December 19, 2009

DonB! "illusions!" DVD released

Well, it wasn't finished in time for Christmas, but it is done.

My second DVD, titled "illusions!" is ready for purchase.

On the DVD I perform, and then teach, 15 really good magic tricks. All of the tricks can be performed with things found around your house, such as paperclips, dollar bills, paper cups, paper, paper cups, communion cups, a piece of rope, a ping-pong ball, rubber bands, envelopes and playing cards or pictures.

I also have a trick that has been hiding in multiple books for years, titled "Ticket to Heaven", which is a simple object lesson that anyone (and I mean anyone!) can perform, either with words or to music.

If you click on this LINK, and click on the ROTATE button at the top of the screen, you can view the contents inside, plus see the wonderful artwork (thank you Photoshop).

The DVD is only $10.00 plus shipping. If you order more than one copy, the site will automatically calculate shipping discounts.

Once you get your copy, please let me know what you think, or what you'd like to see on the next one. I value your feedback on anything I do, so don't hesitate to let me know your thoughts.

Also, watch this newsletter for the release of my origami DVD, expected by March 1st. It covers basic-intermediate origami, some utilizing dollar bills (great for tips at a restaurant).

Click HERE to order "illusions!", or if you would like to order the JUGGLING DVD (including 3 really nice juggling scarves) I released last year, you can order that from my website by clicking HERE.
To everyone that finds this newsletter, have a very merry Christmas.


November 30, 2009

James 4:14

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. -James 4:14

How short and precious life really is.

Yesterday I saw an email that made reference to a small plane crash just outside of Tampa. Within the article I saw a name that I knew, and my heart sank.

Dave Berman was my juggling instructor in Clown College, as well as a friend for many more years following my circus days. He was a full-time performer for many years, and then decided to settle into Sarasota, Florida, as a UPS driver. Some years back he took up flying, and purchased a small plane, flying it successfully many times.

Witnesses said they heard sputtering as the plane was taking off yesterday, and the plane then nosedived to the ground, flipping onto its top. When rescuers arrived on the scene, both people in the plane were pronounced dead. Dave was only a couple of years older than me.

Life is short.

Eternity is forever. I rest, knowing that my friend, Dave, knew Christ personally, and is sitting with him this day. In peace.

Please pray for Dave's wife, Nancy, as well the rest of his family at this time. I cannot imagine what they are going through.

Thanks for sharing with me,


October 29, 2009

DonB! appears in Everlife video

Alright, it's not an official video, but one that they recorded on the last tour. I appear for a moment, making a comment about Sarah getting cut in half during rehearsals

Click HERE to see it.


Home after touring, but only for a few days

Recently I've had the opportunity to perform with two of my favorite illusionists. The first one is a friend that I made way back in 1989, when Debbie & I travelled with his illusion show, Toby Travis. Toby was in Minnesota performing in Lindstrom, and he invited me to perform some of my things in the shows. I had a great time, and was able to swap life stories with Toby once again.

After the programs (we did 2 of them) we looked through the comment cards, and I found 2 that mentioned me.

This one reads: "DonB - you're a dynamo!
The other one simply said:

I also have been traveling for the last 12 days with illusionist, Harris III, and his show, "Sens de Vie". As stated in a previous entry, there are 10 of us on the road for this tour. Harris, his wife, Katie, Beth (road manager), David (sound engineer), Adam (lighting engineer), the 3 girls from Everlife, their friend, Aaron, and myself.

On my last flight to meet them, I boarded the plane right behind actor, Hugh Grant. I had actually been talking with him in the terminal for 10 minutes before realizing who he was. I didn't want to hound him for a picture, so this is as good as it gets. I know, no photography awards for me.

I had some time while on tour to do a little sight seeing and geocaching, and while out running around, Adam & I found this place:

It is where Jimmy Buffet got his start as a college student playing music on campus. If you look in the lower tight hand corner you can see his name listed along with other greats that have performed at this club.

On the entire tour, we played to sold-out houses, and received very warm standing ovations at the end of every show.

My own personal moment is as all of us are introduced to run out onstage for our final bows, I get many loud whoops and hollers when I run out there. I love to know that the audience appreciates what I do in the show. Warm fuzzies...

Here is a strange picture I took of the Sawing in Half illusion sitting under the glowing red of the backstage lamps. This is one of my favorite illusions in the entire show. For the last 2 performances, Sarah, from Everlife, was the lady that was sawn in half. Neat integration of her into the illusion part of the show.

I'll finish up with some fun, random photos taken while on tour. Here they are...

Getting ready to go onstage and spin my plates. I set a new record: 16 plates broken in one show. That's a lot of trips to the Dollar Store.

Our second show took place in this auditorium. What you can barely see are the full extended bleachers on each side that were full about an hour after this picture was taken. They were a VERY excited crowd.

Amber, Julia and Sarah

Katie Harris, playing Jazz Singer-like dress-up backstage during set-up.

Don, David & Adam, out geocaching on the campus of the college where we performed that night.

I leave you with some words of wisdom from 2 Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


October 20, 2009

DonB! back on the road with "Sens de Vie" Show

I flew to Nashville last week, and arrived with 2 of my 3 suitcases. The other 2 arrived later that night and were delivered to us where we were rehearsing.

This tour is lead by illusionist Harris III. The music on the tour this time is Everlife, 3 sisters (Sarah, Julia, Amber) originally from Pennsylvania, now living in Nashville. Some of you may know them from a tour they did with the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. They are really very talented, and their music can be found on iTunes and YouTube. Here they are doing sound check at rehearsals:

We were looking forward to taking out a new illusion, one we refer to as "Chateau", a play on the word "shadow". Now that we've performed it twice onstage, I really like it. I get to perform some basic hand shadows before the shadows begin transforming into Harris, the magician.

After 2 days of rehearsal and illusion building, the RV rig was loaded, and we headed out on the road.

On Sunday we drove to Moss Point, Mississippi, and loaded into a beautiful theatre there.

We did two shows, both of them completely sold out.

The next day, Katie Harris' dog, Tucker, was having problems with his eye. A quick stop at the vet resulted in eye medicine that turned his eye green, making him look like an evil one-green-eyed dog:

The only injury of the tour was during the 2nd show, when I made the mistake of trying to re-spin one of my spinning plates, but not noticing that it had a sharp chip on one side. I slit the tip of my right hand middle finger, so I finished the routine with my hand in a fist. I ran off stage and ran it under water, and then realized how deep it really was. I did not have it checked for stitches, but probably should have. Oh well.

On the way home we made a quick stop at Arby's and I took a group photo:

Me, Harris, Katie, Adam (lights), Beth (road manager) and Dave (sound tech)

Now we have 2 days off back here in Nashville, then a day of rehearsal, and back on the road again. Be sure to take a look at my website to see if/when I will be in your area of the country.

Until next time...

October 6, 2009

Come to OHIO and see DonB!

Here is the poster from Austintown Community Church, where I am performing this weekend:

If you are anywhere nearby, please come over, enjoy the food and catch one, or both, of the shows.


October 5, 2009

DonB! at KidZ BlaZt 2010

Here is a LINK to the website promoting my performances at the Wisconsin/Northern Michigan District Assemblies of God kid's gathering at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells February 26th & 27th.

Should be a great time performing and ministering to all the kids and families that will be there.

Plus, I might get a chance to play on all of the water slides. YES!


September 22, 2009

Smart words from the cafeteria

It may seem strange that I would find inspirational words of wisdom at a museum, especially one as strange as Wisconsin's House on the Rock. But while I visited there last month with Ben & Randy Christensen, we took a few minutes to sit down and eat lunch in the public cafeteria. On each table throughout the room, sayings were carved into the tables, many of which I really enjoyed.

Here is one:

I love this one, maybe because I use it to justify my strange, but wonderful way of making a living.

Another saying that I've liked says, "Life doesn't consist in having what you want, but in wanting what you have". Here is one that goes alongside of that one:

It's not always about learning new things, but instead, figuring out ways to do the same old things with a new perspective. In the hard times of our economy, maybe one part of the solution isn't to change our circumstances, but to change our perspective on what we can do with what we already have.

Sometimes results come from personal sacrifice. If so, then this one makes complete sense:

Are we willing to pay the price of what it takes to accomplish great things in our lives? Or are we living in the age of "entitlement", where we should be allowed to have everything we want without the personal sacrifice it takes to reach those goals?

I am encouraged by what I have heard spoken lately from some teenagers. They are many times referred to as the "generation of entitlement", but I have heard quite a few of them talk or write about doing without, whether it is designer clothes, expensive hobbies, etc. To those teens I say, Right On! (How 80s is THAT saying?!?!?)

He was a smart man.

Over the years, another way that I have justified my performing for a living is by comparing myself to others that complain about their jobs, their bosses, their co-workers. And I've wondered, why not go out and find a job that you love? One that brings you some joy?

My work isn't all joy, but I sure do love it.

Kids have very active imaginations. They can be Superman today, and working with Legos on Mars tomorrow. Carl Sagan said this:

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere."

Carl probably had a great imagination, but I fear that it could have taken him to a world that he never dreamed of or was willing to acknowledge.

When I was young, people would watch me learning to ride my unicycle, and would say "those are impossible". It wasn't, and here is a confirmative quote about it:

To a 10-year-old, nothing is impossible. Obstacles are ONLY illusions.

Another "enjoy your work" quote is this one:

And finally, to all the critics that think adults don't have time to play games, or that a 16-hour work day is the only way to succeed, I give you this wonderful quote from T.S. Elliot:

And now, I'm going to waste some time cleaning up my office. And yes, due to all of the weird and fun things I know I might encounter in there, I will make the best attempt to enjoy it.

Have a great day.


September 18, 2009

My good friend is a new Dad!

I want to tell everyone about the good news of one of my close friends.

His name is Mark Zubert (many of you know him already), and he and his wife, Erin, gave birth to Lincoln Beckett yesterday. Mom, Dad, brother Westin and new baby are all doing great.

To top it all off, today is Mark's birthday!!! A double hitter.

Congrats to the growing Zubert family.

Mark and Lincoln Zubert

September 17, 2009

Anyone want to attend a Photoshop Seminar with me?

On October 21st, I plan on attending a seminar at the Minneapolis Convention Center to learn more about Adobe Photoshop.

The seminar is all day, for $99, and even though it is geared toward CS4 users, all Photoshop people will learn an extensive amount from it.

You can see more about it HERE

If you want to go, let me know, and I'll see you there.


September 16, 2009

DonB! Partial Itinerary

These are some confirmed dates so far:

Sept 16 - Faith Community Church - Hudson, WI (15th year in a row!)
Sept 19 - Private Party - Cambridge, MN
Sept 20th - First Free Church - Benson, MN
Oct 3, 4 - Michigan (strolling + 1 show)
Oct 9 - Ohio Outreach
Oct 10 - Lindstrom, MN with Toby Travis
Oct 18 - Sens de Vie - Tuscaloosa, AL
Oct 24 - Sens de Vie - Ashland, OH
Oct 25 - Sens de Vie - Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 27 - Greentree Church - Egg Harbor, NJ
Oct 31 - New Life Christian Center - Princeton, MN
Nov 6 - Sens de Vie - Ohio
Nov 12 - ForeverFriends - Wooddale Church - MN

So much in the works coming up: "Sens de Vie" tour, DonB! shows in 4 different states, 4 solid bookings for 2010, and a whole new year ahead of me. Isn't life grand?


September 10, 2009

Article Online includes DonB!

I will be performing at Ashland University in October with illusionist, Harris III, and an article is online promoting the event. Click HERE to read it. It's a quick read.


September 9, 2009

DonB! trip to the East Coast

On Sunday, I left to begin my 10 day trip to the East Coast. In one day, I drove from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Nashville, Tennessee. 14 hours if I drove it straight through, but I needed fuel and food throughout the day, so the trip lasted about 16.5 hours.

While in Nashville, I visited with BJ & Katie Harris, and we talked about some routines and ideas for the upcoming October Sens de Vie tour.

One afternoon, I decided to go out for a walk, and ended up at Bicentennial Park, right in front of the capital building:

I promised Debbie that I would try and eat healthy for this entire trip, so it was with great joy that Katie & BJ were also going healthy for the week. I was able to eat Katie's homemade spaghetti sauce, as well as homemade breads and desserts (healthy ones, of course):

The next day we all played Frisbee on the HUGE green lawn of the capital building. While reading all of the history of Tennessee at the park, I was able to have my picture taken in the outdoor amphitheater there. It is really big, and may be a possible site for a future program. Hmmmm.....

I left Nashville on Thursday, headed to Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, Maryland. On my way over, I was able to spend the evening with long time friends, David & Rachel Pribulick and their 3 intelligent kids (they all converse like adults).

At Sandy Cove I did one show on Friday evening for the 300+ people that were already there, and one little girl gave me flowers after the show. Nice.

When I arrived at Sandy Cove, I saw on the brochure that they had a trapeze set-up for summer, but I was disappointed to see it sitting here in the parking lot:

Sandy Cove has everything, ranging from tent camping all the way up to "The Lodge", with hotel-like accommodations. I stayed in this building:

On Sunday night, the entire 700+ campus of people were in attendance, and the house was rockin' I had opportunity to push my improv abilities to the limits with the fun, but interesting volunteers I chose from the audience. I love having kids onstage because you NEVER know what can happen. Kids think "in the moment", and react accordingly, making for entertainment with a twist at almost every show. Here I am, ready to go onstage...

Someone from my Ringling Brothers/Disney days, John Hadfield, drove over from Delaware to catch the show, and we went to dinner afterward. John ordered a crab-something-or-other sandwich, and when it arrived, there was no doubting what it was. It looked exactly like a crab, legs, eyes and all. John slapped in on a bun and crunched his way through the entire thing. Here's what I had to look at the whole time:

Yes, those are legs hanging out of the bun. Eeewwwwww.....

Then, as I made my way across Maryland towards home, I was able to stop and visit with another friend from Clown College '84 (yes, that's 25 years ago), Mr. Kevin Brown and his family. We went to breakfast, talked a little about magic, and did some great catching up of long ago memories. It was great to see him again.

Finally, what good is a drive across country if I didn't take time to stop and pick up a few geocaches? One of them actually takes you hiking down into a lowland park, and then back around the underside of a waterfall. Standing there, I just had to try and get a picture:

One was in a hilltop cemetary in the middle of PA:

And 2 were at Vietnam Veteran Memorials:

So amazing is this world we live in.

On Tuesday evening, Debbie met me at the airport (so that I could return the rental van), and we headed off to dinner together. No matter how nice the memories are of traveling on the road, THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

Another trip in October, so watch for the story here.


August 22, 2009

Pictures from TV Commercial

Today I received some pictures from the commercial shoot that I participated in last month in Kansas City. Here are some of them:

Discussing how the shoot will go

Greg, Don, Tina, Terry, Karen, Dave, Toto, & Benny

Terry, on his tiny bike

Don, stuffed into the trunk

Must have been a good take

Catching my suitcase

As the car approaches the parking lot

And my odd favorite:

It was a lot of fun hanging with the clowns, and just as much fun with the filming crew. Some dressed as clowns for the day, others had on weird clown ties, etc. All in a day's work.