What's Jay Doing

Aug

14

Our Life with Tigers | Part 2

 

Friday, August 14, 2015 | Jay Owenhouse

 

At every show we have a VIP experience where we offer audiences the opportunity to meet our tigers and learn about them, part of the proceeds from these tickets go to tiger protection and conservation. Specifically, the money goes to the Corbett Foundation to support the tiger reserves in India. www.corbettfoundation.org


The most common questions I get asked at the VIP experience  is “How did I get interested magic?” and “ What made me interested in raising tigers?”


It all started when I saw a magician perform at my sister’s birthday party when I was just 4 years old. I don’t really remember much about the show he performed, but I remember feeling an incredible sense of wonder. From that moment on I was hooked. At age 11, I watched a magician levitate a woman in midair on T.V.  I was so impressed, I urged my Mom to take me to a magic shop in a neighboring city to purchase some tricks and a magic book. For the next four years I sought out all the information I could find on magic. My free time was spent practicing sleight of hand and other tools of the trade. After perfecting my skills in front of friends and family I performed my first magic show to a third grade class at age 14.


Perhaps more interesting is how I became interested in working with tigers. When I was just a toddler my parents purchased a very large and beautiful painting of a tiger and displayed it over our family room fireplace. To this day they are still not sure why they purchased the painting (as they never had a strong affinity for tigers or cats in general). I think they just liked the colors of the painting and felt it matched the décor of the room. Since the age of 3 years old I remember staring at that painting every day.




I have had a deep lover for animals for as long as I can remember. As a child I played on the floor day after day for years, always being mesmerized by the painting of the tiger. Somehow I knew my future would involve tigers.


After high school, I had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with Rick Glassey (who many would agree is one of the greatest tiger trainers of all time). Rick became my mentor and has taught me almost everything I know about working with tigers. This year marks my 20th year of raising and training tigers and 2nd only to my family, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!


As a child it never occurred to me that my daily focus on a painting would lead to thoughts and day dreams of tigers and that someday those thoughts and day dreams would become reality!


My parents picture of the tiger is now displayed in my house and every time I look at it, I smile and think about the wise teaching in the book of Proverbs.


Proverbs 23:7 -“You are what you think”


Proverbs 4:23 –“Be careful what you think about because your thoughts run your life”


Our hope is that everyone who attends our show will not only leave mesmerized with a renewed sense of wonder but also a greater understanding and love for one of God’s greatest creations - the Bengal tiger.  

 

 

 


Aug

01

Our Life with Tigers | Part 1

 

Friday, August 01, 2014 | Jay Owenhouse

 

"In the end we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught.”

-Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist.


I came across this quote the other day and it really touched my mind and my heart. The quote is derived from a 1968 speech made in New Delhi, India by the Senegalese environmentalist Baba Dioum.      

 

In 1900 there were over 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today there are less than 3,000 tigers in the wild. Animal bans and restrictions have not been effective in saving the tiger population.





However, as the quote above suggests, people care about conserving what they love. It has been an honor and a privilege for my family and I to share with our audiences an up close experience with the magnificent Bengal tiger. At every show we offer a VIP ticket and the proceeds from this ticket go to tiger protection and conservation. Specifically the money goes to the Corbett Foundation to support the tiger reserves in India. www.corbettfoundation.org


We believe that in order to grow and nurture love for an animal species (like the tiger) we need to have an understanding and knowledge of that animal. In the VIP experience at our show we offer audiences the opportunity to meet our tigers and learn about them. Our hope is that everyone who attends our show will not only leave mesmerized with a renewed sense of wonder but also a greater understanding and love for one of God’s greatest creations- the Bengal tiger.   





 

 

 


Feb

12

Don't Stop Believin'

 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 | Jay Owenhouse

 

In High School, I became a Journey fan. I remember building illusions on the weekends and listening over and over to the songs “Faithfully”, "Don’t Stop Believin'”, and my favorite “Who’s Crying Now”. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had the privilege of seeing Journey perform live twice while I was in High School. In 1983, the Journey music video “Faithfully” came out and It showed the band touring in their brand new 1982 Eagle Model 10 tour bus. As a young magician, I would watch that video over and over again dreaming of someday touring the country in a bus just like the one Journey had.



After High School, I struggled to work as a professional Magician. (sometimes at inception our dreams are tested, and sometimes they come before we are ready) In my case, I wasn't ready for the test, I got discouraged and decided to go to college. In 1987, I met and married Susan the woman of my dreams. I graduated from Montana State University in 1990. With an Amazing woman at my side I was ready to pursue my dream. It was a magical time. A few years later in 1995 I was touring the country with my family in a 1982 Eagle Model 10 tour bus. (just like Journey and just like my dream 12 years earlier)

            



The bus who’s name was “Rainmaker” was an amazing blessing to our business and our family for 18 years.This last Summer in August, after many faithful years, Rainmaker just wore out. She left us stranded on a canyon highway outside of Missoula, MT. It was a frustrating day. But I couldn't really be mad at her - she had endured 3 million miles! (and as my son Peter reminded me, 3 million miles was equivalent to traveling to the moon and back 6 times!)

               


 

As I stood out on the highway that hot August day - waiting for a tow truck with my family, my crew, my dog Bobby and two tigers, I thought about 1983 and the Journey video "Faithfully", It made me smile, God had been Faithful in allowing me to fulfill a childhood dream.

 

I thought about fixing her, so many great memories. However, I finally realized Rainmaker was worn out. It was time to let her go.

 

A week later, I happened to watch the recent Journey documentary “Don’t Stop Believin'” It showed the band touring in their new Prevost Mirage XL2 tour bus. I was amazed! I hadn't realized how much the technology and comfort level had increased in the modern tour bus. I now had a new dream!

 

In September, we went back on the road without a bus and spent the next 3 months traveling in Suburban’s. It was a tough transition with a lot of all night drives. And it seemed almost impossible to fulfill our tour commitments without a bus.

 

Again, God was faithful. In December, through a unique set of circumstances we were able to buy the perfect bus for our family and crew. In fact, it was Journey’s bus and the exact same one I had seen in the documentary a few months earlier.

 

Every time I hear a Journey song it makes me smile! They helped inspire me 30 years ago to dream. Now every time I have the privilege to get on our new bus and go back out on tour I will think about Journey, the memories they made on the bus before us, and how important it is for all of us to look past our circumstances, trust God, keep moving forward and……Don’t Stop Believin'.

                





 

 

 


Aug

10

Welcome to my new website!

 

Saturday, August 10, 2013 | Jay Owenhouse

 

I am so happy and blessed to be back! A lot of people were wondering what happened to me, some of you know of my circumstances and struggles these past 4 years. For those of you that don’t, I will share briefly what happened. 


2008 was a great year for our family and we completed an extensive tour in Asia. In April of 2009 my beautiful wife Susan passed away after a long battle with a rare autoimmune disease. She was an incredible mother and a great business partner. She is the love of my life and for 22 years we had an amazing life together. 


Since that time my children and I have been trying to heal, lots of tears, late night talks, and prayers to God trying to understand! We took time to raise and train 2 baby tigers to adulthood (which was good therapy) and we have performed a minimal number of shows each year (mostly benefit shows helping out charities in the U.S.) Next month we premier our new show in Spokane, WA. We are excited to be back on the road and working together as a family. As we enter in to this new season in our lives, we hope our story will encourage others who have faced adversity and heartache.


Talk to you soon,


Jay

 

 

 


 

About Jay

Jay and his family currently reside in Montana. “My happiness comes from my beautiful family”, says Jay, “and my satisfaction comes from the opportunity to bring a feeling of wonder to the next generation of young people, with what is nearly a lost art-the live magic show”. Read Full Bio

 

 

 

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