The Magic of Cruising: Writing About It & Doing It. Vanessa Armstrong, Writer Extraordinaire/Jon Armstrong, Cruising’s Top Magician; The Joy of Cruising Podcast, 1/11
This week on The Joy of Cruising Podcast, I am delighted to welcome two guests, a married couple, Vanessa and Jon Armstrong. Vanessa’s website opens to a close-up headshot which is inscribed, “Why is my face so big…?” Right below that it says, “Vanessa likes to write about things. Sometimes she gets paid for it.” I suspect a sense of humor I am going to enjoy! Her bio goes on to say, “Vanessa started her adult life as a very serious businessperson (she got not one, but TWO master's degrees!) and spent most of her twenties working for very serious companies and moving every two years or so. In her early thirties, she and her dog Penny moved to Los Angeles, where she began writing and dying her hair in different colors. Vanessa continues to live in Los Angeles with Penny, her daughter Maddie, and her husband Jon, who is a professional magician (no, she doesn't know how he does his tricks). Her writing has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Vulture, The LA Times, Travel + Leisure, Glamour Magazine, Atlas Obscura, and /or Film. Her hair is currently blue, but she is thinking of dying it purple.”
It was Vanessa’s article in Travel + Leisure, I Married a Cruise Ship Entertainer — Here's What My Life at Sea Is Really Like that brought the Armstrongs to my attention. I reached out to Vanessa to come and chat on The Joy of Cruising Podcast, and she was so kind as to introduce me to Jon.
Jon is from Orlando, Florida, and became fascinated by the magic he saw in the theme parks all around him. He acted on that fascination and—are you ready for this—at age 20, became the resident magician at Walt Disney World! After 5 years at Disney World, Vegas beckoned Jon and he became a headliner at Caesar's Magical Empire. That spring boarded Jon to do tours all over the world including—thankfully for our listeners—on cruise ships. Jon has also worked on many films and television shows as a magic consultant and designer, is co-creator of the IDW comic series Smoke and Mirrors, and stars in the documentary Magicians: Life in the Impossible. Jon just published a book, How To Win: Essays and Routines for the Stand-Up Magician.
Wow, what a dynamic couple!
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