Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hot Engagement Photos! R+T

Thanks to Mike Larson, (www.mikelarson.com) we can view some sweeeeet pics of me and Traci on a private beach...
What a fantastic evening shooting near the water... and in the water.  Here are just a few samples of incredible moments captured yesterday. I could chat forever about Mike's talents, but I'll let his work speak for itself - like it always does:)

These were taken July 28th, 2008 and we are getting married on 8-8-08... These and many other pics will be used in a wonderful sign in book at the reception! 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chamber Challenge... Dang CLEVER DUCKS!

"Good Morning SLO!" is what I hear every so often when attending the Chamber of Commerce breakfast and business meeting. Today was very fun...

I was a "speaker" today which was perfect timing being that I was on the cover of the New Times for being voted Best Entertainer. After making the crowd believe that I make my fortunes with my new drug company, they watched a promo of me doing entertainment poking fun at those pharmaceutical commericals (with the endless side effects!). After the laughter subsided, I performed one effect. The person was chosen by a thrown airplane into the crowd of about 300 business owners and the like. Boy oh boy, the plane crashed landed 4 feet in front of me directly onto Amy Kardel from Clever Ducks. I ended up rushing through the effect to get a partial prediction of freely chosen thoughts and ended the timed speech with, "On the bottom of the flyer at your seats you'll see that there is a challenge... the first to find Dave Garth on my website gets $500 towards a appearance!"... (Dave Garth is the CEO/President of the Chamber of Commerce). We'll guess who won only hours later!?... That is right, Amy Kardel from Clever Ducks. Here's the funny part- I didn't remember or notice that Dave Garth signed my chamber certificate that is on my media/press page on the site. I had planned on giving people a hard challenge of finding the PICTURE of Dave Garth hidden within the album on the site... Oh, well... Better planning next time!

Congrats to Amy Kardel of Clever Ducks for searching and finding "Dave Garth"! As promised, I've posted the winner on the blog asap. The rest of you will have to hire me and see what she is so excited about. After being involved in an effect upclose and personal, she was determined to win this challenge today. There is certainly a big difference between watching an effect and being part of one.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rich picked as "Best Entertainer"! Thanks Central Coast!

Great News! I was just named Best Entertainer by the annual New Times Readers Poll on the Central Coast. If you live on the central coast of California, grab a May 8-14th copy. I'm on the cover of the newspaper, the cover of the magazine insert, have an interview and several other magical pictures that introduce the other winners in each category! Take a look online at New Times... or take a look at all the parts at my website!

Being recognized as a quality entertainer means a great deal to me. If the category was Best Magician, it wouldn't have been as big of a deal since there are FAR fewer magicians than there are entertainers, actors, singers, dancers, solo artists, jugglers, comedians, etc. THANK YOU so much for those who voted for me.

This should make a huge difference regionally for those event planners who are not familiar with my responsibilities and value as a strolling entertainer. Guests are number one and the magic is just one of several ways I engage to make events more memorable and sophisticated for guests.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hey kids... it's a lot harder than you think!

I spoke at Laguna Middle School a few weeks back during "career day". I'd strongly recommend it if you want to help teens see what it takes to be successful in your type of career... it also helps you think about your own career a little differently.

Of course, I started with a mind blowing trick to get their attention;)... then proceeded to explain that there is a heck of a lot more to making it in any sort of performance art than being talented in that art. I explained the ins and outs of a daily business day and all the typical responsibilities of running any business and being self employeed. "Light bulbs" went on all over the room. They really got it... I think there is a misconception because of the "glamour" of TV shows and "instant" fame and so called "success" on these realities shows. Too many teens think that if they are insane dancers that they'll make millions of dollars.

Anyhow, my point is that it felt great to obviously see kids see another side to pursuing this type of career and it was additionally amazing to receive many dozens of letters of thanks from the kids! Seriously, when I opened my mail up yesterday, I was amazed to read some of the long explanations from the kids about the presentation and how much it meant. Amazing really how little effort can help guide so many and make such a huge impression. I'll do it again next year if the schedule permits for sure!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Louis - Pay it Forward...

This week I was in St. Louis performing for CHA. I had a couple great experiences.

One, the venue/colloquium and people I performed for were just amazing. They took incredible care of all details, communication, accommodations, etc... By far, better than any corporate or private planning to date. During the shows, it was a blast to make such deep thinking people turn into kids. The multiple days were filled with meetings about ethics, health, etc. Having me at the receptions and dinners was a fantastic idea by Father Russel Smith
who was my contact and the person who requested my services. The Chase Park Plaza was amazing... multiple theaters, beautiful architecture, several classy bars and restaurants.

From the deck of my "penthouse suite", you can look into town and see the famous St. Louis Arch.... which leads me to the next experience.

To continue, I had to find a moment to shoot over to the Arch. On day two, I left on foot to walk a bit of distance to a subway terminal. When I got there and looked at the ticket machine with slight confusion, several down and out folks approached looking for handouts. Of course, I have a great response to this type of behavior if I don't have time to deal with it... I act foreign! There I was, speaking garbage language and then hearing several guys turn away saying "f@#$ing tourist... ain't got no money for me... don't speak the language... " etc. One guy was so helpful and gave up on his desire on trying to get a couple dollars from me. Without getting into too much detail about the "conversation" we had, lets just say that using gestures and very basic yes and no's with a "German" type accent, he (Ralph pictured below) really wanted to help me find my way easily to the Arch. Ralph turned out to be a heck of a guy who was down and out on his luck. He got me to the arch and was heading off on his way... I stopped him and inquired with a "language barrier" why he would burn up his only one hour pass to get me here and where was he trying to go, etc. This was a fantastic, gentle and giving older black man out of money. Of course, I gave him the 9 dollars required to get him the several trips away to home. This was a very interesting social experiment ending with a guy who made a friend with a "foreigner" needing help. I'm sure it made his day as well as it did mine. I continued with my day by going up to the top of the arch followed by a nice walk back to the hotel from the subway trip back across town.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Koei-Kan Karate-Do... protect those hands!

I just can't help it, I have to pursue another style of martial art. Koei-Kan is a very intense and high contact style of traditional Japanese karate. Myself and my family were highly involved in martial arts when I was younger and after many, many years of worrying about my "pretty" hands, I've decided to join a dojo locally (actually Chuck Liddell's home/discipline for 12 years!). I'll do my best to keep my hands injury free... and am looking forward to more exercise and life balance. With 2.5 hour classes, I'll be in great shape in no time;)! I really like how the focus is on the art and students and not endless colors of belts and money making practices like some "gyms". This style has only 3 colors of belts under black: white, green, brown. In some styles, you can "earn" a black-belt in a year or more(more of the sport and exhibition styles). In more traditional and intense styles, expect many years between belts at times. My good friend Hieko is a brown belt in a style that has a 2 year minimum between rankings and 8 years between degrees of black-belts! Talk about a life time commitment! When I turn 40 in 2010, I want to back in Olympic level shape! Wish me luck!

If interested, check out koeikanslo.com. We are looking for another couple adult students and he in excited to have a newly expanded junoir program too! The instructor is Larry Rhodes, also a professional photographer... Check out his art at isrhodes.com.

...and remember, you better "pick a card"... and not pick on me!;)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blog already will you!?

I'm all about letting you here interesting stories from when I perform, keeping you informed of exciting things in my more personal life and more... and after several wonderful people encourging me to explore the ease of updating info and sharing stories and insight with a Blog, I'm off and rolling!

SO thanks to Beau Kramer, Mike Larson, Katin Imes, David Pascolla, Allyson Magda locally and endless others out of the area... for the support and encouragement.

Now back to ME! ;) I've moved the section from my richferguson.com site called News and added a couple of the entries to the blog and just dumped the rest for now... THIS is acutally my first Blog! I don't feel any different yet... well, a little tingling in my left foot...

Today, we uploaded most of the new site as well... lots of changes and updates... new art, new consistent themes, more search engine stuff. I look forward to future Blogs with insight and exciting stories.

Best, RF

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Top Finalist on NBC's Phenomenon

NBC's Phenomenon (reality show with Criss Angel and Uri Geller) to name top Magicians/Mentalists in the World!-
I can not comment yet about any details about 2007 Fall's NBC reality show called Phenomenon. However, after numerous interviews and auditions, myself and several other lucky finalists have made it to the top 20! Stay tuned... Check out NBC's site about the show.

My style is quite intimate and a little difficult for this type of live "stage" type show... It is amazing I was even in the top after so many months of searching the globe and cutting contestants! Producers picked me as their top 3 for insane effects. "There are only 3 effects that completely baffle us... only three seem to be standing out at his point and you are among that group! You are known as ..." Cool @$#@.

(continued from months earlier)
There was some top talent from all over the world. The show didn't do them justice... It is great to be in the top little group but I am upset that I wasn't picked for the entire gig after being told I was a favorite three... I believe the show needs an intimate performer like me but the NBC execs who met the top 20 thought otherwise. A couple of my effects are so strong that I was requested to make them happen in my last interview. Unfortunately, I was not perfect in my attempt and I think letting me just be myself would have closed the deal in my favor.. but being forced to "perform" specific feats is sort fo silly... It is like seeing a magician take a watch (well NOT seeing them do it) and then asking them to take your watch as you look at the dang thing... the entire point is that you do not know it is coming! This issue with the huge range in styles of magic is a big problem.

Depending on how this season goes and what involvement I have during the show, I'm looking forward to next year. This experience has been great because I am an improv type mentalism/magician and never focused only on mentalism or any sort of planned act. I've come up with some new and wonderful ideas in a short amount of time. So, at least future clients will benefit from this recent shove to be better;) I am really wishing all the top finalist the best of luck. This show is truly had the makings to be quite special for viewers at home... I think it fell a little flat do to some complications with NBC... The producers are awesome and are propbably as frustrated as I am...
same producers of Last Comic Standing which was also on NBC. I joked that they should call it Last Mentalist Thinking!

New Levitation

New Levitation-

Rich has invented the most mind-boggling self-levitation to date. Magicians are already waiting to see if Rich's miracle will be performed by someone like David Copperfield or David Blaine or if Rich will wait to unleash it on one of his own television appearances...

The magicians that have had a chance to witness the effect so far have all agreed that it is definitely a "cool", original and clever levitation! Imagine a magician standing within an arms reach of you. The magician is facing you wearing regular clothing and without any shield of any kind begins to levitate over two feet into the air! There is nothing blocking your view of any part of the magician and you can even reach out and help raise and lower the magician with your hands if you would like too. @#$%! The casual presentation and ability to do this off the stage makes this an instant classic.

World Record

World Record-

Rich has broken the world record for the fastest coin roll! You would think that this record would have been held by a magician all along, but in Japan it is a common skill that actually has an annual event like the Olympics of coin rolls. Many people in Japan and other countries train regularly for the annual competition. Amazingly, Rich has practiced for many years and recently broke the world record with both his left and his right hand! Now that is dexterity! While we are on the subject, look for Rich's unique ability to manipulate coins and poker chips forwards, backwards, forwards and backwards at the same time on different hands, at different speeds at the same time on both hands, with multiple coins on both hands...