Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Calico -----

I have lots to share and lots to report but no energy tonight. We stayed at Janet (Belle and the other dogs' god mother.) before driving the nine hours home. Stopped at the Bravo Cheese Factory for lunch during the drive home. While at Calico, at the behest and sponsorship of shop owners) we did a late show which might have made the person who booked us unhappy since we had our show running against her hypnotist boyfriend. The shop keepers were very happy and made more in sales as a result. 
After the drive I crashed into a deep sleep only to awake to go to school. I am going to be a poll inspector (manager) at the upcoming election and had to go to county election classes this morning. 
Lunch was with my best friend JC...we had Pho...it was great.  We went to some biz friends, Comers's print shop, and did some magic for them.
Ham and garlic butter mashed potatoes for dinner.
Much more to say but for now I say good night. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Calico Shows----

We did a 9 hour drive yesterday from cloudy NorCal to Sunny SoCal and crashed fairly early last night. Somehow our client set our schedule to include two shows that would occur hours before the event even started. Not sure how it worked out that way. well, I ha have a guess or two but a gentleman knows went to keep his mouth shut. (most of the time, some of the time, rarely, never).
So we pulled into the park at 7:30Am and commenced setting up. We were excited to present our newest illusion, which is actually a used illusion but new to us.

 It's an antique Crystal casket. From this we make Belle the wonder dog appear. And the immediately we make Amelia and Olivia appear. The wood work on it is beautiful.
We also did a great "sawing the woman in half" illusion that is more parody with a hint of early Penn and Teller than an actual trick. After all the box fits a 5'10" woman and Amelia is only 40" tall and some miraculous way her legs are stretched all the way to the other side and she is cut in two. Then after getting out and as I take my bow the little hilarious twist comes into play. I will tape it and post it.

Jim tried something out of the blue. He balanced a 6' ladder on his face while balancing on an 8' ladder.

A side show geek friend stopped by our stage to say howdy. He is as weird as they get, and I am sure he wouldn't mind me saying that at all. He used a small parabolic mirror then a Tv screen to actually melt a rock into glass.

In regards to the shows we pulled in as many people as there were to watch the show. As I mentioned 2 shows took place prior to the event starting even though the park was open to the public.  All 35 people in the park at 11am were at our stage. The second show was a stacked show....stacked on top of the last show: the 11am show ended at 12 and the next show started at 1pm. Still 2 hours before the event officially started. We managed to fill the seats and make a lot of folks happy.  And I have to say we had a lot of fun. Experimenting with the new stuff and playing around with new ideas for the show proved to be a lot of fun.
Our next show was at 4:00pm and it two was stacked on a 5:30 show. We managed to pack the seating. And had SRO for the last show. My Aunt and Uncle who live nearby came up to watch us as they have for the past 16 or 17 years. We are blessed. We even went out to dinner with them after the show. 
Sadly, since we have traditionally done a dark show (a show at 7:30 or 8pm) for the past decade-plus more than fifty people came up expecting our dark show. But we had the sad duty to tell them we weren't scheduled. We told them that instead there was a great hypnotist down in the lower part of town to watch but none seemed happy with the answer as we had become a tradition. It broke my heart and I half wanted to say to heck with the schedule and do a dark show anyway. But experience from last year shows that we would have drawn audience away from the hypnotist and that might not make the hypnotists or the organizer happy. But it sure would have made the audience happy.  Two of the shop owners confronted me about the schedule because we drew large crowds up at the top of the town and therefore brought lots of business to their shops. I told them the schedule was out of my hands. Both were not very happy.  I feel bad, though I have no control of the schedule, that there were so many un-happy people. I am flattered, humbled and blessed by the compliments paid our show but I am helpless and would be remiss to counter what the client orders. I don't like the idea that the owners are loosing money from the lack of business in this already sour economy. Not to mention our own sales of magic tricks and novelties are suffering too. But what can be done. If any of our Calico fans are reading this I am sorry if you came out to see our night show and we were not there. I have no control of the schedule. 

On the homefront: Since Jim and I have election day off we both thought it would be fun to work at the election polls. We both applied and took a simple test and found out we were put on a waiting list. That was two days ago for the application, and yesterday finding out about the waiting list. Today I got the call and I will be a Electoral Inspector. I will train for it Tuesday morning. This is something new and exciting. I feel patriotic.  I hope Jim gets a spot too. 

I also want to add a personal request. My sister's daughter, my niece, has Krohn's Disease. It is pretty serious and she is just a very young teenager. So please lift her in your prayers for healing, coping, and love. 
Thanks .

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This Week....and more

First here are two videos that are must sees. The first is the development of our super smart dog Belle;

The second is Olivia and Amelia with the coaching of Jim learning to ride double on a unicyle.

I want to start the written part of the blog by saying thank you to JC and Dean Dunn who treated us to a gourmet lunch at their place in Paradise, CA. They took out the stops with special gift baggies for the kids and even a "Boo" cake.  Mac and Cheese was the main coarse but I have to tell you you this M & C was 5 tar restaurant worthy. WOW! The salad and other fixin's were great as well. And the time with them was un-measurable. Two of the sweetest people on earth. We are blessed to have such friends.

I have kept a secret for a while and since it is done now I will reveal we had a proposal pitch for a 74 day stint this summer for the San Diego Zoo. Unfortunately, since the zoo wanted an Aussie themed show because of the new koala thing they have going on we lost out. What a shame. But in this biz you just have to get used to disappointments. That just tops the the three or four producers from various networks or production companies that have called or emailed us for various things that didn't work out. Maybe it just isn't our time. God only knows.

The visit with the doc this morning shows I am doing well stable with my rotten spine tumor. He is also out of his foot cast so I guess we both are doing well.  He is a good man and doctor.

We will perform at the Chico Mall grand opening this weekend. But various hangup with insurance, regulations  upper management fear, and the like (which we find most often in Cali) may prevent us from doing the upside-down tandem strait-jacket or the trapeze. But we will perform. I I guarantee a great set of shows.

If you watched the video above you will see some new stuff in the show. I won't mention it here...watch the videos.

We end October in Calico on the last Friday-Sunday and then at 1st baptist in Elk Grove on Halloween night so come on out if you are nearby.

For circus lovers I will make a plea that you don't vote Dem this election as they are wanting to keep shows with animals from being able to move around the states. Be warned!

I am sorry to report that Nick, who has been with us for a few years, will no longer be performing with us. he was a hard worker and a crowd favorite.

Well...that is the update right now. God bless and good night.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sonoma Last Day

First, it is true I Emceed the Grape spitting contest and it was a great honor. 24' was the winning distance.

Jim had a lot of friends visit:

And he made some friends:

I burned my hair during a fire eating routine:

We did three shows (the last one was a free for all and we had a blast doing a non-planed goofy show...the audience loved. it. 

And here is some potpourri:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sonoma Harvest Fair 2 Pumpkin thief and Bloody Nose

Interesting Day. Being on the coast we awoke to fog so I rolled over and slept to ot near 10AM. The kids ate a sad b-fast offered up by the hotel.  Sadly it is impossible sometimes to tell what a hotel offers for b-fast until you get there. Their online descriptions are cryptic at best. 
We made up for it with a Subway lunch. We stopped by the store on the way to the fairgrounds. 
Being Saturday the fairgrounds were much busier today. Every show had great audiences. But the strangest one was the last one. 
There was one lady who nearly yanked her 8 year old's arm out of it's socket to get her as a volunteer for a trick that I was searching for adults and teens. I let the little one come up for the part of the timer for a trick but the mom went and sent her other kid up as well while my back was turned. Se was around 4. I was surprised to see the extra kid there when I turned around. But I let her stay.  The same mom told me I should reward them with a pumpkin decorating the stage. I told her they belonged to the fair and not mine to give away.  A few minutes later she pulled her husband off to the side and as I performed I noticed they were "plotting" something by their body language. Then she came over and took a big pumpkin from in front of our stage and put it in their baby carriage.   Then she pushed it off around the corner.  She came back and picked out another big one, right in front of everyone and hurriedly ran off with it.  Then Her hubby came down and grabbed one. I explained they belonged to the fair and he shouldn't take one. He seemed embarrassed and put it down and then lifted his 2 year old's dirty had up for me to give it a high five.  I did.  And her hurried off. Then mom came back to take another one.  By this time the show was over but we were still selling magic  and doing the wand tricks. She had removed her red jacket  as though I would not tell it was her. She grabbed on more. I said, "excuse me". No response. I repeated. Her back was to me and she was hurrying off. So I repeated it...all eyes were on her. She dropped the gourd and started to hurry off but then turn around and yelled , "shut up" to me.  She would do that a few more times. Everyone standing around was in awe. It was weird. Like a toddler getting in trouble.  We saw them sitting around int he distance for some time. Maybe hoping we would be gone and they could get another one. 
At the start of the show I opened as I always do with the Block head nail stunt. Well. I took my hat off to demonstrate while the nail is half way in that it can hold a hat. But on the down swing the hat hit the nail pivoting it into the membranes in my nose.  I told the audience this was going to be a bloody one.   It was.  After the show a spectator told me that she thought it was just a joke since I hid the blood from everyone. 
Jim's friend Jeremy who lives near here came out for a visit. That's him in the photo below. I also included some of Miles' pictures. He visited the Creation Museum in Ky today. 
 Olivia did her unicycle on stage for the first time today too. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

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Sonoma Co Harvest Fest

Looong day. 4 am wake up, 3 hour drive, set up and 4 shows.
Right before our show a healthy education group from Kaizer did 2 programs with school kids visiting.  We did our for the school kids show at 11:30.
In spite of low numbers at the gate and the three later shows reflecting that until the shows started the seats magically filled. Not sure where they came from.
Olivia brought her tiny unicycle and practiced between the shows. Belle climbed over 6' up a ladder for cheese. So cool....video in the previous post.
Since we are near the coast it is cold. Chapping lips winds. Hard to eat fire.
There was a reality show taping at our hotel "my teen wedding".
Jim knows people everywhere. A girl from his OCS days is doing college out here and her and a friend came out to visit.
Our hotel has a rare third bed and is kind of like a suite. It's pretty good.
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our old friends from long long ago

belle climbs ladder for her first time

At the Sonoma Harvest Festival

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