Wednesday, December 14, 2011
This video was filmed in my Magic room in my home, I use that room to read about magic and practice close up. This month I decided to go small, very small. I have several videos online of me doing amazing large illusions but this month I shrink a deck of cards into oblivion. I hope you enjoy the video and remember to comment and subscribe. Also check out my website at www.wesiseli.com
Thursday, December 1, 2011
This year Natalie & I chose to do our 24 hour magic show closer to home since Natalie was eight months pregnant. I did it in front of Walmart in Ruckersville, Virginia doing 72 magic shows in 24 hours to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. The temperature has been much worse in the past, but this year I don't think it dropped below 50 degrees, however it did rain off & on the entire time. Natalie & I set up around 9 am on Nov 15th starting the event at 10am and by 4 pm our tent was leaking so badly we had to go into Walmart and buy a new tent. Not only were we getting wet but so was everything else. The turn out was good considering the rain and I had several friends & family members come out to visit, watch magic, and support the cause. Natalie & I only live about a mile away from this Walmart so Natalie was able go home during the event for hours at a time and take naps. We even had the local paper come out and take pictures and interview me. This event is hard and around the 20 hour mark the gravity of the situation hits; I get very tired and sore from standing. But this is also the time that Walmart starts picking up business wise with people shopping before heading off to work, so I get a little boost just by seeing more foot traffic and interacting with them. Our sponsor this year was Ericson's Eatery & Pub a new restaurant that opened the week of my event.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
This is a close up routine I perform a lot especially for magicians because this routine is way different from what they are used to seeing. I hope you enjoy it and remember to check out my other videos and subscribe. As always for more info check out my website at www.wesiseli.com
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Wes Iseli’s 24 hour magic show for charity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Free-Press-Release.com) November 4, 2011 --
Wes Iseli Magician & Illusionist will be performing 24 hours of magic again this year to help raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. This will be his 5th year doing this and he says "It is my way of giving back at Christmas". The event runs 24 hours straight and Wes promises to do 72 shows in 24 hours, it all starts on Nov 15th at 10:00 am. This year the event will be held in front of Walmart in Ruckersville, Va and it is looking like it is going to be his biggest year yet. Wes said "Now with social media all the rage I should be able to get huge numbers of my friends and fans to all come out and enjoy a free show and hopefully make a small donation for a great cause." This years 24 hour magic show is also made possible by Ericson's Eatery & Pub a new restaurant opening in Ruckersville.
Please come out and enjoy the show while supporting a great cause at the same time.
For more info on Wes Iseli check out his website at www.wesiseli.com
Monday, November 7, 2011
Natalie & I love Halloween, we always do it up big. We have a party, try to be creative with our costumes, make tons of food, carve pumpkins and watch tons of scary movies all month long. This year Halloween fell on a Monday so the Friday, Saturday and Sunday were crazy busy with shows.With all the baby stuff going on, (decorating her room, painting, buying furniture, Dr. Visits and birthing classes) we felt as though we were behind in decorating for Halloween and getting ready for the party. We invited somewhere around 30 people to our house for a costume party, some couldn't make it due to bad weather and the snow & ice that was accumulating outside during the party. The snow did not amount to anything here, but in near by counties we heard that some folks got 2-3 inches. Even with the ice & snow and freezing temperatures we still had a great time. Our costumes this year were inspired by baby Lana, so we decided I would be an alien who got an Earthling pregnant and the baby was coming on Halloween but through her belly.
Below are a few photos of Natalie & I and our Jack o lanterns from Halloween 2011.
Below are a few photos of Natalie & I and our Jack o lanterns from Halloween 2011.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
On October 22nd Natalie & I performed for Bobby "Kirkwood" Spencer's 65 years in magic gala magic show. Bobby has been performing magic for 65 years and says this is his last big hoorah in show business. We were honored to have been asked to be the headliner illusionists on the bill. We performed 2 shows that day in the historic Victory Hall theater in Scottsville, Va. The showtimes were 3:00 & 8:00 pm and they said they were super excited with the turn out. The matinee was sold out and the 8:00 pm still had a few seats left but they said for that venue in such a small town this was the biggest turn out they had had in years. There were several other entertainers on the bill but they were all part time guys or people who only do shows once in a great while. Since most of the guys on the bill are not used to doing shows that often everyone was asked to arrive around 12:00 pm to get set up. Natalie & I were only doing 15 minutes and we were set up in 10 minutes and hung out till show time. The shows went smooth and everyone seemed to have a great time. By the time everyone was packed up after the last show it was close to midnight and the man of the evening was super worn out after at least a 14 hour work day. He said he was going to sleep the whole next day. I called him a few days later on the way to a show and he said he was doing great and just finished filming a TV commercial for a local political candidate. He may be done with magic shows, but I think show business is in his veins...
Congradulations to Kirkwood the Magician for 65 years in Magic!
Pictures: Above Bobby & myself pre-show
Below Bobby performing his act from 1949
Natalie's silk & dove act
Bottom 3 pictures show us performing the Cube Zag illusion
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Natalie & I just got back from Salem, Massachusetts. While there we took in about everything they offered to us about how and why the witch trials happened. We went to the witch museum, the jail/dungeon, the cemetery, and story tellers who all have a different take on the witch trials. Some say it was a way to make profit off of the victims by acquiring their land and property, while others say it was a way to get rid of the other rival churches in town who were not puritan in their teaching. The main story told over and over was that it was all because of a couple of girls who were bored and enjoyed stories from their slave cook about voodoo, tea leaf reading and more. The girls started role playing that people put spells on them and that they were attacking them in their dreams and more. The whole town got caught up in the hoopla and it has been a black mark on the history of Salem. The whole thing was so crazy that people were being accused of being a witch without any evidence or apparent reason and they were brought to court and put on trial. The reasons for accusing someone of being a witch could be a birthmark, scratch or flea bite (which would have been known in those days as being proof of a Devil’s Mark), someone accusing you of sending them into fits, and/or possessing ointments, cruds dolls, or other tools of the trade. The main consensus of how everything was put to a halt was that the girls were invited to another town to see if they could spot any witches there. The girls pointed out the mayor’s wife and said she had an evil spirit surrounding her, the mayor then put his foot down. He demanded real evidence before accusing someone of being a witch. This is still demanded in today's courts.
Lesson learned: It is not for us to judge anyone and you need to learn from the past or you’re doomed to repeat it...
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This video was filmed in Salem's oldest cemetery. There are twenty benches in the memorial, one for each of the victims actively put to death (not counting those who died in prison).
In this video a nail turns over in my hand again and again as if being moved by a ghost. Was it a ghost? Was I using witchcraft? Was it just a cool trick? You be the judge...
Monday, September 19, 2011
This video was filmed in front of our church; Chestnut Grove Baptist in Earlysville, Virginia. This video was made to explain what Gospel Magic is all about. If you liked this video please send it to your friends and family and remember to subscribe. For more info on Wes Iseli please check out wesiseli.com
The other day Natalie & I had to perform at yet another school show in Maryland and had to leave home at 3:00 am to get the show and be set up & ready to go by 8:30 am, not that Maryland is that many hours away but DC traffic is horrible especially in the am. This show was used as a reward for only 150 out of 480 students of the school. Only 6 kids from each class were chosen to attend, taking into consideration behavior and homework completion. The show went great and afterward they were already in talks about having us come back in the spring to perform our large illusion show.
By 10:00 am we were all packed up and the picture above was taken of me and by bunny Lucky. Natalie & I then walked to the van and loaded everything in and went to start the van up; nothing happened, the only thing we heard was “CLICK”. My radio worked and the lights were on so I figured it was my starter. I felt pretty helpless as we were broke down in another state. I called my personal mechanic and told him what was going on and he told me I may be able to start it if I hit the starter with a hammer. I was in trouble I didn’t even know what a starter looked like. I had to Google “Picture of Starter” to see what to hit. Natalie tried to turn the car on while I laid on the ground hitting it, but nothing happened. I hit & hit and nothing, then I laid the metal across 2 wires running into the starter and I got a big spark and it sounded like it was trying to do something. I yelled to Natalie I was going to try something and I laid the metal across the wires while she tried to start it and a huge shower of sparks shot all over and the van started right up. I then had to drive it back to my mechanic in Virginia and dropped if off around 3:30 in the afternoon without ever turning the motor off.
I know magic and I am clueless when it comes to car repair, but my name is lettered all over the side of my van and it is super embarrassing if or when it breaks down. Thank God for Google on cell phones...
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Some shows are harder to book than others. This summer we met a principal at our show while we were performing at Massanutten Resort. He loved our show and asked if we were interested in performing for his school in Maryland. He called toward the end of July and booked his show and said "I am sending over some information for you to fill out, once that is completed and signed we will sign your contract and everything will be set". Well the form he sent over locked up and we could not fill anything out and when we went to download it a second time it was deleted. So we called and they said they would fax everything over, which they did. There were questions on this form like do you have a business license, do you have insurance and such. Once we filled out their questionnaire, we faxed it back. The school board office called and said we need a copy of your insurance policy and we told them we are not allowed to give out that number unless there is a claim. Because of that we were at a stand still for nearly 2 weeks. They then called us and said they need 1 million dollars of additional coverage added to our policy before stepping on school grounds. We called the insurance company and did everything to get this done but they waited so long to call us and tell us that, that at the date of the show we were not able to perform due to red tape and waiting for insurance information to come through. It came through at lunchtime the day we were supposed to do the show. The principal called us back and said we got all the paper work approved and you guys are in, can you come next week on Tuesday morning. So we rescheduled for that day, but with the earthquake school was canceled since they had no power. The show was then booked for the following week and it went great. The kids and faculty all loved the show and they even invited us back to perform for them again in the spring, but this time they want our large illusion show. With all the headaches and re-bookings and playing phone tag for weeks this show was a rollercoaster from beginning to end, but everything worked out in the end.
P.S. This morning we got another school show in the area booked because of them recommending us to their colleagues...
Monday, September 5, 2011
We perform lots of shows each & every month but not all are open to the public.
For the month of September we have lots of shows on the books; company picnics, school shows, resorts, and birthday parties but no public shows.
Check back next month for upcoming public shows...
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This month I decided to show you my billiard ball routine. In magic the billiard balls are a staple, they have a rich history and they are sought after by magic collectors. I own several sets of billiard balls but this set is my favorite.
The billiard balls is a purely sleight of hand effect, it takes lots of practice to get it just right.
We filmed this video at Shenandoah Crossing Resort after our illusion show was over and everyone left, because during the show Natalie is up to her hijacks as she plays the violin behind me and we did not think it would translate to video because it would be out of context.
I hope you enjoy the video
Monday, August 22, 2011
Adventure camp is a 4 day camp held each summer for children and teens with lost limbs. Natalie & I were hired to perform for this camp, but we did not know much going in. As soon as we started the show everyone got into it and had a blast. I had a great time, these kids held nothing back and I was surprised how they all got a round (with ease). We had such a great time that after the event I sat on the floor with everyone and performed some close up magic for about a half hour. This camp is a wonderful place for these kids to go and be with people who are also missing limbs and share and bond together. These folks may be missing limbs but they are not letting that hold them back. The camp also has activities that normal camps have like swimming, fishing, rock climbing, a ropes course, and they also do lots of hiking and exploring in the many acres they have surrounding the camp. Kids from all over the country come here each and every year.
Below are some pictures from our show at Adventure Camp...
Below are some pictures from our show at Adventure Camp...
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Last month I wrote about our newest employee we hired to come on the road with us to help load and unload the large illusion shows and help in the office booking shows.
When we hired her we decided that she should come with us to every show for the first 2 weeks so she would know what we do for different types of shows.
Well after 11 days of traveling with us and working mostly 12—14 hour days due to traveling, she quit.
There were no hard feelings, she just said she couldn’t keep up with us and even though we warned her as to how busy we were it was a lot harder than she realized. So for now it is just Natalie & I again doing it all ourselves. We have talked it over and we may try again to hire someone after the crazy summer schedule is over, because it was also hard on us training someone while on the road everyday.
Monday, July 18, 2011
This video was shot at Shenandoah Crossing Resort in July 2011. This effect came about because Natalie is 16 weeks pregnant and will still be growing during our 14 week contract and this is an effect she can do the whole time. I hope you enjoy it!
Friday, July 8, 2011
This week Natalie & I hired a new employee; her name is Danielle Powdrell. Danielle's job title is personal assistant/ office manager / roadie. Since Natalie is expecting Danielle is picking up her slack with the loading and the unloading of the illusions for the illusion shows. Since we are on the road so much Danielle will be able to book shows while we are performing. She will also be our personal assistant (PA) helping us run errands and odds and ends since our schedule is so crazy.
We are super excited, Danielle has great ideas on improving an already great company. After week one she has already showed us she has what is takes as a roadie and as a (PA) and has even dabbled a little with the office side of the business. Her first week was packed with small shows, illusion shows and even a 3 hour drive to Va Beach and back home for a school show. We plan on bringing her along to everything for two weeks so she can see all aspects of our business before turning her loose in the office and only bringing her to our big illusion shows.
Natalie has told me a few times this week she is happy Danielle working for us, it will help take a little of the load off of our back especially during our crazy busy summer schedule.
Friday, June 24, 2011
As I am writing this I am wore out, tired, and exhausted. We are only beginning our crazy busy season. Since 2003, June through August has been our busiest time of year. During those months we perform at company picnics, county fairs, at local resorts, and much more. This week we had 16 shows and today we were on the road for 10 hours for two 45 minute shows.
The pictures here are of Natalie sleeping in the car between gigs and of me visiting with my friend Ron after using his restroom while on the road.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Subject: Wes Iseli Lecture Review
As is my custom I am reporting and reviewing another lecture.
The lecture was given by Wes Iseli. Wes built his shows around his own principles and developed how he wanted to do business as a magician. That may seem like an odd statement, but once you see his lecture you will understand. His lecture is all about building yourself as a magician and how to do the business end of your magic.
Let me clarify, you haven't seen anyone give this type of hard hitting, talk about every phase of building a magic business and growing your business so you really make money!
Wes tells you everything, no punches pulled and nothing about the magic business is taboo, it's all out there. Over my years I have seen all kinds of books and courses with all kinds of advice and systems that offer you "pie in the sky" success, that is only if you do everything this person says, exactly the way they say. After reading just about all of them you discover that the system just doesn't come off as reality. How did all these people develop the same basic system and develop and sell e-books, tape sets with eight to ten page 'come-ons' to sell you this expensive system , book or document. And then what? You read it, maybe give it a try and/or put the stuff on a shelf and never go back to it.
Wes said more in his two hour lecture that made complete sense than any of these systems, e-books or documents ever told me. He talks from the heart and tells you what he did and how he does it. He leaves nothing out and takes questions as he goes along. He gives full and understandable answers to every question. He talks about what to charge for each thing he does and tells you exactly what he charges and why. All this is backed up with solid reasoning and examples of how he does it. His lecture notes are full of those things we all have thought we purchased to help us in business...only to find out what we bought didn't show us those answers. Wes gives you all the answers of how he did it and he even tells you the prices he charges and why he charges those prices. I have been in the biz for nearly forty years and this is the first time I have seen someone tell you the truth about actual money!!!
He has the clearest most thought out method of booking restaurants that I have ever seen. All the steps and the reasons why you do them and how you do them. A couple of guys asked some pointed questions about this and they had disagreements with his method but as you take in what Wes says about the process and the way he backs it up with super solid reasoning and facts the questioners suddenly had more realistic questions and they shifted from kind of show off questions to real info gathering as they saw the truth hit them.
There was noting left out and there were no frills or uber motivational hype to get you fired up under false pretenses... this was the real world and how you work with the realities of booking restaurants. His material is sure fire and right on target, you could see physical reactions when he described the steps to getting your booking, what you do, say and what you use as handouts and contracts and after showing what you do and have to offer, you ask for the gig. If the manager says he needs to think about it, Wes tells you what to say to him and how you end your interview and walk out. You then go the restaurant next door or across the street. He also tells you why you do what he suggests and all the reasons why.
I never, ever heard this much sense and solid reasoning in a magic lecture before...and this was only the first half of the lecture. Information like this is valuable, it's incredibly valuable. If you want to get your head on straight and build your business and have fun doing it, get your group to book this lecture! Wes is not a tall guy but in my estimation he stands a lot taller in his directness and reasoning than most of the lecturers I have seen bar none.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
We perform lots of shows each & every month but not all are open to the public.
Here is a list of upcoming public shows for the month of June & July:
June 4th - Relay for life - Monticello High School Located in Charlottesville - Showtime 5:30
June 18th - Lynchburg Public Library - Showtime 1:00 pm
June 21st - Orange Co Library located at Locust Grove Elementary School -
Showtime 3:00 pm
June 22nd - Orange Co Library located at Gordon Barbor Elementary School -
Showtime 1:00 pm
June 22nd - Orange Co Library Located at Orange Elementary School - Showtime 3:15 pm
June 24th - Samuels Public Library - Showtime 2:00 pm
July 2nd - Bryce Resort Located in Basye - Showtimes 10:00am & 2:00 pm
July 6th - Madison County Library - Showtime 11:00am
July 12th - Madison County Fair - Showtime 8:00pm
July 13th - Fluvanna County Public Library - Showtime 11:00am
July 16th - Madison County Fair - Showtime 5:30pm
July 19th - Meherrin Regional Library - Located in Emporia Va- Showtime 10:30am
July 22nd - Orange County Library - Showtimes 3:30pm and 6:00pm
July 23rd - Orange County Fair - Showtimes 11:30am, 2:00pm & 8:00pm
July 24th - Orange County Fair - Showtime 11:00am
July 27th - Petersburg Public Library - Showtime 10:00am
Monday, May 9, 2011
Natalie & I have been together for five years and are quickly approaching our 3rd wedding anniversary. We are proud to announce that we are expecting our first child at the end of this year. We broke the news to our moms on Mothers Day this year and both our moms had tears of joy in their eyes.
We are so excited!
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Natalie & I were asked to come down on April 28th to Chesapeake Va to perform our magic lecture for the Society of American Magicians, Assembly 146. We arrived around 5:30 and the group took Natalie & myself out to dinner, which was so nice, and then we went over to the Hyatt hotel and set up for the lecture. The magic lecture I performed teaches some of my secrets in magic; not only tricks but office secrets. The office secrets was the first half then we took a short break and came back for the magic portion. After the lecture Natalie & I hung out & talked with several of the magicians for over an hour. Natalie & I sold magic at the lecture and I even autographed several copies of my lecture notes for those who wanted it. We had a great time and the members of the club really had great things to say about the lecture. The next morning I got this testimonial from Al Albers who is a member of that club. He said, "Had a superb time at last night's lecture. You did a fantastic job; lots of pertinent information, but what stands out is your honesty and willingness to share what you've learned."
Here are a few pictures from the lecture
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Back in the fall Natalie & I were interviewed by the folks at Virginia Living Television in Culpeper. After the interview Natalie & I performed an illusion; this video shows the rehearsal of that Illusion. This footage was filmed with our camera that was mounted in the back of the room. This was done as rehearsal to show the camera man the how we stage the illusion. I hope you enjoy!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Rodney Dangerfield's classic joke was how he never got any respect; well sometimes in my life I feel the same way. I have been a full time professional magician for 15 years now, I have traveled all over the East Coast and even ventured a time or two to the Midwest. Natalie & I have performed for CEO's of corporations, resorts, the British Embassy, and in auditoriums and theaters all over. People still ask me if I am still doing magic as if it is a hobby and I should have grown up by now and gotten a real job. Some people think I only do kids birthday parties and I get compliments like "my kids love you". That is great, don't get me wrong but I am more than that. My ego doesn't stand a chance to get big with comments like this always swirling.
A few weeks ago Natalie got a call from a customer who wanted us to perform a show for their family reunion. The lady on the phone went on and on about how excited she was on having us and that her family was also excited since they had just recently saw us at a show. We performed that show this past Saturday and I felt great on the way to the show knowing that these people were so excited to see us. When we got to the show the parking lot was packed and there was nowhere for us to park and unload. So I called and asked for the contact person. The person who answered asked "who is calling?" I said "Wes Iseli Magician" then she said "Who?" and I said "Wes Iseli Magician" then she said "Um, we don't need an electrician" and she hung up the phone. I had to get out of the car and walk up into the event location and wander around until I found the contact and ask where to park to unload.
On the way back to the car I shook my head thinking "I can't get no respect."
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
A while back I filmed a video introducing my newest baby bunnies while at the same time using them in magic tricks. This is my only video where the magic is not the focus but the bunnies are. I will put up a real cups and balls video one day, during this video I was just messing around. I hope you enjoy!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Natalie & I do several types of shows, from small family shows to company picnics all the way up to our full evening Vegas style Illusion show. I thought this month I would fill you in on what it takes to put on the average show. One hour prior to leaving our home on a show day I will go get the show animals out of the outside
building and put them in their travel cages, which usually entails 2 doves and 2 bunnies. Then we check the show contract to see if the customer ordered any extras, such as levitation, kid magician, magic from our web page etc. Our van is already loaded with the main parts of our show, but most extras we need to pack for each
show separately. If it is a large show our big sound system will also need to be loaded. Then we put on our show clothes and get ready to go. We then load the van and plug in the address into the navigation. Since we spend so much time in our van we try to make it as comfortable as possible. We have a Sirius radio, a cooler, a
DVD player, and a couch to nap on while the other drives. It is very common to spend way more time on the road traveling to a show than it takes to set up, perform and pack up the show. Attached are a pictures from back stage at our illusion show.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I was talking with a magician friend of mine the other day and we were discussing what it takes to put on a show and how much of it is never seen. I thought I would take a minute and let you in on what is never seen on stage. During the week if we do not have any shows we work in the office booking shows, finalizing contracts, contacting new clients, returning phone calls / emails, and working on new marketing campaigns. Natalie is in her office upstairs and I am in my office downstairs. She does all of the contracts and the taking of the deposits and I focus on getting new contacts ready to book and I work on the marketing. After work I feed the show animals which are in an outside building; as of now we have 7 doves, 14 ducks and 17 bunnies. Then we work out. After my work out is when I like to research magic and/or practice. Natalie will start dinner or read for a couple of hours, then we eat and watch some TV or a movie, then head to bed. That is a typical day in the office. What people do not realize is that shows do not just appear out of nowhere, you have to market yourself and you can not wait for the phone to ring, if you are doing that you will surely starve. I have been in business since 1996 and each year we are growing by leaps and bounds, but none of this would happen if we just sat on our hands. I have magicians ask me what my secret to success is all the time and the truth is that we treat each and every show like it is a high dollar gig. Each show is appreciated and we do our best to make each and every show memorable for the client.
We will continue this story next month and we will discuss what goes into getting ready for each and every show.
Stay tuned for part 2...
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Magic is universal, it crosses all language barriers. Magic is as popular today as ever. People are interested in magic and do want to learn, but in this era of immediate gratification the internet and information out there is a total mess. The masked magician show aired in 1997 on fox. His pitch was that he was going to reveal magic secrets, he will also provide scantly clad assistants to dance around. He did reveal some secrets in magic and he even made up some of his own secrets to reveal. My favorite is when he levitated his assistant with a fork lift and the voice over guy said this is the only way it can be done. I personally know about 15 different levitations and none of those methods use a fork lift. Youtube nowadays is also another land mine of people not knowing magic trying to reveal secrets. There is 1000 or more masked magicians on youtube giving false information without the dancing girls or production value. It is the same today as it was in 1997; if the person is such a great magician they would be performing magic and not revealing secrets. Plus knowing the secret is such a small part of the over all performance. It is just like I tell my magic students, "knowing how to make a guitar make sound does not mean you can play the guitar."
Monday, January 3, 2011
Things are crazy around here, with the start of a new year you always want to put things into prospective but that is hard when you have 20 different projects all vying for your attention. In 2010 we added several items to our website that are made in house such as: The magical life of Jordan book, Miracles of the Bible kit, Trick of the month club, & more. Besides lining up gigs and all the office work that goes along with that I also put up a new video on youtube.com each month and a newsletter each month that has magic & entertainment news in it as well as our journal from the road filled with pictures and more. 2010 was our busiest year so far & we also broke our own record performing 23 shows in 1 week this summer. This year is looking great already and I can't wait to see what is in store for us in the future. Stay tuned I promise it will be fun and exciting.