Saturday, October 20, 2007

Magic Fun!, originally uploaded by retromod.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Plot Thickens

FBI raids magician Copperfield after Seattle woman says she was raped

By Jennifer Sullivan and The Associated Press

A Seattle woman claims that magician David Copperfield raped her earlier this year in the Bahamas, according to authorities.

Seattle police have a copy of the rape report, but have turned the case over to the FBI because the alleged incident happened abroad. The woman didn't report the assault until she returned home. On Thursday, Seattle-based FBI agents raided a Las Vegas warehouse owned by the famed magician.

FBI Special Agent David Staretz, spokesman for the FBI office in Las Vegas, told The Associated Press, "I can confirm that there's investigative activity at the warehouse." He would not say more and directed further questions to the Seattle FBI office, which is leading the investigation.

Robbie Burroughs, FBI spokeswoman in Seattle, declined to give specifics of the investigation. She said Seattle agents are investigating a case with connections to Las Vegas. She wouldn't say whether the case is connected to Copperfield.

"The investigation is related to a Seattle case. The Seattle case is pending and that means we can't say anything about it," Burroughs said.

Las Vegas television station KLAS-TV reported that on Wednesday night, 12 agents raided the warehouse owned and operated by Copperfield, who is a regular performer at the MGM Grand casino-hotel. The station reports that the agents seized a computer hard drive, digital-camera system and nearly $2 million in cash.

Copperfield, 51, is perhaps the world's most famous magician. He is known for staging large-scale illusions, including making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China.

Copperfield has dubbed his Las Vegas warehouse the International Museum & Library of the Conjuring Arts. He apparently stores tricks and memorabilia from around the world at the warehouse.

Copperfield's Las Vegas attorney, David Chesnoff, said his client had been contacted by investigators.

"We understand there is an investigation, are in touch with the investigators, and are respecting the confidentiality of the investigation," Chesnoff said.

Copperfield has been a longtime performer at the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where he has performed in six to eight-week stints several times a year, said MGM Mirage Inc. spokeswoman Yvette Monet.

Monet said Copperfield performed two shows Wednesday night, which were at the end of his most recent run. Monet said Copperfield was next scheduled to perform in Jakarta, Indonesia.

FBI Probes Vegas Warehouse of Magician David Copperfield

Magician David Copperfield's next trick just may be getting his property back from the feds. Thursday, the illusionist's Las Vegas warehouse was raided by twelve Seattle FBI agents.

Agents confiscated a pile of cash worth nearly two million dollars, a computer hard drive and a memory card.

The Seattle FBI office confirms an investigation was conducted in Las Vegas, but wouldn't confirm Copperfield was the target.

The Las Vegas FBI office says agents also went to the MGM Grand. Copperfield performs at the venue every other month.

The FBI say the MGM was not the target, but, would not comment on what they found at the hotel.

Copperfield's attorney says he and his client are in touch with investigators and they are respecting the confidentiality off the investigation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Another day in paradise. Polly got the day off for bad behavior. Apparently she hacked off the head of a coworker and served it up to her department head under glass with an apple in the mouth. She was sent home with a strong reprimand and a smirk.

Guess who wins. . . I do. We had a lovely day lounging around in bed and a field trip to Costco. God forbid we run out of Crown Royal or pot. Only in California can you go to the pharmacy at Costco and with your medical marijuana card, score some high grade low cost California Funk Bud. Right On!

Just a beautiful day. It was nice to sit out back with my girl. Our Lilac bush is flowering and smells divine. I'm out there a lot, every day, while my secret double probation wife, is trading her life to make people happy Wednesday nights at 10 on ABC.

Life is good, I am getting quite an education about the television and film industry. With writer, actor and teamster strikes looming this shit could cripple this town. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. In the meantime, shows claw away at the ratings and attention spans. Who know what show will capture the hearts and the imaginations of the masses and which ones will be cut and when.

There is a mind numbing amount of money riding on these things and really it's all a crap shoot. What I love most about my study of the industry is that at no point am I trying to infiltrate it. Just watching, listening, learning. Everyone in this town is trying to make something happen for themselves. Me, I'm happy to chill and work as little as possible.

I turned down the only gig offer of the year. An agent wanted me to do 4 hours of strolling for $300 in Bel Air this weekend, I told him to take a hike. My prices are on my Industrial Strength Magic site and haven't changed in 10 years. I haven't done a gig all year. Funny thing is, I think I'm doing better financially as a street performer than I was taking every bullshit show that comes my way. There's an insidious cycle in this town feeds on raw flesh. People so deluded in their own dreams that they think that paying an agent (up front) to find the $100 a day extra work is going to lead to their big break. I guess it could happen, but I don't think it's likely.

Busker du Jour

Festival_14.jpg, originally uploaded by Colliver.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Magic shop window, originally uploaded by Merfa.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Lately I've taken to opening the french doors in our bedroom in the morning. Go out in my robe, enjoy a cigar on the patio and read my book a while. I've been reading "The Man Who Was Erdnase" by Whaley, Gardner & Busby.

Having grown up on "The Expert at the Card Table", the Card Man's Bible, I was interested in all of the research that's been done trying to figure out who the hell wrote this (then) revolutionary book on how to cheat at cards. Published in 1902. Great book about a murdering card cheat who ends his story in a bizarre murder suicide. . . or was it. I'm about half way through the book and enjoying it immensely.

I often think about how fun it would be to cheat at cards. That must be a crazy lifestyle. I've only known a few real deal card, dice, pool and golf hustlers. I got to say that they're some of the most colorful people I've ever met. I'm not a betting man, never have been. But I have been a con man and I know how that ended up. With me learning right from wrong. . . the hard way.

"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned. "

I wouldn't know. . .

Hans Hofmann - The Conjurer, 1959

Monday, October 15, 2007

Simon & Garfunkel - Feelin' Groovy


I've said it before, and I'll say it again. . . I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. I do next to nothing, make decent money, have a woman who loves me and accepts my devotion to hedonism. Make a living, making people happy with my magic. That's really all I ever wanted to do. On my own terms, the buck stops here. I work when I feel like working, for as long (or as in my case. . . as short) as I want to. Banged out a couple hundred bucks in an hour tonight at the City Walk. Not bad for an overcast Monday on October. It died early, so I split as Polly was on her way home.

She had a challenging day at work, so we chilled out on a blanket in front of the fire place. Cocktails, pillows and the Grateful Dead along with some high school style making out, changed the mood. This was the first fire that we've made in this house. The gas line to get it started was great. No fuss, no muss, bingo, blammo, romance in a box. Simmers in it's own sauce.

Finished my first HD Video Project. Shot, edited and burned Shawn's Wedding DVD. It was a wonderful affair on the edge of the grand canyon. I talked to Shawn today and told him I was mailing the DVD's to him. He should have them by the weekend. I'm excited to see if he and Denise like the gift. I probably spent 15 hours working on it. I love shooting and editing.

Got to visit Polly last week. She was working at night on the back lot at Paramount. They were shooting some NYC Exterior shots with a couple of the actors. I love watching the process and having the opportunity to chat up the crew. I had a chance to talk with Kelly the script supervisor. I asked her about her job, and she shared some interesting details about her work with continuity and the documentation that needs to be shared with other departments like audio or props.

Paramount Backlot

Paramount Backlot, originally uploaded by Clinton Steeds.

Illustrations from Erdnase, originally uploaded by tfrank8176.