Saturday, July 29, 2006

When in Austin TX you have to see Esther’s Follies

I was in Dallas working for Compliance Depot at the BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Trade Show. I had a couple days off after the show and jumped down to Austin. A friend suggested seeing Esther’s Follies. Man, am I glad I went!!!

Esther’s Follies is Texas’ Premier Magical Musical-Comedy Troupe. It’s the New Vaudeville! Since 1977 Esther’s Follies has been performing Texas’ best topical satire, magic, musical-comedy parodies and sure-fire fun set against the backdrop of Austin’s hysterical, historical entertainment district: 6th Street!

The main reason I went was to meet Ray Anderson. Ray is an outstanding, charismatic, energetic showman and he’s hilarious, too. He’s an Austin native, a nationally renowned magician and has been with Esther’s Follies for over 15 years. He’s polished in his performance and his timing is well honed. He’s been deemed "best spellbinder" by the Austin Chronicle. He perplexes both audience members and curious 6th Street revelers peering through Esther’s trademark windows. Whether as himself or his "Amazing Frank" alter-ego, Ray uniquely combines magic and comedy in a way you probably have never seen before. Ray displays cutting edge illusions just feet away from the audience but what made the night magical for me was watching his rendition of the dancing cane. Without a doubt, Ray’s rendering is by far the best in the business!

If you love to laugh, and I do mean LOL, if you love music, if you love satire, if you love magic, I guarantee you’ll absolutely love Esther’s Follies. While you’re there please tell Ray Anderson, Al The Only sent you.

Esther’s Follies is located at 525 East 6th Street in weird and wonderful downtown Austin. For tickets call (512) 320-0553.

A trip to Austin won’t be complete unless you go.


Al The Only

Thursday, July 27, 2006

TFTD (Thought For The Day) = “A friend is a present you give yourself.”

Many years ago I found this saying in a Chinese Fortune Cookie. I often think about its meaning.

I’m blessed with many friends, friends in my personal life and in my professional one. They’re to numerous to name but each one has touched my life either by inspiring, teaching, enlightening, encouraging, motivating, humoring, counseling and even consoling me.

Someone said “A stranger is someone you haven’t met.” I wouldn’t go that far but I certainly believe people come in and out of our lives for a reason. The friends we keep truly are presents we give ourselves.

Today, tell a friend how much they mean to you. It’ll make their day and I’m sure yours, too.


Al The Only

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

QFTD (Quote For The Day) = "The only disability in life is a bad attitude."

The Quote For The Day

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude." - Scott Hamilton

How pure and simple this is and true, too!

You’ve seen it in your family, friends, coworkers, associates, subordinates and bosses. It’s a shame to see great potential held back and all due to bad attitude.

You’ve been to meetings, seminars, conventions and even parties where you can tell "someone" isn’t all there, simply because of bad attitude. You can see it in their body language, in their face and in their disposition. They are there in body but are disabled to learn, grow, share, interact, have fun or just plain ol fit in because they are disabled with bad attitude.

Laughter is said to be the best medicine. I can give you a double dose. At times we all need attitude adjustments. Let me offer a little bit of help with my after dinner show called "Adults Laugh Louder" or my highly acclaimed "Strolling Magic." I may not be able to totally change someone’s bad attitude but I can certainly help them put it aside for awhile.

Thank you Scott Hamilton for this poignant quote.


Al The Only

Monday, July 24, 2006

TFTD (Thought For The Day) = "It is choice, not chance, that determines our destiny!"

Sonia Fatheree, closes her e-mails with the above quote. Sonia is an Account Manager for Arthur J. Gallagher & Company in Orlando. She’s a delightful gal who is high spirited and motivated. My impression of her is that she’s willing to take chances to reach the best results. Sonia hired me, Magician Al The Only, to entertain with walk around, up-close, strolling magic at a welcome reception on Marco Island, Florida for Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) statewide Education Conference for State of Florida Officials. The conference was held at the Marco Island Hilton Resort. (My room overlooked the pool and Gulf Coast. Those Hilton folks sure make one feel welcome.)

Sonia found me on the internet. She checked out my website and looked at my references and list of past clients. She later admitted that it was when she spoke to me she knew I was the one for the event. I made her right and proud. Sonia even gave me a video testimonial that you can see on my website.

It may have been "CHANCE" that Sonia found me. The truth is that she was looking for entertainment for the kids. After we spoke she knew my talent and skill would be best used to entertain their very important adult attendees. It was her "CHOICE" to look outside of the box and convince her committee that Al The Only would be perfect for the welcome reception / cocktail party. The "DESTINY" that was determined that evening was that the attendees were blown away by the interactive sleight-of-hand and engaging, clean comedy. Best of all for Sonia, and me, was that all the principals (her bosses) were overwhelmed by the positive reaction of the attendees and where appreciative and glad of Sonia’s "CHOICE"

It’s your choice to come back and visit and please tell your friends to drop by, too.


Al The Only

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Amusionist Al The Only ... traveling Maine to Maui & Florida to Fairbanks - clean corporate comedy for company parties that works like magic!

Hi Folks,

Welcome to my blog. I’m professionally known as Al The Only. (Someday I’ll even tell you how I came up with that moniker.) I have been a full time professional magician for over 25 years and a part time comic / comedian for just as long. I perform at corporate events, trade shows, company banquets and association functions around the country. My plan is to use this blog as a way of sharing my experiences of life on the road, introduce you to some of the fascinating people I get to work for and just basically talk about human interest type stuff. I promise you’ll get information about various topics, insight into others lives, careers and businesses and tidbits that will, at least, make you smile and maybe brighten up your day. HEY I’M AN ENTERTAINER!

I log over 100,000 flight miles a year, so, I’ll be sharing travel stories; the good, the bad and the funny (at least after the fact). I’ll tell you about the hotels, resorts and dumps I get to stay at. I’ll give you tips for hotels, restaurants and places of interest. I’ll share travel bargains, suggestions for your travels, does and don’ts at airports and hope you’ll write back with your stories.

Other than travel I love to golf. I admit, I suck. No really, I do! Seriously I’m a 28 index. Sure I have moments of brilliance but when you take a few eights or tens it really screws up a score. I’ll tell you about some of the awesome courses I get to play while out on my travels and I’ll even mention a few cow pastures that would have been better off left for the bovine.

I’ll warn you that some of my stories will be a little bit long winded. What else would you expect from a professional speaker, corporate spokesperson and an enthusiastic story teller? Some of the stories would have been funnier had you been there and many of them will be more palatable with some Crown Royal.

As you get to know me you’ll learn that I enjoy Crown on the rocks. “Life’s too short to drink cheap whiskey” is one of my many mottos. (Another time I’ll tell you about a Christmas present I had received; it was a private tour of the Crown Royal bottling plant in Canada.)

I have to warn you, I’m also a closet marketer. No, that doesn’t mean I market closets (but I could if your company sold, manufactured or distributed closets and wanted to use me in your booth at a trade show). When I first got into show business I learned quickly that the only way to be successful is to run my business as a business. I was a firm believer in direct mailing. I still am, to a degree. I think we all love to get fun stuff in the mail. (God only knows we all get our share of bills.) Now with the explosion of the internet I’m totally psyched with the endless possibilities for advertising, marketing and sales. And this from a guy who does card tricks and makes people laugh. (Yeah, right, if it was only that easy.) So I’ll be sharing marketing ideas and tips. I really hope that others in the blogsphere will join in and add to the discussions. I’ve always believed we learned more by teaching and we receive two fold by sharing.

There are so many things to tell and so little space in the world wide web. HA!

I’ll tell you where I’m from, where I’m going and even where you might be able to catch my show. On slow news days I might throw in a JFTD, TFTD or a QFTD. Oops, I’m already ahead of myself. These are acronyms that I just made up. (Maybe I should coin them and sell them to Webster. Well, you heard them here first.) JFTD is for the “Joke for the Day.” TFTD stands for the “Thought for the Day” and QFTD is a “Quote for the Day.” I never know when I'll post these so please check back often.

We’ll take regular trips down memory lane. These will be old stories that surface to my conscious and I think you might enjoy.

I warned you that I can get long winded. Since you’re still with me, thanks for your interest. The ride is about to begin. Keep your arms and legs within the car until it comes to a complete stop. Make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened. If you like to be tickled, get your funny bone ready. Once we reach an altitude where electronic equipment can be used, make sure you have enough battery power to save the work you started or the game you’ve been playing. In case we lose pressure an oxygen mask will fall out from the ceiling. First put in on yourself, than on your children or anyone acting like a child near you. Breath normally and all will be fine.

I love what I do! Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a magician. I’m very fortunate and grateful to be living my dream. I’m ecstatic and excited to be sharing this with you. I hope you’ll come back and visit often and please tell your friends to drop by, too. Since I don’t drink beer I might find an old brewski in the fridge that someone left behind, but I always have fresh Crown Royal to share. (There’s a bottling plant in Canada that banks on it.)


Al The Only