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Magic Castle

March 13
2012

Magic Castle

I flew to Long Beach on a whim, to visit the Magic Castle in Hollywood. I went there to visit a childhood friend of my father’s, George Schindler, and got to meet his wife, Nina, for the second time. George was performing in the Parlor at the Magic Castle and I had never seen him perform before. He arranged two guest passes for me, so I brought along hypnotist Marc Bachrach, whose home I stayed at while in the LA area. ...

U.S. Citizens Working & Performing In Canada

March 11
2013

U.S. Citizens Working & Performing In Canada

It is March 2013, and I return to Canada to perform for a fundraising show in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, about 2 hours outside Saskatoon. Kindersley has a population of just under 5,000 and is a mineral rich farming community, like so many others in this region.

Over the last 25 years of my career, I have performed for a lot of fairs and expositions, including the Calgary Stampede, Saskatoon Prairielands Exhibition, Medicine Hat Exhibition, Royal Manitoba Winter Exhibition in Brandon, private parties for the military, and others.

In December 2011, I did not apply for a tax exemption before doing a show for a military squadron. This was my mistake and I knew better. Regaredless, it cost me $225.00, which the government withheld from my check and submitted to Revenue Canada (the equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service in the USA). The only way I was going to get that money back was to file a Canadian tax return. I didn’t bother.

Before working in Canada, U.S. citizens must apply for tax exemption. If they do not, it is mandated that the Canadian host retain 15% of gross payment and send it to Revenue Canada. To apply for tax exemption, there are a number of steps to take. It is not complicated, but it must be done at least 3-4 weeks before the event date to give Revenue Canada sufficent time to respond.

Three Grand Hotels - A Road Story

December 21
2014

Three Grand Hotels - A Road Story

December 21st, 2014 -- I just checked into the Grand Hotel in Minot, ND. I have performed in Minot many times in the last few years. It started with the ND State Fair and since then I have been doing all night parties and corporate events a lot here. This Grand Hotel sits majestically on the bluff overlooking the city. It is across from the airport and I have seen it every time I am here, but never entered the doors till now.

As I enter, I realize this is a classy place! I will be doing a show tonight for 200+ employees and guests that work for EnerBase, a regional Cenex gas station management chain. They run the gas stations and distribute fuel and lubricants. They are very big company. Not as big as Exxon-Mobile, but the same idea.

As I enter my hotel room , it is a suite. I say, “ah, what a nice room.” It’s a two-room suite very tastefully decorated with dark stained oak veneer furnishings. It brings a story to mind  - a story of the road.

Tales From The Trails

August 2
2016

Tales From The Trails

Last night I slept in the back seat of my truck. Yes, at 56 years old (my birthday is in two days), I still sleep in my vehicle on occasion.