Thursday, March 26, 2009

Updates and tid bits

Booked Silverado Days in Buena Vista, CA for October 17 show starts at 4:30pm.

Nearly done with a brand new original illusion...working title: "Olivia's Block"
We wanted to put a parade opener in our fair and festival show similar to our theater stage show. But some of the theater stage stuff didn't translate into a fair/festival stage. So We will open with Princess Olivia appearing out of a 16" square child's building block shown empty or carried out and shown empty. This is followed by Jim in stilts juggling, Miles on the walking globe whipping, Victor with a quick escape, Princess Cynthia with a quick change, and Princess Amelia making a flower bush appear. Coming soon to a fair-festival near you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the Mirror

When you look in the Mirrir, what do you see?

Well, In our home town looking int he mirror means looking in the local paper. The big paper has died out here and like a pheonix the Mirror rose up and has flourished. The editor came to our fundraiser show for a local school and put us on the front page. he had some nice things to say. We are blessed!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A frundraiser and track

Thursday night (3/19) we performed our second fundraiser for March (we do a lot of these in the spring for some reason). This one was near and dear because it as for the local public school that Princess Amelia attends. We took our stage, back drops and sound system and turned their cafeteria into a theater. the place sold out. And to our amazement the kids were extremely well behaved (audience kids, that is). Everyone was appreciative of the show and the response were awesome. The local news for northern California came and covered the show with a pre-show interview and footage from the show. we ended up being the 4th story on that night's news. The video will be posted here later tonight and can be currently seen on our Facebook page.

Track- The Kent Family are big track fans. Princess Cynthia went to State finals last year in the 100 hurdles and hopes to go back this year....but there is a whole season to get through first. She missed the first pre-season meet recovering from a cold and only participated in a single event today at the first invitational of the season. She ran the 4X100 relay (3rd leg) and as is the custom of her team....won. Out of about 20 schools from all around the North State and Reno they took home the gold...or a t-shirt in this case.
Our contribution to the distance runners is Indiana Miles. This was his second meet and first one that counted. He place 2nd in the 1 mile and first in the 2 mile this past Tuesday at the pre-season meet. Today, facing a whole bunch of schools and nearly 50 runners in the 1-mile race he finished 21st...the nerves took their toll. He got it together and end up medalling in the 2-mile knocking a whole minute off his best time to get 5th place. He was happy with that.

With the Kents not only do you get the entertainment news you also get sports.

Jugglin' Jim took advantage of an opportunity to teach local kids juggling today with a local afterschool program. He will also perform several one man shows in the up coming months.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Office:

There are a few who read this blog that have been in my office. And you know it is cluttered. I take heart because I have seen Houdini's desk in photos and it seems he was a clutter bug too. I also had the honor of visiting Mark Wilson at his office and studio and he too is a clutter bug. My desk is a litter with promotional material, pocket tricks I want to practice, a camera, a recorder, and a cup of Oolong Tea. To my left on my side table is the computer box, printer, scanner, various tools and about 10 cans of paint. Next to the door leading to the back is my tortoise's home...he's outgrowing it. Besides that is part of the Blackstone Drum Illusion,and beside that is Bobbi the cockatoo's cage...currently covered for the night. In front of that is my Whore-house lamp and beside that is my bookcase with well over 500 magic books. next to that are two gray metal shelf-systems holding a sundry of props and tricks. In front of that is my Impaled Illusion and my Modern Art Illusion (in for touch-ups) the middle of the room are cases filled with magical wonders, costumes, dreams that may someday be routines or tricks in the show, tools, a cage or two and a giant fake pumpkin head with long white hair on it. It keeps the 3' Christmas Drummer bear company on the TV and another gray metal shelf system holding the AV stuff. Hanging from this is a marionette blue wingless bird. At the highest shelf is My Psychic Bunny box. Costumes hang from a movable cart (much like a bell boys has) just next to the door to the rest of the house. And here in my black leather swivel chair with my back to the windowed adorned in Burgundy and gold tassel whore-house drapes is me.

Dental Floss, Masters of Illusion, and more

Summer Tour News:
It's official as of this morning we will extend our Summer Tour with July1 having us at Festival in the Park in Willard, Ohio. Then we drive down to O'Fallon, MO for their Heritage and freedom Festival for the 3rd and 4thof July. So two more states are now in the mix. We are hoping to add another state to the end of our tour and are in talks with a group now but it is too early to cinfirm. On one more note we have picked up a booker in Texas who will be working with us for a Texas Tour perhaps as early as September.

Tooth Floss-
Once a week a great magician and I have lunch together either at my home or at a local eatery. The locals like it because we are always performing for them. My dining buddy can never resist to perform for ANYONE>>>>ANYWHERE. We have a ton of laughs together. I'm not mentioning his name because he asked me not to because of the following story. It made us laugh long and hard. Often when we lunch about town my wife will tack a honey-do onto our gallivanting. Today it was picking up apple juice at Wal-mart. My friend picked up several packets of tooth floss ("Now I have enough for the rest of the year", he said.) While int he car driving out of the parking Lot I notice he is flossing his teeth with the edge of the plastic bag the contained the 5 or 6 containers of tooth-floss. I mentioned it to him and we both had a jolly laugh. He absent-mindedly forgot all about the tooth floss. (Probably thinking about who he was going to squeaked his nose for next.) OK, JC, I didn't mention your name. You happy?

Masters of Illusions (MOI):
My Network TV has been hosting Masters of Illusions, a TV show featuring magicians of all ilks doing their thing for live audiences. (This is the same network giving us the Masked Magician.) I have been watching every week and have been keeping my mouth shut. Over the weeks, however, I have run into several laymen who have expressed to me their utter disappointment with the show. So I will now for the first time publicly put in my two cents. This show is the most ridiculous display of magic ever on television. It is badly edited, badly shot, badly produced and badly performed. The masked Magician does a better job at performing and his producers a better job of producing a professional package than MOI. It is sad. I will say that last night's closer, Rick Thomas, was awesome. Way beyond the other acts in style and production value.
Now, I need to clarify something. I know many of the acts (performers) who have performed on MOI. Most are extremely gifted performers. However, the production value, or lack there of, of MOI make their acts look cheesy in some cases, and just birthday party magician quality in other cases.
I always think it cheap to slam something without giving suggestions to make things better. First, they need to film the acts several times and use the best of those shootings, or edit the best clips from each shooting. They need to rehearse more with the camera men to better produce quality angles and cuts. They need a host of some sort. Perhaps a comedy-magician who can interact with the acts, introduce the acts and perform a bit him/herself. Get rid of junior magicians unless you create a segment identifying them as such. Think costuming. Some of the performers look like overweight business men who found a cool toy. Scrap the cheesy dancing unless a professional choreographer can come in and make it look good. Talk to Copperfield, or the producers of World's Greatest Magic or someone with experience doing these types of shows and have them advise.
The Masked guy hurst magic buy exposing secrest he didn't create. in otherwords they are not his to give-away. The MOI group hurts magic on TV by producing a low quality product. And it doesn't have to be so. The masked Guy could have ethics and morality and quit. The MOI folks (with such wonderful talent as they have but are wasting)could work harder and prduce a better product. OK, I awiat cruxifition from my peers. (I should mention one more thing....I don't blame the's publicity baby....used right any publicity is good publicity. And as I said many of the acts are awesome...they just didn't appear that way due to the production value of MOI.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

We have punted!

It's a kick off.

Last night we preformed our annual season kick off show at the EV Free Church in Oroville, Ca...a benefit show for the youth group trip to Mexico to evangelize and build homes for needy folks there. Thus the show was called Magic for Mexico V! One of the biggest crowds ever to come. Largest number of little ones to come as well. (And with today's parents' lack of parenting skills that meant a bunch of kids who really had no self control or ability to sit still.) This lack of parental control has become a bigger and bigger issue with me as time marches on. Still in view of that, the show went well. We introduced a number of new things...some will stay in the show...some won't or will be revamped or rethought.
I will mention to my disappointment that none of the church leadership nor the youth leadership came. The youth were pretty much put under the lackadaisical overview of a couple of good meaning but skilless in youth motivation parents. This meant quite a few of the youth (whom this event is to benefit) goofed off.
Also the church had booked the building for the next day for a women's conference and these organizers were not generous or at best reluctant to share space and at least one gentleman give into the stress of it all and being far from a Christian in his reactions and words. I mention this because it is hypocritical of me to criticize the secular word and there progressive spin down the toilet and overlook people proclaiming Christ only to really represent the World. My philosophy is to lay it all bear so we (believer's) can never be accused of covering up, playing favorites, or hiding anything. It may not sit well with some "believers" but better to hear it from a brother than from a heathen.
All outward criticism aside I will turn the camera inward and say....a couple of the new effects didn't go over the way I hoped. The Firestarter routine needs more rehearsal and the show seemed to run a little long.
Good Friend and magician Bill Jackson did a magic routine that saluted the HEROs going to Mexico. It was a lot of fun. He also ran several spikes through his arm.
On a personal note one young lady from the youth group (who by clothing and actions seemed to have one foot firmly planted in the World) greeted me with, "You really need to shave and cut your hair...because, honestly, you look terrible. " I've know this kid and her parents for years and was shocked by her remarks. I talked with her about it but she seemed really not to care.
Bobbi the cockatoo was a hit. She was a last minute addition to the show (by my wife's insistence). She danced and and then performed her card trick....not finding the card but eliminating every other card but the chosen was a hoot.
New items in the magic shoppe were a success infact a couple of items even sold out. Including Knife through dollar bill.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh How Exciting!

Where to start....scuttlebutt is we will be extending our summer tour a bit with a gig (3 shows) in Ohio and then two days (6 shows) in Missouri before starting our Kentucky leg of the tour. We will confirm this next week.

Princess Amelia will be adding yet another very cool, somewhat spooky routine. "Fire-starter". We will present the beta version tomorrow at our kick off show. A newspaper brought by a spectator will be placed into a clear pyrex bowl (but can be placed anywhere...the bowl protects the table and stage fromt he fire)...the Princess will stand behind the bowl (Not close-enough to touch it) and her hair will begin to flow (like in a soft wind from the direction of the bowl) and then the paper will burst into flames. OOUUUUUU!

Princess Olivia will present here first offical choreographed song number, costumed to match, for the show. In rehearsals she has been beyond cute.

See yo at the show....or on the tour this summer!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tid Bits and Season Kick Off

We are just a few days away from the season kick off and we have been blessed with a Spring-Summer-Fall calendar that is nearly packed wall to wall. Still have a gap here and there we are trying to fill and we are really wanting to perform in Maine. Never been there and with all I've seen on TV and books and the Internet I am convinced it will be one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Quassy park emailed today. Looks like we are going to be on a CT TV show on August 4th promoting our shows by way of profiling our family.

Offer a Ohio gig that is just a day out of our schedule. We are hoping to work that out. We would love to perform in Ohio. The people there have always been so cordial to us.

The insurance has been settled for the theft. Three cheers for AAA! New equipment is on it's way. (You are going to like the design on the clubs Jim has picked out.)

In spite of the adversary we spit in his eye and Jim, as a result of the theft, had to rely on inspiration (which means "Breath of God") and creativity. Because we had a couple of shows coming up last week that needed his services. So in the garage he found two nice looking tennis rackets and a nearly new soccer ball. The routine he come up with was incredible...never seen anyone else do it.

Today I will lunch with JC Dunn of Magic JC, lifetime member of the Magic Castle and one of the nicest people on the planet.

If you have been watching the Master of Illusion on TV on Mondays here is my opinion on the shows. Wow...what stinkers. I don't meant he acts. I know many of them and they are great. But the production company putting the show on is doing such a bad job I have actually heard lay people say the acts sucked. Now I know they don't. But the editing, the camera angles, the whole production is so bad I think it's hurting magic. On top of that immediately after the MOI the masked magician, on the same network, had his reveal show. MOI needs to scrap the contract and start afresh somewhere else. I think if they got a really good performer to host/perform the show and interactively introduce the acts as well as someone to coordinate costuming and show flow-pace to create some kind of cohesion to the show.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Season Kick off Nears

We are just 5 days from our traditional Season Kick off. Magic for Mexico is a fundraiser show we donate each year for the past 5 years to help raise money to send teens and college kids down to Mexico over spring break....not to party but to build homes for the poor and share the Word of God in actions and words.
This show is where we introduce new costumes, new routines, new stunts, and new tricks. This year is now different with the official kick off of the Modern Art Illusion ( a cool sawing in half), James' new soccer ball-tennis racket routine that test audiences have been loving, Amelia's lighting then exploding light bulb and her two new mind reading effects, Olivia will do a comedy piece new to her but has run the gauntlet with each of the kids doing it when they were her culminates with the production of a dove. Miles has added flare to his bull whipping. Victor will do a 100' rope tie challenge. And the list goes on.
Most of the effects have been tested in front of audience since December but will be performed in full together this coming Friday in Oroville, Ca at the EV Free Church at 7pm.
At another regular show I perofrmed at (5th year I think) tonight )Which booked at the last moment this year,) I asked if anyone remembered me from last year. Many raised their hand or clapped. I ask if I had changed. One boy hollered, "Yeah, those creepy sideburns". I laughed by mutton chops off!