A time to share

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Birthday...

Yesterday I turned 51...
My wife told me it was o.k. for me to do whatever I wanted to do on my birthday...
I worked the weekend which means getting off work at 6 am Sunday morning, and I wanted to go to the Tacoma Magic Rings meeting at 2 pm. My friend Isaac Louie would be lecturing. Isaac is gearing up for his mini lecture tour.
So, that is what I did. I got to bed late, around 8 am, got up at 12:20 pm. (Yes, 4+ hours of sleep) I showered and drove to the Shakabrah cafe. I enjoyed a Denver omelet, it was really good. Isaac arrived and sat with me as I ate. We talked magic. Soon several other magicians arrived and we all moved into the "back room."
There is a nice back room at the Shakabrah Cafe with a stage and lighting. We didn't use the stage, although Isaac did during his lecture. The meeting opened with anyone who wanted to perform something could. I was not going too, I came to support Isaac. And to learn something...
A young boy, about ten years old immediately jumped to his feet, and did a nice sponge ball routine that ended with one of the balls changing into a square. I liked his enthusiasm. Rick asked if anyone wanted to perform. No one offered, He says, "aw, c'mon.. still no takers, so he look at me and says , "C'mon Tim." well, you don't have to twist my arm (That's a whole nother trick!)
I didn't bring any props but a deck or two of cards and some coins. Thinking fast I decided upon a trick simply known as "Card Box." I performed it flawlessly. Or not? Hmm. the fellow I chose to select a card for got his card, and at the revelation said, "no, that's not it."
Good thing I had him show it around before returning it to the deck. He was corrected, and was right with the world! There is a lesson there. Whenever possible, have a spectator show their selected card around. Hey, sometimes they really do forget, I do. But sometimes, the spectator will purposefully lie about their card just to make you look bad. This fellow didn't do that, he just could not remember his card.
Next up was a lady that is a member of my clown alley. Cheryl came to the meeting with another clown alley member named Freddy. That was a nice surprise for me! :)
Cheryl did a nice card trick using animal cards.It was a spelling trick and she did a nice job with it.
Balin The Great performed a nice cups and balls routine... With gloves on. That's a tough act!
Did a nice job though!
Then Rick Anderson took over with a great demonstration of sponge ball magic. Oh my. I have met Rick on only maybe four or five occasions. In fact if you are one of the faithful 3 1/2 readers here, you might recall I ripped on him about entering the parlor contest at Portland Magic Jam.
Rick is one of those guys that enjoys teaching magic. Really. I think I found a kindred spirit. My friend G.G. Green says the same of me. Ricks' sponge ball work was really nice!
Isaac's lecture was about 30 minutes and it was sad because he was short on time. He had to cram about 45-60 minutes of material into 30 minutes. Not fun.
I liked a couple of his routines, his opener especially. He calls it, Do As I Do Silks. Isaac had some nice thoughts on bill to lemon that I like. Isaac also did some non magical things with a lasso, he had an audience member join him on stage and well, the picture tells some of the story! :)

After the meeting, which ended WAY too soon, Isaac gave me a nice birthday gift. He created a wonderful dvd "Marbles."
He sells them for 15 dollars and it is a bizarre magical effect using a deck of cards and a marble. Isaac, rick and I went over to a restaurant and Rick gave me some lessons on magic!
I really enjoyed spending time with Rick Anderson. He is an "old school" magician.
I think I will try to spend more time learning from him.
His "chops" are top notch.

I got home about 6pm, had to BBQ. Like that ever bothered me! :)
My wife had picked up some Fillet Minon. They were awesome and so is she.
Dinner was excellent as I've grown accustomed too over the years!
After dinner we all had a great discussion about life and consequences, growing up, and owning up. Choices and there affect on us and others around us.
My wife and I opened up to our daughter about some of our "youthful" mistakes, and the costs of them.
The conversation cleared the air nicely.

What a magical day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just Turned

51, as I type it has rolled over into a new day...
I had a great Saturday event that I performed for a home school coop of about 150 people.
A small packed room at the Redmond Marriott!
They had supplied a small platform stage and it was really nice!
The young people, ages 14-18 were all dressed to the nines. It was a formal fro them. I was the evenings entertainment! What a responsibility. It is funny being "the guy" all of a sudden. As I prepare for the event, I wonder if they are going to loosen up and have fun.
Man it was a home run! Beautiful young ladies in evening gowns, the young men dressed in suits and ties... and then this old guy dressed in a jacket and vest! :)
I did an hour show which may have went ten minutes long... we were just having too much fun cuttin' up.
One young lady, about 17 said after the show that her jaw still hurts from laughing so much!
Now that is the testimonial you want to hear.
And the Magic wasn't bad either!
It is interesting to talk with people afterwards, inevitably someone comes and says they know how you did this or that. One young fellow mentioned that he used to do magic and knew how the Professors Nightmare would work, he said it was awesome though and that he couldn't do it...
Another young lady remarked that her brother does some magic, "but nowhere near as good as you..."
I really enjoy the after part of the show. I get to learn what works and what might not work, also, sometimes when performing it seems like "they are catching on," but in reality, they aren't! It was nice to have a handful of parents (Chaperones) in the room as well. I often think that they think it is gong to be "just for the kids."
Nothing could be further from the truth! It is really great when they come up to you after the show and tell you how much fun they had too.
I performed a few close up effects afterwards for some of the people mingling about.
Sometimes, and I am finding this to be the case a lot lately, this is just as, or more powerful than the "stage" show!
Oh what fun it is!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What's Been Going On!?

Been two weeks since I last posted on here and a lot of stuff has been going on.
Bible study every Thursday night.
Problems on the home front relating to and with our daughter.
Restrictions, loss of cell phone privilege and more...
Haven't felt like blogging much, but figured it was time to at least put up a post.
The weather is changing but haven't been golfing either..
It is difficult to deal with your children sometimes. They grow up in front of your eyes and sometimes make bad choices. Sometimes it feels like a blow to the stomach.
Two weeks of internal evaluations and external demands.
God is teaching me more about myself thru ordeals.
I won't go into details, but let me just say, I am disapponted.

Magically, been up and down. The ups are always fantastic! Recently spent some time with my friends Mark Jensen and Jose Floresca. We had a nice session last week. It was good to keep it small and uplift and encourage each other!
We have been making plans for more sessions, just the three of us at this time, but maybe open the door for another soon. We are trying to be... accountable to each other. We have many ideas ranging from a new trick to share and teach, to a twenty minute routine or show.
At present, between the three of us, I am the only one actually performing. So it is a good challenge for both Mark and Jose to put together a twenty minute show. It can be close up or parlor. And, I am working on something new as well to share with them.
We are not so naive as to think it so important to always be learning NEW material. We discuss this stuff in depth and we all know how important it is to keep polishing the great material we already have in our repertoire.
Sometimes the NEW material is just to keep oneself sane... so to speak! :)
Mark has some wonderful material as well as Jose, the challenge for them both, as well as myself, is believing in yourself and your material.
It is a "catch 22" of sorts as you need to perform for non magicians to see the reactions you get. This also helps you grow as a performer and allows you to polish your act. But it is difficult to get out there and find an audience.
We have discussed this too. Some thoughts we have are to perform for free as a group of three at some hospitals. Also maybe to offer our services to some Senior centers.
Another challenge is time allotment for performing. It is hard to justify to a spouse the time away when performing for free. Or maybe that is just another excuse!?
Tomorrow I have a performance at the Redmond Marriott Hotel for a Home School Coop Group of 60 -100.
it is a nice paid gig. I am excited and prepared for it!
I find myself having challenges because I do not perform often enough. It is difficult to polish your chops unless you are performing.
Working and practicing in front of a mirror or video camera is all good, but there really is nothing to help one grow like getting out in front of an audience.
Work, pleasure time, family time, church time and various other responsibilities make it challenging.
Then again, dealing with life issues that come our way. Parents, children, siblings and friend issues all steal our time.
So, do your best, live life large! Enjoy the aroma of the coffee. Stop and smell the roses, get on the bike and pedal fast!
Touch others, reach out, pick up the phone, call someone you are merely thinking about.
I do that often, it is very rewarding...
I have chosen to work this weekend. Even though I have a late Saturday night gig. It will keep me on course as far as my "normal" sleep pattern is concerned, which will allow me to be well rested for the Saturday night performance. My birthday is this Sunday, funny but I could really not care less.
What a strange thing, this getting older...
Our country is going down the tubes fast. Obamacare has gutted our financial stability. People are turning a blind eye towards it, and we as a nation are going to pay dearly for our greed.
Should I care?
Should you?
I have a friend who always tells me to keep my eye on the spiritual. The things of God and heaven, to keep your eye on the prize, which is eternal life and rest in heaven.
This hard to do sometimes when the world is falling apart around you. Responsibilities cause you to do some hard things family wise...
But oh so necessary!
Well, I rambled enough on here!
I'm going to live mine!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bigfoot Clown Alley

Last night, March 9 2010 was our monthly Clown alley meeting! I have been enjoying these meetings for over two years now...
I have been asked repeatedly why I am a member of a clown alley, seeing as how I am a magician?
Well, it's all about entertainment, isn't it!?
Learning and growing in the arts is really all it's about. Giving and taking. Sharing and receiving.
Last nights meeting was an "All Magic" meeting. From 6:30 P.M. to 8:15 we did nothing but teach and learn magic.
Three of us taught. We set up areas and the members travelled from one area to the next, about a half hour in each area.
I taught the sponge vegetables effect.

Another member taught the Professors Nightmare,and still another member taught some miracles with silks.

Everyone had a great time!
After the teaching portion of the evening, several membeers got up in front of the group and performed what they had learned. This is actually where the rubber meets the road. This is getting in the arena and really expanding your horizons. I was and am proud of these people.
They come from all walks of life too.
Why am I here in this alley? Maybe I just enjoy being with happy, smiling people! People like myself who wish to learn and to give joy to others in the world! :)
Our alley does several charitable events every year. Too many to list because I cannot remember them all.
People are hungry to learn, giving of their time and talents, why wouldn't I want to be a part of a crazy, fun, uplifting group like this!?
This man is a dentist!
Maybe that's why he thoguht to reappear the silk from his mouth?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Twenty Nine, and Counting!

Today is my twenty-ninth wedding anniversary!
Last night my lovely bride and I went out to dinner at El Gaucho in Bellevue!
Shrunk my wallet it did! We had a wonderful, non rushed meal, and enjoyed the great atmosphere. I think that is the most I ever spent on a dinner for two!
We had a very nice time out together!
I had been wanting to go to El Gaucho's for several years, ever since I read an article about it while traveling on Alaska airlines.
My wife gave me a 100 dollar gift certificate for Christmas. I think she got in on the deal too! :)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Tired, Fried, and Ready!

Just got home from the 2010 World Magic Seminar, to here after be referred to as WMS!
What a fantastic, mind blowing event in so many ways and at so many levels!
Four days of fun, frolic, and magic!
I hardly know where to begin...
This year as the event grew near, I really was not excited about attending, good thing I pre paid from last years event!
Many of my friends that I thought would be going, couldn't make it. One friend who was bringing his girl friend, at the last minute didn't. That allowed for more time together, sweet.
I arrived Sunday morning at the Orleans Hotel in sunny Las Vegas at about 11 A.M. Checked in and the only thing open was the "Dealers Room."
This is a money trap... well, at least you will get something for your money here, unlike the many people I noticed at the gaming tables on the main floor!
Ed Magic captured my attention right away with some SWEET gadgets, my O my! The Ultimate Hold out is a thing of beauty! really a sweet piece of apparatus. Out of my price range at this time, but... Ed did entice me with a wonderful card effect called, drum roll please... "The Impossible Prediction!"
I did purchase this wonderful effect and will be fooling and entertaining people forever. Not only was it an impressive magical effect, I really enjoyed talking with Ed about his magic and life. He is a sweet heart of a guy.
I tried to stay out of the dealer room, I really did!
I wandered over to Stevens Magic Emporiums table, which took up a corner suite!
Much to offer there I tell ya! I wanted to purchase a wonderful ceramic Lota Pitcher for a Christian effect I have in my mind, $155.00 stopped me though. I can get it later for 20 dollars off. I just want it for a Jesus/Living water effect I have been thinking about. The fact that it is ceramic and not metallic like most Lota Bowls is why I want one. Just couldn't pull the trigger.
I wandered over to the Card-Shark booth. They were selling the new Phoenix Playing Cards. These were a HOT seller at the convention, about 2.50 a pack, five for ten dollars. I met a magician named Josh here, he was a pleasant long haired fellow. I traded him a cigar for a cool over sized deck of cards that I might play with someday.. I also met a Christan "Card Shark" Schenk from Germany at this "booth."
Chris is from Germany, he is a salesman too, I know this because I walked away from his little shop of magic with several cool effects, things like "The Gypsy Curse" A wonderful card/story telling effect. I like these. The fun thing for me is that the cards are vintage looking and worn, yellowed etc. It will be some work to master, but I can do it! Also along these lines is an effect known as "Corner of Picadilly" again, vintage cards.
I also picked up a very nice packet trick that involves butterflies, this will be great for the ladies!
Well, I don't want to give everything away here...
A lecture by a master quick change artist was upcoming. His name is Lee Alex. Although I do not plan to do quick changes at this time... you never know. His knowledge and expertise were fun and exciting. I enjoyed Lee's lecture very much.

8 P.M. rolled around and it was time for the Welcome Party.
Good food and mingling are the main event here. I met Fielding West while standing in line for a beverage. He is a magic comedian. More on him later...
In fact, Fielding was putting on a lecture after the Welcome Party.
His lecture was splendid. Dove productions, Balloon swallowing and more.
He also spoke on the importance of not treating magic lightly, as the idea of using gimmicks that are for magic as comedy props that give away the secret. Of course Mr. West had some DVD's and literature for sale as well. I look forward to watching mine!
Later that night I spent time at one of the bars on the main floor. Doing magic, watching magic and talking magic.. Got to my room about 3:30.
Monday was more of the same, Joshua jay lecture, Stage contests, stage shows, close up contests by teens, and finally, something I have been looking forward to... The Mickey Silver Lecture at 10:15 P.M.
I met Mickey last year and I truly love the man. He is an awesome coin manipulator. This was his "coming out" lecture. Mickey was great, teaching his very impressive, "The Move" coin vanish and reproduction! Mickey has held this "move" close to the vest for thirty years. This is the first time he has revealed it to the magic community. What a treat it was for me to be in attendance at this lecture!
Mickey is one of the warmest people I know! It will take many hours of work to become proficient (natural) with his wonderful move. I was extremely proud to be in the audience fro this lecture!
Again, later that night I spent time at a bar on the main floor of the lobby doing magic with a new friend, Jeramy Decharme, ,we fooled each other and many others. We played til 4 A.M. (Ouch!)
Tuesday arrived much to early! Had to drag my sorry carcass outta bed because Shawn Farquhar was lecturing. I had never met or seen Shawn perform, but had heard a lot about him. The stories are all true! Shawn is awesome! His magic is upbeat, positive, fast paced and innovative. I wanna be him! :) I would have to say that his magic is cutting edge. And what a wonderful, giving man. Although Shawn did slip in a few Canadian is better than America jokes... like something about Canada beating the U.S. in the Olympic hockey finals... What do you think of that, Eh?
Simply put, Shawn's Awesome!
Immediately following the Farquhar lecture was the Max Howard lecture.
I missed his stage show, but wasn't going to miss this lecture, I went to learn, and learn I am!
Max's lecture was splendid indeed. A lot about staging and stage presence. Very theatrical. Max inspired me, and yes... I bought all of his "Tupperware."
Dvd's and manuscripts. Finding the time to delve into all this is going to actually be work! Max's "stuff" involves some heavy thinking. This is the kind of thinking I like to read and immerse myself into. It is one thing to be able to do a magic trick, quite another to make it a magical effect, as well as entertaining! I look forward to the journey!
At 4 P.M. that afternoon was the Adult Close Up contest. A young man, Ben Jackson won the contest. He is really excellent. I enjoyed meeting Ben. He is gracious with his time and talents. Oh, and what a special smile! Several wonderful performances at the contest.
I will skip some of what went on that day as it was a fast paced day, but a super high light for me was the Howard Hamburg lecture!
I didn't know what to expect from Howard, but fell in love with him.
Howard is 71 years young, seriously! :)
Howard spoke about his days with Dai Vernon, Michael Skinner, Larry Jennings and more... Made miss the fact that I wasn't there to meet them all!
Howard did three card effects for us and taught them as well. I truly look forward to getting to know him deeper. He is a pleasant, gentle giant of a man. His card work is super clean and natural, his tone is spell binding and dis arming. Now that is something to strive for!
Then there were the hundreds of magicians in the hallway's. Just everywhere having fun, sessioning on the floor or at a bar.
Curtis Kam, John Cornelius, my friend Steve Ameden, and the incomparable... Alan Ackerman. Man, Allan showed me what true humility is. He is a grand master of card effects. A purist in the true sense of the word. He had a smile plastered on his face all night long. He sat on the floor and just jammed with anyone in arms length! Truly impressive!

The event, the 33rd annual World Magic Seminar was a tribute to Siegfried & Roy.
The stars came out to pay homage to these wnderful Pioneers of Las Vegas magic.
Lance Burton, Penn & Teller, Chris Angel and more, all of us!
Needless to say, I was wiped out when I got home. I slept for fifteen hours straight! But am excited not only for my future, but I know the future of magic is in good hands!