I kicked off the month by updating my website with my friend Jared.  He video-taped one of my magic routines which can be seen above.  July 2nd I flew to Indiana and did a show for a client and several hundred guests for a fish fry on his personal 1000 acre estate; besides myself they had guys parachute in carrying a large American flag with a fireworks show to boot.  Hopefully they’ll have me back next year!

This month I launched my new product which is a 1976 Bicentennial Kennedy Half-Dollar made into a finger ring.  The coins are made into whatever size someone needs and can be used for magic routines like Spellbound or Karate Coin.  Over 1000 of them have sold thus far!  Plus it’s leading to many custom orders for specific years (like birth years) and nicer coins (like Barber, Walking Liberty and Franklin half-dollars).  See the video below and learn more about them here.

I’ve attended Pippin the musical, had a swim day at my folk’s place, had my friends the Mathews over, and lectured in Tulsa, Oklahoma for Spotlite Magic.  Shortly after I vacationed in Santa Barbara and did a little wine tour.  I was delighted to return to perform at The Magic Castle in Hollywood for a week in the Close-Up Gallery.  Not only did many friends come out to see me but some of my magic idols like Brian Gillis, the Amazing Jonathan and Steve Valentine attended my show and had nice things to say.  See a pic of all us below.

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While in the Los Angeles area a friend of mine named Mitch, who works for Power 106 FM radio had me out to entertain the crew there.  They were an enthusiastic audience and interviewed me on air.  To my surprise the celebrity Jason Derulo appeared for an interview and I razzle-dazzled him with my magic.  He literally freaked over some of my effects.  Much of it was caught on video. Below is one of the four clips that was made:

 

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What people say about time speeding up as you get older is true. June flew past with projects and shows. Listed are some of the highlights of what I actually remember. I drove to Oklahoma City to perform at a 50th High School reunion which was a blast. I played poker one night with a regular group of guys. I attended my nephew Landen’s graduation party. We’re all proud of Landen for graduating one year early! I did shows all over the metroplex. We had our attic finished out and got a new roof. The day they were doing all the hammering we got the heck out of Dodge and saw Jurassic World. I bought a new car and attended my first car meet; see the pic above. Plus, my buddy Jared is always helping me with my website, so this time he asked to film the footage which is seen below.

gandolphOn April 26th I flew to DFW to LAX to Auckland to begin another adventure.  I stayed with my friend Alan Watson (recently honored by Academy of Magical Arts and the Queen).  From there I moved onto Christchurch and saw a changed city after the earthquake hit since my last visit in 2010.  The city is recovering slowly and the gang was very enthusiastic about me being there.  Then I went onto Wellington which fast became my favorite stop in New Zealand.  The airport itself is like a museum with a bigger than life size Gollum, Gandolph (see the pic above), and a sleeping but breathing Dragon. My host Nopera Whitley and his girlfriend showed me around the city where we played mini golf and took in the Te Papa museum.  The Gallipoli exhibit (created by Weta Workshop) was mind-blowing.  It was probably the best exhibit I’ve ever seen.  See one image below.  Lastly we visited the Weta Workshop where things are made for some of the biggest movies today like Lord of the Rings, Godzilla, Spiderman, District 9, King Kong, the new Mad Max, etc.

gallipoli-exhibit-tepapaAfter NZ I flew onto Brisbane and stayed with my friends Cyrus and Silloo at their palatial estate.  They took me to the Gold Coast and showed me their place in the sky there and took me to the top of the highest building.  It’s a place I’m eager to return to.  From there I went onto Sydney and stayed with my good friend Sean Taylor and his family.  The next day my friend Wayne Black took me to see the sites on Bondi Beach and we met our friend Ian Pidgeon for lunch.  After that I went to Melbourne and was greeted by Graham Etherington who helped me settle a hotel issue.  I spent a couple of extra days there and really got to know Melbourne.  One day I toured the zoo with a friend named Lee and loved seeing all of the animals.

singaporeI made my way onto Adelaide and Perth and had a good time there.  Then the real adventure began when I flew to Singapore.  It was my first time to set foot in Asia!  Singapore was amazing.  See the pic above.  It was such a nice city and most people speak English there.  It’s very expensive to live there but a wonderful place to visit.  The gang was very warm and receptive.  The Asian culture is very kind to guests and accommodating.  I hope to return there one day.

tuktukAfter a couple of days in Singapore I flew onto Bangkok, Thailand.  I was given bad info by the airline so my host waited for me at the wrong airport.  After that minor hiccup I checked into my hotel and was shown the city by car, foot, and tuk-tuk (see the pic).  Imagine riding around through congested traffic at 70mph in this open vehicle that sounds like it’s powered by a lawnmower engine.

It was 107 degrees Fahrenheit but we took in a beautiful temple.  There were pictures of the King and his daughter (the princess) everywhere.  They are much loved there.  I lectured for a young crowd at The Academy of Magic there run by the amazing Mamada.  What he is doing for the youth of Bangkok is truly altruistic. I was their first close-up magic lecture and they were a gracious audience.

suits-hongkongAfter Thailand I went onto Hong Kong.  The hotel was nice and I made fast friends with Albert Tam.  He went all out to show me this wonderful city.  We traveled by foot, cab, ferry, subways and a tram.  The gang was a lot of fun and the city was incredible.  Plus I did my best to eat local dishes where I went each time. Albert was very kind to take me to some men’s suit shops where I picked some material and had 3 custom outfits made; see the pics.

I then flew to Manila in The Philippines.  They treated me like a rockstar there!  To introduce me they played their national anthem and said a prayer, played my national anthem and upon walking out they played Hail to the Chief!  The group took about a million pictures that night like I was Johnny Depp.  Plus they showered me with gifts.  The artist I met there James Paul was super cool and designed the poster attached below.  My hosts Chubster and George took me out for a night on the town!

manila-poster-DJTThe next day me and a couple of the guys walked a traditional mall there. While shopping I found a shirt I liked and paid for it with a credit card.  The annoyed sales clerk insisted that I sign it like the back of my credit card so I signed it “See Photo I.D.” We also took in the new Mad Max movie in 3D.  Manila is a place I must return to.

Barely catching my breath I made my to Surabaya, Indonesia.  That is not an easy place to get in and out of.  My host Suchayo put me up and a very nice resort.  He, his wife and I had a very nice dinner at another resort like place that evening.  Suchayo manufacturers a lot of magic made world-wide so we brainstormed a little on future projects.  I hope we will work together in the future.

After that I flew onto Sydney for a day to see my friend Sean Taylor who helped to arrange much of this trip.  He’s a great magician and a wonderful friend.  Then I flew back to Dallas on Monday (Memorial Day) and had four more shows that week.  The trip was exhausting but amazing. 15 gigs over 29 days and 19 flights.  I have memories enough to last a lifetime.

April has historically been a productive month for me.  On April 1st I did a show at the House of Blues, in the Foundation Room, for a now regular client who I always love working for.  The month has been filled with fun gigs from birthdays parties, to block parties, to casino nights with companies and more.  All in all I will have performed 17 gigs this month.  Later this month I will perform on site for an interesting client at the Hageman Reserve (see below). On my birthday April 25th I will be performing in the home of a billionaire.

hagemanIt was nice to have sushi one night with my friends the Baileys at Blue Fish.  Later that same week I dined with my folks, my nephew, sisters and my new brother-in-laws at Benihana’s.  I also dined with friends and enjoyed some good Tex-Mex at Blue Goose in Frisco last night.  It’s nice to have such great friends and family.

DJT-DanSperryIt was unexpected to see my friends The Fleischers, unfortunately under sad circumstances, with the passing of my good friend Jeff’s mother Grace.  I’m a performer and not afraid of crowds, but I could never speak at a funeral because I get too emotional.  At the funeral many of her children spoke and Jeff’s story was especially touching. She raised a sweet family and I’m most thankful for her son Jeff who is like a brother to me.

One of the highlights this month was attending the Illusionists show at Music Hall at Fair Park.  I was surprised to see so many friends and clients at the show. I bought season tickets to the shows, but thought I wouldn’t make this show because of a tour I was planning.  I was very disappointed when I had to sell these tickets.

djt-hongkongIronically dates got pushed and I was gifted a pair of second row seats.  The show was great!  I’ve seen many magic shows, hundreds, and this was very well put together.  The live band, the mix of talent, everything was practically perfect.  See a pic of myself and Dan Sperry, one of the show’s highlights, attached here.

Most of this month has been spent planning my upcoming tour that begins April 26th.  I fly to New Zealand, then make my to Australia, then onto five Asian countries.  See the poster for my stop in Hong Kong. It’s 15 gigs over the course of 29 days.  Most of those days will be spent in transit.  For this trip I will board 19 planes!!! It’s going to be quite an adventure.  I’ve never been anywhere in Asia before so this will be an eye opener for me.  Wish me luck!

 

 

kinky-boots-ticketsI left my gig in Houston for home on March 1st.  That Sunday night I ate dinner at my favorite restaurant Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano which never disappoints.  Following dinner I made my way to Music Hall at Fair Park to see the musical Kinky Boots.  The show was good on many levels.  The score, which was incredible, was done by Cyndi Lauper. My seat was great and I can’t wait to return to see the next show there in April.

globeINsavannahLater that week I worked a few gigs but one was cancelled due to the ice in Dallas.  The next week continued with more shows and get-togethers with friends like (Tony, Amanda, and their baby Hannah) also my friends (David and Kylie Knight).  Most of the second week of March was spent preparing for my lecture tour on the East Coast.  On Sunday March 15th I flew to Savannah, GA.  I wish I had more time there but I only had one night.  I made the most of it and went to see downtown.  See the pic I took of a huge globe behind one of the buildings I saw as I drove around.

I had forgotten it was St. Patty’s Day weekend and wondered why the streets were combed with crazy-dressed folks and no places to park.  After finding a place to park I walked around and found a Scottish Pub named Molly MacPherson’s.  Seeing how it was a Scottish bar they had my favorite beer on tap, ironically from Scotland, which is Innis & Gunn.  I treated the bartenders and a few patrons to some bar bets and a little close-up magic which they all enjoyed.  I was treated to a group of drunk frat boys singing a bunch of Scottish songs for all to hear.  It was an entertaining place to say the least.  Savannah is a place I’d love to return to.

45signThe next Monday morning I made my way to Raleigh, NC where I lectured that night.  The following Tuesday I lectured in Myrtle Beach, SC.  I was elated to do so because that made 45 states that I have now performed in.  The next day I drove onto Orlando, FL and lectured for the Bev Bergeron ring.  Bev the man himself was there.  His was one of the first lectures I ever attended and I remember much of it.  He’s a great person, and an amazing entertainer, so hearing his praise after my lecture meant the world to me.  I regretted not having extra days to do things in Orlando because there are so many wonderful attractions like Disney World, Universal Studies, WonderWorks, Wizards Theater, Kennedy Space Center (not too far away), plus lots more.  That Thursday I went onto Clearwater, FL and lectured for the group that night.  All of the groups were receptive and fun to hang with.  That Friday I did lots of driving and made my way back to Savannah to return my car and catch a flight home.  Luckily that weekend I got to relax a little and binge watch some TV with my wife.

cardwhizThe last full of week of March I did many more shows and met up with some high school friends later that week.  The last weekend of March I spent at the Texas Pinball Festival in Frisco.  This is such a great event that most folks don’t even know about.  500 pinball games were on free play that weekend.  Many of them were for sale.  There were also several stand-up video arcade games on free play as well.  It was great seeing friends and learning more about the evolution of pinball games.  The latest pinball games were The Hobbit and The Big Lebowski; these are not your grandpa’s pinball machines.  The latest machines have built in LED screens with movie quality scenes.

I also attended the auction at the Pinball Fest and couldn’t resist bidding on one machine called Card Whiz.  I am now the proud owner of this machine.  Those in the know tell me that I got a heck of a deal on it.  It was made by Gottlieb in 1976.  Apparently the machine is rare and also the very last electro-mechanical machine that company made before everything went digital.  When playing it definitely takes you back with it’s humms and bells.  If your in the neighborhood drop by and play a game with me.

On Feb. 1st I watched the SuperBowl like most Americans.  It’s the only football game I watch each year.  I honestly didn’t know who was playing until I turned on the TV that day.  It was a good game, but the ads were depressing or silly.  That may have been the last one I watch.  Sports or watching sports has never really done it for me.  This month I celebrated my nephew Landen’s birthday, Valentine’s with my wife and had a nice lunch in East Texas with my grandfather and a past high school teacher.  Those are more of the moments that mean something to me.

youngmanBesides my many shows I spent the month preparing for my big return to the UK to lecture and perform at the Blackpool convention.  Blackpool is the world’s largest magic convention.  I lectured, performed, taught a master class, did something called speed dating (which was basically walk around magic), manned my booth with my good friend Graeme Smith and hung out in the Ruskin hotel bar with many of the world’s top magicians until the wee hours.  All went well and I was enamored with the compliments.  I felt like a rock star with people constantly stopping me for an autograph, a photo-op, or to tell me a story of how my magic helped or inspired them.  It was truly overwhelming.  One mom told me that her son came home and watched my videos every day after school (See that young man in the center of the pic attached).  Others told me how my first book got them started in magic.  Since I don’t have children it is nice to know that my work will hopefully live on in others.

blackpool-2015-lectureThe best part of Blackpool for me, beyond all of the new contacts I made, was meeting up with the older ones.  It was nice to see many folks from around the world, people who I’ve stayed in their homes, in Norway, in England, in Finland, in Italy, in Sweden, in France, in Germany, in Belgium and reconnect with them again.  It was literally like dying and going to Heaven and seeing old friends that I thought I might never see again.  There was 3500 attendees this time.  See the pic above of the room I worked for my lecture.

speed-datingBefore and after the convention I met up with family in the north and south of England.  It’s always great to see my extended family and bond with them more.  My cousins Russell and Paula showed me more of Leeds and we took in the museum there.  My aunt Lorraine and uncle Ralph in Leeds were kind enough to put me up for a couple of nights.  After leaving Blackpool I hopped 3 trains and 2 Underground rides to make it to Chelmsford.  My cousin Adrian picked me up to greet his lovely wife Laura and their cute daughter Harriet.  Laura’s parents Graham and Geneen kindly put me up again and I visited with Laura’s always amusing brother Robert.  The next day we took in a beautiful park and hit a couple of pubs that night.  Of course I had fun with some of the locals by doing magic and pulling some pranks.  Good times were had by all.

On the way home I upgraded to first class.  It was so nice on that 10 hour flight to “completely” recline and enjoy all of the amenities. 10 hours flying home usually feels like 20 when traveling in coach, but this time it felt like 5.  I enjoyed drinks, great food, lots of movie choices, free noise-cancelling headphones, a chocolate Sundae, priority bags, priority boarding, etc.  It will be very hard on my next trip to resist the urge of upgrading to first class.

barbq-texasOnce home I had one day of rest and to unpack.  The next night I had a gig and the following morning I awoke at 4:30am to leave by 5:30am and drove down the icy highways of Dallas to make my 4 hour drive to Houston.  Once in Houston I arrived a the stadium there and worked a booth for a regular corporate client at The World’s Largest Bar-B-Que Cook-Off.  Over 100,000 people came through this event!  I was scheduled to do 6 hours but was hired to work 4 more.  10 hours of performing straight has got to be a new record for me.  I love my job and I’m impressed that I can exceed even my own expectations.

Well 2014 was a wonderful year!  Both of my sisters got married.  My nephew Lane graduated from High School and has gone onto Texas A&M.  My best friends Tony and Amanda had their first child named Hannah and she’s a cutie pie.  My wife and I are doing great and this was a record year for shows and new releases for me.

DJT-antiquities

In January of 2014 I released my 7 Lucky Dice.  February’s highlight was working Jared’s Epic Party with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Rob Base, Humpty Hump, Partners in Kryme and lots of other celebrities and fun attractions.  In March I released my Consecutive Conundrum puzzle and my Magic Math Sticks plus shot some more episodes of Scam School. In April I did a photo shoot with the amazing Joel Chan. I also rented a theater and invited friends and fans to come and see me perform.  In May my sister Jodi married, I released my Winning Spinning Nickels and Penguin Magic flew me out to Ohio to produce my lecture as a download which is still getting rave reviews.  In June I shot more episodes of Scam School, attended my nephew’s graduation party and was happy to entertain at my sister Chelsye’s wedding.  In July my wife and took in Seattle and boarded a cruise ship which took us to many breath-taking ports of call in Alaska. In July I also released my DVD Quadrare Caan Opus and lectured in my 43rd and 44th state of Washington and Oregon.  In August I attended a Positively Magic reunion to reminisce with all my fellow co-workers and friends, took my first flying lesson and attended the Texas Association of Magician’s convention where I lectured for the third time.  In September I released my beguiling Squeezer routine and did a lecture tour in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Minnesota.  In October I re-released my DVD P.F.M.  In November I repackaged my DVDs (Mirrors, Collateral, Sweet and DiaMonte).  I also sadly lost my grandmother who I always called Nonnie.  In December I did 26 shows and released my latest DVD titled Diamond Jack.

On New Year’s Day of 2015 I kicked off the new year by performing for Phoenix House which helps teenagers with alcohol and drug problems.  That same day we followed tradition and had a nice dinner with many good friends.  I’ve been helping out at Main St. Magic in McKinney on Thursdays when I can.  My Boston’s gig in McKinney is still going strong on Wednesday and Friday nights.  I’ve begun teaching a new student named Lucas.  This month we also celebrated my wife and my new brother-in-law’s Bryce’s birthdays.  I had 19 gigs this month.  Most of free time this month has been spent preparing for my trip to England next month.  Read all about that adventure soon!

xmas-treesTo say things have been busy is an understatement.  I did 17 shows in November and 26 in December.  I’ve gone from schools, to homes, to businesses, to hotels, to restaurants, to mansions, to museums, to country clubs and numerous other places to perform this holiday season.  This doesn’t include my time spent helping at Main St. Magic in McKinney on Thursdays, family functions, parties for friends, dinner with friends and all of my honey-do’s around the house.

In preparation for Blackpool, come February of 2015, I have repackaged all of my older DVD titles to make things smaller and look new.  I’ve transitioned them from the big bulky plastic cases to the smaller 5×5 cardboard sleeves.  Now they take up less space in my home, are cheaper to ship, feature new artwork on some of them, but contain the same great routines that have helped to make my career.  It’s cost several thousands of dollars to do all this but I look at it as an investment in my future.

mom-nonnieSadly I lost my grandmother Lou Ramsey in November.  I called her Nonnie.  She was a die-hard Dallas Cowboy fan, always spoke her mind, and had the best laugh.  She struggled with dementia the last few years of her life.  Watching that process take over her mind was hard on all of the family.  However, between those moments of confusion were wonderful bursts of clarity.  She will be missed by many.  I’m glad I saw her near the end and I know that she was proud of the man I have become.  I was lucky to have her as part of my family.  Attached is a picture of my mother, with her mother, my Nonnie.

family-xmas2014On a positive note it was a nice funeral and well attended.  It was nice to see family during the holidays and get-together with those that I love and wish I saw more often.  We all overate and opened too many presents. As is tradition my immediate family met at my mom’s place and attended a nice service on Christmas Eve.  In the pic here one can see my sisters and their husbands, Mom & Stepfather, nephews and my wife and I.  I love them all and hope they know it.

DiamondJackThe most exciting news for me this December is the release of my 8th instructional DVD on magic called Diamond Jack.  It’s a whimsical story that uses every card in the deck to tell it.  I’ve put my own spin on this classic tale and come up with a way to actually let a spectator truly shuffle the deck before beginning the story.  It’s been a closer and reputation maker for me for over 25 years now.  Click the DVD cover pic shown here to learn more about the routine or even buy it. I’m very proud of the production quality and the finished product.  See the trailer for it below.

2014-halloween-partyIt’s been a busy fun month.  I performed 21 shows this month plus had lots of fun meet ups with friends and family.  Gigs this time of year are always so much fun!  It’s great to see people in costume.  I work for many repeat clients who are loyal and constantly shower me with praise.  At one function I was asked if I was single by a beautiful young lady who is working on her PHD.  Although I am married I was very flattered.  I guess I’m magic and sexy!

DJT-PFM-DVDBeyond all of my gigs my free time has been spent with my best friend Tony redesigning all of my former DVDs and creating artwork for my upcoming releases.  Tony works a full time job, DJ’s weddings on the weekend, just had a baby, but somehow squeezes in time to help me with all of my projects.  He’s a super talented artist, a great friend and one of the best persons I know.  I just re-released my Pockets Full of Miracles DVD better known now as PFM.  The 23 routines featured on this disc are things I’ve used to pay my bills for 28 years now.  It’s stands to reason it is still my top seller.

trippisI enjoyed dining at Trulucks with my family to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  One night took us to Kotta, our favorite sushi restaurant.  While at Kotta we celebrated my sister Jodi’s birthday with her husband Bryce and our two friends Chris and Mindi.  My wife and I attended her good friend Doris’ 80th birthday.  Another night took us to a Korean BBQ place, a first for us, to celebrate with my friend Jared and his wife and their foreign exchange student Hailey to celebrate her 17th birthday. We attended a play called The Witches to see our friends daughter Mirabai, who did an excellent job. I attended the farewell party for one of my favorite agents who is retiring and moving to California.  I’m actually working one last party with this agent in November and will miss her fun spirit.  I went to my childhood friend Kevin Davis’ home to watch the Cowboys football game which they won.  It was fun to hang out with Kevin and the other guys which is something I rarely do.  And last but not least our best friends’ the Trippi’s had their daughter’s Hannah’s baptism where I entertained at the reception.  Kathy and I love the Trippis’ seen in the pic here where their daughter is dressed like Snow White for Halloween.

dark-hour

The month ended on a high note thanks to our friends the Gracy’s.  They own the magic shop in McKinney called Main St. Magic where I help out sometimes on Thursdays.  They kindly bought us and six others VIP passes to the Dark Hour haunted house in Plano.  limoThe costumes, decor and attention to detail on the house were phenomenal.  Unfortunately, if rating the scare factor 1-10, I’d only give it a 5.  Having said that, it didn’t matter because I loved hanging with my new-found friends.  It was a fun mix of characters who hung out that night.  To make it more special the Gracy’s rented a sweet Dodge Challenger limo which we all made sure was fully stocked.  It was a fun night and one for the memory books.

 

After returning from the TAOM convention in Fort Worth I unpacked my bags.  Shortly after I repacked them for an upcoming tour.  The big news this month is the release of my 7th instructional DVD called The Squeezer.  It’s a stand-up showpiece that I’ve used in my parlor set for years now.  It’s a routine that revolves around the story of a serial killer.  I try to choose my audiences carefully for this one, but when used it does kill.  See the trailer above.

This month kept me busy with lots of gigs and get-togethers.  One day had me going from the home of a billionaire to the party of another millionaire.  It was nice to spend one  Saturday with my aunt Jan, Nonnie & Papa, and my wife and mother.  Plus we had a fun get-together at our friends’ home the Baileys and their backyard Shangri La. I’ve had Poker nights and recently a house guest named Dan Fleshman, who is an awesome magician who was passing through town.  Danny was the first magician I saw lecture when I was 16.  His magic had a huge impact on me.  How cool is it that one of my idols is now a good friend?

This month also featured my last in a series of Scam School episodes that was filmed a couple of months ago.  When I can find the time I will return to Austin and film some more.  See the show below.  Scam School has around a million subscribers and probably three-times that many more who watch and don’t subscribe.  People all over the world recognize me from the show and stop me from time to time and ask, “Are you Diamond Jim Tyler?”  Sometimes it’s flattering, and sometimes it is unsettling because I think to myself, “Do I know this person?  They know me.  Is this a former client?”  Whatever the case it’s nice to know they like what I’m doing and remember my name.

On September 14th I left home for Fort Wayne, IN.  I drove it all in one day which was 15 hours.  The next night I lectured there for an enthusiastic group.  A couple of days later I lectured in Illinois and learned that my act “Plays in Peoria”.  The next day I ventured on to Chicago and spent the day at Fun Inc where magic and novelties are manufactured.  My friend Tomas Medina, a hilarious comedy magician, who helps run the place gave me a tour of their new facility.  That night I went on to the home of my tour organizer Martin Mercy and met his lovely wife Cheryl.  We journeyed on to the lecture facility in a hospital and I prepared for the evening.  While there I gave a mini-lecture to the young magicians and then gave the full two-hour lecture to a huge crowd.  From Chicago I made my way to St. Paul, MN and lectured at the new location for the impressively large shop Twin Cities Magic & Costume.  St. Paul was a another great turn out.  From there  I traveled to Kansas City and arrived at the home of my friend the magician Todd Lamanske who is an excellent magician in his own right.  I arrived at midnight and accidentally set off my car alarm.  Having never done so it took awhile to turn it off and I woke up half the neighborhood in the process.  The next day we made our way to US TOY where I did a lecture once again to a packed house!  After the lecture Todd did a mini-interview which can be seen below.

I drove through 9 states and performed in 4 of them.  All in all I drove about 3000 miles! After the tour I got home as quick as I could on Tuesday Sept. 23rd and began returning emails and filling numerous orders.  Luckily I had four gigs to look forward to the same week.  After getting caught up I have begun working on design and lay out for some upcoming releases that I hope to have out this year.  Also, my holiday schedule and weekends are beginning to fill up.  I will be closing out the month on Sept. 3oth by doing an online chat interview for Full Circle Magic; see the link below. It’s lining up to be another solid year for shows.  I love my job!

djt-fullcircle

 

It’s getting harder and harder to find the time to write this blog.  Besides the fifteen gigs I had this month I’ve had lots of projects.  One of those gigs had me performing on the stage at Dallas Music Hall in Fair Park.  I’ve also taken on a new student. Many of the canned episodes of Scam School that I’ve been featured in have begun airing.  Find a few of those episodes scattered throughout this post.

the-magic-circleThis has been a very productive year for product releases.  From 2004 to 2012 I released five different instructional DVDs on magic.  This year I am releasing five more!  The first of those, Quadrare Caan Opus, is selling well.  Producing these DVDs takes lots of time.  First I develop the concept. Then comes the research. Then I script the video shoot layout; then the editing; then the artwork design; then the menus; then the gathering of items for each DVD; then the production; then the marketing.  Doing this for several DVDs can be a hair-pulling experience.  Truth be told I love being swamped with product design because it forces me to dig deep into my creative and expressive mind.  Many magicians have told me that the content and production value of my DVDs are top notch.

I’ve recently re-ordered Hydro, 7 Lucky Dice, Winning Spinning Nickels, Consecutive Conundrum puzzle, Pockets Full of Miracles DVD, and my ZAP Wallet.  My artist friend and I have been designing the covers for many of my upcoming releases.  The next DVD to release is titled The Squeezer.  Thus I am now stocking Squeezers playing cards on my site.  Plus I’ve added a new puzzle called The Magic Circle to my list of products.  My new Magic Math Sticks, where the sum total is predicted, is selling great. My friend in magic Meir Yedid has informed me that if one has two sets of my Magic Math Sticks, that when using eight sticks, the calculated total will be in the hundreds of millions!

positively-magic-crewAs a teenager I grew up working in a magic shop in Dallas called Positively Magic.  I ran that shop for eight years while I was in high school and college.  The shop closed in 1993 but I still have many fond memories from demonstrating there.  I’ve kept in touch with the former owners Bill and Carol Ingram and they’re family.  This month they had a reunion for many of the employees.  It was great to see so many familiar faces and share many fun stories.  See the picture on the right of many of the folks I had the pleasure of working with.

DJT-first-flight-lessonFor my birthday back in April my wife bought me flying lessons.  I took my first flight recently which was two hours long.  My instructor told me a little about the plane which was a Czech Sports Cruiser that cost $175,000.  He prepared us for take off and did so.  We flew out over downtown Dallas where I took the controls.  From there we flew over Garland, Rockwall, Heath, and more.  We got the plane up to around 4000 feet.  It was 100 degrees outside with no air conditioning.  This made the ride choppy due to the air pockets rising up from the hot ground below.  I’m eager to do it all again.  I may actually strive to achieve my pilot’s license.  I hope I can find the time.

avaI finished off the month by attending the Texas Association of Magicians convention in Fort Worth on Labor Day weekend.  It was nice to see so many friends that I haven’t seen in a long while.  There were great acts like Dana Daniels, Kevin James, Steve Bedwell, Master Payne and others.  A local magician and friend named Trigg Watson killed on stage and should have received a standing ovation.

I was asked to do the closing lecture on Monday and surprisingly had a huge turnout.  It was my third time lecturing for the TAOM. I received many compliments afterward which is always flattering to hear from one’s peers.  I was also happy to see a little lady from our own Dallas Magic Club, Ava Rose, win the Junior Stage competition.  She thanked me afterwards for the tips I gave her to improve her act prior to competing, but all of the credit is hers for doing the hard work.  We need more kids in magic and especially girls.  I hope she goes far with it!

As I reflect back on this past month I am reminded that I live a charmed life.  I have many wonderful friends, family members and the best job in the world.  This blog is mainly for me to look back and reflect on. Although I do document many of the fun events I do, it’s hard to capture the sentiment at times.  During my shows I get so many accolades, laughs, and smiles. My favorite situation is when I turn non-believers into believers and or fans.  I am thankful for all of this.

nonnie-papaJuly began with a visit to my grandparents home in Edgewood, TX.  They’ve lived there practically since I was born. I have many fond memories from their homestead.  Seen here is an older picture of them I recently found.  I stayed there often as a child and played in the woods, fed ducks, rode the tractor with my Papa, fished, rode dirt-bikes, etc.  My family and I have celebrated many a Christmas there and other events.  I remember nothing but good times whilst amongst them.  It was a pleasure to visit again and have a nice lunch.  My grandparents are getting older and their health is waning and I’ve always known that tomorrow is promised to no one.

On the 4th of July my wife and I flew to Seattle, WA and were greeted by a friend.  He took us to our hotel in the city, Hotel Vintage, and afterward we saw a few sites and had a nice Indian curry.  Afterwards he took us to the home of an older war vet who had a nice place on the lake.  This gentleman, whose name escapes me, was on the crew that worked on the last plane that flew and crashed in the ocean during WWII.  He showed us a video about the plane, the crew, and it was befitting to do so on Independence Day.  The cherry on top that night was watching the fireworks aboard a ferry that was shuttling us back closer to our hotel.

EMPseattleThe next day we took in many sites around Seattle like Pikes Place.  What an awesome market place.  Every square inch was crowded with people watching the “fish tossing” and taking in the other shops as well.  I was pleased to find a magic shop there that was promoting my upcoming lecture.  From there we found a famous eatery where we dined on clam chowder and then we made our way to the famous Seattle Space Needle.  Adjacent to the Space Needle was the EMP museum (seen above) or the Experience Music Project.  The structure inside and out is an attraction itself.  I’ve been to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain that was built by the same architect Frank Gehry.  The museum was pricy as far as museums go but we enjoyed it.  It’s filled with music history, sci-fi horror collectibles and even had an exhibit dedicated to mythological magic in movies.  Click to watch a  video about it here.

Mendenhall-GlacierThat following Sunday we hopped aboard the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship to begin our Alaskan cruise.  This was our fourth cruise to vacation on and the ship was very nice.  However, the ships beauty paled in comparison to the grandeur of the scenic coastlines and our picturesque ports of call.

Our first stop was Juneau.  We had scheduled a seaplane to fly over some glaciers, but due to the weather, all flights were cancelled.  So we scrambled and booked another excursion instead.  We toured a salmon hatchery, were taken to a Mendenhall park showcasing an awesome glacier and then were treated to salmon bake.  The hatchery was interesting.  The Mendenhall bright blue glacier was most impressive.  The salmon bake food was delicious and once we found the warmth of a heater and some new-found friends the night improved.  These new friends witnessed some of my magic and paid me for the privilege.  Now I can honestly say that I’ve worked professionally in Alaska and can cross it off my list.

eaglesOur next stop was Skagway.  We took a raft ride down the Chilkat river.  That part of the country contains the largest eagle preserve and we counted around 40-50.  The water was very shallow so the eagles simply waited aground and walked over to the water to grab a fish.  It wasn’t at all majestic, with the birds wings spread far and swooping down like I had imagined.  The young lady that steered our raft was an excellent navigator, guide and athlete.

fjords-seaplaneThe next stop was Ketchikan.  We had just planned to walk around the town, but since our seaplane ride was cancelled we booked another.  We flew over the misty majestic fjords for an hour or more and landed the plane on a secluded mirror-finish lake.  We all hopped out onto the seaplanes float supports and took in the beauty.  After that we took to the air, saw mountain goats on top of some impossibly high peaks and landed back at the main docks a little later.  We took in the town’s atmosphere and shops. We were impressed with all of the local art.

The last stop was Victoria in British Columbia.  This is one of our favorite places on Earth.  We took a bus tour of the city and visited the enchanted Butchart Gardens.  It was nice to see this theme-park of flowers lit at night.  The band on stage was playing old 50’s songs and many in the crowd were dancing.  It’s a happy place to say the least.

marvovichAboard the ship we ate like royalty, saw many fun shows, walked about the ship inside and out, and attended many art auctions.  We attended the art auctions for cheap entertainment and to learn about different styles and artists.  We won three different artworks!  We also bought a painting by Marko Marvovich.  It’s called Blue Moon Over Venice.  I love the style of the painting, the scene, the color scheme and also the hidden story within.  A gondola at night is being steered under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

Our cruise was one week long and returned to the Seattle port.  My wife flew home and my new friend there took me to a motel.  The motel was horrible but I stayed the night.  The next night I moved to a new cleaner and safer place and did my lecture in Seattle that night.  It was a small but fun crowd.  The next day we took a road trip to Portland, Oregon and walked about the town and had lunch.  I performed some magic there and lectured in a nearby magic shop that night.  The shop, Dave’s Killer Magic Shop, had only been at its new location one week but was very organized, well put together and huge!  The hosts were very accommodating.  The lecture crowd was big and so were sales!  I flew home the next day and can now proudly say that I have performed in 44 of the US states.

Once home I had a plethora of shows to perform.  One took me to the Dallas Country Club, one took me to the swanky Altitude bar atop the W Hotel (formerly known as the Ghostbar), etc.  I did many casino themed party shows for a medical group.  Plus I worked a few birthday parties here and there.  Also my Boston’s gig on Wednesdays and Fridays is going strong with lots of regulars.

QCOThe big news is that I released my sixth instructional magic DVD titled Quadrare Caan Opus.  It’s an effect I’ve used for years in certain stand-up shows.  The effect marries the Magic Square routine with the Card at any Number plot.  The disc is getting rave reviews thus far and sells are brisk.  Click here to learn more about it.

Plus some of the Scam School episodes I filmed in Austin awhile back are airing.  Several are shot and in the can and will be released over the next few months.  One of them revolves around a puzzle that I had custom-made of wood called the Consecutive Conundrum.  See the puzzle box by clicking here.  See the episode below featuring myself, Brushwood, and guest star Justin Willman who did a stupendous job: