Alan Sands Entertainment



What a year! 2020 is behind me, and I have to say - it was not as bad as it could have been. I have many reasons why, but let me begin with the beginning of the year… Beginning in October 2019 through January 2020, Lisa and I did five fair conventions (Western Fairs Assoc., Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Oregon) and we had a bumper year of shows lining up for us. It was exciting to see so many gigs on the calendar.














Lisa and I started the year out doing really exciting events.

I did a solo show Jan. 10th in North Platte, NE for the Railroad Engineers Association.

North Platte has always been a town that has come through for me in the past. I used to think of it negatively - but then came to realize it was an oasis that was there for me with solutions.

Story #1: I was driving cross-country towing a trailer filled with inflatable games and the trailer was disintegrating behind me along the highway. The siding was peeling away. The ribs were showing as I finally got to N. Platte where I bought a new trailer and abandoned the old one.  I just sold that replacement trailer last month.

Story #2:  I purchased a used RV in Mississippi from a shady RV Dealership. The thing said it had 44,000 miles on it, but it was trouble from the moment we drove it off the lot. I spent $600 on repairs getting to Montana to do a fair. We made it there - did the fair and on the way home again the engine finally gave out in N. Platte. There were no U-Hauls or cars to rent in the town, but the dealership sold us an old Ford Station Wagon for $2,000 so we bought the car, filled it with all our belongings and made it home.

Returning to N. Platte in January and having a good show and no drama, was nice.

January 31st, Lisa and I did a show for AFLAC in San Jose, and it was a 5-star party, and the show went great.

The first week of February we did a show for a private Silicon Valley high school I never knew existed - another great show!

Immediately afterwards, we fly to Texas and we performed another great show in Houston for a gathering of Physicians where we had some real Texas BBQ.

In February, we went to Anchorage, Alaska and performed three shows - two at a local bar/saloon that, Thom Kyte, a past student of mine helped me arrange. We also did a great show for an AA convention called, "the All Alaska Round Up.". This was perhaps one of the best shows we have ever done. While we were there, a Native Alaskan shared with us reindeer meat, whale meat and other exotic meats his family can harvest - but non-native people cannot hunt legally.


Bowhead Whale Meat


Reindeer Meat (caribou)



Endless, breathtaking, Alaska scenery



these three pictures of scenery were taken



standing in the same spot



We returned home and then both attended Jeff McBride's School in Las Vegas. Lisa took a one-day class on Tarot, something she has been interested in forever; I took a six-day class on magic. It was great! Even an old dog can learn new tricks and I really did gain so much.

We went wine tasting in Escondido with George and Deb James in early March right before we flew off to our next gig in Canada.

Our next gig was in Banff, Canada for 250 employees of Alberta's Waste Water Department, We arrived early to enjoy the scenery - had dinner with two fair family friends Paul and Connie Isaac and as we are getting ready to go do our show we get a call in the room - POW - our show got cancelled! They paid us, and we left the next day. Lisa flew to my home in the SF Bay Area and I flew to North Dakota and did two more shows that weekend before the gig-famine hit.

Over the next few weeks we watched $73,000 worth of scheduled engagements cancel. Fairs, high schools, corporate events … all of them … POOF!

   I was hankering to go camping, so I made a reservation at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz for one night. It is California's oldest state park and the trees are mazing - they have educational trails and an outdoor theater with carved redwood log benches they built in the 30's. Lisa and I went down and went camping, hiked and and ... a few months later, the park and all theater, and benches, and educational trails were destroyed when the park had it's worst fire ever. Everywhere we hiked was scorched and destroyed.























Over the next few months, we did two house parties locally --- Lisa figured out how to entertain herself doing crafts - Amongst her many projects, she repainted my sister's swimming lady we keep in the back yard.


I began making sawdust, building things out of wood and doing little repairs I had been putting off. I have become an expert at building stereo cabinets, night stands and end tables of different types.

An oak TV Stand made for Judie Fatland & Jason Rariden.


A piece made for my office.


 A more artsy book case I built out of walnut. 15 glue-up panels.  I have since put urethane on it and I am adding steampunk embellishments.

 A charcuterie board made as a holiday present



This piece is really big! Made to fit games including Scrabble. This was also made from solid walnut and about nine large glue-up panels. Made for my sister Robin.


 Jewelry boxes - these were a challenge. I made two of them, but have not perfected the craft.

I made one for my daughter, Jessica and one for Lisa.



Lisa also taught hypnosis to a very wealthy gentleman in San Francisco. He wanted one-on-one lessons, and Lisa taught her entire one week program in four hours to the guy.


 Jessica, my daughter, was moving from one apartment to another in the Seattle area in July, so I took a trip and helped her with my giant van I bought last summer, 2019. It was great to see her. I am sure, if you are a parent, you understand. She requested two bookcase style end tables and I made her those for her new apartment.

Heading home from Jessica's home in Seattle, I visited Lassen Volcano National Park and camped for a few nights in the Lassen Forest. I am glad I went as it burned very badly shortly after that.


What really saved our sanity was a two day fair in Montana the first week of August that did not cancel. It was their 100th anniversary - the town has 480 people and they were going to have that fair! Lisa and I drove there, did multiple shows with one of our star stage hypnosis students, Frank Prince.

Afterwards, Lisa flew to Las Vegas to attend HypnoThoughts Live, a convention that usually has 1,000 attendees - but this year, only 200 showed up. Lisa has been going since it began, and she didn't want to miss it.


I forgot to mention, on the way to Montana we are towing this 20' trailer behind us with our model t inside and we decide to camp one night near Casper, Wyoming. We find a campsite using our technologies in the car and head to the campground ... long story short, it is on top of a mountain thousands of feet in the air and we towed the trailer up this switchback mountain to this really nice, secluded place one can imagine called . Coming home was far less dramatic and a lot easier on the engine - but a bit more vicious to the brakes - of the van.

Back to the timeline ...

I visited one of my best friends of 25 years at her home in Montana, Jeanne Thomas. I stayed with her for a week helping her on her 2.5 acres. We did gardening and simple household repairs, and drank a lot of wine and made dinner every night together. The big thing I did for her is she has an A-Frame house and glass windows that are really high. I stood on the top of a ladder and clean those windows for her. It was not something she could do herself and I was glad we did it, but I don't think I will do it again. … Meanwhile, another longtime friend, Alison Kenyon, showed up at Jeanne's with her brilliant 8-year old son. They were on a camping trek, visiting all the dinosaur museums throughout the region. It was great connecting with all of them again.

Leaving Jeanne and going to Idaho, I visited another performer friend; Juggler / Acrobat Sven Jorgenson, He is building his own home on land he purchased near the Grand Tetons. It gets down to -20 degrees where he is at, and he has to build walls that have a thermal barrier - it was interesting to see the double wall construction with a thermal gap between the walls so the cold does not carry through the solid structure. It was really beautiful there - his land is on a creek and in the woods with old-growth trees. He can't put in a septic because the water table is to high, so he has to build an above ground septic system and he is building everything as green as he can. I only stayed for three days because he has no bathroom. As I get older, I need a bathroom... But I did love camping there for two nights (maybe three, I forget).

My next stop was Ogden UT where I hung out with my very good friend, James Dayley. Lisa and I met James at HypnoThoughts in Las Vegas. He is another regular there. He and his wife, Penny, have a huge 5-bedroom house and they welcome us every time Lisa and I are driving through - which for the past few years has been quite often - his home has become a destination, really. Penny's family also have a cabin in a remote area of Utah and they have 4-wheelers they keep there to ride around on. James took me to the cabin and we stayed there for about three nights. We saw moose, deer, flocks of grouse, and beaver to name a few of the wild animals. The Internet was really bad. We had to ride the 4-wheelers 5 miles up the mountain to get reception. I cut the trip short because I had some work I felt I needed to do, so I left and headed home a lot earlier than I had originally planned... with nothing left on the books ... there was no reason to go home ... but my sister was telling me my mail was piling up ... and hopes of Covid ending ... well, home I went.

I got home and I get a call from one of my Burning Man Campmates, Bill Crayton. He invited Lisa and me to spend ten days at his family lake house in North Carolina with him and another camp mate, Jennifer Erickson.  Lisa and I did not go to The Glastonbury Festival in England this year and we had the Frequent Flyer Miles, so saying no … well, let's say it simply was not possible.

Little note here. Do not criticize my haircut in this picture. I decided to cut my own hair... with a trimmer ... and I created a bald spot and Lisa did her best to fry and fix the errors of my ways. Cutting my own hair is not one of my super powers ... apparently ...



September in North Carolina was really awesome. All we had to do was buy food. I think the whole trip cost about $500 when we were all done, and that was because we bought a lot of alcohol! The last day at the lake house, right before we left to head to the timeshare on Myrtle Beach, we took a walk down to the lake. A storm the night before had broken some tree branches and they were in the road. I was being a good guest and began moving them out of the road when Bill says, "I think those are Poison Oak!" That made for a few itchy days.

To top off the ten days at the lake house, Bill also gifted us seven days at his Myrtle Beach Timeshare. One of the highlights of the week on the beach was finding these tiny starfish - dozens of them under the pier.

Aside from those two adventures, I have not had a chance to do in the past and it was so much fun making sawdust. 



I also had time to customize the inside of my van.

I put in insulation and covered most of the walls and did it all in walnut or walnut stained plywood, built a large cabinet for the van, and made a sliding drawer 5' long and 4' wide under the bed so I don't have to climb under the bed to get things out.  It's all attached to 500 lb. drawer slides and works really well.

I am checking my FaceBook one day in October or November and a performer friend posts he has a bunch of steam punk crafting materials he has collected over 10 years and he is moving out of his warehouse. He asks if anyone wants it? I replied first. I tell him yes, and then I supply him packaging slips for FedEx ground. The next thing I know, I receive 5 boxes weighing over 250 lbs. total of "stuff." I can't begin to tell you what all is in here, but it is an amazing collection. It will take me years to use most of it.
Lisa's house in San Diego was not built with insulation and has single pane windows - her two boys decided it was time to repair/insulate one of the walls in the house. It is a big project tearing out the plaster; ripping up all the carpet in the living room. She wanted it done, but not exactly at this moment. To make a long story short, I went down there, helped finish the demolition, helped insulate the wall, replaced the wall with sheet rock, tape and mudded the walls, painted. She still doesn't have carpet replaced, but we acquired a large rug and it is doing a great job at the moment covering enough of the floor that she has a living room back. She also bought double pane windows and I helped a local contractor/friend of Lisa's install them.

Another friend, Fred Anderson, in SF, CA has a studio apartment and I helped him do some remodeling he needed to do - but only one days worth. I would probably have helped him more, but my van is huge and parking at his place is almost impossible. All is good, when doing those types of projects, help is help, ya know? I also was able to loan him some tools he needed to keep going.

I have a sister I barely remember. She was from one of my father's marriages when I was in pre-school. The marriage didn't last very long and produced one sister. Well, she passed away from Covid. I can now say the #TrumpVirus took one of my sisters. Two of my nieces were asking about our family tree and when I was reading the records I was sharing with them, the essay written by a relative 35 years ago shared that my great grand-mother died in the flu pandemic of 1918. These pandemics can hit home. They have struck my family, it appears.

And, life rolls on. The holidays were uneventful. The next excitement will be Georgia's Senate Election this week, and I am hoping with all my heart the nation can open up again safely as soon as possible.

I wish you all health, prosperity and hope we get to see each other again soon. If you are receiving this email, it is because I consider you someone I care about.



Alan & Lisa