Saturday, August 05, 2006

What's going on

Good time at the the castle last night. Polly and I arrived, had a cocktail in Irma's piano lounge. The Castle dress code has men in coat and tie and women in dresses. I'd like to add that my girl was all dolled up in a pretty dress that showed off her. . . . smile. . . beautifully! Irma is an invisible piano player that can take even the most obscure of requests and spits them out quickly and in a style all her own.

We got to spend a few minutes with Jon Lovick. I hadn't seen him since we took the tour of the Copperfield Warehouse during the World Magic Seminar. I didn't realize it when we chatted, but he was on the bill of the show we were there to see. Korn showed up and I rudely demanded that he buy me a drink. I was having fun being a little over the top, but when pressed the next day, Polly confessed that I was acting drunk and obnoxious. I hate when that happens Dr. Jeckle and Hunter Thompson. FUCK!

We all went downstairs to a showroom that I had never been in. Cool room. Three guys on the bill Derek Hughes, John Lovick and some very funny, John Waters look'en, freaky magician. Good balance to the line up, nice performances from the guys and a good time had by all.

Interesting things going on behind the scenes at the Castle. They really seem interested in raising the bar. The show we saw was the first of a series to experiment with a looser format, content wise. Good wholesome magical entertainment with a few bad words and as much innuendo as you can swallow. Comedy Magic how it should be performed uncensored.

Oh yeah, before the show stared I snuck outside for a quick bowl and to hit on my cigar. Who do I see sitting there but none other than Jim Patton. Shit, I haven't seen him in a decade. We chatted, I told him that I had moved here and I look forward to seeing him again.

I'm liking being back here in Los Angeles. I feel like I'm on the brink of some sort of professional accomplishments. Very exciting. I need to start buckling down and hustling up some work. I'd love to book a week at the Castle.

This week I will begin to organize my sales strategy to solicit a variety of markets. Ohhhh FUN!

Read'em and weep


Another day at the office

Phoenix II Cups by RnT II

These are the Phoenix II cups made by RnT II. I've been using them for a few weeks now. Nice Cups, well done Jake!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Illustrations from Erdnase

Meeting Korn at the Castle tonight

Tonight Polly and I are meeting Chris Korn & Derek Hughes at the Magic Castle. Polly has never been, and I am sure that we will have a great time.

The Magic Castle is a Hollywood landmark. The building is an authentic Victorian mansion built in 1908; it was taken over in 1963 by Milt Larsen, who converted it to its present state.

The Magic Castle houses the Academy of Magical Arts and is also known for its Junior Program (the Magic Castle Junior Group). The Junior Group comprises highly skilled young magicians, many of whom have gone on to be well-known performers and professionals.

The Castle, located in the hills above Hollywood, is the most famous magic club in the world and is the destination for local and visiting magicians.

Pics from Pollywood, CA

After quitting her job on Scrub's, that she had for 5 seasons, It didn't take Polly too long to land a job on a new HBO show called Big Love. They start shooting that show later this month. Last week she got some work on a feature film and a TV show. In the biz, this is called "day playing", where you just get a day or a few days of work.


This beautiful San Pedro beach is where she worked with the 2nd Unit (not principle photography) for a new Diane Keaton film.


These things are called flags, their sole purpose is to shade the monitors that the director and the script supervisor look at to see what is being committed to film. Jerry Lewis pioneered this concept of using a video feed through the film camera lens when he was directing scenes that he was also in himself. Back in the day, the studio didn't think it was an innovation worth funding, now it's an industry standard.


Here, the scaffolding was used to drop a wedding cake on an actor. they had 8 cakes in a truck for multiple takes. Needless to say a busy day for Polly working with the actor's hair, as all 8 cakes were used.


This location was in Thousand Oaks in the burbs of LA. They were filming a big shot'em up scene with cop cars getting shot up and explosions for a new FOX TV show called "Standoff", about hostage negotiators. Polly got to work with Buddy Joe Hooker (Hollywood legendary stuntman) on this shoot. He got to drive a van into a wall. I asked her if that was something that they needed to get right in one take, she said they had two other vans.


Here is the Chapman crane used for the crane shots. Cool huh?


And finally a pic of one of the sound stages on the 20th Century Fox lot. Thanks Polly for the pics, the stories and that special little thing you do. . . wink wink, nudge nudge. . . .

LA Living. . . . for some

FULL SIZE • Click Here

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Prestige

Based on Christopher Priest's 1996 novel, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman will play rival magicians in turn-of-the-century London who battle each other for trade secrets. The rivalry is so intense that it turns them into murderers. The title refers to the residue left after a magician's successful trick.

Pasadena, CA :: First pictures from the set of Hugh Jackman's new magician flick The Prestige (Budget :: $40 million, Release Date :: TBD 2006) where he plays magician Rupert Angier. Other stars in The Prestige include Christian Bale (rival magician Alfred Borden), David Bowie (inventor and electrical wizard Nikola Tesla), Scarlett Johansson (magician's assistant Olivia), Piper Perabo (Border's wife) and Michael Caine (Angier's ingenieur sidekick Cutter)

Movie Trailor • Click Here

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

California Sunset

New business cards

Talked to Christian at Seemless Designs about some business cards with my LA phone number on it. Going with the same double sided Industrial Strength Magic cards that we did last time. I'll see the proof soon and get going on this adventure. Got to have a business card in this town. Hell, even a homeless guy gave me his card the other day. Said if I need my trash gone through, to give him a call. I told him that I would keep him in mind but that I had a another guy I usually use for that sort of thing.

Mickey O'Connor

Mickey's Web Site • Click Here

Talked to Mickey O'Connor yesterday, he was in Seattle. He has worked Cruise Ships for the last 15 years. He'll be in town soon and is working The Hermosa Beach Comedy Magic Club . He invited me to catch his act and also said that he would introduce me to the booker. Very Cool. I like the way things are happening. Little pieces of the puzzle starting to identify themselves in my attempt to move them all closer together.

I've known Mickey for years and years and he just told me that he and his wife are expecting their first child on labor day!! Congrats!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Need to get back to the grind

I've ben having alot of fun with out of town friends but it's time to get to work.

Cellini at FISM

I hope that Jimmy soaked it in.

The fun doesn't stop!!


Set 1


Hollywood Bowl

Set 2

Teach Your Children

Hollywood Bowl

Wooden Ships

If you smile at me, I will understand
'Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
in the same language.

I can see by your coat, my friend,
you're from the other side,
There's just one thing I got to know,
Can you tell me please, who won?

Say, can I have some of your purple berries?
Yes, I've been eating them for six or seven weeks now,
haven't got sick once.
Probably keep us both alive.

Wooden ships on the water, very free and easy,
Easy, you know the way it's supposed to be,
Silver people on the shoreline, let us be,
Talkin' 'bout very free and easy...

Horror grips us as we watch you die,
Stare as all human feelings die,
We are leaving - you don't need us.

Go, take your sister then, by the hand,
lead her away from this foreign land,
Far away, where we might laugh again,
We are leaving - you don't need us.

And it's a fair wind, blowin' warm,
Out of the south over my shoulder,
Guess I'll set a course and go


An evening at The Magic Castle

Friends in town and little sleep.

I'm not sure where the last few days went, but I can tell you who I spent them with. Shawn Greer showed a couple of days ago. He drove in from Phoenix to have some fun at the Castle, hang a bit at the house and see a concert at the bowl. We picked up Chris Karney the next evening at LAX and went straight to the Magic Castle.

Chris flew down from San Francisco on a whim to interrogate Denny Haney (who was performing on the bill) about cigarette droppers. Denny was polite but Chris leaned into him a bit anyway.

We had a few cocktails and ran into Todd Karr who, among his many other pursiuts, is the Entertainment Director for the Castle. I met Todd in Seattle right before he moved here. To say I'm a fan of his work would be understatement. His work at the Miracle Factory is ambitious and will certainly secure him a top slot in the history of magic literature.

Denny & Chris

We watched the show in the Palace of Mystery which was followed by Mr. Karney's ranting about the state of magical entertainment. He is adamant that most professional magicians have settled on their material, given up on their acts and that their predictable joke structure is so safe that it insults his sensibility as an audience member. Wow. . . now there's a mouthful!

I thought that show was fine and that the audience had a good time. Chris argued that it was forced nervous laughter. What I do like about Chris and his strong point of view is that he challenges my mission at every turn. Who am I, what am I doing. . . the way that I will connect with my audience's will be through them getting to know me. It will be more than my bad jokes that will engage someone to give me the opportunity to earn their respect, their time and their enthusiasm

Chris, Shawn & Bob

Chris had some dinner, while Shawn and I nursed our drinks and shuffled cards. It had been over a decade since I was last at the Magic Castle and felt good to be back. It seemed so different without The Professor and the cigar smoke. It's a changing world; keep up, get out of the way or do something.

We left after midnight in search of the next thing. A drive down Santa Monica Blvd. took us to some nondescript bar with a neon sign that said cocktails. The place looked closed on a Sunday night but turned out that it was supposed to look closed and that we were definitely at the right place. The bartender proved it by buying a shot for Chris.

More drinks, more fun, more tricks and more critical evaluations of the art.

I'm not sure what happened next, but almost at once everyone sitting at the bar lit up. Shit, if they're gonna smoke. . . so will we. We lit up inside a bar,just like in the good ol days before the clean air act.

Chris, Me & Shawn

After we closed the bar, we headed back home where the session spiraled out of control. Oy!

More smoking and drinking and laughing. Talking and having the best of times with good friends.

Magic Session
6AM Session aftermath