Tuesday, October 8th, I was in Orlando, Florida, flattened by a debilitating head cold when I should have been taking full advantage of a long-anticipated, first-ever visit to Disney World. I was rooming in the spectacular Wilderness Lodge, but the two days I was rooming there I had neither the energy nor the stamina to venture far from my room, so my holiday photos pretty much consist of shots of the beaver and bird carved into the rustic headposts of my bed, and the Bambi and Chip and Dale tiles mounted on the wall of my shower. On my last day, I mustered what strength I had, showered, dressed, and went out to the dock where you can grab a boat ride that will take you to the heart of the Magic Kingdom in less than 10 minutes. I made the effort but that's as far as I got before the sky began to spin and I asked myself, "Who are you kidding?" Fortunately, this trip was really Donna's dream and she was away for the better part of those two days, being given a VIP personal tour that enabled her to sample well more than 25 rides - and I got to hear her recounting of the days when she came back.
Donna and I flew down to Florida (a first for me) because, these days, she is working as the advertising coordinator and office manager for GENII, The Conjurer's Magazine, a long-running publication written by magicians for magicians. When VIDEO WATCHDOG was still publishing, Donna cherished her telephone and email contact with our subscribers, and the artistic expression she derived from producing our layouts, even though she personally had very little interest in the movies we wrote about. She's more "at home," if you will, at GENII because she's always been fascinated by magic. Our first stop in Orlando was the Florida Hotel, which played host to this year's GENII Convention, where Donna manned the magazine's business table. In the evenings, we got to see live performances by many brilliant magicians from all over the world, including Penn and Teller (Teller by Skype), Piff the Magic Dragon, Raymond Crowe, Lucy Darling, Gaëtan Bloom, Eric Jones, and Read Chang.
Donna had the additional pleasure of being invited onstage as an audience participant no less than four times over that weekend - every time, it seems, I returned to our room for some rest from the activity and the hotel's aggressive air conditioning. She was a big hit, having absolutely pure and gullible reactions of astonishment to every trick she was shown - the audience there was predominantly magicians, so somewhat familiar with how many tricks were done and most interested in the style and finesse of their execution. We were told that some photos were taken of the various shows, and that Donna is agape with astonishment in almost every shot she figures in. We had a lot of fun there, and I was particularly impressed not just by their prestidigitations, their grace and finesse, but by the variety of personas which the magicians had assembled to put their craft across. The crud settled in as we prepared to change hotels on Sunday, the 6th. Everyone prepared us for Florida's heat and humidity so earnestly that I didn't bring any warm clothing and the air conditioning, and the hand-shaking with so many strangers, not to mention the flight down filled with innumerable children bound for Disney World, just got through my beach-ready wardrobe and my defenses.
Somewhere in the midst of my subsequent mucous-laden melodrama, this blog passed its 14th Anniversary. By my count, I've added 53 posts since last October - an average of four posts per month, one a week - but if I've been lax about quantity, the quality has remained high. I'm especially proud of my A. Louise Downe piece and who else gives you a free LOST HIGHWAY audio commentary? My Facebook activities continues to drain the time I could be putting to use here, and I am trying to be more diligent about reposting here the most interesting work that gets summoned up over there. Let's see if I can do better in the year ahead.
My current outside projects: my audio commentaries for MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES (Arrow) and HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (Kino Lorber) have just streeted, and THE MAGIC SWORD (also Kino) was just announced; I have about a half-dozen further commentary titles already assigned to me by various companies; my novel based on the MAN WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES screenplay has been delivered to my agent Judy Coppage of the Coppage Company, and hopefully is now making the rounds in search of a publisher; my book manuscript about the 1960s films of Joe Sarno is gaining mass at about 425 pages; and next year, PS Publishing will issue my magic realist novella UNDER THE NINE (subtitled Of the Secret Life of Love Songs), inspired by the work of Nick Cave - as well as a set of wonderful songs that I've been blessed to write in collaboration with Dorothy Moskowitz Falarski, formerly the lead vocalist for the pioneering '60s art-techno group The United States of America.
(c) 2019 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.