Here we have a lot of photos to go with our book, The Greatest Adventure: Adventues in Show Business, Magic, and Life-Long Romance. It’s about our adventures in show business and is written by my husband, Geoffrey Williams. It’s available on amazon.com. Most of the photos are from our personal collection.
It is a little strange to read about yourself in a book. What I like best about it is that Geoff is a very funny writer, and had me laughing through much of it (the funny parts, anyway). There are also some very sad parts. I think he does of good job of describing what a life in magic and show business is like. He has been a professional writer for many years, so I think it’s a great read, evening if I am a bit biased.
Instead of making the eBook an enormous file size, we decided to put the pictures that accompany the text here on my web site. They are organized by chapter and primarily come from our personal photos and collection of promotional materials.
Below are the chapter headings from the book with a brief description of each chapter. Click on the Chapter number to view the pictures for that chapter, with comments by me.
The Cover– About the photo we chose for the cover of the book.
Chapter 1 – My Beginning – Geoff’s very early days in comedy, his discovery of family show business secrets, and why going into show business was forbidden.
Chapter 2 – Belle’s Beginning – My early days in the desert, why my birthplace was a favorite for Westerns, growing up with fossils, and the original inspiration for my love of magic.
Chapter 3 – My Early Years in Riverside- Torturing babysitters, unbreathable air, Houdini in our home town, other Riverside show business connections, and Geoff’s short time in Arizona.
Chapter 4 – My Middle School Years– How Geoff got started in magic, magicians who inspired him, inventing his first trick, his first magic convention at fourteen, and his disillusioning exposure to psychic powers.
Chapter 5 – My High School Years – Exploring early home computers, being mentored by a con man, joining magic clubs, sneaking backstage for Doug Henning’s first television magic special, and his first significant acting role- doing magic with pointed ears.
Chapter 6 – The Magic Castle– The official clubhouse for magicians since 1963, this Hollywood landmark changed our lives.
Chapter 7 – Belle’s School Years– Music, desert landscapes, and a Mastodon.
Chapter 8 – My First Year in Junior College- Geoff begins college, auditions for the Junior Magicians group at the Magic Castle and intentionally tries to fail- which gets him in, he risks his life on the annual Moments of Magic show, and winds up with actor Bernard Fox as his wing man.
Chapter 9 – Combining Magic and Theater– Working behind the scenes on his first It’s Magic! (the greatest annual magic show ever), creating magic and performing as magical characters in plays, and the acting role where I would first see him- and I did not even remember it.
Chapter 10 – Belle and I Begin– Geoff and I first meet and begin dating, he starts doing shows at the amazing and historical Variety Arts Theater where he and I would spend many hours over the years, and we hang out at director David Lynch’s parent’s house.
Chapter 11 – The Sideshow – Geoff meets the mysterious white-haired Jack Waller, performs as a sideshow magician, and begins to learn about the strange world of carnivals and sideshows.
Chapter 12 – Carny World – Geoff gets exposed to the crooked games on the carnival lot, and introduced to the unusual and bizarre world of the carnies.
Chapter 13 – Back to the Carnival– Geoff beats out a future famous movie scriptwriter to win my heart, returns to It’s Magic!, we move in together, he literally tortures himself in Las Vegas, and together we rejoin the carnival.
Chapter 14 – Silver Anniversary of It’s Magic!– The Silver Anniversary of Its Magic! was one of the most memorable of them all, with literally death-defying feats, incredible magic, and the launching of careers.
Chapter 15 – The Junior Magicians– An amazing number of the Junior Magicians from Geoff’s time there went on to have exceptionally long and successful careers. Here is what happened to them.
Chapter 16 – My University Years– Geoff begins working for David Copperfield, we part, he goes to the same University as Captain Kirk, starts appearing regularly in the Palace of Mystery, his effects get published and marketed, and we make an important decision that changes the rest of our lives.
Chapter 17 – My Most Important Show– Our wedding, working with old time music greats we knew nothing about, and backstage with celebrities.
Chapter 18 – It Ain’t All Glamour– Geoff’s most humiliating performance; doing magic naked (him, not me), averting near disaster at the Variety Arts Theater, and our cat uncle, magician and actor Carl Ballantine.
Chapter 19 – It’s Magic! Memories– We begin working together on Its Magic!, with some of our favorite moments and performers.
Chapter 20 – It’s Magic! Behind the Scenes and Finale– Some of our favorite moments and performers, and the final show.
Chapter 21 – Immersed in Magic– Geoff begins working for Dick and Diana Zimmerman and Magic Castle Productions, he experiences what it’s like to be a celebrity (without being one), and we launch our magic company Theatrix.
Chapter 22 – On the Road Again– We take our Theatrical Approach to Magic Lecture on the road across the country- a lecture most of our magic friends said was doomed to failure.
Chapter 23 – Belle and I Change Careers– Health issues detour Geoff’s magic career, and I go to work in mainstream show business.
Chapter 24 – Belle at Actor’s Equity– I begin working with many famous actors, and get involved with the development of one of the most successful musicals of all time.
Chapter 25 – Belle Moves to SAG– I leave Actor’s Equity for a position with the Screen Actor’s Guild, help organize the longest strike in SAG history
Chapter 26 – SAG Memories– I go to Digital Domain to learn secrets of Titanic, Geoff’s aunt at SAG, and the tragic premature loss of my closest friend.
Chapter 27 – I Get a New “Girlfriend”– The introduction of the Amiga computer changes our lives.
Chapter 28 – My Digital Magic Friends– We get to meet and hang out with talented digital artists who went on to win multiple Emmys and Oscars.
Chapter 29 – The Surprising and Horrifying End of My Performing Career- An incurable poorly understood neurological disorder ends Geoff’s performing career. For a long time he did not even like going out in public. No pictures, obviously.
Chapter 30 – Adapting to a New Life- As Geoff’s condition worsens, he plunges into what is beyond his worst nightmare where we lose almost our worldly goods, he experiences constant agony, and loses the ability to think clearly. Unwilling to give up and concede that his life was over, it takes years to learn how to manage with his many new limitations. We aren’t going to show pictures of any of that, either.
Chapter 31 – Belle Returns to Magic!– Now on to happier times. I quit my high pressure but lucrative job so that I can return to performing magic professionally.