Hello, my name is Jeanne St. John and who better to write Tim’s bio than me, his wife?
After all, I’ve known him for half of his life and the years I missed were available on VHS, in scrapbooks, and through countless stories shared by his friends and family. Sometimes, I think I know him better than he knows himself.
If you asked Tim, he would tell you his life has been blessed with an exciting career, international travel and celebrity, and lots of fun, but from my perspective, Tim is blessed in ways he doesn’t realize. Yes, he’s blessed with “magical” talents for juggling, illusions, and comedy; “timing is everything” – I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard that one! But one of Tim’s greatest blessings is his ability to entertain people with his talents. I have been witness to this for over 20 years, watching him entertain showroom guests, Hollywood celebrities, family, friends and probably most rewarding -sick children and their parents. He truly enjoys bringing a smile to someone’s face and that is when he feels most blessed.
So let me start at the beginning…
From a very young age, Tim was in the spotlight at family gatherings – already an entertainer, as if he knew that was his place. When he was eight years old, he was given his first magic trick and he was 11 when he first learned to juggle. He learned every trick he could and practiced juggling whenever he got the chance. Chicago wasn’t exactly a Mecca for the showroom performing arts back then, so you can imagine how thrilled he was in 1984 when his mother told him they were moving to Las Vegas.
By the time high school rolled around, Tim was performing “table hoppin’, close-up” magic at Carlos Murphy’s in Las Vegas, and soon landed guest spots on the television shows Crime Story (1986-1988) and Rags to Riches (1987-1988), but working at Circus Circus was where Tim really got his start at being a professional entertainer. It was there he met some of the greats like juggler Rejean St Jules, and world-record-holding cyclist Charly Charles, who introduced him to Mike Hartzell (then entertainment director of Circus Circus Enterprises). Mike would prove to be instrumental in Tim’s success as an entertainer.
Also important is the Gary Darwin Magic Club. I have heard so many stories of the famous club that I almost feel like a member! It’s the longest running and most popular magic club that still meets in Las Vegas today. I can’t say where and when, after all, it is one of those exclusive, inner circle of magicians, secret society, “I could tell you but then I would have to kill you” kinda clubs-well anyway, that’s what he has been telling me for 20 years! It was there that Tim was able to spend time with and learn from the greats like David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Jimmy Grippo, Michael Skinner, Daniel Cross, the Pendragons, Melinda, Shimada, Rudy Coby, Jeff McBride and Siegfried & Roy – just to name a few. Tim still visits and talks with Gary Darwin, continuing to learn from him even now.
Mike Hartzell and the valuable experiences gained at the magic club led him to performing at the Colorado Belle in Laughlin where he joined talents with ventriloquist Timothy Jones. Together, they developed and performed a top rated, statewide school assembly program. The program, voted best school performance program two years in a row, toured in five states. During the 2 1/2 year run, Tim moved to Arizona and the guys kept busy at night by performing as one of the most requested comedy club headlining duos. Tim opened for comedian Jeff Foxworthy at The Improv, Laugh House, and more. While performing at the Seekers comedy club in Scottsdale Arizona, Tim was selected to be the opening act for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band while they were performing at the Celebrity Theater.
After a while, Tim missed me so desperately that he moved back to Las Vegas. No? Not buying it? I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. Actually, he was called back to Las Vegas in 1990 by Mike Hartzell to audition for a cast member position at the brand new, then world’s largest hotel and casino –The Excalibur. Of course, Tim got the gig as the only solo juggler contracted to perform. During two years performing on stage at the Excalibur, he found time for several outside engagements. Tim was the only juggler in the world who juggled five rings while balancing a guitar on his head and this was how he landed a stunt juggling performance featured in the TV show series The Watcher.
Tim was also featured in several Las Vegas commercials for Toyota and The Excalibur and was chosen to star in the feature commercial for the City of Las Vegas’ massive recycling campaign –Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! When Tim came home with the new car that he paid for from the TV show and commercial money alone, my dad then had no choice but to acknowledge entertainment as a real profession, one that you could actually get paid for!
During this time, Tim also got to perform on Dick Clarks’ Rockin New Years Eve special filmed live from the Excalibur and also landed a spot in an ABC Movie of the week The Entertainers, starring Bob Newhart, Linda Grey and Michael Jackson’s favorite chimp, Bubbles (I think he was the most famous at the time). It was then that I decided to marry him. After all, he had a gig with Michael Jackson’s chimp, and he got to go to the Grammy Awards…I couldn’t help but wonder what was in store for Tim next!
All this led Tim to be part of producer David Wright’s ground breaking new revue show at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, NV called Bare Essence. This show was voted best show of the year. Tim was brought in as a specialty act but was quickly asked to perform in a second spot as well. The show was formed around Tim’s unique black light magic performance and flashy rock-n-roll style. During this time, he consulted with the great Jeff McBride who was performing his astounding Kabuki style magic at Caesar’s next door. Together they developed the Rock-N-Roll Juggler concept, combining flashy, eye-popping illusions along with Tim’s unique juggling style.
When back at home in Las Vegas, Tim had the opportunity to work, study, and become friends with the greatest juggler in the world, Anthony Gatto. Tim quickly learned he had another talent outside juggling and magic –producing, as if he needed one more! Tim helped to produce the record-breaking performance, biography and instructional video called Anthony Gatto, To Be The Best.
The Rock-N-Roll Juggler show was a huge success and what really made Tim an international performer – he has performed this show around the world on cruise ships and in review shows at resorts and hotels in Japan, Columbia, Singapore, Aruba, Malaysia, Barbados and St. Lucia – just to name a few.
When Tim was not traveling abroad, he performed throughout the US at major theme parks like Canobie Lake Park in Boston- where he was able to work with long time friend Charly Charles and Mr. Electric -Marvin Roy. Tim also performed two seasons at the world famous Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh, PA with another World Record Holder, Cannon Man -Dave Smith.
When Tim had time on his hands, he did what most people do, he wrote a book “Learn to Juggle with the Rock-N-Roll Juggler” and developed a one man family style show -Pure Energy. Isn’t that what most people do with time off?? Tim’s Pure Energy show was selected to perform in countless library auditoriums in several cities throughout five states. I even got to travel with Tim to some of these shows but of course he put me to work! It was rather exciting for me to meet his fans and sell so many of his books after the shows… well maybe not exactly as exciting as Singapore and Malaysia but it was still a lot of fun for us. When back in Las Vegas from the Library show tours, Tim performed all over the Las Vegas strip including long term engagements at the MGM, Harrah’s, and The Riviera.
After years of living and performing in Las Vegas, we decided that it was time for Tim to relax a bit and stop all the traveling – so we moved to San Antonio. However, Tim forgot about the relaxing as soon as we got here and has performed for the NCAA Final Four, Spurs basketball events, rodeos and private corporate events throughout Texas.
Shortly after arriving in San Antonio, Tim had the opportunity to work with innovative illusionist Taylor Reed, who taught him about building and designing illusions. Tim continues to focus on his creativity by developing original concept props for corporate product launches and now performs as one of the top corporate entertainers in Texas. Tim is proud that most of his bookings are repeat clients who have rebooked him because of the success he has helped create for their past events.
Living in San Antonio, He actually does relax once in a while at home, with our three dogs and me.
“San Antonio is a great place to live and perform. I am very lucky to be able to do what I love because nothing makes me happier in my professional career than giving my clients the performance they need to make their event powerful, entertaining and successful.”
He is always learning new things, ready for new opportunities and willing to take on new adventures. He is a born entertainer with a natural ability to make people happy. Yes, Tim is right. He has a blessed life. However, the truly blessed are those who pass their blessings on to others and Tim has certainly mastered this. After all, he has made me happy for over 20 years…and that is much more difficult than juggling or magic, just ask him—he’ll tell you.