Monday, August 08, 2005

A Magician's Journey

Greetings to all of you from the magic world of Hocus Pocus. I have been honored to be asked to join the staff of this the World's Largest Internet Magic Company.

For those of you reading this I am offering my 30yrs of entertainment and knowledge so to as to help each of us become better performers. As the right hand guy to Paul Gross owner of, I have knowledge of the newest, hottest magic items. So I will be sharing with you what's going on, making you a "Insider" to some of the magic effects, DVD's and books that we sell.

I honestly want to help all of you with this blog. This is not going to be for anyone to rant, complain, or post put downs. That's for other blogs and chats rooms. Please leave that type of stuff there, please! I will be offering ideas and tips (some from my massive master books of ideas....TY Jeff Mc Bride for the term) so all of us can grow together.

During my 30yrs I have performed on the streets of New York Central Park to the stages of Las Vegas at Circus Circus and Excalibur. I have been lucky to also have been a graduate of Ringling Bros. Clown College. The book Creative Clowning was my first big published event writing about clown make-up, mime and puppeteer.

Remember this all started with a TV magic kit, but it wasn't enough. I learned circus skills like juggling, unicycling and stiltwalking. So again, I want to be here for all of you, be you a close-up worker, kid and family show magician or stage performer and lend a creative hand.

Speaking of puppets here is a shot of one of the many "muppet type" puppets I have created. This one was for one of my shows and used on a Las Vegas PBS station . During my
career I have been able to work with some of the muppeteers as well as be in the movie "Muppets Take Manhattan".

Well, before this blog sounds like a bio (too late!), let me pass some of my picks from Hocus Pocus fast sellers. Mike (our Cindy Crawford model in all Hocus Pocus ads) does our website, putting up each day new items from many of magic's creative minds. Now I can tell you the items that are the real gems . I also want to point out some of the DVD's/videos that I get to see. This way I get to be a film critic ( I love movies) and review for you. Before you spend your hard earned cash.

Today let me highly recommend:

Bill Abbott Performs Close-up For Kids (DVD)

Anyone who has ever worked in restaurants or parties will be amazed and charmed by Bill's style and creative routines. Don't let the title fool you these effects blow the parents away too! I gained a new respect for doing restaurant work from watching him charm both kids and adults. His personality will inspire you to get those close-up chops back in shape.

How To Teach A Birthday Magic Class (DVD)

This has got to be a first in the magic business. Everyone has done some form of Birthday parties but now come a DVD with information on a lucrative way to enhance your status as a entertainer. Imagine getting paid(even more money) to both perform and teach magic. James Muntion gives you all the knowledge to create a party/show that can earn you more money for those ages of kids that think they are too cool for tricks. One effect I learned and just did this weekend was one the biggest hits of the show. Got a ziplock bag around? It can be true magic for kids.

Promotional Magic (DVD)

One thing about being a performing is to get your name out there and get repeat bookings. Bill Anderson shares some of his best "Promotional" ideas with magic business cards. If you have just a little computer knowledge (i.e. making your own biz cards) you now have your own PR firm and magic shop in your own home. Bill offers fun ways that your audiences get to walk away with your card as well as be magically entertained. A must have for everyone....I mean everyone!

Learn Magic with Lyn (DVD)

In the tradition of Mr Wizard, Shari Lewis and Bob McAllister, Lyn Dillies shows a new way to teach kids magic. This has to be the best made DVD ( professionally done) for teaching magic to kids. Add this to the "How to Teach a Birthday Magic Class" DVD and now you really have lots of new effects to make the big bucks working with kids. Lyn's production has got the look of a PBS show like Sesame Street or Zoom. Her take on the old trick "Clippo" is worth the price of the DVD. So if you work with kids a must have just to learn how to work with kids alone.

The Magic of Creative Thinking (2 DVD set)

Imagine a 3 hour lecture in your own home by one of magic's creative workers Barry Mitchell. Filmed at the Kidabra convention, Barry shares, shows and teaches his greatest magic creations. Along with the book of the same title(you will have to purchase the book separate) you will have a powerful set of tools to routine many future shows. Barry's programs always have a message as well as being entertaining. This is what today's bookers want. So learn from the guy that knows how to "Think Creative". Anyone that loves to create will be inspired by this awesome guy.

Hot Items moving off the shelf (Description and reviews next Blog)

1. Metamorphosis .....................................Close-up magic

2 Boris Wild New Marked Deck ..............Close-up magic

3 Silent Treatment ....................................Close-up/ Platform/ Stage magic

4 Boyd Mystery..........................................Close-up magic

5 Act II ........................................................Book for Close-up and Platform effects

6 Chico the Monkey ...................................Closeup/ Platform/Stage/

7 Houdini Action Figure.............. I know it's not a trick but we got them for you collectors!

Today's Magic Tip

I got a call from one our customers and he asked " What does sell that has a message in the magic" I answered " All magic can have a message". Off the top of my head, I used 3 way ropes as an example. Told a quick story.. "Each person is different (showing all 3 different ropes) bringing them together and then changing them all to the same size. Now say "We are all really the same on the inside". Simple!

This gem of an idea (may not be original but I thought of it for this person) came to me. This past weekend I worked it into the show and got ahhh's from the parents.

So thats my first "Tips and Picks" blog from the magical land of If you have suggestions, something to review, samples to send for us to sell let me know. You can email me at or send stuff for review to Hocus-Pocus, 2311 E McKinley, Fresno, CA 93703 USA Att. Tony

Wishing you magical times and happiness, Tony

Don't miss MindFreak on A&E Wednesdays all this summer.

Banacheck, me, Dimmare, Criss Angel, Dexter at World Magic Convention

Hello There -

I wanted to add my vote to the recommendations you made in your current blog.

I just finished teaching a magic class at Chabot College as part of their first "Kids On Campus" program.

I ran across the James Munton DVD on the Hocus-Pocus website some weeks back and got it. I, too, especially liked the "zipper" trick and so did the kids in my class. The other item I used from the video was the rope sequence which was also very popular.

While I would have a reservation or two about doing the class at a birthday party, I had none about including these items in a four-day workshop of 90 minutes each time, for which the 25 kids each paid $60. They were clearly serious about magic!

I agreed with your other picks, too, though confess I've only looked at a couple of items so far on the Lyn Dillies DVD. You are certainly right about the production values, though.

Since our tastes seem similar, at least judging from your first batch of recommended items,

I will look forward with interest to your other choices.

Welcome to HocusPocus!

blake maxam
Thanks Blake! Now the ball is rolling on the comment page. Way to go!

I want to hear from the rest of you that read this blog.

Coming to the next blog my personal final to the card trick Cannibal Kings.....Tony
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