Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Masters of Illusion

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

Yes, I’m pretty excited. I’m going to be part of season 8 of The CW Network’s TV show, “Masters of Illusion.” Returning host Dean Cain (Superman) will be introducing magicians, illusionists, and performers from all parts of the world. Despite having to follow strict Covid compliance rules, this past week has been one of my magic career highlights. After testing negative from my first Covid PCR, I flew to Los Angeles, CA, early Wednesday morning. Upon arriving, I Urbered to my hotel in Burbank, CA, where I received my second Covid test. I remained quarantined in my hotel room until 8:00 Friday morning. That’s when I was allowed to go outside and see my shadow. I walked to the nearby studio, where I received my third and final Covid test. My nose holes are now happy, and they were looking forward to having only to wear a cover mask. The backsides of my ears are not happy, but they got over it.

Once inside the studio, I was greeted and escorted to my snack-filled dressing room. I quickly began assembling and preparing my magic tricks. Soon, I was having meetings with Gay Blackstone, other producers, and key people to go over the three magic routines that I would be performing. I was blown away by how much these professionals already knew about my act. It was evident they had spent significant time researching and studying videos of my magic tricks and routines. We went over my music, lighting, pre-staging, staging, audience participants, camera angles, prop locations, microphone requirements, and several other details. They ask me a few questions, and I ask them many. Everyone I met was very professional, welcoming, and went out of their way to make sure I felt 100% comfortable. I could not have asked for a better experience. I wish I knew all their names so I could thank each one personally.

After the meetings and more time in my dressing room, assembling and preparing my magic props, we went to lunch at 2:00. Because of Covid regulations, lunch was pre-ordered and served outside in the parking lot, with chairs placed ten feet apart. The studio inside was a little cool, and it felt good to sit in the warm California sun and enjoy a delicious lunch. Because of Covid rules, I had to do my own makeup, which requires a large amount of makeup when you’re not that attractive, and you have more head than you have hair.

At 3:30 pm, I was informed it was time to move my props to the backstage area. Without me asking, there was someone ready to assist with moving my props. At 4:00, it was time to move to center stage and begin the filming. Even though my part on stage would only take about 30 minutes, it had taken hundreds of people and thousands of hours of planning, preparing, and rehearsing to get to this point. The stage lights were bright, and it was difficult to see past the first couple of rows in the audience. To the best I could see, there were two shoulder-mounted mobile cameras and six stationary cameras shooting from all angles. My first routine went well and required only one take. My second routine also required one take. My third routine went well, but the director suggested we do a take-two with some minor changes to help the routine work better for TV.

With any free time I had that day, I watched other performers by way of backstage TV monitors. The amount of high-tech equipment and the number of professional people involved to produce a TV show is unbelievable. The amazing thing is all these activities were pre-arranged and planned well in advance. Not just for the one day I was on set, but for five days of filming; not regular eight-hour workdays for the crew, but long days. There was absolutely no slow or wasted time during that day. Everything happened with precision.

The “Masters of Illusion” Season 8 will begin airing on The CW Network in January 2022. I’m not sure if my three routines will be included in a single episode or if the routines will be separated into different episodes. I’ll let you know when I received more information.

Photo by Masters of Illusion

Nothin’s For All Occasions

Friday, June 14th, 2013

My shopping cart was packed to the brim with peanut butter, assorted paper products, and twenty five pounds of Trail Mix. It was mid-day on a Tuesday, and I was casually bulk shopping while waiting on tires to be mounted and balanced at the local Costco Wholesale Warehouse.

As I was pushing my way to checkout, I passed by a large screen TV display promoting DIRECTV services. I noticed that the screen’s picture was frozen.  It looked to be some type of cooking show. My first thought was, “Boy, that’s a funny image for the picture to be paused.”  A short, baldheaded guy was holding a fork with a hot dog weenie half in his opened mouth. Next to him was a taller guy in a chef’s hat, pointing his index finger in the bald guy’s face as if to be saying: “Okay Oscar Meyer, you’re on my last nerve, and that’s your last WEENIE!”.


  I then noticed something even more comical. The DIRECTV service, that they were demonstrating was not working properly.  It was raining outside, and that was the reason the TV picture was frozen still. The rain was blocking the DIRECTV dish from receiving the satellite’s signal.  You know, there’s a reason clothing stores don’t display sweaters in the summer.

Costco may need to rethink their DIRECTV  display.  It’s like they’ve created a display that says to potential buyers, “Our satellite TV service delivers the ultimate in picture quality …….. except on rainy days, when it’s pretty much useless.  And, to prove how that looks, we’ve created this elaborate $15,000 in-store semi-working display.  Sign up today and receive a free deck of playing cards to help fill your rainy day voids.”

My purpose for writing this was to hopefully give you a reason to smile. It was not to slam DIRECTV or Costco. In fact, I am a DIRECTV customer and I’m pleased with both their product and service. As I was writing, I was reminded that even the best of products and services have their unique weakness, imperfections or flaws. When we’re making buying decisions, it’s our responsibility to determine the strengths that will benefit us the most and the weaknesses that will affect us the least. Nothing is 100% perfect for everyone. That’s why some people drive a sports car, others a mini-van. That’s why some choose satellite TV, others cable. And, that’s why eHarmony has had over 33 million sign-ups.

In the News: Watching TV Shortens Life Span. Say What?

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

The Los Angeles Times reports about a study claiming, “For each hour of TV watched, you are at risk of shortening your life by 18%.” Well, I DON’T THINK SO!!!  What “less than brilliant” person came to that conclusion? Smells like someone justifying their federal grant money.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a TV repairman to figure this one out.  Think about it for a minute:  It’s on public record, that most dead people were sick when they died. Now, what’s the first thing people do when they get sick? That’s right; they cut on the TV and go to bed.  Watching TV is of the few things sick people are able to do. Plus, it can actually be therapeutic and comforting.

Every hospital room in America comes standard with a remote controlled TV, an adjustable bed, and a flimsy plastic bed pan. The bed pan is there to keep the sick in front of the TV and out of the bathroom. Have you ever tried to use a flimsy, one-size-fits-all, plastic bed pan? Besides being extremely embarrassing, it’s a struggle, it’s exhausting, and extremely strenuous. The act alone is enough to make a healthy person wish they were dead. So, I’m here to tell you, the study is incomplete and 100% incorrect. Watching TV does not shorten a person’s life. Life is shortened by the exhausting strenuous struggle that’s required for a sickly person to mount and dismount a flimsy, one-size-fits-all, plastic bed pan.  I encourage you to write your congressman and insist that WARNING LABELS be required for all bed pans. I’m sure bed pans even shorten more lives than cigarette smoking. Watching TV doesn’t shorten life – it’s the Bed Pans.

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times article…

Written by Glenn Strange 9/11/11 thru 9/17/11

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