In June I returned to Austin to film more episodes for Scam Nation.  See one of the videos above where Brushwood’s 9-year old daughter Calliope gives me a run for my money.  She’s very clever and super smart like her dad.  Subscribe to Brian’s channel for tons of videos to learn cool magic tricks and bar bets.  If you want to do the dime-penny bar bet like I do, then find what you need on my site here.

The best thing to happen to me recently was meeting a wonderful woman named Drew.  She’s the calm and balance I’ve been searching for.  When not doing shows we have been experiencing lots of fun adventures together.  She’s an amazing lady who happens to be a jet pilot, who trains other pilots.  She’s humble and very inspirational.  I’m lucky to know her.  My new favorite word is “withdrew”.

In July Drew and I attended a concert in Fort Worth featuring my favorite band Cheap Trick.  The first time I saw them live was when I was 13.  I’ve seen them in concert at least a dozen times now and have had the pleasure of hanging out with them a couple of times after their concerts.  I have a signed poster and guitar by all the members that hangs proudly in my game room.  Drew is now a big fan too!  They put on a great show.  Although CT was recently inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, they opened for Rod Stewart.  I’ve always been a fan of his but now I have the utmost respect for the performer that he is.  He put on a helluva show and did over 20 songs.  For a 77 year old man he killed it.  I’m so glad we got to see him live.

After that we visited one of my favorite places on Earth…. The Magic Castle, in Hollywood, California.  I wanted to introduce her to the mecca of my art.  We had a blast.  It was truly a magical night.  One day we will return and she can see me in my element there.  She’s already attended many of my shows and is very supportive.  We dined at Yamashiro’s.  We did the tour at Warner Brothers Studios.  We saw awesome fireworks on the 4th of July.  We did two rooms at the Escape Hotel and finished in record time.  Needless to say we make a good team.  We did a lot in the short time we were there.  Once home we visited her sister’s place and had a fun Murder Mystery themed party.  It was very nice meeting some of Drew’s family.

Come August we took a trip to Santa Fe.  What a unique and beautiful place!  There we took in the town and shopped the various galleries and museums.  We bought jewelry, clothing, art, stones, ate well, etc.  I liked the vibe there.  The highlight was seeing Meow Wolf.  It’s an immersive art exhibit that you have to see to understand.  I could post pics but it wouldn’t do the place justice.

Once home I prepped for my big theater show and had a sold-out enthusiastic crowd.  It was nice to have so many friends, fans and family come out and support me.  My good friend Joe, who owns the theater ran the lights, sound, video, etc.. and made me look like a superstar.  It was a fun night and many have asked when I’ll do it again.  I’m pretty booked up for the rest of 2022 so hopefully the show will return in 2023.  Work has been plentiful and I’ve driven all over DFW to razzle-dazzle my clients.  I also had an overnight gig in Madison, Wisconsin and had forgotten just how pretty that town was.  It was an epic event for a bunch of folks in the medical field.

As an artist one of my highlights was releasing the long awaited Bamboozlers Volume Four.  It’s 75 bits of business with 188 pages, and over 170 illustrations by the amazing Benjamin Vincent.  Expect the same classy layout with superior paper, a purple leatherette cover, a satin ribbon marker, with silver foil stamping and silver gilt edges.  This book has been in the making for 9 long years.  Copies have been flying out the door.  Bamboozlers One is now in it’s fourth printing.  Volume Three will soon be in it’s third printing.  However I think I’m going to make this volume a limited run.  Get yours while you can.  Order here.  You can also order all four volumes with 300 effects for a special price here.

To celebrate all my good fortune I decided to have a house party.  I tried to invite folks who had never been to my home and show them things I get to see every day.  There was a plethora of food and drink. The attendees got to witness a little of my magic, and my arcade like home with lots of pinballs and other games.  We were all entertained by Jobi the Monkey… he’s a capuchin monkey with lots of character.  Jobi looked good for 37.  My guests witnessed the educational and entertaining Daryl with Snake Encounters with lots of various sidewinders.  Then to close the night my friend Josh Ayala did his amazing fire show and I played DJ.  Fun was had by all and many said it was the best party they had ever attended.  Maybe I overshot a little bit.  Life is short so I wanted to give my friends a night they’d always remember.

Plus I have made an amazing new friend named Alex Gerst.  He’s a musician who helps others produce music and albums in his studio.  He’s also in a Cars cover band.  Alex and I share a similar passion for pinball machines.  He has not only repaired some of my machines but also has started his own YouTube pinball channel titled Empire Pinball.  Check out the episode he did about me below:

 

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!