Seeking Beta Readers

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Hi Friends,

I’m currently working on my second book tentatively entitled “Andy Logan” and I’m seeking beta readers to share their honest input.  I will be sending out anywhere from a few chapters to up to 40 pages or more at a time.  I’m looking for a variety of ages both young and old.  This book is intended to appeal to a wide age-range of readers (think in terms of Harry Potter).

Shy, awkward, thirteen-year-old Andy Logan uses magic tricks to break the ice and try to make friends in the new town that he and his mother have just moved to. Relocating was difficult enough but when his brand new next door neighbor gets kidnapped things begin to get really tough and more than a little strange.  The town of Fort Towers, Florida is filled with weird residents, mysterious sunken treasures, criminal activity and maybe even something a little supernatural.

If you are interested in being a beta reader for me or you know someone who would, please send me an email at or message me on Facebook at

All that I ask is that you share your thoughts and suggestions about what you read.  Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings, I need you honesty in order to make the story as good as I possibly can.

Hope to hear from you!

Peace & Love,




Pip-Squeak, an Anti-Bullying Magic Show

This week marks the 7th anniversary of presenting my semi-autobiographical anti-bullying show at the wonderful Orlando Repertory Theatre.



During the weekdays children up through middle school-age will be bused to the theatre where I will attempt to blend laughs, amazement and an important message.

I haven’t actively spend a lot of time promoting Pip-Squeak because I’ve been blessed with a full regular performing schedule with my Outta Control Dinner Show.  The fact is however, that bullying isn’t going to go away and has actually become a much more serious issue with the advent of technology and cyber bullying.

Recently a lady from the U.K. approached me after seeing my regular comedy show and brought up my anti-bullying work.  She asked me was it difficult to try to constantly make people laugh but then balance that out by talking about a serious subject in a different show.  My answer was “yes” when it’s related to social media, but “no” when it comes to performing the actual show.  When I’m performing my evening comedy magic show, it’s all about fun and laughs, when I’m performing Pip-Squeak, it’s about getting the laughs… but then layering it with uplifting information.

The lady then went on to tell me that she had downloaded the Pip-Squeak video to show her teenage daughter who had been dealing with bullying issues at school.  I was touched and honored that she took the time to tell me it had made a difference in her daughter’s life.

Stay Groovy,


Tim Roth Says Bullying Helped Him Become A Better Movie Villain

Tim Roth has been a lead actor in such films as Reservoir Dogs, The Incredible Hulk, Pulp Fiction, Planet of the Apes and soon to be seen in The Hateful Eight.  In a recent article in the Red Bulletin magazine he discusses how he plays bullies in films by drawing upon his experience being bullied as a child.

Actor Tim Roth poses for a photograph in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

“The first thing I played was a Nazi skinhead.  I was the bullied kid in school.  I was always on the run.  I knew how to play the bullies from watching them,” Roth said.


Click the link below to be entered in the Amazon book giveaway for my anti-bullying theatrical

play, Big Foot:


Stay Groovy,




Big Foot, the Anti-Bullying Theatrical Play


In 2014 I wrote what I thought was going to be a book but as it began to take shape I realized it seemed more suited to be a theatrical play; more on the reason why later.

“Big Foot” is the story of a small scouting organization called “The Trailblazers”, a group which happens to be filled with a few nasty, bullying boys.  Due to an organizational mix up they find themselves hiking on the first day of hunting season in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.  In a frantic effort to stay alive and return home they accidentally stumble upon a battle between a grizzly bear and the mythical Big Foot!

The core idea was to craft a story that placed a group of boys in an unfamiliar situation and have them deal with underlying bullying and parental issues.  As I wrote I felt that altering it to a theatrical play format would allow schools to present it as a production at their own schools.  When I finished it I sent it out into the internet and social media ether to let the chips fall were they would.  Soon I forgot about it and set forth on my next project.

Fast forward nearly a year to the day later, a lady approached me following one of my live performances and said that my 2012 anti-bullying video “Pip-Squeak” had been inspiring and uplifting to her daughter who had been bullied in years past.  Her comments made me rethink the idea the “Big Foot” just might be needed; it might be important and worthy to the one boy or girl who is suffering.

“Big Foot” will be available on Amazon for Kindle later this week.  If you are a teacher or school administrator we will make it available completely free if you wish to present it at your school.

Stay Groovy,

Tony Brent

Radical Career Changes

This is the story of a fellow who made a radical career change and the reactions he received from family, friends and colleagues.  Okay, I’ll skip the third person narrative…I was that fellow.

In the early 90’s I was the president of a small company based in Memphis, TN called TAYSA Brand, Inc..  TAYSA was a combination of the names our business partners daughter Taylor and our daughter Jessa.  TAYSA Brand owned several gourmet coffee shops called Espresso Etc., our own brand of coffees that we sold both retail and wholesale and a wholesale restaurant equipment business.  At our peak we had 25 full and part-time employees.  I was still in my 30’s at the time, a Rotary Club member, a board member of the local Chamber of Commerce, a regular biz-ness man.

When you own a small business with employees one of the things you have to do is pay your employees before you pay yourself, crazy right?  By the time we paid that pesky payroll often times my wife and I had very little to spend on luxuries such as the electric bill, food, etc..  One day I noticed an ad in a local free newspaper stating that Circus Circus Casino would soon be opening in Tunica, MS and they were looking for variety performers, jugglers, clowns and magicians.  Prior to our move from Nashville to Memphis, I had worked part-time as a magician and even as an actor at a local dinner theater.  Tunica was only 15 miles across the TN state line and we needed the money so I auditioned.  Low and behold, I got the gig!  I was now going to become a professional magician!

The reactions I received were extremely positive and many of them looked like this:




In reality the reactions were far from positive, so much so that years later I wrote a screenplay about it.





People are not overly receptive to radical changes in other people.  If you aren’t already aware of that then I daresay you haven’t made any radical changes in your own life.  I hadn’t shared my prior interest in the performing arts with people once we had moved to Memphis and therefore they had no background information to make my decision seem like a rational one.  It appeared as if suddenly I said “I’m going to be a magician!”




My daughters Jessa and Olivia in 1996 after my show at the now-defunct Libertyland Amusement Park in Memphis, TN. Two years after beginning my career as an entertainer.



The truth is we care about what others think and it helps when we receive support when making a radical career change.  Below are five ways you can ease that stress:



If you love making gift baskets out of used plastic grocery bags in your spare time and you think you can make a business out of it, but you’ve never shared this secret with another soul, you can’t expect them to be overly excited when you drop the bomb that you’ve quit your job as an attorney to start “Suzy’s Gift Grocery Baskets”.   Let your friends an family know how important it is to you.  Share your passion with them and do not be meek about it.



Carefully explain what it is you are doing and why you want to do it.  Often, times we throw it out there that we are quitting our jobs for what may appear a random career shift, then we sit back and say nothing, hoping others will ask more questions.  We take the stance that we don’t need to “explain” ourselves.  The truth is you may not need to explain yourself but if you aren’t willing to, don’t expect support.



There’s absolutely nothing wrong with simply saying “this is what I want to do at this point in my life and I’d really appreciate if you’d support me even if you don’t fully understand it.”



I recall once asking for a loan from the bank to fund our business and the loan officer saying “no one is ever going to be as excited about your business as you are.  Just because you think it’s a great idea, don’t expect everyone else to get on board with it.”  The key is to not expect everyone to understand immediately and if they don’t react positively then remain positive yourself and do not get defensive.



Not everyone is going to give you a thumbs up so prepare yourself for that fact ahead of time.  Some of your closest friends may not be supportive and it’s important that you do not take it personally.


In closing; I’ve been a full-time entertainer since 1994.  My wife, Mitzi continued to run our company along with our business partners until we eventually closed it in 1997.  Making the radical career change was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


Stay Groovy,




The Hidden Benefits Of Charity Work


First off, this isn’t going to be a preachy post were I pat myself repeatedly on the back about my charity work.  This is a post were I begin to explain how I came to realize I was benefiting from doing charity work and volunteering my services beyond the obvious.


I first started making monthly visits to Children’s hospitals in the mid-90’s when I lived in Memphis, Tennessee near the famed St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the LeBohner Children’s Hospital.  Since moving to Orlando in 1999, I’ve increased my volunteer work to include a ranch for at-risk children, the Boy’s and Girls Clubs of America, Give Kids the World, several faith-based organizations and more.  Keep in mind these events were not exclusively for children.  I began to notice that more and more jokes, bits of business and even full routines that were birthed during charity shows were beginning to creep into my regular act.  I started to pay closer attention to this.  Several years ago I made a bold statement to my wife that I had surmised the best, funniest shows I’ve done neither she nor the paying public had ever seen because they had been done at charity events.

As I delved into why I felt this way, I began to see a pattern, the obvious being:


When you are doing it for free, there’s less pressure to deliver the goods and possibly less time constraints and less worry in general.  John Cleese, in his autobiography, “So, Anyway…” says that inspiration and spontaneity do not come if you are under pressure.




Cleese describes the fact that because he thought that eventually he’d go into Law, that allowed him to be totally “free” on stage during the early part of his career.  He wasn’t worried about failure and therefore was “funnier” than he might have been otherwise.  The question was, what did the lack of pressure cause me to do differently?  I began to take notes:




I have a tendency to be fast-paced in my performances, a habit possibly formed from my long history of entertaining in a dinner show whereas you must grab the attention of the audience and hold on for dear life; at any moment you could lose their focus if a waiter happeneds to stroll by with an ice-cold pitcher of beer.  I noticed that at charity shows, I take my sweet time, feeling out the crowd, getting their vibes and allowing them to get mine.




You can find reviews of my show on Tripadvisor and other travel blogs and articles that will state how much I interact and ad-lib with the audiences.  I realized in my charity shows I do even more, most likely because as I said above, I take my time.




Heath Ledger as the Joker said, “I’m not a schemer, I don’t have a plan, I just DO things.”  I realized that in charity shows, I would take a “bag of tricks”, having no idea exactly what I was going to use in that bag, no idea of a show order at all.  I don’t necessarily recommend this ‘free-form” style, however for my personality it’s liberating.  I leave these types of shows invigorated and energized.  Having performed thousands of shows, the thought of doing them exactly the same way would have a negative effect on my performing style.


I’m not suggesting that you take part in volunteer/charity work in the hopes of personal gain but it did work out for me that way so I look at it as a win-win.


Stay Groovy,



Ridiculous Job Interviews


Many years ago I was younger.

During that time I spent many a day preparing for, waiting for and driving to, job interviews. You know how it is; it’s that period of your life when you aren’t exactly sure what you want to do for a living so you find yourself answering want ads for all kinds of jobs. Recently, I recalled a particularly strange job interview at a hotel in Memphis, TN for some sales position; I’ve long ago forgotten the company name and what they were selling; I probably blocked it out.

The interview took place in a chain hotel, possibly a Days Inn, Econolodge or Hampton Inn near the interstate. I remember being told on the phone to go to a particular room on the first floor and knock on the door. I was welcomed into the room by two gentlemen in suits. Glancing around the room it was obvious that the men had rearranged the furniture so that two straight-backed chairs sat at 45 degree angles facing a large fluffy almost bean bag-like chair that they had placed in the middle of the room near the bed. Now, the bean bag-like chair wasn’t an actual “bean bag” chair, it did have short legs, it was just so cushiony that it would be impossible to sit straight in and also so low that you’d have to look up to see the interviewer’s faces. The two straight back chairs sat against the sliding glass door so that the interviewers could sit with their backs to the sun, positioning the interviewee in such a way that they would be facing toward the sun.

After exchanging the usual minor pleasantries, one of the fellows pointed to the bean bag-like chair and asked me to have a seat. I sat my briefcase down (remember those?) and lowered myself into the squishy chair, wallowing for a good 23 seconds to try and position myself so that I would appear “professional” and not like a flopping carp in the bottom of the boat. I realized the absurdity of the situation, even though I was too young and green to comment. Believe me, if it happened today I would comment strongly and shame the two guys for having the audacity to make me feel like I’m part of the Nuremberg Trials. I instantly knew the moment they asked me to sit that there was no way I’d take a position with that company. Can you imagine working for a company that would go to the length of near-humiliation in their job interviews? I remember little else of the interview other than it was really short. I’m sure I gave the lamest answers possible to their questions in order to get it over with and get out of the hotel room.

Now, on the other hand, if all three of us had been sitting in bean bag chairs, I might still be working for that company today! That would have been awesome! Can you imagine it? I think all business meetings should be held in bean bag chairs providing that everybody sits in one.

It’s been many years since I’ve gone on a job interview, I’d love to hear your most ridiculous job interview situations.

Stay Groovy,