On my worst day, I have a great life.
Headed to Vegas on a whim, two days into the convention. I take Tuesdays and Wednesdays off (as I work through the weekends) so it seemed a perfect time to catch the last two days of fun at The Orleans Casino on Tropicana Blvd. I left Camp Paradise, Van Nuys, got on the road around noon. The GPS said I would arrive in Vegas at 4:20. Took the 405 to the 101 to the 134 to the 210 to the 15 (all in the first 45 minutes) then it was smooth sailing all the way there. Cigar blazing and the Grateful Dead blaring.
I was excited to meet with the founding two members of The Alki Beach Magic Studio, Tuesday Night Jam Session. This was a session that occurred every Tuesday Night for 2 years in my home in Seattle. Tim Flynn & Steve Amaden! Good magicians and good friends, I felt warm and fuzzy as I imagined the fun to come.
Sailed into Vegas early Tuesday evening checked into my room which I had just booked that morning online. Forty two bucks a night, can't beat that. The girl behind the desk asked me if I wanted a smoking room. . . I love Vegas. I checked in, got settled, lit a cigar, set up the bar and plugged in the mini iPod speakers. I wandered downstairs to see if I knew anyone. Lectures were still in session so I wasn't sure how long I would have to wait. It wasn't long before I spotted Tommee Pickles' fire engine red hair walking the casino floor. I called his name and we parked ourselves at a couple of slot machines for a smoke and a chat.
I like Tommee, he's a freak, but I like him. We met a few years ago at an audition for a Burlesque Show. I ended up blowing off the opportunity and he later described it as one of those gigs from hell. Since then we've become friends. He's a fixture at the Magic Castle and I seem to see him whenever I go there.
Tommee's been living in a downtown loft, but is moving to Hollywood a block and a half from the Castle. He favors card, coin and ITR work. He practices a lot and knows many tricks. We worked a Long Beach Busker's Festival together last year and from what I understand, he's been doing shows on Hollywood Blvd. I always have a good time hanging with him. After a bit we parted in different directions. On my quest to find people I knew, I ran into Pat Boucard, a friend of Stevie Weinstein's who I met at the Castle a few years back.
Shortly after that, I ran into Steve Amaden. Pat, Steve, and a guy named Curtis (FB Friend and buddy of Pat's from Kansas), we all found a table in the bar to sit down have some cocktails and do some tricks for each other and the cocktail waitress. I had been there less than an hour and I could tell this was going to be a good time.
I love Tim & Steve. We all met at my shop in Seattle and they were important figures in the Back Room Scene. Seattle Magic closed in 2004, at the same time I was going through a nightmare of a divorce. Tim and Steve suggested a Tuesday Night Jam Session at my place on Alki Beach. The sessions were epic and I don't think we missed one in the 2 years that followed. I'd seen Tim a couple of times since leaving Seattle almost 5 years ago, but this was the first time I'd seen Steve in a half a decade. Boy time flies. This was Steve's 12th World Magic Seminar, Tim's third, and my second. The last time I went was five years ago hanging with the likes of Roger Klause, Geoff Latta & Mike Gallo. If fact, Steve and I blew off half that convention to spend a lot of time with Roger Klause.
Here we were again, the three of us in all our glory. Tim has grown and developed as a magician and a performer, and Steve, well; we nicknamed him "Butter" years ago, because he has such a smooth touch.
It 's always fun to see Aye Jaye, Magician, Con Man and Carney Galore. Since moving to LA he's been a good friend to me. I saw him, he gave me a big hug and one of the best cigars I had smoked in a while. La Gloria Cubana "Series R". I thanked him, and didn't waste any time lighting it up. Aye Jaye does't live that far from me and occasionally I'll drop by his place on my way home from playing golf.
Magicians everywhere, cocktails, cards, coins, hot and cold running women, cigars. . . I was having a blast.
More later. . . . .