Bent Wheel on my tricycle.

My ex-wife is fond of saying that having three kids is like having a tricycle with one bent wheel – it’s just that the bent wheel moves around from time to time!  IOW at any given time, one of my kids may well be the ‘bent one’.
When I talk about my kids, I sometimes lovingly refer to one (or another) of them as the bent wheel on my tricycle of life. I have three great kids. In fact, my oldest just presented me with my first grandchild!
Kids are a never ending ride down the sometimes bumpy road of life on a tricycle with a bent wheel.
Besides being a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Mike Peters is a dear friend and an enthusiastic fan of my work.

Mike in the blue shirt is reacting to something I was doing. I wish he could be in my audience every night.

I am equally rabid about his incredible talent. We have spent much time laughing together and he loves the bent wheel line. So he skillfully wove the line into his nationally syndicated strip, Mother Goose and Grimmy.

I have never known him to ‘plug’ someone in one of his strips so I am humbled and honored.
BTW It’s a bit misleading because my dog Lila is the only wheel on my wagon that isn’t currently bent.
That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Psychedelic Epcot

 

What an unbelievable weekend.

I was in Central FL to be a part of the last weekend of Epcot’s Food and Wine festival.  Though I have been in Orlando many times, I really haven’t been to anything at Epcot for more than 20 years. I never had the time or inclination to ‘hit the parks’. Mostly I have been ‘flying solo’ and any visit to Disney really isn’t that special if you can’t share the memory with someone.

This time was to be a bit different. I was there ‘working’ and so had a team to hang with. So I had a chance to really enjoy the place with a group of like minded folks and it was a gas.

I did my little stint but got to hang around a bit longer in the Disney Beach Club hotel. Deluxe!

Culminating this 5 week celebration of eating and drinking was the “Party for the Senses”- a gala event that was the capstone to the whole thing. My client was involved in this as well but my part of the weekend was over and there weren’t enough tickets to allow me to attend.

Enter: my Disney Pal John surprised me when he told me he had just one ticket left and asked if I was interested in going.

Um, YAH!! so I spent Saturday on the DL .. resting up for what proved to be one of the best nights of my life.

I was to meet up with John and the rest of his contingent at about 7 but I knew that one of my favorite bands was playing at a wide open concert so I headed over to Epcot at about 5, figuring this was a good place to kill a couple of hours.

The nearer I got to the entrance the more people began to join in the stream of folks heading toward the turnstiles. This was an extremely popular weekend and there were more people in this stream than I have been around in a long while. I cleared the gate, (where I had to lay my finger on a scanner that took my fingerprint to get in! Very weird.)

As I entered the park, the atmosphere really began to rev up. There was already a river of people in the walkways and if you wanted to get out of the river, all you had to do was head to the side (the “riverbank”) and you could sit out and observe the flow. In this mix was an astounding assortment of people- from the most interesting and beautiful faces, sensuous bodies in an array of clothing options -to the most grotesque of shapes and sizes.   I wonder how Americans are perceived by our foreign visitors???  and speaking of foreign visitors… this was as close to a European vacation as you can get. Besides the different themes, snippets of conversations in strange languages move past you as you make your way through the crowd.

I entered the park at “England” and skirted the lake as I headed toward the American Stage.. I suddenly found myself in “Japan”! -complete with the iconic Torii in the water and Shinto temple architecture. I was just in time for a demonstration of those big Japanese drums being played by three very intense looking Japanese girls in traditional garb rhythmically pounding out a complex drumming piece that I can only guess goes back thousands of years. I thought to myself, “I spent three weeks in Japan and never saw anything approaching this.” That I had to come to Florida to experience authentic Japanese culture was incongruent at best. I was spell bound as the drumming intensified and I could feel the resonance in my core. When they stopped, I just stood there vibrating and mesmerized by what I had just witnessed.

Shaking my head, I once again joined the river and was swept in to the “American” section where Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was just coming on stage. Wow. I LOVE the music they play…high powered swing music that makes it impossible to sit still when you listen. In my typical concert pattern, I couldn’t sit down and so I wandered all over the venue, occasionally getting close to band to feel that beat. As I made it back toward the ‘river’ I was able to witness a spontaneous dance number performed by two lithe and beautiful people.  She was slim, long waisted with a short bob haircut and stunningly cute. He was long and tall and sinewy.  They just burst into a high energy bop that had the crowd mesmerized- well, I was anyway. I fell in love with this girl in a matter of seconds.. so free, spontaneous, and boy! could she move.. I thought for a moment that they were cast members-so spot on was their dancing, but as the dance wore on, it was evident that they were just members of the ‘river’. Over as quickly as it started, they collapsed into each others arms before the end of the song, blended into the stream and disappeared leaving me slack-jawed at the exhibition.

I stayed for about 45 minutes and soaked in more of the high-energy music. Shaking my head at how wonderful this was, I joined the flow toward the big gates that kept the regular folks separated from those of us lucky enough to have tickets to the Party for the Senses.

A powerful thirst was developing and so I stopped into the ‘authentic’ British pub and got a cider and black… a drink that I had in England a long time ago but hadn’t had for years. Wandering out of the crowded pub, I began to look for a quiet place to imbibe, I headed to a bench overlooking the lake and struck up a conversation with two lovely folks who actually lived in Bristol, England and love coming over here and enjoying the world according to Disney.  We compared and contrasted cultures and marveled at this thing called Epcot. It was a wonderfully engrossing fun encounter.

I had time to kill before the rest of the group showed up so I bid adieu to my Bristol friends and entered the stream again just going where ever it took me. I stood and watched a Canadian rock n roll band that featured a bagpipe player as lead! what a bizarre thing but really good!  As I whirled around I was met with a most intense parade of humanity!  Again, the beautiful mingled with the grotesque and everyone in between was also represented. Just as I was thinking how happy everyone looked, as if on cue, a dumpy woman clutching her cell phone with both hands hustled by going in the opposite direction, sobbing, ” She broke my heart! She broke my heart!” another 5 second vignette adding to the other ones that were happening faster than I can describe. I guess everyone wasn’t happy that night.

Groups of a half dozen 20 something kids, dressed in collegiate T shirts, in various states of conviviality would break into song or random cheering and then be gone only to be replaced by bored parents tapping on their cell phones while their strollers were bouncing with kids who were alternatively straining to get out of their restraints, glassy eyed from a whole day at the park or asleep. It is impossible to capture the constantly changing scenes that were going across my viewing screen other than saying it was as close to a psychedelic experience without actual hallucinogens involved. I was loving it.

And the main event hadn’t even started.

I met up with John and his wonderful crew of guests who included a new pal Jeff and his girl Kate who was vivacious and beautiful and had a ready smile.. and whose mom is also from Naugatuck.. what? are the odds.

At 730 promptly the queue started to enter the huge private circus tent. So our crew of 7, joined this feeder and Poof! we were in.

The place was simply buzzing with excitement. The soundtrack for the party was all Cirque music played live that just enhanced the dreamlike atmosphere. There must have been 40 food stations that each had two different foods -all bite sized-accompanied by different paired wines. A lot of thought went into this incredibly well choreographed evening.  Without a moment’s hesitation we all dove into the swirling mass of people who had the single aim of eating as much different food and tasting as many different wines as we could.

Bison, veal, pork shoulder, exotic fish, vegetarian tidbits, many of which I had never even heard of before, tastefully arranged on little beds of grain that I had never heard of either. Delectable morsels of foods that were totally new to me! I thought I was fairly well travelled but grains like farro (?) and fish called Sable (?)  How nice to find things that I have never experienced! All presented in the most delectable fashion.

Three different times, our attention was directed to the main stage where elements of Cirque du Soleil performed a couple of bits. a treat for the eyes if ever there was.

I managed to stay away from the brown liquors that would have probably put me in the ditch. As it was I had a pleasant buzz from the wine and the pervading vibe that was simply sublime. After 3 hours of eating as much as we could, the announcement for the fireworks came across the crowd and Jeff, Kate and I made our way through the throng to an ideal viewing area for the fireworks.  Now, there are fireworks and there are Disney fireworks. This was an intense show that included many varieties of spectacular ‘fill up the sky’ types of pyrotechnics and projections on the clouds left over from the rockets. What a wonderful way to finish this evening off.

I floated back into the ‘Senses’ tent to say my good byes to the new pals I had made. Though invited, I took a pass on the invitation to the after party. I was pleasantly buzzed and just tired enough to make it to my room and hunker in for the evening. I am sure I missed a good time but when I lolled awake the next morning my I was thankful I had made that call.

It was a grand night –

Thank you John, thank you Phil, thank you all for making this one of my grandest nights ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amtrak tour Spring 2011

When I described my recent train adventure to folks, the most often asked question is .. why?

To which the obvious answer is .. why not?

I had a two day engagement in Denver on one weekend and then on the next weekend I had to be in Springfield, IL. I didn’t want to go and come back then go and  come back again. So I thought I would look into what might be in between those two cities. After a couple of inquiries to Omaha, I nailed down a two day event there. Then a straight line emerged and the Amtrak route was a perfect fit.  For years, I have heard people talk about the trip through the mountains and into Denver. For any number of other reasons, I was unable to do this but all I can say is “DO IT”.  The train runs through some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen and the 6 hour trip went way too fast. Plus I have never taken a multiple day train trip and it was time to cross this off my bucket list.

Simple as that.

You can’t be in a hurry on a train. So I factored in a few hours here and there so that Amtrak’s undependable schedule was never an issue. Even the return ~the 22 hour run from Galesburg to Glenwood~ was knocked askew by a DERAILMENT  of all things. Even that disruption was not really an insurmountable glitch. It wasn’t MY train that derailed… so, though it was all a bit behind schedule. it was all good.

The whole experience put me in touch with a lot of different people from lots of different walks of life. That is a big part of this whole adventure. If a person is uneasy while interacting with strangers, this might not be the best suggestion. But if you at ease with this, some of the people you come into contact with are fascinating. I met a lot of people from Europe who were experiencing the US version of extended train travel. Their insights and comments were especially insightful. Though their trains are a bit better than ours, they had never seen our wide open scenery. The great plains giving way to the Rocky Mountains as we came into Colorado was quite a site for me but for them it was staggering.

Some magicians have commented that they loved being able to do magic for passengers. I didn’t do any magic for anyone on the train. I wanted to use the time for relaxing and contemplating the experiences I was having OFF the train. That’s just me. It was a long and busy winter. The drama and sub plots of my personal life are enough to fill in a lot of blogs. I loved having the time to ‘cocoon’ in my little compartment. No internet but that’s ok too. The iphone kept me as connected as I wanted to be.  I loved having a compartment to retreat to when the population of the club car turned weird.  Cozy but comfortable is the best way to describe the ‘roomette’.  The food, included (!)  when you buy the roomette, is surprisingly good. The company varies wildly from fascinating folks to people you would never even notice were they not across the table from you. It was all good, though.

But I was happy to jump off and be home with my own bed and shower.

I will say that there is nothing quite so delicious as a long hot shower and one’s own bed after several days on a train.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the train. I love the concept of not being in an all fired hurry to get to where you are headed. I guess I straddle enough time to (barely) remember  the golden age of rail travel. I am a fan. Though they have one, I have yet to take a shower on the train and  so it is especially wonderful when you are finally able to take a long and luxurious shower in your own bathtub.

Would I do this again.. you bet.. in a heartbeat. I might like to do a longer trip next time.

Now prepping for the next adventure.

The sun is setting on the winter 2011 and new horizons ahead

Winter season #34 is now ‘in the can’.

While it was a strange year for snowfall~hardly any here in Basalt, but LOTS up in the resort, it turned out to be a great winter for me. For the past several years, I have done an afternoon show at the Silvertree Hotel in the Conservatory, a difficult venue in that it was a long narrow room – a bit like working in a trailer. This year the ‘powers that be’ moved me into another of their properties, the Wildwood Hotel lobby. This was a better venue (still flawed but much more workable). The first performance was revelatory. I found that if you look out that window right there, you can see the Tower Building. As I gazed at the crowd, I saw that clearly half the room had actually BEEN in the Tower at some point over the years. So I asked the crowd if they would like to hear the story of how the Tower came about. After an enthusiastic affirmative response, I began to explain how Crow, Paul and Michael P Shore arrived here in this magical place, how John Denver became involved, how Bob Sheets introduced the magic bar in the summer of 1975. People seem to be genuinely interested in all these old stories and I am only too willing to tell them again. I am also introducing some new magic that seems to support the stories.

For the last 12 weeks, I honed and polished the material. I added and eliminated different pieces. Wishing that I could do it once a day  rather than once a week, I did what I could to make this into an entertaining romp through the early days of Snowmass. I had some wonderful advice coming from Eric Mead, who of course was a big part of the recent history. Nearly everyone who saw it had suggestions and ideas. I sorted through all of them and, while it still has a ways to go, I am thrilled with how it is developing.

I firmly believe that this is the ‘next step’ for me. As much as I love working the bar, it is a demanding venue that has a variable payoff. I am liking the idea of being able to present this to an attentive crowd who will have paid to see it. They are there at the start, sit and watch the show and then file out. The randomness of the bar, with people coming and going, being called to dinner, the unruly hyped up kids are all NOT present for this. The potential for this is limitless. I can see a venue that would seat about 50-60 ppl and be a real feature for the folks who come and visit us here.

I will keep you posted as to the development of the presentation I am calling ‘Secret Destinations’.

The Stonebridge was a tremendous crossroads of “people from everytime”. Countless faces from the past swirled past me all year long. It was heartwarming to see so many folks, some of whom I have seen every year for 34 years. Astounding.

I am also ‘finding my voice’ with the  “name thing”. One of the magic stunts I am known for, comes from the trick where I have a bunch of cards selected. They are shuffled back in the deck and then I attempt them find their cards and call each person by name. I am a firm believer that the use of a person’s name is one of the most powerful ways that we have to connect with other people.  I have put together a session on how to do exactly that, connect with people by using their names. My audiences seem to really respond well to this piece. Yet another way for groups to use my talents.

So, though I am moving a bit slower and it seems like I take more naps these days, I am actually quite busy.

On an upcoming trip to Texas, one of my chores will be to pack up Kati who, though she had a fine time and a productive year in Texas, has decided to move a little closer to home and transfer to CU Boulder. I couldn’t be happier about that. She is a whole lot closer to home, she is instate, and since Mack went there, we have a lot of friends ‘on the ground’ there for her to connect up with. Southwestern was a great ‘first year of college’ school but she missed the mountains and this makes me warm inside.

Life moves on whether we like it or not.

Thanks for your continued interest in my life and times.

A phone call from the blue

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

-Martin Buber

A little background.

I often speak to other magicians about the craft of magic. These lectures are a bit like a TupperWare party. I speak to them in the front of the room and the back of the room has a sales table. It’s another way to try and squeak a living out of this thing called magic. Last year, I wrote about a tour that included Phoenix, Tucson, Palm Springs and on into Hollywood.  The stop in Tucson was sort of a bust. For a number of reasons, sales were dismal, attendance was worse. These nights are disappointing but, at least, I got to meet a few old friends and spend a bit of time in an interesting little town.

So I am down to the wire last Tuesday. The decks are stacked, the props arranged, I am almost ready to get in the car to go to work. The only thing I need to do now is find my car keys. As I am rifling my various pockets, my cell phone goes off. I glance at the area code. 520. Hmm, Tucson. I answer it.

A raspy voice says, “Doc?”

“Yup that’s me, who is this?”

Even raspier, “This is Jim Tucker.” I wanted to clear MY throat to see if I could clear HIS throat.

I recognize the name. He has been a customer of mine in the past. Last time I saw him was a lecture I did in Tucson, about a year and a half ago. He bought some things. I remember him buying a coin trick that I was selling.

“Yah Jim. Ya caught me trying to get out the door to go to work.” Distracted, trying to locate the keys,  “What can I do for you?”

“Well, we had this shooting down here.”

In an attempt to be glib, I said, “Yah, it made all the papers”

Aha, I find my keys.

“Yah well I took two bullets.”

Long pause… and the enormity of what he just said settled around me.

I said what most people I have told this story to have said… ” Whaaat?”

He goes on to explain that his wife was shot as well but she is released.

“You mean you are still in the hospital? Are you in the same hospital as Gabby?”

“Yah, she is down the hall.”

Now I had to sit down. Suddenly the urgency of getting  up to work melted away and was replaced by the enormity of the fact I was talking to one of the victims of the horrible shooting who was in the same hospital as the Congresswoman. The event just became personal for me.

One bullet went through his calf but the other one somehow involved his clavicle and had, mercifully, stopped millimeters away from his spinal column. Sparing him from what could have been paraluyzing or even fatal. The bullet’s path also affected his vocal chords, hence the raspy voice. They are keeping him there for observation. He will make it – miracle of miracles.

My jaw is hanging open now.

“Well, Jim, I appreciate your call.” But now I am real puzzled.

“What on earth can I do for you, Jim?”

“I just wanted to call you and say thanks.”

Hunh?

“I bought that coin trick from you awhile back. I just wanted to let you know that the Doctor’s want me to keep my hand active and your coin trick is the only thing I can do with my hand. So I am focusing on learning the moves and practicing it all the time. I am thinking of you all the time I am doing it. So I thought I would call you. ”

You can knock me over with a feather at this point.

“I know you are busy and I don’t want to take up any more of your time.”

“Jim, it’s ok… I can be late… it is ok, really. I don’t know what to say other than, I am thrilled that you are still with us and I am over the rainbow thinking that some little thing that I do is, in some small way, helping you recover from such a lifechanging event as you are going through. If there is anything I can do to help, send you some more stuff, offer words of encouragement, whatever… just say the word.”

“No. It’s fine, just wanted to say thanks.”

We mumbled a few more words to each other and hung up the phone. I sat there in my office – thunderstruck.

Still trying to sort out what that little phone call ‘ground zero’ means in the grand scheme of it all.

Shaking my head in disbelief.

Happy 2011 to you too!

And how about *this* ?

So here i am, checking out of the supermarket and my cell goes off..
503 area code.. Oregon… unfamiliar number… so I quickly answer it…”Hello Mr Eason?”
Well, this has all the earmarks of a sales call so, without giving the guy on the other end any time to say much.. I
explain what I am doing, can’t talk, can you call me back in about 10
minutes?

I heard ‘Of course, sir” and punched the button.

I get home with my groceries and am unpacking when the number shows up
again – incoming. A very polite man calling me Mr Eason explains that
he is a helicopter pilot in Iraq calling from there.

Ah… hello!? Wait a minute .. you are calling me from Iraq!? yup.

He is a magician that I met nearly ten years ago at a lecture in
Portland. At that lecture he saw me perform Kate and Edith and (like
me when I first saw it…) bought it immediately. He was calling to
tell me that thanks to that routine…(and his own natural comedy
abilities plus some other strong tricks) he was the stand out winner
in the base talent contest.. in which 57 (!) other acts were entered.
He was simply calling to say thanks for the inspiration.

Ya coulda knocked me over with a feather.

I felt like a jackass.
The ‘simple’ act of getting a call through from Iraq is not an easy thing and I arrogantly
said… call me back! I mean, I had no way of knowing that … But he did make the effort to call back and I have to say…it made my week.

Sometimes …it isn’t all about the money…

Notes from the Florida Highway Fall 2009

As the weather turns cooler here in the mountains, kids are back to school, vacations are over and business really quiets down.
fall by the river

Aside from the occasional special event, there is very little going on so it is time to pop the periscope up and see what else might be going on around the country. As it turned out, one of my long time clients in the telecom industry was planning a trade show in Orlando. Once the details of that job were nailed down, I looked at the calendar to see how I could augment the time down there.

A few inquiries to friends who have used me in the past for private parties turned up a pretty full schedule for two weeks. It wasn’t quite the ‘every night in a different bed’ tour but it was close.

I arrived in Tampa airport and “picked ANY car” as per the tv ads. I surveyed the row of cars in my rental category and noticed one Prius, a hybrid. Never having driven one before I thought that this might be the car for me for the two weeks. It turned out to be a wonderful experience…once I figured out how to start the thing. (I found out there *is* a youtube video on the starting procedure… no real surprise there-)there are youtube videos for nearly everything, but I hadn’t had a chance to review it so the first few times I started the thing, it was done by trial and error. Once I got the hang of it, it ran like a top and got about 45 miles to the gallon, which was impressive. I had a slight smile on my face any time I was behind the wheel. It was kind of like the feeling I get when I type on my MacBook. It is an awareness of the fact that I am using a superior system .
FL Prius

After two weeks of driving it, I remain very impressed with it…as was everyone who rode with me during that time.

With my trusty iPhone in GPS mode I made my way south to St Pete Beach and the first stop on this magical mystery tour. A long time fan who is a muckity muck in a wellknown financial firm came through by hosting a party for his friends, even though he and is wife were headed to Japan in 2 days! I gladly shared my limited intelligence on Tokyo and again experienced the giddiness I feel when I think of Japan. much information to share with them about my limited exposure to Japan. He had been there before but she hadn’t so my insights were happily received. A wonderful warm group of their closest friends attended the party and it was a wonderful evening.

The next morning, following a walk on the beach (note to self: start those beach walks early in the day and not close to noon!) I Prius-ed up the coast a few minutes to Treasure Island and the next stop and another old friend from the old days. She is a real ‘Steel Magnolia’- a term I hadn’t heard before but refers to a southern belle, who was soft as a magnolia flower on the exterior but hard as steel on the inside. I discovered on this trip that when she was young she rode bicycles with Jimmy Carter in Plains, GA. This is a woman I met nearly 30 years ago. She was one of a few trophy wives married to older rich men who seemed to flock to the Tower in those days. Her husband died and left her extremely well off. She owns an 80 ft Marlow yacht that is totally tricked out and reflects her keen sense of design and color. Her top floor penthouse shows also spotlights her artistic sense. She lives her life like she damn well pleases. She loves my show and as long as she is not on the yacht and in her top floor penthouse, she will throw together a party of her favorite people and we all get a great show.

When I got there she insisted we drive a short distance to see another couple I knew from the early days of the Tower. Another trophy wife is now caring for her aging and failing husband. He barely remembered me On the way back my host revealed that her health is failing as well. I realized that this MAY be the last time I see her and have fun with her eclectic circle of friends. So the show that night was cathartic in the enthusiastic response from the circle of friends. Maybe everyone there felt the same way.

The next day I headed for an “undisclosed hideout” on the east side of Tampa Bay. This is a lovely couple that I met at a magic convention. Besides being a natural magician he is a computer genius so we jammed on many projects over a restful couple of days and celebrated Stacie’s surprise birthday! My pal has access to this yellow Ferrari and so I took a little ride in it. Quite the machine. More car than I need that’s for sure but a fun afternoon of zipping around the east bay.
Yellow Ferrari's are faster than any other color.

A wrinkle in the plan occurred when I slept so hard that I rolled over on my glasses. and snapped the frames. So it was off to Lenscrafters for a new Rx and new frames. Progressive lenses technology made the next few days pretty exciting visually. Any one who has spent any time at all with these new fangled lenses knows what I am talking about. I feel like my head is bobbing around a lot trying to find the sweet spot for clear viewing. Very exciting and slightly nauseating. How special.

Sunday I rolled into Orlando for the trade show at the Marriott World Trade Center with my long time client DCA Services. I am blessed to have a faithful client who uses me at every show. I am an integral part of their marketing program and included in many different phases of the company. Three days of wearing suits and shaking hands with old and new friends and I was ready for the next stop.

Tuesday night following the show and the debrief dinner, I peeled off from the group and headed north to Ocala and sanctuary with a dear magical friend. Though it had been a couple of years since we spent time together, like the old friends we are, we just picked up where we left off. Our traditional Sushi dinner at Tony’s was stellar as was the companionship. Blessed!

It was right about here that I got word that “my” dog Lila ran into a skunk and didn’t fare too well. A blast right in the kisser sent the household into an uproar. Lila dashed into the house and before anyone could react had managed to rub her nose on every piece of furniture and loose blanket as well as the rug and then downstairs to Kati’s bed and blankets. Needless to say the house reeked for some time and though the girls did a great job of deodorizing everything, when Lila gets wet now, the odor still comes through! I felt terrible that they had to deal with this unpleasantness and I was unavailable to help. Nothing worse than skunk. I doubt she learned anything from the encounter though.
I put “my dog” in quotes because 4 years ago Kati HAD to have this dog. So we went through the considerable hoops to acquire Lila, the miniature schnauzer I have spoken about in these pages. The dog identifies real well with alpha males and females, so she took to Alison and I very well but she is not the cuddly dog that Kati was after so I sort of ‘inherited’ the dog. I love her dearly now and so I guess it is “my dog” though it started out differently. I am very thankful to both Kati and Alison for dealing with a stinky dog!

Thursday I arrived at Magic and Design (MAD) and prepared for a show and lecture. Eliot Hitchcock has devised a performing station loosely based on a blackjack table. He has managed to add smoke, lights and a whole lot of flash into this … thing. He calls it a magic bar but it really isn’t because you don’t sell drinks out of it. It is an interesting idea that is still in development. I had fun working with it but I am not sure that all the bells and whistles make the performance any better. The personality behind the bar is ultimately what the audience remembers. I did a little consulting with him on this projects and gave him a bunch of suggestions. I hope he takes some of my ideas and runs with them. He is on the right track but it is still very much in progress. I wish him the best. He is a good guy with a great heart and he loves magic. All good. A week night, a not so easy to find location, meant that the attendance was soft and the lecture was fun, just not a lot of folks.
Hitch's magic bar

Headed to east of Orlando and a little more sanctuary at a wonderful italian villa on the shores of a lake. Restful and wonderful connecting again with old friends and their two adorable daughters. A stellar dinner with Terry Ward and his beautiful wife who is also a cast member with 20 years with Disney! So much experience! So much talent! wonderful.

The last stop was on Monday and a show and lecture at Wizards in the Seralago resort in Kissimmee. Ironically this is exactly the place that we stayed when we did a family vacation …18 years ago! Back then the ‘Showroom’ was the “Kid’s Club”, a place we dropped the boys off for a little alone time. Very eerie, apparently though, only to me! The room was packed with magic fans -some magicians but a lot of friends -some from Colorado who aren’t magi. We rocked the room. The after show lecture was a spirited exchange of questions and fun. I was so honored that Jack and Mary Kodell came to see me. Jack performed on the Ed Sullivan show in the 50’s! Mary his beautiful wife was a songbird who sang on every major stage in England 40+ years ago. Together they are treasures.

Reluctantly I drove the Prius back to the rent car drop off and began the arduous trip through the airport to home. The threatened snowstorm mercifully held off and I made it home late that night with my head swimming with images and experiences. Love Florida in the right seasons …Summer is NOT the right season!

Lila was as happy to see me as I was to see her.

lila