On Sunday October 7th I left home for a tour. I drove onto Amarillo, TX and stayed there for the night. The next night I lectured for a great group in Albuquerque, NM. The next night I lectured for a small but kind group in Tempe, AZ. The next few nights I stayed with my friend Chris in Las Vegas, NV. Chris owns and operates MagicSmith who make some very cool magical gadgets. I had fun hanging with Chris and just relaxing. One night we took in the club atop the Mandalay Bay casino and the place was jumping. I think we ate dinner about 2am that morning with the rest of his crew.
The next couple of nights were spent in Montrose, CA with some friends. I stayed with the Fleischers (Jeff, Susan and Molly) who are always fun to hang out with. Jeff was a mentor to me when I first began doing magic professionally. This time I had fun helping his daughter Molly with some art projects. I helped her with song-writing, a photography project, and we made a video of her dancing to Katy Perry’s song “Firework”. Jeff and I visited the Castle one night.
Sunday Oct. 14th I went to the Castle to attend Harry Anderson‘s lecture / 60th birthday party. Harry was kind enough to save me a seat near the front. Harry, (yes the guy from Cheers and Night Court) was huge inspiration to me as a young magician. Sitting there listening to his stories is something that I will never forget.
The next night I checked into an apartment two minutes walk from the Castle and I began my week-long stint there. This was my fifth time performing at the Castle since 2001. There is no other place in the world like the Castle. It’s an exclusive club that only a few can get in to and for a magician it is like working Carnegie Hall. I worked the Close-Up Gallery and did 26 shows that week. Everything went extremely well that week. One night 13 friends came to see me but only a few were able to get in and see my show, so I ran up in between shows to show them something during dinner (Seen on the left).
The feedback was all positive while at the Castle and personally I thought it all went great which is good since I am my own worst critic. I began each set with a new opener where I blow up a balloon, pop it, and produce a bottle of wine. I gave away 26 bottles of wine that week. Part of my phenomenal experience was due to the wise, funny and personable talent coordinator Jack Goldfinger. I feel like Jack and I became friends over my week there.
The Castle is always fun but this time it felt extra special. I rubbed elbows and spoke to many celebrities like Neil Patick Harris– the current president of the Academy of Magical Arts, Jeff Goldblum and others. I even did Katy Perry’s private birthday party. I did a special trick for Katy and afterwards she hugged me and grabbed my face and said, “Where are you from?” I think she liked my southern drawl. If you look at the picture on the left she is sitting next to her current boyfriend John Mayer. Both were nice and made up for Halloween like the rest of her guests. It was also cool to be working along side some of my favorite magicians David Regal, Brian Gillis and Johnny Ace Palmer.
Sunday Oct. 21st I lectured at the Castle for the second time. Once again the feedback was over the top. My friend Brian Gillis was there and he said it was great and that he was inspired. Another magician, whom I hold in high regard, Paul Green said he wouldn’t be surprised if I got the “Lecturer of the Year Award” there. We shall see.
During my week in Hollywood, CA. I was also lucky enough to get a tour of Johnny Gaughan’s warehouse. Johnny is THE top illusion builder in the world. He designed things for Copperfield, Burton, for movies and pop stars. He was working on a floating piano illusion for Justin Bieber while I was there. The coolest thing was seeing his private automaton collection. His collection is the largest in the world. Click here to see what some of these things can do.
After Hollywood I made my way back to Las Vegas. Along the way I stopped long enough to take some pictures of the Hoover Dam. It was impressive. Once in Vegas I stopped at the Gambler’s General Store and at the home of Pawn Stars. The pawn shop is a big tourist trap and none of the guys or the rest of the shop that you see on TV is accessible. There’s very little reality with reality television these days.
That night I lectured in Vegas and did very well. Another surreal moment for me was having the world-famous magician Jeff McBride sit in the front row. Jeff is very cool. The whole time he was giving me the thumbs up and he purchased practically all of my items afterward. In my mind that is a huge seal of approval.
After that I drove back home as quick as I could. I drove 3400 miles roundtrip. I have a lot of fond memories from my stops in NM, AZ, NV and CA and my drive across these states. It was often breathtaking driving across places like Sedona in AZ or the Mojave Desert in NV. Once home I did several more shows and actually worked the night of Halloween which is rare for me.
I found another great review online (seen below) for my effect Collateral. My third batch of Doomsday decks has almost sold out. The fourth issue of VANISH magic magazine is out which showcases my column Bamboozlers and a great review of my effect Sweet. November promises to be equally busy for me. I am looking forward to my holiday season shows and some hang time with my family and friends. Life is good.