Thursday, December 23, 2010

Corporate Holiday Parties on the Rise

Here's an article I just found that indicates that corporate holiday parties are on the increase since last year. A good sign that perhaps the economic situation is finally making a turn for the better. Many experts I've followed have mentioned that you can tell how well a company is doing by whether they have a holiday party (and how big of a party they have) for their employees. Here's the link: Corporate Holiday Parties.

And, by the way, if you're like some, who plan their parties for after the holidays, to avoid competition for scheduling and services, you can still get me for great entertainment for your event.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Blessed and Joyous Holiday to All!

For anyone who's not on my email list, here's my digital holiday card. All my best wishes to you and yours for the holidays!

And hey, if you're all shopped out and looking for something to do this week before the festivities begin, stop by and see me at The Whammy Bar Thursday evening 5:30--8:00 pm.

Joy to Your World!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Was on WEEK-TV This Morning

Hey, did anyone see me on News 25 Today, this morning? I was on around 6 AM.

I thought it went well, but I didn't have a chance to record it, so didn't get to see the spot.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Photo in the Journal Star

A nice photo of me appeared in today's Peoria Journal Star from my show yesterday at the Salvation Army's Red Stocking Party at Manual High School.

SHIFT Party Cencelled for Today

The SHIFT Arts Party that was scheduled for today at the Cornerstone Building in Peoria has been canceled due to the blizzard conditions. I'll post here if we decide to reshedule for another date.

Stay warm!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You're Invited to a Party for the Arts at the Cornerstone!

Just over a year ago, Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, made a visit to Peoria to learn about our arts community. He was impressed with what a truly thriving arts community there is in Central Illinois, and when asked how we could influence those in power to see the arts community as a driving economic and political force well worth investing in, he laid down a challenge: come together to move forward the priorities of the arts, entertainment, and creative community. Work together to promote the arts as the truly valuable economic and social resource that they are.

I'm happy to say that we've risen to the occasion, and have accomplished a great deal in the last year. The arts are truly alive and thriving in Central Illinois. And a big part of that movement has been events called SHIFT, where a group of those interested in promoting the arts have met and discussed strategies and projects for furthering that aim.

As a member of the SHIFT planning committee, I invite you to join us as SHIFT celebrates the accomplishments of the past year, and looks forward to the future...

We're holding a holiday arts party at the beautiful, historic Cornerstone Building on December 12 from 1 to 3 pm.

There will be food, drinks, music, and fun, and you can learn more about the Cornerstone and the exciting arts events that are happening there as well. We'll be unveiling a community mosaic photo collage (which we'll be sending on to Rocco), and enjoying the music of folk/rock/acoustic guitarist Jared Bartman and singer Mary Greenhood, who will perform a variety of original and inspiring folk ballads.

You can also feel free to bring a treat or beverage if you like.

You can RSVP for the party by calling ArtsPartners at 309-676-2787 or by email at

If you love the arts and want to celebrate with us, I promise you'll have a great time and meet some truly inspiring people. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Chances to See Me This Week...

I sense...
...that you have a strong urge to see some mind blowing close up magic...
Now just imagine having it completely fulfilled.
Here's your chance!

This Wednesday I'm at Tyroni's in Bartonville, and Thursday at the Whammy Bar downtown Peoria. You know you want to...

I know, you're busy, don't know if you can fit it in... Meanwhile, that urge gets stronger, and stronger, and STRONGER...

You know what to do!

I'll see you there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude Is Its Own Reward

Thanksgiving is not just a national holiday, it's state of mind. Giving thanks, expressing gratitude, being thankful, is an attitude that whispers to your subconscious mind that you are fortunate, fulfilled, and prosperous. It is not only the appreciation and celebration of what you have, it is a crucial aspect of the process of receiving.

If you aren't expressing gratitude for all that you receive, you are blocking the emotional and psychological flow of receiving more. Remember that whatever you focus your attention on increases. If you focus on problems... you'll get more problems. But if you focus on what Zig Ziglar calls "an attitude of gratitude", you'll get more of what makes you grateful.

On an interpersonal level, in your relationships, if you don't express gratitude to those who have been generous to you, whether in big ways or small, how likely are they to want to continue giving to you?

And besides, being grateful just feels good. It's a healthy state of mind, and it's one form of giving back to those who have given to you.

And as we approach this season of "Giving Thanks", I'm reminded of all that I have to be grateful for... my family and friends, my clients, customers, and business acquaintances, and all the wealth of opportunities, new friends, challenges, and so much more that I've been so fortunate to receive in the past year.

And finally, to you, I appreciate your interest, support, and attention, and wish you all the best in the coming year... and hope that you will "pass it on", and discover the wealth of experiencing and expressing your own gratitude. Be well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Press Release on Holiday Party Planning Resources

I just published a press release on my various tips and resources for planning holiday parties that can be found on my website.

At the Whammy Bar Tonight!

Just a reminder that I'm currently working at the Whammy Bar in downtown Peoria on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8 pm, doing tableside close up magic.

Stop by for dinner, they've got a surprisingly decent menu.

A couple of weeks ago, Councilman Ryan Spain was in with his lovely wife. They both had some really nice things to say about my magic. (Which actually means something coming from Ryan, as his father is a very talented magician, and an old friend of mine, Steve Spain, who owns The Costume Trunk.)

I won't be there next week on Thanksgiving, of course, so why not make it out tonight?

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rotary International

I'm really happy to announce that last week I was officially inducted into Rotary International here at the local club in Canton, Illinois. For any of you who aren't familiar with Rotary, it is a service based organization with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Their motto is "Service Above Self", and Rotary members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, eradicate polio, and much more.

If you've been a subscriber to my newsletter, The Magic Word, for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a big proponent of service, in both business and personal life. I'm very much looking forward to my work with and through Rotary.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recreating America

I just saw a truly inspiring program on PBS, entitled, Recreating America, on the importance of integrating the arts and creativity into all aspects of education. When education is done this way, presenting all subjects creatively, with active involvement from students, utilizing the arts at all levels of the curriculum, students do better across the board, and the entire attitude towards school and learning shifts from drudgery to inspired involvement and high achievement. Following an educational initiative in Oklahoma, the program explores how using creativity in education in a variety of ways enhances learning for students from preschool to high school levels and beyond.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Article on AOL Financial Site

Hey, here's some exciting news: I was just featured in an article on the AOL Money & Finance site, WalletPop. The article is titled: 10 fun jobs that pay well. And I'm one of those 10 featured jobs! Check it out here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Illinois Special Events Convention

For event planners: this is late notice, but I just learned about the 13th annual, Illinois Special Events Network State Convention, which is taking place this week, November 3 & 4, in Tinley Park. Here's a brochure on the event.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Still Time to Catch Me at Wildlife Scary Park

Just a quick update: last weekend at Wildlife Scary Park was great, and we're gearing up for the final weekend. Don't miss it!

I also had a great show yesterday at Spoon River College, and had fun afterwards watching their Halloween costume contest.

Wildlife Scary Park is seriously expanded this year, and man is it awesome. It's definitely the total Halloween event. Come on out, I promise you won't be disappointed. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 5--9 pm. My showtimes are: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 & 8:45.

And if you know any "wizards in training", check out my Wildlife Scary Park Magic Shop, where we offer magic sets and other magic goodies that you can learn to do.

If you do stop out, please be sure to grab me and say "Hi!"

See you there.

OH, and don't forget that I'll be at The Whammy Bar, starting Thursday, Nov. 4!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good Company on WHOI

Here's my spot on Good Company from this evening.

TV Appearances and Some "Scary" Shows

I'm going to be on TV this week! This evening, I'm doing a spot on Good Company with Mark Welp and Gretchen Wirtz at 5 pm on WHOI-TV 19. And on Wednesday morning (probably around 6 am, give or take a little) I'll be a guest on the News 25 Today program with Garry Moore on WEEK-TV 25.

On each of these, I'll be talking about National Magic Month, my upcoming events, and doing a little magic.

And speaking of more upcoming events... I guess the cat's out of the bag (especially if you watch my TV spots)... I'm pleased to say that I'm going to be performing at this year's Wildlife Scary Park at Wildlife Prairie State Park, near Hanna City. Always a huge attraction in the central Illinois area, bringing over 10,000 visitors each year, this year's Scary Park is improved and expanded, with several new attractions, one of which is ME!

Wildlife Scary Park runs Oct. 22--24 and 29--31, from 5 to 9 pm each evening. I'll be performing several wizard/ Halloween themed shows each night, and for those budding young wizards-in-training, in between my shows, we'll be offering magic kits and other magic items that kids can get to learn their own magic.

Watch for me on TV, and bring the whole family out to see my scary magic shows and other Halloween thrills at Wildlife Scary Park!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Whammy Bar

Just in time for the middle of National Magic Month, I'm really exciting to announce that starting October 19, I'll be performing my close up sleight of hand magic at the Whammy Bar in downtown Peoria!

This is a great new entertainment venue, which was opened recently by brothers, Jeremy and Brandon Isbell, right across the street from the Hotel Pere Marquette. I love what they've done with the place, and can't wait to begin working there.

I'm starting there the next two Tuesdays in October (the 19th and 26th) from 8--10:30 pm, and then beginning in November, I'll be there Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 pm.

And... I've got still more announcements in store for National Magic Month in October, including some TV appearances next week... more on that soon, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 11, 2010

TEDx Peoria

If you love hearing inspiring ideas from a variety of sources, and you haven't heard of, hey this is my gift to you. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TED is an annual conference where people from a wide variety of backgrounds get together to share ground breaking ideas of all kinds.

But TED is much more, and it's spreading... On, you can see free videos of inspiring talks from TED.

And I'm pleased to announce that Peoria has its own TED event, TEDx Peoria. And this month, I'll be giving a short presentation at the TEDx Peoria event, this Wednesday, October 13 at 6:30 PM at the WTVP studios in downtown Peoria. I'll be introducing a TED talk video (and maybe doing some magic myself!) in honor of National Magic Month.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Future of Event Planning and Social Media

Just came across a really interesting and valuable article on how to use various social media to help plan, organize, and promote events. Great tips for anyone planning an event, and indispensable for professional event planners.

Monday, October 4, 2010

National Magic Month!

That's right, October is National Magic Month. I've got lots in store for this month, and I'm kicking it off with my monthly appearance at Tyroni's Italian Cafe in Bartonville, this Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Stop by if you can, and stay tuned for more of my activities this month.... I've got some exciting surprises I'll be announcing soon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Event Planning Industry Beginning to Recover

Here's a new article from BizBash on a study that seems to indicate that the event planning industry is beginning to recover from the downturn of the economic recession. You can read about it HERE.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Green Event Planners

Here's an interesting article I just found on what is fast becoming a booming trend in the event planning industry: eco-friendly event planning. It's titled, Ecopreneurship Opportunity: Green Wedding and Event Planner. Definitely something to be aware of if you plan events.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Latest Newsletter

I recently sent out my newsletter The Magic Word to everyone on my email list. It has my "Word from Mitch" column on living more happily, a new tasty vegetarian recipe, my "Trick of the Month", and lots of other fun stuff. If you'd like to read it online, you can do so HERE. And if you're not on my mailing list yet and would like to be, you can sign up at my company Facebook page. Enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wine and Experience Auction

Tomorrow evening I'm performing at the PBG Wine & Experience Auction at Mt. Hawley to benefit Children's Hospital of IL

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hanna City Heritage Days

Just a quick note that I'm appearing this Saturday, August 28 at the Hanna City Heritage Days festival in Hanna City, IL. Performing strolling magic around the festival grounds from 4:30 to 5:30, and a stage show at 6 PM.

Stop by and enjoy the fun!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Event Planning News, Ideas, and iPhone App

Here's another new resource for event planners I just found. Actually two, one resource within another. BizBash Hive is "a new place for event professionals to share news and ideas." They have a plethora of useful and informative articles and news items on a variety of event related topics.

One of the articles I thought was particularly interesting is an announcement on a new iPhone app for event planners. It's called Super Planner, and according to the article, it is "ideal for both wedding and corporate event planners", and it has a variety of functions, including: a pricing conversion page, a food and drink calculator, calculators for staffing, catering, staging, projection and dance floor, as well as a page that will automatically tell you how many people a room will hold based on square feet and table choices. You can also learn about it at the Super Planner Website. I don't have an iPhone myself, but it sounds like a great tool for those who do.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Cisco Collaboration for Events

Here's a new technological resource for corporate event planners. Cisco just introduced "Collaboration for Events". In a press release they describe it as providing "event planners and executives with customizable options for using collaboration and business video technologies like Web conferencing, telepresence, digital signage and enterprise social software to dramatically expand an event's reach beyond the physical limitation of an event venue."

It's slated as being able to expand the scope of live events, better track ROI, assist in the planning process, attract top speakers, and help keep costs down for trade shows, conferences, and other business events.

To learn more about the new service, you can visit their blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The AIG Effect

One of the challenges for those of us in the event entertainment industry is what has recently come to be referred to as the "AIG effect". Corporations have cut back on many of their meetings, conferences, and other events, not only because of tightened budgets during the economic crunch, but also because of the public perception that these types of corporate events are excessive or frivolous.

Unfortunately, this trend has had a negative effect on business for those in the event, travel, and hospitality industries. Conferences and other events are still very valuable, but it's become politically incorrect to be seen as spending money on wining and dining corporate executives.

In a new article in Conference & Incentive Travel magazine, Ben McKee of American Express is quoted as saying, "Events should pass a ‘red face test’ to see if the company would be embarrassed by external coverage of the event."

While there are some indications that the impact of this trend is beginning to reverse itself somewhat, it's still a factor in our industry, and one that those of us serving the corporate event market can and should address.

As an entertainer and speaker, I strive to offer real value not only with my programs themselves, but also in assisting clients to communicate what that value is in concrete terms. In my view it's necessary to "go the extra mile" in this way so that clients can have a clear conscience about choosing to hire top notch speakers, entertainers, and other vendors for their events.

Morale, team building, and keeping employees on the right track are key to the bottom line of any company, and of course, that's what I offer for corporate events.

If you've been effected by the "AIG effect" in your business, I'd love to hear about your experiences, and would be happy to share my thoughts about how to address these challenges in ways that can be of benefit to all of us.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Special Summer Pricing

I've been a bit out of touch lately, sorry about that.

Just a quick note to touch bases and let you know that my past customers and contacts, (and my "new friends" as well) may be eligible for special pricing on events booked this summer. Contact me for details: EMAIL.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day! Stop by the drumming circle at the Murray Center of the Arts in downtown Peoria, today at 5 pm.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Meetings and Events Blog

Hey, here's a new blog I just found on "The Strategic Business Value of Meetings and Events". It's by Corporate Event Interactive, a Chicago based event planning company, and it has a lot of good information on the value of corporate meetings and other events.

Check it out: The Strategic Business Value of Meetings and Events

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Business Expo and Google Video

I just spent the day doing magic for the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau booth at the annual Peoria Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, which was held at the Peoria Civic Center. I had a lot of fun, and got to connect with some old friends and meet a few new ones.

And when I got back in the office, I discovered that they now have my Google Fiber Peoria testimonial video up online. Here it is:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Event Planning Guide and Google Fiber

Here's another event planning resource I stumbled across... It's an online version of a magazine on event planning, called The Guide 2010. Although it's published in London, and is mainly targeted to the British event market, it nonetheless does have some useful articles with information that would be helpful for event planners anywhere. Anyway, it's well worth checking out.

Also, I just heard that my Google Fiber video should be up sometime today or tomorrow. Stay tuned, I'll post a link to it as soon as I have it...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

taped a video segment today at WTVP studios for the Google Fiber Peoria project. I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Martini's and Haiti Relief Effort

Tomorrow night I'll be performing close up magic at Martini's on Water Street in Peoria for a special Valentine's giveaway night for They're giving away a great package of fun stuff for Valentine's Day.

And just a reminder that there are still a few days left to take advantage of my offer to benefit the Haiti Relief Effort and (See my post below.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Help the People of Haiti

As I'm sure has been true for most of us, I've been moved by the images and stories of the devastation following the earthquakes in Haiti. If you've read my most recent newsletter, you'll know one of my former high school classmates runs a mission there.

I felt moved to help in some way, so I've decided to give my customers a way to help me assist the aid efforts in Haiti. Starting today, Monday, January 25, 2010, for any engagement for my services that is booked and confirmed during the next three weeks, I will donate 10% of my fee to Regardless of when you're holding your event, if you simply confirm during this period, you can take part in my fundraising effort.

This is the fund set up with the global benefit telethon by George Clooney and others in the entertainment industry. 100% of the funds raised by Hope for Haiti Now go to relief efforts in Haiti, with no backend or administrative costs.

The fund benefits the following organizations:
So if you need entertainment for an event at any time, and you can confirm your booking with me in the next three weeks, 10% of your fee goes immediately to these organizations to benefit the earthquake survivors in Haiti.

To learn more, you can call me at 309-647-3692 or send me an email with details on your event and any questions you may have. You can learn more about my services here.

Thanks so much for your support.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Great New Event Planning Resource

I'm always doing my best to keep an eye out for great resources for those of you who are event planners, or even for those of you who may be planning an event in the near future. Anyway, here's a good one I just found. It's a site called Here's a quote from their recent press release:
"New website offers professional and amateur party planners a way to recoup event-related costs, find amazing deals on new and gently used party supplies and help the environment through recycling. is used by Hollywood event insiders as well as general public."
Basically, it's a sort of "eBay for events", in that you can buy and sell slightly used event related items, such as decorations, florals, catering supplies, entertainment and technical supplies, and just about anything else you can think of related to party and event planning. What a great idea, eh? Good for the environment, good for your pocketbook, and a "win-win" all the way around. I love finding great event planning resources like this one! As the press release goes on to say:

"Event Leftovers is for both event professionals (event planners, florists, venues, party stores, nonprofit organizations, rental companies, corporate planners, etc.) and nonprofessionals (anyone that organizes a party for themselves, family or friends). Event Leftovers is appropriate for all types of events, parties, productions, trade shows, expos and conventions and so much more.

"There is tremendous waste in the event industry; whether it’s items bought but never used, used but are still in excellent condition, or merchandise from past seasons sitting in warehouses, garages, offices or stores. Event Leftovers was created to take advantage of this excess by making these items available for secondary events. Event Leftovers is particularly timely in today’s down economy when people are looking for the best possible deals as well as ways to recoup event-related expenses and find the best deals available."

Hope you find this useful in planning your events. Check them out:

And hey, if you are planning an event soon, don't overlook the entertainment, for crying out loud. My magic programs may be just the ticket (even if I do say so myself!)

New Newsletter

My new Magic Word newsletter is up:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Year's Greetings and More...

Happy New Year to all! First a quick update on my Dad. He just came home from the hospital a couple of days ago, and is doing well, all things considered. He's getting around much better, and his speech is steadily improving. I certainly appreciate all the prayers and support, and also a big "thank-you!" to the staff at Proctor Hospital. They did an excellent job of taking care of him and lending encouragement and support when he really needed it.

If you tried to email me or access my website in the past week, you were no doubt frustrated by the attempt, (though probably not as frustrated as me!) Through an error on the part of my domain registration company, my website was down for just over a week. Since it's my main marketing tool, and my email address my main means of business communication, it put a definite hamper on my business. (If you host websites and register your own domain names, a word of caution: avoid using a company called at all costs. 'Nuff said.) Anyway, you'll be glad to know the problem is now solved, and I'm up and running again.

I'm currently working on a new edition of my email newsletter The Magic Word that I hope to have out by the end of this week. It's generally filled with updates on my activities and lots of other fun stuff (I usually include a tasty vegetarian recipe and a "Trick of the Month" that you can learn, for example.) If you'd like to be on my mailing list to receive the newsletter, just send me an email asking to be added to my mailing list.

Finally, here's something helpful for those of you who plan corporate meetings and events, and are feeling the pinch of the economy. It's an article I found on the Top 10 Tips for Reducing Meetings Costs in 2010.

I hope your New Year is going well so far. Please do keep in touch!