In April and May I did 21 private shows.  I also played in several poker tournaments.  In late April I celebrated my 52nd birthday.  I also saw lots of family and friends (like the Baileys, the Woodalls, Tony Trippi, Craig Raley, Dal & Cinde Sanders, etc.) throughout the months.  May also saw the release of another Scam Nation episode as seen above.

Since March of 2021 I’ve worked out 3 days a week with my personal trainer Brandi.  Brandi is an amazing coach and friend.  Thanks to her I’ve done things I’ve not thought possible for 125 days over the course of a year.  I’ve lost 25 lbs.  I’m in the best shape I think I’ve ever been in.

In early May I worked the Magic Castle for my fifteenth week since 1999.  I did 27 late shows in The Close-Up Gallery from May 2nd through May 8th.  That time slot was given to me because they knew I could jazz well with a sleepy or tipsy crowd and keep them alert.  Many of my shows that week led to standing ovations.  It was nice to see so many friends and fans in the audience and to make new ones.  It was a fun-filled week.

In mid May I attended the Magic Live conference.  What a convention!  I think I average 4 hours of sleep each night for 6 nights in a row.  The shows and lectures were amazing.  I hung out with 1600 other magicians.  It was nice to see so many familiar faces.  I also purchased some new effects in the dealer’s room.  Many fans inquired about my products too.  Also I booked some gigs out of it.  It was nice to recharge my batteries.

While in Vegas I took in many cool sites like the Pinball Hall of Fame.  They have several hundred machines that you can pop quarters into and play. Visiting Area 15 was incredible.  It’s like they hired futuristic artists to build a mall.  Inside of there I visited Omega Mart, which is like a Walmart, but everything sold there pokes fun at consumerism.  There are several hidden entrances inside Omega Mart that lead to Meow Wolf which is like an alien world with dozens of amazing artistic rooms.  I can’t wait to go back and see the other Meow Wolf’s around the country.  There are only a few but they are building 2 in Texas over the next couple of years.

The highlight for me was seeing the show LOVE- The Beatles at The Mirage.  I’ve seen lots of Cirque shows and this was by far the best.  I didn’t realize just how epic the Beatles’ music could be until seeing it accompanied by dance and acrobatics.  The lighting and imagery was spellbinding and highly emotional.  I hope to see this show again one day.  I’ve always been a fan of the Beatles’ music but the show was absolutely surreal.

These last few months have been busy.  So much so that I ignore this blog more often than I should.  After doing tons of show that last quarter of 2021 I decided to go on vacation.  I took a Norwegian Cruise to the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.  I danced, ate until stuffed, took in lots of cool shows (comedy, magic, Beatles, etc.) and entered every contest I could.  I won 3 out of 4 of them and got at least 3 free bottles of champagne.  I had many fun excursions as well.  I rode dune buggies through the mud and got filthy.  I went on a long uphill hike through a forest and jumped off cliffs into cold baby blue water many times.  I did zip-lines, ropes courses, city tours, etc. I did the beach thing and paddle boarded standing up.  It’s memories that I will always cherish.

Once back I did shows for clients like XOXO again.  They have been good to me and use my services quite frequently.  I just partied with the owner Obie at XOXO the other night and then we took it to his other club Opera.  That was a crazy night!  I have such a fun life.

My friends the Spanns invited me back to their estate to tour their 15,000 piece mineral collection.  It’s in the top 10 of the biggest in the world.  They frequently loan out parts of their collection to museums around the world.  They are the sweetest people.  Gail Spann is also a gun aficionado and has offered to take me shooting.  I plan to take her up on that soon.

I was recently featured on the Magic & Mysticism podcastWatch it here.  I was also featured in Texas Lifestyle and Travel MagazineRead it here.  I participated in the Texas Pinball Festival the last weekend in March in Frisco.  It was amazing as always.  There were 500+ games there on free play.  I took my Wizard of Oz Ruby Red machine which got lots of game play.  I was also featured in two different Scam Nation episodes over the last month and you can see those clips above and below this post.  Come April I have lots of gigs and life is looking good.

Things seem to be returning to somewhat normal.  This was a record busy December with 30 in person holiday shows.  It was nice to be amongst so many repeat clients that I hadn’t seen in a long while.  It was also great to make some new clients and perform at places like Fair Park in Dallas.  I’ve performed in every nice hotel in Dallas as well.  I never know where my job will take me.

A long while back I bought a nice Quartz crystal piece in an auction to benefit a hospital.  That piece of natural art was donated by the Arkenstone Gallery.  My purchase included a tour for two of that private gallery.  Rob, the owner, gave me and my friend an amazing tour.  It’s literally a hidden gem of an exhibit in Richardson that everyone should seek out.

Also two of of my Scam Nation episodes aired in December.  See one above and one below. I’ve done about 60 episodes now and they have around 19 million views.  It’s weird to me when I run into folks I don’t know who watch the show.  I forget about it and find people staring at me sometimes.  I think to myself, “Do I know this person?”  I can’t imagine being super famous and having that happen every where you go.  I’ve never wanted to be famous but I wouldn’t mind being rich!

 

I stay so busy these days that I’m bad about updating this blog.  I’m happy to see things returning to somewhat normal.  We have a long way to go though.  Since March I have been working out 3 days a week with a personal trainer named Brandi who lives 5 minutes away and has her own personal gym.  Her and her husband Deacon are two of the kindest people I know.  I treasure my workouts with Brandi.  She pushes me to do things I didn’t know I could do.  I’m slowly turning body fat into muscle and I’ve lost 10 lbs.

September was slow with shows but I had the time finally to finish writing Bamboozlers 4.  The artist Ben Vincent has finished his illustrations too. I’m in the slow process of laying it out now.  Each of the volumes contains 75 effects.  I’ve laid out 48 of the bits with my buddy Tony who is a graphic designer and one of my best friends.  This volume promises to be the thickest yet.  It will also most likely be the last volume.  Also, my Bamboozlers playing cards have been selling well.

October was nuts with shows.  I think it was the busiest October I’ve had in 35 years of performing professionally.  I did 28 shows.  The majority of them were at a cool venue in Dallas called the House of Spirits.  It was a haunted mansion with a few jump scares, puzzles to solve, special cocktails, weird variety acts and more.

November was equally busy with lots of projects and shows.  I had to travel out of state for a couple of them for my clients.  I traveled to New Orleans for a wedding.  The couple were entertainers and so were most of the guests.  It was one the most interesting weddings I’ve ever attended.  The second line parade was epic and looked like something out of a movie.  I bet we walked 5 miles that day all dressed up.  It was nice to see much of New Orleans and get a feel for what the French Quarter was like.

I also took a trip to Austin where I saw Esther’s Follies which is always a blast.  Plus I filmed more episodes of Scam Nation.  The episodes will release sporadically over the next several months.  My Scam Nation videos now have about 19 million views. See one of my episodes below.

Also I’ve been learning to dance.  I began dancing months ago at Cowboy’s Red River.  My friend Katrina loves to swing dance so I’ve been taking lessons at Sons of Herman Hall in Dallas and she’s been joining me even though she is well versed in dance.  I always felt socially awkward in the past dancing but she is helping to build that confidence.  I’m starting to get the hang of it.

December is shaping up to be one of my busiest ever too.  Wish me luck!

 

I’ve spent the last few months doing shows and lots of travelling.  It’s nice to see things are opening up again.  I spent a couple of days with my cousins Rodger & Alex at their lake house on Cedar Creek Lake.  Rodger grew up there and I visited frequently because it belonged to two of my favorite relatives who were my great aunt and uncle Bonnie and Harlan.  We had a great time visiting and kayaking on the lake.

A friend and I visited the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house where the original movie was filmed.  That film is still disturbing today.  Many people believed it to be real.  We stayed at the adjacent Antlers Inn which is unique in its own right.  If you’re ever near Kingsland, TX then you must see both.  We went on from there to visit an animal drive-around safari where we saw giraffes, deer, etc.

Later in the month I did my one-man show in Addison, TX at my buddy Joe’s theater.  I’ve done my show there about 6 times now and each month it is sold out with the 52 seats.  I could pack 100 in there but I try to space folks out and keep it more intimate.  I’ve been getting nice reviews.  I appreciate immensely all of the help that Joe and his team have given me.  His team runs the lights, sound, music, etc.  The next show is Friday September, 24th.

My new book Mini Magic Marvels has hit the shelves.  This is my third release with Dover Publications.  They make sure my book is found worldwide in bookstores and online.  The book is a collection of easy to do magic effects.  I’m proud of the way it turned out.  I’m hoping that when the world is more open that I can schedule some book signings in stores.  You can buy a signed copy on my site here.

My friend converted an ambulance into an RV and we visited Boise, Idaho.  It reminded me a little of Seattle.  From their we went on to Wyoming where we took on the breath-taking views and camped out in Yellowstone for a few days.  We went onto the Dakotas as well.  We stayed with a nice couple in Rapid City, SD and had to see Mount Rushmore. I can now proudly say that I have performed for four former Presidents and literally left them stone-faced.  Being a huge classic movie buff I was happy to visit the monument since it is where the epic ending takes place for the Hitchcock film North by Northwest starring Cary Grant.  We also drove through parts of the country where Dances With Wolves was filmed which is another movie favorite.

One night in Rapid City we walked around the town and found a different bronze statue of each former President on the corner.  The 10th President John Tyler is supposedly a relative.  The last picture here shows me standing next to the statue.  I think I see a resemblance!

From there we went onto Colon, Michigan “The Magic Capitol of the World” to see the Abbott’s convention and the famous magician graveyard.  We stopped at water falls, caves, the Potato Museum, Atomic City, Deadwood (which I loved), a hot air balloon festival and more.  After that we visited an Amish community as we passed through Connecticut.  We did New York and visited Times Square.  Plus we spent a couple of days in Salem, MA to learn more about the nefarious witch trials.  Many people were tortured and died for silly religious beliefs.  It was a very eye opening tour of several states.  Frankly I’m glad to be home back in Texas.  After this tour I can say that I have now proudly performed in all 50 of the United States!

I am still working on editing Bamboozlers 4 and my artist is fast at work trying to complete the last drawings.  I’ve been fortunate to have lots of shows as of late but things are still not anywhere close to what I consider normal.  Luckily I have poker games and friends to hang out with in my downtime.

 

 

It’s nice to see things returning to somewhat normal.  I’ve been busy with lots of private parties.  Most of them are still small, roughly 5-20 people, but performing for a live audience once again is nice.  I’ve done some Zoom shows and lectures and have more in the upcoming months.  I’ve also returned to playing poker with folks and seem to be doing well in tournaments.  I am at Drakes in Dallas at Lovers and Inwood every Sunday night from 6:30-8:30pm.  It’s an amazing place with a great atmosphere, terrific food and live music.

I turned 51 a the end of April.  I wanted to have a big party for my 50th last year but the pandemic prevented that.  So this year I went all out.  I had it catered with Tex Mex, a margarita machine, my DJ friend Pete Cormican worked it, my friends Josh and Vanessa Ayala did fire-eating, Jobi the Monkey came and I did a little magic here and there.  It was nice to see many old and new friends.  The party went on until the wee hours and I got lots of great compliments from the attendees.

April 1st my new car arrived!  Prior to that my good friend the home builder James Taylor helped me deck out my garage in prep for this beautiful piece of machinery.  I long awaited my customized C8 hard-top convertible Corvette.  I’ve had many sports cars but this is the sexiest by far.  Due to the shortage in parts these cars are very rare.  This one turns heads and I love it.  Click the pic to the left to see it in high-rez.

At the end of March I returned to doing my large theater show.  It seats about 50 people.  The theater could seat 100 but I like to keep people spread out and for the show to be more intimate.  The shows received great comments from folks.  I will repeat this again on May 30th.  The previous shows sold out and the May performance will do so soon.  It’s a private theater in Addison near the airport.  If interested then contact me through my site.

I recently updated the Magic Shop area of my website to include lots of downloads.  Almost all of my instructional DVDs have now been converted into downloads.  However many of the DVDs include a special something that you may need or want.  So when buying the download you might opt to buy both since the option to do so is not that much more.  My DVD Pockets Full of Miracles has been chopped up into various segments since the DVD taught 23 routines.  See all the downloads here.

My buddy Brian Brushwood of Scam Nation fame recently uploaded a video to his channel teaching 11 quick easy to learn tricks.  I’m featured in the video many times.  I think I’ve done about 60 episodes now.  See the video below.

 

Shows have been slow coming so I am hard at work in the office.  I’ve been shipping orders nonstop for things like my new Ten Grand Prix, the Bamboozlers Deck, the Bamboozlers books, Magic Money, Diamond Marked Cards, 7 Lucky Dice, etc.  Ten Grand Prix is spreading across the United States and my friends are coming up with different handlings.  See my buddy Rick Wilcox above do his presentation for Ten Grand Prix.

One exciting thing due out soon is the new Labyrinth Puzzle Box.  It’s a beautiful box that was a collaboration between myself and Brian Brushwood of Scam School fame.  Inside, if you can open it, one will find two Bamboozlers Decks, some Delta Dice and a Golden Ticket.  If you present that ticket to Brian or I in the real world (not virtually) we have to show you a trick or buy you a drink.  This is our second puzzle box together, after the Black Diamond puzzle box, and I love all the thought that went into it.

Two more releases that collectors will be thrilled to learn I’ve just received is the gold-gilt edged Bamboozlers Deck and some uncut sheets of the Bamboozlers Deck.  Only 111 gold-gilt decks exist and only 25 uncut sheets exist.  These will sell fast.  I cannot wait to frame my uncut sheet of the Bamboozlers Deck.  It will make a nice presentation for 52 fun and challenging bar bets.

For years I’ve been meaning to convert my instructional magic DVDs into downloads.  I have now done 7 of them.  Checkout DiaMonte, Sweet, Collateral, The Squeezer, Diamond Jack, Telekinetic, and Quadrare Caan Opus.

Also, for those that are wondering I am trying to finish writing Bamboozlers Volume 4.  Each volume contains 75 routines and I have written 70 of them for the upcoming volume.  The artist has illustrated about 50 of them.  Once I have everything I can begin editing and laying the book out.  Once I order it will take months to receive back from the printer but I do expect to have the book in hand later this year.

With the pandemic scare my shows have slowed down considerably. Luckily I’ve had some shows during the holiday season, but most were for small gatherings where the folks masked up. I’ve stayed busy mostly working on projects. Most of October and November were spent packaging my new effect Ten Grand Prix where a stack of one dollar bills all magically and visually change to one hundred dollar bills. The trick is being well received and got a great review from the guys at Wizard Product Review. See that video above.

Another big release is my new Bamboozlers Deck. This has been on my mind for over 10 years. During the downtime I was able to work with the artist who illustrated the Bamboozlers books Benjamin Vincent, plus the mentalist/graphic artist Phill Smith to design my new cards. The artists and I all work well together at bringing my vision to life. It’s a deck that features a different bar trick or challenge on each card. The deck is gorgeous!

I was happy to see many family and friends during the holiday season. Like the rest of the world I’m ready for things to get back to normal. We are all social creatures. I did do one big virtual show for a hospital raising money to support itself during these times. After my show they had a huge auction for things like weekend getaways, wine packages, etc. I bought a large piece of quartz that I now I proudly display in my home. It wasn’t cheap but it was for a good cause.

Happy new year to all my readers, friends, family and fans!

These past few months I have been focused on crossing off things on my project board that have accumulated over the last several years.  I signed another book deal with Dover Publications.  That magic book is slated for release in April of 2021.  This will be my third book with Dover.  As a kid I learned a lot about magic from their series of books.  I’m proud to be among their list of amazing authors.

The Bamboozlers Deck has been sent off to print with the United States Playing Card Company.  This project has taken years to come together.  I hired the amazing artist Phill Smith to do the layout and design the backs and fronts of the cards and the box art.  Phill is a magician himself, a damn good one, and an amazing graphic artist.  He and I gel and work well together.  He helped me to create my Diamond Playing Cards that have sold in the thousands.  The new deck should be ready for Christmas.

I have been writing Bamboozlers 4 and it is nearing completion.  The local artist Benjamin Vincent has illustrated all of the Bamboozlers series and the deck artwork too.  His work will be showcased in Volume 4.  It is not easy to find a like mind who can bring your visions into reality.  I am lucky to call him a friend and to have him help me with this latest project.  Each one of the Bamboozlers volumes is larger than the next.

Volume 4 will be the biggest one yet.  I’ve accumulated a great mix of material and the readers can expect lots of funny jokes as well.  It’s hard to believe that Volume Three came out in 2013; that was 7 years ago!!  This project has taken obviously longer than I expected but it will be worth the wait.  I’m guessing it will not be released until early next year.  A few routines still need to be written and then there are multiple edits, the layout, graphic clean up, the printing process, etc.

My corporate work was killed during this pandemic.  I’ve used this time to work on new routines and create.  Plus I took a wonderful vacation.  My good friend Joe Hargrave who owns Intensity Entertainment rented an RV and drove up through Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana and back to Texas.  I joined he and two other amazing gentlemen (CK and Jared) in Jackson, WY.  Yellowstone was incredible and almost otherworldly.  The mountains, water, snow, geysers, skies, wildlife and more will be forever etched in my brain.  I can now also say that I have proudly performed in 48 of the US states.  My friends filmed me performing for others.  All of the guys, minus yours truly, were amazing photographers.  I enjoyed every bit of the trip and cannot wait to return.

Once I was back I released an effect that has lingered in my head for over 7 years.  It’s called Ten Grand Prix.  Imagine a stack of one dollar bills with a band around them magically changing to all one hundred dollar bills.  I made that dream a reality.

I predict that it will become my best selling effect ever.  I’ve only just released it but the reviews are good.  It’s highly visual and looks great in person and just as magical on social media.  See the promo video below that my photographer friends helped me create.  I’m very fortunate to work with such talented people!

 

As I write this it is mid June.  Oh my how the world has changed.  Some states are open and some are still closed at this moment due to the pandemic.  In Texas many of the businesses and restaurants are opening back up.  We will all find out soon if it was too early to do so or not.  The norm now is people wearing gloves, masks, and staying home as much as possible.  The problem is we are all social creatures.  Being confined has made us all a little crazy.  This is when an artist’s work is most important.  I’ve seen well known magicians and musicians performing online shows, or Zoom shows, to avoid crowds.  I think this is nice.  However, for me, magic is an up close interactive experience and I have chosen not to go that route.  Henceforth I have been out of work since mid February.

I turned the big 50 in April.  I was going to have a large party with friends and family but I will wait until the Covid fears have subsided.  I have been using this quarantine time productively.  I’m not eating out much and have learned to cook more. I am diligently writing Bamboozlers 4.  It’s more than half way written and my good friend and artist Benjamin Vincent has begun some of the illustrations.  Myself and Phill Smith have just finished designing the Bamboozlers Deck.  It is gorgeous if I do say so myself.  I don’t want to post pictures now because I want everyone to be surprised.  I plan to release the deck later this year.

One day I spent visiting with my friend Tommy Thomas and his wife Latrice.  Tommy is the son of the infamous Titanic Thompson.  I’m a huge fan of Tommy and his dad.  We talked about gambling moves and magic as well.  The book The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson, sold on my site, was written to eventually become a movie.  Unfortunately, that never happened.  However, Tommy surprised me as I was leaving and gave me a copy of the screenplay.  I had no idea it existed!!  I was elated.  Tommy is doing me the huge honor of writing the foreword to Bamboozlers 4.  I know so many amazing people.

My creative juices have been flowing more now than ever before.  I have been developing new routines for my show and for market. I have submitted another magic book to Dover.  Dover has been shut down during this pandemic so who knows when it will be released.  I just finished producing a metal spinning top.  I call it DJ’s Top Ten+.  I’m proud of the engineering that went into it.  It’s not magic but it does seem like it.

Even my week at the House of Cards in Nashville planned for July has been postponed.  Thank goodness I have savings! However, clients have been calling to book shows for the end of the year.  I truly believe that when the pendulum swings far in one direction that it soon swings the other way.  I’m guessing all entertainers are going to have one of the busiest last quarters of the year.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

This month I was supposed to be in Manila, in The Philippines, doing several stand-up shows for Resorts World.  I was very much looking forward to this opportunity but it had to be postponed once the Covid-19 virus began spreading fast across Asia.  For now it has been postponed until 2021.  I look forward to seeing my friends and fans there as soon as I can make it over.

Now all of my shows until July have been cancelled.  I’m hoping that the virus has stop spreading by then and that all returns back to normal for the world’s sake.  Once it hit in America hoarders began hitting the markets and essential items became scarce.  Luckily I live alone and don’t need much so it’s easy for me to survive.  However, it is lonely not being able to interact with people.  I didn’t realize what a social butterfly I was until I was forced to stay inside.  Honestly though it has been good for me.  I’m making the most of my time by working on office projects.  I typically have 20 things listed on my project board.  I’m starting to knock some of those things out.  Times like this make us resourceful and we are reminded to appreciate the little things in life.

On a brighter note my new book Bar Bets To Win Big Bucks comes out next month.  This is something I’ve kept secret until now.  This is my second title with Dover Publications.  I’m working on a third title for them now.  Learn more about the new bar bets book here.

90% of my income derives from my shows.  People have said that I should do online shows.  The problem for me is that I believe magic is best experienced live.  Most of what I do is interactive.  In the meantime I am slowly converting my instructional DVDs to become downloads.  This is something I should have done a long time ago.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  I’m hoping this confinement sparks some creativity within me.  I’ve always been a hard worker, innovator and a survivor (of many things).  I will get through this and come out a better version of me when it’s all over.

Happy New Year!  Wow.  Later this year I turn the big 50.  That’s 34 years performing professionally and 44 years practicing magic.  Believe it or not, I’ve had a deck of cards in my hand almost every day now for 48 years.  Dang I’m old!  When not performing, practicing, writing or booking shows I enjoy playing Texas Hold’em.  I’m in a league.  Lately, I’ve been playing extremely well.

I started off the year right by doing a show for Phoenix House as has become tradition.  These troubled teens love magic and my show and I find it very rewarding performing for this audience.  Magic has been a huge blessing in my life.  I’m so lucky to get to make money with my passion.

I performed many shows for many regular clients over January and February.  I’ve made some new clients as well.  For years people have asked where to come and see my show and the answer has always been, “You’ll have to hire me, because I rarely do public events.”  Until recently that is.  The end of February I rented out a theater again and sold tickets to my one-man show.  It was great to see fans, friends and family at my show.  My friend Ladonna, who I play poker with, whom others have nicknamed giggles, helped me keep the audience in stitches with her infectious laugh.  I purposely put her in the front row because I knew this would happen.  Seen in the pic on the right is herself and her husband Howard.

I booked several Penguin MAXX events for later this year.  Penguin is the #1 online retailer of magic.  Currently, I hold the record for having the highest rated lecture with them with the most 5 star reviews.  My second download lecture with Penguin is in the top 10.  This is impressive considering they have thousands of products for sale. From time to time they have live events in well-known cities across the US where one can see their favorite magicians lecture, perform and session with them.

My colleague and friend Alan Paoletti did a video interview with me for his webcast (seen below).  Alan is a good friend and one that I recommend to clients when I am not available.  While performing in Houston I stayed with my magic buddy Scott Wells.  Scott helped arrange my first lecture tour across the US forever ago.  Scott asked that I appear on his podcast while there.  Here is a link to that interview.

Any one that claims to know me, knows I’m fond of not just magic but puzzles, illusions, art, etc.  So I added the perfect product to my line.  It’s called the Ambi-Ring.  It’s a nice looking finger ring that doubles as an optical illusion.  Check it out here.