Friday, September 26, 2008

Hiking in Hollywood

Well, it's official! I'm down 15lbs (weighing in today at 155lbs) and gone from a 38 inch waist to a 34. It's been about 3 months since Polly, Aaron and I have been hitting the gym. Today Aaron and I decided to mix it up a bit and go back to the hill that we hiked for months before starting a weight training program at the gym. It was nice to be back outdoors at Bronson Canyon up near the Hollywood Sign. A beautiful day for a hike. Blue skies, sunny and in the mid 80's by 10:30 in the morning.

I feel good, my leg is back at 100% and people tell me that I look good. One of the nice things about a hike, vs the gym, is the time that I get to spend talking to Aaron. To say that we geek out on magic is an understatement. Today we had a heated discussion about David Blaine and Criss Angel. I love my pal and feel lucky to to be his friend.

I'll probably hit the gym after work tonight, or visit polly on the set of HBO's show "Big Love" as she will most likely be working there till 2 or 3AM. I had lunch with her earlier this week when they were shooting on location at a house in Hollywood. They had set up base camp in a church parking lot near the house off Wilshire Blvd. lunch was served in the church in a large banquet room. Top Kats Catering always does an exceptional job and makes visiting Polly for lunch even more of a treat. On my way out I saw Bill Paxton (one of the stars of the show) cruise up in his low key Lexus. A sensible car for a movie and tv star, I thought.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tonight on TV • David Blaine in "Dive of Death"

Clever Upside Down Look at Poster

Tuesday Night at the Castle

Last night another mediocre night at work. Low park (Universal Studios) traffic means an early night. I was done by 7:30. Went home to tuck Polly in. She's had 5AM or earlier call times all week. Got her off comfortably to sleepland, then put on a suit and tie and headed out the door to the magic castle.

Incidentally, in the lower left this picture, you can see what the Magic Castle looked like around the time that Charlie Chaplin was hitting it big in Hollywood. It was a grand Victorian private residence back then. I arrived with a lit cigar, had my car parked and headed in. Chatted briefly with an old friend Johnny Ace Palmer in the foyer before heading upstairs to meet Aaron Fisher . I had just missed the 9:30 Parlor but caught Aaron as he came out. We hung out at the bar as I broke out a new deck of Tally-Ho Fan Backs.

We caught Francis Menotti's act at 10:30 in the Parlor. Nice 20 minute act. Fresh, original and entertaining. Nice chops too. Afterwords I joined Aaron and a special group people who requested that Aaron put on a little command performance.

It was a delightful display of new card tricks that Aaron has been thinking about and working on. Aaron and I spend a good deal of time together and it's always interesting to see how tricks that we talk about at the gym, become a reality in Aaron's capable hands.

Another memorable evening at the Magic Castle. Had a bite to eat, chilled at the bar, relaxed and enjoyed myself. Was home by midnight and in bed by 2AM. That's my story. . . and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

sdgfgjty, originally uploaded by To the otherside.

Some days. . . you just can't win

Here's the bottom line, my income has slowly but steadily been decreasing since the beginning of the year. Saturday I decided to try out Hollywood and Highland in the afternoon before working at the CityWalk that evening. All looked good, not to hot in the direct sunlight where I would be performing. Moderate traffic gelling up. I started to set my stuff up when a nearby balloon twister told me that the kiosk I was about to set up in front of, would have problem with my sound system. I thanked him and set up on the other side of him. After I set up, I was approached by a woman who was dressed like Marilyn Monroe (one of the many costumed characters on Hollywood Blvd. hustling tips for photo's with them). She started in on me with a medium nag, telling me that she was here first. Nag, nag,nag. . . I calmly explained to her that had she asked me before I set all my stuff up, there wouldn't have been an issue. Trying to be sensitive to her concerns, I told her that I didn't gather large crowds and that I did quick shows. I added, that if in 15 minutes, she had a problem with what I was doing, she could tell me and I would move. I told her that was the best I could do.

I worked for an hour an a half for meager results, a couple of deck sales and maybe ten or 15 bucks. . . ugly really, for a Saturday afternoon. Anyway, here comes Marilyn Monroe with her panties all twisted in a knot. She starts right in on me asking me angrily why I didn't leave after 15 minutes like I said I would. I tried to remind her what I HAD said, that if she had an issue with me, that she needed to communicate that to me and and I would leave. Even at that point (as I was ready to split anyway), I looked her right in the eyes and told her that she would never have a problem with me, and that if she still wanted me to leave I would. This seemed to make her more angry and she went of on some verbal rant about how she was a Christian and that she knew what I was. I thought she meant that I was Jewish. With an ugly face (clearly past her prime as a Marilyn Monroe), she rambled loudly about how I was going to hell for doing magic, bla, bla, bla). I turned on my mic and started to make fun of her. it was starting to draw a crowd. I told her that the only thing that she had in common with Marilyn Monroe, was that they were both crazy. Rather than leave at this point, I dug in my heals and worked another 40 minutes to the same mediocre results.

OK big deal, it can happen to anybody. I went home for a couple hours to chill before hitting the CityWalk. An hour into my lackluster Saturday night, I'm hassled by a couple of drunks to the point of retiring for the rest of the evening. Security dealt with the jerks promptly and professionally, but my mood was fucked!

It's hard enough to do what I do, given the economy and the ever rapidly, shrinking attention span. But to have to deal with fuck wads in my face. . . that part I can do with out.

But. . . today is another beautiful day, I have nothing in my heart but love and all I want to do is make people happy.

Getting ready to go to work now. Low (but realistic) expectations.