Trixie Bond in Magic Magazine

Trixie Bond was the cover story subject of the June 2002 edition of Magic Magazine, “The Magazine for Magicians.”  The article is reproduced below, with the layout reformatted for easy reading on the web.

She’s one of the more successful magicians working today, female or otherwise.  Trixie Bond does 500 shows a year.  Moreover, she’s constantly busy because she’s versatile.  Trixie works trade shows and corporate events, plays private parties and banquets, and is a regular close-up performer at Magic Island in Houston, Texas.

Yet, what puts Trixie Bond at the top of the list of in-demand entertainers in the Greater Houston area is the sheer number of children’s birthday parties she does.  And, folks, she doesn’t just do hundreds of them; she loves doing hundreds of them, each and every year.  “Kid shows are the biggest part of who I am,” Trixie explains.  “The warm feelings, the love, and the appreciation that I receive at these parties are my fix.”

And that fix comes like clockwork, as three-fourths of the pages of Trixie’s calendar are filled with kids’ shows.  “Every Saturday is booked with them.  Sometimes as many as five in one day—a couple in the morning and two or three in the afternoon!”  The message is loud and clear.  Trixie Bond has no hang-ups about being successful in a genre that many less confident magicians are fearful of.

She genuinely feels that doing magic for family audiences carries a responsibility, as it’s often children’s initial exposure to magic.  “Of first importance, I genuinely like children, and I consider it an honor to make their birthday or other event memorable for all.  I have discovered if the kids at a party are happy, parents are happy, too.”  Much of her corporate work comes about as the result of her many children’s shows.  “I always make it a point to draw the adults into the magic, and it’s not long before the moms and dads are asking me to do their office parties and corporate events.”

Trixie Bond’s schedule is filled with private parties, trade shows, conventions, and corporate events, however, since 1997, her  mainstay attraction has become her Mary-Poppins-ish birthday  party show that is designed to play just about anywhere.


Trixie claims that one of the advantages of being a lady magician is that the majority of the people booking her shows are themselves women.  This ranges from the moms hiring her to perform at, say, their children’s Halloween party, to the women executives booking her for a trade show or hospitality suite work at a corporate function.  Trixie feels that the women who are in charge of such events have a much easier time relating to her.  “They are not as intimidated by a woman entertainer and much easier to negotiate with.”

As far as the disadvantages, there’s the obvious big one.  In the male-dominated world of magic, Trixie has felt discriminated against, as most women in magic have been.  She has always felt some discrimination, even as a teenager.  However, she says that she’s actually experienced more of it as she has gotten older.  She’s never been one to dwell on the problem, and it does take some prodding to get her to talk about sexism in the magic profession.

“As a female magician, my biggest frustration with ‘not being welcome’ is not with the clients that I perform for.  Instead, it’s with a group of magicians, the so-called ‘finger flickers,’ whom some consider to be the nucleus of the good ol’ boys’ club.”  Trixie says that she often wondered if it’s because these male magicians see female magicians as being “less educated and less committed to the art.”

When Trixie was 20 years old, an established pro told her that, due to the fact that she was such a cute girl, she would likely go on to always perform “pretty magic.”  Further injury was piled on the insult when he told her she would likely never be able to perform a “sophisticated” or “glamorous” act.  Reflecting on that admonition, Trixie asks, “Can you imagine anyone telling a good-looking, young male magician that his magic would always just be ‘nice looking,’ and his magic would never be ‘suave’ or ‘debonair’?”

By age 17, Trixie had won the Best Junior Magician Trophy at the Texas Association of Magicians Conventions three times.  Her  Alice-in-Wonderland tbeme act debuted at the 1970 convention in Houston [top].


She also used to be bothered that the elitist in magic never accepted anyone if they had a modicum of success performing shows for children.  “They seemed to consider that branch of performing the ghetto of magic,” she says with a laugh.  “But then again, when were women ever truly included in any good ol’ boys’ clubs?”

While Trixie is by no means a feminist, she does have some thoughts about why there are so few women in magic.  “I have to ask what normal young girl would willingly pick-up the book 101 Magic Tricks Any Boy Can Do?  I did.  But then, am I normal?  Researchers have proven that men have better visual-spatial skills than women.  It is a proven fact that a man’s brain is more lateralized, which means a man can focus better.  However, a woman’s brain is more diffuse.  Therefore, women are typically better at multi-tasking.  There are gender differences and, even when these gender barriers are broken, it’s never quite the same for women, no matter what field.  Males seem to be more naturally drawn to magic, and there have always be fewer female role models.  That’s just the way it is.”

Trixie has been very involved in the Women in Magic Conference and even reviewed the premiere gathering in these pages [“Ladies First,” May 1997].  “As I said, men and women are different, and thus they have different approaches to magic.  Women continue to bring a broader perspective to both corporate and family entertainment, pushing the industry to evolve.”

As far as her female role models, Trixie claims that the only one she had, as she was growing up, was Celeste Evans.  Today, she can point to a significant number of women in magic who are, and continue to be, inspirational.  Those who have become influential in her career include Lisa Menna, Suzanne, Melinda, Jade, Juliana Chen, Tina Lenert, and Frances Williard.

Still, over the years, it’s been male magicians who have taught her the “how-to” of magic.  Trixie compares her learning of the craft to learning the sport of tennis.  “Like magic, tennis is a game that you work on as you continue to play (perform, in magic).  There are techniques and strategies acquired that make your game (act or show) better.  You constantly strive to improve and learn something new.  You continue to take lessons and seek out the right coaches.”  Among those who have taught and coached her are Scott Hollingsworth, Russ McGee, Bob Knigge, Kent Cummins, Craig Dickson, Peter Studebaker, Walter Blaney, Fred Burton, Tommy Martin, Bill Palmer, Howard Campbell, and of course, her father, Charlie Dodson, who introduced her to magic.

Which takes us back to the summer of 1957, when the 28th Annual IBM Convention was held in Houston.  Real estate developer and part-time professional magician Charles C. Dodson and wife Joan had proudly taken their three-year-old daughter to the convention one Saturday morning.  In the middle of a dealers show, when New Jersey dealer, Ken Allen, asked for the assistance of a young lady from the audience, Miss Dodson was “volunteered.”

Trixie made her stage debut at that magic convention, and when she eventually got around to doing her first show, at the tender age of five, there was no need to dream up a cute, magical stage name.  Yes, Trixie is the name she was born with.

Growing up in a magical household, she was always around people who talked, lived, and breathed magic, magic, magic.  One of her earliest memories of the many magician friends who paraded through the house was the time that Harry Blackstone Jr. came to visit.  It was in the early 1960s, and Harry was still in school at the University of Texas, in Austin.

Trixie’s idolization of glamorous magician Celeste Evans is obvious in this ’70s studio shot.


However, her childhood memories of magicians weren’t always wondrous.  “When I was six or seven,” Trixie recalls, “my parents took me to watch a magic show at Bill Siros’ studio/shop.”  Siros owned an outdoor advertising company, but he was best known among his fellow magi as an outdoor showman who did well playing fairs and carnivals.  “Siros was performing the ’Buzz Saw’ illusion.  For a little added ’shock treatment,’ he would hide hamburger meat in the path of the spinning blade and, because I was sitting near the front that night, I was hit by a piece of flying raw meat.  To this day, I hate that trick.  It actually makes my skin crawl and gives me goosebumps.”

She idolized Celeste Evans, a nightclub magician who visited with the Dodsons whenever she played Texas.  “Celeste was tall, slender, and I considered her the ‘Barble Doll’ of magic.  As a ten year old, I was in awe of her beautiful dove act.  I desperately wanted to grow up, look just like her, and ‘do doves.’”

Trixie gave her first paid show, a neighborhood birthday party, when she was 12.  Although she does not remember precisely what she performed, she thinks the tricks were “Ball & Vase,” “Monkey Bar,” “Dove Pan,” and “20th Century Silks.”  She also magically baked the birthday cake, and received $25 for the 20-minute gig.

A couple of those tricks are still in her repertoire, albeit with different presentations.  Her favorite trick is Don Lawton’s “Silk Blow,” which she bought in 1966, and still uses to this day, and it’s a routine that has fooled magicians.

There were few, if any, Labor Day weekends in Trixie’s young life when her family didn’t pack up the car and drive to a Texas Association of Magicians Convention, no matter what the city or town.  At the Ft. Worth convention in 1968, she entered the competitions and won the Best Junior Magicians trophy.

By 1969, she was president of the Houston Association of Young Magicians and, in addition to doing birthday parties, she was performing at school carnivals, Scout shows, and library events.  After one of her stage shows at school, she told a Houston Chronicle reporter:  “I use music and backdrops with my show, because I want to reach new people.  I want to get young people interested in the art.”  The article described her “hand-painted zodiac background for her Aquarius-theme costume of hot pink and mystical blue,” and how “she carefully coordinates her magic-and-dance routines to swinging new music by the group Iron Butterfly.”  The reporter coaxed Trixie to tell of her in-the-works, Alice-In-Wonderland act.  “It’s sort of a psychedelic dreamland,” Trixie said.  It would soon be her ticket for winning the TAOM junior trophy a second and third time.

Trixie and “The Admiral” have lunch on the sponsor.  While majoring in telecommunications at Texas Tech, Trixie co-hosted the six-day-a-week Admiral Foghorn Show.


During her senior year of high school, in addition to winning first places in numerous talent shows, Trixie was picked as the first runner up for the Miss Teenage Houston title.  Then in 1972, she was off to college at Texas Tech in Lubbock, where she majored in telecommunications.  In addition to becoming involved in all phases of TV production on campus, it wasn’t long before she was co-hosting the Admiral Foghorn Show, a program that aired six days a week on the local ABC affiliate and was syndicated on 15 stations in Texas and Arizona.

An on-air performing experience while at Texas Tech proved to Trixie, without a shadow of doubt, that she was destined to be the magician, and not the magician’s assistant.  In 1974, magician Ted Quan asked Trixie to help him with a local fundraising program that was to be telecast live as part of a nationwide telethon.

Quan, who also owned the Ming Tree Restaurant in Lubbock, had decided to perform a “Sword Suspension,” and Trixie was asked to be the assistant who was put into a state of suspended animation.  “Somehow, I was not hooked to the gimmick correctly,” Trixie remembers.  “I fell off the swords, head first, with the blades cutting through the legs of my costume.”  The local director switched to the network feed.  The live segment went black.  “The camera crew thought I was dead.  Fortunately, I only had a few small scratches and a big bruised ego.  I have not assisted another magician with an illusion since that incident.”

After college, Trixie moved back to Houston and about a year later got married.  For the next few years, she was actually performing shows to earn money to put her new husband through medical school.  During this time, her specialty was holiday theme shows, Breakfast with Santa or a Visit with the Easter Bunny.  She vividly recalls doing these shows even when she was seven-and-a-half-months pregnant.

As her family grew—first a daughter, next a son, and then twin girls—Trixie found herself performing less and less.  For a while, she took a job as the advertising-accounts manager for a radio station.  When she decided to crank up her own catering service in the 1980s, she discovered she barely had time to do two or three shows a month.

Trixie’s business as a caterer led to her lecture presentation, “Tbe Magic of Cooking and Garnishing witb Edible Flowers.”


The catering business, in turn, gave rise to another of Trixie’s longtime fascinations, edible flowers.  She now had an outlet for creating magic of another sort—the transformation of beautiful flowers into decorative and delicious dishes.  She soon had her own radio program, Food & Garden Magic, on Houston’s KNUZ.  From that she developed an unusual live show called “Food Magic” that she continues to book for garden clubs, cooking parties, and women’s groups today.

In 1997, Trixie put together a Mary Poppins-like party show that’s become her mainstay children’s show offering.  Many of the effects are tailored to the Poppins theme, especially the unusual routine with the “Mutilated Parasol.”  The balance of the show is a seamless blend of colorful effects that encourage participation, such as the “Mis-Made Flag,” “Hippity-Hop Rabbits,” “Professor’s Nightmare,” and of course, the “Silk Blow.”  Trixie usually starts by doing 15 minutes of close-up for the kids while sitting on the floor with them.  And there’s always some dove magic and usually a rabbit production.

The entire show plays big, yet everything is designed so that Ms. Bond can single-handedly wheel the necessary props and equipment into the party home and be set up in about eight minutes, allowing some pre-show time with the birthday child.  Once the show starts, she goes out of her way to involve all the children in the magic and delivers plenty of positive messages without seeming heavv handed.  After the show ends, there’s time for a party photo, and she’s packed and on the road in 12 minutes.

If it’s a typical Saturday and there are four birthday shows to do, Trixie tries to schedule the first for around 10 a.m.  This means she has to be packed up and ready to leave her home in Sugar Land (20 miles southeast of Houston) at 9 or 9:15.  She will not expect to return home until around 5 or 6 p.m.  This barely allows enough time to feed and put away the animals, shower, and change costumes to her tuxedo to work either at Magic Island or a private party.  And often it’s both, as much of her walk-around work comes from groups that have booked the evening at Magic Island.

For the last five years, Trixie Bond has been one of the house close-up magicians at Magic Island in Houston.  Along with Scott Hollingsworth, Lanny Kibbey, Jamie Salinas, Bob Smith, and Frank Price, Trixie has spent many an evening working one of the two close-up rooms.  By her own admission, she is not a heavy-duty sleight-of-hand worker, but she holds her own with routines that are highly entertaining and mystifying.  Her favorites include “Ring and String,” “Ambitious Card,” “Oil and Water,” “Matrix,” Ace productions, sponge balls, and a coin routine that features a miniature Coin Ladder.

One of Trixie’s biggest thrills in magic was the week she spent performing at the Magic Castle a couple of years ago.  “It was a lifetime dream, since I started reading about it when it opened in the 1960s.”  She was booked for the Close-up Room, and also worked the Sunday brunch that week.

Back home in Houston on Sundays, there’s never time to slow down.  Be they special events at the Island or elsewhere around Houston, she averages two parties every Sunday.  The Houston metro area (8,778 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Massachusetts but larger than New Jersey) is so spread out that on a busy weekend Trixie puts 400 to 500 miles on her car.  Sometimes it’s more if she travels to neighboring towns for her shows.  “It is also interesting work because Houston is such a multi-cultural area.  I have done shows for families from France, Italy, Scotland, England, Wales, China, India, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico.  I’ve learned a lot about the many different and interesting birthday traditions and holidays around the world.”

Trixie likes the diversity of working trade shows, but claims that six or eight hours on the trade-show floor is “as physically demanding as doing six birthdays in a day.”


Trixie currently does less than a dozen trade shows a year.  “They are the hardest, and it’s as physically demanding as doing six birthdays in a day.  I’m at the booth on the trade show floor for six to eight hours straight, and by the end of a day, my feet are on fire, my voice is fading, and my face hurts from smiling.”

She has an interesting analogy when it comes to customizing her corporate performances for her different trade show clients.  Trixie feels it’s similar to “always remembering to include the name of the birthday child several times during a party show.  You must never forget to focus on the company’s message throughout the magical presentation.”

The ever-effervescent Ms. Bond shifts into a more serious mode, as she reflects on her multi-faceted career.  “Magic has been a source of great Joy in my life, but about two-and-a-half years ago, it took me into one of the darkest periods of my career and my life,” Trixie says without remorse.  In January of 1999, a well-known magician, who often lectured and wrote a column on the performance of children’s magic, was convicted of indecency with a minor.  “When it first happened to my family and friends, I was suddenly confronted with the reality that someone who had become a close friend and magic colleague was a pedophile.  After much personal trauma, the most important lesson I learned, and need to share, is we as the magic profession should not and cannot tolerate this kind of behavior.  We need to act as a community to monitor our own industry to protect the children we entertain, the young magicians we teach, and preserve the nobility and integrity of our profession.”  It can only be said here that the impact on Trixie has been tremendous.  It forever changed her life and that of her family.  Hopefully, others will heed her plea.

After working close-up for five years at Houston’s Magic Island, Trixie’s favorite form of work has become strolling and walk-around magic.


Being able to boast of performing 500 shows a year has its share of glory and glamour, but there’s an immense amount of nittygritty, behind-the-scenes work necessary to keep the machine rolling.  “I don’t sleep well at night unless I book a show or two every day,” she says, estimating that she spends at least 25 to 30 hours a week on the phone or at the computer.  A lot of her bookings begin on the Internet, but all the “bites and nibbles” must be followed up by phone to turn them into realities.  “It’s sort of like fishing—you get to snag ’em, then after a little fight, reel in the whoppers.  And I have to admit, I especially love the sell of a corporate engagement.  Having been an account executive for a radio station gives me a valuable background in sales.  Nowadays, it’s almost as much fun closing the deal as it is doing the show.”

For the past four years, Trixie has dedicated much of her time to working with Camp Periwinkle.  It’s a summer camp sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital that serves children and siblings of children with cancer.  It gives kids with cancer a week to be a normal kid and experience activities that most children take for granted.  Like archery, horseback riding, or arts and crafts, magic has become one of the activities.  Trixie performs and teaches simple magic classes that help develop an appreciation for magic.  “Magic is powerful for these children; it gives them new social skills, and the impact on them, even if it’s just boosting self-confidence, is immeasurable.”  She has developed meaningful relationships with both the campers and staff, and maintains that this is the most rewarding work she has ever done.  “I also learn never to take my health or that of the ones that I love for granted.  These special campers taught me eve day is a gift.  Magic is the gift I give back to them.”

What does the future hold for Trixie Bond?  “I know I’ll do magic the rest of my life.  It’s simply who I am.  As my children grow older and are leaving the nest, I am excited about the new possibilities and opportunities.”  She admits that her imminent divorce has allowed her the time to work on improving her close-up skills and start creating some new kid-show routines.  “I’m also looking forward to traveling more with my magic,” she adds.

Recently, Trixie was in Las Vegas, working as a strolling magician at a corporate event at the Rio.  “It’s a refreshing variation from doing week-after-week of kid shows back in Houston, and all I have to carry is a brief case.  It’s two hours of meeting interesting adults, and, for a change, I get to feel like a professional partygoer.”

Charlie Randall is the co-owner of H&R Magic Books, and is currently working on a book of tricks and routines from magicians who have attended Fecbter’s Finger Flicking Frolics over the past few years.