A time to share

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Carnival Time

Friday night at the Rainier Elementary in Federal Way.
I did about an hour and a half of walk around magic as two of my clown alley members attended in clown. They would be Lois Kerr, aka Coco the clown and Janey Corcoran aka Violet the clown.
There were lots of people in attendance, This was a non paying gig for our alley. Many times schools or events will pay our alley members to attend and face paint, do balloon animals, and magic.
Other times, we do it to give to the communities.
I had a great time amazing young and old alike!
It is very interesting to perform for all the different ages. The very young are very expressive, but you have to choose quick hitting tricks because they will often look away right at the crucial moment. alder kids, in Junior high school are hard to impress at first, they come up expecting you to fail, in fact, they want to help and delight in your failing. They will stand with arms folded, especially when amongst their friends. They don't want to let on that you fooled them, the gotta be "cool." But, once you slay them with something miraculous, they open up quite nicely.
I really enjoy performing for youngsters and seeing their parents standing behind them getting totally, unexpectedly Blown away! The parents are funny because I often think they think you are going to "fool" their children but not hem, then Wham! They get knocked in the head too!
Great times!
Still leranin' the ropes!

Last Tuesday Night

I went to Ballard, it was a first for me, Ballard is near Woodland park Zoo and Greenlake...
I went to see a magic show. Three entertainers were entertaining.
Two magicians and a mentalist.
I invited some magic friends of mine, Jose Floresca, Mark Jensen and Chad Reibman.
The event is titled, "That's Impossible" and is held at Egans Ballard Jam House!
It is a small venue that holds about 45 people. I think on this night we had maybe 30 in attendance. There is a small stage and tables for patrons to sit at and enjoy a fine meal and a brew or mixed drink.
The emcee and fellow that invited me is long time magician, Tony Comito.
Tony did an excellent job as emcee and his linking ring routien takes a backseat to no ones! Lance Cambell did a really nice mentalism act! Very professional;! And last but not least, and perhaps not even last was Rich Waters who did a fine stand up comedy magic act!
Since I am writing several days after the event, I willnot go into all that transpired, but I enjoyed the show, the venue and am always watching other acts to learn my craft. Not to take a trick from them per se, but am more into learnign what I think might work for me and what won't along the lines of being an entertainer.
One piece of one of the performers act involved slightly embarrssing n audience member up on stage by handingher pieces of rope, and a she reached for them, he would drop them. He did this on four seperate occasions. The first two, well... O.K> I was hoping that on the third one maybe the lady helper would drop it before he could grab it as she was handing them back to him, or perhaps he could have missed them as she handed them back to him turning the whole "gag" full circle on himself.
I don't like embarrassing my helpers. It is hard enough getting good people to come up and when you purposely make them look stupid, well, it really doesn't endear them to you, in my not so humble opinion.
I especially would not want this as an entertainer if I am sharing the stage with other performers that will be following my act. I might inadvertently turn them against any following entertainers.
Another performer this night was the walk around magic of David Rudd. Man he has blossomed as an entertainer and card technician. This is great to see how David's hard work is paying off! And, David is one of the genuinely nice guys!
I had another reason for being there, Tony wanted to buy one of my magic tables. I brought five for him to choose from. He selected a nice red one with a suede top!
He will love using it for his highly polished three shell game!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spending Time

Yesterday morning I couldn't sleep...
Thinking about magic, and how little I know of it!
Recently watched a dvd by David Stone, he is a french magician and really has awesome chops. He impressed me immensely. He talked about the amount of practice time he used to put in, and where he would isolate himself in a cold basement that he didn't really like being in. This forced him to really FOCUS on his time in the basement!
Some people tell me I've come really far in the last seven years magically, and they are right, I have, stop and smell the roses, have some pride in your accomplishments... Often times though, as I see how much more there is to master, I feel like WOW! I know so little, and this is also true.. A conundrum, how could both ideas be true!? :) Because they simply are, what barometer do we use to measure ourselves? Who do we compare ourselves with!?
Got to be careful, each of us has different talents, time and challenges in life to overcome. We each have different dreams about what it is we want to accomplish as well.
Last night I watched a dvd of Geoff Williams that I have had for a long time an finally took/made the time to watch it... again, BIG WOW! Awesome stuff, had me giggling inside! Like a little school child... Thinking of the wonderful possibilities with magic to have fun and entertain people kept me awake. It was so bad that at about 10:30 am, I got up and called my friend Chad Reibman, a fellow magician.
He was at work and we talked about things magic, He asked me if I wanted to meet for lunch, that's affirmative!
I drove to Bellevue, met Chad at the Bellevue Hyatt hotel. I brought several of my hand built magic tables with me... Chad did some Matrix work on each surface, and selected the one he wanted, we went up to his office to drop it off and then went and had some sandwiches for lunch, during lunch we talked magic, practiced magic and shared with each other some tricks, effects, and sleights!
Chad has really come a long way in the last several years. He works hard at magic, it occupies his mind 24/7. he has been performing EVERY chance he gets, whether it is for pay or free, doesn't matter, Chad is fired up and wants to be the best! He kind of rubbed of on me. He talked to me about watching myself on video, of which I have several, it is painful to do. I just watched a video of one of my "shows." While everyone was having a great time at the show, I noticed many things that I can and will improve upon.
Mostly, I need to slow down, let the magic register with the audience before moving on to the next part of an effect. I also revisited an effect that Tom Frank taught me years ago. I could not do some of the sleights he teaches in the effect then, but now I can, it is great to be able to stream line the effect and make it smoother!
Had a great time with Chad and re inspired!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mending Fences

Got a call from my older brother last Thursday... he just got home from a 25 day trip with his fiance to Iceland, Holland, Jerusalem, and Amsterdam... He had a great time. He left a message on my answering machine that he had a gift for me. So naturally I set up a time to stop by his place. It was Friday morning 6 am. I had just gotten off work and he was preparing for his day with some hot java...
He shared with me about his adventurous trip with some post cards and maps. He then handed me a small bag with something in it.
We laughed because he told me it cost him an arm and a leg, the reason I laughed was because I said, "why is it wrapped in a plastic bag if it cost an arm and a leg? You couldn't spring for wrapping paper!?" :)
We laughed because it is a "guy" thing not to wrap a gift.
Inside was a small statuette, hand carved figure of Jesus. He picked it up in Jerusalem from an Armenian Christian. It is carved from an Olive Tree from the Mt. of Olives. My brother related the story that he had been searching for something that would have meaning to me form Jerusalem... all he kept seeing was touristy junk, as he put it. He was in a small store and looked around and said to the proprietor, "this is all junk man." The proprietor yelled to a fellow, "hey, go get the good stuff, and well My brother picked out what you see pictured above.
Pretty cool.
Next Sunday marks the three year anniversary of our younger brother's death.
It was an ugly, family affair where I put my foot in my mouth and alienated everyone. My older brother, who just bought me the nice gift, told me at the time to never set foot on his property again and that he dis owned me.
We have been slowly building the bridge between us.
To me, it is not so much that the gift is a hand carved statue of Jesus from an olive tree from the Mt. of Olives, as it is the wonderful peace offering gesture of love and forgiveness. A statement from my brother that he loves me, was thinking of me from thousands of miles away, and put so much time, thought, and effort into picking out something that he feels has meaning for me.
Now the proverbial ball is in my court.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mario Lorenz &

Bigfoot Clown Alley, last Tuesday night was our alleys monthly meeting, we invited Mario Lorenz, (http://www.leapfrogentertainment.com/Artists/Big/MarioLorenz/MarioLorenz.htm)a semi famous Seattle area (Actually lives in Tacoma) Mime to come and be our guest.
He was very wonderful!
Makes you really want to push yourself to be around top notch performers and entertainers!
You can tell when someone has doing their craft for a long time and is having fun at it, having fun at it, having fun at it... sounds like a broken record, doesn't it... actually that is probably the most valuable thing I took from the teaching with Mario, he was having fun, with bits of business and byplay. Having fun, how do you do that when you are working so hard to know where you are going when you perform? How about a road map? Develop your routine and patter so that it is a road map for you to follow. Learn it extremely well by performing often, and then when you have it down, you can get side tracked and still find your way back to the road and your final destination. By side tracked I mean, that you can interact with your audience, off the cuff, or ad lib as it were. This means you must know your path so well, that to go "off road" for a short detour will not throw you off your performance, and in fact, this ability will enhance you and your show! It makes your audience feel special and that you tailored this show just for them.
It takes work and practice to get to this level. It takes many shows and possible failings too.
But if you (Me) can maintain a light heart as you go thru that process, man O man! What a time you will have!
Mario reminded me of this, Have Fun!

The thing I got the

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Phat Boy

Well, not really, but I am sure outta shape, well, round is a shape! :)
Just been a lot more sedate lately, this computer makes one stay seated more than ever before. Not motivated to work out, I need too, but am not motivated...
I golfed yesterday with an old friend, Steve Ameden. He is 55 years old and slender. A Seattle police officer and amateur magician. We went to West Seattle golf course. Not the longest track in the world, but it was pretty nasty to walk it, which we both did... Up hills, down hills, side hills, and the hills have eyes... tall wet grass, and some mud to boot... I shot a 94, and by the end of the round... I was pretty sore, my neck, my groin muscles, my calves and well, I was glad to get home, take a shower and get some sleep.
West Seattle is a tough track, I wanna go back in the summer and play it again.
Got so much i want to learn magically, and don't feel like putting in the effort. It's an old syndrome amongst magicians. Kind of like biting off more than you can chew, or the eyes are bigger than the belly.
Recently a fellow worker has been coming by and spending some time with me magically speaking. Off and on... he is coming along nicely, but he is starting to push me, it's funny to me, I bought some juggling balls a few years back, haven't done anything with them, but now he is challenging me to get with it. The other night I picked them, and picked them up, and picked them up... that's just my way of saying, I dropped them, I dropped them, I dropped them, and I picked them up and picked them up, and so it goes... His name is Al, and he is working on some cigarette vanishes and reappearances. He wants to incorporate them into his hot rod routines... again, he is pushing me. Pretty cool in some ways, but in others... hmm, sometimes I value my alone time at work, shhh, don't tell him, it is actually good to be pushed!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Haven't felt

like posting in some time as my faithful 3 and a 1/2 who actually read this blog can attest.
Don't really know why, guess I am feeling rather boring.
Fifty one years old, er, young and still sometimes wonder what I am doing here. What is my purpose? To create magic for others? To be a good and faithful husband, to raise children?... to what end... sometimes I have it all together, sometimes I blow it big time... running around trying to achieve, for what???
Fishing, Golfing, Reading, Watching television??? Going to church?
Are we truly just here to learn to please Him?
Oh, I forgot work... is to work, to earn money, to feed your face, to put a roof over one's head???
Is it to have pleasure unlimited?
I always told our children when they said, "I'm bored". That if they were bored, then they are boring...
Maybe I have always been looking for some GRAND purpose to fulfill?
Anyway, what's been shaking lately?
Golf here and there, doing fine with it, but not spectacular, magically speaking, I think I got in a rut sessioning with magicians and need to simply just get out and get some gigs and perform.
I performed walk around magic or table hopping magic for three hours on Saturday. I found out, I'm a pretty good magician! :)
I mean that, because I do not perform often for audiences, I forget how powerful some of the stuff we do really is. Sessioning with magicians kind of has the ability to kill your remembrance of how magic affects others. And I think there is danger in this...
But working a gig or two always restores my faith!
I am also beginning to realize I don't need to learn every new trick that comes down the pike... I can't use them all, and when I am out performing, I forget so much that is in my repertoire.. so I end up sticking with about six favorites... Funny how that works... Seems so many magicians, me included, are always looking for the Latest and Greatest, or the holy grail of magic tricks, this is totally unnecessary, and counter productive. The truth is that all one really needs is a handful or two of really astonishing effects that are learned astonishingly well! Do them over and over again, thus making them your own, and allow yourself to shine thru them.
I have seen some pretty bad magic lately.
I am really amazed by the poorness of it. I did a walk around gig Friday night at Rogers High School for their deaf carnival. I went and it was a charity event.
As I walked in the door and introduced myself, a woman behind the desk said, "Oh, you're the magician!" I said "absolutely!" She replied, "I can't wait to see your show tonight!"
I looked at my daughter who came with me, and replied to her, "I didn't know I was doing a show tonight." As I traveled around the gym and lunch room doing magic I heard several times about this magic show that was happening later. I got a little worried that I had somehow missed something and I hadn't brought any of my stage props. I needn't have troubled myself as I found out that a two time world champion was performing that evening. His name was ... well, I'll leave that out, but he is a two time deaf champion of magic. So my daughter and I decided to catch his act, I was excited to learn something from him...
Sorry to say, he wasn't very good. He packed a thirty minute show into an hour. He turned his back on the audience repeatedly, I mean REPEATEDLY, for no reason at all when he was fiddling with his props. Several times he walked off stage completely to put a prop away or to go get his next one. I was really saddened watching this.
I wanted to talk to him and let him know that he could really use a choreographer of stage presence or something.
I guess I am supposed to cut him some slack because he is deaf? Well, I would if he was stupid, but being deaf doesn't mean you're stupid, in fact, working for the deaf carnival the last two years has taught me that the deaf are highly attuned in other areas. They see things that most lay people do not see, my magic has to be even better, tighter when I perform for them!
Another thing that I noticed was that he was up on a really nice sized stage. There were two curtains, (or four depending how you think about it)at least as far as stage forward and stage rear would be concerned.
He had the annoying habit of performing the majority of his magic at the very back of the stage. This made him really far away from the audience which was already far away as there was quite a distance from the front edge of the stage and the first row of spectators.
Too bad too, because he has obviously spent a lot of money on his props, and time and effort into doing magic.
His clothing was also ho hum, blue jeans, cowboy boots and a black cowboy shirt that was left untucked... I don't understand this. As I type these words I am getting angrier, why? Because for most of the people in the audience, this is probably their first time seeing a real live magician. I don't know if he is aware of this powerful truth, or because he had a show the following afternoon that people had to pay to see, he felt that he needn't give this one his best?
He trained at the Chavez College of Magic, and soon after became involved in the Academy of Magical Arts program whose home base is the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Now he is regarded as one of the world’s Deaf Premiere magicians. Currently he is recognized as a master magician and will be a thrill for all to see.
I guess it's true, as a magician, I am jaded. However, my daughter was bored with his performance and I doubt very much that she is jaded.
So, I guess I did learn a lot from watching this "professional, two time champion perform!"
My walk around for two hours was a blast! I enthralled the people with magic!see, don't they look enthralled!
Really, I had a blast. It is always fun to take some skeptical people, especially teen agers, and turn them into your biggest fans! :)
This group started out skeptical, but soon, very soon, I had tyhem eating out of the palm of my hand, and then they wanted to have a picture taken with me!

Saturday I spent the day in Seattle. Several hours aboard one of the Royal Argosy cruise ships on Puget Sound. I was hired by U.S. Oil to entertain for three hours. This was walk around magic and table hopping. This is the 2nd year in a row that I have worked this event. Several of the same people were aboard and many new faces. The day was beautiful, the Royal Argosy cruises out into Elliot Bay and the patrons get to enjoy the tug boat races. They actually have tug boat races with "heats" and all.
Hitting my stride! I am glad I did the Friday night gig at Rogers High school. It was an excellent tune up for the Saturday event!
I set up shop at a table with a couple, and performed Crazy Man's Hand Cuffs, then the Biddle Trick, One Eyed jack Sandwich, and finished with Paperclipped. The laughter was fantastic! The woman that hired me came over in the middle of this set and raved about me, there was a singer performing as well, he came by with her and was floored too, he gave me a business card and wants me to contact him to put me in touch with his agent, hmmm...
From there I moved on out into the general audience, mingling, schmoozing and performing. I had a great time.
My set list, or tricks I performed include, the three mentioned earlier and Tricky Wallet, Hot Rod, Jumping Gems, Bird catcher, Card in box, Twisting the Aces, Dr. Daley's Last Trick, and a few coin tricks...Oh, and a vanishing, reappearing silks routine...
I find it interesting how much I stress out prior to a gig. I spend countless hours preparing, and then I only perform a handful of the stuff I know.
Over preparing is better than under preparing I suppose!
After my gig I walked up to Pike Place Market. I stopped into the coffee shop where my friend Brian Masters works. He wasn't there. He was out Busking somewhere in Pike Place. I wanted to go see him work, but as I was getting my coffee, he walked in. We chatted a bit and he asked me if I wanted to see the best busker in Pike Place? Of course I said, you bet. so out we went into the street and immediately he introduces me to a young man (31) who so doing a Rubik's cube act. I watched his act and I think because Brian and I were watching him, drew a small crowd. Sorry to say, his act was sorely lacking in my not so humble opinion... what's going on here? The guy has a felt table on a stand and is showing how fast he can reassemble a Rubik's cube with two hands, I think it was about 19 seconds...then he says he will do it with one hand while spinning a book on one finger of his other hand. He did this in just under a minute. Now I know this would be extremely difficult to do, but really, it was well... lacking. He had a dvd to sell for ten dollars. I put a fiver in his coffee can.
I don't know, maybe I don't have the right to express an opinion on a street performers gig since I don't street perform? But I do have eyes in my head and a mind that works...
Brian had to leave so I strolled over to Market Magic. Am always looking to support our local magic store, especially since I had just been paid in cash from the U.S Oil LLC. Gig. Met a new guy behind the counter named Nathan, he is just over from Eastern Washington and I caught him on his first day working at Market Magic. Also got to meet the other fellow behind the counter, I think his name is Brian, an older fellow. Also there is a young man doing magic named Lewis. I met Lewis two weeks ago at the David Williamson lecture. He is form Germany, I think, He speaks with an accent and I have to really listen to him to understand what he is saying. He did several card tricks for me and... I hate to keep beating the same horse, they were very poorly done. I think it because he is attempting very difficult effects. I have to give him props for trying though. He is about 23 years old and someday, he might be very good, in fact, I would bet on it.
I made a small purchase of some special Bicycle cards and made my way home!

Mowed the lawn and BBQ'd A Fillet Mignon!
What a day!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


That's what he called it... fidgeting... His name is Rick Anderson, he is a Seattle area magician that lives in Tacoma... I have been learning some magic from him, but alas... Rick is WAY out of my league. Rick has been doing magic for about fifty years... It shows! Smooth, relaxed, accomplished, something I aspire to be! Fidgeting, is how he explained it, what he meant is that he fidgets with cards, coins and the like... so maybe if I fidget with things for the next forty years...
Man I have been pressing, pushing, trying to be magical, but when I am around an accomplished master like Rick, or Steve Dobson... I truly see how far I have to go. Makes me want to quit, give up... but on the other hand, I sometimes am thrown a bone! I recently received an email from a young man in Nova Scotia who watched my Promo video, He said he is nowhere in my league... what is one to think?! :)
My friends tell me to see how far I've come... It is difficult when I am around maestro's!