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Do you want to be famous?  Whether you do or not, there is an often forgotten side effect of being high profile and successful.  Of course, there are degrees of fame, or perhaps more accurately different types of fame.  You could, for example, be famous locally, within your own town.  Maybe you have performed your own shows there, appeared in the local newspapers, switched the Christmas lights on in your town, and so on.  That kind of fame is great, and will probably give you a real boost, but don’t let it go to your head!  Some of this was covered in my blog, Don’t Let Success Go To Your Head.

You can also be famous nationally, and internationally.  Some countries have nationally known magicians who are a household name within the country, but who are relatively unknown outside the country.  Magicians who are known internationally are very few, you can probably count them on the fingers of one hand in fact, and usually the reason for their widespread fame is because of many high profile TV appearances, large scale tours, or years spent in Las Vegas where tourists from all parts of the globe abound.  Another type of fame is what some magicians call “magic magazine heroes.”  These are individuals who have a degree of experience in magic, perhaps with a specialty act, and who are regularly featured in magic magazines, but who are unknown outside the field of magic.

These guys are regular speakers at magic conventions and derive most of their income selling videos, lecture notes, and so on to other magicians. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just a different type of fame.  The only time this type of fame becomes a problem is when magazine heroes think they are famous outside of magic. Sometimes this happens, and it becomes a bit silly as they think they demand to be treated like superstars! Read the rest of this entry »

letter-1442872_640In June 1967, the groundbreaking Monterey International Pop Music Festival literally destroyed traditional notions of major event programming when The Who, after playing “My Generation,” demolished their equipment, followed by Jimi Hendrix, who torched his guitar before smashing it to pieces.

In the decades since, California has disrupted another arena innovation. From San Diego’s flourishing start-up scene to Silicon Valley, home to game-changers like Apple, Facebook and Google and seat of global venture capitalism, the state continues to deconstruct and reinvent the corporate landscape. Employed throughout this entrepreneurial ecosystem are Gen Yers – the 20 to 35-year-olds who are also altering the agenda for meetings and events.

Joseph Adams, 26, is the archetypal Gen Y go-getter. Originally from Ohio, the self-described Bay Area “marketing hacker” (his adaptation of “growth hacker”; a person skilled at using technology and analytics to test the market-worthiness of new ideas and products) reveals how the Gen Y ecosystem works.

“We are a meritocracy of highly social, mobile, networked multitaskers, passionately engaged in creating and evolving our environment,” says Adams, presently “hacking” alternative asset strategies for an investment firm while also consulting on multiple fronts.  “Our mode is challenging the status quo to achieve different or enhanced outcomes. That’s how we live, work and play-and want to experience meetings and events.” Read the rest of this entry »

magic-2034146_640It’s so encouraging to see many of you Alexandrites taking an active interest in magic!  Even for you hobbyists with a growing interest in magic, you’re starting to venture past the gates of the magic I offer at and starting to buy magic props and accessories online.  Unfortunately, a few of you have gotten “burned” by unscrupulous magic websites promising “pie in the sky” magic effects.  This is an unfortunate part of today’s cyber world.  It’s the wild west all over again.  As any magician who’s been in the business awhile can tell you, magic effects, above any other product sold online, have often been hyped up beyond all recognition.  The only product that might be hyped more today are the fun world of “diet pills.”  It’s sad for part of my brotherhood of magicians because competing dealers continually try to offer something better than their last effect or better than a competing dealer.  It’s a neverending quest to offer the most amazing magic effect.   I covered some of this in my blog YouTube Magic, but thought it might be prudent to offer some further guidance here since so many of you are buying magic online.  Of course you can always email me privately at for a list of recommended online dealers.

Okay, onward!  The first thing I want to say is, “beware of the description.”  Marketing-speak, no matter what the industry, is often very different than reality.  How many times has your vacation hotel turned out to be very different from the pictures in the brochure, or how many times have you seen an advertisement for some mouthwatering microwave meal only to buy it and conclude that you must’ve eaten the cardboard packaging by mistake?  Magic marketing is no different than any other form of marketing that you come across every day in terms of exaggerated and misleading claims.  Frequently such terms as “reputation-maker” or “show-stopper” are applied to magic effects in dealer catalogs.  Some of these descriptions, like skin care products, are written by copywriters and not magicians. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve got a very important observation to share with you. Did you see the James Bond movie Goldfinger?  Ian Flemming, the author, wrote an earlier book titled Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which is a complete departure from the Bond series.  Anyway, Goldfinger, the book, is populated with several really top level experts in espionage.  They’re all interested in the ultimate stake which happens to be robbing Fort Knox.  Now all of these men have I.Q.’s reaching to the stars. They compete to be selected for Goldfinger’s team that will accomplish this. One of the men in the book is especially adept at getting selected for these teams and has been on several of them.

Yes, he is brilliant and highly skilled at his craft which happens to be espionage. But, so are the other men competing against him to be on the team. Why does he get chosen so often over the others? Simply, because he is obsessed with his work. Here’s a quote from the book:

“Sometimes it’s difficult to tell who is the more brilliant but I, Goldfinger look for something more important gentlemen….I look for who is the most driven!” Read the rest of this entry »

WarrenWarren and Annabelle’s is a magic night club in LaHaina, HI where we were lucky to be the guests of magician and friend Warren Gibson.

An adventure starts with a mysterious key and a riddle to get through a secret passageway. Once you find a solution you are allowed to pass through to a beautiful parlor. Now it’s time to sit down, relax and have a drink or a meal before showtime. Couple of words about the parlor itself: if you‘ve ever been to Magic Island in Houston, TX – the interior and the atmosphere is very close to it. It even reminded me of Magic Castle a little in theme.
The food and drinks are very tasty whether you bought a dinner package or purchased it a la carte. And you have more than enough time to enjoy both. At the very entrance you are given 2 playing cards that you’ll be able to exchange for drinks later on. Warren seems to think about every aspect of the evening: while you are enjoying your dinner or just chilling in the parlor, a ghost comes to visit you and performs any song your heart desires on the piano.  Then you are accompanied to the theatre. It’s a small room with approximately 70 seats. So every seat has a good view. There are also 8 HOT seats upfront for the people who are brave enough to be a part of the show, which is a lot of fun. If you are asked to be one of the 8 lucky ones – don’t back up. I promise you will have a great time.

The show itself is unlike a regular magic show. From the time you enter the theater until you leave there are lots of little surprises. We truly enjoyed it. The sleight-of-hand left us shaking our heads, especially the linking of three borrowed finger rings!  The added treat of side stitching humor left us breathless. Truly worth the money.  Unfortunately, no children are allowed to the club. Though material and jokes are age-appropriate, cocktails make it impossible for anyone under 21 to enjoy this wonderful show.   At the end of the show Warren is outside the theater to thank each guest for coming, which was very classy.  Warren is warm and engaging, bursting with southern charm.

No wonder this outing is so highly recommended by Maui locals.  One of the best shows that we’ve ever been to, and we’ve seen all the magic shows.  Warren & Annabelle’s books up 2-3 weeks in advance so the reservations are a must.  It’s just such a different type of magic/comedy combination than you’d see anywhere else.   Aloha Y’all!

You can also see my review of Warren & Annabelle’s on Trip Advisor.


You can’t really see the glacial ice I’m standing on, but this little helicopter me to the top of Meade Glacier in Skagway Alaska today!  I enjoyed the spectacular views on the helicopter ride.  I was lucky to have a very clear day today.  No one seemed to be impressed with my card tricks up here.  They were too busy taking in this untouched wonderland!  Glacier exploring is tricky.  You take a big stick and walk carefully, so as not to break the ice and fall in!  Sounds like a Teddy Roosevelt quote!  This was my second time riding in a chopper.  My ride was smooth and breathtaking. Pilot was great about answering questions, and pointing things out to us. You start to realize how small you are while you’re way up here.  and it made me appreciate the mountains even more. Smooth landings, great tour of the glacier. Helpful and informative people at Temsco Helicopters.   Overall a very magical day!

Guitar World

I’ve gotten dozens of emails about this month’s issue of Guitar World.  “Didn’t know you played guitar”  “Why did you change your name”  and my favorite, “You should mix your magic with your guitars”  Yes folks all of that magic has finally paid off and I’ve magically taught myself to riff like Steve Vai, Jimi Hendrix and Randy Rhodes. . . . . I wish

This isn’t me on the cover.  It’s Steve Vai.  But I’ll tell you what.  I was at a news stand in Seattle just peering at the collage of magazines, sipping a mocha frappe when all of the sudden I saw it.  Bam.  I thought they had super-imposed my face over Steve Vai’s body.  Then I looked inside and the pictures are even closer.  Same nose, same mouth, same eyes, same hair!  They say everyone has a twin.  I just found mine.   Scary!

In Alaska and Canada Through September!

I’m having a great time touring Alaska! It’s over 100 degrees in my home town of Las Vegas, so this 50 degree cold is just fine with me. I’m featuring a new illusion in this show which I call Mirror Melt. It’s part of the appeal to the ticket buyers here. Most of these cruisers come back to Alaska every year and see my show. It’s important to show them something new and different that’s not just another box. At the same time they’re not going to sit there and watch 45 minutes of untested material. I think it’s important to “play the hits.” Also on the bill will be Cutting a Girl In Half, Neon Levitation, Spiker, Metmorphosis and a surprise ending that’s gonna knock your socks off. My manager was was throwing ideas around for the tour, and he suggested a surprise ending that I really liked. I think it’s important to give the show an extra kick toward the end. So I’ve strung together enough hits to fill a set, but weaved some very magical surprises too. People ask me if I ever get sick of presenting Grand Illusion Magic. Well, it never gets tedious in front of an audience, that’s for sure. When the crowd goes berserk after five seconds, you realize you’re sharing an experience with 1,000 people and it drives the performance. Magic is something that people can’t help but respond too. I may be biased, but, music, comedy and musicals don’t ever cross into the impossible. Only magic does that, and it’s literally eye-opening. Amazement is really wired into people’s DNA but most don’t realize it. I’m happy to wake them up and remind them of that fact.

Copperfiled ShowThere is something truly powerful about a great magician, and it is something that is able to unite all people in a moment of true magic. There are not many people, who don’t enjoy watching a great magician at work and this is because everyone likes to see something amazing and unexplainable, no matter who they are. Magic is one of the only forms of entertainment that is completely non-discriminatory, as it does not matter whether you are male, female, young, old, what part of society you are from, or even whether or not you speak the language, there is something mesmerizing about a moment of magic.

For me, the greatest moments are those when I have managed to stun an entire room into utter silence and total disbelief at what they have seen. You can see it on the faces of everyone in the audience and it truly feels like a time, when for just a few seconds, they believe that the possibilities of reality are endless, and that maybe I do have some form of magical powers (which of course I do). After a minute or two of the amazing trick finishing, people are back in reality and I can see that they are talking to their partners and trying to work out how I managed to do it, but just for that few seconds, they suspend their belief in reality and that is true magic.

People are always trying to work out how magicians can possibly do the things that they do, but if they knew that, they would be magicians themselves. The secrets of the magic order are locked away safe and sound and that is the way that it should be. It takes a lifetime of dedication to become a magical master and this is something that needs to be preserved.

Even I love to watch other magicians and I am often part of the same set of faces looking on in amazement when a great illusion is pulled off, and that is an exciting moment. I could never imagine not practicing magic, as the thrill it gives is too great and it does not matter whether it is a room full of ten people or one hundred people, the thrill is still the same. I hope that if you can manage to make it along to one of my shows that I will get to see that look in your eye, as you are in total disbelief! If you are unable to make it to one of my shows, then maybe you should look to see what magic shows are happening in your area, as these people need your support and I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

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