I'm lagging behind here a bit on my posting. Saturday was "M" day. However, I worked a 14 hour day on a wedding Friday for The Event Group International out of D.C. , plus I had to drive 90 minutes each way, so I was dragging a bit Saturday morning.
Plus on Saturday I had a commitment to run an old school tabletop role playing game for a group of six new players. A new local pizza shop, Gold Coast Pizza, has two party rooms, and I had booked the smaller of the two for the game. Role playing games (think Dungeons and Dragons and their ilk) are a long time hobby of mine, but that is a post for another day. Here's a link however, to my campaign world Shatterworld.
Back to magic! I've long been interested in magic and illusions (not to be confused with "magick" or any other new age supernatural belief... but that is a post for another day!), but stage magic, close up magic, and grand illusions. Think Houdini, Blackstone, Henning, Copperfield.
As a teenager in Charlotte, NC, I used to frequent Morris Costumes, a small retail shop specializing in supplies for the magician, as well as Halloween costumes and decor (which fostered my career in the Haunted House business but that too is a post for another day!). I spent many hours in front of a mirror practicing the art of sleight of hand, and purchased a number of card tricks, coin tricks, and a couple of table top illusions. I took a job in the wholesale department at Morris when I graduated from high school, and learned how huge they were. For many years Morris Costumes has been the worlds largest distributor of Halloween and horror related props and supplies.
I'm sure that is me at 1:53 in the video below, with the dark hair and gold shirt.
Phil Morris, owner of Morris Costumes, used to do spooky midnight horror shows in movie theaters.
He created a character called Dr. Evil (long before Austin Powers), and also used to also host the local weekly tv horror show. In the year 2000, I was on the construction crew of Phil's new haunted house production in Charlotte, Dr. Evil's Haunted Houses, a million dollar production incorporating high end animatronics and special effects.
|Phil Morris, the original "Dr. Evil"|
In 2004, I was working on a Halloween decor for Kings Domion, a local theme park. I was building a graveyard I designed which involved creating a mausoleum, some 7 foot tall tombstones, some 9 foot tall monuments, and I needed help. I contacted my friend Dave Powers from West Virginia, who I had come to know over the past couple of years, and he came to Richmond to help me out. Here are some pics of the finished project:
|Graveyard at Kings Dominion theme park|
I first found Dave when I was trying to market my services to haunted house producers on the east coast. I found him on a national listing of haunted houses, broken down by state, and was immediately drawn to the name he was using... Dr. Druid.
Sponsored by the New Martinsville Lions Club Built by Master Magician Dave Powers who has had the #1 rated Haunted Attraction In West Virginia for 19 years.
The name was recognizable to me because it was the title of a little known record (yes, a vinyl one) of sound effects and instructions for running a spooky seance. It is available today on CD at Amazon.
|The Waldo Hotel, buit in 1904|