Enchantment

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Name: Kevin
Location: Miami, Florida, United States

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Not a real update.... but...

No matter how many times I resolve to update this blog regularly, the truth is I just don't!

But...
Now I have a twitter account... so I can update from my phone.

Follow me at:
http://www.twitpic.com/photos/kevinandcaruso

(PS - My twitter updates will probably have little to do with the 'show', more just about what I do during the days.)

Show updates will still be here on my blog -
a few times a year anyway!


Here's a drawing of a new illusion going in the show soon:


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sept, Oct, Nov

So much has happened over the last three months. Read further, and you'll understand why I haven't been blogging in, well, forever!

After running nearly 6 years, in September our show on the Carnival Conquest closed for three weeks to undergo major changes – including getting a new star, Lady Hellevi. The new show turned out better than anyone expected, getting rave reviews and standing ovations each showing. It's scheduled to run for 3 years, but I have a sneaky feeling this show will run a lot longer. We couldn't have done it without the incredible amount of help and patience from the cast of 12 dancers, 6 stage technicians, and Lady Hellevi herself. As a performer, she brings this show to life with her amazing illusions and jaw-dropping aerial feats. It was also our first show working with Mistinguett, who truly lived up to her reputation. Her staging and choreography took this show to another level, and I am eternally grateful for her kindness, flexibility, and experience. I really couldn't imagine producing another show without her.


Click here for a link to "Lady Hellevi's highlights video"


October was spent working on the two shows we perform in on the Carnival Triumph. These shows also turned out great. After running for over 8 years, our main magic & illusion show got a major overhaul including all new staging, costumes, and a few new illusions. The new finale section is a show unto itself . . Rock-n-roll music, motorcycles, showgirls, leather jackets, and Caruso flying over the audience. Mistinguett said it best, "Typical Kevin & Caruso - you get the whole kitchen sink in less than a minute." I'm not sure if that was a compliment or just an observation, but in either case for some reason it made me smile. Video clips of this new show coming soon.

We also opened another new show on the Carnival Triumph called "A Kiss Goodnight." It's a late night burlesque show featuring 5 dancers, a singer, and I host the show with a little comedy magic. It's the first burlesque show ever produced on a cruise ship, and the audiences seem to love this 'adults only' entertainment concept. This show will play for 3+ years in the Rio Lounge - a more intimate cabaret type theater seating only 200 guests. Also staged and directed by Mistinguett, all I can say is I love this show!!! It's reminds me of the shows we performed in way back in the early 90's when all the Nevada casino's had little cabaret showrooms and late night edgy shows.. indeed the good ol' days. Who would have thought that fifteen years later not only would I be producing shows like this - but I'm actually working with the same people I idolized at that time. Full circle.

Click here for a link to "A Kiss Goodnight"

------

Despite the 80+ hour work weeks (and flights back and forth to Miami sometimes twice a week) the last 3 months will be safely etched into my memory as another turning point in my career. The drama that comes with these, and the many other opening nights continues to teach me about the entertainment industry. The dynamics needed to carry out a crazy producers vision isn't easy to achieve. Entertainers are a breed unlike any other, each with their own individual talents, needs, and egos (I've learned it's always better to be kind, than right.) As the curtain goes down, it's easy to forget that each performer and technician has sacrificed a significant portion of their own life, all so the audience can forget about theirs. A responsibility I don't take lightly.

Here are some random pictures from the last couple months, and I promise to start posting the "audience" pictures again real soon!

Opening night cast picture Carnival Conquest - Lady Hellevi show:



Opening night cast picture - Carnival Triumph:



Dinner in the supper club on the Conquest
My Dad came to sail the week of opening night, which was awesome!



Lucky me: Lady Hellevi & Mistinguett: (I'm sure they'll kill me for posting this picture)


Rehearsals on the Conquest:





Backstage props on the Triumph:


Caruso being Caruso:



Me on halloween 2008:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer

Summer is winding down - and I haven't blogged in lets see. . . almost two months!?!?!?!?

I guess that means I've been busy. . . ok VERY busy.

Telling all the details could prove to be long-winded, so I'll stick with some basic highlights:

Mistinguett came and went, proving to be one of the most creative and inspiring times of my career. It will be a pleasure to work with her on all 4 of our shows between now and the end of the year, starting with a brand new show we are producing for the Carnival Conquest - to open on October 2. The show will star "Lady Hellevi" a truly rare and unique aerial artist - turned illusionist - who has been a part of our show in Miami for the last 5 years. This production will replace our long running show "Deja - the Diva of Deception" which will close on Sept 24 after a record breaking 6 year run. It will be sad to close this show, as it was the first show we ever produced that we didn't perform in ourself. Deja did a great job and we wish her only the best in her future endeavors.

I finally sold my house and moved back to Miami Beach. I sold it to a Convent -yes Nuns - who happen to own most of the neighborhood already so it worked out for everyone. I am constantly reminded how lucky I was to sell this house during this relentless real estate crisis, but I still maintain luck had little to do with it. . . I'm thinking Divine Intervention!!!!

Even after my Dad came for a couple weeks to help with the painting and renovating, the house I am moving into at the beach isn't ready yet (yes, I'm renting.) Temporarily I am living in a studio apartment across the street. Part of the deal is that I get a discount on the rent if I help with getting the house ready, but I've done all I can. Now it's in the hands of plumbers and electricians, who seem to work government schedules. Until we're done, Caesar gets the best of both worlds - during the day he gets to stay in the yard of the new house, and in the evening I bring him over to spend the night with me in our little studio. It's actually fun and I realize that feeling nostalgia for the present is a contradiction of emotion, but I can safely say these will no doubt be considered the "good ol' days" before long.

Our show at the Deauville Resort has turned into this little wild fire. We've been sold out every week all this summer. It's a sweet and sour feeling to see crowds of people get turned away when all the seats are full. Hopefully by the end of the year when we finish all of our other projects we will be able to add a couple more shows to the schedule... until then - BOOK TICKETS EARLY! - because don't forget, we only have 220 seats!!!

And so it all continues.
Life is short; many changes.

Caruso, Mistinguett, and myself backstage on the Triumph:


Great audiences that have come to see us since my last post:



















Monday, July 7, 2008

June

June went by in a flash, and my prediction is July & August will continue at warp speed. With so many projects going all at once, my days are like a seamless cycle of work/sleep/work/sleep. No complaints here, I love it all.

Today was bittersweet.
I had the pleasure of spending the last two weeks with my Dad, who came all the way in from Reno to paint my new house. How cool is that! Very sad to see him leave today. Soon after he left, Carnival Corp. called me to come in and sign our new contracts. It's official. Our shows on the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Conquest will both run through 2011. Major show changes coming to all 4 of our shows this October and November. We'll post a new press release within the next couple weeks.

Tomorrow director/choreographer Mistinguett is coming to spend a week with us. Mistinguett's work has been an inspiration to us since we started in the business, and we are honored to have her work with us on our new shows. A little Mistinguett trivia..... she is one of only six people in the country to have a single name on her passport!

Here's a few pictures from the last few weeks:
Fun picture from the Deauville stage:


Carnival Triumph in port of Cozumel, Mexico


My favorite restaurant. Period. (Cozumel)


Our friend Tim - entertainer on the Carnival Fantasy - riding in his Mexico chariot:


Having fun in Cozumel




Thanks to these great audiences over the past few weeks:

July 5, 2008 - Deauville Hotel - That's my dad in the front row! (right)


Carnival Triumph - July 2, 2008 - 8:30pm


Carnival Triumph - July 2, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Resort - June 28, 2008


Carnival Triumph - June 25, 2008 - 8:30pm


Carnival Triumph - June 25, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Resort - June 21, 2008


Carnival Triumph - June 18, 2008 - 8:30pm


Carnival Triumph - June 18, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Resort - June 14, 2008


Boca Resort - VIP special event - June 12, 2008


Carnival Triumph - June 11, 2008 - 8:30pm


Carnival Triumph - June 11, 2008 - 10:30pm

Monday, June 9, 2008

me = hunter

Caesar was acting weird all last week. Weird meaning almost sick-like. He wouldn't leave his corner of the bed, he wouldn't go outside, and he wasn't screaming for food every five minutes - a sure sign there's definitely something wrong. Friday morning I decided if things don't improve by Monday, I'll have to make an appointment with the vet.

Things changed Friday afternoon.

The dingy smell in my room nagged me into remembering it had been two weeks since I cleaned up. I locked Caesar outside, and was going to start with the floor. I must have squeeled like Hanna Montana when I moved my bed aside. There it was... the biggest F-ing possum I'd ever seen, UNDER MY DAMN BED!!! This thing was huge. I figure it must have been there since last Monday; the day Caesar started acting weird.

After spending over an hour being out-smarted, I finally managed to corner her. Her only option was to go inside the cat carrier I strategically placed next to the dresser. While I'm sure Caesar would have preferred possum stew, instead I let her go behind the house. Her lucky day indeed.

On the bright side, I can now add Possum Catcher to my resume.


I named her Concepcion:








Caesar in his corner of the bed:



Thanks to all these nice people who came to see our show:
Carnival Triumph - May 27, 2008 - 8:30pm


Carnival Triumph - May 27, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Resort - May 31, 2008


Carnival Triumph - June 4, 2008 - 8:30pm


Carnival Triumph - June 4, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Resort - June 7, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fast times

May has gone by so fast. I guess that's what happens when you don't sit on your ass a lot. Between performing, traveling, working on the new shows, and moving back to South Beach, I've been a busy boy. Free time will have to wait until next month, when I'm hoping to take a little trip to Las Vegas. The new shows are looking good (on paper anyway) and I am just finalizing the running orders. The new illusions will be great, and the costumes more dazzling then ever. Pictures and drawings coming soon.

Our ship changed it's regular itinerary last week, so for the next year my travel days change a little, as do the ship's ports of call. This works out great because now every other week we will join the ship in Cozumel, Mexico - which happens to be where my favorite restaurant in the world is... La Choza. If the old saying is true - it's the little things that keep us going. We then disembark the ship early the next day in Grand Cayman, which is also good because the flight home is only an hour.

So much going on.
Change is good.

Picture of the Carnival Triumph docked in Grand Cayman.
AKA my home away from home.




Thanks to these great audiences during May
Carnival Triumph - May 6, 2008 - 8:45pm:



Carnival Triumph - May 6, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Beach Resort - May 10, 2008:


Carnival Triumph - May 13, 2008 - 8:45pm:


Carnival Triumph - May 13, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Carnival Triumph - May 20, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Beach Resort - May 24, 2008
(new camera, wrong settings, bad pic!):

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

Here's a little recap of the goin' ons.

Against all odds, I sold my house only a week after I put the sign outside! I never even got around to taking pictures and officially listing it. Just a simple little sign outside did the trick. Considering the state of the real estate market, I consider myself very lucky, and I'm peeing with excitement that I'll be moving back to South Beach in a couple months. Yay!

We've been working intensively with Carnival Cruise Lines to finalize our contract extensions. Our 3 shows on Carnival will now run officially through 2011. Writing the new shows has been a creative orgasm, and we'll be able to do some really cool new things. AND- If all works out, we'll be using my long-time idol Mistinguett as the choreograher. In the early 90's we used to watch her shows in the Nevada casinos, and it was her style that laid the groundwork for the shows we do today. It was such a thrill to talk to her about the old days, and I almost passed out when she said she was equally thrilled to work with us on our new shows. We feel not only grateful, but lucky to get an opportunity to work with someone of her caliber.

Louise is coming next week for the whole summer. We'll be working on costumes and sets for the new shows. I sincerely look forward to spending the summer with her. At 74 years old, she still can outwork even me - often putting in 16 hour work days. Again, lucky for us.

David is also staying here for a couple weeks. He'll be working on new fliers, posters, and other design ideas to freshen things up. His gift for having a vision and being able to transfer it to tangible hard copy is as magical as anything I do on stage. At risk of repeating myself, lucky for us!

Mom & Dad are in Germany for a couple weeks. I miss being able to talk nonsense with them everyday. Before they left, Dad had a nice talk with Siegfried (of Siegfried and Roy) in Las Vegas at the Hofbräuhaus. LUCKY FOR HIM!

Dad, Siegfried, and Uncle Peter:



Thanks to these great audiences last week!
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - Deauville Resort:



Carnival Triumph: April 29, 2008, 8:45pm:


Carnival Triumph: April 29, 2008, 10:30pm:


Saturday, May 3, 2008 - Deauville Resort:



Friday, April 25, 2008

tick-tock

How time flies.

My Dad sent me these clippings from way-back-when. This is the ad I placed in the newspaper when I first started getting interested in magic. I remember only person responding - Nicky Delaney - and together we started all this. A few years later, she lost interest and shortly after I met Caruso.



This is a clipping from the first public show I ever did - at my high school. Notice the price of tickets - TWO DOLLARS!!! - how times have changed.



"Hot Hot Hot" was the casino show we starred in prior to moving to Florida. This show ran for 3 years and was the foundation to the style of show we still perform today.




Last week Caesar and I took another road-trip to Sarasota to visit David. Like any good traveler, we avoided the main highways and weaved our way through Florida taking only small scenic roads. It was amazing.







A big thanks to these April audiences who came to see our show:
Carnival Triumph - April 8, 2008 - 8:45pm:



Carnival Triumph - April 8, 2008 - 10:30pm:



Deauville Resort - April 12, 2008:


Carnival Triumph - April 15, 2008 - 8:45pm:



Carnival Triumph - April 15, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Resort - April 19, 2008:


Carnival Triumph - April 22, 2008 - 8:45pm:


Carnival Triumph - April 22, 2008 - 10:30pm:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Planes & Boats, reprise

This week went by really fast. Better put, exhaustingly fast. It was an especially hard travel week, because we had to go to 2 different Carnival ships for our performances and also a show inspection. Between Tuesday and Thursday I was in Miami, St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, San Juan Puerto Rico, Fort Lauderdale, Montego Bay Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands!!! It was a productive week. We have been making some progressive changes to all of our shows lately, especially our show on the Conquest; which is now better than ever, thanks to the hard work of a really amazing cast and crew.

So after all that, on Friday I went to the fair.
My all time favorite - the dime toss...
I won 2 glasses , only cost me $20.



I rode this thing and nearly peed myself. Never again.



Chickened out on this one, Caruso rode alone.




Thanks to these great audiences during the last week!

Saturday, March 29, 2008 - Deauville Beach Resort
(Caruso's Dad, sister, husband, and kids in front row!!)



Tuesday - April 1, 2008 - 8:30pm - Carnival Triumph


Tuesday - April 1, 2008 - 10:30pm - Carnival Triumph


Saturday - April 5, 2008 - Deauville Beach Resort

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Work. Vacation.

Last week we went to the Carnival Conquest to do some maintenance on the "Deja" show. It was a very productive trip , long overdue. We restructured the show and fixed up all the costumes. Our illusion builder Bill came with us as well, making sure the props are safe and in good working order. Despite all the hard work and shitty cabin, we had a blast. We got to meet an amazingly talented cast and crew (special thanks to Tammy & Bryon), and every night we shared cool magic stories with Bill over some great dinners. It was the closest thing to a vacation I've had in a long time, and the show is now better than ever.

Now, back to the grind...


Here are a few pictures from the Conquest trip:
Notice the helicoptor, there was a medial emergency and they had to fly out one of the passengers:


Caruso in the dressing room doing costume maintenance:



Some of the headdresses stored in the dressing rooms:


My work station in the dressing room - editing music & lighting cues:


Rehearsing the "Cube-zag" illusion:



And here are the great audiences we performed for the past couple weeks:
Deauville Hotel - March 15, 2008:


Carnival Triumph - March 21, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Hotel - March 22, 2008:


Carnival Triumph - March 25, 2008 - 8:45pm:


Carnival Triumph - March 25, 2008 - 10:30pm:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mid March

Just wanted to post a few highlights of what's going on . . .

We are leaving on Sunday to join the Carnival Conquest in Galveston, TX to tackle some big lighting changes to our long running "Deja" show. The show is in it's 6th year, and it's time let it evolve. Joining us will be Bill Smith of Magic Ventures to discuss some new illusions, etc. This will be an exhausting, but very productive trip that's been long overdue.

David won an "ADDY" award for our new website - I don't really know what that means, but it sounds cool and I'll milk it for whatever it's worth =P

Shhhhh.. . I'm not supposed to tell anyone yet, but we are seriously considering expanding our show at the Deauville Resort from one to three nights each week. . . with the recent closing of their Jazz Club, the owners have asked us to expand our schedule. But as with anything in showbiz, there's so much to consider. . so I'll save the details until later.

And finally, I'm going to put my house up for sale soon. I want to move back to South Beach. . especially if we'll be working at the hotel three nights a week.


This picture pretty much sums up the last 12 years of my life.
The more that things change, the more they stay the same


Thanks to these audiences who spent time with us so far this month:

Carnival Triumph - March 4, 2008 - 8:45pm:


Carnival Triumph - March 4, 2008 - 10:30pm


Deauville Beach Resort - March 8, 2008


Carnival Triumph - March 11, 2008 - 8:45pm


Carnival Triumph - March 11, 2008 - 10:30pm


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Headlines & Hillary

Since I rarely have time to read the paper or watch TV, I update myself to the worldly news via my cell phone. While this is certainly convenient, it usually means I just get the headlines. While this keeps me semi-informed, the details are filled in by my vivid imagination - for better or worse!

I haven't written in this blog in a couple weeks, so this recap will be in headline form - and as with the world news, the details are better if you make them up yourself.

1. Louise finally left after 3 months - leaving behind a host of new costumes and accessories which are now to be worked into the show.

2. We put a new dance number and laser show in our Deauville show - turned out great!

3. My parents came out from Reno and sailed on the Triumph to see our shows, and now are here in Miami for a few more days.

4. Carnival contracted us to re-vamp all 3 of our shows this year, in addition to consulting on one of their other magic shows (yay, MORE work!)

5. The Deauville Resort closed down their Jazz Club this week - and consequently has asked us to perform our show three days a week instead of only one. (yay, EVEN MORE work!)

6. New website has generated 250% more traffic than our previous one - (thanks again D.T.)


Finally, as you know, my dear sweet Hillary isn't doing so well in the polls - makes me so sad. I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
"H" is for Honesty
"I" is for Integrity
"L-L" is for Loving and Lovable (for Henny "LL" means something else)
"A" is for Admirable
"R" is for Ready
"Y" is for Y'all go out and vote for sweet Hillary in Texas & Ohio!

Or if you prefer, Billary:




Thanks to these great audiences over the last couple weeks:

Carnival Triumph: February 12, 2008 - 8:30pm:


Carnival Triumph: February 12, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Resort: February 16, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Carnival Triumph: February 19, 2008 - 8:30pm:


Carnival Triumph: February 19, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Resort: February 23, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Carnival Triumph: February 26, 2008 - 8:30pm:


Carnival Triumph: February 26, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Resort: March 1, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday update

Last nights show was crazy... the good kind of crazy (speaking in hindsight, of course!)

Monday I got a call from a tour operator who wanted to bring 140 people to the show Saturday. Knowing damn well we only have 220 seats - and already 80 tickets sold online - like any good businessman, I said "sure, no problem, see you Saturday."

That gave us a few days to clean up the theater, including clearing out a 'storage' area that gave us room for additional 30 good-view seats (a great idea that we should have done months ago - yay for hindsight, again!)

So we made room for almost 250 people - and last night ended up using most every seat. Nancy told us she had to turn about 40 people away... I sure hope they come back next week.

After a half-assed late afternoon rehearsal that we should have done the day before (again, hindsight) the show went surprisingly smooth. We had a new dancer in the show, and also a new "green" section , both of which the audience seemed to like.

Now I have two days off - a welcomed change from the frantic week so far.


A sincere thanks to all these great audiences that came to see us over the past couple weeks!

Carnival Triumph - Jan 29, 2008 - 8:30pm:


Carnival Triumph - Jan 29, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Resort - February 2, 2008:


Carnival Triumph - Feb 5, 2008 - 8:30pm:


Carnival Triumph - Feb 5, 2008 - 10:30pm:


Deauville Resort - February 9, 2008:



Monday, January 28, 2008

More of the same

This will be another one of my famous lazy updates. Promises of a 'real update' broken again, for no good reason.... In my defense, I've been really busy with Louise & David here working on new show stuff. February will be full of changes, and some new pictures & video to prove it will be posted soon.

Until then... my weekly routine resumes with it's usual vigor.
Planes, taxi's, stages, audiences, computer work, and as always; little sleep.

.... I love it all.

Thanks to these great audiences so far in January
(for those on the Triumph the week of Jan 15, sorry I lost my camera!)
January 19, 2008 - Deauville Resort:



January 22, 2008 - Carnival Triumph 8:30 pm :


January 22, 2008 - Carnival Triumph 10:30 pm :


January 26, 2008 - Deauville Resort: