Tuesday, August 23, 2005
As I begin this week's blog, once again to all, Thank You! So many have been writing and calling to express your good wishes to me for joining the Hocus Pocus family. I have gotten to personally know many of you in a short time. I have also been chatting to our vendors, some of which are ready with new magic effects for this fall, so watch our site. We here at Hocus-Pocus know we have the best magic family in our customers. So I want to help each one of you in your growth as performers. This week I spot light real world workers props. My Picks this week maybe short but are the stuff that makes you look like a star!!
This Weeks Picks
Hey Presto Card Foutain
From the "land down under" (Australia) comes one of the smoothest, neatest built pieces of machinery. Here's a in action photo, we took of me for a PR Pic. This fountain is small enough for a Top Hat or even a cloth bag. "Workers" will be smart to use this with their favorite cardsword act. Comes with a remote with a 80 foot signal range. I was in the back of the warehouse and set it off on Paul's desk about 50 feet away. A value for the workmanship.
Pro Viper II
The Snake in the Basket is not a new idea, but Terry Lunceford has been the guy making the comedy version of this act for a long time. As a creative working comedy magician who is always appearing at the Magic Castle. Terry's act comes to you on video (along with all the props) that is his signature laugh- filled worker's routine. Simple in its ideas and the chosen card can be signed (no switching cards) and appears in the mouth of the Snake as it flies out of the Basket . A constant and faithful piece of equipment. Ever a problem, Terry stands behind each one made and will never let you down for a repair, if like that might ever happen.
Four and Half of Spades
From Chance Wolf Productions comes a Stage Size (17x 22) take on a close-up kind'da trick. One thing I have always lectured about was taking packet or close-up effects and making them Stage size. Well, Chance has done this to the MAX! Workmanship, Colorfulness & Comedy are what Chance Wolf items are all about. Having been a artist who worked on the comic books SPAWN, Chance knows all about creating a mood and theme in his products. I won't do justice telling you the act (read it on the website) but will tell you how well made and professional this prop is to hold. To me the price is way low for a prop that will make you look like a real working pro!!!
Chico The Mind Reading Chimp
For the working family show entertainer (Heck any entertainer really!) Chico the Mind Reading Chimp is a solid laughed packed routine. Bill Abbott gives you everything to present this reputation making act. You get a DVD to teach you the act, as well as CD for the music and sound effects. Chico has been the talk of many magic chat sites. Now Chico is here at Hocus Pocus & only here. Just think of inspiring continuous laughs from your audiences all in one suitcase. This is one of those packs small and plays big items you should have. If you work schools, malls, or even Vegas your crowds will fall in love with Chico and remember your name.
DVD Quick Picks
Greater Magic Series The Art of Costume Change
Killer Kitson Mircle Bob Sheets
Magic of John Ramsey Vol 1 & 2
Eccentricks Vol 1 & 2 Charlie Frye
As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website( www-Hocus-Pocus.com) of this weeks items I found for you to have for your show.
This weeks Tip
(right out of my lecture notes, I just saved you $15.00)
The Happy Birthday Paper Tear:
The performer tears a banner into small pieces and magically restores it as quick as a wink!
Inspired by "Fresh Fish Sold Here Today".
You need to make a banner which says, "Happy Birthday (and the person's name)." I recommend doing this on an 8 1/2" X 14" piece of paper or any size it's your choice. There is actually banner paper for the home computer available at most office supply stores. The actual size for each banner (when cut down) is about 4" X 14". You will need two banners and a bottle of rubber cement. Now the steps to make this work (follow illustrations below):
PERFORMANCE and PATTER SUGGESTION:
The Happy Birthday banner is turned around so the letter "H" is on the right-hand side (see figure 1). Fold this in half into a smaller packet (Figure 2) and in half again (Figure 3) and in half again one last time (Figure 4). Now fold the banner from left to right (Figure 5). Now fold this thin strip further into thirds. Start from the bottom to 2/3 from the top. This last piece (the top of the banner) is tucked into the bottom piece and locked together. Rubber cement this packet as is to the back of the other banner in the back of the last letter of the person's name. You're done.
Begin by showing the Birthday Banner (keeping the secret gimmick on the back from being seen, of course) and explain that today is someone's birthday, and "We need a birthday banner to add to the celebration." Ask everyone, "Whose birthday is it, anyway?" which will get a laugh as the banner shows the person's name clearly for all to see (we'll use the name John as an example). Everyone will then yell out that it's John's birthday.
"OK, since we all KNOW it's John's birthday, we don't really need his name on the banner." Tear out John's name and place it in back of the banner behind the word "birthday."
"Now, we're here to celebrate John's wedding anniversary, right?" Everyone will yell out in the negative, wherein you can respond, "Oh, we must be here to celebrate John winning the state lottery..." Use this biplay with them a couple more times and finally say, "Well, I guess we don't need the word 'birthday' on the sign." Tear off the word "birthday," and place it in back of the banner on top of the first torn piece.
"Now, all we have is the word 'Happy.' When you wish someone a birthday, do you wish them a SAD birthday? Do you wish them a ROTTEN birthday? No? Well, what do you wish them? Of course, we wish them a HAPPY birthday! Well, I guess we don't need this sign anymore..."
At this point, begin to fold over the torn pieces into a bundle exactly the size of the secret packet. Turn down the ends and tuck them into each other. Now turn over the bundle with the secret packet facing the audience and ask, "But what if someone came into the room who Didn't know it was John's birthday, wouldn't it be great if we had a sign to let them know? Well, indeed we do!" At this point, unfold the paper to show that it has magical restored itself and say, "Happy birthday, John!"
Don't let the simplicity of the effect keep you from performing it. It's great for "Welcome Home," "Sweet 16," "Happy Anniversary," or even a message for a trade show product. With your imagination and your computer, you can create endless variations.
To be used only by working pro's . Mass production by Magic Dealers strictly forbidden!! Copyrights Tony Blanco & Hocus-Pocus.com
Worker's Tips Contest
The working knowledge that the collective group of Hocus-Pocus customers have could probably fill a library. Everyone here has learned something, either by trail by fire or just common sense. Now its your turn to share your tips and ideas for all of us to be better performers. So I asked Paul, for all of you, and he presented me $20.00 gift certifcates for the "Best Workers Tip of The Week" Contest. So send in your emails with your best ideas, suggestions, routines or tips.
Next Tuesday, one of you gets $20.00 to shop free at Hocus-Pocus its that simple. Each email will be dated and time zoned. Each contest will end on Monday 5:00 PST. Lets see how many certifcates I can go to the "Godfather" to give me for all of you.
Best Magical Wishes,
Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com (preferred) or snail mail me at:
ATT. Tony Blanco
2311 E McKinley
Fresno, CA 93703 USA (to send items for review to sell on our website)
That's my email and the comment button is right there below. Let me hear from you!
Remember in life, give the magic you want in return. Be that Magic!!!
What a good blog you have written. It has everything. You have the guts to tell the people of Mak the plain truth – we, our customers love it. I think you should try to have one such tough statement every week (but only when there is a reason, of course). There are so many cheap imitators that I believe this would be easy.
Then you generous hints and tips to your readers! Your blog is a perfect read and a good supplement to Paul’s blog. Thank you, Tony, and keep up the good work, being the perfect back man or sidekick for Paul (as a true artist you know, there is nothing degrading in those terms!).
Somehow I have the feeling this is the beginning of a long friendship… (Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”).