Tuesday, July 26, 2011





For the past 36 years my magical career has covered the Kid and Family show market, even my years in Las Vegas the show was for families. Now as a magician we all dream at one time or another to have that Illusion show ala Mark Wilson or David Copperfield but the bulk and set ends up making us smart to use smaller props and learn get the most mileage out of each prop. Over the years many great illusion plans are out there from creative minds such as Paul Osbourne and Andrew Mayne.

Well now from Singapore comes a new name in the Illusion designing biz and that is JC Sum. Actually first he is one of Asia's top profession Illusionists having stage over 3000 shows all over the world (http://www.jcsum.com/). His creative gift to the world of magic is his eye and mind on how Illusions work and how to get the most out of one for his audience. Having produced other books and DVDs on Illusions for stage and street magic (http://www.illusionbooks.com/), JC turns his talents to the Family Market with Packs Flat Illusions for Kid & Family shows.

Now with a title like that JC has a lot to live up and does! Now understand this is a book of Illusions for the working pro that wants to take his show to "A" level status. JC's plans are very clever and visual and that's the most important thing for any show. This book has plans for 8 Illusions which include:


  D.I.Y. Illusion Box to Produce a Balloon Animal, Stuffed Toy or Doll

  Unique Design & Routine for a Production Box

 Magically Produce a Birthday Cake Surrounded

  A Girl Production Illusion that Costs Less than $100 to Build

  A Magical Scientific Contraption for Endless Possibilities

 Magically Produce a Kid From a Wizard’s Trunk

  A Multiple Colour Changing Cereal Box to Fish Aquarium Illusion

  A Complete Vanish Climax for the Head Twister

These effects will help you be able to up sell your simple family magic show to the status of family Illusion show. Each are simple to build and perform and of course a few of them have spots where the Birthday child can be made even more of a star of the show. Some of these effects can be themed in many different style of presentations. I highly recommend this book for many reasons but first off because the idea that you can now offer much more to your family shows. The status of just one of these illusions in your show can give you the chance to also ask for a bit more money to your program and who doesn't like that concept.

Each of these Illusions are not to hard to build and could be made in a short amount of time. The price for this book is $45.00 that comes down to about 5.62 per illusion and that's a great deal in itself. Each of the Illusions are also not expensive either to build. You will be inspired from the many great ideas in this book again to take your simple family show to the next professional level. You will be able to get this book from your favorite magic dealer such as http://www.hocus-pocus.com/ as JC will be working with Murphy's Magic to sell them worldwide.

Hope you get the chance to purchase this great book. If you are someone looking to have your product reviewed please feel free to email me at tonyblanco@aol.com

Monday, March 08, 2010


Rogue Festival 2010 Professor Tony Blanco's Traveling Magic Show

Here is a pictoral of my currrent show at the Rogue Festival in Fresno, CA

More pic on my facebook account. Two more shows here in Fresno on Sat March 13 at Dianna's Studio 826 North Fulton 11:30 am and 5:30 PM. Tickets 7.00 day of the show

Sunday, November 15, 2009


All things are Magical at the Big Fresno Fair.

This was my first year at the Big Fresno Fair and finally created something that has been on the drawing board for years. The Professor Tony Blanco Traveling Magic Show trike. Hopefully this will be the start of working Fairs around the state of California. Below are some pics at the Fair.

If you want to see the creation of the trike I have posted pictures step by step on my Facebook account. .

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Dear Gang,

Well its been awhile since I have posted and over a year 1/2 since leaving Hocus Pocus. I have been busy performing around the Central Valley of California.
I see more new magic coming out and as while as creating new shows. So I figure time to let folks know what going on in the entertainment biz. Hopefully those of you who used to read my blog will be able to chime in on whats happening with you also. I have had some time to also work in the gathering of friends on Facebook and Myspace so I hope some if not all of you will write in with new items or projects that you want to share to help fellow performers grow or items you want to sell.

If some of you want items, DVD's, books to be reviewed please contact me at tonyblanco@aol.com for my shipping address to review and post your new items. Just a quick note for now

Tony Blanco

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Onward and Upward

Here is that time of the year when your either up to 4 feet of Snow trying to get a gig or wondering when the season is ready for gigs again. So far this year has been a bit of both for me. Not that we get snow here in Fresno like I did as a kid growing up in New York. We have gotten enough rain some days to begin wondering if I should build an Ark. During this downtime is a great time to start lining up those gigs for the summer. For you might want to start contacting summer schools and camps. Not to mention libraries and day cares that end up taking in the kids that have no school all summer. Also now is the best time to do repairs to the props and even design a new show or two. Update so of the effects in your birthday routine. If you look in the mirror and hold up your 8x10 and that person doesn't look like you anymore, time to get new photos for you promotional material. While the slow time of the winter is slowing the world down jump ahead and be ready for those calls and shows.

Tony's Picks

Lie Detector TW3000

From local creative electronic wizard Tim Wisseman, the creator and builder of Remote Vision Color Cube and Remote Vision Die come his latest and greatest work. Is it possible to tell when someone is lying? Tim can with his Lie Detector TW3000 and you can let everyone know when someone is fibbing. The device is built into a rugged aluminum tool case measuring 11.5" X 7.5" X 4.5". The control and light display panels are made of heavy duty black acrylic plastic ready for many years of use. An elastic wrist band wired to the dreaded machine is placed on a volunteer's arm. When the power switch is turned on, 10 small bright LED lights begin to flash, including 3 lights on the wrist band. However, no matter how the person answers your questions, the lie detector will know if they are not telling the truth. If a lie is detected a bright red light comes on as a loud buzzer sounds and pandemonium ensues. It can be used in just about any routine that you can think of. It can be part of a comedy act, card trick, or even part of a mind reading effect. This is one of the most versatile utility devices you can own. It is battery powered so you can use it anywhere. It is large enough and loud enough for a stage act yet small enough to be used in a parlor show. The perfect prop for trade show workers, street performers, comedy club magician or any performer that wishes loads of laughs from his audience. Each unit is carefully hand-crafted and tested by the designer. The unit is totally under your control at all times thanks to a tiny radio remote control with a 100 foot range that you can be placed in your pocket or controlled using toe switch in your shoe. You have the option of turning off the buzzer and just use the bright light as the only indicator. The lie detector can even double as a detector of other things besides lies. Lots of comedy possibilities here for the creative magician. The TW3000 Lie Detector is an item built locally here in Fresno and you can only get them from Hocus Pocus

New Improved Remote Controlled Radio

From our friend Suds comes the greatest walk-around and close-up magical gag around, the New Improved Remote Controlled Radio. Walk up to a person and remove their pen from their breast pocket "Oh! This is one of those new radio pens," you say as you pretend to turn the end of the pen and at the same time turn on your remote controlled radio. Spectators will laugh and be amazed when they hear music or talk come from their pen! "Turn off" the pen and hand it back to the spectators and continue on with your set. The New Improved Remote Controlled Radio is a fantastic gag when making balloon animals. If you have a good music station, tune it in, present the balloon animal to the person and say, "This is a musical dog" (or whatever the animal is) and turn it's nose or tail to make it play. So many gags you can use this for and here are a few more. Turn yourself on by using a button on your jacket or costume, by turning your nose or bending one ear. Any item you pick up can be used as a gag as you find its make believe on/off button. Draw a picture of a radio on your business card and turn the knob and hold the card close to your hidden radio, then give them your card. A great way to give out your (now musical) business card. So don't miss out on the most clever way of making magic and music at anytime, anywhere and with anything!

Szechuan Sampler 2.0

From the creative team of Larry Beck and Lee Earle comes Szechuan Sampler 2.0. First published in they great book Syzygy now comes complete with all the well made props for this magical Chinese dinner. Created by Fred Rosenbaum, The performer hands four authentic menus from different Chinese restaurants to a participant, informing, "We're going to take a virtual tour among these dining establishments, sampling selections from each place until we've ordered a four-course meal: an appetizer, main dish, side dish, and dessert. Note that each restaurant has a wide variety of selections and all at different prices, yes?" The participant agrees. "You will be the host for our culinary caper." explains the Mentalist. "So hand three of those menus to folks you will invite to join you. And this, (placing a letter-size card in full view) is our gift certificate for the expenses, tax and tip included." Once the menus are distributed, the 'host' is instructed, "As our gastronomical guide, you may choose a dish from any course on the menu - we don't have to go in order Which course shall it be? ("A side dish.")** The performer takes out a pad and marking pen and, after inquiring which item is being ordered, writes it down and asks, "How much is it?" The amount is openly written down on the pad. All of the others each choose a different course and item from their menus with each name and price duly recorded in a column on the pad. "I'm certain that each of you will agree," reminds the mentalist, "that if you had chosen a different course, the selection ordered would have varied and the price would not be the same, correct?" All the participants agree. "Let's determine the total bill," suggests the performer, holding the pad in full view as he adds the price of each freely selected item. "It appears the dinner will cost $23.45. Not bad for a party of four. Let's see how much of that amount the gift certificate covers." The gift certificate is turned around and is seen to be printed with the amount $23.45! This routine comes with professionally designed and printed menus, all of them (except the paper takeout menu) are glossy coated for years of use. In addition, each menu has hidden cues for some of the most outrageous (and definitely un-PC) gag lines you could possibly imagine, which turn the effect from mere mental magic into belly-spitting entertainment! Szechuan Sampler is ready to go - no setup is required. The routine uses no forces, no gimmicks, no stooges, and nothing added or taken away. If you are working a repeat show, you may rest assured that the final total will be different! So here is a perfect packs flat, plays big presentation that you can perform right away. Imagine this as a effect to be done any type of show or even as a walkaround in a restaurant!

Restaurant Workers Handbook

From that wacky inventor and author Jim Pace comes Restaurant Workers Handbook. It is now back in print and you can learn how to make money doing restaurant magic. Jim Pace makes a very successful living performing Restaurant Magic. Now, in his Handbook for Restaurant Workers, Jim shares the secrets that have taken him years to learn. In this extremely informative 150 page book, Jim also teaches you everything it takes to become a successful restaurant entertainer. With 28 informative chapters which cover topic such as How to find places to work, How to approach a restaurant, How to get the job, How to keep the job. Then Jim covers the type of services you can provide as well as your act and the kind of material to perform. Then working tables and how to handle different clientele and for increasing income
to promote yourself and so much more. In addition to invaluable information on becoming a successful restaurant entertainer, Jim also parts with his own pet routines, including "openers", "strong middle routines", and "closers!" A not to be missed insiders guide to the money making career of Restaurant Magic

How to Make a Ton of Money Performing in Schools Program

From Cris Johnson comes his program " How to Make a Ton of Money Performing in Schools Program. Many aspiring magicians want to do school assembly shows, but their thinking about how to do it and what to offer is very flawed! For instance, most birthday show magicians decide to get into the school market because of the larger audiences and larger paychecks. Here’s the truth of the matter: If you don’t give school clients exactly the kind of program they want, then you’re NOT going to be successful in the school market! For starters, the pay is really good – Cris Johnson, creator of this course, makes between $450 (minimum) to $3000 per program performing all over the United States and Canada! Compared to other markets, schools are very easy to get into if you know the right techniques. Schools are on the look out for assembly presenters all the time. Unlike the holiday parties, Halloween shows or library shows, you can easily make a full-time living working schools 10 months out of the year, every year! What this means is this: if you want to perform in schools on a consistent basis, you must have educational material to present. That is what schools want the vast majority of the time. only by offering educational shows will you fill your calendar with shows. That’s where Cris Johnson’s new Course comes in! If you want to get into performing in schools: How would you like to: Learn how to perform on stage – not just get the gigs, but also find out exactly how to perform on stage in front of several hundred students? Know exactly what to present to school clients? How would you like to know exactly what to say to excite school administrators to say yes to hiring you? How would you like to have lists of contact names, phone numbers, addresses and schools in your area? How would you like to know exactly what to perform, what to say from a proven act, and how to get the booking? The “How To Make A Ton Of Money Performing in Schools” is actually a complete program…real marketing and complete performance script secrets that you can take and use in your performing career. After 15 years performing all over the United States and Canada, Cris Johnson knows what messages and concepts schools want for their assembly programs. He currently has three different school educational programs available to other entertainers, and they are, and continue to be, the hottest topics in schools. You will also recieve 3 complete performance script and analysis manuals. Cris' program is truly a great way to get your foot in the door of the school show market. So much more information about this program I recommend you check all of the write up information on our website.

Tony's Tips

School Shows

This week we look at School Shows. Sometimes steady work as a entertainer is not always or ever going to be the Las Vegas stage. Having a different stage everyday might be where you work instead. Making a living working for a captive audience that doesn't have to be in class today is not a bad way of earning a buck. School show audiences are always fun and I have gotten other gigs from them. Being able to visit and get return visit calls are the sign that your doing well. Over the years when I have done shows it has always been as a treat to the kids from the school's Parent Teachers group. Since I have started it was just about the magic, comedy and Fun! Over the years of learning about different performers making a living in the school show market it is now about theme programs. Folks like David Ginn and Barry Mitchell have written books and produced DVDs to show you the style of creating themed school shows.

The school show market is one that could keep you working all year round. Since I was a kid school ended for the summer. Now there are schools that run all year long due to the number of kids in the city or town. Each school has different needs for entertainers. I know some performers that do a show in the morning and then a workshop in the afternoon. Sometimes it could be a magic program followed by magic lessons for a couple of classes. Some of my friends present Circus/ Clown / Comedy shows and then in the afternoon have a circus arts workshop teaching juggling.

The other thing about school shows are you start your day early and can finish early and be home as if you did have a office job. Getting home by if not before 5:00 and have a regular life ...kindda. So tonight I am writting about school shows to also introduce a couple of guests and there tips to this blog. First please welcome Cris Johnson from "How to Make a Ton of Money Performing in Schools Program". Here are a few ideas from his book.

Cris Johnson in Action

Hi Tony,
Thanks for all of your help and kindness. Here's a blurb about me and some tips...
"I've been working in schools for the better part of two decades. I actually started off magic backwards from most in that when I was younger, I became interested inmentalism first and then went back later to traditional magic. I struggled for years to really build my career until i learned effective marketing techniques and in 1997 went full time when i lived in Pittsburgh, PA. I specialized in kid shows for several years and then in 2003 I moved to Niagara Falls, NY to get married. I took advantage of the new surroundings to concentrate on the school market, specifically elementary schools. Simply put, for me, there's no better market than schools for magic.
I want to give your readers some quick tips for those who venture into schools...
1. Realize that to consistently work in schools, you'll need character education programs, i.e. educational content. Anit-Drug, Self-Esteem and Bullying are the hottest topics.
2. Cater your programs to k-5 grades...those will be the most prominent. keep the show fast-paced and a lot of fun. leave the geek magic and mentalism at home - you're there for the kids!
3. I recommend bringing your own sound system. not only will you look like a pro, but at least %90 of the time, the people in schools have NO idea how to work the equipment!
4. Offer to do two back to back shows. This allows the school to split up the grades, which is to your advantage...because a kindergarten student sees and comprehends things differently than a 5th grader!
5. When offering an educational program, don't offer more than 3 main points - any more and you'll confuse the kids. This applies for adults a lot, too!
6. recap your points at the end to really "drive home" those key concepts
I could go on for hours, but maybe we'll save more tips for a later blog - Cris Johnson

Now as our 2nd special guest I would like to introduce the producer of the "It Factor" and Star of the Disney Magic Show Brad Ross. His marketing package called the "It Factor" is a incredible combination of books and CD's to get you right to the top of your magic and marketing game. You will save yourself years of finding stuff out the hard way by listerning and reading the "It Factor". So here are a few tips from Brad Ross.

5 Tips for School Show Performers:

1. Have a promotional item to give-away to EVERY child in the audience. Yes Every child needs to go home with your name, your contact information and your website. This is the only way to build your brand recognition among kids at your shows. Try this & you wil see by using promotional items like a magic dollar, a trick booklet, even a coloring sheet - you will see an increase in the number of shows you get from each show you do.

2. Arrive early at your show. Many times, more often than not, the school dropped the ball and forgot to tell the janitors or the music department that the magician needs the stage. You arrive & the stage is filled with TONS of band equipment, sports equipment or just storage. Arriving early helps you deal with potential issues which can & will come up.

3. Use coupons with a date for your offer. This technique has made me thousands of dollars in school shows because the school always wants to save money. When you offer them a discount by using your coupon, it creates an urgency and they must act now in order to save.

4. Follow Up. Always follow up when mailing to schools. They get so much mail and your really great piece may have gotten tossed away by accident. So by actually calling up the school and asking if they received your materials, you will have a better chance of getting a hold of the person who has the power to book or not book you.

5. When you book a show at a school, research the other schools in the area. Call up area schools and offer a discount to them since you will already be in their vacinity. You can also make this offer to the orignal school booking you; in other words, if they team up with another local area school within 5 -10 miles, you will offer them both a discount, as long as the shows are all on the same day- Brad Ross

I hope that you have been inspired to take a look at the concept of doing school shows if you don't already. Both Brad and Cris have written excellent marketing programs that you should check out on our website. I wish to say Thank you to both Brad and Cris for taking time out of their busy schedules to share with all of my readers.

If your a school show performer and wish to share a tip, please email me a Tony@hocus-pocus.com. I do hope you have read something today that will make you grow as a performer



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Magical Weekend At Hocus Pocus

Well to say that this weekend was full of magic and great times would be a under statement. Paul, Betty and I have been planning this event for the past year to make it even more special then last year. Our crew including Jan, Karen, Ken, Mike, Louie and new crew member Jonathan worked real hard to make everthing seem like any day visiting a magic shop. Only thing about a couple hundred people visited at the same time and 6 lectures and over 20 dealers were there at this for your visit.

Our day started on Friday with most of the set up of things just falling into place including a tent for extra dealers in the parking lot and a convention like backdrops set up in the warehouse for the lectures. Then in the afternoon one by one our good friends started arriving to set up they tables. Dick Berry, Losander, David Regal, Jay Leslie, Suds, Daryl, Dean Dill arrived in the afternoon. It was great to see old friends and chat up whats been going on. Then that night Paul and Betty played host to a welcome dinner for all the vendors and lecturers. Again stories of shows and dealing with magical customers was the talk of the evening. Yet no one left hungry after a great Chinese meal at the Joy Luck. Well enough chat to bed for a 7 am set up for the vendors.

Saturday the day begins as it does this time of the year in Fresno, with morning fog and a bit of a cold front. Yet everyone was full of energy to warm up any room. After all the vendors finish set up doors open right on time at 9 AM. The crowds now had 3 spaces to visit with dealers and folks selling lots of collectable magic. Great deals were made. Remember one man's junk is another man's treasure. Lots of young kids learning, buying and being inspired to be the next future magicians (my favorite picture below of Bobby Reynolds) on this day.

Then the lectures 6 of them to be exact all day long. Suds, David Regal, Jay Leslie, Shoot, Daryl and Losander. All differnet styles of magic and all with amazing things to share with our guest. I was pretty much running between the Hocus Pocus table to sell and then get each lecture started. Then after each lecture Paul set it up as a drawing for give aways for our guests attending the lectures. Gifts included DVD's Trick's and T-Shirts. The grand prize was a complete set of Mark Wilson DVD's of the Magial land of Allakazam. So much for one day I know Paul will mention more on his blog on Friday.

Sunday see us back again with a group of 30 eager folks to have a private workshop with the Magician's Magician Daryl. One thing to mention Daryl is an amazing teacher. Now I am not talking about his magic which is fantastic to say the least. Iam talking about the man himself, he has such a wonderful life giving inspiring way to teach. Not one person ever seemed lost or confused. His way of talking and his manner is just so clear that everyone walked away truly inspired.

Well that is just a brief report of this the second Hocus Pocus Swap Meet and Get-Together. You know its an old Vegas thing for an entertainer to say on stage "I feel there is so much love in this room tonight!" Honestly that is really the truth when it comes to our event. Folks have sent emails and thank you letters already about how much this event is just that....filled with the love of magic. The folks visiting from the vendors and dealers to the guest just show us all how much magic is important to them. This inspires each other and we really do feel the "love" when we have this event. I want to thank all who came to the event and to those who help make it look so smooth. Honestly to do this is as they say a labor of love. We look forward to next year ...bigger and even better if that is possible. Check out my Tony's Tips for a photo journey of the event. Maybe we will see your next year!

Tony's Picks


From the days of Silent movie comedies to the modern high tech movie imagine having Smoke come out of your ears on command! Produce blasts of smoke up to 5ft both sides of your head. You can repeat it as many times as you like, with no reset needed. You truly will looks like a very expensive effect that you only see in the movies, but you can perform it whenever you want at an amazing price. Plus extra bonus included FREE!! Produce smoke from bare hands. With this addition, you can produce smoke quite literally from anywhere, bare hands / bottom / leg and even build it into props. Endless possibilities! Very safe, no ignition, no heat produced and most important no hard to find hazardous chemicals. Simply amazing!! Comes full instructions, Overload gimmick, suitable for any head, whatever size even magicians! One cartridge, these refill cartridges are available all over the world. Check out the online video. So don't miss out being a walking movie effect!

Dean's Triangle Deluxe

From the creative coin magic mind of Dean Dill comes a Coins Through the Table like you've never seen before! Comes complete with 10” tall table, coins, carrying case, and DVD Here is an effect that everytime Dean performed it at the Swap meet he sold one. Not only is the routine & magic awesome, the props (& case) are gorgeous. "If you chartered a plane and flew to the Bermuda Triangle, performed your best coin magic there, Dean's Triangle would still be more impossible - Michael Weber

"Turns a great trick into an unforgettable performance piece. Dean's Triangle is pure, concentrated magic!" -- R. Paul Wilson

"Yesterday, Dean Dill did his Triangle for me. It made my jaw drop!" -- Whit Haydn

"Dean fools me a lot but this took my breath away. Dean's Triangle is so visual. I did not believe my eyes!" -- Doc Eason.
So if all these guys have this to say about Dean's Triangle you need to check out the online video. Dean's Triangle is also available as a deluxe edition with special 18” round base close-up pad.

Falling for You

Now here is one of those effects that the moment it was put up on the website all of you were calling in to get one. So its a hot selling and impressive item. A spectator is shown a small bunch of cards and is asked to remember one. The cards are mixed and dropped to the ground by a spectator or magician one at a time landing in a neat little pile, except for one. One card takes off and flies towards the person that thought of a card! The card is named, turned over and shown to be the one they thought of! No elastic, No reset, No threads No magnets, No wires, Self-contained/self-working "Finally, a genuine breakthrough in plot and method! I know everyone will be doing this." -- Paul Harris.

Three Button Monte

From the wizard of gadgets Sud's comes Three Button Monte. Sud's premiered this at the swap meet this weekend. We are happy to have such a clever little item like this on the website. I call it a "walkaround or pocket verison of the Wellington Switchboard". You get this clever little pine looking box with 1 light and three push buttons. The box only measures 2 1/4 x 2 x 4 inches...oh so small and cute. You give a spectator a chance to push any button they think will light up an LED but it doesn't light no matter how many chances they get! So you give a second spectator a chance. Still the LED does not light. Only when you push the button does the LED light. You can play this little game over and over and you always win. This is one effect that you will have so much fun with Suds' Three Button Monte that it will be with you wherever you go!

Ring Finale

From Dean Dill and Rich Hurley is a utility prop that can be used as an ending for any finger ring routine. With a plot similar to "ring flight", (without the gimmick key chain) this routine does not require a jacket or reel. Best of all, it automatically resets for your next performance. After a borrowed ring is vanished, it mysteriously reappears inside a zippered purse along with a collection of beautiful rings the magician has "borrowed" from other victims. Depending on the ethics of the performer, the borrowed ring is either returned or sold on e-Bay. The Ring Finale Package comes with a genuine leather purse and three high quality costume jewelry rings. The custom made purse is composed of soft leather, and its size and shape fit comfortably in the hand and is perfect for this effect. In addition we've included a "ring hank" with a secret gaff. Ring Finale by Rich Hurley and Dean Dill is fun, practical and easy to perform. Just put it in your pocket and you're ready to go. Simple and powerful effect. I also recommend once you get this effect down you might want to add an Any Ring by Richard Sanders just to kick it up a notch.


From Adam Topham he is what has been nicknamed possibly the world's most "expensive" card trick. Your spectator selects a card, and then places the cards back into the box, you then explain that you are going to find their card in a unique way, by using a woman’s best friend -- diamonds! You place your black handkerchief into your hand and the spectator pours diamonds into your hand with the hanky. You then pass the hanky to the spectator with the diamonds inside. And at the given time they shout out their card and open their hand to reveal the diamonds have spelled out their card. The effect could be used as a finale to end your favorite routine. Your talent and imagination should also see other finales this can be used for. Everything include are Instructions explaining how to perform this truly sparkling effect. A small bag of diamonds, and everything to make this minor miracle happen. All you need is your regular deck of cards!

Tony's Tips
The Hocus Pocus Swap Meet in Photos

"Five minutes till we open"

Max and his video tape special "Deal of the day"

Mike running in a blurr and all around good guy Ken covers sales, service, security on this day!

Bobby Reynolds inspires the next generation of Magicians!

The Crowds have arrived !

Frank Thurston, Ronald Saylor and I compare the deal Frank got!

Dealers working the room

Dick Barry and I on camera for local TV performing "Rigid Hank"

Mark Wilson, Lisa, Nani Darnell and Tony

Tony, Losander and Mark Wilson

The very impressive and great guy Dean Dill performing the Dean's Triangle

Losander in action during his lecture

Our Hocus Pocus hero Louie

Checking in on a gang of Magicians at dinner in the Tower District of Fresno with Tim Mannix (right)

The Daryl Workshop on Sunday
Lots of folks learning for 2 Hours A Master Teacher at Work

One trick that blew Daryl away from this young magician

Two former Las Vegas guys finding more magic in California
Hope to see you here next year

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Busy Week Here At Hocus Pocus

We are down to the last few days before the Swap Meet. This week so far we are getting things set up and making final touches to our dealers. As of yesterday Joe Porper and R. Paul Wilson have been added to the list of vendors. We are expecting lots of vendors and guests. So far guests to the Swap Meet will be coming from all over California, Nevada, Utah and one guy flying from New York! Last Friday our local newspaper the Fresno Bee came in to photograph Paul for the cover of their weekend magazine. What will follow will be an article about the Swap Meet and a interview with Mark and Nani Wilson. Tomorrow morning (Wednesday AM) Paul, Mike and I will be up very early to be on a local morning show. We will be promoting the Swap Meet and giving a tour of Hocus Pocus as well as doing magic live! All this and its only Wednesday so more things maybe happening to make our second Swap Meet a success. We hope to see you all here on Saturday. The fun begins at 9 AM Jan 19th and then continues on Sunday with a workshop by Daryl. It is not to late to sign up. Call 1-800-407-4040 to be part of the lecture package or the workshop on Sunday. For more information read all the information below. Hope to see you there.

Hocus Pocus Swap Meet January 19th and 20th 2008
It's almost here! Where will you be on Saturday, January 19th and Sunday, 20th? We hope to see you here in Fresno, California for the 2nd Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together!
Starting at 9:00 AM on Saturday the 19th, the doors will open and the second annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together will officially begin! Be a part of magic history where, in addition to a fantastic swap meet, there will be a fun-filled 2 days of lectures and guests, free gifts, and more!

Our lectures for this year include Suds, Jay Leslie, David Regal, Shoot Ogawa, Daryl, Losander.*Lecture fee for all 6 lectures is only $40.00*Individual lectures may be purchased for $15.00.*The Swap Meet is free to attend, however if you wish to sell your magic wares, tables are$20.00 each.*Special optional Workshop with Daryl is being offered on Sunday (11am -1 PM) at an additional charge of$30.00 per person (seating is limited, so make sure you register early to reserve your spot).

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Swap Meet 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM - Special Guest Lecturer Suds
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Jay Leslie
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Special Guest Lecturer David Regal
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Shoot Ogawa
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Daryl
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Losander

Since Fresno is centrally located in the San Joaquin Valley, California, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, we're so close, why not join us for our Swap Meet & Get-Together? We've even reserved special hotel rates for your convenience if you are planning on staying the night. The hotel information is listed below: Best Western Water Tree Inn 4141 N. Blackstone Avenue Fresno, California 559-222-4445 To get these special rates, just mention the Hocus Pocus Swap Meet when phoning the hotel.

The Water Tree Inn is only a few minutes away from Hocus Pocus and has been host to many of our past guests, friends, and lecturers. This promises to be a fantastic, fun-filled 2-day event. If you wish to participate or attend (or both), contact us toll-free at 800-407-4040 to reserve your spot! Reserve January 19th and 20th on your calendar and be sure to show up at: Hocus Pocus 1492 N. Clark, # 104 Fresno, CA. 93703.

Remember, to attend the Swap Meet is absolutely free and won't cost you a dime! To purchase tickets for the entire lecture package or individual lectures, call now at 800-407-4040. Remember, to sell your magic items, you must reserve a table. To reserve your table, call now at 800-407-4040.

Tony's Picks

The It Factor

As a student of marketing I have always learned and watched how other entertainers, and business people make a fortune. Not that I have made one big fortune but I have been lucky to keep working for the past 33 years in showbiz in one form or another. There are many books and tapes on marketing but now Brad Ross produces one geared just right at the entertainer whether your a beginner or seasoned Pro! You may not have HEARD of him, BUT you HAVE heard of entertainment giants like Disney, Six Flags Theme Parks, Holland America, Seascape and Carnival Cruise Lines... and Brad Ross has worked for all of them. He is currently on tour starring in Disney LIVE! presents Mickey's Magic Show - in it's 2nd year touring the WORLD! When the Disney show was in Fresno I was lucky enough to be asked by the local Ad agency to promote the show.

Now on to Brad Ross's "The It Factor", now you can try to learn everything on your own…try to create your own systems and promo materials…learn by trail & error (like I did). You can buy thousands of dollars worth of marketing courses and waste a lot of time and energy trying to adapt these materials to your magic business (like I did), hoping you will become a star over night. Instead you can use a system designed specifically for magicians and family entertainers that is 100% guaranteed and has already been proven to be wildly effective. Brad's system reveals how you can quickly and easily make yourself into a pro…a celebrity who has “IT.” And at the same time book more shows & make more money. It’s easy. It’s professional. For more of a description of all the CD's, Marketing Books and much more contained in the It Factor please take a moment to read the full description on the website. I only wish someone had laid out all this information when I start some 33 years ago. I would have had a big jump start vs. stops and goes in my career.

Magellan Witch Levitation

From the creative mind of Jimmy Fingers we are proud to be the exclusive dealer of The Magellan Witch Levitation. This is the ultimate portable levitation of an assistant, and we think you'll agree. The magician displays a large cloth, and raises it in front of his assistant. She begins to slowly, deliberately rise upwards until she reaches an apex of almost 2 feet above her initial standing height. The magician removes the cloth, and she is seen suspended in mid-air! The descent is the opposite of the ascension, and the cloth is again removed to show the assistant standing on the ground, in front of the magician, just as she began. This utility gimmick offers many potential uses. A rising levitation, a classic horizontal suspension, a production of the assistant before the levitation... The possibilities are only limited by the creativity of the performer. The gimmick itself weighs only 22 lbs, and yet, will support over 200 pounds.
Nothing is attached to the performer or assistant. The gimmick will fit into a suitcase. Without a case, the gimmick will fit easily into the smallest of automobile trunks or hatches. No electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanical parts to fail. This is simplicity at its best! Jeff McBride was the very first purchaser of this illusion, and his insight and commitment to the art of magic are unparalleled, and his gracious support is truly appreciated by all involved with this project. His innovative spirit makes him the pioneer in simple, beautiful COMMANDO-style magic. This transaction exemplifies a perfect union of performer and concept. Please note each unit is custom built for each order. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Please also note that no case or cloth are included, as these will be provided by the performer to match their own show designs.

Exploring Magical Presentations DVD

An intimate opportunity to learn from one of magic’s greatest teachers Eugene Burger. On this DVD Eugene will help you think about your performing style, and grow as a magical presenter. We all know plenty of tricks, but how can we turn them into memorable magic? In this DVD session, Eugene Burger explores that topic, and provides specific examples—including fully developed routines that you can adapt for your own performances.
THE BLACK ENVELOPE VARIATIONS - A classic (and amazing) prediction of a playing card, explained in detail with discussions of eight different presentational approaches, including:
A DREAM OF YOU, THE DEATH CARD, THE GAMBLER’S FATE and Eugene’s favorite, INEVITABILITY. Then FADING COIN - Imagination becomes reality! Invented by Tomoyuki Takahashi, and taught with his kind permission, this astonishing routine is nearly impromptu, and truly astonishing. Eugene has invested a great amount of thought into getting the most impact out of his presentation, and now he shares it with you.
INVISIBILITY POWDER - Discover how a simple presentational premise can turn a good trick into great one. OB-SER-VO - Inspired by a Robert Neale effect, this was developed as a “message” routine for corporate performances. Over time it has evolved into one of the strongest audience participation routines in the Burger repertoire. OUT OF THIS WORLD - Years of exploring countless versions of this Paul Curry classic have led to this approach. Eugene explains that journey. Problems are solved and strengths are emphasized, and the results are both practical and impressive. So I recommend this DVD and having Eugene expand your way of thinking and looking at the magic that you perform.

Time Change

From our good friend Paul Romhany, comes what just maybe one of the best-selling items for 2008. A mind-blowing mentalist routine ideal for all close-up situations. A stack of cards with a photo of an old pocket watch is shown, the time on the pocket watch is written on the card and signed by a spectator which is then placed on a table. A wrist watch is borrowed and the magician pulls out the stem to show the hands turn freely. The spectator then takes their watch face down and turns the stem to a random time. The magician claims that the time on the wrist watch will now match the time on the signed card. However, when the watch is turned over it does not match. The performer then snaps his fingers and the card is turned over showing that the time on the POCKET WATCH has now change. The signed card is then handed out for the spectator to keep.

Tony's Tips

Real World Magic

So as we get ready to gather for the Swap Meet I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. One of the reasons I write this blog each week is to try and join magicians together and share new information. This past week I have had the chance to listen to Brad Ross's The It Factor. Here is a clever young man who has taken the time to put down on CD and paper the things he has learned over the years. It is with this look at what other folks see that works for them and suggest ideas that is the key for all of us to grow.

One such thing is being able to perform on a moments notice. We are getting ready for the Swap Meet and I just ran an errand to a local carpet store. My van has my logo on it and as I pulled up these guys were reading and waiting for me to exit. So the question comes up what kind of magic do you do? Then of course can you do something? Do you have a business card? So here is where you get to shine. Folks actually asking for you to perform. I take a business card out of my wallet and quickly do a back palm (vanish) and show both side of my hand empty. Then I produce the card right in front of them. They all went freaky like when you watch Criss Angel's audiences on the street. So hopefully there maybe a gig in the future from this little drive.

Sometimes magical moments are what you make of them. Not always having a bunch of tricks in each pocket makes you think and keeps you on your toes when asked to perform. Always having a working knowledge of basic sleights is very important. I speak to alot of magicians everyday when the new products come out. First question is "Does it take a working knowledge of sleights?" I feel sometimes to many folks want everything to be push button magic and really that does not cut it in the real world. Walk into a bar or a restaurant and there are so many props ready to perform magic with. Cocktail sticks, napkins, glasses, shot glasses, olives, salt shakers and more.

Making a study of real world objects and how you can use them to make magic look natural is what really is the true meaning of "Street Magic" is to me. If you check books like Tarbell and Mark Wilson Course in Magic you would be able to learn basic sleights so that any object you touch can be magically. One thing I like to do when going shopping is to look over things you see in the store especially in the kitchen section since most of my magic is always around food and food events. This eye for detail is one that you need to start developing in the same way Charlie Chaplin looked like he just grabbed 2 folks and 2 dinner rolls and created his famous dinner roll dance scene on film. Details like this only happen from practice and lots of improv then a act happens.

I remember watching an interview with rock legend David Bowie. He said that when everyone is in the studio and music is happening if a musician hits a certain group of notes that works, he says "Do that again!". The first time was an accident, second time it just might be something. Onnce more "play it again" and then the third time its a possible song! Everything that looks natural has actually come from lots of rehearsal and practice. So my rant and tip today is to learn and know your basic sleights, take a closer look at objects and the world you live in. Pratice at home with objects that you may only ever see when dinning out. What looks like you making magic with a small toy from a child or a dinner table object may just be more amazing then a set of cups and balls. Then again an impromtu cups and balls act with dixie cups and crushed dollars bills would really kill!

Hope to see you at the Swap Meet this Saturday and Daryl workshop Sunday.

Best Wishes,

Tony Blanco

Become the Busiest Birthday Party Performer CD

So one of the performing things that every magician starts out doing usually are Birthday parties. If you have ever or still do perform them how are about becoming the busiest guy performing them. Check out Brad Ross’ Brand New Double CD on the subject hosted by Brad Ross & John Carlson. Here is a must for every part time, full time, and aspiring birthday party performer. Brad & John go in depth and talk about EVERYTHING you need to know to dominate your market and make some big bucks doing birthday parties. This is a "tell all" CD with both Brad & John who have been doing children's birthday parties for a combined total of 40 years. Think about that - a combined total of 40 years of experience, know-how, tips, tricks, and secrets. Since Brad & John are both now working in other areas of magic - they unleashed all of their top secrets for you! This double audio CD set is a guaranteed road map to birthday party success. Whether you are just starting out or you're a full time pro, or anywhere in between, this audio Cd set is a great investment. Again here is the inside information I wished I had when I started!

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