Updated: Aug 17, 2021
MEETING DOUG HENNING
One of my greatest memories when I first started getting involved in the performing arts of magic was when I was in the R.O.T.C. in Clearfield, Utah back in 1984. We had to pull guard and escort duty for the Special Olympics in SaltLake City, Utah hosted by Unis Kennedy Shriver. I was able to shake hands with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maureen McCormick, Emmanuel Lewis, Donny & Marie Osmond, and escort Jane Fonda and her family to their banquet table. But, most importantly I was performing crowd control later that evening for the Doug Henning show and some gentlemen with a head set mic and earphones comes over to me and my commanding officer and said that Mr.Henning found out that there was a magician in the R.O.T.C. squad and that he would like to visit with me in his dressing room. For a good 30 minutes I got to sit in Doug Hennings dressing room and talk with he and his wife Debra Henning as they asked me questions about when I got started in magic, what my goals were as a magician and my dreams. That was the best highlight that I can remember as a beginning amateur magician. To this day, I have no idea how Doug found out that I was a practicing magician. It will always remain a mystery to me. Doug Henning was one of the greatest magicians in his time and a few years ago I actually was able to perform the illusion that you see in this video. (Click on link) When Things Go Bump Since then, I have got to rub shoulders with other amazing magicians and even got to spend a few hours at David Copperfields home in New York with my good friend Andre Kole. All these memories I will always remember and
it's moments like those memories that surpass being on the grandness of all stages.
MEETING DAVID COPPERFIELD
One of my favorite magicians of all time has always been Illusionist David Copperfield. From the time that he made a Lear jet vanish in 1981 when I had just started my interest in Magic and then in 1983 I watched in awe as Copperfield made the actual Statue of Liberty disappear in front of a live audience and then made it reappear.
Did you know that Copperfield has been described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history? He holds 11 Guinness World Records, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a knighthood by the French government, and he has been named a Living Legend by the US Library of Congress.
Copperfield has so far sold over 33 million tickets and grossed over $4 billion, more than any other solo entertainer in history. Now that is pretty impressive.
Andre Kole, the world renowned Illusionist that I toured with for several years is one of the top creative consultants for David Copperfield which allowed me on several occasions to meet this legend face to face and be a part of some of the illusion idea discussions.
My most memorable moment was the day when myself and the team visited Copperfield at his penthouse in Manhattan New York. This was shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
You know the show Conan O'Brien? Copperfield was on his show and he had this chair in which he had Conan O'Brien sit in. It looks like a regular chair and then all of the sudden you are jettisoned from the back of the chair and landing on your back on the floor. Well, David had me sit on this chair and before I could think I was lying on the floor looking up at David and the rest of the team laughing.
You can’t top experiences like this. I wouldn’t have thought for a million years that meeting these amazing performers would ever become reality. But I got to and that in itself is a huge blessing in my life. I didn’t go to it, the doors just opened and I walked through unknowing the journey it would take me.
Guess what, it’s not finished! My talent as a magician and to evangelize to a lost world is not over. I still have this dream and this vision that I can’t let go of. I rubbed shoulders with some great leaders and there is still some great leaders and influential people left in this world to get to know. I just keep moving forward and bloom where God plants me until He tells me to move.
I’ve had some amazing experiences, some good and some not so good, but, they are still experiences and I’ll take every single one. This picture below from left to right front row is Keith Barber, Andre Kole, David Copperfield, Sarah Kramer, Peter Cassford, (back row, left to right) myself, Andrew Payne (who was the former drummer for Michael Sweet from Striper and Rebecca St. James), and then Steve Rodriguez Andre Kole’s Stage Manager.