Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Vegas Does To My Brain

Before this past week, my wife and I had never stepped foot into the lights and luxury of Las Vegas, and frankly... I am so unbelievably glad to have done so. It really is the magic capital of the world for good reason. We saw 6 full magic shows while we were there. I haven't been exposed to that many different sources of live magic since I was a camper at Tannen's Magic Camp.

But it wasn't just the shows (which I'll get to), but the entire atmosphere. We stayed at the Stratosphere and getting a view of this city 109 stories up is just damned breath-taking.

It really is a testament to Thomas Edison (and I think Nikola Tesla... but that's another story).

The shows were kick ass (which I'll get to), but it's not even the paid shows that amazed me. The Bellagio water show and the Mirage Fire Show were these free and amazing brief pieces of awesomeness, as was the show at Margaritaville (thanks to my friend Scott Hitchcock for showing it to me). I loved the idea of it. "You've made it to Las Vegas. Here's something you don't have to pay a penny for, and it's frickin' amazing." It's ingenious marketing... and really art as well.

So finally onto the shows. We started off by seeing Rick Thomas's show at the Saharah. Big pretty tigers, good illusions, cool personality. Not a bad start to the week.

We went onto seeing Mac King's show at Harrah's. Hilarious and amazing. By Vegas standards... not at all flashy or huge... and it made it all the more fantabulous. Rachel and I agree (along with a lot of insiders in Vegas) that it was the best show we saw.

The next night held Lance Burton's show. Considering it was going to be leaving the Monte Carlo in September, I was absolutely in awe and really overcome by the experience. The epitome of the Vegas show- it was slick, fun, huge, and completely encompassing of his personality.

We then took in Open Sesame, a show that is meant to be experienced by an audience no larger than 40. It's taking a chance by being very against what Vegas appears to be. But the truth is that Vegas is about interaction and being swept up in the environment... and Open Sesame does this very well. Big props to Losander, Luna Shemada, Christian Diamond, and Master Diaz for some great work.

The Rio was our next stop, and after the most disappointing poker room I've been in and the most amazing Seafood Buffet I've EVER experienced, we saw Penn & Teller's show. I saw them live years ago at Foxwoods Casino in CT and their act has only gotten better. There are pieces of their show that truly baffle me. You learn a lot of magic the longer you're part of that universe, even if it is magic you don't perform. Penn & Teller's show is one of the few will multiple effects in it that actually fool me. That and I am in love with their point of view on life (at least, their presentation of their point of view).

Our final show of the week was Nathan Burton's show at the Flamingo. It was funny, very fast, and our overall opinion was that it was a very cute show. Honestly nothing mind-blowing like with the other shows, but still not a disappointment by far.

So our week in Vegas was centered around having a great time, and Magic was obviously a centerpiece of that for me (and my awesometastic wife, Rachel). I'm truly inspired by everything I've seen. Not to make my act bigger or flashier... but to embrace everything that makes my show different from all the rest. There's a lot of guys out there making a really well-off living by being different from everyone else. And in Las Vegas... the only way to make money in magic is to be unique.

I think I have something different from the other magicians out there. A style and a theme no one else is using and a desire to create something big. Do I want to perform in Vegas? Meh. There's so many pretty fish in that pond and the ocean is so huge. But I'll definitely be back.

What's next for me? The Lakewood Lion Renaissance Faire in NJ, Joker's Wild Club in New Haven, CT, and the Bristol Chrysanthemum Festival in Bristol, CT. And then off to Salem, MA for all of October. The craziness is just beginning.


  1. Nice thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great time.
    Catch you later,
    Lloyd III

  2. You know I've never been to a magic show! I've seen some at Ren faires, and a few on TV, but never a live one. I think I'd totally love it, especially something in Vegas. I'm just completely baffled by all of the illusions! I can never figure out how they do it! Anyway, this is a great post, I'm glad you got to see such awesome shows in Vegas. :)

  3. Sounds like the perfect vacation for you cool cats! I am glad you and Rachel had a fantastic time! <3