Issaquah Grand Ridge Manor

Grand Ridge at night

Grand Ridge Manor illuminated at night as misty fog rolls in

Last night I performed strolling and stand-up magic at The Grand Ridge in Issaquah.  I visit a lot of different venues throughout the year, but this was a new one for me, and a nice surprise!  It’s very close to I-90, but feels miles way.  A gated entry and long paved drive leads to a secluded country estate overlooking acres of manicured grass, trees, water features, wetlands, and more.

Former equestrian center in Issaquah shines as a wedding and event venue

Issaquah’s Grand Ridge shines as a wedding and event venue

Originally an equestrian estate, now the 36 acres is a full-time event and venue for special events.  As I drove up I thought, “this must be really popular for wedding and receptions”, and yes – that is their forte.  They also host corporate retreats, holiday parties, private events, and more.  Learn more about Grand Ridge at www.thegrandridge.com.

Guests rocking out with the band fronted by Steppenwolf guitarist Glen

Guests rocking out with the band including Steppenwolf guitarist Glen Bui & vocalist Denise Craciun

St. Katherine Orthodox Church hosted me – and the fantastic band with my friends Alex, Denise, Glen, and company – for their fundraising campaign to build or buy a new building.

A huge thank you to Alex and Denise who have hired me for FIVE performances this past year and a half.  (Check out what they did for Denise’s fabulous birthday party at their home in Issaquah.)  It’s no wonder that they’ve earned the coveted distinction of Clients of the year!

Whether you’re planning a private party for a few special friends in your home or a gala event for hundreds, my blend of clean comedy and interactive magic can make it fun and unforgettable.  Call Jeff Evans in Olympia toll-free 877-412-5064 or send e-mail to jeff[at]amazementproductions.com

 

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Thornewood Castle

It’s not every day that you get to visit an authentic castle.  Thornewood Castle in Lakewood isn’t just rare, it’s one-of-a-kind:  In 1907, Mr. Thorne purchased a 400-year-old  Elizabethan manor in England and had it dismantled and shipped, brick by brick, from England to be reconstructed on the shores of American Lake.

One of my magic audiences for the evening

One of my magic audiences for the evening


I was hired to perform magic for a double birthday:  Rob turning 50 and Dr. Roy celebrating his 80th birthday. 
Rob’s wife, Paige, lives in California and did a marvelous job planning the whole event from out of town.  My job was entertaining guests as they were socializing, enjoying food and drink, and exploring the marvelous mansion and the grounds.  (A tough job, but someone has to do it!)

“My nieces were so excited when I shared with them my plan to have Jeff perform at a recent birthday party. They had seen him at local school and library events. He delivered on that excitement! Jeff’s strolling/close-up magic was the perfect addition to the party. Both kids and adults were amazed and continued talking about his tricks after the party. He was very entertaining — Lots of smiles and laughter in the groups he engaged. As the party planner, I can add he was also very professional, punctual and super easy to work with.”
-Paige Olson, California
Read this review and others online.

My audiences ranged from kids about 8 years old to guests in their 80s.  And, I had a blast with them all!  One of the great things about magic done well is that it truly spans all ages. Although I can’t experience that wonder myself, I love seeing the reactions on people’s faces as they feel that moment of astonishment.  

Click here to learn more about my performances for 50th birthday parties and, yes, 80th birthday parties.  (What can I say, they’re my target demographic!)

To learn more about adding interactive entertainment to make your birthday celebration or wedding reception fun and unforgettable, call me, Jeff Evans, in Olympia at (360) 412-5064 or toll-free (877) 412-5064 or send e-mail to jeff[at]amazementproductions.com.

"I was giddy just driving my Maserati up to the front entrance..."  Jeff Evans

“I was giddy just driving my Maserati up to the front entrance…” Jeff Evans

History is fascinating, and one visit to the Thornewood Castle and you’ll want to know how this piece of England came to land just south of Tacoma.  The following information comes from Thornewood’s website, www.thornewood.com.

Chester Thorne (1863-1927) collected materials from across the British Isles to build his home, transported by three ships down the Atlantic around Cape Horn (the southernmost point of South America) and back up the Pacific to Washington State.

Family and friends celebrating two special birthdays

Family and friends celebrating two special birthdays

What has

  • over 27,000 square feet of living space…
  • boasts 54 rooms…
  • including 22 bedrooms…
  • and 22 baths?

Aw, how’d you know? 

In addition to the immense size and scale of the Thornewood Castle, it houses a priceless collection of rare artwork.  Hand-painted glass surrounded by panes of crystal mounted in windows make sunlight dance in vivid colors throughout the estate.  Created in the 15th to 17th centuries, they were previously owned by an English duke who spent 40 years collecting the chards and panels of lost art.

I wonder if my friend Leif David will read this?  He claims that his Google Alerts settings notifies him when he’s mentioned online.  We’ll find out if he posts a note to my blog!

If only these walls could talk...

If only these walls could talk…

The staircase as well as the doors were hand-hewn from 500-year-old ancient English oak and are held together by wood dowels.  Beautifully sculpted fountains, located in the circular drive and sunken gardens, are the focal points of our statuary collection, which includes many pieces, including the “Kingsale Hounds,” the only pair of these statues in the United States.

So much history here, really a pleasure just sightseeing in this amazing mansion

So much history here, really a pleasure just sightseeing in this amazing mansion

Remember, this is also a Bed and Breakfast.  The suites are luxuriously appointed and elegantly decorated, filled with antiques and historical pieces. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind event venue at www.thornewoodcastle.com.

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Sample South Lake Union

Seahawk's Blitz & Seattle magician Jeff Evans

Seahawk’s Blitz & Seattle magician Jeff Evans

The South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce‘s annual trade show, “Sample SLU”, was a hit.  Member businesses, local merchants, UW students, and others who live or work in the area stopped in to “sample” a large range of food as well as network and learn about local companies.   Having Chamber ambassadors on the street inviting people in – as well as the Seahawk’s Blitz – brought in a lot of folks who normally would have walked past.  Inside there was live music, a poi artist, yo-yo expert, and yours truly, magician Jeff Evans.

SLU Chamber of Commerce

SLU Chamber of Commerce

Looking for great entertainment for your Seattle-area open house, client appreciation night, or company party?  Amazement Productions’ Jeff Evans at (360) 412-5064 or send e-mail to jeff[at]amazementproductions.com today to learn more about adding clean comedy and amazing magic to your event.

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Spokane County Fair Magic

Spokane International Fair magician Jeff Evans

Spokane International Fair magician Jeff Evans.  Photo by Jon Bowne.

Sunny weather and friendly people make the Spokane County Interstate Fair a fantastic experience!  I don’t make it to the “Inland Empire” often, and this was my first time performing with the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs (and owner Bart) and cowboy singer/songwriter Marty Davis. I’ve known both of them for years through the Washington State Fair Association (WSFA) and Oregon Fairs Association (OFA), so it was nice to finally get to see and hear them doing what they do best!

Volunteers become part of Jeff Evans' interactive magic show

Volunteers become part of Jeff Evans’ interactive magic show

It was also a nice surprise to see and spend some time with Spokane-area performers Jerry Breeden (ventriloquist/musician/more) and magicians Jon Bowne and Cecil Lewis. All are first-class guys and a pleasure to be around.

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Lentil Festival Magician

Lentil Festival magician Jeff Evans

Lentil Festival magician Jeff Evans

The Palouse region of farmlands in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho has a reputation for producing the highest quality lentils in the United States.  Since its beginning in 1989, the National Lentil Festival has brought national attention to Pullman (go Cougs!). This was my second year performing for the Lentil Fest; view photos from the 2013 Lentil Festival here.

The drive there along Highway 26 is one of the prettiest anywhere.  At this time of year the hills are golden yellow.  I was in the area a month+ ago to perform for the Moscow Arts Commission and everything was a beautiful lush green.  Amazing how the landscape can change so much in a relatively short period of time.

Thanks to Lentil Fest team of Alexandria, Tony, Gabby, and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce for hosting another fantastic festival.  Stay up to date with my upcoming magic shows and events by being a fan on Facebook or following me on Twitter.

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Canyon County Fair Magic

Yeehaw!  Great gettin’ back in the saddle to kick off the county fair season at the Canyon County Fair in Caldwell, Idaho.  Weather was sunny and warm with temperatures in the high 90s, so I was very glad to be performing under the shade of a large tent.  (Still not sure if the huge audiences were there to see me or just get out of the sun!)

This was my second year in Caldwell for the Fair.  See photos and more from the 2013 Canyon County Fair.

"Larry the Cable Guy" and Jeff Evans doing an early morning promo for KTVB Boise

Early morning TV promo with “Larry the Cable Guy” of KTVB Boise

The first day of the fair started out early with a 6:30 am interview with Larry “the Cable Guy” for KTVB.  Later I also did some guerrilla magic on the fairgrounds with innocent bystanders for KBOI TV.

More promo with KBOI TV on the midway at the Fair

More promo with KBOI TV on the midway at the Fair

My buddy Alex Zerbe – who also lives in Olympia! – wowed everyone with his outrageous stunts, feats of skill, dancing, rap, and more. He is the one and only Professional Zaniac. Check him out at www.alexzerbe.com.  The grandstand concerts and rodeo drew thousands of people each evening to the main arena.  Other acts on the entertainment stages included a Boise jump rope team, musicians, a fashion show, hypnotist Ralph Maxwell, and more.

I was especially excited to finally see the Rhinestone Roper.  I’d heard his name in the past, but never worked with him or seen his act.  In addition to trick roping and his trained pony Star, his signature piece is throwing knives at his fiancee who is strapped to a huge whirling circle of plywood.  Yes, it’s real and yes, the wedding is still on!

Entertainment Coordinator Rico Weisman with Boise Arts and Entertainment who has been with the Fair for many years and has the stages dialed in. – See more at: http://amazementproductions.com/blog/2013/07/canyon-county-fair-magic/#sthash.Wzv05s2B.dpuf

 

Thank you to Entertainment Coordinator Rico Weisman with Boise Arts and Entertainment who has been with the Fair for many years and always has the stages and entertainment running smoothly.

If you’re in western Washington, come see me at the Pierce County Fair on August 8-9-10 in Graham. I’m doing shows all three days (strolling only on Sunday). And, the rest of my public magic shows for this summer is online. Say hi if you’re able to attend!  And, be a fan on Facebook for updates

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Pacific Coast Association of Magicians Convention

2014 PCAM Convention
Vancouver, British Columbia

Gregory Wilson's pickpocket brought down the house!

Gregory Wilson’s pickpocket brought down the house!

My first Pacific Coast Association of Magicians convention was held in Calgary, Alberta in 2997.  (I won the “Bag of Tricks” competition!)  It’s become my favorite annual convention since then, as I think I’ve attended each year except one.  (See my reports from the 2013 PCAM in Burbank, California and the 2012 PCAM in Seattle, Washington.)

It’s always nice to step back from my busy summer performance schedule to see what other top pros and amateur performers are doing, sharpen the blade, and get inspired.  And boy, is it inspirational seeing what other performers are doing!

This year’s convention was held in Coquitlam, just outside of Vancouver, B.C.  Typically there are a several performers brought in to perform and lecture.  This year my favorites were Dan Harlan (close-up, stand-up, and rubber band magic) and Gregory Wilson (stand-up comedy, close-up sleights of hand, and a hilarious pickpocket act).

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Winlock Egg Days Magic

Winlock Egg Days-Jeff EvansWinlock is a small town south of Chehalis in Lewis County.  I do a couple of events there a year, ranging from programs for the Winlock Timberland Library to assemblies for the elementary school.  I’ve also performed for the Winlock High School Senior Class Party, the Senior Center (as in senior citizens!), the Winlock Lions Club, and private parties.

The Winlock Egg Days celebration has been happening since 1937, but this was my first time being part of it.  Two thumbs way up for a small-town event that people really get behind and support!  I arrived about half-way through the parade, and was impressed to see so many people lining the streets to see it go by.  There was actually a traffic jam and parking was impossible to find, which has to be a rare situation in the downtown.

“We had nothing but positive comments and hope we can keep having entertainers of your quality for return engagements of our small town’s events.   You held the attention of kids and adults alike, and we will happily recommend you for other functions…  I knew in my heart that you would be a good fit for us and you proved it many times over.  Great show!!!”
-Nettie Jungers, Festival Coordinator

“You were a huge hit in Winlock! My grandson can’t stop talking about all your magic! I hope Winlock Egg Day plans to ask if you’ll come back. So much fun!
 -Barbara Lewis, Winlock

Winlock obviously has a lot of 12th man spirit, too.  Always nice seeing Seahawks green and blue!

The "World's Largest Egg" in Winlock, Washington has a distinctly "hawkish" appearance

The “World’s Largest Egg” in Winlock, Washington takes on a hawkish appearance to commemorate the Super Bowl champs.

Egg Days Director Nettie gets the party started at the Winlock Community Center

Egg Days Director Nettie gets the party started at the Winlock Community Center

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Issaquah Birthday Party Magician

Parties are more fun with magic!

And, more affordable with BizX*.

"Client of the Year" Alex in his [rented] Lamborghini

“Client of the Year” Alex in his [rented] Lamborghini

Alex and Denise receive my award for “Client of the Year.”  Alex first hired me for a fundraising event in Bellevue at the church they attend over a year ago.  Since then, he and his wife, Denise, have hired me for three other parties at their home in Issaquah; one a block-party for their neighborhood, another a Christmas party, and this one for Denise’s birthday celebration.  They throw the most amazing parties, treat their vendors like friends, and their friends like VIPs.

*Are they super-wealthy, and blowing tends of thousands of dollars each time they celebrate?  Nope – they are member of the BizXchange and Saturn Barter organizations and are masters of using barter dollars as part of their businesses!  Learn more about how  barter works by clicking one of the links above.  Barter is not new – in fact, it predates money transactions – but many businesses aren’t aware of how powerful it can be and how it works with your cash business.  I’ve been a member of barter organizations since about 1997 and highly recommend it.

Mingling magic with Jeff Evans in Issaquah

Mingling magic with Jeff Evans in Issaquah

Last December I was blown away when I drove into the neighborhood and saw their home lit up like Candy Cane Lane.  Alex had thousands of bulbs over the house, trees, and yard, all connected to electronic controllers like you see on YouTube videos.  They hired horse-drawn carriage rides and all of their guests and anyone in the neighborhood was invited to ride.

Last weekend Games2U provided a mobile gaming station and laser tag game.  Clowns Unlimited set up a huge inflatable ride in the driveway.  (Both are great organizations, and I ran into them both the week before at high school grad parties.)  And, they even rented a LAMBORGHINI for the day!  (Love the sound of that engine.)  Best of all, every one of these companies – including the delicious catering and bar – are barter members!

Denise is an amazing singer, Alex plays guitar (and more), and they put together an incredible band featuring Steppenwolf guitarist Glen Bui.  Seeing and hearing them perform live was awesome!  I performing strolling magic throughout the evening plus a stand-up show for the whole group in between sets by the band.  Not sure how they’re going to top this, but I know they will!

Mingling magic with Jeff Evans for Denise's ?? birthday party in Issaquah

Mingling magic with Jeff Evans for Denise’s ?? birthday party in Issaquah

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Summer Public Magic Shows

Magician Jeff Evans ~ Be a fan at www.facebook.com/jeffevansmagic

Magician Jeff Evans ~ Be a fan at www.facebook.com/jeffevansmagic

SUMMER VACATION is the best time to see one of my shows live.  Here’s my public show schedule for June, July, August, and September.

June 2014 Public Magic Shows

Jeff's Science Magic show is featured at dozens of libraries throughout western Washington and beyond in summer 2014

Jeff’s Science Magic show is featured at dozens of libraries throughout western Washington and beyond in summer 2014.  Photo by Rick Anderson with Bruno Photography, www.brunophotography.com.

July 2014 Public Magic Shows

August 2014 Public Magic Shows

September 2014 Public Magic Shows

  • Friday, September 5 – Friday, September 12 I’m performing magic for the Spokane Interstate Fair.  These are strolling performances only (no stage shows), and times are TBA.  Message me if you want to attend and I’ll get more details for you as the event approaches.
  • Saturday, September 13 at 2:00 pm – Tillicum Library
  • Friday, September 19 at 7:00 pm – Si View Science Magic Family Night (North Bend, $10/family admission)

All of the performances listed here are open to the public.  Most are FREE, some require a admission fee or pay parking.  Message me if you’d like more details, or call (360) 412-5064.  Please say hi if you attend! 

If you’re not already, be a fan on Facebook and Twitter for the latest scoop on fun photos, videos, and show photos.

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