Tag Archives: Magiclife


Years ago:
I had a hat and a waistcoat.
I put them on, picked up my instrument, and went to work.

It was raw craft, at first. I had a little skill with words and so I used them to hide the flubs.
Raw craft … and then

I missed my mother. I was unhappy that she never saw me perform one effect, never saw what my hands were destined to do. I said so while shuffling cards. I made up a trick that i thought would make her laugh, could she but see.

… and they laughed. And they gasped. And they wriggled a bit in delight.
The laugh exploded and crystallized into art. Laughter through tears.

A marine. (hard and sober)
A goth chick.
A rabbi.
A homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
A lawyer.
A superstar athlete.
And several anonymous souls
… have told me that I saved their lives with my words and my art.

Tonight I made a woman weep with my stories.
I reminded her of her son
Who died …
Laughter through tears.
“He would have loved this … thank you for being who you are.”

tonight I drove home.
And I put my instrument down (for now, not for keeps)
I took off my hat and i hung up my waistcoat
and I wrote this to you.

This … is who I am.

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Filed under poetry

Renewal. Part One, Getting There

I was asked to perform and be a part of what I can only describe as a magical art festival in the desert. Beyond Brookledge, in Riverside, CA at the Mission Inn Resort. I would be performing Friday through Sunday, then heading to Hollywood for a week at the Magic Castle, then finishing up with a guest spot at the Hollywood Burlesque Festival.

Friday, May 19, 2017 I got out of bed at 2:15 AM in order to make a 5 AM flight. Quick shower and final check on the bags; it’s going to be nearly two weeks before I’m back at my Honeycomb, so all of my performance clothes and show props are carefully packed away. Arrived at the airport in plenty of time and parked in the long term lot.
I was recognized by several of the Delta check-in team and it makes me feel semi-famous every time. Truth is, I get to fly a lot, and I kinda stand out. You know?

Surprise bump to first class, this is a good sign. I need this trip, which isn’t really going to pay a lot, to renew my enthusiasm for my work and my art. I’ve been far too down on myself and I need to rekindle the love of what I do, and find some admiration for myself. Hollywood and the Castle always help in that regard, so I was hopeful. Anyway: First Class. Had a bite of breakfast and slipped on my headphones. Today’s traveling/ sleeping music was Marillion’s latest album: FEAR. Slept hard for a couple of hours, then slowly awoke over the midwest and looked through the movie selection. I chose ‘Founder’. Michael Keaton portraying Ray Kroc, the ‘founder’ of the McDonald’s franchise beast. Fascinating, Keaton may be the best actor of my generation. Yeah. I said that.

Landed at LAX without incident and collected my bags. Los Angeles International Airport always reminds me of U2’s album ‘The Joshua Tree’. No idea why, but I find myself humming “… and you give yourself away…” over and over.

Erika Larsen, my host, sent me a text letting me know that her brother Dante would be picking me up for the drive to Riverside. Initially I was going to cab f444eb9b565ec6f5cfbcfead83923e30_f8or Uber, but she felt this would be a better plan, and she was correct. The drive out took well over three hours. Traffic was snarled and slow the entire journey. Dante wasn’t much on conversation, but he was an extremely good companion. We finally pulled up to the Mission Inn in the late afternoon. Just looking at the outside was stunning.

I checked in and was directed to the convention ‘hub’, where I got my credentials and a handful of totems, including original pieces of art from Olivia and Michael Whelan.

First thing on the agenda was a quick Q&A with the Amazing Jonathan. He was, despite all of h20170521_000211is health problems over the past few years, in really good spirits and energy. When this was done, I found my room and had a quick power nap .. I was worn out from the road, and this first night was going to be a long one. My room was gorgeous … Spanish themed and a feeling of real history. I dozed off under a high ceiling and tried to mentally prep for the night ahead. In retrospect? I didn’t have a chance.

<to be continued.>

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Filed under Public Diary



In my Magic life …

I have four amazing children. Amazing. Clever, loving, beautiful kids. Well, no longer ‘children’, I suppose. My eldest turns 27 this week. Wow.

Anyway, they were raised in the midst of love and art and encouraging affection. Often one of them will say or do something that reaffirms to me that .. we did okay.

My son (the youngest at 19) recently posted the below. All I have to add is: THAT. IS. MY. SON.

Braiden,  I couldn’t be more proud of you.

“So I found this little jem earlier while I was surfing the Internet. So that’s me when I did the rocky horror picture. When I did this show I had a real job. And progressively every day I’d come into work with makeup still on my face, or glitter everywhere, and at one point lipstick marks on my cheek. They always kept asking “what is that?” Or “how hard was the party last night?” You know it’s not easy to try and do what you love while working with normal people. I cannot tell you how many times I just wanted to sell my guitars and say fuck it I’m done. But some people don’t take the time to think what this world would be like without art, or crazy people like me. You’d wake up everyday and work 9 to 5 go home and have any color in your day. But if at that 9 to 5 there’s a guy like me you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but everyday won’t be so mind numbingly boring you won’t have dreams every night about blowing your brains out. It takes even the most talented artist to put on a smile and tell himself he is gonna have a good day. The least you could do is help him have a good day by letting him know the picture he paints is worth a thousand words, or the stories he tells are worth a thousand pictures. Why not start creating a life of art rather than looking down at entertainers for being artistic.”

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Filed under Blither Blather, Musings, Public Diary, View from the Pew