Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Walters’

A Magic Evening

May 8, 2013

Monday May 6th, 2013 – Pewaukee, WI

   Tonight I was asked to be part of a mini symposium for of all things magicians, and it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had in a very long time. My friend Lynn Miner is a magician of the highest order, and he helped put together this event along with our mutual friend Jim Peck.

   Any time I can hang with Lynn and Jim I do it, but this was a special treat. Lynn asked Jim and me to speak to a group of area magicians about our experiences in the entertainment business and maybe relate a couple of stories that might pertain to them. They were into us and made it easy to fill the two hours for which we were scheduled and then some after that. Time flew very quickly.

   Jim Peck is an amazing talent. He’s got natural charisma, a strong presence and razor sharp wit and it’s no surprise he was a network game show host for years. It may sound like an insult to be called a game show host, but far from it. It’s not an easy job, and only a few can do it correctly.

   I remember watching Jim on Channel 4 in Milwaukee growing up. He did some news reporting and interviewing and was very good at that, and then he got his network break. We crossed paths through Lynn a while back when both were simultaneously working with Marquette University.

   It’s amazing how knowing someone from TV or radio can have a lasting effect. I now consider Jim to be a friend, but I still can’t help be a little star struck every time we get together. I can still remember him from both local TV and his game show days, and there’s still an aura of celebrity.

   He shared some killer stories about interviewing Barbara Walters and all kinds of other famous people, and I sat there like everyone else and was enthralled. I have a few stories of my own, and together it made for a program that by all accounts was a huge hit. I’d love to do this more often.

   The event was held at a place called “Big Guy’s Magic Shop” in Pewaukee, WI and “Big Guy” is quite sharp and on the ball. He’s got a beautiful well stocked shop, and has more than a clue as to how to promote himself and his events. His website is and one of his listed specialties is ‘fart bombs’. One should never be far from being able to obtain a fart bomb.

   I happen to enjoy magic and magicians as a fan, even though a lot of comedians I know tend to look down upon it all as being less than ‘pure’. With many standups, anything short of that is not respected and it includes magic, ventriloquism and especially juggling. They’re all ‘bastard arts’.

   I can see where comedians would think that, but to many improvisers and actors comedians are the ones looked down upon. Second City in Chicago for years has looked down on standups, but I never got into all of that. Any form of entertainment done well is difficult, and nothing is better or worse than the other in my opinion. I happen to do standup comedy, but I respect everything.

   Jim said something in his presentation with which I totally agree. He said he enjoyed watching magicians work, and didn’t want to know how the tricks were done. I’m the same way. I’ll enjoy the performance thoroughly if the performer is entertaining, but I have no desire to have to know how the trick itself was done. I’m a fan of the entertainment process. The gimmick is secondary.

   This was a really fun night all around, and I made some new friends in the magic world. All of the attendees were nice people, and made Jim and I feel like big stars. Lynn did a fantastic job in hosting the event and working with Big Guy to get the word out, and it was well spent evening.