I’ve been fixing up my house since I moved in.  I’ve slowly been adding a second game room.  I travel lots and work hard so I want my place to be a fun house and a refuge.  Currently I have two pinball machines, a slot machine, a pachinko machine, a shuffleboard table, a pool table, dart board, etc. I’ve also added a game called Donkey Bags, a 1956 stand-up arcade called a Skill-Roll machine, plus some backyard games.  I’m expecting a few more arcade games soon.

June and July were filled with shows for the Dallas Country Club, Dive Coastal Cuisine, Reunion Tower, The Don’t Tell Supper Club and the Quixotic World.  I made a jaunt to Austin to meet my friend Deanna, see my cousin Rodger and see one of my favorite shows Esther’s Follies starring the amazing Ray Anderson. At the end of June I flew to New Jersey to work another Penguin Maxx Event.  I worked alongside some of the best in the business (Dan Harlan, Michael Kaminskas, Brent Braun, Meir Yedid, Michael Weber, Losander and John Lovick).  It was a fun and profitable event.  I’m happy to be apart of this ensemble.  We will do it again in September in Chicago.  It was great seeing fans and friends and making new ones.  I was there 1.5 days and flew home on Saturday June 30th.  Sunday July 1st I flew into Burbank and was greeted my good friend Mitch Fleck.

The following Monday I prepped and checked into my apartment for the week provided by the Magic Castle.  I was ready to begin my 13th performance week when I learned the news that my best friend in LA died that morning from heart surgery complications.  His name was Brian Gillis.  I idolized Brian.  He was Johnny Carson’s favorite magician.  In the early 2000’s he would put me up at his Castle in Redondo Beach.  He loved to laugh and I loved to prank him and make him laugh.  He was a fixture of the Magic Castle.  It was a strange and somber week for me this time. However, I could hear Brian’s laugh in my shows even though he was gone.  I mentioned his name in each of my shows to honor him.  He was such an amazing magician… it’s hard to put into words.  Watch the clip of Brian above and judge for yourself.

As usual my shows got stronger and stronger throughout the week at the Castle.  Often times I received standing ovations.  This is not easy to do for the time slot I was given.  I’d do 4 shows per night between 10pm and 1am.  People are tired and drunk and have seen lots of great magic by the time they get to me.

Although I was sad about Brian’s passing, the week was one for my memory books.  Many great things happened.  Entertaining John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen was a highlight.  Running into Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and TV fame twice was fun! However bonding with my friend Riccardo Berdini, who was a mutual friend of Brian’s, was one of the most rewarding.  Hanging out with my good friend Mitch Rogers who flew out to see me was lots of fun. Mitch and I toured Warner Brothers studio and stood on the sets of many famous movies and TV shows.

My friend Mitch Fleck, who is one of the nicest and smartest guys I know, always has a room for me if I need it.  He and I saw the show Boobie Trap on July 4th which features a dozen variety entertainers.  The show was good and the big treat was seeing my friend Justin Willman emcee that night.  Justin rocked the room.  He’s well known in the magic world, was the host of Cup Cake Wars, and has a Netflix series coming out soon.

As I wrapped up my work week I saw my new friend Fenik from Mexico lecture at the Castle.  He did a great job.  His routines are well thought out.  I attended a little bit of Soapy Smith night at the Castle.  That evening I met the amazing KC who I plan to see again very soon!

Now that I’m back in Dallas I’m catching up on desktop business and sending invoices to clients for upcoming shows.  I’m packaging routines and thinking about what to market next. The big thing on the horizon is Magic Live in early August.  I’m excited to be there in Vegas to see the shows, buy some new toys, and see all my friends and colleagues.

See some of the latest Scam School episodes starring myself below:

 

I kicked off April by flying to Atlanta to do another Penguin Magic Live event. I was lucky to be working along side the best of the best.  It was myself, Danny Garcia, Michael Weber, Chad Long, Dan Harlan, Brent Braun, Gazzo and more.  We performed on Friday night and lectured on Saturday.  The crowd of about 200 was enthusiastic and fun!  It was great seeing old friends and making new ones.  We do it again in late June and return to Newark, NJ.

Once again I’ve had several house projects, poker tournaments, attendances at the Peacock theater and have been working many private shows.  Some of my clients recently were a classic radio station, Meals on Wheels and Southwest Airlines.  A friend of mine owns a few bars and has had me work at The Velvet Elvis and tonight I’ll perform at The Local Public House. Both are biker bars and I have learned over 30 years of performing that bikers go crazy for my magic typically.

One gig was especially sweet.  I made a friend playing poker named Jeff.  Jeff told me he wanted to marry his girlfriend Terri and come up with a magical proposal.  Since they both met playing poker we arranged it where I would “magically” deal her favorite hand the King and Queen of Hearts and follow it up on the board with a Royal Flush.  The last two cards blew her mind and luckily she said yes!  I’m happy for both of them.

I have some friends that I consider family basically.   I love the whole lot of them.  My buddy Woody, who has since passed, I’m sure enjoys watching our relationships blossom.  I have spent holidays and graduations with them recently.  I’m proud of all of them and especially Rylee who just graduated and swept the sports awards banquet.  She is going to school on a basketball scholarship.  I was shocked to see she quoted me in her high school year book.  This young lady will go far and I know she will succeed in her quests.

Find more recent episodes of Scam School starring moi below.

 

Where does the time go?  Wow!  I’m about to catch up on four months of blogging.  The biggest news is that I bought my old house back!  It was mutually beneficial for my ex-wife and I.  She will always be my friend. I’m happy to be back in the old neighborhood with my friends and all the new amenities near me.  It’s a booming area here.  Much time has been spent on painting, refurbishing, unboxing, purging, etc.  For those that visited the old house you’ll remember it was a fun place to be.  Well… the fun keeps increasing with more games, etc.  Come by and visit!

Luckily I have been busy with shows which are usually private parties and corporate events.  I returned again to Jackson’s Pottery.  I’ve done a lot of work for a well to do family.  I had a big show at the Ritz Carlton.  I worked the Dallas Cowboy’s Club.  I’ve had gigs at Reunion Tower and many more.  One show I did was a fundraiser for a lady battling cancer; they didn’t have a budget so I did it for free!  There were mostly adults at the fundraiser that night but you can see in the fire photo that kids are always drawn to me.

Some of the fun things I did over the past couple months were playing lots of poker.  I had dinners with family and friends.  My buddy Jesse helped me with lots of house projects.  I attended the Texas Pinball Festival where I did magic for Lou Ferrigno “The Incredible Hulk”.  And how can I forget the Epic Nerf Battle #3.  My buddy Jared Guynes entertained thousands in an epic way!

I also did the morning TV show Good Morning Texas again.  It was shot live and used to promote my appearances at Dallas’ Reunion Tower.  The host was blown away.  I did a visual morphing card illusion and did a mind-reading trick.  The producer said that they’d love to have me back.  We will see what happens.

In February I made time to make a trek to Austin to film more episodes of Scam School.  To date I’ve done about 40 episodes.  I believe I am the most regular guest star magician on the show.  See some of the new episodes below.

 


On Jan 1st I went to bed at 2am; awoke at 4am; caught a shuttle at 5am; flew out on a 7am flight; arrived in Dallas at 9am; was home by 10am; packed a show and drove to downtown Dallas to do a show at noon.  It’s a show I do every 1st of the year for the Phoenix House. I could have stayed at the casino resort in New Mexico I was at or subbed out the show, but I knew I’d be missing out. The kids there are suffering from alcohol and drug addiction.  This group loved my show and clamored and flailed their arms like they were going crazy.  I stuck around and taught some of them some card moves.  It was a fun day for all of us.

The following Friday I flew to Burbank, CA and stayed with my buddy Mitch and attended the Magic Castle with a girl friend.  We saw many great shows but I was there to specifically see Richard Turner the blind card cheat.  Check out the new documentary about his life titled Dealt.  I proudly contributed to the movie to make sure that it was made.  My name actually appears in the credits. It’s a great story about an amazing man.

While at the Castle I had the pleasure of entertaining the actor Jon Bernthal who has had many great roles in TV and film.  Jon is best known as Shane in The Walking Dead and The Punisher in the new Netflix series.  He and his friends were very complimentary of my magic.

Another night I did a private show for Aaron Paul, his wife and their friends.  Aaron was Jesse in Breaking Bad which is one of my favorite shows in the history of television.  Aaron was subdued until I began performing and then he turned into Jesse by screaming and staring at his friends wondering if they had just witnessed what he did.  His group was wild to perform for so I kept hitting them with my best stuff.  He actually asked for my autograph which I found amusing.

Once back I did lots of shows for some regular clients.  I’ve played lots of poker.  I drove to Oklahoma to see friends. I had a great meeting with Reunion Tower where I now have some gigs lined up. Plus I spent time with various friends for dinners.  The month flew by.  The big news is I’m buying a house.  Currently I’m packing for the big move.  Life never seems to slow down.

 

December was nuts!  I worked 29 gigs this month.  I think that’s a record.  That doesn’t count the 6 other parties I attended with friends and family.  Most of my jobs were in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex thankfully.  I still had 12 days off which was nice.  I worked for many loyal repeat clients and brought on several new clients.  It’s wonderful to be paid to do what you love.

I also attended another show at the Peacock Theater.  The Pitchfords are so kind to do this and keep me on their exclusive list.  One day soon they hope to build their own version of the Magic Castle here in Dallas.  If anyone can do it they can.  I brought along my friends and clients the Politos.  They had a blast watching the variety show of comedy, magic and singing.  It was nostalgic to see one of my favorite magicians Rudy Coby do his act up close and personal on the stage.  Rudy is Labman and does an act where he has 4 legs.  You have to see it!

I went to the car dealership to get a new tire and I left with four new tires and a new car.  I had a 2015 black and yellow Stingray Vette and now I have a 2017 charcoal gray and black Stingray Vette.  The new model has some different lines, a different grill, a front and back camera, new security features, a feature called Carplay, etc.  I love it.  I picked up a friend one night and she said.. “So you bought the Batmobile.”  She liked it as well. Plus, I went to the trouble of adding the XPEL protection to the front half of the car to protect it from rock chips.  XPEL is an amazing magical self-healing wonder.

Two of my gigs took me to the new Lava Cantina in The Colony.  It’s a huge place with a great vibe.  The food and service are terrific and they do big concert events on their stage outside.  Over the two days I was there they had famous chefs, rock stars, reindeer and Santa there. They told me that my magic garnered the most attention over their 2 day extravaganza.  It’s worth making a trip to see this place.

December 30th I flew to Albuquerque, NM to work a gig at the Sandia Casino & Resort.  That night I met a fun group of ladies who were there from Vegas to dance in an Elvis tribute show.  They invited me to dinner and we had a blast.  The next night I rang in the New Year with them on the dance floor.  I definitely started off the New Year right!

More than being fortunate to have so much work I am always reminded that I have a great family and a good network of friends.  The holidays were a little melancholy for me but when I do an end of year tally I realize that I am truly blessed.  I look forward to what 2018 brings.  I see good things ahead.