For faithful readers of this blog, you know that two years ago I went to Japan with my oldest son Mack. This year, I undertook a similar adventure to Western Canada and Seattle, Eugene and Portland. #2 son Ryan was my able bodied assistant on this swing.
Aside from the fact that everyone on this tour spoke English the tour was every bit as intense and no less grueling as the Japanese tour.
This whole tour was arranged by a dedicated magician who patterned this tour after the Japanese model. I knew that I was signing on for an experience and it was certainly that.
The roster of magicians that have blazed the “Xcelent tour” trail is an impressive list of talent and I am honored to be included.
Ryan really rose to the occasion and was a star on this run. His retail expertise really shined at every stop. He efficiently set up shop and kept pace at the sales table and that allowed me to do all the other stuff. Frankly I don’t know how I used to do this whole thing singlehanded. It is a tremendous amount of work. I simply could not have done this without him.
We arrived in Victoria a few days before the official start to sort of get in the groove.
We were blessed by outstanding weather on our first full day in the capital of British Columbia. Ryan and I just wandered around, enjoying the foliage, views and the vibe of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The extra days at the front end of this tour really helped to get set up for the daily grind to come.
Once we started, the typical day was head to the airport. check bags, wait for the flight, fly to our destination, meet our new host, be taken to a hotel, freshen up, load the gig bags with product, do the lecture, sell, sell, sell, go to the pub with the boys, have a beer or two and tell a few stories, then head to the hotel for a few hours of sleep and then do it all again the next day.. we did this for 6 days straight.
It got to the point where we didn’t remember details that happened just a few days before because all the days ran together.
We met some wonderful magicians, who were very kind to us road warriors. The problem with a pace like that, is it doesn’t allow a lot of time for visits with older ‘living legend’ kinda guys who I would like to have spent time with. The opportunities to meet and spend time with these guys are fewer and farther between and so to be in the same town but not have the time to visit with them was one of my biggest disappointments.
This could be called the Trains, Boats, Planes, Ferries and Bus tour. We were on them all.
On our day off we rented a car and headed to the Oregon Coast (from Lincoln City to Florence anyway) and experienced a beautiful day that included rain, drizzle, sun, blue skies, clouds, and then rain again. Not sure how people live out there in the gray. Ryan is very sensitive to grayness. If it snows here for three days straight, his mood is severely effected . He wouldn’t be able to live there in the northwest for any more than a season or two! Not sure I would either. I love it when it is clear and bright, it just isn’t like that often enough for my tastes.
The after lecture hangs are often the best part of the experience. Ryan really shined in these sessions. His long flowing beautiful hair and slender articulate fingers deftly demonstrated his skills which have increased greatly after a year of practice with me over our kitchen table. He was holding his own with some of the ‘big dogs’ of the magic world and he held his own very well. So this was a voyage of discovery for the young lad. He really came into his own on this adventure. He now has a name for himself out there in the magic world. All I could do is sit back and smile proudly. He really did me right out there.
Like his brother before him in Japan, Ryan and I bonded on several levels and it was something that will always stand out as extra special time together.