Saturday, July 28, 2007

Last Night

I'd like to say that last nights shows were riveting, but they weren't. As usual by the end of the evening I felt like I'd got my teeth kicked in again. It's not really that bad, I worked a few hours, I made good money (I guess), I had some fun. . . . . but gaping holes in the fabric of the tapestry that I'm trying to weave. .. . leave me yearning for more. I used to think that my job was to reawaken childlike wonder, to help trapped and jaded people find a glimmer of hope in a desperate world of dissatisfaction and hundred degree heat, in the sun, carrying more than a few extra pounds.

There is so much competition attracting and seducing every sense. In the midst of the madness, as the mass exodus from the theme park marches past my pitch. Hot and tired after a day of schlepping, you can smell the stores without even entering them, chocolate from one, soap and bath stuff from another, LOUD upbeat music is pumped in every crack, making sure no one sleeps and everyone keeps up with the beat. Neon signs, movie theaters, restaurants, nightclubs and high end retail; explodes in an architectural acid trip of freakazoid eye candy.

So here I am trying to create my own jazz inspired mood with some 4 ace routine to some music or the multiple card selection. Into Doc Daley's on the persons palm. Lately, when I want to see childlike wonder. . . I go to the children. That's what I'm talking about! Little fuckers with HUGE smiles on their faces and eyes wide open. "How do yo do that?" they ask.

The grown ups might afford themselves the luxury of wonder, but so many don't close the circle, finish the thought and let itself manifest in an outward and physical way. . . Like a smile, or nod, or clap, laugh, wink. WHATEVER! ANYTHING! It amazes me how devoid of life some people seem. Blank stares, unemotional and unblinking, like fucking zombies, they stare at me while I work and think. . . brains, brains eat his brains.

Been really working on slowing down and trying not to step on reactions, laughs or applause. It's funny, at some point I feel, well; I've obviously waited long enough that if the were going to react, they would. Never a good feeling. All of these things going through my mind as I try and figure it all out.

Hey, I'm in the trenches on the front lines of performance. I go face to face with my audiences and either do my job or not. I feel good about the work that I'm doing and the daily discoveries that I make. Well it's that time again, maybe tomorrow I'll have a better story to tell.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Coco Walk, originally uploaded by jeridaking.

Off to work

Getting excited about going to work in a few minutes! Another 6-10PM shift to see if I can get it right. It's really about having fun and being loose. Jive with the mutherfuckers if you know what I'm saying. Had a great day fighting off the heat in the San Fernando Valley, a bit of Asian Buffet. . . cause Polly won't go to any kind of buffet with me. Did that for lunch, went to the club for a dip, did some stretching took a shower, put on some of Polly's Jasmine lotion and I'm ready to rock n roll!! The key to having killer evenings at work is to do as little as possible during the day. All I know is I'm ready to work. Out of Mental Photography Decks indefinitely. . . fuck. . . but plenty of stripper decks. . . just need to tweak the formula a bit. Gonna have fun. Got loads for the cups (think I'll use the RnT II Phoenix II cups this evening with the pouch), haven't done them in over a week or so. Also thinking about throwing in "Between your palms" with the tricky wallet. Always a crowd pleaser. If you haven't seen the trick look at the clip. (Between, Elmsly Brown & Himber from the Kabbla)

Quote du Jour

"I don't do anything about maintaining quality, I just try to tell a story in such a way as to interest myself. I leave questions of quality to others."

– Donald E. Westlake


Week in Review

Monday - Got the new Klosterman “Salon de Magie” book in the mail. Really a must for any serious collector. I feel very fortunate to know Ken as well as I do and to have had such open access to him and his amazing collection, over the years.

Tuesday - A nice walk on the beach in Santa Monica, followed up by a stroll down the Promenade. Picked up a book at Barnes and Noble, “Shakey” A Neil Young Biography.

Wednesday - Magic in the air. Spent the afternoon at Dean Dill’s Barber Shop, always a good time. Went to the Castle later that evening after work. Saw my old pal Mickey O’Connor, who was there working in the Palace of Mystery. Did not see his set, but spent some time chatting, with him, at the bar and in his dressing room backstage. Watched Eric Mead perform in the WC Fields Bar in the basement. I had never seen him work before and I have to say I was impressed. Also hung out with Vinney “The Godfather of Magic” as well as Howard Hamburg. We geeked out pretty good on some card and coin tricks. As I was leaving, I talked a little with John Lovick and Andrew Goldenhersh. All in all a good evening at the Castle.

Thursday - Lounged around the house all day, did as little as possible. Took a nice nap in the afternoon before leaving for work.

Friday - Sitting in bed with the laptop. French doors wide open as the cool morning breeze blows. Today I will conquer the world, then take a nap.

Tag. . . you're it

representando para Los Ángeles, originally uploaded by drew....

Thursday, July 26, 2007


There’s a girl who loves me
she misses me when were apart

my mind swims in desire
she holds my heart

Palm trees and crashing waves
fill my nights and leisurely days

Camp Paradise held over
by popular demand

I feel her lips as
my toes feel the sand

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Secret of Life

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There aint nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since were on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It's okay to feel afraid
But don't let that stand in your way
cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since were only here for a while
Might as well show some style
Give us a smile

Isn't it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
Its just a lovely ride

Now the thing about time is that time
Isn't really real
It's just your point of view
How does it feel for you
Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race

Some kind of lovely ride
I'll be sliding down
I'll be gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

Isn't it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

Now the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

By James Taylor

Monday, July 23, 2007

cigar-break, originally uploaded by halpics2.

blood of kings, originally uploaded by green_pez.

Saturday Night

The concert was great. The whole evening was just fantastic. We started out with dinner on Hollywood Blvd. then walked up to the Bowl for the show.

The LA Philharmonic was calling this show Cool Brittania. The British theme was established with guest conductor, Bramwell Tovey. A funny chap and a dynamic conductor. He got the evening going with a tight James Bond Medley. Next was the music of Noel Coward accompanied by the Pacific Choral. One more song for the orchestra and choir, I’ll be seeing you”, from the 1938 Broadway show, “Right the way”.

They finished up with a couple more English spy tunes: Shagadelic Suite from the movie Austin Powers and finally the main title from the old tv show, “The Avengers”.

At the LA Philharmonic events at Hollywood Bowl you can bring in food, booze and the expectation of a really good time.

At the set break we uncorked a bottle of red wine. I was so excited to see the evenings headliner, Jamie Cullum. The orchestra backed him up for most of his set. He got things started with a kick’en version of “I get a kick out of you”. He traded off, Jazz Standards with great music of his own.

Polly turned me on to his music a while back when he was on Austin City Limits.

What can I say, I had a great time.

Busker du Jour

Street magician, originally uploaded by Stephen10031.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Musso and Frank's Grill, Hollywood, CA

Dinner before the concert

At the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cherokee Avenue (between Highland and Vine), you'll find an old-fashioned restaurant which has become a Tinseltown landmark. Musso & Frank Grill is almost 80 years old, allowing it to lay claim to the title of "the oldest restaurant in Hollywood" - and it's still one of the most popular.

Virtually all of the other legendary restaurants of Old Hollywood have vanished from the scene: The Brown Derby, the original Chasen's, Ciro's, Romanoff's, the Trocadero... But Musso & Frank has survived and prospered, right in the center of downtown Hollywood.

Established in 1919, the first restaurant in Hollywood, Musso & Frank's has long been a hangout for screenwriters and assorted celebrities. Since the Writer's Guild was located nearby on Cherokee, it became a favorite watering hole of writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner (who mixed his own mint julips here), John O'Hara, Dorothy Parker, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler - even Ernest Hemingway. "Sadly, most of these legendary authors were lured to Hollywood by studio money, and out of their element, many of them ended up drinking their lives away at the bar here.

Actors from the nearby studios also dropped by, starting as far back as the 1930's. Silent-movie star Tom Mix used to dine next to a window here, so his fans could see him. Charlie Chaplin liked their martinis; he and Paulette Goddard were regulars. Humphrey Bogart, the Warner brothers, Jack Webb and Peter Lawford also frequented the restaurant...

And the Musso & Frank Grill looks like the kind of dimly-lit place where Humphrey Bogart and Raymond Chandler would have hung out - the ultimate film noir setting. It's a clubby atmosphere, with wood-paneled walls, a place where the career waiters wear bright red jackets that match the red leather inside those high-sided mahogany booths. Chandler wrote "The Big Sleep" here.

Musso & Frank serves old-fashioned American/Continental food. The menu harkens back to years gone by; they serve Postum, but not expresso. Corn beef and cabbage (on Tuesdays), but no risotto. Coffee comes in small, individual pots. It's a place where you can still find shrimp cocktails, Welsh rarebit and jellied consommé on the menu. The restaurant's extensive choices include fine grilled meats and oyster stew for dinner, their famous flannel cakes for breakfast, and luncheon specials such as chicken pot pie (on Thursdays). Steaks, chops and grilled liver are always good here.