I Lie for Money: Candid, Outrageous Stories from a Magician’s Misadventures by Steve Spill
In this funny, irreverent, unique, eccentric memoir, magician Steve Spill reveals how he managed to survive decades inside a rarely profitable, sometimes maddening, but often deliciously rewarding offbeat showbiz profession—magic!
Spill tells of how his tailor grandfather sewed secret pockets in a magician’s tuxedo back in 1910, which started his childhood dream to become a magician. This dream took Spill on a journey that started with him performing, as a young boy, at a “Beauty on a Budget” neighborhood house party to engagements in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean, to today in Santa Monica, California, where he’s been starring in his own shows since 1998 at Magicopolis, the theater he designed and built himself.
Being a magician has given Spill the opportunity to interact with the world’s most famous and fascinating people. In his memoir, Spill reveals the many unique encounters that his profession has led him to enjoy and endure: hosting Sting as his opening act one night, spending two days on camera with Joan Rivers, and selling tricks to Bob Dylan, as well as encounters with Adam Sandler, Stephen King, and other celebrities.
I Lie for Money is a literary magic show that captures the highs and lows of an extraordinary life that will delight and amaze you with wit and wickedness. This book should be an obligatory read for anyone considering a creative career, and it serves as an inspiration to those who desire to craft an independent life. (via Goodreads)
Steve Spill is a working magician. He’s spent five decades not only honing his magic skills, but his skills as a performer. He’s worked every sort of venue you might associate with magicians…and a few you wouldn’t. He has stories about some of the great magicians of the 20th century and even some celebrity dish. He designed and runs his own theater in LA. All that is interesting and entertaining, but the parts of I Lie for Money that spoke to me weren’t the stories about achievements. They were the stories about failures. Not every performance goes smoothly, and not every trick is a good one. Spill isn’t shy about those things, but his success proves that setbacks aren’t the end of the line. *That* is what makes this book a good read for anyone in a creative endeavor. It’s certainly something I need to be reminded of.
I have a soft spot for ducks (and geese, I suppose). Here’s Steve Spill and the mind reading goose, a performance from the mid-1980s.
Publishing info, my copy: Kindle ebook, Skyhorse Publishing, 2015
Acquired: July 20, 2015, Amazon (I bought this book a year ago!)