Thursday, January 20, 2011

magic magic magic...& tigers.

Neil flew out to the west coast last week for the ALA conference and I went with him down to San Diego.

Here, he signs the big official library posters....
(yes, Armistead Maupin was in the house!)

Neil & Charles, posing with the ALA award to the CBLDF in San Diego's Gaslamp district:

on the escalator with the two E's: Elyse & Elise, on our way to swim in a sea of smart librarians:

the night before Neil's Q & A with Nancy Pearl, the Queen of the Librarians,
we went out to sushi dinner with Jamy Ian Swiss, a king among magicians & his lady Candace.
he dazzled us with his up-close close-up magic:

next day, we went back to LA, where Neil did the voice of himself on the Simpsons,
and yes, he really nailed it.
here w/the high-IQ Matt Selman & hedge-Bart.

in between all his meetings and appointments, I placed a big pile of fan mail in front of our hero,
along with tea. If you are waiting patiently for a Neil-response, we thank you-- (A new Neil MailBox entry soon!)

here Neil gives back to the world, posing for the super-talented Allan Amato's charity project. The final photos will be a knock-out. see Allan's work HERE.

Drew & I packed up THE PRICE posters endlessly, and by now they should all be in their new homes:

At sushi dinner, we mentioned to Mr. Swiss that we were going to Wisconsin for our honeymoon and that we'd be visiting the Safe House there, a spy bar mixed with magic. He told us to look up his associate, Chris Ivanovich, and voila! there he was when we walked in...
what a lovely guy & his magic shut my mouth---wow.

we also met tigers & lions at Valley of the Kings, as guests of Dr. Chris Pagel, and there aren't enough thank-yous.

Here he is with Oksana, an 800 pound tiger, playing like a kitten:

Dr. Chris gave us a play toy from Obie the tiger for Cabal & Lola, and you can see, it is punctured and gouged, clawed to bits. He advised us to clean it in a bleach solution before passing it along, as he wasn't looking to be the one who done in Neil's dogs--
we pulled it out of the duffel bag when we got home and Batman & Selina Kyle went BONKERS! smelling and racing around, looking for what the BLEEP smelled like that...

i will never ever be far away from this day. to help them with their selfless cause,
please donate what you can to VALLEY OF THE KINGS.

come over to my furrytiger blog to get more on this trip,
tigers & lions and the House on the Rock, oh my....

meanwhile, I leave off with this interview of a bright young star on the magic scene.



Q: How did you start walking on the magician’s path?

A: Someone told me that magic gets the girls…(just joking). When I was five, a magician came to my school and I became hooked on magic after seeing him perform. I never forgot that and when I turned thirteen, my Mom took me to meetings for magicians at the Society of American Magicians.

Q. For your magic, do you prefer to use coins, cards, illusions? Or….?

A: I carry cards on me all the time. They are small, plus you can’t spend them! I enjoy a little bit of everything though. I’m happiest when the trick gets me close enough to people to see their reaction, their smiles.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the worst thing a magician can do to his/her audience?

I often see magicians walk out on to the stage with a superior attitude, as if the audience can’t do what they can.

Q: ...and the best thing a magician can do to his/her audience?

A: I like to treat my audience as an equal, like they are long lost friends of mine; it’s more fun that way. Tell a story that gets the audience involved. Always leave them with a smile.

Q. What is a trick you have never forgotten?

A: The Metamorphosis, from that first magician I saw at school when I was five.

Q: The most difficult skill to master in your experience?

A: Being able to create a lasting connection with the audience. Some magicians still don’t know how to do this.
Other than that, I would have to say, mastering flourishing. I can do a little bit, but Keone Valdez & The Buck Twins, Dan & Dave are true masters.

Q: Any living or dead magician you would like to meet/learn their secrets?

A: Living, David Copperfield. He is one ot the best story tellers ever. A magician that has passed on…Johnny Carson. Not many people knew he was a magician.

Q: Do you use an assistant in your act? Any advice you would give to one hopeful to assist you?

A: Not that often. Much of what I do is close up, street magic. Maybe one day, I will use an assistant. My advice? Make sure you love the art of magic. A great documentary is Women in Boxes. It documents the blood, sweat and tears that go into the art.

Q: The best advice you yourself ever got from a fellow magician? Anything you’d care to pass on to a new magician?

A: Just have fun! True, I may want to be a rock star, but like most magicians, we are just comic book nerds that collect decks of cards. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Q: What is it like performing at the Magic Castle?

A: For any magician, it’s one of the best places to perform.
Every time I am in LA, I go to the Castle, find an empty spot and start a trick, the audience will find me.

Q: What would you suggest people do not miss there?

A: It’s like an addiction—the Magic Castle is like Disneyland, you can’t experience everything on the first visit.
Do not miss the Palace of Mystery!

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: Taking over the world, with a deck of cards. I would like to try some TV acting, I want to do a documentary road trip, doing street magic across the country. Want to explore the magic of New Orleans...I will be launching my Kickstarter project on this in the next month or so.
No matter what, I will still be doing magic. People will know my name.

Q. Finally, I will ask you to answer a question of your own choosing,
Something you’d like us to know that I didn’t ask.

A: I think you did a great job and we covered alot in just 13 questions. This was fun, thanks, Kitty. People do ask me all the time, “How do you do the things you do?” and I tell them, “I’m just bad ass!”

Yes, you are...thank you, Crow---
for more Crow, click HERE .

photo by Will Turner.
(all others by me.)


on the deck said...

I look forward to seeing Crow do some magic, and oh, oh, oh! The Valley of the Kings. Thanks, sa

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

Awesome! I knew I would be sorry for missing ALA.... Thanks for the amazing post!


Crow is an amazing Magician and a great friend we always look forward to hanging out with him at the Magic Castle...The Bornstein's!