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.

 

 

Things are always crazy.  I have more projects to work on than I can get to.  I feel like Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes who once said, “God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  I’m so far behind I’ll never die.”

The last quarter of the year is always my busiest time.  Corporations and folks seem to have the most events and parties then.  My bread and butter is working private events.  In October I worked several high profile events.  One took me to Burbank to work for a well known radio station.  I worked the stage outside along with several other performers.  They actually promoted my appearance on a huge billboard which was a first for me.  At the event I also met Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey’s ex-husband, who is the host of their morning show.  Nick is a nice guy.  I’d like to give a big shout out to my buddy Mitch who made it all possible.  He’s been a great friend to me over the years.  He started off as a magic student of mine and is now one of my best friends.

I have been designing a metal top that spins for an impressively long time.  I shot several episodes for Scam Nation found here. I’ve played lots of poker.  My new Diamond Playing Cards are out and selling well. Plus my good friend Brian Brushwood has an awesome puzzle box designed after them.

I’ve added the Batman 66 and Elvira’s Scared Stiff pinballs to my game house collection.  I also found an old home game pinball called Diamond Jim that I had refurbished.  Besides all the other games and machines in my house I now have 8 pinball machines and I’m glad I do not have room for more.  It seems to be an addiction!

Obviously business has been good.  In November I flew to Indiana for a client.  I still perform twice a year for Jackson’s Pottery.  I attended the Peacock theater. Plus I’ve started doing my own one-man show here in Dallas.  Typically folks have to hire me for an event to see what I do.  So I’ve decided that I will try to rent a theater semi-regular basis, maybe once a quarter, and sell tickets to my hour long show.  The theater I’ve found is owned by a friend, who once was a magic student as well.  It’s an awesome space in Addison, Tx.  It seats 40-50 comfortably but is under remodel now and will seat twice that many soon.  My first show there sold out quickly and everyone had nice things to say after.

In December I did 27 shows.  Most all of them were corporate holiday parties.  One was for the the Meruelo Group who flew me out to Burbank once again.  One was for a car dealership where I was Mr. Popular producing $100 bills and giving them away all night long.  That night they gave away $100,000 worth of prizes and cash.  I did a show for a well known home builder that asked me to help present game show like effects where they gave away around $250,000.  Plus I did magic for many repeat clients who have been loyal to me for the last 5-20 years.  I’m very blessed to get paid to do what I love and help create special memories for those in attendance.  I really do have the best job.

It’s now January and I’m just now catching up on a three month break from my blog.  As I go into the new year I am planning some big trips, more projects and making more time for my family and friends.  One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try and be less condescending.  Do you even know what that means?

Whoa!  I’ve maintained this blog for a little over 20 years now.

One fun weekend this month I did strolling magic for hundreds of folks in Forreston, TX after their dove hunt.  I’ve had many of my pinball and arcade games refurbished.  My collection continues to grow.  However, I think I’m done.  I’m out of space for more games.  People love my game house and I enjoy entertaining.

I attended the Nathan Coe Marsh lecture.  I had jury duty.  I performed at the Peacock Theater once again.  I did a show on Lake Lewisville for Ericsson.  Plus I drove to Austin again to film more episodes for what’s now called Scam Nation. While in Austin I attended the Austin Magic Auction that Saturday. That night I had a wonderful dinner out and took in the play Dracula, which was very well done.

Believe it or not, I do work.  I did have several shows in between my whimsical outings.  I still play poker on a regular basis and usually do well.  I’ve mainly been booking lots of shows for the last quarter of the year.  Also, I’m prepping things for the Bamboozlers books for their 3rd printing.  I’ve bought the rights to a metal spinning top.  I’m slowly compiling Bamboozlers Vol. Four.  I’m working on a Bamboozlers deck of cards.  Plus, I did my second book deal with Dover books and it looks like there will be a third.  I always have plenty of projects to keep me busy when I’m not actually performing or prepping for shows.

This has been an eventful month!  I started off by flying out to Las Vegas for 6 days.  Most of my time was spent at the now annual Magic Live convention.  It’s always great to see old friends and make new ones.  My roommate Riccardo always cracks me up and has such a zeal for knowledge and a zest for life.  He’s become a very good friend to me.  I learned a lot at this convention and got very little sleep (about 4 hours a night) for 5 days.  I saw lots of great shows, bought some new toys, and even had time to squeeze in some poker tournament play.  I left well ahead and made enough to pay off the trip.

I returned home Friday August 9th and used the weekend to play catch up.  On Monday the 12th I worked for Reunion Tower who has become a regular client.  The next weekend and I attended the Peacock Theater and saw a fantastic variety show.  I was asked last minute to do some close-up magic for the guests. I had a deck of cards, a shoestring and some rubberbands and was able to entertain about 80 people in 2 different shows.  I’m proud of myself for training myself to be a minimalist to achieve strong effects with the smallest of props.  These skills will help me throughout my whole life and career.  That same weekend I had a family get together and cooked out with my dad and sisters and more.  It was great seeing everyone and watching them play games in my house of fun.

I’ve added some great beginner magic to my site since people have asked for it for years.  I’ve also added the Magic Money back to my site.  I’m still teaching magic and bar bets on Scam Nation that airs every Wednesday night.  I’ve done around 50 episodes.  I’ve posted some of the lessons at the top and bottom here.  Now I’m prepping for the busy fall season which already promises to full of fun gigs.  I still have lots of dates open that I hope to book soon.

 

 

 

June kept me busy with lots of private shows.  I’ve been performing magic professionally since 1986 and I still feel lucky to do what I love.  Work is constantly rolling in.  My new Diamond Cards are selling well and magicians and cardists love the feel and look of my cards.  I’m very proud of them. See a pic here that my friend Lawry from Australia took.

Scam School changed its name to Scam Nation and I’ve been featured in many of the episodes as of late.  See some of them at the top and bottom of this post.  I think I’ve done close to 50 episodes now with about 17 million views.  It’s crazy for me to think how many millions of people I’ve taught magic, bar bets and gags with the help of my friend Brian Brushwood.

December is typically my busiest month but I think this July might top it.  I worked a week at the Magic Castle from July 1-7.  I did 4 shows a night in the Close-up Gallery.  It was a stellar week working with some of the best of the best.  I had the 4th of July off and spent it at the Hollywood Bowl.  I toured the Reagan Library that featured an emotional Ronald and Nancy Reagan exhibit.  The museum also featured a Leonardo DaVinci exhibit.

After Hollywood I had a few days at home.  Enough time to do laundry, pay bills, and pack for Nashville.  I worked the new venue House of Cards, which is much like the Castle, but underground like a speakeasy.  The food was amazing.  The venue was very magical.The entertainment director Joey was extremely accommodating.  My first week there I worked in the Carter Theater and actually used Carter’s own table for my 4 performances each night.  I was elated that both sets of my parents were able to come and partake and see me in action.  The reviews were great.

My second week I did the close-up shows.  It was a more rigorous schedule standing for 6 hours near a close-up table waiting for audiences to come and go.  I did that for 6 nights.  My feet were aching each night but it was lots of fun. The staff were all great people.  The owner, whom I only met briefly, seemed like a nice guy.  Thank goodness he loves magic.  He’s created an incredible space.  He owns about 6 businesses in Nashville and he’s expanding.  I can’t wait to see how the House of Cards evolves in the future.

Nashville is an amazing town.  There is so much music history there.  There’s amazing singers in every bar and there’s tons of bars there.  I took in the night life and The Hermitage, the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash & Patsy Cline museum, the Frist museum and more.  Plus I had the infamous “hot chicken” there at a few different places.

Once home I had a couple of shows in town.  Now I’m back at home writing my blog on August 4th and my flight to Vegas leaves soon.  I’m attending the Magic Live conference once again.  I’m excited to see the shows, lectures, dealer’s room, but most of all my friends. It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that this is my life!