Things Said to Me on Cruise Ships

“I’m a private detective,” said Dirk. “Oh?” said Kate in surprise, and then looked puzzled. “Does that bother you?” “It’s just that I have a friend who plays the double bass.” “I see.” “Whenever people meet him and he’s struggling around with it, they all say the same thing, and it drives him crazy. They …

  

Two Magicians, One Mic.

Back in March 2016, a guy called Nick Paul asked me to be a guest on his podcast “Two Magicians One Mic,” in which each month he would interview a different magician about life, the magic industry, and whatever seemed interesting. Over the course of our interview, Nick and I discovered that we had a …

  

The Slushening: A Roughly 50% True Story

Sodium Polyacrylate (known as “slush powder” in the magic industry) is a white powder that can absorb up to 300 times its own weight in water. Half a teaspoon is enough to solidify a large glass of water, tranforming it into a spongy mass with a texture somewhere between jello and snow. It’s a fairly …

  

Show Me The Money

I was offered a three month gig in Macau. I accepted it partly for the experience, partly for the stories, but mostly because I needed the money. During employee orientation, the company set us up with accounts at the Bank of China. We would be paid monthly into these accounts in Macanese Patacas, then could …

  

Getting Shanghaied

I was flying to a cruise ship gig. This was good. I had a one-night transit in Shanghai. This was less good. Sure it sounds fine. Shanghai! A big exciting cosmopolitan city! Even if you get in late and have to leave early, surely it’d be a fun chance to grab dinner or a drink. …

  

La Cucaracha

As I check in at Honolulu airport, I think about the live cockroach trapped inside my bag. Neither myself nor the cockroach are happy with the situation. Several hours earlier I’d been on a cruise ship, having just finished a week of shows there, and was hastily packing my suitcase before the airport shuttle arrived. The …

  

Three Months in Macau

I’m writing this from my dressing room in Macau, which is also going to be my home for the next three months (mainly Macau, but to a large extent the dressing room too). I’m here on a contract with the House of Magic, a new $40 million custom-built magic venue in the Studio City hotel/casino. …

  

Magicans: Life in the Impossible

Last night I went to the premiere of the documentary Magicians: Life in the Impossible. I’ve witnessed this movie slowly come together over the past five years, and it was a vicariously cathartic experience to finally see it come to life on the big screen (Full disclosure: I personally know the directors and most of the cast. This …

  

Magic Magazine: The Final Issue

One of the reasons this blog has run largely dormant for the past three years is that I’ve been preoccupied with writing for MAGIC Magazine. Beginning in January 2014, I’ve been writing a monthly one-page column called “Walkabout Soup”, about, well, all manner of magic-related things. That was ironically one of the toughest things about it; Stan – …

  

Deep Water at IndyFringe

Dramatic things happened today at the Indianapolis Fringe Festival. I was doing the 6pm performance of my show Alien of Extraordinary Ability while it rained outside. About two thirds of the way through the one-hour show, the room started flooding. It wasn’t a lot of flooding, but the front section of the audience floor was definitely filling up with water. Clearly …