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"You made us all laugh today- thank you for making our day shine! My family adored your performance- thank you for making them feel special. Keep going with your passion- you're the best."

W.M., San Jose, CA
Phil's Blog
I love to cook
Monday, 11 June 2012 00:00

As you may know, I love to cook.  Here is a simple brunch recipe I found on line from Martha Stewart.  Egg, Bacon & Toast Cups.  Simple and elegant. Here's the link;

http://www.marthastewart.com/330179/bacon-egg-and-toast-cups

 

If you want to share recipes, drop me a line.

With summer here now, I can grill more delicious meals.  And our garden is looking good; corn, squash, cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes.

 

 
Nana's British Museum
Thursday, 16 February 2012 00:00

 

I find lots of inspiration for my magical routines from memories of my past. I connect with my audiences as I tell personal stories from my childhood.


My latest routine talks about my grandmother who lived around the corner from us in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto. We would walk over to Nana's  house on Sundays for dinner. She would cook a Roast Beef dinner with Yorkshire Pudding. And for dessert, Floating Island. A simple custard topped with a dollop of meringue floating in the center.


What I remember the most is the large curio cabinet in her dining room. She referred to that cabinet as, "The British Museum." She called it that because her husband brought it over from England.  My Nana's cabinet was filled with interesting and mysterious things that she had picked up on her travels. I was fascinated with everything inside. I would stand there and look at each and every piece sitting on the shelves. I was excited when she opened up the two big glass doors and let me touch her collection.


Nana passed away in 1974. And eventually, most of the items in her "British Museum" ended up being sold. But, my Dad (her son) gave me a few pieces. And one of those pieces was her Matryoshka, a Russian nesting doll. It's the one in the foreground pictured above. I wish I could find out more about the history of this one. It's very different from any other Russian doll I've seen. Unfortunately, the stamp on the bottom has faded.

 

The doll and my Nana's British Museum is the genesis of a new routine.  The theme is about our ''British Museums" and all the memorabilia that we collect over the years. At a recent performance, I was backstage and a woman showed a ring on her finger and mentioned that it was given to her from her late father.  As she described it, I could sense the love and special memories she had with her dad.

 

Do you have a "British Museum?"  What kind of memorabilia do you collect?  What memories do you treasure from your childhood?  I hope to be able to share my new routine with you someday.

 

 
Time to vent about YELP!
Monday, 30 January 2012 08:00

OK, it's time for me to vent my frustration about Yelp.

After doing a show, I have had many clients tell me that they would write a Yelp review on my Yelp Page.  Well, I could never find their review.  I was quite surprised to find out that I have 19 reviews on my Yelp Page that are NOT visible!  That is. they are hidden from readers view. The only way to read these hidden reviews is to click on the link 19 filtered in very light grey text at the bottom of the visible reviews, above the line: About This Business

Here is what Yelp says about filtering reviews.
We try to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews among the millions that are submitted to the site. Not all reviews make the cut, and those that don't are posted to a separate "Filtered Review" page. Filtered reviews don't factor into a business's overall star rating, but users can still read them by clicking on the link at the bottom of the business's profile page.We use filtering software to determine which reviews should be filtered on any given day among the millions that are submitted to the site. The software looks at a wide range of data associated with every review.  We intentionally make the filter difficult to reverse engineer - otherwise, we would be overrun by reviews written by people hoping to game the system. So while it may be tough to decipher how the filter works, the rules are actually the same for every business and every review.

I guess if you are an dedicated "Yelper", then you are more trusted and your reviews are not as easily filtered.  

What's your take on Yelp?  Do you read reviews about a business you plan to use? Have you written reviews or been reviewed?  l would love to hear about your experiences. Call me or shoot me an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
YELP reviews about Phil Ackerly
Monday, 30 January 2012 00:00

OK, it's time for me to vent my frustration about Yelp.

After doing a show, I have had many clients tell me that they would write a Yelp review on my Yelp Page. Well, I could never find their review. I was quite surprised to find out that I have 19 reviews on my Yelp Page that are NOT visible! That is. they are hidden from readers view. The only way to read these hidden reviews is to click on the link 19 filtered in very light grey text at the bottom of the visible reviews, above the line: About This Business.
Here is what Yelp says about filtering reviews.
We try to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews among the millions that are submitted to the site. Not all reviews make the cut, and those that don't are posted to a separate "Filtered Review" page. Filtered reviews don't factor into a business's overall star rating, but users can still read them by clicking on the link at the bottom of the business's profile page.We use filtering software to determine which reviews should be filtered on any given day among the millions that are submitted to the site. The software looks at a wide range of data associated with every review. We intentionally make the filter difficult to reverse engineer - otherwise, we would be overrun by reviews written by people hoping to game the system. So while it may be tough to decipher how the filter works, the rules are actually the same for every business and every review.
I guess if you are an dedicated "Yelper", then you are more trusted and your reviews are not as easily filtered.
What's your take on Yelp? Do you read reviews about a business you plan to use? Have you written reviews or been reviewed? l would love to hear about your experiences. Call me or shoot me an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Here are a few of those filtered reviews:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Happy New Year
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 08:00

 

 

Happy New Year to all of you.  I have a lot to be thankful for in 2011  One big thanks goes to all my clients; both new and repeat clients.  I also

receive lots of referrals from those that have either booked me or seen me at a party.  The picture above was taken at a company holiday party while I was performing mingle magic.  The gentlmen here is Martin.  I peformed at his birthday party in June.  He was kind enough to refer me to the entertainment committee for his company's holiday party.  I made sure that he and his guest got a special performance.   

 

The photo below was taken last January for Japanese insurance company party.  I dusted off my Japanese Magic Act that I first conceived back in 1984. (Wow! Long time ago!) And I have been asked back this month for the 4th year in a row to entertain their clients once again.

 

 

 

Word of mouth and repeat business is a huge part of any successful business, but it's not enough to sustain growth.  That is why I advertise in magazines and online.  I also continue to educate myself in all aspects of my profession, in acting, learning new tricks, and marketing and sales.

 
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