Saturday, September 23, 2006

Important Passport Information Beginning December 31, 2006

Beginning December 31, 2006, US citizens will need a valid passport to travel to and from Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Central & South America and the Caribbean (excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). If any portion of your trip will take place after December 31, you'll need a valid passport to re-enter the U.S.

When I travel, which is frequently, I always carry my passport. It’s just a good practice. That way it’s always with me and I never need to go looking for it when the occasion arrises and I need it.

Here’s an extra little travel tip. I have made xerox copies of my passport. One copy is in my office, an other is at home where my wife can find it and the third is in my carry on bag. In the event I lose my passport or it gets stolen, I have a copy with me or I’m a phone call away of getting a copy or at least I can get the number to get a replacement. This is a small precaution that I haven’t needed to use but it’s there. Another idea is to scan your passport and have it in your laptop computer.

For more information on how to get a passport, prices and requirements go to

I wish you safe and happy travels.


Al The Only

Please tell your friends and invite them to check out my blogs at
Al The Only blogs
and please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ventriloquist Week is coming to the Late Show with David Letterman.

Ever try talking to a dummy? Ever have a dummy talk back to you? Well, this isn’t quite the same thing. David Letterman will have a top name ventriloquist on the show every night this week, September 18th through the 22nd, 2006.

David’s been talking about it every night and it's really funny.

Can Magic Week be far behind?

Here's a link to Dave's site with more info - including a video of Great Moments In Ventriloquism, The Fascinating World of Ventriloquism and a countdown to Ventriloquist Week.

Week at the LATE SHOW. The lineup so far:

Monday, September 18: Willie Tyler and Lester.
Tuesday, September 19: Jay Johnson and Darwin
Wednesday, September 20: Ronn Lucas and Scorch
Thursday, September 21: Jeff Dunham, and Walter
Friday, September 22: Todd Oliver and Irving

For a week of great entertainment check out the Late Show with David Letter. To book some great entertainment for you next company banquet, company Christmas party, luncheon, hospitality suite, corporate event or association function please call me, Amusionist Al The Only, at 1-800-tricky1 (1-800-874-2591).


Al The Only

Please tell your friends to log in to my writings at Al The Only blogs
and please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A guy from Rockford, Illinois saw me perform a magic show in Dearborn, Michigan and now I’m booked to do a conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

Do you ever wonder how people get connected? How a business gets a new client? Or how long it takes to make a sale?

The bottom line is that “word of mouth” is the best form of advertising.

I’ve been in the entertainment field for 26 years, full time, doing magic and comedy shows. Friends are constantly asking me how I get booked around the country. Well, let me tell you, it doesn’t happen over night. I just booked a show in Jacksonville, Florida for a conference being held in January of 2007 for trucking firm. I’ll be presenting my stand-up, magic and comedy show called “Adults Laugh Louder.” (Come back to my blog next February and find out how it went.) And now for the rest of the story. (Thank you Paul Harvey.)

In November of 1998, Rob Lee was in Detroit for a convention and saw me perform. After the show he approached me and suggested that I would be great for the Christmas party his company was going to have. Well, by the time Rob got my information back to his office in Rockford, Illinois all the plans for that year’s party were in place.

Each year after that something came up. Either I was already booked, there was no budget or the party got cancelled completely. A couple years went by and I hadn’t heard anything. So in 2004 I called the company to speak to Rob just to find out that he was gone, retired, no longer with the company. You’d think my lead dried up. I asked to speak to the new person in charge of the entertainment, Denis Knuth, but found out that was a dead end, too. At this point I cut my losses, packed my bag and moved on.

Then, clear out of the blue, in June 2006, I get a call from Denis Knuth. The company was planning a huge picnic/conference for it’s vendors and employees. Denis told me that he knew Rob, had all my contact information and wanted to consider me for their corporate event. The catch was that they had a company executive who may be wanting to speak to the group. Because the day was packed with seminars and activities it was either the company honcho or me. Well, the company guy pulled rank. LOL He spoke and I didn't get the gig, but, it sounds like the folks in Rockford will be hiring me for 2007.

Time passes and this September I receive an e-mail from Patty Marin in Jacksonville, Florida. Patty works for a division of the company up in Rockford. She tells me that she’s heard about me and needs more information. I sent her to my website, spoke to her on the phone twice and was told she wants to hire me. The contract is sent, a deposit is paid and I’ll be in Jacksonville, Florida on January 25th.

So, what started eight years ago and is three times removed from the person whom I originally met has finally culminated in a show for the client and a booking for me.

There are quicker and easier ways to get booked but persistence, product and timing do pay off. I have some companies who are just getting around to organizing this year’s Christmas party and other groups who are booking me into the year 2008. If you have an event: be it a luncheon, banquet, holiday party, convention or hospitality suite in Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Hawaii, Maui, California or anywhere else please contact me so we can talk about how I can help you.


Al The Only

Please tell your friends and invite them to check out my blogs at Al The Only blogs
and please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Robusto’s Martini Lounge and Wine Bar

Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

My favorite Martini Bar in the country!

Do you ever want to get away, relax, enjoy a delicious cocktail and, even though you’re a stranger, feel welcome?

I travel, a lot! Sitting in a hotel room, or almost as bad, a hotel bar just isn’t my idea of seeing a city. So where do you go? If you’re ever in the Detroit metropolitan area, enjoy outstanding drinks (especially martinis), savor a good cigar, relish tasty gourmet appetizers or just want to delight in an elegant, intimate lounge, YOU HAVE TO GO TO Robusto’s Martini Lounge and Wine Bar.

Robusto's is located on the East side of town at 19271 Mack Avenue (on the West side of the street), just North of Moross in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. You can call them at 1-313-881-0100.

Robusto's celebrates the renaissance of the Martini with Michigan's largest original Martini menu (over 185) and a delicious gourmet appetizer and snack selection. Let me tell you a couple quick points before I tell you the rest of the story.

• Robusto’s is Open 6 nights
• Live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday
• Gourmet Appetizers
• 100" Big Screen TV
• Over 185 Martinis
• Voted Best Martini Lounge by The Detroit News

My first experience with Robusto’s was back in December of 2001 when I was hired to perform my sleight-of-hand, strolling, up close magic at a company Christmas Cocktail Party. The place was bought out for the night to host this corporate event. Let me tell you, I’ve been in a few bars in my life, this one read sophisticated casual and welcoming all over it. From the granite counter tops, African Mahogany walls, loft, extensive use of real wood and brass, and the impressive banks of humidors, Robusto’s exudes elegance. That evening I didn’t partake in the libations but I certainly sampled the food, it was scrumptious. That evening I also met the owners, Scott and Jackie Baumgart. You haven’t met two more delightful people. This hard working couple couldn’t have been more hospitable if you were in their own home. They bought the bar in 2000. Scott has been around this business for over 20 years, Jackie was new to it. Scott says, “Jackie wanted a bed and breakfast and wound up with a martini lounge.” (Some people might love that turn of events.)

While you’re there, ask about the cards on the ceiling.

I’ve had the pleasure of preforming at Robusto’s on a couple subsequent occasions but I’ve also taken delight in the opportunity of occasionally visiting just to relax and enjoy.

Robusto’s gives me the impression of a corner bar, a Cheers, but a place where business people co-mingle with local socialites and everyone gets dressed up to be there. It’s classy, cozy, comfy, elegant all on the dressy side of casual. It’s refined yet cordial. It’s a must visit if you like martinis and cigars.

Robusto's serves its Martinis the way they were meant to be served, "Shakin'… not stirred!" From the traditional Vodka Martini to their selection of original Martini recipes that spans the sublime - the Dirty Pickled Martini garnished with a large Pickle Spear; to the delightfully unique - Robusto's Chocolate Martini, served in a chocolate dripped glass. Did I mention that Robusto's has over 185 Martinis on their menu? By the way, I love their vanilla martini.

Robusto's also offers a fine selection of wines by the glass or bottle, Champagne, a variety of single malt Scotches, beer, coffee drinks and delicious desserts, as well as a limited selection of fine smoking cigars. Additionally, only the finest ingredients are used in all of Robusto's libations, such as fresh juices, fruits, vegetables, gourmet olives and the like.

Though Martinis are the mainstays of this intimate Grosse Pointe Woods establishment, do not refer to it as just a Martini lounge. It's a cocktail lounge, a cozy gathering spot where people can casually partake in the good life -- fine liquor, cigars, carefully selected wine, conversation and great music. Robustos's emphasizes casual mingling and cozy conversations, fueled by artfully mixed décor, comfortable seating, music and the best libations and friendliest service around.

For your listening enjoyment Robusto's employs some of the finest local and regional musicians and bands Thursday through Saturday nights. Furthermore, Robusto's has a large 100" screen TV in the loft area and another TV centered above the bar. There is also a Robusto's Club Member "VIP" area for select clients. Valet parking service is available on Friday and Saturday nights and many special occasions.

This may be the finest Martini, Wine, Cigar and Music lounge in Metro Detroit! I know it’s my favorite in the country. Why don't you try it for yourself?

Tell Scott and Jackie that Al The Only said “aloha.” Maybe I’ll see you there.


Al The Only

Please tell your friends to log in to my writings at Al The Only blogs
and please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.