IMG_3012These last two months have kept me busy performing and working on projects.  I’ve done lots of parties around the metroplex.  Some have been company events, birthday parties, and many graduation parties.  People young and old seem to appreciate my style of magic.  Over 30 years of performing professionally I’ve mastered what works well in different scenarios.

march2016gradAs far as projects go I’ve just re-released my 7 Lucky Dice and a spin-off product called Forcing Die.  These dice are for magicians and their mentalism routines.  The product has been well received globally and some of the biggest names in the business have ordered from me.

I’m also working on a secret project that hopefully will come out in May.  I think it will be big!  It’s my first time commissioning molds made and having something mass produced in China.  I have had dies made for certain products but this is on a bigger scale.  Wish me luck and look for it soon.

IMG_3009My friend Jared Guynes rented out Cowboy Stadium on March 12th and around 2300 people participated in the world’s largest Nerf gun battle.  I was one of them.  It’s official and I’m in the Guinness Book of World Records now.  It’s kind of a big deal; kind of like being a doctor.  Jared was also kind enough to hire me to work the pre-party where I saw my friends Pam and Miki the Monkey.  Life is never dull.

IMG_3010The following weekend I attended the Texas Pinball festival in Frisco, TX.  It was thrilling to play the several hundred games on free play that weekend.  Plus I got to see many friends and make some new ones.  My favorite arcade game Omega Race was there and I hogged the machine as much as possible.

In April I turned another year older and have been purging.  I’ve sold my Sherlock Holmes collection, my Egyptian art collection, my magic book collection, plus some other items.  They say what you own ends up owning you.  I’m trying to simplify some things and reboot. More soon.

djt-feb3I performed many private events this month across the metroplex.  I’ve performed in mansions, country clubs, libraries, grand ballrooms, etc. One gig took me to someone’s home where I saw friends I hadn’t seen in years.  I was so glad these old friends got to see me do my stand-up comedy magic for adults; plus it was great catching up.  This month I received Bamboozlers One from the printer in China.  The second printing had sold out so now I have the third printing in stock again.  These little books continue to do amazingly well.  I had no idea when beginning this series in 2008 that it would become what I am best known for.

The big happening this month was my lecture tour across 7 states and 10 cities.  I drove from Dallas to Springfield, Missouri on Feb. 9th.  From there to Kansas City, MO to lecture once again at US Toy and hang out with my friend Todd Lamanske who is an awesome magician in his own Glass-Balance-DJTright.  David Sandy welcomed me to his home with a little party and gave me a tour of his cool home and magic collection.  From there I went to Little Rock, Arkansas and then drove home to do two shows that Saturday.

Sunday the 14th I left so I could be in Louisville, KY the following night.  Attendance was poor due to snow everywhere but I had fun with those that did show up.  Then I made me way to Springfield, IL, then to Big Guy’s magic shop in Pewaukee, WI where it was really cold.  The next night I was in Tinley Park, IL.  I drove 13 hours home the next day straight to sleep in my own bed.  That Saturday I had two shows as well.

fireSunday the 21st I lectured for my pals in Dallas and had a party at the house afterward.  The next day I was in Lake Charles, LA where I saw my buddy Chip Romero, who is a wonderful cruise ship magician, and who has one of the most impressive magic collections on the planet.  The next night I lectured in Austin, TX and made my way home again the next day.  All in all I drove over 5000 miles across the US. That week I had a few more shows to finish off the month.  So life is good and work is plentiful.  The problem is I have so many projects I’d like to complete but I have little time and motivation.  Having said that I do have an exciting new product that should come out next month. I can’t wait for the magic world to see it!

2016 started off on the right foot again by performing for the teenagers at Phoenix House on Jan. 1st.  These kids are going through tough times and it was fun to know I was bringing them some wonder, if only for a little while.  Jan. 3rd I flew to LA and attended the Magic Castle shows that evening.  On the 4th my work week there began doing three shows a night in the Parlour of Prestidigitation.  This was my ninth time working the Castle.  Once again I was working with the best of the best.

irene-djt-2016It was a fun work week and I enjoyed meeting British magician Pete Firman.  Pete witnessed me dueling with drunks during one of my performances and it was a hoot!  These sort of  occurrences make me a better magician.  Irene Larsen, wife of the former Bill Larsen (who founded the Castle with his brother Milt) had wonderful things to say about my show and my humor.  High praise from Mrs. Larsen (seen on the right), who’s seen thousands of magicians, meant the world to me.  The highlight was hanging out with friends that week.

texas-motor-cars-2016Once home Jan. 12th I had one day of rest before doing five shows that week. Over the next two weeks I had several shows.  I did a stand-up show in the home of a billionaire for several teenagers and their parents on Jan. 30th. On Jan. 31st I had an awesome gig at Texas Motorcars in Addison, Tx.  See a candid shot from the Texas Motor Cars (on the left).  See me performing a fun routine Sunday Jan. 31st by (clicking here). People pay me to have fun!!

The big news this month was the release of my 10th instructional magic DVD titled Telekinetic.  It’s based on an effect I dreamed up as a teenager but with lots of nuances and modifications.  It’s definitely one of the more visual pieces of magic that I do.  See the trailer at the top of this post.  2016 marks 40 years practicing magic and 30 years performing it professionally.  To celebrate I’ve released my 10 DVD Box Set that features over 50 effects.  It’s probably the best deal on my website for those who are not familiar with my magic.

 

 

penn-djt-2016bWhat a year!  Reflecting back I am amazed at all that I accomplished this year.  I couldn’t do it without my network of family and friends that encourage me.  In December I did 29 private gigs.  I think my record is 30 in a month.  Some of those gigs were half an hour long (not counting packing and planning, travel time and set-up and break-down time); most were 2-3 hours long and at least one was 5.5 hours long.  On Dec. 11th I drove to Houston (4 hours away) to work a 2 hour luncheon, drove back and did two more shows in different cities that night.  December is always hectic and lucrative.  I am not counting all of the other parties I attended with friends and family.  One gig in December took me to the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma where I entertained a private party of nine in a High Rollers room and then the gentleman who hired me gifted me with a ticket to see Penn & Teller with them.  I spoke with both P&T after and they were very cordial.  See the pics of myself with them here.  I love the one where Teller is looking over my Bamboozler book.

Teller-DJT-2016bEarly in 2015 I flew to England and was one of the headliners at the Blackpool convention.  It’s like the superbowl of magic conventions with about 3600 in attendance.  It was my second time lecturing and performing at the Blackpool convention and I loved it as much as the first time.  I made time while there to see friends in Liverpool and Derby and family in Leeds and Chelmsford.

I attended the TAOM convention in Austin and had a blast with old friends.  I was pleased to give a mini-lecture there and perform in the Scam School alumni show with Brian Brushwood and others.  I also attended the MAGIC LIVE convention in Las Vegas and had an awesome time with old and new friends.  Plus I made some great contacts for future tours.  One of the great things to come from it was that Vanishing Inc. and myself will team up for some new product releases in 2016.  Stay tuned.  The first project is a DVD called Telekinetic that will release very soon!!

Besides my many in-town gigs through-out the year, I made time to lecture across the southeastern part of the US.  Getting the thumbs up and verbal approval from guys like Bev Bergeron on that tour is what keeps me going.  I shot more episodes of Scam School (see below).  I worked the Magic Castle in Hollywood for the 8th time.  I flew to NY to film a live lecture for Reel Magic. Plus I returned to lecture across New Zealand and Australia.  Returning to the land down under is always fun.  Since I had been there before I tagged on another tour across Asia in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Indonesia.  Doing it was very tiresome but the memories are amazing!  Imagine taking 19 flights, and sleeping in 20 different beds in 29 days across 7 countries.  I lived it!

I managed to repackage all of my DVDs into 5×5 cardboard sleeves so they weigh less and take up less space.  My Penguin Lecture DVD released this year.  My effects Magic Math Sticks, 7 Lucky Dice, Diamond Jack, The Squeezer, Mirrors and Quadrare Caan Opus all received rave reviews in this years Linking Ring magazine. I added puzzles to my site like The Diver’s Lung Tester, Ecryptic, Sherlock’s 7 Cent Solution, Cardinal Zen, etc.  I released my Half-Dollar Coin Ring with over 1000 sold and have received many custom coin ring orders because of it. I just sent the paperwork in to reprint Bamboozlers Vol. One for the third time.  Soon I’ll be adding some new products to my line.

2015 was a busy crazy year but 2016 will top it!

Work has been prosperous.  Between October and November I did 33 shows.  I helped celebrate my sister, mother’s, and step-mother’s birthdays.  I wrapped shooting my 9th DVD, technically it’s my 10th if you count my Penguin Magic lecture DVD; for you non-magicians… it is not a lecture about magic with penguins.

cardinalzenMore episodes of Scam School starring moi have aired (see one of them at the top of this post).  I’ve added a new puzzle to my product line called Cardinal Zen.  I’ve prepared 1000 inserts for my upcoming DVD.  I have two projects in the works with Vanishing Inc. that I am excited about.  I went to Cars & Coffee with my father, but unfortunately it was cold and rainy so cars showcased there were in poor attendance.  I gave a lesson to a new student.  I saw the new James Bond Spectre film. I attended the Dallas Margarita Ball with about 13,000 other people just for fun.

Two gigs that I will not forget happened on the same day.  Oct. 10th I made my way bright and early to the Texas State Fair at Fair Park with my friend Jared Guynes.  Traffic was a mess seeing how it was the big TX-OU football weekend.  I made my way to Big Tex and began doing some street magic.  A couple walked up and I did some magic that helped them to get engaged.  It seemed impromptu but it was all pre-planned of course.  I had my friend Jared film it and the priceless reactions are here:

dankostNeedless to say the girl Lauralee was in shock and awe;  so much so that she didn’t realize that while I was performing for her and her future husband that their family was secretly gathering all around them.  I was flattered to be a part of it all.

Then that evening I did a party for Dan Kost at his car shop.   It was disguised as a party for employees and friends but secretly Dan and I planned something special for his now fiance.  See a photo here of their reaction! I can count the times I’ve done engagements on one hand and did two of them on this day.  It was very fulfilling and I hope to do more work like this.

jennifer30thIronically one of the couples I helped get engaged hired me to work their parents 50th anniversary on Oct. 24th.  They too were a great crowd and appreciative audience.  Nov. 7th I was a surprise for a lady’s 30th birthday.  They didn’t want me to leave and just couldn’t get enough.  It’s nice to be appreciated for my hard work at my craft.  See a photo of the birthday girl and her boyfriend here.

I look forward to Thanksgiving with family and wrapping up some projects.  December is booking up to be busier than ever.  33% of 2016 is booked solid.  I have so much work that it looks like I will not get a break until March of 2016.  I’m a lucky guy to be doing so much of what I love. Plus I have great family, friends and fans.

DJT-CarbonaroLuckily I’ve stayed busy with lots of shows and projects.  August 9th I flew to Vegas with a buddy and we attended the Magic Live convention.  There were over 1300 magicians there, many of which are some of the biggest names in magic.  It was good to see old friends, make new ones, and make some contacts for upcoming projects and tours.  I lined up some stops for my Germany tour next year and planned some tours for the US, Canada, and hopefully China.  If I get any busier I’ll have to clone myself.  It was nice to rub shoulders with some famous magicians like David Copperfield, Michael Carbonaro (seen left), Tom Mullica, etc.  Once back home I played poker with some friends, helped my friend Mindi Bailey celebrate her 60th, met my friend Kevin Davis’ and the gang back from High School, and did many more shows.

August was also the release for my new puzzle ECRYPTIC. This three wooden piece brain twister is diabolical and definitely the hardest one to do from my puzzle line.  See it here.

scam-school-alumniCome September I went to Austin and shot a few more episodes of Scam School.  See one of those episodes below.  After hanging with my buddy Brian Brushwood, I saw my cousins Roger and Alex in Austin and then attended the Texas Association of Magicians convention there Sept. 4-7th.  Originally I went to simply hang out and see shows and friends but I was asked to do two mini-performances.  The first was with my friend Brushwood for what was called Scam School Live.  Myself, Brushwood, David Rangel, David Rowyn and Dennis Rogers all performed.  It was a lot of fun to work with these guys!  The next day I taught one effect from my first book during a lecture featuring many Texas performers.  All of the proceeds from the lecture notes sold went to charity.  The next day I manned my own booth for 6 hours and did very well.  The highlight of the convention for me was seeing Ray Anderson perform at Esther’s Follies.  I’ve seen the show many times and it never gets old because half of it always changes.

russell-paulaOnce home my cousins Russell and Paula from England stayed with us a few days.  We tried to keep them entertained and well fed. Of course I had many shows to look forward to.  One was with two of my colleagues (one a caricature artist and the other a snake wrangler).  Another fun gig was for my best friends’ the Trippi’s church where I did a stand-up show before Paul Salos (of AGT fame) a Frank Sinatra impersonator took the stage.

reelmagicTo cap off the end of the month I flew to Binghamton, NY to do a live online lecture for Reel Magic magazine.  That live lecture has now been edited and made available for download.  For $5.00 a month it is one of the best deals in magic for all that you get.  See it by clicking the banner.

 

I kicked off the month by updating my website with my friend Jared.  He video-taped one of my magic routines which can be seen above.  July 2nd I flew to Indiana and did a show for a client and several hundred guests for a fish fry on his personal 1000 acre estate; besides myself they had guys parachute in carrying a large American flag with a fireworks show to boot.  Hopefully they’ll have me back next year!

This month I launched my new product which is a 1976 Bicentennial Kennedy Half-Dollar made into a finger ring.  The coins are made into whatever size someone needs and can be used for magic routines like Spellbound or Karate Coin.  Over 1000 of them have sold thus far!  Plus it’s leading to many custom orders for specific years (like birth years) and nicer coins (like Barber, Walking Liberty and Franklin half-dollars).  See the video below and learn more about them here.

I’ve attended Pippin the musical, had a swim day at my folk’s place, had my friends the Mathews over, and lectured in Tulsa, Oklahoma for Spotlite Magic.  Shortly after I vacationed in Santa Barbara and did a little wine tour.  I was delighted to return to perform at The Magic Castle in Hollywood for a week in the Close-Up Gallery.  Not only did many friends come out to see me but some of my magic idols like Brian Gillis, the Amazing Jonathan and Steve Valentine attended my show and had nice things to say.  See a pic of all us below.

gillis-jonathan-djt-valentine

While in the Los Angeles area a friend of mine named Mitch, who works for Power 106 FM radio had me out to entertain the crew there.  They were an enthusiastic audience and interviewed me on air.  To my surprise the celebrity Jason Derulo appeared for an interview and I razzle-dazzled him with my magic.  He literally freaked over some of my effects.  Much of it was caught on video. Below is one of the four clips that was made:

 

vette2015

What people say about time speeding up as you get older is true. June flew past with projects and shows. Listed are some of the highlights of what I actually remember. I drove to Oklahoma City to perform at a 50th High School reunion which was a blast. I played poker one night with a regular group of guys. I attended my nephew Landen’s graduation party. We’re all proud of Landen for graduating one year early! I did shows all over the metroplex. We had our attic finished out and got a new roof. The day they were doing all the hammering we got the heck out of Dodge and saw Jurassic World. I bought a new car and attended my first car meet; see the pic above. Plus, my buddy Jared is always helping me with my website, so this time he asked to film the footage which is seen below.

gandolphOn April 26th I flew to DFW to LAX to Auckland to begin another adventure.  I stayed with my friend Alan Watson (recently honored by Academy of Magical Arts and the Queen).  From there I moved onto Christchurch and saw a changed city after the earthquake hit since my last visit in 2010.  The city is recovering slowly and the gang was very enthusiastic about me being there.  Then I went onto Wellington which fast became my favorite stop in New Zealand.  The airport itself is like a museum with a bigger than life size Gollum, Gandolph (see the pic above), and a sleeping but breathing Dragon. My host Nopera Whitley and his girlfriend showed me around the city where we played mini golf and took in the Te Papa museum.  The Gallipoli exhibit (created by Weta Workshop) was mind-blowing.  It was probably the best exhibit I’ve ever seen.  See one image below.  Lastly we visited the Weta Workshop where things are made for some of the biggest movies today like Lord of the Rings, Godzilla, Spiderman, District 9, King Kong, the new Mad Max, etc.

gallipoli-exhibit-tepapaAfter NZ I flew onto Brisbane and stayed with my friends Cyrus and Silloo at their palatial estate.  They took me to the Gold Coast and showed me their place in the sky there and took me to the top of the highest building.  It’s a place I’m eager to return to.  From there I went onto Sydney and stayed with my good friend Sean Taylor and his family.  The next day my friend Wayne Black took me to see the sites on Bondi Beach and we met our friend Ian Pidgeon for lunch.  After that I went to Melbourne and was greeted by Graham Etherington who helped me settle a hotel issue.  I spent a couple of extra days there and really got to know Melbourne.  One day I toured the zoo with a friend named Lee and loved seeing all of the animals.

singaporeI made my way onto Adelaide and Perth and had a good time there.  Then the real adventure began when I flew to Singapore.  It was my first time to set foot in Asia!  Singapore was amazing.  See the pic above.  It was such a nice city and most people speak English there.  It’s very expensive to live there but a wonderful place to visit.  The gang was very warm and receptive.  The Asian culture is very kind to guests and accommodating.  I hope to return there one day.

tuktukAfter a couple of days in Singapore I flew onto Bangkok, Thailand.  I was given bad info by the airline so my host waited for me at the wrong airport.  After that minor hiccup I checked into my hotel and was shown the city by car, foot, and tuk-tuk (see the pic).  Imagine riding around through congested traffic at 70mph in this open vehicle that sounds like it’s powered by a lawnmower engine.

It was 107 degrees Fahrenheit but we took in a beautiful temple.  There were pictures of the King and his daughter (the princess) everywhere.  They are much loved there.  I lectured for a young crowd at The Academy of Magic there run by the amazing Mamada.  What he is doing for the youth of Bangkok is truly altruistic. I was their first close-up magic lecture and they were a gracious audience.

suits-hongkongAfter Thailand I went onto Hong Kong.  The hotel was nice and I made fast friends with Albert Tam.  He went all out to show me this wonderful city.  We traveled by foot, cab, ferry, subways and a tram.  The gang was a lot of fun and the city was incredible.  Plus I did my best to eat local dishes where I went each time. Albert was very kind to take me to some men’s suit shops where I picked some material and had 3 custom outfits made; see the pics.

I then flew to Manila in The Philippines.  They treated me like a rockstar there!  To introduce me they played their national anthem and said a prayer, played my national anthem and upon walking out they played Hail to the Chief!  The group took about a million pictures that night like I was Johnny Depp.  Plus they showered me with gifts.  The artist I met there James Paul was super cool and designed the poster attached below.  My hosts Chubster and George took me out for a night on the town!

manila-poster-DJTThe next day me and a couple of the guys walked a traditional mall there. While shopping I found a shirt I liked and paid for it with a credit card.  The annoyed sales clerk insisted that I sign it like the back of my credit card so I signed it “See Photo I.D.” We also took in the new Mad Max movie in 3D.  Manila is a place I must return to.

Barely catching my breath I made my to Surabaya, Indonesia.  That is not an easy place to get in and out of.  My host Suchayo put me up and a very nice resort.  He, his wife and I had a very nice dinner at another resort like place that evening.  Suchayo manufacturers a lot of magic made world-wide so we brainstormed a little on future projects.  I hope we will work together in the future.

After that I flew onto Sydney for a day to see my friend Sean Taylor who helped to arrange much of this trip.  He’s a great magician and a wonderful friend.  Then I flew back to Dallas on Monday (Memorial Day) and had four more shows that week.  The trip was exhausting but amazing. 15 gigs over 29 days and 19 flights.  I have memories enough to last a lifetime.

April has historically been a productive month for me.  On April 1st I did a show at the House of Blues, in the Foundation Room, for a now regular client who I always love working for.  The month has been filled with fun gigs from birthdays parties, to block parties, to casino nights with companies and more.  All in all I will have performed 17 gigs this month.  Later this month I will perform on site for an interesting client at the Hageman Reserve (see below). On my birthday April 25th I will be performing in the home of a billionaire.

hagemanIt was nice to have sushi one night with my friends the Baileys at Blue Fish.  Later that same week I dined with my folks, my nephew, sisters and my new brother-in-laws at Benihana’s.  I also dined with friends and enjoyed some good Tex-Mex at Blue Goose in Frisco last night.  It’s nice to have such great friends and family.

DJT-DanSperryIt was unexpected to see my friends The Fleischers, unfortunately under sad circumstances, with the passing of my good friend Jeff’s mother Grace.  I’m a performer and not afraid of crowds, but I could never speak at a funeral because I get too emotional.  At the funeral many of her children spoke and Jeff’s story was especially touching. She raised a sweet family and I’m most thankful for her son Jeff who is like a brother to me.

One of the highlights this month was attending the Illusionists show at Music Hall at Fair Park.  I was surprised to see so many friends and clients at the show. I bought season tickets to the shows, but thought I wouldn’t make this show because of a tour I was planning.  I was very disappointed when I had to sell these tickets.

djt-hongkongIronically dates got pushed and I was gifted a pair of second row seats.  The show was great!  I’ve seen many magic shows, hundreds, and this was very well put together.  The live band, the mix of talent, everything was practically perfect.  See a pic of myself and Dan Sperry, one of the show’s highlights, attached here.

Most of this month has been spent planning my upcoming tour that begins April 26th.  I fly to New Zealand, then make my to Australia, then onto five Asian countries.  See the poster for my stop in Hong Kong. It’s 15 gigs over the course of 29 days.  Most of those days will be spent in transit.  For this trip I will board 19 planes!!! It’s going to be quite an adventure.  I’ve never been anywhere in Asia before so this will be an eye opener for me.  Wish me luck!

 

 

kinky-boots-ticketsI left my gig in Houston for home on March 1st.  That Sunday night I ate dinner at my favorite restaurant Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano which never disappoints.  Following dinner I made my way to Music Hall at Fair Park to see the musical Kinky Boots.  The show was good on many levels.  The score, which was incredible, was done by Cyndi Lauper. My seat was great and I can’t wait to return to see the next show there in April.

globeINsavannahLater that week I worked a few gigs but one was cancelled due to the ice in Dallas.  The next week continued with more shows and get-togethers with friends like (Tony, Amanda, and their baby Hannah) also my friends (David and Kylie Knight).  Most of the second week of March was spent preparing for my lecture tour on the East Coast.  On Sunday March 15th I flew to Savannah, GA.  I wish I had more time there but I only had one night.  I made the most of it and went to see downtown.  See the pic I took of a huge globe behind one of the buildings I saw as I drove around.

I had forgotten it was St. Patty’s Day weekend and wondered why the streets were combed with crazy-dressed folks and no places to park.  After finding a place to park I walked around and found a Scottish Pub named Molly MacPherson’s.  Seeing how it was a Scottish bar they had my favorite beer on tap, ironically from Scotland, which is Innis & Gunn.  I treated the bartenders and a few patrons to some bar bets and a little close-up magic which they all enjoyed.  I was treated to a group of drunk frat boys singing a bunch of Scottish songs for all to hear.  It was an entertaining place to say the least.  Savannah is a place I’d love to return to.

45signThe next Monday morning I made my way to Raleigh, NC where I lectured that night.  The following Tuesday I lectured in Myrtle Beach, SC.  I was elated to do so because that made 45 states that I have now performed in.  The next day I drove onto Orlando, FL and lectured for the Bev Bergeron ring.  Bev the man himself was there.  His was one of the first lectures I ever attended and I remember much of it.  He’s a great person, and an amazing entertainer, so hearing his praise after my lecture meant the world to me.  I regretted not having extra days to do things in Orlando because there are so many wonderful attractions like Disney World, Universal Studies, WonderWorks, Wizards Theater, Kennedy Space Center (not too far away), plus lots more.  That Thursday I went onto Clearwater, FL and lectured for the group that night.  All of the groups were receptive and fun to hang with.  That Friday I did lots of driving and made my way back to Savannah to return my car and catch a flight home.  Luckily that weekend I got to relax a little and binge watch some TV with my wife.

cardwhizThe last full of week of March I did many more shows and met up with some high school friends later that week.  The last weekend of March I spent at the Texas Pinball Festival in Frisco.  This is such a great event that most folks don’t even know about.  500 pinball games were on free play that weekend.  Many of them were for sale.  There were also several stand-up video arcade games on free play as well.  It was great seeing friends and learning more about the evolution of pinball games.  The latest pinball games were The Hobbit and The Big Lebowski; these are not your grandpa’s pinball machines.  The latest machines have built in LED screens with movie quality scenes.

I also attended the auction at the Pinball Fest and couldn’t resist bidding on one machine called Card Whiz.  I am now the proud owner of this machine.  Those in the know tell me that I got a heck of a deal on it.  It was made by Gottlieb in 1976.  Apparently the machine is rare and also the very last electro-mechanical machine that company made before everything went digital.  When playing it definitely takes you back with it’s humms and bells.  If your in the neighborhood drop by and play a game with me.

On Feb. 1st I watched the SuperBowl like most Americans.  It’s the only football game I watch each year.  I honestly didn’t know who was playing until I turned on the TV that day.  It was a good game, but the ads were depressing or silly.  That may have been the last one I watch.  Sports or watching sports has never really done it for me.  This month I celebrated my nephew Landen’s birthday, Valentine’s with my wife and had a nice lunch in East Texas with my grandfather and a past high school teacher.  Those are more of the moments that mean something to me.

youngmanBesides my many shows I spent the month preparing for my big return to the UK to lecture and perform at the Blackpool convention.  Blackpool is the world’s largest magic convention.  I lectured, performed, taught a master class, did something called speed dating (which was basically walk around magic), manned my booth with my good friend Graeme Smith and hung out in the Ruskin hotel bar with many of the world’s top magicians until the wee hours.  All went well and I was enamored with the compliments.  I felt like a rock star with people constantly stopping me for an autograph, a photo-op, or to tell me a story of how my magic helped or inspired them.  It was truly overwhelming.  One mom told me that her son came home and watched my videos every day after school (See that young man in the center of the pic attached).  Others told me how my first book got them started in magic.  Since I don’t have children it is nice to know that my work will hopefully live on in others.

blackpool-2015-lectureThe best part of Blackpool for me, beyond all of the new contacts I made, was meeting up with the older ones.  It was nice to see many folks from around the world, people who I’ve stayed in their homes, in Norway, in England, in Finland, in Italy, in Sweden, in France, in Germany, in Belgium and reconnect with them again.  It was literally like dying and going to Heaven and seeing old friends that I thought I might never see again.  There was 3500 attendees this time.  See the pic above of the room I worked for my lecture.

speed-datingBefore and after the convention I met up with family in the north and south of England.  It’s always great to see my extended family and bond with them more.  My cousins Russell and Paula showed me more of Leeds and we took in the museum there.  My aunt Lorraine and uncle Ralph in Leeds were kind enough to put me up for a couple of nights.  After leaving Blackpool I hopped 3 trains and 2 Underground rides to make it to Chelmsford.  My cousin Adrian picked me up to greet his lovely wife Laura and their cute daughter Harriet.  Laura’s parents Graham and Geneen kindly put me up again and I visited with Laura’s always amusing brother Robert.  The next day we took in a beautiful park and hit a couple of pubs that night.  Of course I had fun with some of the locals by doing magic and pulling some pranks.  Good times were had by all.

On the way home I upgraded to first class.  It was so nice on that 10 hour flight to “completely” recline and enjoy all of the amenities. 10 hours flying home usually feels like 20 when traveling in coach, but this time it felt like 5.  I enjoyed drinks, great food, lots of movie choices, free noise-cancelling headphones, a chocolate Sundae, priority bags, priority boarding, etc.  It will be very hard on my next trip to resist the urge of upgrading to first class.

barbq-texasOnce home I had one day of rest and to unpack.  The next night I had a gig and the following morning I awoke at 4:30am to leave by 5:30am and drove down the icy highways of Dallas to make my 4 hour drive to Houston.  Once in Houston I arrived a the stadium there and worked a booth for a regular corporate client at The World’s Largest Bar-B-Que Cook-Off.  Over 100,000 people came through this event!  I was scheduled to do 6 hours but was hired to work 4 more.  10 hours of performing straight has got to be a new record for me.  I love my job and I’m impressed that I can exceed even my own expectations.