Micah the Magician, A Treasure that Breathes

Micah the Magician was introduced to magic at the age of 8. His grandfather gave him a magic book for his birthday and he was instantly hooked.
His first variation on a magic trick – something that made a trick unique to him – was “The Name of Your Card Is…”  the Spectator chooses a card, and the Magician, without seeing it, announces a random name.  The Magician then proceeds to demonstrate to the confused Spectator that written on the back of every playing card in this deck, is a different name.  Sure enough, their chosen card has the announced name written on the back.  Micah realized that it would be a much stronger routine if the SPECTATOR’S name were on the back of the chosen card.  This was the beginning of his personal approach to magic – that the magic should be ABOUT the Spectator, not just performed TO the Spectator.  Even better, the Spectator BECOMES the Magician. This realization was the beginning on a journey to find and perform magic where the Spectator becomes the Magician.  That journey led to his signature finale close-up effect, Real Magic, where the Spectator IS the Magician. Micah’s work in this area is published, thanks to the lovely people at The Magic Apple in Studio City. This publication made it into the Library of the Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle, not a simple feat.  This is Micah’s first contribution to Magic that will help him live on, past death.
Micah is a member at the Magic Castle. Incredibly enough, Micah’s childhood hero, Ice McDonald, was the deciding vote at his Magic Castle Audition.  Micah first heard about The Magic Castle when he was a child growing up on the east coast, from his father. His father had a temporary work contract in LA. While in Los Angeles, his father purchased a souvenir Magic Castle deck for little Micah – little Micah, with a souvenir Magic Castle deck I hand, couldn’t believe that a place like the Magic Castle could possibly exist.
Micah’s ties with the Magic Castle (also known as “the Castle”) have grown from the souvenir deck he received as a child. This November marks the 13th year he hosts The Night of the Raven, his creation, at the Magic Castle. The Night of the Raven is a night of magic, with variety acts honoring the mysterious work, life, and death of Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe is the Godfather of Gothic Horror and the creator of the Detective Story.  This would fascinate anyone who is into the mysterious, as a magician, Micah is, in essence, Poe’s target audience.
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There’s a theater in the Castle used for impromptu shows, a place where members may entertain their guests.  This is the space Micah asked the Castle if he could use for a night – they said yes. It’s the same theater where The Night of the Raven will be this year. At first, the Castle didn’t officially acknowledge the show, then one year they approached Micah with a request and an interest in promoting the show.  Since then, the Castle has continued to let Micah produce it, while they help promote it.
Charly Gineau, with her band/creation Many of Odd Nature & actor Duffy Hudson (as Edgar Allan Poe) are the two artists who have performed in the show more than any others – ironically, neither of them are magic acts (though Duffy has become an accomplished magician in his own right). Each show ends with Micah’s performance of The Raven, where he recites an abridged version of the poem, due to time constraints, while escaping from a straight jacket.
The Raven is – and with good reason – arguably the most mysterious poem ever written, which appeals to the magician in Micah.  An interesting interpretation that most people miss, Micah misses it as well, at first, is that the narrator is a magician himself – or specifically, someone who is dabbling in the occult.  “While I pondered… over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore” is a suggestion by Poe that the narrator is researching the Dark Arts.  If you want to go further down this rabbit hole, the suggestion is that he’s researching the occult – possibly to get Lenore back. Instead of Lenore, the narrator gets The Raven.
Once it dawned on Micah that the narrator might be a magician, he wondered what might keep a magician trapped in the room with The Raven – why doesn’t he just leave?  Then, it dawned on him – the one thing that is most famous for trapping a magician, is a straight jacket.  This cast a completely different light on the material – if he’s in a straight jacket, he is probably also insane. Losing someone you love can sometimes drive you mad with grief. This, arguably, happened to the character in The Raven.
You can find Micah around town in immersive theater, escape rooms, at iFly, at Sky Zone, at the gym, and of course, at the Magic Castle.  He swing dances when he can & performs, whenever he is able to, for the Queen Mary, Beetle House and Cafe 50’s (on Santa Monica Blvd).  He is also the Resident Magician for Shriners Hospital.
If you’d like to hire Micah for a private event, email  micahthemagician@yahoo.com with your first name, your last name, the date, time, location, & budget of the event. Be sure to include what you would like him to do. He offers different services with different packages and prices. Micah is accommodating and is happy to work with clients to give them the best event possible. He is a treasure.

Film: American Satan (2017): PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY

Go in to the film with an open mind and understand that it is a work of fiction.
American Satan (the movie) was well directed and has a stellar cast. The actors are professionals who have a passion for their craft (& it shows). The whole team put in a lot of hard work – from pre-production to post production.
The film uses  perceived ideologies about Satan and does not include facts about Satanism as a religion (The Church of Satan).
The film revolves around a fictitious band: The Relentless. The film uses occult icons (such as Baphomet – calling him “The Devil”), easily understood hedonism (drugs, sex, doing whatever you want – to excess), and fanaticism (found almost everywhere – do not make me cite real world examples) to get the point across about the fictitious band. The film was shot on location on the Hollywood Strip.
If this is your first venture into Satanism, rock and Roll, the alternative scene, or Hollywood, you’ll get a bad impression, especially if you are a closed minded Catholic, Christian, or Orthodox anything.
The film is now in theatres around the globe, click here to see where.

Groundhog Death

If you like lighthearted sorority films like The Bunny House or So Undercover & horror movies like Scream or Valentine, you’ll probably like Happy Death Day! As advertised, the film comes with a Groundhog day twist, and just like in Groundhog Day, the reason for the repetition is never explained. Unlike in Groundhog Day, growing as a person is not going to make things better – also, wtf kind of explanation is that Groundhog Day?
Protagonist: annoying and cliché, but likeable – eventually.
Love Interest: likeable.
Room Mate: seems the type.
Sorority Bitch: seems the type.
Cute pledge outside the house: I thought she did it.
Dude who gets punched: wtf??

This Week in Music: Los Angeles: Music Events to attend (21+)

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CH▲۞S
9.19.2017
10 pm – 2 am ($5 entry cost, 21 +)
 
Los Globos : 3040 W. Sunset Blvd.Los Angeles, California, 90026
The Premiere club for Witch House in LA is back, for its third month. There will be vendors & live art. Parking is available next to the club for $10. Street parking is also available, but street parking is a bit of hassle in this area. Why check it out? They play good music & it is a pleasant experience, even if you do not dance. If you like Batcave, Das Bunker, or Warlock, this may be a fun place for you.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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 Lesser G0dz
9.21.2017
9 pm – ? (no cover)
The Barkley: 1400 Huntington Dr, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Do you like Industrial? Do you like Witch House? Do you like Soul? If you answered “yes,” to any of these questions, this is something you should check out. Lesser G0dz is a duo that knows how to put on a show. Their music will lure you in and their physicalization will keep you watching. Theirs, is the only music CD I keep in my car. When I put them on, I want no break from their music due to signal loss. Theirs is something you must experience live, you’ll be pleasantly surprised – and very likely captivated. Expect scarves, fire (figurative), and a light show. It’s beautiful.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Many of Odd Nature
9.22.2017 (11:45 pm – 2am)
The Mint: 6010 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035
I own their band t-shirt. It is one of my favorite shirts. I have been lucky enough to watch Many of Odd Nature perform live, on multiple occasions. Something about this band you should know, is that all the music is composed by one person, Charly. Charly is the heart and soul of this band, she has a periodically rotating band line up. No matter who plays with her, the music remains the same, at its core. What changes are some of the instruments. The band members are passionate about music and commit themselves to learning all the right keys. Always expect a different show.

It: Film Promotion: Gallery 1988: Little Pennywise

It the film (2017) came out recently. I had the chance to see the gallery, in Hollywood, while it was up. Scroll to the bottom of this blog entry and follow the link to see the gallery online, from wherever you are.
The Gallery was part of a series of promotions the WB put up around town (You’ll recall that an IT print was part of my raffle prize of August). Ads on T.V., on billboards, on the side of the road, on buses, at bus stops, & on social media weren’t enough to get people in to the “IT” mood for the WB. They thought a fan gallery would be appreciated as well.
They were right, of course. That’s why they make the big bucks. They know what the masses would enjoy, & boy did they! The IT gallery hosted outstanding IT FAN ART CONTEST submissions that didn’t win, plus the one that did(that’s not the one I will be talking about).
My favorite piece in the gallery was a hand sculpted doll with interchangeable eyes that close. I was lucky enough to meet the artist and find out how she made the IT doll, pictured bellow.
Artist: Amanda Jordan
From: North Carolina
Miss Jordan and her sweet mother flew out to Los Angeles to see her piece in the show and loved L.A. “It’s so nice, I don’t want to go back home,” she said with a smile and a sweet southern accent.
“I made the doll as a hobby. When I saw that [the movie was] going to have a fan contest, I entered. I got chosen to be in the gallery.” Amanda was one of the lucky few who had their art presented in the space. A lot of work & a lot of love went in to all of the pieces.
Amanda has other dolls as well. Her mother said she does not give herself enough credit, I am inclined to agree.
“His hair is made out of knitting yarn. I teased it out with a  clean pet brush, the wire type brush, you know? His shoes are made partially with paper mache. I used toilet paper with fabric glue. The pom poms on the shoes are also yarn.” she says happily, looking at her creation with a smile. “The shoes are very unique,” she pauses and looks down, “they won’t come off though,” she says, as though this would deter me from liking her piece as much as I do.
“The face is fully sculpted,” she continues, “I used Milliput epoxy. It took me a month, but I did it a little at a time. If I had focused on just this project it would have been, maybe 2 weeks.” Milliput is a fast drying epoxy. The attention to detail and ability to make quick work of the sculpting (small sections at a time) are admirable.
“The clothing was from another doll, I heavily altered it. I added a lot, including a silver shimmer to make it match the outfit in the movie. The trim for his collar, I used a sheer trim. It was the closest I could find.” When IT inspires you to use first aid equipment in creating him, oh the irony.
“I made the little boat by hand and splattered red paint to get it to look like blood then wrote ‘S.S. Georgie’ on it.” I wish I had put a penny for scale next to the little doll, for you to see how small the boat truly is. “The balloon is a water balloon held up by a piece of wire. It was the smallest kind of balloon.” She catches her breath and continues “The eyes are glass eye chips that were blank. I printed out the eyes and I applied some glue. This is why they have the shiny look for it. I can change the eyes through the back. I made two sets of eyes for him.”
Go to Amanda’s instagram here.
Check out the IT Gallery from home here.

Video Game: Review: “NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM GENERATION”

The story mode for “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generation” lets players take control of their favorite Naruto characters and play through some of their epic fights.

Each story is short, but the playable fights combined with the motion comic style cute scenes help to make the experience feel like reading the manga.

The graphics are not the most realistic, but with an anime-based video game, the animated look helps preserve the feeling similar to the source material.

The controls are something that is much like every other fighting game, most of the actions are done with two buttons, but a combination of three buttons (power-up, strike and dodge).

Each battle in the story mode gets more and more difficult, but with unlimited retries players can adjust their fighting style to progress.

To keep things interesting, characters evolve as they progress through the game as well, new moves are obtained and power-ups as well.

For fans of the anime, the stories for each playable character may be familiar, but the cut scenes and ending story may contain some never before seen story, which makes going through all story mode character exciting.

The game has more than 70 characters, but not all of them are available in story mode. The main characters are available for story mode and the rest are playable in versus mode.

With so many players to explore and Ultimate Jitsu moves to try out, this fighting game can be replayed over and over with different characters. Fans can have fun playing out dream matches which were never a part of the anime or manga.

“Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generation” may have similar gameplay to most any other fighting game, but with multiple characters, a players chance to improve fighting strategy and the story element the game is a great addition to Naruto and fighting game fans.

Jesus’s instagram: @thisfunktional

Los Angeles Film Festival: No Game No Life: Zero (Dubbed)

For those of you not in the know, this weekend is the Los Angeles Anime Film Festival. This is North America’s biggest anime film festival & is taking place in Downtown Los Angeles. This year marks the 100th anniversary of anime. The festival kicked off with No Game No Life: Zero (get your tickets here).
As a special treat, before the premiere of No Game No Life: Zero, the theatre was shown the first ever anime. It was an interesting little piece of history, for sure. Check it out bellow:
Now, onto No Game No Life: Zero.
The film was more than I hoped for. I was expecting some disappointment, instead, what I got was tears. Tears of pain. Tears of both happiness and sadness leaked from my eyes during the film. I was not alone.
All around me people of all ages cried. People came from all around the world to see this film. Though this is a relatively new series, it burrowed into my heart the first time I saw episode 1 and has latched on for all it is worth. I am happy to say that I am not disappointed with the film. There are many films in recent times, too many to count on my fingers, that have left me dissatisfied and wanting (to say nothing of becoming disillusioned with the plot development and story).
Though this film left me wanting, the want that I have is not for a better story. I am satisfied. This is not Harry Potter, I do not want to read alternate universe versions of events. The canonical events are more than enough.
The bittersweet conclusion was perfect. Everyone involved did a great job. It is obvious a lot of heart went into this. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and recommend taking a look.
There is another showing of No Game No Life: Zero on 9.16.2017 at the Regal in DTLA. If you can, get yourself a ticket. If you’d like to check out more information about the film festival, click here.
Parking:
If you’re on a budget, I recommend you park down the street (on the other side of the freeway in the residential area) or down by the blue line (on Pico) & walk up to Regal. This way parking will either be free or under $10. If you have the money, park in the LA Live parking lot. Be careful and always be sure to know your parking area rules. There is nothing like a ticket, getting your car towed, or paying what you didn’t anticipate to ruin your mood after a good film.
Thank you for reading.

Crunchyroll Con: On Making New Friends

I made a number of new friends. I haven’t had a con experience like this in quite a while. I chalk making so many new friends up to 1. Being out of town, 2. Attending a new Convention (as in brand spanking new to everyone), 3. Having no other plans but the convention experience.

This is the first time I have attended a convention and not had other pressing things going on. I usually attend conventions I can easily commute to from home. I’m only ever just an hour or so away (in LA an hour driving is not the same as an hour drive up to Santa Clara). This year, my job accommodated my trip, my boss encouraged my trip, my parents wished me safe travels, my partner wished me safe travels, and my friends wished me safe travels. This is the first time all of this has happened.

One time, I had to go to work and I wanted to go to the con, so I got about 8 hours (total) of sleep on a bed over a 4 day period – my crash on day 5 was hard, I slept through into the following day. My boss didn’t let me call off and I couldn’t just NOT go, I had spent my money on the ticket and there were no refunds. I commuted on the bus and napped on my way to and from home. I made it through that con on adrenaline and food.

On day 1 of Crunchyroll con, I left our hotel at about 10:30 am & made it back to the hotel a bit before 2 am on day 2. I woke up at 7am on day 2 and was having breakfast with a friend I made on day 1, by 8 am. By 9 am we were back at the convention. I left the convention by 10:45 am and we were on the road by noon back to Los Angeles.

I met most every new friend in line. It wasn’t too long a wait for most things (just the Caitlin Glass autograph – worth it though!) for me, but I did stand in many lines. There was no con drama (no one calling at 3am angry because I made new friends or “ditched them” – when we got separated in the crowd.) & the crowds were fairly small. There is a young man I made Facebook friends with who, funnily enough, used to work for Facebook. I saw around all day on Day 1 & by the evening of Day 1, I was compelled to approach him. I didn’t recognize his cosplay, but it seemed slightly familiar. Turns out, he was cosplaying a character from Hunter x Hunter, a show I have started but have not gotten very far into. It is a show that doesn’t compel me to binge it. His cosplay made me want to watch Hunter x Hunter more often though.

So, I basically made friends by talking to strangers who seemed interested in things that I, too, am interested in. In other words, I did what I always do.

Best part was ending the night with Cards Against Humanity. Oh, right…Danny, if you are reading this…I found your cards against Humanity.

Crunchyroll Con 2017: Adventure to Santa Clara: The Drive

I headed out to pick up Heather from Monterey Park after I filled up my Gas tank. Traffic to Hollywood was a bit fuller than I expected (due to a couple of accidents), but I made it! We both packed light (just 1 backpack & 1 extra bag each). We made a quick stop at the Magic castle to drop off a package for a friend, then off we went on the 5 North.

This was my first time driving out of L.A.. I’ve gone out of town before, but I have been a passenger – in a car, on a train, or on a plane. I was in the driver seat and let me tell you, it was thrilling. I am so used to the city. On our drive there were long stretches of nothing. I was grateful that I was encouraged to get gas at half tank. We didn’t pass many gas stations on our way up – and boy am I glad we didn’t break down on the side of the road.

A friend I made at Crunchyroll Con (CRX), who will remain nameless, broke down a couple of times. He was lucky enough to get some help, but, at one point, had to walk over 2 miles. He also had spotty reception on the way up to Santa Clara (as did we), so that was not helpful to him at all.

Lesson of the drive? Carry a small gas tank in your trunk, just in case. Try to travel with a buddy. Be sure to take breaks to stretch your legs and get food. If possible, drive and be fed to get better travel time, be considerate of your passenger/s, be sure you’re air conditioner is in working order if you are going long distance in high temperatures, make sure your tires aren’t on their last legs, make sure your car is in fit working order, carry snacks, be sure to eat a banana a day for sore muscles. If you must pull over on the freeway, do so off to the right side & be sure to carry an emergency car kit in your car.

Crunchyroll Con: Checking in & Checking Out

Where should you check in first, your hotel or the convention? This depends on multiple factors. Did you come in from out of town? Will check in for the convention be open by the time you get there? Do you know the parking situation? Can you get shuttle to and from the hotel? Do you know how traffic is in the area you are going? I’ll tell you what we did and what we will do next time. Remember, life is a learning experience.

Having arrived on day 0 from out of town after a 6 hour drive, we chose to check in to our hotel first. We found our room and unpacked, so that we would not need to do so when we got back. We found that there was parking closer to us on our way to our room, so we made a plan to park THERE when we got back.

After checking in to the hotel & unpacking, we headed out to the convention center. Using google maps, we plotted our course. We got lost on our way to the convention center from our hotel, even WITH google maps. We arrived to the convention center after about 45 minutes and wound up parking in the loading dock. We couldn’t quite figure out what the parking situation was and gave up.

We are from Los Angeles, the city of free parking only in residential areas where a permit is not required and certain shopping areas. Picking up our badges took about 10 minutes. Getting back to the hotel took about 2 hours. Please note, our hotel was, technically, a 10 minute drive from the convention center. Having had this adventure on Day 0 & having found out that there was a shuttle available to and from our hotel (courtesy of the hotel), we used a shuttle to get to the convention on Day 1.

I got a lift back to the hotel with a fellow con attendee who I met in line for an autograph – he was also staying at the same hotel and was also going to go take a kip after getting his poster autographed. I drove back, in the night time, after a quick freshening up. Thanks to my fellow attendee, I found out about the free parking next to the convention center. It also helped that I now knew a direct rout to and from the hotel.

On day 2 I drove, boy was I grateful that I did. Getting shuttled would have been a madhouse. People were not being allowed to stop in front of the convention center, not even at the UPS parking section. I was just picking up a mystery bag I bout earlier in the day (it was huge). Having had a successful morning at the con & knowing check out was at noon, I headed back a bit early.

We checked out at 11 am on day 2, though check in was at 12. There was a misunderstanding about check out time, we had the correct time, the staff person who knocked on the door, however, thought otherwise. We made sure to let the front desk know about the lipstick on the mirror & the weird knock by the staff at our door.

Next time, because I hope there will be a next time, we will be better prepared. We will check in at the hotel, then we will ask to be shuttled to the convention center (on day 0) and ask to be picked up after getting our badges. We will drive ourselves on day 1 & hopefully be able to stay until day 3.

Before leaving Los Angels, we will map out where there are gas stations all along the way to and from our destination. We will be sure to always fill up at half tank, as we did this time. We will be sure our phones are never on silent (my bad). We will carry our charger with us(we thought we would be okay without this one time). We will check out by 11:45 and not a moment sooner. Also, if the hotel has apples and lemonade out for guests, as our hotel did, we will be sure to get some on each exit trip and not just on our way out of town.