amandaAs predicted this was a super busy month.  I performed eighteen shows and attended six more parties.  Some of my clients were Safeway, Simuflite, Sourcecorp, Stephen Gould, Toyota, Next Generation, Conifer Health Solutions, Dring Air Conditioning, Best Buddies, Mira Vista Country Club, Goodman Networks, Dickies Medical Uniforms, etc.  What’s funny is that I see some of these folks more often than some of my family.

Bamboozlers Vol. 2 arrived the middle of December and has just now begun shipping.  To order or learn more about the book click here.  Be sure to view the promo video for the book on the right.  Those who have seen the book say that it is even better than the first volume.  My ten year plan is to eventually write five volumes.  We’ll see if I have it in me.

I wrapped shooting the DVD for my trick called DiaMonte.  This DVD will be available for sale some time in January.  The trick has been part of my repertoire since the late 80’s.  It has evolved since then and has some new twists that I think make it unique and commercial.

I loved seeing my family and friends during the holiday season.  My nephews Lane and Landen crashed at our place for a couple of nights and we always try to watch as many movies, and play as many games as we can, with our time together.  We witnessed it snow a few inches on Christmas Eve and actually stick around for a few days… which I can tell you as a native Dallas, Texan is a rare sight!

My wife and I finally got to meet the new edition to our family… Amanda.  My cousin Jerry and Renie adopted a nine year old girl named Amanda.  She is something else.  The two words that come to mind are “sweetheart” and “firecracker”.

So what’s on my agenda for 2010?  More shows.  More products.  More tours.  Hopefully, more leisurely travel as well.  My goal is to perform in all 50 states and as many countries as possible.  It helps my name brand, but more importantly I enjoy seeing different parts of God’s green Earth.  Thus far I have performed in half of the states and eleven other countries.  To see the places I have visited click here.

bamboozlersADvol2This month has been a little more laid back which has allowed me focus on projects around the house and tinker with some new routines.  When not performing my time has been consumed with booking future tours all over the world.  It is amazing how much time it takes to line up these dates.  I am booked for the world’s largest magic convention in Blackpool, England this coming February which typically hosts 2000 to 3000 magicians.  Shortly after my return from the UK I’ll fly to Australia to tour there and in New Zealand as well.  I am working on some more touring dates here in the US.  And I’ll be touring Germany in October of 2010.

My new book Bamboozlers Two will be here soon.  See the ad to the left.  While it is a collection of impromptu magic, bar bets and gags, I am guessing that most magicians are not familiar with a third of the 75 bits.  Look for my new Bamboozlers column in Jim Sisti’s magazine The Magic Menu.

I have performed a stand-up version of the three card monte for over twenty years.  My version, which I call DiaMonte, has some neat twists and it packs a few punches.  The best part for the magician is that you end clean with all of the cards examinable.  I have just begun creating a DVD for this trick and hope to release it early next year.

This month I attended the lecture of Paul Gertner.  Mr. Gertner has always been one of my favorite magic thinkers.  I have performed one of his routines for about twenty years and I was glad to share some of the work I have on this effect with him.  If you ever have the chance to see him in action do not miss it.

 

getoutofjailThis month began by doing some shows for the Crows where I entertained Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas again and kicked off the grand opening of Old Parkland, the new headquarters for Crow Holdings.  The Crow family is always a pleasure to work for.  I asked Justice Thomas to sign a card for me, much to his chagrin and mine, he bellowed a hearty laugh when he saw it was my “Get Out Of Jail Free” card from my Monopoly game.

Some of my other clients this month were Kroger– where I entertained the employees at the spectacular Rough Rider Stadium in Frisco; the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Worth– where I entertained the sponsors aboard a moving train; Jack Daniels– where I entertained their suppliers at a swanky night club; a private party that had me working with some of the Harlem Globetrotters.  I also worked my magic at the Dads in the Hood event in Plano and for many other clients across Texas.

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I made a roadtrip to Oklahoma on Oct. 21st and helped my friend and noted author Martin Gardner celebrate his 95th birthday.  He is still writing books.  I’ll never catch up!

Bamboozlers Two is finished being printed and now aboard a ship from China and heading this way.  The books should be on my doorstep by December 15th.  So order now and you’ll have it in your stocking before Christmas!

Mark your calendars for this coming Saturday November 7th where I’ll be performing at Jackson’s Pottery from 11am to 5pm.  They do this special event only twice a year and feature great sales, prize give-aways, delicious food to munch on and the best selection of items for your home and garden.  The Jackson family and employees are the nicest people you will ever meet and one can’t help but be amazed when walking through their door.

9-24-09magee2Luckily I have been blessed with plenty of shows during this recession.  Over the past couple of months some of my clients were Forever Living Products (where I entertained folks from 121 different countries at Southfork Ranch), Raising Cain’s Chicken (where I entertained hundreds of employees for their country Hoe Down with armadillo races, with gunfights and saloon girls and Willy Nelson and Johnny Cash look-and-sing alikes) and Baylor Health for a nice black tie event.

I kicked off September attending the TAOM convention in Houston where the highlights were hanging out with friends and attending Daniel Garcia’s and Michael Ammar’s lectures.  Towards the end of the month I attended my friend David Magee‘s Mentalism show at the Palace Theater in Grapevine, TX (which I’ve worked before).  Dave’s show was great and it runs for three more weeks- so see it if you can.

Today I had lunch with the Great Tomsoni (Johnny Thompson) who is best known these days for being the lead consultant on Mindfreak with Criss Angel.  Mr. Thompson and David Magee came to my home for a visit and we shot the breeze and critiqued his act which was practically flawless.  I’m proud to call them both friends!

Hearst_Castle_poolOn Saturday July 4th my wife and I flew into LAX and then drove onto Montrose, CA to stay with our friends the Fleischers.  That night we enjoyed hot dogs and a fireworks show.  Jeff Fleischer, aka Jeff Davis, was once one of the finest magicians in Dallas.  Jeff now travels the US teaching negotiation seminars.  I’ll never forget being 16 and Jeff sending work my way when I was just getting started professionally.  He’s been a solid friend.

The next day we drove onto San Simeon and toured the Hearst Castle.  William Randolph Hearst was the Ted Turner of his day and owned 25% of the newspapers in the US in the late 1890’s.  His 390 square mile stretch of property was impressive as was his castle.  I can highly recommend the tour to anyone out that way.  If you have seen the movie Citizen Kane, loosely based on Hearst’s life, then you have a glimmer into the man and his opulence.

GoldenGateBridgeFrom there we went onto San Jose, CA and stayed with our friends the Pantalis’.  The next day we went onto San Francisco and did all of the tourist things like seeing Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, visited the Muir Woods with 250 foot tall trees over 1000 years old, ate some clam chowder and purchased a beautiful Tiffany Lamp.  We skipped visiting Alcatraz since I saw it on my last visit and were afraid they might want to keep me.

The next day we drove back down to Monterey, CA and visited their famous aquarium on the bay.  This is probably the best aquarium in the US.  We’re like little kids when it comes to animals and had fun watching the penguins and otters eat which you can do too by clicking on the links I’ve made.  We did the beautiful 17-mile drive through Pacific Grove and were in awe with the scenery and the homes.  That night we drove into downtown Carmel and stayed in a nice hotel.  We enjoyed a great meal and had fun shopping in Carmel and in the shops along Cannery Row.  One of the highlights for us was the weather since it was 20 degrees cooler in CA compared to Dallas’ soaring 100+ heat.

aquariumThe best part about the trip was just being able to relax and hang out.  Normally when I travel I have to work and have some place I must be.  This time we took our time and enjoyed driving up and down Hwy 1 better known as the Pacific Coast Highway.  Next time we’d like to tour the wineries and spend more time in places like Napa Valley.

Back at home I’ve just finished writing Bamboozlers Volume Two.  But there is still a lot of work to be done like the illustrations, editing, historical fact finding, the graphic layout, and then the printing process which takes about two months.  My goal is to have it out just before Christmas of 2009.

My magic is being featured in this month’s issue of ARCANE (a French magic magazine) and in the ESCAMOTEUR (a Belgian magic magazine) plus a few other magic periodicals across Southern Europe.

CalifCentralCoastAnd finally I want to send out a big congratulations to my friend Shawn Farquhar.  Shawn is an excellent magician who does outstanding close-up and stage magic.  Every three years magicians hold FISM which is considered to be the Olympics of magic.  In 2006 Shawn received second-place in close-up magic.  In July of 2009 FISM was held in Beijing, China and Shawn won first place in card magic.  He was also awarded the Grand Prix for close-up which is rarely given away!  If you ever get the chance to see him work up close or on a cruise ship, then take advantage of it.

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My adventure began May 9th when I flew to London and was greeted by my cousin Adrian.  From there we went onto Great Waltham in Chelmsford, Essex.  The following Monday I flew to Lisbon, Portugal where I picked up my Peugeot that I leased for the next 34 days.  My lecture schedule is below:

 

 

05-11-09 Lisbon, Portugal (lecture) Where I was reminded that the streets and drivers are nuts in Europe!
05-12-09 Porto, Portugal (lecture) Where I listened to cooing pigeons and screaming cats while trying to sleep.
05-13-09 Bilbao, Spain (lecture) Where Lions fans paraded in the streets.
05-14-09 Toured Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum (seen above)
05-15-09 Toulouse, France (lecture)
05-16-09 Bordeaux, France (lecture) & drank a Bordeaux 🙂
05-17-09 Rennes, France (lecture)
05-18-09 Paris, France (lecture) Relaxed at the nice Marriott Rive Gauche.
05-19-09 Namur, Belgium (lecture)
05-20-09 Antwerp, Belgium (lecture) stayed at the Fevaca Inn
05-21-09 Toured Brussels with my new friend Duc Nhien (Saw the town, Atomium, Manneken Pis, met famous bizarrist magician Christian Chelman, saw Red Light district, had a Vietnamese meal where the restaurant looked french and the asian waiters spoke french & had a cherry flavored beer called Kriek that looked like blood that we drank from our skull mugs in the famous Coffin Bar.)
05-22-09 Toured Bruges (Town was beautiful & the canal ride was great.  Made a new friend named Gunther Guinee and his girlfriend Sonia treated us to a wonderful Belgian barbeque.
05-23-09 Mulhouse, France (lecture)
05-24-09 Stayed in Meiringen, Switzerland at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel  Toured Reichenbach FallsAareschlucht and Sherlock Museum
05-25-09 Lausanne, Switzerland (lecture)
05-26-09 Grenoble, France (lecture)
05-27-09 Toured Lyon, France
05-28-09 Lyon, France (lecture)
05-29-09 Torino, Italy (lecture) Lectured for the Magic Circle there which had an amazing headquarters.
05-30-09 Toured Rome (ate Lasagna & Pizza) but the place is in ruins! :0
05-31-09 Toured Rome (Giro D’italia was that day w/ Lance Armstrong)
06-01-09 Genoa, Italy (lecture) stayed at the beautiful Hotel Astoria and lectured in a medieval tower. During the drive there I stopped in the town of Pisa to see the leaning tower.
06-02-09 Made a new friend name Carlo who showed me the beautiful town of Genoa (where Christopher Colombus lived) and treated me to lunch and dinner with his girlfriend & we ate Sinatra’s favorite pesto.
06-03-09 Saint Martin-De-Crau, France (lecture)  On the drive there I stopped and toured the beautiful city of Monte Carlo in Monaco. Lectured in a very nice magic shop called Boutique de I’illusion.
06-04-09 Drove onto Nimes, France
06-05-09 Nimes, France (lecture)
06-06-09 Toured Nimes, France w/ my new friend Cedric and had a nice dinner with he and his girlfriend at Le Cheval Blanc.
06-07-09 Hung out in Nimes, France (worked on Vol. 2 of Bamboozlers)
06-08-09 Clermont Ferrand, France (lecture)
06-09-09 Picked up my sister Chelsye in Paris and went onto Lille.
06-10-09 Lille, France (lecture) & toured Paris by bus that day.
06-11-09 Reims, France (lecture) & toured Paris museums that day.
06-12-09 Dijon, France (lecture)
06-13-09 Flew to London and returned to Great Waltham to see family.
06-14-09 Toured Cambridge with family.
06-15-09 Toured London. Saw Big Ben, Tower of London, Crown Jewels, etc.
06-16-09 Toured Chelmsford where my sister bought out the shops!
06-17-09 Returned home!

 

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What a journey!!  On my four flights I flew about 11,000 miles! Not counting the miles I rode on buses or trains I actually drove 5720 miles.  Click here to check out the interactive Google Map to see the actual path I drove; (it may take a moment for the stops to load). 

Some of the highlights were driving through the Pyrenees and the Swiss Alps, driving through the wine and Champagne country in France, experiencing some of the customs, making a few new friends, trying different regional dishes, having the bonding time with my kid sister Chelsye in France and England, touring the beautiful towns of Bruges and Meiringen, making the pilgrimage to the top of the Reichenbach Falls, and seeing family who kept us well fed and entertained.

Family in Great Waltham

Some of the not so fun moments were paying $1000 for excess baggage fees on the way to Portugal, driving around lost when the GPS couldn’t find something, spending on average $100 a day just for gas, tolls and parking, driving down the tiny city streets, the language barrier (since my french is horrible), bad interpreters at a few of the lectures, finding a place to park, missing many meals due to my hectic schedule, delayed and cancelled flights, not eating fried foods for weeks and being home sick and lonely.

Meiringen_Sherlock_Statue

Over my 40 day journey I lectured in 21 cities across 6 countries over a period of 33 days.  Ultimately, it was very profitable and I sold out of practically everything!  My brand name should be well known in southern Europe now.  However, it was way too long to be away from home.  I don’t know if I have it in me to do another tour this long all by myself.  Thanks to Skype I was able to see and talk to my wife almost every night.  It’s great to be back home and see family and friends.  I have a few souvenirs, a few bumps and scrapes on my body (that will soon heal), 650 photographs and memories enough to last a lifetime.

bruges

Being away for so long really makes me appreciate all that I have here.  I am eager to return to the daily grind because I have many exciting projects lined up.  An artist friend has begun the illustrations for my next book and I plan to release a single trick DVD on my version of the Three Card Monte.  Stay tuned!

 

FightNight21

I’ve officially had this blog for 10 years now!  I seem to be as busy as ever.  John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while your busy making other plans.”  That is so true.  I just turned 39.  I don’t feel like it.  It just kind of snuck up on me.

I’ve had lots of great gigs for such clients as Texas Tech, the Dallas Symphony, and CRSTI (a group of heart surgeons) where the event was held in a home going for $9 million!!  And my last gig of the month was for the Real Estate Council; after entertaining this fun group at the Anatole hotel I sat ringside for their Fight Night and witnessed the real blood, sweat and tears of four professional bouts.  I left the fight as the the fourth bout started and missed the eighth round where Benjamin Flores (one of the boxers) died from blunt force trama to the head!!  My prayers go out to Flores’ family and friends.

houdini-moses

One of the things I did to celebrate my birthday was dine with my wife and parents at the The Capital Grille in downtown Dallas where the food was incredible.  This was followed by a night at the Dallas Symphony where we experienced Mozart’s Requiem which was amazing!

Another cool experience this month was touring the collection of Arthur Moses.  Mr. Moses has the largest collection of Houdini items on Earth.  He owns 3500 items currently.  I also picked up a copy of Mr. Moses book Houdini Speaks Out while visiting him in his home.  He’s a super friendly guy with an incredible collection that made me want to drool.

Most of this month has been spent on finalizing things for my Southern European Tour that starts soon.  I’ll be lecturing in many cities in 6 different countries.  I’ll actually be gone for 40 days where I’ll start in England to see family, then fly to Portugal where I’ll lecture at a couple of stops and then drive onto Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.  It should be quite an adventure.  Wish me luck!  I should have lots of stories upon my return.

I kicked off the beginning of February by performing at the IMPROV Comedy Club in Addison again.  There was a great turnout and I had a good set.  Over the last 2 months I’ve taught some classes on magic for Brookhaven College and ABC Bartending School. I’ve also performed many shows for clients like Prevent Blindness Texas, Sebesta Blomberg, World Ventures, one for a gentleman’s 60th at the Four Seasons hotel in Las Colinas, another for a gentleman’s 80th birthday in Mansfield, a moving party for my good friends the Rozells, and one for my best bud DJ Tony Trippi’s birthday at the La Bodega Winery in Grapevine.  While at the winery my wife and I learned all about wine and trilling.

Much of my time has been spent on writing material for the sequels to my first two books.  It is slow going but it is a process that one cannot rush.  My friend Brian Brushwood (who appeared on Leno last night) gave me another shout out in his Scam School episode called The Spelling Bee (seen below).  My magic has been appearing in the latest issues of the French magic magazine Arcane to help promote my tour in Europe this summer.

Lastly, I’ll be performing for one of my favorite clients called Jackson’s Pottery this Saturday March 28th from 11am to 5pm.  This is one of their big semi-annual events.  They’ve got a huge selection of plants and flowers, home decor, furniture, grills, and tons more.  It’s a truly amazing store with an equally amazing staff.  My wife has a green thumb and loves shopping there for things that cannot be found elsewhere.  Come and see me, try some wonderfully grilled delights and maybe even win a prize!

Plus, I’ve re-released my Animated Card Box effect with a new kicker ending.  Check out the video below.

1959Cessna150

It’s the night of February 2nd so I thought I’d sit down and recount everything that’s happened over the last month.  I started off yesterday morning by taking a flight over my home town.  My friend Danny Steuberpiloted the 1959 Cessna 150 for about an hour and it was a blast!  I’ve always wanted to learn to fly and this definitely cinched the deal for me.  Danny is 21 and makes a living as an entertainer, not to mention going to college.  He’s a whiz kid who will go far in life I’m sure!

Then I picked up my friend Amos McCormick of Mississippi from DFW and we had plans of watching the Super Bowl back at my place, with my wife, but we had fun visiting instead.  The next morning I enjoyed watching the Tivo’dgame.  The game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals was one of the best I’ve ever seen!

over-the-colonyJanuary was filled with many fun events like my road-trip to Oklahoma with the funny and talented Brian Brushwood.  Once in OK we had a nice visit with the always amazing Martin Gardner.  Martin is an enigma to me the way his mind keeps cranking out books.  I don’t think he realizes how many people’s lives he’s influenced.

This month I performed for former Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman and family, for the Shaw Industries trade show, at the Fashion Institute Gallery, and at the grand re-opening of the Tower Club that just underwent a 3.8 million renovation.  While at the Tower Club that night one wealthy gentleman loaned me his $250,000 8-carat diamond ring to perform my magic with.  He was pretty brave to do so considering that I made it disappear time and again, and not to mention that is how I got my name… Diamond Jim.