Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Society • Antioch Library’s Grand Opening a WOW With a Magic Touch

For a writer, the opening of a new library is always a happy occasion. Especially when it does so with a magic touch, as presented by prestidigitator Timothy James, a tall, slim man with a distinctive sculptured face that instantly draws you to him as a confident man who knows exactly what he is doing. So you settle back expectantly from the instant he walks in the room where he makes the impossible possible.

Possessing a great sense of humor and in full command of his audience, it is no wonder that he has become so popular.  The room for his Saturday Jan.29th show was quickly jam-packed with both adults and kids. The seats quiclky filled up. Those who didn’t get a chair lined up across the entire back wall and sides

James has built quite a following in Northern California with his library shows, kids shows, trade shows, corporate events, comedy clubs, shipboard cruises. He is also involved in the California Magic Dinner Theatre in Martinez, California. He will be performing there the first week in March. To say he is a top notch entertainer does not do him justice. He is far more than that.

For example, using just a piece of rope, he held the audience spellbound for over 15 minutes with incredible effects that left audience members with dropped jaws. While this performance was billed for kids, the adults including this one, were every bit as flabbergasted, amazed, dumbfounded and even laughing out loud no matter what had been on their mind when they came in. This of course defines a true entertainer.

His “patter” lines were original. His bit with a “raccoon” in a small garbage can marked, “Danger!” was a masterpiece. The life-like way the raccoon moved, the objects that it used, a ladder that draped over the side, a flag of surrender and the final feat where a little girl from the audience held out a ‘safety net. A toaster between them began to smoke, a deck of cards that had been shuffled with a secretly chosen card suddenly blew out of the toaster in a stream, the puppet like the human cannonball of the circus, shot out and flew though that stream, landing safely in the net with the selected card pinned to its nose.

The spanking new Antioch (California) Commmunity Center Library building is itself a jewel in the “Gateway of The Delta” as the area is called. It houses one of the finest gyms in the area where a basketball game was being held on this grand opening day. There are community rooms for banquets, special meetings and presentations. There is a full computer section off the library which is small at the moment since this is just being started, but the librarian will order patrons any book they want from other libraries which is sent over for checkout.

The Antioch Community Center-Library is located next to Prewitt Family Water Park on 4703 Lone Tree Way, a main thoroughfare in Antioch, California, which is between San Francisco and Sacramento. It is well worth stopping by. They have a ballroom that can be used as a theatre, seating 700, or for dining, They have an outdoor Amphitheater seating 300 and a plaza that can seat 116 guests….ideal for author’s readings and much more. 

Watch for magician Timothy Jamea who might just come to your local library. His sleight of hand is superb!  Or, better yet, book him for your event.  His website is:

Rev. Austin Miles is a pastor-chaplain at Mountainview Christian Center in Oakley, California. To see the writer play a magician in the movie, Mack and Myer For Hire, check the June 2010 archives of this website, and click on title, “You’ll Never Guess Who Guest Star is in This Comedy.”







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