The Magic Word - Mitch Williams
VOLUME IV, ISSUE 1     JANUARY 2010
Word From Mitch | Serving Others | Web Stuff | Tyroni's | In the News | Trick of the Month | Recipe | Client of the MonthStress Relief
The Word From Mitch

It's Mitch!Happy 2010!

2010 is barely three weeks old, and I've already been faced with some big unexpected challenges:  personal, business, and social.

As some of you already know, the week before Christmas, my Dad had a stroke and was hospitalized through the holidays.  Our whole family spent Christmas day at the hospital with him.  He's been improving steadily so far, and he was just released this past weekend, and is now back home, and doing well, all things considered.  On behalf of my whole family, I appreciate all your prayers and support.

Last week came my first big business challenge of the year.  As you may have suspected if you tried to access my website or contact me by email in the past week, my website, www.mitchwilliamsmagic.com has been down, and my email not functioning.  Since the website is my main marketing tool, and my email my main means of business communication, it put a definite hamper on my business.  I've just gotten everything back up and running.  If you sent me an email in the past week, it no doubt bounced back, but you can feel free to resend it now.

Normally I only like to mention other businesses if I'm saying good things about them, but in this case, a word of caution.  If you own or operate websites, and register your own domain names, be sure to steer clear of a company called Mapname.com at all costs.  I had three of my domain names (the name of the website address you use to access a website) registered with them, including www.mitchwilliamsmagic.com.  I had renewed the registration last month, but on January 7, they incorrectly listed it as expired, and shut down access to my website and email accounts.

Even though this was a mistake on their part, they were completely unresponsive to all of my communications to them, and I had no access to the domain whatsoever to correct the problem.  Finally, after filing complaints with several different agencies, I was able to "go over their heads" and got the company that they "resell" registrations through to take action on the problem and transfer the registrations directly to them.  Anyway, you'll be glad to know that I'm back up and running.  I apologize if you tried to contact me or access my website during this time, and I appreciate your patience, but things should be fine from here on out.

And the social challenge is one we're all familiar with, as we've seen the images of suffering and devastation from the earthquake in Haiti.  One of my high school classmates, Roberta Edwards, now lives in Port Au Prince, Haiti and runs a children's home there, where she fosters about 15-20 children full time, plus schools and feeds about 100 every day.  She was up here in the States visiting her parents when the earthquake hit, and for several days Roberta was struggling to get back down to Haiti.  One of her foster sons was killed in the quake, and the situation is difficult, as you can imagine.  You can read updates on her situation at her sponsoring church's website.

I'm heartened by the fact, though, that in each of these situations there were and are people willing to help.  The staff at Proctor Hospital, where we took my Dad, took excellent care of him and offered lots of encouragement and support when he really needed it.  With my website, although the company I was originally with was unresponsive, I was finally able to find someone willing to solve my problem.  And of course, even though it's a horrendous situation, we've all seen the outpouring of concern, aid, and support extended to the people of Haiti.

It's a reminder that there really is something magical about the fact that as human beings we are truly dependent on one another and that the best way to help ourselves is always by helping others.


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?"

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Serving Others:  More Than Just a Good Idea:

I've written before on the topic of service, but considering the recent situation in Haiti, and given that this week began with Martin Luther King Day, I thought it was appropriate to bring it up again.  I try to make an effort to be of service to someone, in some way, every single day, whether it's service to my customers, to those in need, or simply lending a hand, a smile, or a kind word to those whose paths I happen to cross.  I really do believe that service to others is its own reward.

In business, really good service seems to have become a rarity in recent years.  Which of course makes it all the more valuable. Even in difficult economic times, anyone who's willing to go the extra mile for their customers will stand out from the crowd, and can't help but be successful.  And of course, the very cause of the economic downturn came from too many people, particularly those in positions of power, being selfishly motivated rather than altruistically motivated.  When more of us are concerned for one another rather than only for ourselves, everybody wins.

Doing good for others, at any level, in any way, really does come back to you.  It comes back immediately in terms of your own sense of self esteem and self worth.  But it also comes back in many other ways, often from places and in ways you never would have expected.

A Case in Point...

Several years ago, I taught at a summer magic camp in California.  One of the kids there was called BJ, though his real name was Brad.  He was about 9 or 10 years old, and was a real wise guy, extremely outgoing, but in everyone's face, and giving everyone a hard time, if in a generally friendly but "smart-alecky" kind of way.

One day I came upon BJ with one of the teen counselors, and he was totally in tears.  I asked what was wrong, and he said he was upset because he thought none of the other kids like him, since they were always giving him a hard time.  I told him that everybody liked him, but since he was always in everyone's face, that they all just figured that he could take the same thing back, so they tended to treat him the same way.  He was still upset, so I asked him if he liked the way he treated people, and he said "No."  So I said, "Well if don't like it, you can change.  All you have to do is want to be different."  He finally felt better, and I forgot all about it.

The following year, BJ came back to camp, but now he was "Brad", and he really was like a totally different person.  He was still really outgoing, but very confident, and he was the perfect gentleman, treating everyone with kindness and respect.  The contrast from how he'd been the previous year was really striking, like night and day.  The first chance I had, I told him, "Hey Brad, you've really grown up a lot in the last year.  And I don't mean just physically."

He responded casually with, "Yea, I know.  That talk we had really made an impression on me."   Well that just blew me away, as I'd just wanted him to feel better, and I had no idea what an impact I'd had.  It made a huge impression on me, and I've always remembered it.  It taught me that you really never know what a tremendous difference a kind word at the right time can sometimes make for someone else.  It's truly amazing and magical the positive influence we can sometimes have, just by being kind to others.

So just for fun, do something nice for someone else today, and see what happens!

WorldWideWeb:

Over the past few years, as you may have noticed, I've worked hard to create a strong "web presence".  In fact, many of you reading this newsletter probably first found me somewhere on the internet.  And I'm constantly looking for better and better ways to make it easier for people to stay in touch and to keep abreast of my activities and services.

In addition to my various websites, you can also find me on several of the top social media sites, including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and most recently, a brand new "invitation only" social media site called 434u.com. (Send me a note if you'd like an invitation to join.)

If you are on Facebook, be sure to become a fan of Mitch Williams – International Award Winning Sleight of Hand Artist. Check it out HERE.

And of course, here are some of my regular web based sites and resources:

MitchWilliamsMagic.com

Twitter

PeoriaMagician.com

Event Planning Resources

Facebook

IllinoisWeddingMagic.com

My Blog

LinkedIn

Mitch Williams Products

MySpace
Tyroni's Italian Cafe
Tyronis

Next month will mark five years of my Wednesday night appearances at Tyroni's Italian Cafe in Bartonville, and as of this month, we've decided to make some changes to my schedule there.  I will now be performing my tableside magic there on the first Wednesday of every month.  The change was due in part to conserve resources, since even Tyroni's has been hit by the recent economic difficulties, and also because we wanted to see if having me only once a month might make it seem like more of an "exclusive special event", and generate even more interest in those specific nights.  If you're disappointed by the change, though, by all means feel free to let Tyroni's owner, Tyler Barnes, know your feelings, as he's very open to input from his customers.

Anyway, I'll be there next the evening of February 3, so why not plan to stop out and join us. It's at 5908 S. Adams in Bartonville. And be sure to check out the Tyroni's website.

In the News...
2009 was one of my best years ever for getting good press.  I was featured several times on local morning shows on WEEK-TV and WMBD-TV, as well as several appearances in various features in the Peoria Journal Star.  They did a really terrific video profile on me for the River City Roundup feature on pjstar.com.  And here are a couple photos from an article on my appearance at the Salvation Army's Red Stocking Party last month.
Mitch with Rings Mitch with Ropes
Photos by Ron Johnson of the Peoria Journal Star
Recipe: Vegetable Chili Con Carne 

Here's a great vegetarian chili recipe I found on the web and "tweaked" a bit to make it even better.  And if you absolutely must have the "ground beef" texture, Boca® products has a meatless "crumbles" product that's really good. You can add it to the skillet in the first step with the onions and garlic.

2 tsp olive oil
2 cups diced celery
2 cups corn kernels
2 red bell peppers
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
8 cloves garlic minced
2 onions finely chopped
2 x 28 oz can tomato puree
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 Jalapeno peppers finely chopped
Seasonings:
4 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs oregano leaves crumbled
Optional: ground cayenne (to taste)

In a large skillet saute the onion and garlic in the oil until they just begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and all the seasonings. Heat the mixture until it begins to boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the beans, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and celery. Simmer the mixture covered about 20 minutes and then add the corn and simmer another 5 minutes.  (If you really want the flavors to permeate, you can leave it simmering for an hour or more.) Enjoy!

Trick of the Month:  Dealing a Royal Flush

Effect:  Here’s an easy way to look like a real "card shark" and deal yourself a royal flush. 

Method:  Remove the necessary cards to form a royal flush in any suit of your choice, and place them on the top of the deck, face down.  If you know a false shuffle or false cut that will allow you to keep these five cards on top while seeming to mix the deck, you can use it at the beginning as you talk about how card sharks know how to cheat at cards.

Deal five hands of five cards each, the last hand going to yourself, as in a normal game of poker. As you deal, talk about how you might play an innocent game of poker. After dealing the five hands, turn over and show a couple of the hands and briefly talk about them - pair, possible straight, etc.... Be careful not to change the order of the cards. At this point, each hand has one card that makes up your royal flush, at the bottom.

Turn over all of the hands so that they’re face down and collect the hands and place them on top of the deck, making sure they stay in order. At this point, your royal flush is distributed among the top 25 cards of the deck - each flush card is located at the fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth and twenty-fifth positions. Again, if you know a false cut or false shuffle, use it here.  Don't call any special attention to mixing the cards, but instead just continue talking about how after a few hands the card shark gets ready to strike.

Once again, deal five hands of five cards each. Show each hand and briefly discuss the possibilities. Turn over your cards last, and show your hand to be a royal flush! Sit back and smile at your friends amazed expressions.

Client of the Month:  Midstate College

John DeereEstablished in 1888, Midstate College is a small, private vocational and proprietary college focussing on business, specialized career skills, and technological advances.  Based in Peoria, its practical, career oriented curriculum, flexible scheduling, small class sizes, and individualized attention makes it a leader in professional training and career education.  They also offer a variety of classes over the internet, for those with complex schedules.  Last month I performed for their employee holiday banquet, and I was impressed by the close-knit feeling of the staff and faculty that I met. We really had a great time "playing" together during my performance.

Stress Relief Magic...

A Great Way to Help Your Staff
Overcome the Problems of Stress...

Last month I presented one version of my Stress Relief Magic program for PACT of West Central Illinois.  In preparing for my presentation and customizing it for their group, I was struck once again with the strength of the program (even if I do say so myself!)  I'd actually forgotten how much really valuable, practical information it has on stress management.

With the current economic, political, and world situation, stress seems to be playing a bigger and bigger factor in people's lives.  Recent studies show that stress is the leading cause of lost productivity and job dissatisfaction.  I feel strongly about being able to offer really useful ideas, tools, and resources to help people become free from the toll that stress can take on us.

My Stress Relief Magic program is not only fun and entertaining, but it offers some truly valuable tips on how to head off the damaging effects that stress can have on our health, vitality, and peace of mind.  And of course, the integration of my fun magic in the program makes it much easier to assimilate and remember the helpful information.

If you'd like to learn how this valuable program can benefit the personnel in your organization, give me a call today:  309-647-3692.  Or feel free to send me an Email.


"We wanted to let you know how very much our employees enjoyed the 'magical' stress management sessions you presented.  They greatly enjoyed your program, thought the information was useful, and would enjoy seeing more programs similar to this.  Comments indicated that overwhelmingly they felt the relaxation exercise was enjoyable and beneficial.  Too, they thought the magic was very entertaining.

"When this project was in the formative stages, you came to us with great ideas of your own on stress management.  As we fine-tuned the presentation to customize it to our employees, you were very open to our ideas and diligent with suggestions and making modifications to get the message to really suit our audiences.  Your professionalism has been greatly appreciated.

"It's really great when our employees can walk away entertained, impressed, and armed with good information and techniques to help deal with stress, a common problem in our fast-paced society.  Well done and many thanks!"
—Ruth A. Chambers, Human Resource Manager, Drives, Inc., Fulton, IL.

**** To learn how to make YOUR events absolutely unforgettable, contact Mitch right away!****

On the WEB: www.mitchwilliamsmagic.com
By EMAIL: mitch@mitchwilliamsmagic.com
By PHONE: 309-647-3692
TOLL FREE: 1-888-801-3170
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