Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flash hotels and mountain parks

A few days ago I was booked to do a show way up in Jasper National Park at the wonderfully swish Jasper Park Lodge (in the photo above). I'm surprised anyone at the hotel gets any work done; frankly I'd be spending all day staring at the scenery rather than doing my job. (And this differs from my daily In fact, I did exactly that nearly 20 years ago when I spent a summer living in Jasper and working as a tour guide and boat driver on Maligne Lake. Spent nearly ten hours a day admiring the views. Salad days.

Jasper townsite is a good five hour drive from home so Nadine and I turned it into a little holiday and spent a couple of days with some good friends there. Their 12-year-old pug Mabel is still going strong, though her tongue sticks out even more than ever before. Lack of teeth will do that. I fully expect to spend my twilight years with my tongue lolling about in full view of the public. And if it doesn't do it of its own accord, I intend to make it do so. Screw dignity.

And of course our friends' four kids got their own kitchen-table magic show.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Are we getting this on the *FLASH*...monitor?

Glenn Stevenson from City TV sent me a few snaps he took while Yeats and I were at the studio last Wednesday. Anyone who's tried to take photos of a person in motion rather than just posing will know that for every good picture there will be fifty rubbish ones featuring closed eyelids, gurning mouths and looks of painful constipation. Considering none of these images features me drooling, I think he did a marvelous job.

This first picture I've titled "Are we getting this on the *FLASH*...monitor?" Subtitled "Blinking makes you weak".

It's the same expression I use while stalking the vulnerable.

This second one I'm calling "What is this thing you call 'fork'?"

Or maybe simply "WTF?"

And finally, me and Yeats hanging out with a cup of herbal tea at dawn.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Breakfast TV

Man, those guys get up EARLY. And so I had to as well.

The Calgary Magic Circle is having its annual fundraiser public show this weekend so magician colleague Yeats Wong and I managed to blag a spot on CityTV's breakfast show in Calgary this morning. I was up at 4:30am to make the drive.

At first I took the jokey on-air banter about host Andrew Schultz being a bit of a magician himself as precisely that - jokey banter - but it turns out to be true. The man is an avid hobbyist magician and has been for about 15 years, which was a nice surprise as he immediately understood how best to position ourselves and the cameras to get nice clear shots.

We were in the studio along with an Australian cover band (with a Glaswegian drummer) currently doing The Eagles at an autitorium in Calgary. Quite astonishing that they sound like Aussies and Weegies in person but Yanks on microphones. Would it be cruel of me to petition Lonely Planet travel guidebooks to inform North American visitors to Glasgow that they can overcome their difficulties in understanding the locals by insisting that their interlocutors sing their responses into a portable karaoke microphone?

Yes, that would be cruel.

But funny.


As Yeats and I left the studio and walked outside into the early morning air, I thought to myself, "You know, knocking off work at 9am isn't so bad at all."

Maybe those breakfast TV-types have got the right idea.

I won't be able to embed the video for my bit, but here's the link...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Publicity, but...for what?

Last week a a local TV news crew asked to meet up with me and a couple of magician colleagues to do a story on our upcoming public magic show. We gathered at the Vanishing Rabbit magic shop in north Calgary and spent the better part of an hour doing interviews and showing off.

The end result? A two-minute story. Decent length, actually, but the bit that confuses me is that there was no mention at all of our upcoming show, or the fact that we were also raising funds for charity. But hey, at least they broadcast it!

I've tried to embed the video here but for some reason it says 'ok!', and then proceeds to sit and think and think and think for an hour or longer without actually doing a thing. (I've known some people like that, too.) So try copying and pasting this unwieldy address:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Next career - sorted.

My next career change? Yeah - rabbit hypnotist. How frickin' cool would THAT look on a heavy-stock business card?

Rabbit hypnotist.


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Sometimes I think my instructions to volunteers onstage tend towards the wordy and pedantic.

Then within thirty minutes two plates get broken and a pair of flaming torches come flying at me unexpectedly and I think, "Hmmm. Maybe not."