New Year's Eve with Joe Pesci (Super Cool Guy)

Last night I was hired to perform at a New Year's Eve Gala for about 150 people, and what an amazing event it was. I performed four hours of "mingling" close-up magic, and the guests were super cool, but there was one incident that really stands out. It was a surreal and unexpected moment.

(Warning: Explicit language ahead. If you're easily offended by profane language, now is probably a good time to stop reading. You've been warned. Continue at your own risk.)

At one point in the evening they had a comedian do about a 10 minute set. He was funny, but possibly a little too edgy for the crowd. Immediately after his set, I approached a table of three couples. Before I could say a word, one guy at the table looks at me and blurts out, "Get the fuck away! I don't wan't to see a fucken magician. First a comedian, then a magician. Get the fuck out of here!" I was in shock. I didn't know if the guy was serious or joking.

Another guy looks at me, and says. "I want to see some magic." Lo and behold, the second guy turns out to be Joe Pesci (Home Alone, Goodfellas, My Cousin Vinny). I'm thinking "How cool is this?!" So I start my set, and the first guy gets up and walks away. Apparently he was being serious. I made a mental note, and thought, "Some people just don't know how to be happy." 

Anyway, I start my set by borrowing a $100 bill from Mr. Pesci, he writes his initials on the bill, and I proceed to make it disappear in a flash of fire. 

Now I have the table's attention. I bring out my playing cards, and Mr. Pesci proceeds to show me some of his sleight-of-hand skills. He was pretty good. Apparently he did a little magic when he was younger. 

I then proceeded to blow everyone's mind with some card magic and magic with other items. At the end of my set I reproduce the initialed $100 bill, and Mr. Pesci hands it to me, and says, "You keep it." 

Right about that time, the first guy returns to the table, and doesn't say a word to me. In my head I'm thinking I need to thank this guy, because he just gave me a memorable story to tell. 

One last thing, Joe Pesci was the coolest. I was a fan before this encounter, and I'm a bigger fan now. Thank you Mr. Pesci!

New Year's Eve 2017 leading into 2018 will forever remain in my memory. It was a great way to close out the year!

I'm wishing everyone an amazing 2018!

(About the Author: Lou Serrano is a professional magician who performs at high-end social and corporate events. Based out of Los Angeles, he travels the world sharing his special brand of magic, mentalism, and comedy with people just like you.)

 

 

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Successful People Are Askers

I like to use ASK as an acronym for Always Seeking Knowledge. Successful people are askers. Because they ask for more, they actually receive more.

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Throughout my career as a magician, speaker, marketer of products, and as a business consultant to other small business owners, I've always asked for help from others who are more successful than I am. The interesting thing is... the more successful a person is, in most cases, the more likely that person will be willing to help.

When you ask someone for help, it is viewed as a sign of respect. You are telling that person that you value his knowledge, wisdom, experience, time, and talent, so why not ask? What is the worst that can happen? They say, "No." Who cares? Ask someone else.

But there is a flip side to asking. If you're going to ask, you have to take action, because knowledge without action is completely useless. It's only the implementation of that knowledge that creates something of value.

If you want to succeed in life, ask for what you want and then take action. Just don't be a taker. Pay it forward, and help those who come to you. It will come back to you in abundance. 

(About the author: Lou Serrano is an Audience Engagement Specialist. He connects your organization to your employees, customers, vendors, and special guests in a positive, fun, memorable, and meaningful way.)

 

 

 

Corporate Entertainment Conference in Costa Rica

This month Dee Dee and I had the opportunity to attend Act Up; a corporate entertainment training conference. This event was hosted by David Hira and Mike Arthur in the beautiful country of Costa Rica! Five days of training in an idyllic setting of the Rio Perlas Hotel situated in Orosi, Cartago, Costa Rica.

Although I can't share the specific things I learned at this conference, I can tell you that it had a profound impact on how I look at my business, my clients, my show, and my audience. Most conference are educational. For me this conference was TRANSFORMATIONAL

Coming from me, this is high praise, when you consider I've studied marketing and business development for longer than I've studied magic. I've attended dozens of conferences, studied countless books and courses, and I've even received private coaching from some of the most successful entertainers in this business. Since 2009 I've sold my own marketing and business development course for magicians, and I've coached countless other entertainers on succeeding in this business of entertainment.  

With all this knowledge and experience, you'd think I'd know everything there is to know about this business. Not so. Some of the business insights I received from David Hira are things I've never heard anyone else talk about. Others were presented in a way that made me realize I wasn't doing things to the best of my ability. The insights I received from Mike Arthur on presentation techniques have helped me connect with my audiences in a way I never have before. All of this in less than a week!

You might ask how I've been able to see results in such a short period of time. For those who know me well, you realize I'm a person who takes action. As I often share with my coaching clients, "To know and not do is to not yet know." There is something about the process of "doing" that cements the knowledge in your brain, and it's only in the process of taking action that one sees results.

Knowledge without actions is completely useless. it’s only in the implementation of that knowledge that creates something of value.

Aside from all the valuable knowledge I gained throughout the week, there was value in sharing the experience with other like-minded performers and soaking in all we could of the Costa Rican landscape.

(About the Author: Lou Serrano is an Audience Engagement Specialist. Lou offers more than entertainment, more than fun, he connects your company to your employees, prospects, customers, and special guests in a memorable and meaningful way.)

Adventures in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Adventures in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Last week Dee Dee and I had the pleasure of performing for Enrich Software in Calgary, AB, Canada. On the morning of June 9th I gave a keynote speech to the attendees of their user conference, and that evening Dee Dee and I performed an after-dinner stage show.

We also had couple of days to explore the city. Although it rained on Saturday, it didn't stop us from touring the city and dining at some fine restaurants. Sunday was a beautiful day and we were able to explore Prince's Island via bicycle.

The city was beautiful, and for the most part the people were very nice. We hope to visit again when more time permits. The accompanying video captures some of the highlights. 

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Diversified Utility Services Keynote Presentation

Diversified Utility Services Keynote Presentation

Diversified Utility Services is a utility line construction contractor serving the Western United States. This past Friday they had their annual safety conference attended by seventy employees consisting of linemen, mechanics, and administrators. 

I was brought in to bring a little excitement to the days activities, and my M.A.G.I.C. Formula For Success keynote presentation fit the bill. The entire presentation ran 70 minutes and received rave reviews from many of the attendees including the COO..

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Riverside Medical Clinic Annual Holiday Party

Riverside Medical Clinic Annual Holiday Party

Last week Dee Dee and I had the pleasure of entertaining the doctors and staff of Riverside Medical Clinic. Two hundred twenty-five people showed up for the annual holiday party held at the historic Victoria Club in Riverside, CA. 

Photographer extraordinaire, Chase Leland of Chase Photography and Design, was present to capture all the highlights. Chase specializes in wedding and special event photography, and he did a stellar job of capturing some memorable moments from our show which you can see...

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Magician, Lou Serrano, Awarded "Best Performer of 2016" and "Top Pro" from GigMasters and Thumbtack

Magician, Lou Serrano, Awarded "Best Performer of 2016" and "Top Pro" from GigMasters and Thumbtack

I woke up this morning with two separate emails from two of the top lead generation websites for entertainers, GigMasters and Thumbtack. 

GigMasters recognized me with the "Best Performer of 2016" award, and Thumbtack recognized me as a "Top Pro" for the second year in a row. Top Pros make up less than 3% of all Thumbtack professionals.

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Windstar Cruises Review - Wind Spirit 7-Day Tahiti Cruise

Windstar Cruises Review - Wind Spirit 7-Day Tahiti Cruise

This is a review of the Windstar Wind Spirit 7-day Tahiti cruise. This review is long overdue, as my wife and I took the cruise in July of 2016. 

Windstar is a luxury small ship cruise line, and the Wind Spirit is a beautiful sailing yacht designed for 148 passengers. Although it has a total of six sails, the Wind Spirit also has several engines which propels it through the water at 15 knots.

The small size of the yacht allows it to enter ports that are inaccessible to larger ships, and is an ideal way of exploring the Polynesian Islands of Tahiti.

Sailing out of Papeete, Tahiti we visited a total of six islands including Moorea, Bora Bora, Tahaa, Raiatea, and Huahine. With beautiful islands...

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What Is A Motivational Speaker?

What Is A Motivational Speaker?

I often think that many people have the wrong idea about what a motivational speaker is and what a motivational speaker is not. 

First off, I don't think a motivational speaker can motivate anyone to do anything. For the most part motivation comes from within, and every person has their own idea of what motivates them.

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Las Vegas Magic Shows - The Magic Capital Of The world

Las Vegas Magic Shows - The Magic Capital Of The world

I love Las Vegas. The first time I visited was in 1985, and in the 30+ years that have passed, things have changed dramatically.

At that time the Las Vegas Strip was populated with neon signs, and most of the hotels and casinos that currently populate the 4 mile stretch of land didn't exist. The mega resort boom that started with the construction of the Mirage was still a few years away. 

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Review of Magician For Hire Lou Serrano

Review of Magician For Hire Lou Serrano

Cindy Torres reviews Los Angeles magician, Lou Serrano, after a a performance at a 50th birthday celebration.

Although many of my current bookings are for corporate events across the country, I'm still in high demand for social events locally in Southern CA. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and cocktail parties are all part of the performance landscape.

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Estrada Hinojosa & Company Hires Corporate Entertainment Specialist Lou Serrano

Estrada Hinojosa & Company Hires Corporate Entertainment Specialist Lou Serrano

When investment bankers, Estrada Hinojosa & Company, needed unique corporate entertainment for their annual compliance conference in Dallas TX,  they looked to corporate magician, Lou Serrano, to fill the bill.

Back in July while Dee Dee and I were performing in Tahiti, I received an email from Noe Hinojosa, the CEO of the financial advisory firm, Estrada Hinojosa. He was looking for unique corporate entertainment to impress his team who would be flying into Dallas, TX from offices across the country. 

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Lynne Jilot Reviews Los Angeles Magician Lou Serrano

Last Sunday night I had the pleasure of performing for a small group of 16 people at a private residence in Laguna Beach, CA. The home was situated on a cliff with an amazing view of the beach below. 

After a 45-minute close-up magic show I received a fantastic review from the hostess, Lynne Jilot, which you can see above. It's intimate events like this where I can showcase the artistic sleight-of-hand magic that I've worked so many years to perfect. The audience was particularly expressive and appreciative, and it's intimate shows like these that remind me of why I started with close-up magic so many years ago.

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Archer Travel Reviews Corporate Magician Lou Serrano in Bora Bora

Last week Dee Dee and I were hired to perform in Tahiti on board the Wind Star's sailing ship the Wind Spirit. Our client, Ron Archer of Archer Travel, brought us on to entertain his client, the San Manuel Band Of Mission indians. The following video is a review of our corporate entertainment services.

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Ten Fun Facts About The 4th of July

Independence Day

The 4th of July is a day of celebration. Family reunions, picnics, barbecues, parades, carnivals, and fireworks displays abound, but what are we really celebrating? 

Two hundred forty years ago the thirteen American colonies declared their independence from the British Empire declaring themselves a free and independent nation. By the time the declaration was made, the colonies had already been at war with the British Empire for over a year. The Revolutionary War didn't officially end until 1783 when the British King, George III, accepted the independence of the colonies.

Ten Fun Facts About The 4th of July

1. Most historians believe that the Declaration of Independence wasn't actually signed on the 4th of July. Most of the signers penned their name to the document on August 2, 1776.

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Westside Regional Center Reviews Corporate Entertainer Lou Serrano

One of the perks of my job is I get to perform in some of the most beautiful venues in the world. Many are in my own back yard here in Southern CA. 

Last night I was hired to entertain the board members and staff of Westside Regional Centers (WRC).  WRC is a non-profit corporation on a mission to empower people with developmental disabilities and their families to choose and access community services that facilitate a quality of life comparable to persons without disabilities. 

The event was held at Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. The deck outside the banquet room showcased an amazing view of the Santa Monica Pier. 

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Los Angeles Magician, Lou Serrano, Performs At Dixie Canyon Elementary School

As a Los Angeles based magician, I have the opportunity to work many diverse events, and although most of my performances are for adult corporate audiences, I also perform for many family audiences. 

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Amazing Magician - Grad Nights & Safe and Sober After Prom Parties

Amazing magician! That was the review given by several students this past week. On Sunday, May 22nd, I performed for the Newbury Park High School Safe and Sober After Prom Party where a couple hundred students showed up for a night festivities that lasted until 5:00 a.m.

The After Prom Party was held in a movie theater, and my performance started at Midnight with an hour of strolling close-up magic. At 1:00 A.M. I headed into one of the theaters where I had already set up for a 45-minute show. With a packed house, Dee Dee and I proceeded to showcase our particular brand of magic that was unlike anything these students had ever seen. They were a great audience, and we had a blast performing for everyone. This was our third year in a row performing at this event, and we've already been invited back to perform next year.

On Wednesday, May 25th, Dee Dee and I headed to Hemet, CA to perform at the Hemet High Grad Night. This was our second year performing at this event, which was held in their gymnasium. With 500 grads in attendance, our performance started at Midnight with two hours of strolling close-up magic. The new graduates were highly animated, and the interactive close-up magic got them primed for the stage show which started at 3:00 A.M. 

With the grads sitting on the gym floor, these young adults were surprisingly awake as we hit the small stage. What followed was a rollercoaster ride of laughter and amazement. 45 minutes later it all came to an end. After packing up and getting paid, we were once again asked to return next year. 

I gotta love my repeat clients, and performing for these young people is always a lot of fun! To get more info on my grad night and after prom shows, please visit www.LouSerrano.com/grad-night-magician.

Lou Serrano

(About the Author: Lou Serrano is a professional magician based in Los Angeles, and is available for hire to entertain at social, association, and corporate events world-wide.)

Wedding Magician in Los Angeles

A magician at a wedding? It's more popular than many would imagine. Every year I perform at half a dozen weddings, and it's always a big hit.

This past Saturday night Dee Dee and I had the pleasure of performing at a beautiful Indian wedding held at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.

The beautiful stage prior to arrival of the guests.

Most often I'm booked to perform strolling close up magic during the cocktail reception, but this time around I was also hired along with Dee Dee to perform our after-dinner stage show. This is a highly visual and interactive show featuring levitations, escapes, and mind-reading demonstrations.

We had an audience of almost 200 people, and the bride and groom sat front and center. It was a great time, and it was the perfect way to get the party started as after the show the guests danced late into the night.

If you're looking to add some unique entertainment that will engage your guests at your wedding reception, please give me a call. We'd love to add a touch of magic to the festivities!

(About the Author: Lou Serrano is a professional magician. Traveling from Los Angeles, he is available to entertain at upscale social and corporate events world-wide.)

Yamashiro Hollywood - Is The Magic Gone?

Yamashiro translates into "Mountain Palace" in Japanese, and Yamashiro Restaurant has been a part of the Hollywood landscape for as long as most Angelenos can remember. Looming high above the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Yamashiro boasts one of the best views of Los Angeles.

Yamashiro has a long and illustrious history. In 1911 Adolf and Eugene Bernheimer brought in hundreds of skilled craftsman to build the home and finished construction in 1914. It was designed to replicate a Japanese palace and housed the brothers' extensive Asian art collection.  The home was surrounded with Japanese gardens, and the terraced hillside included 30,000 varieties of plants and trees. The grounds were dotted with waterfalls, ponds, goldfish, and a zoo that was home to exotic birds and monkeys.

A historic view of Yamashiro circa 1925 with the Holly Chateau below (now The Magic Castle).

After one of the brothers died in 1922, most of the artwork was auctioned off, but the property survived as a popular gathering spot for the Hollywood elite. 

After World War II, a builder bought the property and turned it into a 15 unit apartment complex. Following years of neglect, Thomas O. Glover, purchased the property in 1948. His intent was to tear down the property and build a hotel and apartments on the 7-acre property, but after discovering the ornate woodwork and silk wallpaper hidden under layers of plywood and decades old paint, he decided to restore the property to its former glory.

In the early 1960s Yamashiro Restaurant was born, and was owned and operated by Thomas O. Glover's son, Thomas Y. Glover. For over fifty years the restaurant has been the home to numerous weddings, engagements, wrap parties, and corporate buyouts. Its CalAsian cuisine is second only to the stunning view of the city below. 

My first visit to Yamashiro Restaurant was sometime in the mid 1990s, and since then it has become one of my favorite Hollywood dining spots. As a performing member of The Magic Castle, which is located directly below Yamashiro, it was an easy drive up the hill to enjoy a drink and the fabulous view. On several occasions I was actually hired to perform for special groups who were having a private event at the restaurant, and for many years my good friend, Steve Wastell, was the magic bartender at Yamashiro. I enjoyed many nights watching him perform his special brand of magic behind the bar.

In March of this year the Bejing company, JE Group, reportedly purchased the property for around 40 million dollars, and now the fate of Yamashiro is in jeopardy. Thomas Y. Glover has reportedly stated that the restaurant will most likely close its doors by mid-June. 

I'll have to pay one more visit before the magic is gone and the doors close forever. Maybe the new owners will keep the tradition alive, but only time will tell. I'll be there tonight to enjoy a meal and the amazing view.  

Yamashiro is located at 1999 N. Sycamore Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90068

Lou Serrano

(About The Author: Lou Serrano is a professional Los Angeles magician, and is available to entertain at social and corporate events world-wide. He's also a performing member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA.)