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Jess and Joe

Spectacular people in my life.

I met this beautiful couple years ago while working a Halloween party. We became instant friends and, later, they allowed me to perform for their guests at their wedding. The love and support they’ve shown me over the years has been immeasurable.

For my birthday, they took an iconic deck of blue bikes and took the time to write a little inspirational message on every single card in the pack. Including the jokers. I am humbled, grateful and shining.

I’d like to use this inspiration to make a request: write someone an encouraging note. Take paper and pen and take just a moment to tell them how you love them. How they affect your world. It makes a huge difference.

I am truly gifted with my friends Jessica and Joe. They are a part of the real magic I make, they are a reminder to me of the power of giving from the heart.

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On My Life

For the next couple of weeks this blog will be my only communication to ‘fans’ and casual friends. I’m focusing heavily on the reality in front of me and enjoying life and love and joy as best I can. I’m immediately available to family and close friends via phone or text … so I’m not completely disappearing. This blog may be updated every day with ‘end of day’ musings, or it may be really sparse. I don’t know. I’m absorbing where I am and I’m focusing intently on me. Selfish? Yeah, probably … but I need it and so be it. I love you.

I’m turning fifty next week and, other than occasionally saying to myself ‘I’m turning fifty next week’, it doesn’t affect me. I’ve lived and will continue to live an extraordinary life. On my fiftieth birthday, I’ll be away from the people I love most dearly, competing in a magic contest. I can hear the voice of my father right now: “What kind of man …?”

So, I’m going to focus on the now. Living and learning and spreading the joy I’m able to … just NOT on social media.

Friends? Reach out in love to those you care about. Mend fences, rebuild bridges, find love and understanding. That’s what I want for my half-century birthday present. Healing. Love.

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With Great Power …

… Comes great responsibility. Right?

Well, of course. But what about a little power … or power you don’t realize you have? I’m going out on a limb here and I’m going to state that your main responsibility is to be true to yourself and the journey you are on. Because, honestly: you don’t know who you’re affecting and how.

How’s that for vague? Let me give you an example, a really powerful one. Now understand, things like this are happening to me all the time to a lesser or greater degree. It comes with the territory of being a public figure … of putting your heart out there. Hear this and understand the potential behind it: You AFFECT … You CHANGE THE VERY LIVES of people every day. Every. Day.

When I first got into the corporate entertainment arena (that is to say, when I earned my way in) I had a very regular client, Rob. He worked for a great company that used me in varying degrees on a regular basis and we established a close working relationship. He liked my performance style so much that he started bringing his family in to see me at my regular restaurant gig. I could just about count on seeing them every week.

Now, Rob had a young son: Roddy. Roddy became an instant fan and I would strive to do something new for him weekly. I could always make them laugh and … well, it was just a really good moment in my working week to see them coming in. As I’ve stated before, I think I have more friends amoung my audience than I do ‘fans’. I get close, you know? Rob would even have parties at the beach and put me and my family up just to get a show for his friends and clients.

Alright so, passage of time: I move on from restaurants and Rob changes companies and people slowly drift apart, sometimes. Jump head about 14 years and out of the blue Rob calls me up to perform at Roddy’s 22nd birthday. Absolutely. Let’s make this happen. I won’t mention how hearing that Roddy was turning 22 made me realize jut how fast time goes …

The party was awesome and raucous and I had a bunch of fun (as usual) while doing my work. It seems Roddy has embraced being a race car driver and he’s an up and coming star in his field. He works hard and he’s really good at what he does. Bonus points: he’s following his passion. There’s a good possibility that he’ll be the star of a TV show being pitched to major networks, based on his charisma and skill in his chosen profession. Kudos, right?

Toward the end of the night, Roddy sought me out and we had a very brief but very moving discussion. Roddy told me that he had two secrets to his success. The first was to surround himself with positive, talented people. People with skill and vision, but(most importantly) with a great attitude toward life. The kind of people that believe in you even when you think you don’t belong or you feel you aren’t capable of something. They stick with you and keep you motivated to move forward.

The second thing was: Me. Hannibal. #cardmonkey from his childhood. He told me that when things seemed very tough and dark and he felt like giving up … he would think of me. Out there doing magic tricks night after night and grinding my way toward excellence. The thought of me NOT GIVING UP gave him the courage to push through just a little bit longer.

Responsibility. What you are and what you do affect people. The tenacity to keep going when it seems everyone is against you. Performing night after night after day after week after month after year … gave a boy with a dream the inspiration to become a man on the move. I was overwhelmed. I still am. I’m grateful and I’m massively humbled.

This isn’t an isolated occurrence, either. The longer I work at this it seems the more people I meet who tell me that something I said or did (or didn’t do) gave them a gift of some kind. The desire to strive for something difficult, the insite to look within themselves for beauty and greatness, the courage to LIVE for another day.

And all I can say to them (and you) is: I didn’t intend to be a role model. I just do what I do to the best of my ability and I hope it tells you a good story. Ironically these incidents have given me will and courage, too. The thought that I can’t give up … that someone I don’t even know is counting on me.

I know. Pretty heady stuff for a guy who just does card tricks, right? Only (dear friends) let me state this: I am not incidental. Neither are you. You are unique and you possess a passion somewhere within you that can literally change and save lives and possibly the world. That is a great power, and with great power …

You know.

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Loss, Part Two

When she became a Grandma, everything in her life brightened. She was happy, joking, shining. Our relationship strengthened to a depth I hadn’t known since I was a boy. Carlaysle, and later Avalon Rose, became the focus of her joy. We talked at length about the future and what role she wanted to play in their lives.

My life found its direction in the spring of 1992. All the training I had came to fruition when I was hired to write scripts and act in plays for families at the new Heritage USA. The job paid better than moving furniture, and gave me the opportunity to pursue a career in something I love to do. Dawn was elated, and so was she. She told me that she knew this was just the beginning; the first open door.

In confidence she told me of the fear she now had of her husband. She had evidence of several affairs, and she wanted out. For whatever reason, she wanted to leave in a fashion that wouldn’t destroy his ‘ministry’. She felt that she could make plans, get away and then use the evidence she had to keep him from pursuing her. We spoke about finding a house where we could all live together, and she could help raise the girls. He had power, and money (from one of his conquests) but it was all tenuous. He was a coward at heart. If we stood up to him, he wouldn’t risk his position.

Sadly, he was far more evil than we thought.

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