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 met a wonderful girl.  Since meeting we’ve been inseparable.  We had an awesome time at the Magic Castle.  We also went to the Griffith Observatory which is amazing.  We went to the beach, walked Hollywood Blvd, visited Amoeba Music, toured Universal Studios, ate well and really enjoyed our time together.

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.

 

 

papaThis month has been chaotic.  Prepping and planning for a three week tour in a foreign land is never easy but this trip was especially hard.  While gone I lost a major gig, had some personal issues and I lost my grandfather.  It was the first family funeral I have ever missed.  His name was Bill and he was a loving and giving man. Because of the stress I’ve not slept well and lost lots of weight.  I’m being brutally honest.  Normally I sugarcoat things here in my blog and only share my ups.  I think some will find it redeeming to know that I also have my downs.  I am learning to cope with all of my recent heartaches.

djt-germanyI flew out of DFW on Halloween day and arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on Nov. 1st.  I rented a car and drove to Antwerp, Belgium.  I lectured there the next night and had a great turnout. From there I moved on to The Netherlands where I lectured for Dynamite Magic.  It was a great shop and turnout and I was excited since it was my first time visiting this country.  I then journeyed onto Hamburg to lecture at the wonderful venue that the Magic Circle has there.  I then stopped and lectured in the towns of Wuppertal, Oldenberg, Berlin, Hannover, Haldensblen, Nurnberg and Frankfurt.  Each stop was fun seeing old friends and making new ones.  However, my mind was mostly on my problems back at home which made it hard to enjoy my downtime when not working.

Thpraguee highlight of the trip was Prague in the Czech Republic.  I had always heard it was a beautiful city but it surpassed my expectations.  I hope to return there one day.  Google pics of the city to see what I mean.  I’ve included a cool video of the Franz Kafka statue below.  I had one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten there. Also, one of the best true Italian pizzas I’ve ever had.  My host there Damian made my stay really fun.  The lecture had a huge turnout.  When a lecturer comes to Prague it is a big event and they make you feel like a celebrity.

On this trip I flew 5000 miles there and 5000 back.  I drove about 2000 miles across Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.  My train ride from Germany to Prague and back had many breathtaking moments.  I made good money along the way.  After this trip I can proudly say that I have performed in 30 countries.  I don’t plan to do any big tours like this again in the near future.  I’d like to focus on shows and projects at home.

Once home I had two nice Thanksgiving meals with both sides of my family.  I was reminded that I do have much to be thankful for and not to dwell on my losses but rather my blessings in life.

This has been a year of self-discovery for me.  I’m 46 years old and alone for the first time in my life. I’m starting to learn who I am at my core and what I really want.  It’s been a tough adjustment but I know I’ll be a better and stronger version of Diamond Jim very soon.  Wish me luck.

 

clipperI’m busier than a shoe salesman on a centipede farm.  Another of my Scam School episodes aired in September.  See it above.  In September I did 8 private events, many for repeat clients but mainly stayed busy prepping for my West coast / Canadian tour. I flew to Sacramento on Wednesday Sept. 14th and lectured there that night.  From there I continued onto Seattle (where I missed my lecture…. that was a first for me).  I booked a flight out the wrong airport but then luckily got the last seat on the Clipper ferry.  Unfortunately, the ferry was over an hour late which made me extremely late.  Seattle had me eating humble pie and cost me plenty!  From there I went onto Victoria, BC where I vacationed for a couple of days before lecturing there.  I love Victoria and it’s breath-taking scenery!  I especially enjoyed hanging with Dave Atwood.  Dave’s an amazing magician, guy and now friend for life.

planeAfter BC I went on to Calgary, then Winnipeg, then Edmonton and then back to Mission, BC.  I hit many Canadian provinces and made several new friends.  Mike Norden’s man cave and home were amazing!  I continued my tour into the US stopping in Portland and Eugene, Oregon.  I was happy to return to Dave’s Killer Magic Shop for a standing room only crowd once again!  My last stop was in Boise, ID were I spent the day with the kind and talented Kipp Sherry before giving my lecture that night.  Idaho now makes the 46th state that I have performed in.  I hope to knock out the last four in 2017.  Over the fourteen day period I was on 15 planes.

djt-hymanIt was nice to meet the famous Ray Hyman in Eugene, Oregon.  He and I shared the famous mutual friend Martin Gardner. Ray was lucky to know him much longer than I.  Mr. Hyman is full of vim and vigor for a man his age and I hope I am the same one day.

It’s now approaching the middle of October and I realized that I needed to update my blog now or it might not get done until the end of the year.  In October I currently have 17 private events but I have mainly been booking airfare, a car, train tickets and such for my upcoming tour of Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.  I’ve got 10 stops on this tour that will take 3 weeks to complete.  I’m looking forward to returning to Europe.  On this trip I will knock out two new countries I have yet to visit.  I had no idea when choosing this profession that I’d be a globe-trotter.

djt-vegas-2016Whew!  These last two months have flown by.  Much in my life has changed.  I’m recently divorced after being with the same girl for 28 years.  I have moved to another city in Texas and have sold off many things that I really didn’t need.  Don’t feel sorry for either of us.  It was time and luckily for us it was amicable. I wish my ex the best in life and have nothing bad to say about her.

My work schedule has been hectic too.  I’ve been driving across the state of Texas for gigs and flying to and fro other states as well.  At the recommendation of my doctor I saw a cardiologist and after a few tests learned that I have an arrhythmia. Apparently, most people do and the doc says I will be fine without treatment or pills.

smithsMy friends the Smiths from Derby, England came to see me in Texas.  I’ve had the pleasure of staying in their home during a couple of my UK visits. I showed them some of Dallas and much of Fort Worth.  I made sure they had some authentic TexMex and barbeque.  The also tried other things like fried jalepeno poppers and funnel cakes.  One day we all went to the Wild West Show in Fort Worth and they really enjoyed it.  They were impressed with the size of our food portions, trucks, TVs and things like OnStar.  They loved shopping in our supermarkets to find treats that they can’t get back at home. I had a blast with them and can’t wait to see them all again.  See them above.

IMG_3670Beyond gigs my social calendar has been full up with dinners with friends and family.  One night my buddy Jared picked me up in a Lamborghini to attend a car meet.  From time to time I’ll get a sample from China for my upcoming Ominous Deck to approve and I think we’ve finally worked out the kinks.  It should be out soon.  The big happening in August was attending Magic Live in Vegas!

DJT-Copperfield-2016This was my third Magic Live to attend and it was phenomenal.  It was great to see so many friends, make new ones, buy new toys and routines.  This was their 25th anniversary and almost every magician who was ever on the cover was there plus 1400 more of us.  The talks and performances were top notch.  Just walking around the convention made me money by IMG_3668booking more dates and selling more of my products. Getting an invite to Chris Kenner’s party and hanging out with several AGT contestants and David Copperfield was an unexpected surprise!

I used Uber for the first time while there and each of the three times was fast, reliable and affordable.  I gave Lost Wages a little money in the slot machines and at the blackjack tables but ultimately I came out way ahead with knowledge, experiences, new friends and wisdom.  Plus I can’t wait to try the new routines I learned there.  Currently I’m gearing up for a Canadian tour.

See one of my latest episodes of Scam School below.  Life is short.  Make it fun!!

 

blueI have had many shows across the state and lectured outside of Texas in Albuquerque-New Mexico, Las Vegas-Nevada, and Denver-Colorado.  Each of the stops were worthwhile.  I’ve done lots of private parties and continue to work Boston’s in McKinney on Wednesday and Friday nights. I’ve had fun gigs at places like the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Jackson’s Pottery, the Hageman Reserve and for the Crow family.

spider2Outside of performing and lecturing I have also taken on a new student.  He is a lawyer and happy to learn and excited.  Admittedly I have just as much fun teaching him.  Also I am releasing a new effect called the Ominous Deck (seen above).  It’s a project that has been a year or more in the making.  I received 1000 of them in only to learn they had defects.  So the molds are being remade now and I’ll have the finished product in soon.  You can pre-order it now!

sspaolettiPlus I returned to Austin to film more episodes of Scam School.  We try to film 4-5 episodes, but due to bad weather, we had to call it an early night.  I got 3 in the can.  See the first of my 3 below.  I also took my buddy Alan Paoletti with me so he could experience the world of Scam School and witness the shoot; see a pic of all three of us above.  He will star in his own episode soon.  Look for it on the Scam School YouTube channel.

 

IMG_3012These last two months have kept me busy performing and working on projects.  I’ve done lots of parties around the metroplex.  Some have been company events, birthday parties, and many graduation parties.  People young and old seem to appreciate my style of magic.  Over 30 years of performing professionally I’ve mastered what works well in different scenarios.

march2016gradAs far as projects go I’ve just re-released my 7 Lucky Dice and a spin-off product called Forcing Die.  These dice are for magicians and their mentalism routines.  The product has been well received globally and some of the biggest names in the business have ordered from me.

I’m also working on a secret project that hopefully will come out in May.  I think it will be big!  It’s my first time commissioning molds made and having something mass produced in China.  I have had dies made for certain products but this is on a bigger scale.  Wish me luck and look for it soon.

IMG_3009My friend Jared Guynes rented out Cowboy Stadium on March 12th and around 2300 people participated in the world’s largest Nerf gun battle.  I was one of them.  It’s official and I’m in the Guinness Book of World Records now.  It’s kind of a big deal; kind of like being a doctor.  Jared was also kind enough to hire me to work the pre-party where I saw my friends Pam and Miki the Monkey.  Life is never dull.

IMG_3010The following weekend I attended the Texas Pinball festival in Frisco, TX.  It was thrilling to play the several hundred games on free play that weekend.  Plus I got to see many friends and make some new ones.  My favorite arcade game Omega Race was there and I hogged the machine as much as possible.

In April I turned another year older and have been purging.  I’ve sold my Sherlock Holmes collection, my Egyptian art collection, my magic book collection, plus some other items.  They say what you own ends up owning you.  I’m trying to simplify some things and reboot. More soon.

djt-feb3I performed many private events this month across the metroplex.  I’ve performed in mansions, country clubs, libraries, grand ballrooms, etc. One gig took me to someone’s home where I saw friends I hadn’t seen in years.  I was so glad these old friends got to see me do my stand-up comedy magic for adults; plus it was great catching up.  This month I received Bamboozlers One from the printer in China.  The second printing had sold out so now I have the third printing in stock again.  These little books continue to do amazingly well.  I had no idea when beginning this series in 2008 that it would become what I am best known for.

The big happening this month was my lecture tour across 7 states and 10 cities.  I drove from Dallas to Springfield, Missouri on Feb. 9th.  From there to Kansas City, MO to lecture once again at US Toy and hang out with my friend Todd Lamanske who is an awesome magician in his own Glass-Balance-DJTright.  David Sandy welcomed me to his home with a little party and gave me a tour of his cool home and magic collection.  From there I went to Little Rock, Arkansas and then drove home to do two shows that Saturday.

Sunday the 14th I left so I could be in Louisville, KY the following night.  Attendance was poor due to snow everywhere but I had fun with those that did show up.  Then I made me way to Springfield, IL, then to Big Guy’s magic shop in Pewaukee, WI where it was really cold.  The next night I was in Tinley Park, IL.  I drove 13 hours home the next day straight to sleep in my own bed.  That Saturday I had two shows as well.

fireSunday the 21st I lectured for my pals in Dallas and had a party at the house afterward.  The next day I was in Lake Charles, LA where I saw my buddy Chip Romero, who is a wonderful cruise ship magician, and who has one of the most impressive magic collections on the planet.  The next night I lectured in Austin, TX and made my way home again the next day.  All in all I drove over 5000 miles across the US. That week I had a few more shows to finish off the month.  So life is good and work is plentiful.  The problem is I have so many projects I’d like to complete but I have little time and motivation.  Having said that I do have an exciting new product that should come out next month. I can’t wait for the magic world to see it!

2016 started off on the right foot again by performing for the teenagers at Phoenix House on Jan. 1st.  These kids are going through tough times and it was fun to know I was bringing them some wonder, if only for a little while.  Jan. 3rd I flew to LA and attended the Magic Castle shows that evening.  On the 4th my work week there began doing three shows a night in the Parlour of Prestidigitation.  This was my ninth time working the Castle.  Once again I was working with the best of the best.

irene-djt-2016It was a fun work week and I enjoyed meeting British magician Pete Firman.  Pete witnessed me dueling with drunks during one of my performances and it was a hoot!  These sort of  occurrences make me a better magician.  Irene Larsen, wife of the former Bill Larsen (who founded the Castle with his brother Milt) had wonderful things to say about my show and my humor.  High praise from Mrs. Larsen (seen on the right), who’s seen thousands of magicians, meant the world to me.  The highlight was hanging out with friends that week.

texas-motor-cars-2016Once home Jan. 12th I had one day of rest before doing five shows that week. Over the next two weeks I had several shows.  I did a stand-up show in the home of a billionaire for several teenagers and their parents on Jan. 30th. On Jan. 31st I had an awesome gig at Texas Motorcars in Addison, Tx.  See a candid shot from the Texas Motor Cars (on the left).  See me performing a fun routine Sunday Jan. 31st by (clicking here). People pay me to have fun!!

The big news this month was the release of my 10th instructional magic DVD titled Telekinetic.  It’s based on an effect I dreamed up as a teenager but with lots of nuances and modifications.  It’s definitely one of the more visual pieces of magic that I do.  See the trailer at the top of this post.  2016 marks 40 years practicing magic and 30 years performing it professionally.  To celebrate I’ve released my 10 DVD Box Set that features over 50 effects.  It’s probably the best deal on my website for those who are not familiar with my magic.

 

 

penn-djt-2016bWhat a year!  Reflecting back I am amazed at all that I accomplished this year.  I couldn’t do it without my network of family and friends that encourage me.  In December I did 29 private gigs.  I think my record is 30 in a month.  Some of those gigs were half an hour long (not counting packing and planning, travel time and set-up and break-down time); most were 2-3 hours long and at least one was 5.5 hours long.  On Dec. 11th I drove to Houston (4 hours away) to work a 2 hour luncheon, drove back and did two more shows in different cities that night.  December is always hectic and lucrative.  I am not counting all of the other parties I attended with friends and family.  One gig in December took me to the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma where I entertained a private party of nine in a High Rollers room and then the gentleman who hired me gifted me with a ticket to see Penn & Teller with them.  I spoke with both P&T after and they were very cordial.  See the pics of myself with them here.  I love the one where Teller is looking over my Bamboozler book.

Teller-DJT-2016bEarly in 2015 I flew to England and was one of the headliners at the Blackpool convention.  It’s like the superbowl of magic conventions with about 3600 in attendance.  It was my second time lecturing and performing at the Blackpool convention and I loved it as much as the first time.  I made time while there to see friends in Liverpool and Derby and family in Leeds and Chelmsford.

I attended the TAOM convention in Austin and had a blast with old friends.  I was pleased to give a mini-lecture there and perform in the Scam School alumni show with Brian Brushwood and others.  I also attended the MAGIC LIVE convention in Las Vegas and had an awesome time with old and new friends.  Plus I made some great contacts for future tours.  One of the great things to come from it was that Vanishing Inc. and myself will team up for some new product releases in 2016.  Stay tuned.  The first project is a DVD called Telekinetic that will release very soon!!

Besides my many in-town gigs through-out the year, I made time to lecture across the southeastern part of the US.  Getting the thumbs up and verbal approval from guys like Bev Bergeron on that tour is what keeps me going.  I shot more episodes of Scam School (see below).  I worked the Magic Castle in Hollywood for the 8th time.  I flew to NY to film a live lecture for Reel Magic. Plus I returned to lecture across New Zealand and Australia.  Returning to the land down under is always fun.  Since I had been there before I tagged on another tour across Asia in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Indonesia.  Doing it was very tiresome but the memories are amazing!  Imagine taking 19 flights, and sleeping in 20 different beds in 29 days across 7 countries.  I lived it!

I managed to repackage all of my DVDs into 5×5 cardboard sleeves so they weigh less and take up less space.  My Penguin Lecture DVD released this year.  My effects Magic Math Sticks, 7 Lucky Dice, Diamond Jack, The Squeezer, Mirrors and Quadrare Caan Opus all received rave reviews in this years Linking Ring magazine. I added puzzles to my site like The Diver’s Lung Tester, Ecryptic, Sherlock’s 7 Cent Solution, Cardinal Zen, etc.  I released my Half-Dollar Coin Ring with over 1000 sold and have received many custom coin ring orders because of it. I just sent the paperwork in to reprint Bamboozlers Vol. One for the third time.  Soon I’ll be adding some new products to my line.

2015 was a busy crazy year but 2016 will top it!

Work has been prosperous.  Between October and November I did 33 shows.  I helped celebrate my sister, mother’s, and step-mother’s birthdays.  I wrapped shooting my 9th DVD, technically it’s my 10th if you count my Penguin Magic lecture DVD; for you non-magicians… it is not a lecture about magic with penguins.

cardinalzenMore episodes of Scam School starring moi have aired (see one of them at the top of this post).  I’ve added a new puzzle to my product line called Cardinal Zen.  I’ve prepared 1000 inserts for my upcoming DVD.  I have two projects in the works with Vanishing Inc. that I am excited about.  I went to Cars & Coffee with my father, but unfortunately it was cold and rainy so cars showcased there were in poor attendance.  I gave a lesson to a new student.  I saw the new James Bond Spectre film. I attended the Dallas Margarita Ball with about 13,000 other people just for fun.

Two gigs that I will not forget happened on the same day.  Oct. 10th I made my way bright and early to the Texas State Fair at Fair Park with my friend Jared Guynes.  Traffic was a mess seeing how it was the big TX-OU football weekend.  I made my way to Big Tex and began doing some street magic.  A couple walked up and I did some magic that helped them to get engaged.  It seemed impromptu but it was all pre-planned of course.  I had my friend Jared film it and the priceless reactions are here:

dankostNeedless to say the girl Lauralee was in shock and awe;  so much so that she didn’t realize that while I was performing for her and her future husband that their family was secretly gathering all around them.  I was flattered to be a part of it all.

Then that evening I did a party for Dan Kost at his car shop.   It was disguised as a party for employees and friends but secretly Dan and I planned something special for his now fiance.  See a photo here of their reaction! I can count the times I’ve done engagements on one hand and did two of them on this day.  It was very fulfilling and I hope to do more work like this.

jennifer30thIronically one of the couples I helped get engaged hired me to work their parents 50th anniversary on Oct. 24th.  They too were a great crowd and appreciative audience.  Nov. 7th I was a surprise for a lady’s 30th birthday.  They didn’t want me to leave and just couldn’t get enough.  It’s nice to be appreciated for my hard work at my craft.  See a photo of the birthday girl and her boyfriend here.

I look forward to Thanksgiving with family and wrapping up some projects.  December is booking up to be busier than ever.  33% of 2016 is booked solid.  I have so much work that it looks like I will not get a break until March of 2016.  I’m a lucky guy to be doing so much of what I love. Plus I have great family, friends and fans.

DJT-CarbonaroLuckily I’ve stayed busy with lots of shows and projects.  August 9th I flew to Vegas with a buddy and we attended the Magic Live convention.  There were over 1300 magicians there, many of which are some of the biggest names in magic.  It was good to see old friends, make new ones, and make some contacts for upcoming projects and tours.  I lined up some stops for my Germany tour next year and planned some tours for the US, Canada, and hopefully China.  If I get any busier I’ll have to clone myself.  It was nice to rub shoulders with some famous magicians like David Copperfield, Michael Carbonaro (seen left), Tom Mullica, etc.  Once back home I played poker with some friends, helped my friend Mindi Bailey celebrate her 60th, met my friend Kevin Davis’ and the gang back from High School, and did many more shows.

August was also the release for my new puzzle ECRYPTIC. This three wooden piece brain twister is diabolical and definitely the hardest one to do from my puzzle line.  See it here.

scam-school-alumniCome September I went to Austin and shot a few more episodes of Scam School.  See one of those episodes below.  After hanging with my buddy Brian Brushwood, I saw my cousins Roger and Alex in Austin and then attended the Texas Association of Magicians convention there Sept. 4-7th.  Originally I went to simply hang out and see shows and friends but I was asked to do two mini-performances.  The first was with my friend Brushwood for what was called Scam School Live.  Myself, Brushwood, David Rangel, David Rowyn and Dennis Rogers all performed.  It was a lot of fun to work with these guys!  The next day I taught one effect from my first book during a lecture featuring many Texas performers.  All of the proceeds from the lecture notes sold went to charity.  The next day I manned my own booth for 6 hours and did very well.  The highlight of the convention for me was seeing Ray Anderson perform at Esther’s Follies.  I’ve seen the show many times and it never gets old because half of it always changes.

russell-paulaOnce home my cousins Russell and Paula from England stayed with us a few days.  We tried to keep them entertained and well fed. Of course I had many shows to look forward to.  One was with two of my colleagues (one a caricature artist and the other a snake wrangler).  Another fun gig was for my best friends’ the Trippi’s church where I did a stand-up show before Paul Salos (of AGT fame) a Frank Sinatra impersonator took the stage.

reelmagicTo cap off the end of the month I flew to Binghamton, NY to do a live online lecture for Reel Magic magazine.  That live lecture has now been edited and made available for download.  For $5.00 a month it is one of the best deals in magic for all that you get.  See it by clicking the banner.