Category Archives: Port Tips

Alexander In Skagway

Today our ship, The Diamond Princess docked in Skagway Alaska. My girlfriend/assistant Elena and I enjoyed a very nice train ride up the White Pass. We had a guide named “Slim Pickens” who had a guitar and sang. Our tour included the Klondike gold field which was sort of interesting. I found panning for gold was kind of hokey, but I enjoy hokey sometimes. The restaurant was fine. Bar-B-Que buffet. Had great weather, which is rare for this month there, so we walked around a while. Had fish and chips at Skagway Fish Company next to the marina. Very good. Large portions so order a large and split it. Across the street was a nice boardwalk that leads back to the ship. Skagway is one of the windiest cities. It’s name means North Wind in Chilkoot. I took some of my best pictures there. Colorful area with lots of eagles.

For most of the last four years, I’ve been traveling around on cruise ships performing my show. I always want to find out what other magicians are working on the other ships in port with us. I bumped into Jeff Peterson, comedy magician, who is performing on Holland America’s Zuiderdam for the next two months. I also had a chance to meet up with Robby Jackson, an old friend from Japan. Robby is an amazing card magician, who used to work the streets of Osaka, literally busking for tips. He knew all the moves then and still does. Now he does a comedy show and is performing another 4 weeks on Carnival’s Elation. He shared some killer new moves with cards (visually changing cards from kings to aces and back!) It led me to begin refining my own card moves.

Have you ever wondered what the most amazing card trick of all time is?

Do you think I would tell you?

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you realize that I’m pretty hard to impress, but Robby always seems to nail me. Well, these particular changes with cards were so unlike anything I’d ever seen, I began wondering if he was playing with a full deck. As it turns out he wasn’t. He was using a trick deck! One I’d never seen. It was his own creation and allowed one to make amazing changes with single cards. He gave me the deck and I’m now working with it and thinking about using it in my own repertoire. He calls it the Jewl Box Deck.

I personally think, magicians are drowning in card tricks. We don’t need another. If you walked into the Magic Castle’s Library(not just anyone can), in 1983 you could have read all the books on magic ever published. There were about 1,000 of them. At a pace of two books a week, you would have read 50 books a year and, finished all 1000 books in eight years. Today, if you add all the videos and e-books on our subject there are 12 million.

The magic world, (and the non-magic world) is very different now. Some experts estimate the world’s knowledge now doubles every 2 to 3 years. We live in a society where the daily newspaper can be so big we cannot read it all before the next day’s issue comes out. When we turn on the TV, we have hundreds of cable and satellite channels to choose from, not to mention Youtube. And every time we blink we get a new email!  Life can be rather overwhelming. We have more things to do than we can handle. We have more choices to make than we have time to think. And while we try to juggle work, health and our relationships, we are constantly interrupted by hundreds of other things life throws in our way.

Well, onward and upward!

Anchors Aweigh,