I always like this time of year. People start having events outside again and things pick up. I did several gigs in April and one took me to a fundraiser at a race track in Caddo Mills. At one gig, I forgot to bring my magic case, and I improvised a show with a deck of cards, some rubberbands and some coins I had in my glove box. I razzle-dazzled 30 people for two hours with magic, jokes and stories and had a blast. I earned my money that night and appreciated my big tip which confirmed I work just as well under pressure.
I had a nice birthday dinner with family at Four Winds and witnessed my nephew Lane turn sixteen and hop into his new ride which is a decked out El Camino. Following him home down the highway we watched in horror as he accidentally threw the car into reverse while doing about 60mph. Actually I think my sister Jodi did it, who was riding with him. Luckily no one was hurt and we all had a good laugh about it later.
On my actual birthday, the 25th of April, I flew out of DFW for London to catch my connection to Ireland. I flew onto Cork and took in as much of the city as I could before the start of the magic convention titled Magic Uncorked. Myself, John Lenahan, Luke Jermay, Helder Guimaraes, Laurent Baretta, Aonghus McNally, Quentin Reynolds and Paul Gordon were the featured acts. Everyone was great. Before the convention some of the locals took me to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the blarney stone, which apparently gives one the gift of gab. I loved the after hour sessions with many of the attendees. I made some new friends and learned some new routines. See a news promo with me about the Cork seen below.
Then I went onto Dublin with my new friend named Steve. One day I did the bus tour and took in sites like Christ Church (which was wonderful), the downtown area, stopped at Trinity College (attended by Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, etc.) and I toured the Guinness Factory where I enjoyed the history and my pint on the 7th floor glass observation bar. That night I performed for the Dublin magicians.
Then I went onto the Isle of Man the next day. What a beautiful place! I toured a small town named Cregneash where they re-enact days of old. It’s the same town where they filmed Waking Ned Devine. Me and my host toured a working farm where I learned all about fleecing and also saw the famous manx cat and manx sheep. That night I lectured for the young magician’s club. Click here to read about it. The kids were great and treated me like a rock star mainly because they had seen me on many episodes of Scam School. After the lecture I walked the coastline that night and hunted down some of their famous ice cream which was delicious. I hope to make it back to the Isle of Man one day. Perhaps I could come back for their famous TT race which is the largest motorcycle race in the world!
From IOM I made my way onto Liverpool to see my friend Richie Smith. Richie is a great magician who is writing his auto-biography now. I can’t wait to read it. He’s a wonderful storyteller. That night he took me to the Liverpool magician’s club meeting and I surprised them with a mini-performance. The guys in Liverpool are great and always make me feel at home.
Then I went onto to Leeds to see family who always take great care of me. Since 2008 I have kept in touch the best I can and I’m happy to see that relationship blossom. Then I made my way onto Derby to stay with my friends The Smiths. That night we had a nice dinner and surprised one of my young fans by showing up at his home where I gave him a few “Diamond Jim” items. The young man was very excited but I was more thrilled to be given the chance to help put a smile on his face. My friend Graeme help set it up and he has a huge heart and a wonderful mind. Graeme creates all sorts of wonderful electronic magic and he could probably make a living at it if he ever chose to do so. His family and dog Maggie are always fun to hang out with.
From Derby I went onto Chelmsford, more specifically Great Waltham, to see my cousin Adrian, his wife Laura, their new baby Harriet, and Laura’s parents Graham and Jeneen. I absolutely love this little town. My cousin Adrian and I took in the new Avengers movie in 3-D and toured Chelmsford and a nearby castle. We ate well and one night I made them my famous jalapeno-cucumber margaritas. Laura is a great cook and I appreciated meeting Harriet for the first time.
The tour was productive, but the 16 days I was gone, felt more like two months. I can now proudly say that I have performed in 22 countries. While I was away the new Vanish Magazine launched. The second issue just released recently and has an outstanding review of my DVD Collateral on page 43. The magazine will feature my Bamboozlers column each month (Vol. 1- pgs. 29-30, Vol. 2- pg. 33). Paul Romhany, who put it together, has done an excellent job. It’s hard to believe it is a free magazine for download.
More Scam School episodes aired while I was abroad which make a total of five that I participated in. The host Brian Brushwood says they are all getting great feedback. See one of the videos on the right where I teach you a sneaky way to get a girl’s phone number in a bar under the guise of doing a mathematical magic trick. The video seen above has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s homepage for two weeks now.
Also, on the day of my flight to Ireland, my birthday, Woot.com featured my Doomsday Deck on their site during what’s called a woot-off. See the sale page and blog here. During the woot-off they sold 2000 of my decks in about half an hour. That was a good day for me!
But my biggest accomplishment happened on May 23rd. That day marked 20 years of my wife Kathy and I being married. See our wedding pic on the right. We’ve actually been together for 24 years. To celebrate we dined at our favorite steak house in Dallas named Pappas Bros. It’s hard to believe that much time has flown by. I love her very much and I am a lucky man. Later this year we will take a trip to celebrate.