Cedarbrook Lodge in Seatac a Hidden Jewel

Just when I thought I knew about every major venue in western Washington, WHAM – I get to visit Cedarbrook Lodge.  It’s just a few minutes from the Seatac airport. 

          Wait a minute, because that conjures up the wrong image. 

When you’re at Cedarbrook you feel like you’re miles away.  For one thing, the building is built more like a retreat center than a hotel.  (It should – it was custom designed as Washington Mutual’s corporate training center.  It is now under new owners and open to the public.) 

The grounds are well-manicured and are a cross between an ornamental flower garden and a private golf course.  (It is!  According to the Cedarbrook website, “Eighteen lush acres of natural restored wetlands provide an optimal location with the ambiance of a discreet hideaway.”)  I can see this being a fantastic location for weddings and outdoor meals during the summer. 

I was there performing for the Washington Society of Association Executives.  This was the annual awards banquet for the WSAE and members came from all parts of the state (Vancouver, Bellingham, Spokane, you name it). 

Donna Cameron, CAE, President of Melby Cameron & Anderson writes:

You were really fabulous!  Everyone was talking about how amazing your performance was, and how funny, as well.  Patty will be sending you an “official” thank you on WSAE letterhead when she returns from vacation and also looks at the meeting evaluations, but please know that you were quite a hit with WSAE.  I’m sure you’ll be hearing from a number of our members who want you to dazzle their own members.  Thanks so much for setting the perfect tone for WSAE’s Awards Luncheon! 

Thanks to Donna for sharing photos from the banquet, too!

To learn more about the Cedarbrook Lodge contact Robin (Catering Sales) at (206) 214-4383 or Sylvia (Director of Sales) at (206) 214-4140.

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40th Birthday Party Magic

This past weekend was a fun mix of shows; a school assembly in Lakewood on Friday, a private party in Puyallup on Saturday and a 40th birthday party that evening in Tacoma, and a private party in Lacey on Sunday.  Yesterday I was in Toppenish for a school assembly. 

A big thanks to Nems Scarim, owner of Three Chicks Catering and The Venue, for sharing a great audio testimonial for me.  She’s been a big fan of mine for several years and has passed several clients my way. 

This photo was taken at the grand opening celebration of The Venue. Nems and the Chicks do a fantastic job and really know how to throw a party!

The private party on Saturday was for Nate with The Cart Doc (ink cartridge refills, replacements, and parts).  He’s a member of Saturn Barter.  I’m a big supporter of barter and belong to Itex, BizXchange, and Saturn Barter, all active here in Washington. 

Thursday I’m performing for the rollout of the new Microsoft Kin phone at the Verizon Store (on the Microsoft campus in Redmond). 

Friday I’m at the Red Lion in Olympia for a regional Lions Club convention, and Saturday I’m performing for Armed Forces Day at JBLM (that’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the non-military folks).

EQC, Microsoft, 50th B-day, +

It’s been a busy week!  Two shows yesterday (Microsoft party in Bellevue, family night in Woodinville).  Two shows today:  upscale birthday at the Seattle Tennis Club and a very fun 50th birthday party in Olympia.  At the kid’s birthday party I saw a new inflatable “ride” that I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of.  It’s a huge inflatable ball with room in the center for a child.  You can hold on inside and let someone roll the sphere around, or you can run on the inside and move the ball like a big hamster ball.  I love it!  I seriously wanted to try it. 

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Puyallup Spring Fair with my Science Magic show.   It’s open to the public and sponsored by the Puyallup School District at 4:00 pm on the second floor of the Pavilion. 

McLane Northwest recently had me add magic to their annual driver’s banquet at the Emerald Queen Casino.  It was my first time in that building since it was the old Fife Executive Inn – wow!  (It’s completely remodeled by now, of course.  The Puyallup tribe has done a fantastic job.  What happened to their paddle boat/casino?  I worked a couple of gig there…) 

Larry Stewart, McLane Section Sales Manager and professional photographer, sent me a full CD of photos from the evening.  Thanks, Larry! 

Michael, VP of Distribution, and I having fun...

This event was a full-blown magical evening; strolling magic during the cocktail hour, magic souvenirs for all of the guests, and my stand-up show just before the awards presentations. 

Photos by Larry Stewart

I’m always glad when companies decide to go with the souvenir magic tricks for their guests.  They’re going to give something away anyway (centerpieces, custom imprinted items, candy, something), and I know that many folks will go home and show a magic trick to their family or friends.  And, I only choose the tricks to give away that I love demonstrating.  The fun is in the presentation, and it makes a big difference between reading how to do something and watching it done right. 

Clean comedy. Interactive magic. Guaranteed fun.

Spring Break Magic Shows

The last two weeks have been spring break at schools throughout the area.  Of course, this guarantees miserably cold and rainy weather!  Not good for riding bikes and goofing off at the park, but fine for magic. 

I performed for various groups and organizations in Maple Valley, Olympia, Black Diamond, Cosmopolis, Issaquah, Tenino, Yelm, and Seattle. 

Issaquah Parks and Recreation featured me as part of their “Fantasy Night”.  The Issaquah Youth Advisory Board (middle and high school students) planned a lot of activities, including games, sports, and creating magic wands and hats.  The magic show capped off the evening.  Thanks to Cathy Jones, recreation coordinator, for sharing a wonderful audio testimonial.  Learn more about my magic shows for parks and recreation departments.

I’m also gearing up for high school graduation parties.  Several of the prime Friday/Saturday evenings in early June are taken, but I still have some availability particularly for late night/early morning shows.   E-mail me or call (360) 412-5064 to learn more about adding interactive magic to your private party or school graduation celebration.  (You don’t need to wait until your student is graduating from high school or college.  I do lots of “moving on” celebrations for junior highs, too.) 

“…this staff party was ‘the best ever.'”

Last month I received a great letter from a client who had me perform for her husband’s doctor office holiday party.  She was thrilled with the show, and even mailed me a photo CD with pictures from the party.  Her story is one that I’ve heard before; people who have experienced a bad magician.   I asked if I should share her letter and she agreed. 

Unfortunately, seeing bad magic often reflects poorly on other magicians, too.  It’s a little strange, because when you hear a bad musician you don’t automatically assume that all musicians must be bad, but I think it’s because there are relatively few magicians.  If a person has seen one bad magician, they are leery of giving another a chance. 

“I wanted to share a story with you.  Earlier this month Bob attended a big 50th birthday party for another physician.  A magician was featured.  Bob said the magicians was excruciatingly bad.  He said that the entire tone of the event was adversely affected and all in attendance were embarassed rather than entertained.   He was already so very happy with the quality of your work and this experience made him even more aware of how well our party went because of you.

“People are still talking about the magic show.  As you know, I have done a theme staff party for over 30 years and I have been repeatedly told that this staff party was “the best ever.”  I think the audience participation of your show was one key factor in that assessment.” 
     -Pat Krick, Tacoma

Pat did a wonderful job with magic decor, table centerpieces, and Goody Bags for each guest to take home. 

Heritage Bank Awards Banquet

Heritage Bank invited me to be part of their STAR Party held recently in Olympia.   Employees receive recognition for top performance and outstanding customer service.  Thanks to Teresa Dean for arranging all of the details and Lori Heckman for sharing the photos! 

With all of the turmoil in the financial industry I was curious how tough times were for Heritage.  It turns out that they are doing relatively well!  Heritage Bank has been in business for more than eighty years and has about ten locations in the south sound area.  They didn’t make a lot of risky loans, and therefore haven’t been hurt as much by the wave of foreclosures.  

It was a magic theme with top hats and fans of cards at each table as centerpieces.  Teresa even created hand-made magic wands for the table centerpieces.  Wow!

It was my first time performing at the newly remodeled South Sound Manor (formerly the Masonic Center).  I was very impressed, and was glad to hear from the facility director Armando that dates are filling up quickly. 

Of course, no show is complete without money magic, and I was able to borrow a woman’s $50 bill and change it into one million.  It all ended well with her signed bill inside of a real orange.

“Another Satisfied Customer!”

Last summer I received a call from the Nisqually Valley Moose Lodge in Yelm.  They have events for members and were looking for something special. 

Voila!  After my show for the Lodge members and guests, Carol Kann writes:

“You are great!  Members are still talking about your show, and inquiring about when we can have you return.  I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a magic act that was so utterly amazing.  That, coupled with your awesome showmanship makes your show worth seeing over and over again!”

I perform for private parties too, and last week I did magic for a young man’s 18th birthday party.  It was a SURPRISE party, and as it was a couple of weeks after his real birthday, they really did surprise him! 

It was held in a beautiful house in the South Hill area of Puyallup.  The young man arrived blindfolded, carried by several of his friends.  They unloaded him and let him, still blindfolded, into the entryway.  When they took the bandana off, thirty of his family and friends were screaming ‘SURPRISE!’

My client writes:

“Wow, what a show! You had everyone scratching their heads and laughing all night. My boys just kept talking about your tricks all the way.” 
     -Brad Stutz, Puyallup

I was able to get some video from the show and hope to be able to put small clips from that online soon.