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A fine evening of entertainment

by Matthew Olsen on 10/26/16

I was privileged to perform for a nice couple at a private party.  It was probably the smallest audience I have had in years but they were very personable and we had a great time.  Honestly the best audience I've had in a very long time.  I performed tricks with coins, rubber bands, ropes, but it was the card magic I think that really took center stage.  I performed several of my favorites but saved the most impossible for last.  I did a trick where a selected card that had been signed on the front and on the back was inserted into a deck that had been wrapped in rope, preventing any sleight of hand.  The card after being slowly inserted in full view rose to the top of the deck in an impossible way.  Then I finished my card set with a trick called Sam the Bellhop which is a story trick where the cards are continually shuffled and cut and cards are continually pulled out to illustrate the story.  Many magicians perform this trick, but I am the only one to do the trick while blindfolded and having the deck shuffled before hand.

And for a special treat I did a single ball contact juggling routine to some very pretentious French music. 

I received a very warm reception to all I did that night, and the couple were absolutely awesome to perform for.  Honestly the most enjoyable gig I've had in a long time.  I could have gone all night, I was having so much fun. 

I hope to perform for them again in the future.

Memories of an Oregon Magic convention

by Matthew Olsen on 11/11/15

About a year and a half ago I had the opportunity to visit a magic convention in Oregon.  Keep in mind I have only been to one other magic convention in my life.  Living in Anchorage I'm a little cut off from the rest of the world unless I want to shell out significant amounts of money for a flight. 

I went to the convention with my friend Richard Kennedy who I often perform with in shows and is a very talented and knowledgeable magician. We entered the magic competition with a unique trick we had designed ourselves.  It was the first time we had performed the trick for an audience so we were a little nervous, especially because magicians are notorious for being bad audiences because they're more focused on the method than the entertainment. 

The trick went over fairly well and was in my opinion the most entertaining of the entries into the competition.  It went smoothly.  Unfortunately we placed second, though Simon Lovell who is a fine professional magician and the guest of honor at the convention said we should have won it, which to me was more important than actually winning.  Though in jest Richard and I often refer to ourselves as the "Almost award winning"

The highlight of the convention for me was the magicians I had the privilege to hang out with.  Steve Dobson, for those that don't know him is considered one of the most skilled magicians in the northwest.  I was introduced to him on the first night and after he talked to me for a while about magic he was kind enough to show me some little known techniques.  He apparently liked me enough that he invited me to jam with him at a magician's hotel room after the bar closed and we ended up hanging out for several hours while he fooled the pants off other magicians and myself.  After that night he sought me out several times to talk magic and we hung out between lectures. 

The other magician I was privileged to spend time with was Simon Lovell, an amazing magician and extremely funny guy.  We actually spent most of the convention talking magic and just plain BSing.  The first night he spent about 30-45 minutes with me just helping me work on my second deal and pointed out what I was doing wrong then taught me his slow motion second deal which is what I've used since.  I also spent a lot of time with him in the dealer's room where I was selling my Contact Juggling videos and he was selling his books and videos.  He was very nice to me and went out of his way to find me to say goodbye and give me some advice and encouragement. 

There was also Garret Thomas who is one of the main consultants for David Blaine.  I got to talk with him briefly about some of the routines I was working on and he solved some problems I was having with a particular effect.  He is also a contact juggler and we talked contact juggling briefly.  We didn't have much time as he was waiting for his taxi, but he bought a set of my videos before he left. 

All in all a great trip and a great experience.

Visit with Teller

by Matthew Olsen on 11/10/15

Penn and Teller just came up to Anchorage for a two day performance.  I was fortunate enough to be able to have lunch with Teller and a few of the other magicians in town.  Teller was a real gentleman and was very forthcoming in answering questions about himself and his magic (while not revealing secrets that we didn't already know)  I ventured to describe some of the magic that I've worked on; how I've improved upon certain effects and some of my own invention.  I was flattered that Teller said that my ideas were good. 

I also got to spend a little time with him after the Saturday night show.  He was busy as our get together turned into a large meet and greet with the Shriners who hosted us in their building.  He asked for the magicians in the group to do a little performance for him.  Several magicians in our group got up and performed including one brave soul that was new to magic (it's very difficult to perform infront of a magician of Teller's calibur)  I decided to do a brief contact juggling routine, and afterward Teller praised me for my skill.  I gave him a copy of my Visual Encyclopedia of Contact Juggling as a sort of remember me gift.  The next day Teller tweeted my picture with the words,"Contact juggling, Alaska style.  Micheal Moschen would be proud.  This guy's good."  I thanked him for the unsolicited kind words. 

All in all a great weekend.  I don't often get an opportunity to hang out with the big boys in magic but it's nice when I'm taken seriously by them even though I'm not anywhere near their level of expertise. 

Another sucessful event!

by Matthew Olsen on 11/04/15

For those that didn't go to the Stage Fright show you missed out!  Everyone of the people I talked to and every review that's reached me has been overwhelmingly positive. 

This is just the beginning however, Stage Fright will be back next year with a vengeance with a much bigger show and plenty more demented mayhem. 

More plans for bigger and better shows too!  Richard and I are looking at doing a big Christmas show and I'm working on a larger one man show than I've done before with new tricks and illusions as well as some old audience favorites. I'm also resurrecting some old greats that I haven't performed in a while.  As a matter of fact I'm not sure why I stopped performing some of these gems as they are powerful effects that have a tendency to blow minds. 

I will keep you updated on the shows as new information becomes available.

Stage Fright, the most entertaining Halloween show in town

by Matthew Olsen on 10/24/15

We've had two shows so far, one more tonight and two more on the 29th and 30th at 7pm.  Every one who has seen the show has had rave reviews.  We've even impressed all the teenagers that have seen the show and that's the hardest groups to impress. 

Keep in mind this is an original show.  Written by Richard Kennedy and myself this is a Halloween show packed with magic.  This show is funny and suspenseful and just a bit demented.  Perfect for all ages.

I hope to see you there!