I have arrived in Las Vegas. Last Saturday performing at Warner Bros. was fun, but exhausting. I had originally planned to leave Los Angeles at noon on Sunday to drive across the desert with my wonderful husband. As it turned out my cat Leeloo passed away recently from cancer, and we were really worried about our other cat. Cats can literally die from heartbreak and our darling Bastet couldn’t be alone for a whole week while I was at MAGIC Live!, which, I should point out, has nothing to do with the Magic Mike Live! Show in Las Vegas. We adopted Bastet from Carl Ballantine and she is a wonderful part of our family.
And of course the leaving at noon part came as close to plan as it could – meaning I left about 1:30. Geoff’s primary computer decided to take it’s own vacation this week and he couldn’t use it at all. So after a series of frustrations, he put together some publicity material to take with me about “The Greatest Adventure”. It’s a great book he has written about our lives in magic. I just don’t know what I would do without him. Not only is he an excellent writer, he is also my biggest cheerleader. He asks about every single show, and always has good ideas to share. Being married to someone so smart, funny, and creative is the greatest joy in my life.
So a long, boring, drive across the desert where I couldn’t point out the adorable wild burros I saw or the two top gun jets, flying low to the ground and close together out of George Air Force Base, chat about show ideas or make plans. I did manage to not talk to myself, but it was a stretch.
The moment I arrived at the Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, I knew I was at a magic convention. I pulled into the valet and saw Jibrizy’s car. Not hard to spot because it’s bright green with pink detailing and has a custom plate. Happily, I ran into him and his friend Mariah that evening in the dealer’s room at MAGIC Live! I got to share with him that his handling at the end of Vortex rocks. I have been using it for years. Vortex is an effect where as you spin two cards in front of the audience they melt into one mixed up card. He added a little snap of the cards at the end that takes it from amazing to mind blowing. He had the most amazing tennis shoes on. His kicks were 100% sparkly (hightops) and I LOVED them. You can see some of his magic and hear his inspiring story overcoming a disease that nearly ended his magic career before it really got started on this Youtube video.
I immediately got checked in, got my badge and a quick shower in time to arrive at the reception. It was a celebration theme, and everyone was encouraged to wear bright colors. It was cheery and fun and I met new friends and reconnected with old ones. Having to wear bright colors got people out of their shells.
Who knew Les Arnold was on To Tell the Truth in February? I did because I saw his “duck master” shirt and had to ask him about it. Les is a well-known magician from an impressive magical lineage. His grandfather was the legendary illusionist The Great Leon who is credited with inventing such classic magic effects as the Duck Tray, Ribbon Shot Through Woman, and the Doll House (a trick that does not involve shooting anything at a woman). His father was well-respected magician Leon Leon, who worked in Hollywood on the movies as a sound engineer when sound in the movies was a new thing. Les himself was a past president of the Long Beach Mystics (a club for young magicians) and founder of their annual show. Before the Magic Castle Juniors program, the Mystics were known for members who went on to be very successful as magicians. In fact, MAGIC Live! Is produced by Stan Allen, himself a former Mystic. When my husband auditioned the first year of the Juniors program, most of the people who were accepted (it was tough to get in) came out of the Mystics.
Of course, I took a quick pass through the Magic Shop, the dealer room at the convention. There is so much amazing stuff there. I resisted the impulse to buy anything on the first pass through, but ran into more friends, and started to make a spending plan. By the way, a huge shout out to Bicycle Cards, who not only sponsor The Backroom Lounge where you can share magic with your friends, but are offering decks at a great price at their booth in the Magic Shop. All magicians must have more cards. More cards, and more wands. Oh, and more books.