Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Frances...

My mom's birthday is in December. Many don't know her father (Willard the Wizard) shared the same birthday with her.  I hope I look as good as she does when I'm her age!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kids have it all these days

Savannah loves "Justice" - the store for tweenies. On her birthday we shopped there, and look what she found! Press-on nails with googly eyes! Sweet.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jack O Lantern Jailhouse

Our good friend, and comedian, Bill Martini came up with a fabulous pumpkin at this years annual pumpkin carving picnic. A jail with two convicts inside, in reference to recent town scandals involving our police chief and town manager. So clever! Love the expressions on their faces!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bosom Buddies

Evan and his buddy from school on a play date. The snakes only cost me $50 in quarters at the mini golf arcade.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Anna Maria Here We Come!

Our last "hoorah" before summer ends. We went to Anna Maria Island to enjoy the classic Florida beach getaway. Savannah wanted to parasail, thank goodness it was too windy and they weren't having any sessions that day! Gulp!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Evan Tops-It

Our son, Evan, graduated from Montessori school in June. I love it when he wears a suit. We still need to install a mini Topit in his coat. I know once he gets started with the Topit, he'll be just like his Dad was when he first discovered the power of the Topit - and make everything vanish. Actually...that concerns me a little bit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Family Props

This photo was taken by magician Chris Manos. My mom and I enjoyed talking with him and other friends at the final cocktail party in Dallas. My mom was such a tremendous help with the Spirit Cabinet. She not only helped us rehearse - and taught us everything she knows - but she helped by bringing up props for us (we used a few of her bells, table and chair). Having her at my side what such an important part of what made the show go well.

What magic is all about

This was so cute. An aspiring magician walked with Michael over to the Majestic Theater in Dallas. My mom and I walked behind. We were charmed by the magic wand sticking of the boys pocket. She kept saying, "This is what magic is all about."

Spirit Cabinet Debut

Whew! We made it past the "Legends of Magic" show at the IBM Convention in Dallas (July 2nd). On the bill were Jeff McBride, Frances Willard, Michael and Hannah Ammar, Walter & Becky Blaney, Tom Mullica, Johnny and Pam Thompson, Gay Blackstone and Darren Romeo. It was a lot of fun to be backstage with so many old friends! I'm also glad we got to go on early, so that I could relax and enjoy the rest of the show. What a beautifully produced show, and great convention! I especially enjoyed the video "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" with custom produced lyrics. It was quite sentimental.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If I were to give one bit of advice...

This is a response I gave Matlin's Magic blog asking for my turning point when learning magic and what one piece of advice I would give.

The first effect that really resonated with me was the one where you seem to rub a coin or small piece of paper into your arm. Showing it has vanished, you then produce it from your ear or elbow. The method, as I'm sure you know, is that you accidentally drop the coin and in picking it up, you simply fake putting into your other hand so it can seem to vanish.

I knew several typical card tricks up to that point, but I could tell something different was taking place here. Not only did this involve acting, but it also involved true sleight-of-hand.

This meant I had to practice a bit to get it right, but I felt so empowered knowing the reaction I was getting was because of something I did; not because they just didn't know how I had stacked the deck, or whatever.

Having to practice a little to learn that effect made me realize you can get an amazing reaction based purely on your own efforts. I decided to see what would happen if I put even more effort into something. Then I began to notice: the more effort I put into learning something, the better and more satisfying the response was.

Up until then I thought you had to be born a magician. This experience made me realize it was up to me; I could be as good as I decided I'd be; success wasn't a matter of divine intervention, luck, or whatever. It was an epiphany; It's up to me, if it is to be...

If I were to give just one tip to someone regarding magic, it would be to perform as often as possible, then reflect back on the performance to see how much data you can mine from the experience. I think you learn more from 1 live performance than you can from weeks of just thinking about it. So perform as often as possible. There's an old saying, "Everybody needs someplace to be bad." Find someplace that'll tolerate your evolution, then start to build intelligent experience.

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 years of The Topit

We just published the new Topit Pattern this month. Upon reflecting on how it had changed over the years, I realized it's also been 30 years since I published the first one! Time flies!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Michael back from Nepal

Michael has just returned from his trip to Nepal. He was consulting on a show for the Discovery Channel. He came back with so many great images and videos. What a fascinating place! It looks just like you would imagine. He will give more information later about this project.