful teachers. It was obvious to me that they have been performing their craft for many, many years. Soft hands, relaxed attitude and their minds run deep.

The new guard was also in attendance, Jason Latimer performed his great cups and balls routine. He also performed his new illusion show! I can describe his new illusion show in two words! Murphy's Law! OUCH!
From the beginning to the end, it was fraught with mishaps. Music off time, lighting problems and so much more. Glad it happened in front of a "friendly" audience. I really felt for Latimer. He handled it all very well, I can learn a lot from his expert handling of a tough situation.

I made some new friends. Especially with a man from Manilla, Phillipines.
Rannie Raymundo! Rannie was one of the invited guest speakers and performers!
For some reason he and I hit it off from the get go. Rannie was class all the way. He gave me two of his dvd's even though I offered to pay for them. His comment was, "I don't charge money to my friends!" That kind of blew me away. Rannie and I spent a lot of time one on one, and enjoyed a cigar together at the bar. I look forward to seeing him again soon, hopefully it won't be a year from now at next years WMS.
I met the incomparable Mickey Silver! What a HOOT this guy is. ALWAYS smiling and carrying on. His coin productions are top notch. Mickey can pass a coin thru just about anything! Totally awesome!

I guess about the funniest thing that happened to me was, during a break in the Eric Jones lecture, I went down stairs for some reason, Rannie, Mickey and The God Father, Vinnie Marini were standing around. Mickey did some coin work so I wanted to share with him something I could do. I pulled out my "magic wallet" and proceeded to perform "Marked For Life" for the small group. A man ambled over from the bar, or as I later realized, he was part of this small group. He looked like a lumberjack type with a sort of flannel shirt on. I aced the routine I performed, (Good thing)and Mickey said to me, "that was great," I told him it is a John Cornelius effect. (one of the old guard I mentioned earlier) Mickey says, " As far as I'm concerned it is your effect because I always remember them from the first guy I see them from."
As Mickey and the rest of the guys began to mingle, I noticed the old guy in the flannel looking shirt, I asked him if he does magic? He smiled gently and reached out his hand and said, "I'm John Cornelius."
You coulda knocked me over with a feather! I turned red I'm sure, Didn't know what to say. The air went out of the room. I shook his hand, asked him "how did I do?" Can't remember his reply, he just had this gentle smile on his face.
What an honor for me to have done the routine well. People told me later, as we all had a good laugh about it, that it was honoring to him as well.
My friend and one of my magic mentors, Steve Ameden has been telling for years that "I gotta go to this World Magic Seminar. It will improve your magic eponentially."
He may be right! I hope so. I have a lot to learn, but on the other hand, I am on the road, in my journey!
All is well grass hopper!

The best lecture to me was the Eric Jones lecture. Eric is from Baltimore. His coin manipulations were outstanding! His teaching was superb. I have a habit of comparing magical teaching to the Great teaching that Michael Ammar does on his excellent video series. Eric was right up there with that. He is only 27 and very charming.
Much more to unpack..

Too much info... No sleep...