Thursday, July 22, 2010

Memorial for Glenn

Glenn Falkenstein passed away on the 4th of July, 2010. Ironically we were in Hollywood when we got the sad news. It's impossible to be in LA and not think about Glenn. The Magic Castle (especially the Larsen family) were so great in quickly moving to prepare a memorial service for him in just a week. Lots of friends and family gathered in the Palace of Mystery to honor him on Sunday, July 11th. Frances was so grateful to have so many kind words and gestures from the magicians. The Magic Castle had just beautiful flowers for him, and kept them near the "broken wand" picture of Glenn in the entry all week (thanks Matt!). Thank you to all who sent their condolences. We appreciate it more than you know.

Hike behind the Magic Castle

Right behind the Magic Castle is a big nature preserve. I never knew it - I guess I never had a reason to look for parks until this recent trip to Hollywood with the kids. It's called Runyan Canyon - and it's amazing to hike through it. You can quickly get a great view of LA. If you ever try it, just remember to take good tennis shoes and some water!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Up close and personal

One of the best things about the lecture tours is that Michael is able to work with people on a personal level. No matter how successful he gets, I think he's always going to enjoy the lecture tours, because he it keeps him close to the "grass-roots" of magic - and gives him a chance to see what others are doing and thinking about magic. He's been fortunate in his career to not only teach magic around the world, but have the world teach him too.

French Lecture

It's always nice if they are standing up at the end of the lecture and not just at the beginning! Taken June 1, 2010 in France.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

St. Etienne

I just spoke to Michael this morning. He's having a great tour of France right now. He and Jeff are on the way to St. Etienne. If you are in the area, stop by and see him. Michael promised to send a photo - so I'll post it as soon as it gets here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Late Show Wahoo Gazette

Here is what the Wahoo Gazette said about the Letterman apperance.

Finale to Close Up Week on Letterman

Here is the performance on The Letterman Show, May 21st.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

With Jason Randal and John Carney. Michael and Jason had already filmed - so they were able to give John some solid advice. I think it's great that each guy on the show this week is so different stylistically - their manner, material and even clothing will vary.

We walked back from dinner with Jason Randal. What a nice guy! We had such a great time with the other close up guys. We met up with Jason, John Carney and Steve Cohen. The only one we missed was Johnny Ace because he hadn't flown in yet.

Video: with Theory 11 - after the Letterman taping

Along with Jeff Kaylor - Jonathan Bayme and Dan White (of Theory 11) were our guests at the Letterman Show. We enjoyed our time with them while we were in New York.

Brooks and Dunn

Other guests on the Letterman show included Ashton Kutcher and Brooks & Dunn. This picture was taken of Brooks and Dunn in the greenroom, just before they went out to perform with Reba McEntire.

You can take the boy out of the office, but you can't take the office out of the boy!

Here we are, at a beautiful coffee bar called Nave - in New York. In spite of the atmosphere, these guys were all over their phones! This is Michael, Jonathan Bayme, and Jeff Kaylor.

Little Hand

One of the cool things about being there was realizing this was the stage where the Beatles debuted during the Ed Sullivan appearance. The producers loved "The Little Hand" and specifically asked Michael to perform it as his closer. Letterman laughed and said, "That is the stupidest thing I've ever seen!" (He meant it in a good way!)

Reba was also a guest on Letterman

Michael was filmed for the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday. It will air on Friday. Also on the show was Reba McEntire. She was very sweet. This was taken just outside our dressing room.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Yesterday Michael was booked for Late Night with David Letterman! His appearance will be Friday, May 21st. We are looking forward to heading up to New York for the filming later this week. Hope you can catch it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seeing Double

I love this recent picture of Michael and Evan. Evan looks so much like his dad. Michael was a toe-head when he was kid too. Both our kids see their dad a constant source of amusement. Michael rarely goes anywhere without coming home with some sort of cool toy to play with. When he goes on tour, forget about it - the suitcase is loaded with goodies from magic shops and street vendors worldwide!

Where in the World are Frances and Glenn?

People often ask me about my mom (Frances Willard) and Glenn Falkenstein. I thought this might be a good place for an update. They have moved from sunny Southern California to sunny San Antonio, Texas - my mom's beloved hometown. Mom looks amazing (let's face it, the woman is forever young)! Glenn is getting along in years and was diagnosed not long ago with Alzheimer's. He still enjoys company and is pretty good at remembering magic and especially all the details about his act and life in show-business. This weekend is Mother's Day and my mom, sister, daughter and I will take a weekend trip to The Big Apple to celebrate. I can't wait, and I hope to talk Mom into blogging some. She really has a wealth of knowledge about magic to share!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Men's Hut

We have just launched a new site called The Men's Hut ( If you have Michael's book, "The Magic of Michael Ammar" - you may recall an essay with the same title. The site is in reference to that essay. We are hoping to make it something of a testing ground, or catch-all of sorts - where Michael can put interesting ideas, experiments, material-in-progress, bonus videos, etc. Check it out if you get a chance. You'll find the essay there if you haven't read it.

FYI, I took this picture backstage after these poor guys finished 16 straight close-up shows at Blackpool. Pictured: Juan Tamariz, Jay Sankey, Simon Lovell, Lennart Green, Michael and Simo Aalto. They were definitely in the Men's Hut!

Hannah 4/27/10

Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Menagerie

Evan and Savannah really love nature. Savannah, now 9, is showing Evan the fish she caught. She likes to name her catches. This was "Buttercup" the minnow. Fortunately she didn't beg to bring Buttercup home. Presently our menagerie consists a mouse (Patches), hamster (Chubs), cat (Summer) and dog (Rusty).

Lesson Learned

I took this picture just a day after attending Photoshop World (a 4 day conference on the software and photography). One of things I learned was, "Keep your camera with you, always. It should be a part of you." Well, this might not always be possible. But at least I tried the next day - and I got some great shots of Michael and our kids out by the lake. Evan is 4 now...quite a handful! He looks a little like his dad, don't you think? (Michael did have hair like that - once!)

Hannah 4/26/10

So, what's cooking?

Did you ever have someone ask, "So, what's cooking?" and you drew a blank? That happened to me this week, and it took me a few days to figure out why. It's the wrong question. A better question would be, "So, what's not cooking?" I mean, we are totally updating everything. We have so many things cooking right now it would be easier to list what's not cooking. Most of our products will be rejuvenated, our website has a new look, a new site has been created (The Mens Hut), a new book is being printed now, etc, etc, etc. So, keep your eyes peeled - a feast is coming!

Hannah 4/26/2010

Custom Baseballs

Just yesterday someone asked me about a custom Mike Rogers baseball. He was hoping to get a custom color - actually a "duo-tone" look, with half tan, half white. I am checking into the possibility of adding other colors. If you have a special interest in a new color, please let me know. I would like to get an idea of what magicians are looking for (and why, if you have a particular reason).

Hannah 4/26/10

Michael in Europe

In just a few short weeks Michael will be hitting the road again! This time, in lovely Europe. His tour will begin in The Netherlands and Belgium and then continue through France. I sure hate to miss this one! There are so many friends to see in the cities he will be visiting (and it's a beautiful time of the year to be there too!) Ah well....Jeff will be along to help Michael and keep him company. The tour schedule is posted on our site for those who would like to take a look. The tour starts May 20th and ends June 13th.

Hannah 4/26/10