As we head into the last months of 2023, I can’t help but look back and be thankful for a wonderful roller coaster of tour dates, corporate shows and special events. If that weren’t enough, we taped Season 10 of MASTERS OF ILLUSION on the CW network back in JAN/FEB and it’s now airing on Monday nights on the network for the next 5-6 months. I created new pieces of magic for that wonderful series, and I can’t believe I’ve been a guest star of the show for all 10 seasons! Wow!
One word: Gratitude.
And yes, as with everyone else roaming this planet, there were ups and downs, trials and tribulations, but there is always a way to look at things with a sense of gratitude and sincere thankfulness to those silver linings that pop up even in the worst of times. I try to live by a sense of gratitude every day, because life is short and the only way to truly live your best life is by trying to help those around us, hopefully making things better for all.
During this year, I continued working with Disney Cruise Lines, bringing my solo show to their spectacular Walt Disney Theaters onboard their highly unique ships. Most of this past summer I traveled to Canada and Alaska for Disney, and the passengers were so wonderful! Fantastic audiences every cruise!!! And Thank you all for the many thoughtful rave reviews and comments, both in person and online. Wow!
I’ve been having fun creating some brand new pieces especially designed for those performances, including a unique slide show segment talking about my Mom and Dad’s careers in show business, and my brother and I traveling around the world with them. The Disney connection is very cool when it comes to our family, because near the beginning of my career I performed at Disneyland in Anaheim for 4 years before appearing in casino shows in Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas. And my Dad worked at Disneyland starting wayyyyyyyyyy back in 1962, initially as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise ride, and then the Tiki Room, before moving up the ladder into Administration and eventually the Entertainment Dept. A few years later he was working for the Disney Company at the New York World’s Fair, and a few years later our whole family toured with the mega arena show, DISNEY ON PARADE, globetrotting across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia and New Zealand. Pretty cool stuff. (But as a kid I just assumed that EVERY KID traveled on shows all over the world. LOL! What did I know? 🙂 )
My tours on land were also quite fun and a reminder what I missed out on during the pandemic shut down. We were STILL wrapping up dates that had been postponed more than once during that time. Audiences were so appreciative, and I felt like a kid in a candy store.
As I write this, I’m wrapping up a two-week run in beautiful Lake Tahoe. The weather is turning cold, and there were a little snow flurries here and there, but the Loft Theater has been filled to the brim each and every show. After this, I jump on another Disney cruise, and then wrap up the rest of the year with a series of corporate and holiday shows.
Before I end this particular blog, I have to tell you about meeting one of my huge idols ever! None other than the legend himself, Mr. Dick Van Dyke!!! I couldn’t believe it! He’s a young 97 years of age, and still smart and sharp as as whip! We were able to chat briefly about physical comedy and my Dad’s career in the ’50s as one of the ‘old school’, classic clowns on Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus! Photo below, taken backstage at the famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles where I was headlining their main room.
And so, a TOAST to the end of this year, and the beginning of new adventures in 2024!!! Hope to see you in my travels and if you read this and happen to catch one of my shows, please say hi afterwards. I always try to do a ‘meet & greet’ with everyone that shows up. Why?….. You know why…..