Magician Abb Dickson Sick

From word through Gary Bartlett, I have heard that master magician & illusionist Abb Dickson is quite ill. This is sad news indeed…

abb-dickson-magician

According to Gary, Abb’s on-going illness has taken a turn for the worse. Gary speaks to him a couple times a week. Unfortunately he is starting to become more forgetful than before and undergoing dialysis. Apparently he has lost about 140 pounds, and that is a lot, as Abb was always been a big guy.

He is off of email altogether now and phone calls are not ideal (due to the memory loss issues). Can be expected to all us as we get older… Cards and letters are best.

Contact me personally for the address and I will forward it to those of you want to write to him. It would sure lift his spirits I am sure.

My own personal connection with Abb (and my first meeting Abb) was in the 1970’s as a teenager in Orlando, Florida (in the USA, where I grew up). As a teenager I worked as an on-stage assistant in his famous show “Presto,” when it appeared at the Florida State Magicians Association Convention in Orlando.

I always was always thankful to Bev Bergeron for than opportunity. It really gave me a look being the scenes at a young age of what goes on in putting together a large illusion show. The personally signed poster to me from his Presto show is one of my most prized possessions and sits beatifically framed in my collection room.

Besides his performing interest, Abb Dickson was a partner in the family funeral business (which allowed him to finance his performing efforts & show early on). He is featured also on the cover of the January 1989 issue of Genii magazine, as well as many other industry publications throughout the years.

Famous magician Doug Henning was a big fan of Abb’s touring show Presto, and gave it a glowing review too I remember is an issue of Genii magazine.

Get well soon my friend. You still have a lot more of life left to live on this earth!  🙂

Cool Name Pronunciation Sites

name-pronunciation-sites

Something that is a little bit off the topic of magic, but that is a reality for those of us who have to put on our “salesman” hat to get new & constant work.

I am talking about pronouncing your new & potential clients names correctly! I have never been good with people’s names in various countries and even less clever in learning new languages!

But these two websites help a lot:

Pronounce How

Pronounce Names

I rely on these sites constantly before picking up the phone or going to a new meeting – it saves me from making an ass of myself by not getting there name correct! The internet is an amazing support tool in selling and here is further proof.

Not every name is in their database, but there is a lot more than you would think in there. The Pronounce How site is especially good, as it has an audio clip too on how the name should sound, along with the text look-up.

Passing Of Illusionist Rick Walker

Illusionist Rick Walker

Illusionist Rick Walker

It is with much sadness that I heard second-hand of the recent death of my friend, Master Illusionist Rick Walker. He died way too early at the age of 64. The date of his death was Saturday, July 20, 2013.

I had not seen Rick for several years, but last I heard is that he was still very active in magic, along with his other businesses. Apparently (as it has been related to me) Rick had an accidentally fall, which caused a bump to his head and caused brain hemorrhaging leading to his death.

Rick Walker & Company was one of the first illusionists I ever saw perform live (at the Florida State Magic Convention in the 1970’s) and had a big influence on me. This was the first time a had seen a magician of a higher caliber perform with the the large illusions – and from that moment on was something I wanted to aspire to. Rick was about 13 years older than me, so when I saw him perform he was in his prime.

Rick was originally from Monticello, Mississippi, but moved to Dallas, Texas in 1977 where he spent the majority of his adult life. He was also an assistant for the Harry Blackstone, Jr. show early in his career. He had numerous national television appearances, was a magic consultant to the movie industry, as well as performing world-wide with his show.

Rick, you will be missed. But your influence and magic will live on.

You can see a video of Illusionist Rick Walker’s performance below.

Computer Problems & New PC

Hi gang… I have not been able to post as much as I like lately due to my iMac’s hard drive recently crashing, etc.

Back online finally with a new temporary Windows PC. Both the hard drive & the motherboard are being replaced in my apple system currently and I should have it back by next week. But the Windows world is not as bad as I thought it would be.

Just glad to be back around online on this blog & otherwise on a regular basis again!

Houdini’s Contract Rider

Besides the magic and illusions in our show, I am also very heavily involved in the staging side of things. For that reason I am a crazy about old, classic entertainment contracts along this their related associated riders (quite rare to come across).

For that reason I was quite excited when I came across this “Scene & Prop List” (essentially also a Backstage Contract Rider in it’s day & time) from the Harry Houdini show.

Thanks to the Society Of American Magicians (SAM) for the original find. Enjoy…

houdini's contract rider

Ricky Jay On ‘Late Show With David Letterman’

After performing magic for over 35 years, I often choose not to watch it in my leisure time on television, etc. To be truthful, so many modern magicians performances just bore me. Or maybe I have just seen too much over my years…

But when a performer (both a respected actor & magician) of the top caliber of Ricky Jay was on the Late Show With David Letterman recently, I sit up, take notice and absorb every moment. More magicians should do the same and pay attention to what he has to say about the current state of our art & craft!

This particular segment aired on the show on Friday, April 26, 2013.

Another Great TAF Product – Tower 05

As you all know from my previous post, I am a big fan of TAF – Truss Aluminum Factory. I own many of their excellent Trussing products (through my main Orlando, Florida dealer Stage Equipment & Lighting, aka SEAL).

Known as the Tower 5, it is a solid option as a multi-option trussing tower. Maximum lifting height is 6.5 meters (21.33 feet) with lift loads of 500 kilograms (1,100 lbs).

It is not replacing my trusty Applied Electronics L16’s just yet, but it is pretty damn close and is a viable future option.

Great job to the folks over at TAF!