so.. I'm not one to get all soppy (English term, google it) but sometimes life throws you a nod, a wink and an ironic tip of the hat that stops you in your tracks. I think it's important to recognize these and wink back. But also to breathe it in and contemplate.
Last night I met the music legend Alan Parsons from... Wait for it.. The Alan Parsons Project. We talked for quite a while, he's a great dude with a passion for magic as well (all the smart ones have)
Alan was kind and funny and real. It got me thinking about how important music is to us throughout out lives and how you never know who you can help or touch with your creativity. Whether it's music, magic, humor or just a kind word.
Case in Point: in 1980 I was a mere kid (yes I was ) but the APP had released an album called Turn of Friendly Card, a terrific piece about the dangers of gambling addiction, The TV commercial had a magician doing some slick stuff with a deck of cards, I loved it And tried to duplicate the tricks, one of many inspirations in my journey as a magician, it turns out that I had met, years later, the magician they'd hired for the shoot and I didn't even know it... Weird.
But here's the thing, in May 1983, my dad Bruce, suddenly died of heart attack. It was shocking for us, and for a teenager who was just beginning to know his father, devastating. I would lock myself away in my room and blast The Alan Parsons Project, the music helped me deal with it, and especially the song Old and Wise, a gorgeous piece that was as if my dad was speaking directly to me. Even now when I hear that song I feel his presence. The power of the music and lyrics helped this pimply, skinny, lost, boy get through a brutal time.
So.. Talking to Alan last night brought this all rushing home. It's May, and dad died 33 years ago this month .
And today I blasted Old and Wise.
And I felt my father in the room.
We never know who we touch with our work. There is no such thing as a small kindness. A casual compliment or a little help. Everything we do in this life can be so important for someone else.
Thank you Alan.
In Hollywood there's not a lot for tourists to do. Guided tours, restaurants and sweaty night clubs.. A bad waxwork museum and a good waxwork museum.
But then what?
You hope to catch a celeb to complete your visit.. at one point you'd even be happy seeing THAT GUY who was in THAT MOVIE at a Starbucks..
#nakedwithadeckofcards gives visitors to Hollywood a new experience, something cool to do. Spend the night with a celebrity, hang out with Steve Valentine and occasional celeb and music pals and laugh and have your minds blown. It's intimate and it's about access.
I love live entertaiment, I wish there was more of it. It's visceral, it's immediate, it's dangerous. This is my attempt to bring it back!
Our hope is that #naked* will run indefinitely . You can help make that happen.
Amazing responses to our Kickstarter Naked with a Deck of Cards campaign, so flattered and touched that so many are supporting!
We are well on our way, 11 days left, every $ goes straight to the show budget!
Please spread the word
Join this illustrious group with excellent taste in live entertainment!
Huge thanks to Marc and Marci Levine, Tammy, Adam Smalley, josh harrison, Shawn Farquhar, Edward Shinn, Markus Steelgrave and Angelique, Rob Hollander, Steve Silverman, Damona Resnick Hoffman, Ann Marie Fleming, Jessica Spuehler, Chris Haston, Terrell Chafin, West Yarbrough McDonough, Michael Yanovich, Pete Biro, Craig Shaynak, Andrew Immerman, Duppy Demetrius, Daniel J Frey, Jasmine Amiri, Kate Zenna, Marc DeSouza, Yoshi Melrose, Danalyn West, Elaine Tipping, Brendan Hykes, Chantelle, Jason Andrew Davidson, John Bauman, Pamela Weinstein, Michael Lent, Candice Carella, Adam Bialow, Maurice Lord, The Magic Apple, Lisa Harlan, William Rugh, Jeff Hobson, Hillel, Jeffrey Berman, Diana, Steve Shaffer, Tim Krubsack, Fred Becker, Diana Taweel, Danielle Burgio Merrill, Sandy Morrisa, Robert Roe, Mary Gilligan, Amy, Joan Lawton, Becca Schack, Andrew Hill Newman, Svetlana, Shawn Thomas, John Castaldo, Peyton List, Wendy J Weiss, LA Edwards, Jeff Kleeman, Adrian Lacroix, Larry and Toni Witzer, Jennifer Hensley Prest, Anthony Loi, Jack Shea, Stan Allen, Leslie S Klinger, James Barron, Alicia Yeargin, Marlon Young, Andrew Mayne, Katy Shelor Harvey, Brett Marks, Genea Michael, Abraham Sanchez, Deborah Dillon, Megan Krantz, Jeanna Crawford, Miranda Doerfler, Zeen, Xine Zanillo, Joe Monti, Hullabaloo, Douglas Nelson, Makayla Montelongo, Larry Wilson, Derek Hauser, Ben Fast, Arlene Wszalek, Den Shewman, Donal Chayce, Ron Rappaport, Jessica Anderson and the girl who got the ball rolling, Krista Carpenter
So grateful and humbled, You all rock.
and the hits keep coming...
Paul Daniels was and is my greatest inspiration in the world of magic, actually in the world of live entertainment. Anyone who has seen me perform will see his enormous influence.
As a kid, all I wanted to do was meet him, that dream didn't manifest until years later, when we met at the Castle awards, and hit it off famously. My little inner kid magician was jumping with joy. I then bumped into him in New Zealand while I was filming Avalon High, and we had a great time.
Paul and Debbie being such wonderful warm and genuine people. I was struck by how much Paul reallyyyyyy loved entertaining and magic, he was always ready to perform, he wasn't in the biz to make a quick buck, he was in it because he adored the profession.
Then when Inna and I hit london we visited their home and Paul and Debbie took us out for a most wonderful dinner. I'll never forget it.
Along this entire journey I learned and listened and laughed and marveled. Paul was kind enough to offer help on two of my magic DVD's, for which I will be eternally grateful.
I remember watching the David Nixon show in which Paul made his first appearance, he stormed the stage, surprising Nixon and effectively ripping the show apart. He was brilliant. The dawn of new type of conjuror, brash, fast witted AND skillful. Looking at the footage now its clear that Nixon was really passing the baton. This is a star making turn and a perfect example of a talent, taking an opportunity and making the most of it.
I offer, along with millions world wide, my deep gratitude for the laughs and friendship to Paul Daniels, my life would have been incredibly different if it weren't for you.
and to Paul's family and Debbie McGee, I offer my deepest sympathies and my love.
Your talent, your energy, sparkled briefly on this planet and left a wake and memory that will last forever. Thank you for passing through.
We are all brought up to believe we must be one thing..
But what if there's more?
What if you love more than one thing... what do you become then?
My entire life, I've been torn between two disciplines... acting and magic, both powerful forms of art and expression, both beautiful experiences and both fraught with danger as a career.
Since I was a skinny little 5 year old in Southend on Sea, England, my career paths have been wide and sweeping and as much as I tried to pick one... as much as I tried to 'decide', fate kept shoving them together.
Even when I denied one passion entirely, it crept up from behind, grabbed me by the throat and said, 'boo!'
I've have been both a master magician headlining Las Vegas and the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a busy actor with over 200 hours of TV and Film to my name. It's a constant battle.
Naked* With Deck of Cards is a funny, loud, angry, dramatic and mind-blowing expose of my insane journey, the people who helped and hindered, the literal life and death moments. It's my way of exploring the the conflicts we all face on this road, and it will be a rollicking night of pure entertainment.
We have only 30 days to raise the budget!
Please support live arts ( we may even film this... ) and PLEDGE to support
Naked* with a Deck of Cards.
FOR MORE DETAILS GO TO KICKSTARTER HERE;
OR WATCH THE MOVIE BELOW
What's in it for you?
Aside from just being a part of something new and fun, we have tremendous rewards, and of course, my undying gratitude. :)
The Oscars were great fun, and at a time of awards and celebration we should also remember that acting is considered by many as play, and play is the key to the future of our children...
What the hell am I talking about? To me, all social inclusion and attitudes toward diversity start in the playground, and that's why Shane's Inspiration is such an important charity. They understand that we need to show children, through the power of play, that we are all the same, no matter skin color or physical ability. That's why they created the incredible all inclusive playgrounds. chances are you or your kids have played in one without even realizing.
My friends at #shanesinspiration asked me to shoot (on my iphone) a quick shout out and so I decided to take it a step further, it was a blast to work with such a great young actress, no idea where she gets her talent from...
seriously though, please help support shanesinspiration.org
So I realized today that being the parent of a toddler is much like being a magician. The glitz and sparkle gets their attention, mind reading is a must, stuff vanishes and appears in the most impossible places, misdirection is key, and good entertainment is laden with deception... Speaking of which... It's time to see Santa..
Hey Magicians, I'm quite proud of this review of my Castle Lecture DVD:) makes me all warm inside.
So here's a blog post I wrote back when I shot TEEN BEACH MOVIE. Just found it in my drafts, so its a bit belated but here for you all :)
Where does the time go? I've been away from the internet, twitter and Facebook quite a bit lately, taking care of family, and figuring out the next road to turn down in life's journey.
Strangely, every hour has been taken up with something fascinating, and that's just how I like it, family has been inspirational and the love I feel for little two year old is greater and more intense than I could ever have thought. She makes me laugh daily, true genuine laughter that surprises me and comes from way down deep.
ACTING wise I've been working on many shows, Major Crimes, Anger Management, Betas and a christmas movie for Hallmark that looks amazing.
I've also had the pleasure of helping develop a pitch for a series with ITV, a show that was created by my beautiful wife, Inna Korobkina, and I can't talk about that either! so why the hell am I blogging about it?!
Movie wise, my last film Disney's TEEN BEACH MUSICAL broke all kinds of records and if you have kids, or ARE a big kid you will probably have had to sit through it numerous times. I had a blast shooting the classic villain role for that, right out of a Terry-Thomas movie haha. It seems to have become the GREASE of the teens and tweens set and I'm proud to have been a part of it. The music and dance sequences are some of the best we've seen on TV in quite a while.
I have quite a few stories from that shoot, a few of which I will share in the next blog.
Here are a few pics from the shoot of the incredibly talented cast.