This month has been fun.  I’ve worked many private events at some really cool venues.  One had me returning to the home of a millionaire with a home much like a resort.  Another was at the Frontiers of Flight museum for Southwest Airlines.  Another was at I-FLY where one can skydive indoors.  Plus I’ve done many other parties in people’s homes, at hotels and country clubs.  More of my Scam School episodes have aired recently.  See one of them above.

This month has been chock full of dinner and lunch dates.  It’s nice to have such a network of people I can rely on.  I’ve seen many old friends, new friends, cousins, siblings, my folks, clients who have become friends, etc.  The pic on the left is my mother and step-father.  When not performing or having dinner with friends I like to play Texas Hold-em.  I’m in a league.  It’s fun but I still have lots to learn.

My buddy Jared asked me recently if I’d like to help to judge at a Hooter’s bikini competition.  It took me only a short while to give him a resounding, “Yes!”  This was the final round held at the House of Blues in Dallas before the finalists went on to Vegas where one of the girls would become the sole winner with a nice contract to be the spokesmodel for Hooters.  It was a fun night!

Bamboozlers 3 is being reprinted now.  I’ve just received another batch of my Sherlock’s 7 Cent Solution puzzles.  I’m writing volume four of Bamboozlers slowly but surely.  Plus I’m working on another project that I’m keeping secret right now.

The gentleman that owns the game company Gearbox practices magic and lives in Frisco.  He and his wife have built a theater in their home and host a variety show at least once a month.  It’s a privilege to be on their list and I had been asked to attend several times before but could never make it.  Well I finally made it and their home, the Peacock Theater, the show, their hospitality was all absolutely incredible.  I was happy to share the experience with many friends.  See a pic from that night on the left.

Lastly, my Ominous Deck is still selling really well.  There is a mentalist named Spidey who has been seen on America’s Got Talent and he loves the effect I created.  Recently he created a video of his take on it.  See that video below:

I kicked off the month by flying to Portland to do another Penguin magic expo.  That same night I rode with Paul Richards and his wife Wendy into Seattle so we could do it all again the next morning.  It was tiring, but lucrative and well worth it.  I’ve lectured and sold things at my booth hundreds of times and I learn something each time.

Once home the next weekend I drove to Austin, Tx.  That Friday night I dined with two of my favorite relatives, my cousins Rodger and Alex.  They are always fun to hang out with.  The following I hung out with my friend Brian Brushwood the host of Scam School.  Brian rounded up his film crew and we proceeded to the Handlebar to film five episodes; look for those episodes over the next few months on YouTube.  Afterwards we all went to a speakeasy called the Floppy Disk Repair Center.  Brushwood knew the password to get us in and we had a couple of drinks before meeting up with my cousins at a restaurant called Moonshine with excellent menu items.

The next day I visited UMLAUF Sculpture garden.  The garden and sculptures were very nice.  I grabbed some grub from a food truck and went hiking.  I drove back to Dallas that night after stopping at the Collin Street Bakery (home of the original fruitcake) for a little snack.

That Monday morning I drove to the headquarters of Dude Perfect in Frisco.  I shot an episode with Tyler and Garrett where I taught Tyler some magic to help him put on a great show as a Hibachi chef.  The Dude Perfect show features trick shots in sports and has over 17 million followers on YouTube.  The five stars of the show are doing well.  This show that I helped with is part of a series that will air on Nickelodean.  Look for it in about one month.  Set your DVR.  It was a fun shoot with the guys and camera crew and I hope to return to work with them again.

Now that things have calmed down I have finished revising Bamboozlers 3 and just sent it off to have reprinted.  Demand for it has been high since it’s not been available the past six months.  I’m soon to run out of my Winning Spinning Nickels and have begun the process to have them back in stock.  Each project takes time and money.  I’m slowly compiling Bamboozlers 4 and hope to lay it out soon.  My birthday is around the corner and I’ve learned that as you get older life only speeds up.

I did a Penguin Expo in Austin and Dallas this month.   The crowds were great in both cities.  It was nice to see so many friends in attendance. It was a pleasure working alongside some of the best in the business which was Mark Mason, Paul Richards, Gregory Wilson and the guys from Penguin Magic.  We each gave mini lectures and demonstrated our wares at our dealer booths.  I hope to do more of these soon.  Some of my magic was featured in Penguin Monthly too.

I was also a guest performer and lecturer at the Winter Carnival of Magic in Pigeon Forge, Tn.  It was a 3 day weekend full of magic.  Pigeon Forge is an interesting town.  It’s like Branson.  The buildings and attractions were unique.  The convention was a lot of fun and one of the highlights was visiting the home of a millionaire who refurbished old gaming machines for a living (like the old fortune teller machines).  The main party area where he entertained the guests looked like a speakeasy with an old authentic Chicago wood bar inside, an ice cream parlor, billiard table from the 18th century and more.

I’ve had swarms of shows from many of my clients to keep me busy as well.  When not performing I’ve been spending lots of time playing poker.  I attended the Texas Pinball Festival for the third time.  I had a great time despite my ulcer and met Sam Jones who played Flash Gordon in the cult classic 1980 film.  Basically, I had fun… and fun is the best thing to have.

In February Penguin Magic flew me to Columbus, OH to do a show one night and a live online lecture the next night.  The show went really well.  This was my second time lecturing for Penguin Magic which apparently is not commonplace.  My first lecture broke records for them.  Firstly, I broke the record for most magic taught per minute by teaching 20 effects over the course of two hours.  Secondly, they have a shortlist of products on their site that only have 5-star reviews.  My first lecture with them holds #1 with fifty 5-star reviews.  I guess it’s something I should be proud of.  The second go around I thought I would just perform material from my Bamboozlers book series by featuring bar bets, puzzles, jokes and impromptu magic.  This time I did over 40 effects and the good reviews are rolling in.

I had many shows across Texas in February but my most time consuming shows were two that I did for the North Texas Specialty Physicians.  For each show I entertained a group of 200 doctors. I incorporated my magic to discuss key topics like MACRA and RAFs and the CHIP Reauthorization Act.  Both gigs were rewarding and challenging.  The last one was held at the CR Smith Museum near DFW airport.  The Radiation Oncologist who helped cure my Cancer in 1993 Dr. Timothy Nichols was in attendance during my second show and had nothing but nice to things to say.  I’m a lucky guy on many levels.

 

I kicked off this year performing at the Phoenix House once again on January 1st.  It’s an awesome nonprofit organization that rehabilitates teens with drug & alcohol problems.  It’s always a pleasure performing for this group.  That night I had dinner with some good friends.

January was almost as busy as December which is typically my best month.  One gig took me to Oklahoma to work at the Choctaw Casino. Many regular clients booked my services again across Texas.  I’m so lucky that I make a good living doing what I love.  Seeing many of my clients is like seeing family.  One new client flew me to Palm Beach, Florida to work at the prestigious Bath & Tennis Club for his wife’s birthday. See a pic of the room I worked above.

I was recently in a small car wreck.  While sitting at a red light a car smashed into me.  I’m okay but it damaged the front and rear of of my car.  The fiberglass was cracked.  It couldn’t be repaired until January 31st.  I should get my car back Feb. 21st.  I miss my Vette.

I had a small tour across Florida lined up for the middle of January.  I was excited and packed and ready to go.  On the way to the airport I learned that my flight was cancelled due to fog.  Not delayed… cancelled.  I scrambled to find another flight and since I was booking last minute I found nothing available.  Then I tried to book a flight out the next day to go onto stop number two.  All flights were outrageously expensive.  Disappointingly I had to cancel the tour.  It was only 4 stops and I couldn’t make at least two of them.  Plus there were other factors that prohibited this trip.

With the car wreck and cancelled tour you’d think it was a bad month.  However, in January I took a mini-vacation to California.  I had an awesome time at the Magic Castle.  I also went to the Griffith Observatory which is amazing (seen above).  I went to the beach, walked Hollywood Blvd, visited Amoeba Music, toured Universal Studios, ate well and really enjoyed my time there.

Recently I’ve been playing lots of tournament Texas Hold-em poker. See a recent magic video I made that’s related to poker.  Enjoy!

 

 

I was happy to see the back-end of 2016.  I got divorced earlier in 2016, had health issues, lost two family members and had more stress than I can ever remember.  However December was great!  I did 20 shows for mostly repeat clients.  I made a few new clients as well.  One client had me changing folks $1 bills into $100 bills and letting them keep them.  I’m eating better, sleeping better and working out regularly.  In 2017 I hope to be the best version of me.  2016 was rough but I think it has made me much stronger and wiser.

In December of 2015 I had molds made for my new Ominous Deck.  In May I thought I had the finished product when 1000 of them showed up on my doorstep.  Unfortunately their were flaws with all of them so I scrapped them and had them remake the mold.  In late December of 2016, almost a year to the day, I received my order of 1000 units in and they look great!  They have been flying out my door and getting rave reviews from my colleagues.

December was also nice to see much of my family.  I had a nice Christmas with my mom, step-father, sisters and nephews.  See a pic of me and my sisters on the left.  I also had a nice Christmas with my dad’s side of the family.  For that Christmas we chose to adopt a family to buy them things they really needed.  That felt better than giving ourselves things we really didn’t need.  I also helped my father celebrate his birthday.

In late December I attended a small ComiCon in Dallas.  It was fun to see folks in their Cosplay outfits and cross paths with a few friends. The vendor booths were fun to peruse through. I did a little magic there for Michael Rooker of Walking Dead fame.  He was very cool and receptive to my magic.