Friday, March 28, 2008

Busker du Jour • Pic from my past

Fun at the Magic Castle

A week ago tonight, Polly and I went to the Magic Castle to see Chris Korn. He was working behind the WC Fields Bar entertaining the crowds from 8-12PM. We arrived shortly after 9PM, the downstairs bar was packed and all seats taken. We watched most of his set from the side.

Near the end of his set, a couple of seats at the bar opened up, so we bellied up and took a couple of ringside seats.

I’ve known Chris Korn since he was a teenager. We met in 1986 at a National Magic Convention in Louisville, KY. It’s been a rare pleasure to watch him develop, mature and make his dreams come true.

His set consisted of his signature coin and card work including his interpretation of John Kennedy’s “Translocation” as well as some other nifty routines, like a transposition effect where a selected card changes places with a bar napkin. The folded up bar napkin ends up in the deck while the spectators card ends up in the stack of bar napkins off to his side.

The funniest thing he did, was close his show with an outrageous card trick. A sort of card sword routine where after having a card selected, returned and lost in the deck, the cards were sprung into the air and with lightning speed he thrusts his leg with a shoeless and sockless foot into the air to catch the card. The card trapped between his wiggling toes. Then as an after thought, he asked if that was her card. She said yes. Then chris asked if she was sure and told her to take a good look at it. To make this possible, he rips off his leg (the card still clutched between his toes) and tosses it over the bar. Then he fell over. Very funny routine.

While downstairs we popped into the library to visit Billy Goodwin. Also ran into Jon Armstrong who was working the Parlor. I’d only met Jon once before and wanted to see his set. So we went upstairs and enjoyed his set.

A couple days later I found myself back at the Castle watching the taping for a pilot called Tricksters. Aaron Fisher was the MC and on the bill was Chip Lowell, Dana Daniels and Ed Alonzo. It was interesting to watch how they do a 3 camera shoot in a room as small as the Palace of Mystery.

Tonight I’ll take in Max Maven’s one man show "Thinking in Person. An Evening of Knowing and Not Knowing". He’s performing every Friday night at the Steve Allen Theater for the next 2 months. Should be fun.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Video Animation by my son John

A Fly's Life

In my "Out Box"

Dear John,

Happy Birthday!!!! Big “18” I can hardly believe that 18 years have passed since I drove your mother to Jewish Hospital and watched as Norm performed an emergency C Section to get you out of there. I got to say it was one of the happiest days of my life, watching you be born into the world.

It’s painful to write these words as I know you have little interest, in anything to do with me. I have loved you with all my heart since that day and even before. I have to say your term in utero was probably the best documented pregnancy in the history of video cameras. I shot all the ultra sounds and heartbeats from every office visit.

I ran across the video animation project you did, on the web. Great work! I’ve always know you’ve had talent in that area. I remember people telling me that it was crazy to get a 12 year old his own video camera. I got it for you anyway, I knew that you would take care of it. Seems like a lifetime ago that we were a family at all., with Cricket. . . or with Moira and the little kids.

All I ever wanted to do, was do right by you and take care of my family. I wanted to always be there for you and to see that you had a good life. I’m not sure why things went so awry that we haven’t spoke in over a year. You didn’t want to move to LA . . . I get it. Now lets move on.

You’re 18 years old now and your own man. I hope as you grow and mature, that you will allow me the pleasure and privilege of being part of your life. . . please.

If you don’t know it, I’ll tell you right now; I love you and think the world of you. There is no limit to my unconditional love.

I understand your anger concerning issues of the past. We can’t change the past, but we can change the present and the future by what we put in our hearts and our minds. Let’s start the healing. I love you so much and think about you every day.

Happy Birthday

Love Dad

Monday, March 24, 2008

california palms, originally uploaded by Octal Khan.

Feeing Groovy

Spring smells good in our backyard. Everything in bloom. Just finished eating a few ripe kumquats right off the tree. grabbed another small handful which I proceeded to whack out of the yard with my trusty 5 iron. Been in the 90’s, blue skies and sunshine. This is what I signed up for.

Polly back to work after a long holiday weekend. Not quite sure how this happens, but it just seems to get better and better with us. Deeply committed and very much in love, it makes one ask, “what the fuck?” All I know, is we seem to “get” each other. We have no place in our relationship for pettiness, sarcasm or bullshit. She loves greeting me at the door with a big hug and a kiss. She cooks me these GREAT meals and takes pride in serving me an excellent home cooked meal after a hard few hours of work. I take a lot of pride as well in doing my part.

Work has been good as we peak the Spring Break Season. This will be the first child support payment since December. That feels good. If I have it. . . she (2nd ex wife) has it.

Today is the fist day in two weeks that I haven’t hiked in the morning. Feel great about having done next to nothing today. All rested up and ready to go out there tonight with love in my heart, a smile on my face and a desire to make people happy with my magic.

Happy Birthday Harry!

Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) whose birth name in Hungary was Erik Weisz, (which was changed to Ehrich Weiss, when he immigrated to the United States), was a Hungarian American magician, escapologist (widely regarded as one of the greatest ever), stunt performer, as well as a skeptic and investigator of spiritualists, film producer, and actor.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lunch with Ken Jenkins

Polly Lucke & Ken Jenkins

Hollywood is an exciting place. It's even more exciting when you get to go to lunch with fascinating people like Ken Jenkins. Polly worked with Ken on "Scrubs" for 5 years. He's a great guy and has been very nice to us. We've been out a few times since I moved here. Always a hoot, Ken has a way of turning into the people he's talking about. Real nice guy and a nice time at Hamburger Hamlet.

Ken Jenkins (born August 28, 1940, Dayton, Ohio) is an American actor, best known as Dr. Bob Kelso on Scrubs.

In 1969, he co-founded the Actors Theatre of Louisville and served as the Associate Artistic Director for three years. This institution has produced some of America’s best budding playwrights such as Beth Henley and Marsha Norman.

Jenkins previously appeared on the series Adult Math, as well as episodes of Homefront, the X-Files (episode "Medusa", season 8), Babylon 5 and "Evolution", a season-3 episode of Star Trek The Next Generation.

He has also appeared in movies such as Gone in Sixty Seconds, I Am Sam, The Sum of All Fears and the 1998 remake of Psycho. Jenkins can play the acoustic guitar, and is seen doing so on an episode of Scrubs.

He married artist Joan Patchen in 1958. They have three sons. He has also lived with Katharine Houghton for 3 decades, the niece of legendary actress Katharine Hepburn to the present. He is the father of Daniel H. Jenkins and played a role alongside his son in the Broadway production of Big River (1985).