Thursday, January 28, 2010
Here is the Public summer tour (private and corporate shows not listed):
I also want to mention that we are in negotiations for many dates beyond what is listed.
June 12 Gold Sox Baseball Game (In between innings entertainment and Strolling) Marysville, CA 6pm.
June 21-23 Tehema Libraries (Red Bluff, Corning and Los Molinos) Though we rarely do shows this small any more Sally at the T.L. took a chance on us 15 years ago when we were trying to get know in our area and has booked us every year. 10 AM
June 28-July3 Swift Current, SK Canada Frontier Days
July 6-10th Laurel Co Fair in London, KY (our 3rd year).....mmmm love them Weaver's Hot Dogs and can't wait to visit Sanders Cafe (KFC birthplace in Corbin). These people are the reason we want to move to Kentucky.
July 12-25 Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, KY (our 3rd year) We love the Jones and Gonzales family they too are why we love KY. Great fun!
August 2-15 Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury, CT (our 2nd year)...always a pleasure to see the great folks of CT and of the Quassy family.
August 17-23 Delaware County Fair NY...the manager Gary and his family came to see us perform at our unprecedented second year at Ulster Fair last year and booked us on the spot for 2010...BTW that's what Quassy did the year before.
September 16-19 National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, IA (our second year). The history of this event is amazing and the people are aways very good audiences.
We are still working on bookings for WI, MI, NC, IN, and possibly TX. We will post them when things are inked in and not just penciled in.
Those in the know (this will sound cryptic to some): The DVD was FedExed today......they will have it in their hands tomorrow morning. What an adventure.
Let me know via email Kent@victorkent.com if you can come out to the Magic Castle on Sun the 31st or Mon. or Tue. Going down to play.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Please keep magician JC Dunn in your prayers he has been hit hard by that chest cold going around. He and I are planning a trip to LA this weekend, a tradition we do yearly.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
First "Wowzer": I am heading south to Hollywood this coming Sunday through Tuesday (Jan 31- Feb 3) for my once a year pilgrimage to the Magic Castle with my good friend and magician buddy, JC Dunn, life time member. It's always a treat to see old friends and make new ones and catch the wonderful acts. If you are in the area please let me know so we can meet up and share a little magic at the Castle.
Second "Wowzer": While down in Hollywood it was my hope that JC and I could go to the Children's hospital down there and cheer a few sad faces up with some tricks. But, just moments ago, I was informed by the Volunteer Services at the hospital that due to the H1N1 virus all activities like oura are currently banned. The woman explained that they didn't even get to do Christmas...No Santa Claus due to the H1 N1 hysteria.
Third "Wowzer": Things are shaping us for us to perform our show in Swift Current, SK, Canada the last day of June through the first weekend in July. There are a few hoops to jump through to get our animals through...turns out our snakes and bunnies are fine but our doves and cockatoo will have to be "papered-up" (health and import documentation) and possibly vet inspected at the border. Then there is the whole tax thing. And for our first time I might asked to be paid in Canadian dollars since the US dollar has fallen through the basement....thank you Mr. Bush, Obama, and Bernehke. I just read that many countries are choosing the Canadian dollar over the American dollar as investments. OK, I'll stop whining.
Fourth "Wowzer": A production company, once again, has expressed interest in using our family for a possible Docu-drama TV show. It would be blast to do a TV show, not to mention the exposure for our show and a boost for bookings. We are doing some home video taping of our rehearsals, practices and show related stuff for the producers. Even some interviews....we learned a lot form our past experiences that might help make this one's results better. I've learned, like a puppy whose had his nose slapped a few times too many, to not get my hopes up since TV is a very fickle media. We may still be "Too Sweet for TV".
Fifth "Wowzer": On the note of "Too Sweet for TV": I written a manuscript that we will either send off to be published or self publish via lulu.com about our family, our show, and our travels; the ups, the downs, and everything. Our family history and story is weaved around the thread of our four days with Discovery Studios and their taping of our family and show only to be left on the cutting room floor because we were "Too sweet for TV". Imagine that, by those standards most of the 1950s-early 1960s TV shows, and the Brady Bunch would never have been allowed on TV. Unless of course Greg was a drug addict, Marcia and Jan were lesbians, Cindy had a part time prostitution thing going with Peter as her pimp and Bobby was rock star who was struggling with his weight while Mr. Brady was having an affair with a guy (wait....never mind too easy) and Mrs. Brady was a closet drunk who had relations with Gerhaldo the pool boy...and they didn't have a pool. Boy do have an imagination! I should be a network boss.
On another note: our most ambitious expansion in a long time is going very well. Our new show for our three show rotation is going very well....Mami has been added to juggle a plunger, a spatula, and a baby doll (representing a wife-mother juggling life) and perform a very cool Seance Illusion, Jim is adding some new balancing and more extreme juggling, Amelia has added that new Mind reading affect I discussed in my last entry, Olivia is making TWO snakes magically appear, Miles will be doing more with he walking globe and adding a couple of new bull whip stunts and lasso tricks, Titus will make animals appear with specially made props to compensate his disabilities. We will also do a three man fire-eating routine. We have put our Impaled Illusion into the show and Cynthia gets to be the lucky one to balance then get impaled by a sword. And finally we have the whole salute to vaudeville with our tribute to the Seven Little Foys...dancing, singing, 1910s jokes, and original Foy music with some music rewritten by James as the Sheet music for certain songs are no longer available.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Imagine this. You are invited on stage. You give us a dollar bill and as a receipt a quarter of the bill is torn off and given back to you...it contains the serial number of the bill. The rest of the bill is imeadiately wadded up and burned...all hands shown cleaning empty. As it burns Princess Amelia (no one stands near her) looks into the flame and then writes the serial number of the dollar bill onto a whiteboard. You read the number aloud confirming it is the same number of the bill that burned. Never once does she touch the bill nor does she ever get to look at the bill. She writes the number in full view of the audience and all is open for inspection (the white board, the pen, the ashes, the can the bill was burned in, and the surviving quarter of the bill that you have been holding the whole time.
Well, when she performed it for the whole family to get their reaction it was a hit. No one knew how she did it and all of them have been around this kind of stuff their entire lives.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Here’s where I’m headed with the 2010 story
Thanks again for the help
MIDDLEBURY, Conn. – It will truly be a family affair this summer when Victor Kent, his wife, Mami, and seven children perform at amusement parks, fairs and festivals across the United States.
“It will be great to have the entire family on the road,” Victor said from his home in Oroville, Calif., where the Kent Family Magic Circus has been rehearsing for its 2010 tour.
As the veteran showman discussed the upcoming excursion, he was extremely excited to announce that the couple’s 12-year-old son, Titus, would be part of the act this year.
“Titus is disabled and will be joining the show on tour for the first time,” Victor pointed out. “He loves it (performing) and is doing an all-school show this week in our hometown in front of his special ed class and other students.”
The Kent Family Magic Circus returns Aug. 2-15 to Quassy Amusement Park’s Lakeside Theatre after a highly-successful, two-week run at the park in 2009.
“Mami has not performed as a regular with the family for 13 years,” Victor asserted, as she stayed home to care for Titus. She will be doing some juggling as well as an audience-participation “haunted house illusion” in the new production.
A Little Vaudeville
Also new to the Kents’ repertoire is an opening segment in tribute to Vaudeville legends Eddie Foy And The Seven Little Foys.
“It’s basically a short opener for our 2010 show,” Victor said of the production. Foy was a soft-shoe comedian in the glory days of variety entertainment during the early 1900s and worked with his seven children as well.
“We found some old footage of them performing, so we’ve incorporated a little dance and some jokes – not to mention a ton of money on authentic costumes and music from the era,” Victor explained. So we would get it right many hours of research were involved.
The Kent Family Magic Circus kicks into high speed from there with the tempo and style of shows audiences have raved about.
“We’ve simply added more talent and some new stuff for this year,” Victor continued. “One new act is the $100-100-foot rope challenge, which is one of the funniest routines we have.”
Up to four audience members – children or adults – have the opportunity to tie up 9-year-old Victor Kent Jr. with 100 feet of rope. If the young escape artist can’t get out the mangled series of knots encasing him in the time allotted – the same time it took to tie him up – the Kent family will pay out $100 to each participant in the rope-tying act.
“I haven’t spent a dime as yet, except for the rope,” Victor quipped.
The other Kent children taking the stage this summer are: Jim, 20, Cynthia, 18, Miles, 16, Amelia, 7 and Olivia, 4.
Both Jim and Cynthia became members of Victor’s magic show before they were 5 years old. As for Victor, he has been performing since he was 7 and became a professional entertainer as a teenager.
“As each of our children joined the show, it meant leaving a toddler crying at the door when we left to go perform,” he said of incorporating the youngsters into the act. “It broke my heart leaving them behind, so I found ways to put our toddlers in the show. Some of them took to it like fish to water, while others were a little goofy onstage.”
‘Jugglin Jim’ – A Phenomenon
While performing at a summer fair, Jim, 10 at the time, met a juggler who started teaching the youngster some routines.
Enthused about his newly-discovered art, Jim worked up an act of his own and began performing in the family’s show in 1999, bringing variety to what was generally a magic-only performance.
Today he is known as “Jugglin’ Jim” and wows audiences with a variety of stunts using pins, flaming wands, spinning tops and a unicycle.
Quassy audiences were awe-struck last summer when he balanced a wheelbarrow and six foot stepladder on his chin. (This year they will have a 10' ladder with them.)
Between shows, Jim entertained the park crowds as a stilt-walker and juggler, engaging guests along the walkways and in the restaurant with his unique talents.
The Kents will again bring their unique walk-around style of entertainment to the park again this summer with, stilt-walking, juggling and costume character appearances in between the stage shows.
The Act Is Born
In 2003 the Kent Family Magic Circus was officially born, making a transition from what was formally known as the Kent Family Magic Show.
“By the time the kids turn 10, they each decide which direction they want to go with the show,” Victor reflects.
Cynthia turned to clowning but is also an integral part of numerous illusion acts. The current production is billed as being a “magical, Vaudeville, variety, circus-like show.”
Meet ‘Indiana Miles’
Then there is “Indiana Miles,” who has become a master of the bullwhip by snapping a finger trap out of Victor’s mouth with a single stroke.
“He has caught me accidently with it (whip) on occasion,” Victor said of the act.
The most memorable incident was when the fall of the whip hit Victor on the head.
“The fall (the long part that connects the whip body to the cracker) came around my head and face, and as the cracker made its ‘crack,’ it hit the finger trap. It was a once in a lifetime shot and quite hilarious.”
A startled Victor was uninjured by the miscue though the cracker of the whip – traveling 900 mph – left some “road burn” on one cheek.
Victor, Jr., Amelia and Olivia all have their place in the show as they assist with illusions and some of the circus-style acts.
“Because the kids have grown up knowing we have to be on the stage, they are ready when it’s time to perform,” Victor said of the children.
No DVDs or iPods
The family performs around 300 shows a year, with a huge schedule usually piling up during the summer months at amusement parks, fairs and festivals.
And while countless hours are sometimes spent in the van between stops, the children are not entertained with DVDs, video games or iPods.
As a result, Victor says, they are forced to do “old-fashioned” things such as keeping journals, reading, drawing pictures and occasionally listening to old time radio shows on cd.
Cynthia, an AP student, has had a massive amount of summer homework to take with during recent July and August tours. The other Kent children are also expected to keep up with their studies in between shows.
“Our children attend a Christian school from kindergarten through grade six,” Victor said of their education. They are home schooled during grades seven and eight and then go to public high school.
“They go to high school for different reasons,” he pointed out. Jim went for band, while Cynthia, a natural hurdler, attended for sports. Miles, on the other hand, is the athletic captain for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at school.
Academically, the Kent children are all 4.0 students.
“We have what we call the first-time obedience rule in our household,” Victor noted, “so if I’m counting out loud the kids know it’s too late.
“As a Christian family, we base our beliefs and attitudes on our faith. In large families such as ours, the older kids help a lot when it comes to taking care of the younger ones and the young kids learn to respect their older siblings. That makes traveling a lot easier.”
During the extended periods away from home, Victor calls Mami at least three times a day.
The family also collects butterflies during its summer tour – acquiring them in as many states as they can.
Numerous families they have met throughout their travels have also adopted the Kents through their Web site blog.
What To Expect
The Kents will be rotating three different shows during their 2010 Quassy appearance, allowing guests to return to see different illusions and circus-style acts.
“It doesn’t matter what you perform, so long as you entertain the crowd,” the veteran performer noted. “Someday we’ll settle down in one location as the kids develop outside interests. I’ve learned to constantly adjust and accept wherever God takes us.”
For more information about the Kent Family Magic Circus visit www.kentfamilymagiccircus.com.
For more information about Quassy Amusement Park visit www.quassy.com
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Bear in the green room.
It's a secret but we have several big things in the works that I hope to share with you all soon.
Buddy, JC, and I will make our yearly pilgrimage to the Magic Castle in Hollywood Jan 31-Feb2 come and lets us sup.
Don't forget God loves you all and has a plan for your life if you let Him. He's never let us down and has changed our lives. Give Him a chance....and I'm not talking Religion for I'm talking relationship and changing of you from inside out.
Friday, January 15, 2010
We produced this show for the school children on Oroville and invited all the schools..at only $2.00 a head it's not like we are going for a gold mine or a profit. We just like to take this time each year (during our slow season) to give the community an inexpensive way for schools to have fun. A lot of the stuff in our show can't be done on school grounds anymore due to the zero tolerance for fire, machete, axes, etc. Hard to believe kids in this area used to take squirrel guns to school with them and go shooting rats near the river on their way home. So much has changed.
Today's show went well. With so much new stuff there were glitches but the audience was generally unaware of them. The biggest glitch was the need for everyone in our cast to be mic-ed up. The opening Foy routine played well but with the echoey building the music over played the singing voices in the opening song. The jokes, and silliness got laughs and the dancing was charmingly bad...exactly what the Foys did a hundred years ago.
Victor's $100 rope tie challenge ended with me relinquishing $400 of products from out magic shop as Victor failed to get out of the rope but only because the ropes were hung up in his pants and he refused to drop his drawers so daddy had to pay.
Mami, aka Juggling Mama, juggled well and received much applause from the welcoming crowd. her largest audience in 13 years.
Titus was thrilled to perform his animal tricks as his class room showed up with full enthusiasm. It was nice to have him in the show. During the show he like to watch the show but his view was blocked by a backdrop and that set him to crying. Fortunately the audience was unaware as the music drowned out the crying. Had he been able to see the stage better he would've been happier. This is one of the difficulties of working with a special needs child.
The local news showed up and filmed nearly the whole show and interview many kids from the audience and then me afterwards. I will see if I can get the footage.
A good start to what promises to be our best year ever.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Then of course there is the costumes. We took old photos of the Foys in 1913 and found or made patterns that best reproduced the costumes. We then hired a seamstress, Jane Miller, and had her make the costumes up. Finding the right shoes has been a task and we are still in the process there but for now everyone is in patten leather black.
Next each of the kids had to learn to tap dance. And though they are still new to it, and it shows, it's all good, because that was the charm of the Foys...they weren't great dancers either. As they matured a few got pretty darn good. Victor Jr. will even be doing his Foy Counter part, Irving's, Cossack dance. Miles will attempt his rendition of Eddie Foy Jr's Rubber man dance.
We've kept the humor and even added the idioms and language of the era. Cynthia will tell a joke Madeline Foy used to perform in the form of a gruesome version of Little Red Riding Hood. Victor will do an old Eddie Jr mind reading joke. Jim will play the guitar in the form of Richard Foy's mandolin playing for the "Bye Bye Baby" closing song.
Finally since Foy was famous for his drag (entirely different to today's drag) I will appear as Eddie did with his kids in that 1913 publicity picture. Eddie was in his 50s when he undertook this venture with his kids and I am in my 40s. He was famous for his physical, acrobatic dancing. I think the age disparity helps put me as a lousy dancer in line with him as an old dancer thus equalling us out a little bit.
We will video the show for educational purposes but will not post it unless it is in some way outstanding.