Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Untold wonders beneath unsuspecting grins.

A hand comes into frame very slowly. As the forefinger and thumb rotate gently, silently, friction, magic! An old silver dollar instantaneously appears into view.

The story is about a man who believed in magic. He would sit and meditate and practice sleight of hand. The notion was, that until he could actually perform true feats of magic, that it was completely OK to resort to magicians trickery.

Every week he had a private magical ceremony in his kitchen, it was a dirty mess, with plates, glasses and silverware piled up in the sink. Hard crusty half eaten pizza leftovers from the other week on the counter.

He would light inscents on either side of the table and a few candles. A large circle was in the middle of the table and an overhanging light dropped down right over the circle. He placed his left hand directly above the circle. From a few inches higher the silver dollar was dropped into the left hand. It’s caught and you can see the tension and the hand grips tight. This tight dramatic clenched fist image is a strong symbol. Then slowly, the hand is opened, only to reveal that the coin is still there.

Close up on magicians eyes. Disappointment, yet determined. Another day.

Why would anybody want to do real magic? If they could, don’t you think that they might just lead a low key, yet extravagant, lifestyle. . . sitting at home conjuring up $1,000 bills.

What could be so good about being able to make that stupid coin disappear anyway. I asked him and he had some trippy, dippy, psycho babble bullshit answer about the coin representing opportunity and the actual disappearance of the coin occurring at a moment in time where a pulse of pure energy and love, I had to stop him. It was clear that my boots were not tall enough for the ever increasing level of bullshit I was being subjected to.

I like magic as much as the next magician, but this cat was tripp’en. What was curious about his schtick, was that he really seemed to believe that one day, he would open up his hand and the coin would actually be gone. I could tell by looking in his eyes, the longing and desperate need to fulfill his quest. Stupid as it may have been. He wanted to believe that that strong symbol of the fist foretold the future in a time where reality with be dealt a fatal punch, the earth will open up, Noah’s Ark will dock in Long Beach and all the animals will get off and visit friends at the zoo. Fairies will run rampant, even more so than they already do today. I see a Doug Henning retro bean bag bedazzled beheading machine all polished up and ready for network consumption in an era where the magic was as good as the acid.

What’s happened to the world. Where is Doug Henning’s dream now? Dead with him I guess.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pic du Jour • off the internet

Don't know who he is, but I can say, I like what he's doing. . . . carrying on an honored tradition of the cup and ball worker.

Thank God for Fucking and Football

Mind run a muck. I don’t know what to feel. I feel like I’m letting him down, I feel like I’m letting all of my kids down. I know the painful answer to relationship building with these kids is TIME. And I get the feeling it’s going to be a long time.

Don’t go down that dark path of self doubt and destruction. Keep going, even though you don’t feel like it. Keep my eye on the ball.

I may sound all doom and gloom, but the reality of the situation is Polly is taking VERY good care of me. It’s still 80 degrees in the first week of December, I’m still nude sunbathing and walking on the beaches. . . . . ooh. . . boo. . . hoo. . . poor me.

I will go out there this afternoon, to the Promenade at Santa Monica and offer the mild mannered mysteries of my magic in exchange for the pleasantries of a smile, a wink or a few bucks. . . whatever fits your lifestyle. I think it’s time to start selling some decks! Drivers start your engines.

My weekend was fucked money wise. Never really got fully engaged in the process. Cellini used to say, half the battle is just being there with your stuff. So, I went out, I was there with my stuff , but that was about it. I did a couple of shorter sets and wasn’t feeling the magic.

Now I have to play catch up on a tuesday. I’m gonna rock the room. I’m gonna be a pitchen fool. Alternating shows with pitches should guarantee an even mix of revenue. My mission today is to perform “for” someone not “at“ them. I will take the time in the early part of the show to establish rapport, introduce myself, and create a tone and pace for the show before it even begins. I have a problem of always wanted to dive in there right off the bat. Card tricks to get the crowd. How do I slow down the process, build the crowd and waste time till I feel like there are enough people to start?

Attitude is everything. I walk a tight rope out there. One mental slip, landing on a tizzy can send you home early, like this last weekend. Now I need to get back up on that horse and invite the next motherfucker to try and knock me off.

Bla bla bla bla bla, I’ll say it. I got no idea how it’s gonna go, but I will show up, and put on he best show that I can. Maybe even throw in something new or different. Just need to stay positive. Hand out business cards and talk about holiday parties during the pitch. This is peak season, fourth quarter. You wanna get in the game? I want to get in the game!

I haven’t said it in a while here publicly, but I love Polly Lucke. Man, do I love this woman. She has been so swell through all this shit. We lie in bed and talk about childhood memories. Having grown up in Cincinnati's Hyde Park neighborhood 25 years ago, it’s nice to be able to talk about those same places and the people that we were back then as teenagers. Oy.

We went to the same school, The School for the Creative & Performing Arts. Cricket went there, my brother Mike went there, Harvey, Mark Mounts, Rich & Roy, Sue Block and Stephanie, Jonnie Snow, and Andy and Stuart who became a Elvis Pastor. . . for real.

Boy, it’s a wonder that anyone gets through adolescence at all. But we do. . . . and here we are.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Need to get with the program, can't let this all get me out of whack. GET FOCUSED, STAY POSITIVE, BE BUSY, WORK HARD, LOVE HARDER.

No one knows better than me, that the one thing you can count on is. . . shit. Yup. . . as the saying goes, "Shit Happens". It's an indisputable fact.

BUT, it's how we deal with it, that shows the world what's in our heart.

Well, pardon me if I smile, with this mouth full of dripping shit.

You can't kill me, I won't go away, I am a fucking cockaroach. I'm the energizer bunny. I'll empathize you to death. Don't fuck with me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another beautiful sunset at Venice Beach

Difficult day of street performing. Just wasn't into it. Lot on my mind. Closed up shop and decided to take a walk on the beach. Missing my kids.

Click Pic to enlarge this beautiful sunset.

Wondering what Buster is doing. Wonder how he's doing. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Ricky Jay, David Rudd and an evening of magic

David Rudd, a buddy from Seattle had a trip planned to see Ricky Jay's show with his wife. Unfortunately she was unable to attend. Fortuantately for me, he asked me if I wanted to go!! Hell yeah. Buster broken hearted, ball busting bullshit. . . but yeah I'd love to go to the show. Polly and I have our tickets for Jan. to see the show. . . But to see a hot ticket in town TWICE now that's good.

The show was a delight. I've been a Ricky Jay fan since the first time I saw him perform on the Diana Shore Show on TV, in the 70's. He's certainly carved out an interesting niche for himself in the spectrum of the entertainment landscape. Actor, Author, Magician,Card Cheat & Thrower, Historian, Freak; Ricky Jay always entertains and looks like, if you don't dig it, he might just kick your ass.

On the night we saw him Carl Riner was there with a party of 6. As expected his card handling was beautiful. He opened with a version of McDonald's Aces using queens and talked about stuck up bitches seeking out each others company. He used much nicer words than that. Not sure if this is the routine from Erdnase or not. Anyways a great routine to open with. He connected well with everyone in the 84 seat theater.

It's a good show directed by David Mamet. The Malini "Multiple Card Selection", always a crowd pleaser. Love the way he handles and controls the selections. OK, I'll say it, "I go for this kind of stuff. " His dealing demonstrations and gambling routines flowed as beautifully as his words. Can you tell I'm a fan? His cup routine a work of art. A charming interlude with an old atomaton and a playing card restoration. Card throwing demonstration, again probably what he's best known for. An entertaining evening. Thanks Mr. Rudd.

David Rudd lives in Seattle with his wife Michele and their son and new daughter. Here is a clip of Dave at one of the the Alki Beach Sessions.

After the show we went to the Magic Castle to see Mike Close work. We were not able to to see his show but did see Derek Hughes in the Parlor. Nice set. We chatted briefly with Arthur Trace. Dave had seen him in NYC at mostly magic last time he was there. We went downstairs and hung at the bar. Chris Korn was there, Mike Close, Jon Lovik, Dave Rudd, myself. Had a nice time Geek'en out on some magic.

Thanks again pal for a memorable night.