Monday, September 12, 2005

Back To Basics

This week I begin by telling you that I feel like I am starting my career all over again after 30 years of performing. I have done many types of shows in my life. Birthday parties, Conventions, Trade shows, Bar Mitzvahs, to Street performing. Since moving here to Fresno, Ca., its like everything I have ever learned may finally be of use. I just started working for a Indian casino in Coarsegold, Ca. While it has all of the Las Vegas appeals its much more geared for local folks and provides a more personal touch to each person. This casino is much like the casinos off the LV Blvd., that do special events and promotions. This way giving work to folks like us magical/ host type guys.

So I tell all of you look back to what you used to do. Remember the fun you had when you first started. Remember how much you enjoyed entertaining folks just for the pure joy of being the magical guy everyone wants to know. On those notes let me recommend somethings that have or are inspiring me .
Before I jump to tell you magic picks let me tell you some cool thing I am always learning from. One thing is watching movies and the "Extras" that today's DVD's provide. I have learned many magic/performing tricks from some of today's hottest movies. Hey! Remember movie makers are just like magicians creating something from nothing to make movie magic. If you ever get a chance to watch on the Bio Channel Jackie Chan's "My Stunts". Talk about a film maker and performer letting you in on his secrets. A magician on many levels.

This Weeks Picks

Cellini Art of Street Performing (3 Volume DVD)

Since I mention I started as a street performing magician/mime in NYC, what a treat to be able to learn from a true living legend and master of busking. Busking is the term for a pass the hat performer. I know some you if not most of you may never perform on the street but lessons are life lessons. Cellini teaches you the tricks, techniques, and wisdom that is all about being a performer. Whether your on stage, walkaround at a private party or in the middle of a crowd be the best performer you can be anytime, anywhere.

Wrinkles on the Table

Steve Shufton shares some of his personal secrets that make close-up magic one of the coolest ways to entertain folks with. This "Double DVD" gives you the hottest tips of the most common things you may already be performing. I enjoyed the take on coins and card effects. You have only to give yourself the time to master effects that you will use for the rest of your performing life...Again anytime, anywhere.

The Ultimate Card Sword

This week I bring you the coolest idea in Card Swords (and a Card Dagger) from Encore Magic. Chris Reesman the guy who has built many creative ideas for some of today's famous magicians comes a killer idea. Many of us would love to perform a card sword act but hate to deal with too many gimmick problems. Chris has taken the pain out of the card sword and provides at least 6 different routines with this the "Ultimate Card Sword". Bold in its ideas think about actually doing a signed by the spectator card on the sword. Not to mention even 3 cards on the sword and much more. This will be the only Card Sword (or Dagger) you will ever use!!

Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks

This reprint of 3 Stewart James classic books has been expanded into one book. There are effects from some of deans of magicians tipping their pet routines now edited and new drawings. Using a piece of rope to create your magic at anytime, anywhere is the type of magic that will always impress your audience. This book is the "Bible" of rope magic. So many tricks and routines to help you create some in your face magic. Knowledge is wisdom and this book is chock full of wisdom. Forward by Las Vegas comedy magician Mac King, plus a whole essay on the legendary Indian Rope Trick.

The Tarbell Course In Magic

What can I begin to say about the series of books that have inspired generations of magicians. First this course written by Dr. Harlen Tarbell, used to be a mail order series (thats way before the Internet) of chapters that you would look forward to in the mail. Over the years many of magic's creative minds have made this the true Encyclopedia of Magic. There are still days that I go back to the books for ideas and inspiration. A must for anyone who calls themselves a magician. A must for wisdom and knowledge.

Geki's Crazy Quick Change Suspenders

One of the most wackiest things I have seen in a while ( I want one set Paul!), makes me miss my street performing days. Imagine doing a color change of your suspenders, first one side then the other then the entire suspenders both front and back. There is a video on the website to see the entire action. Anyone who does a visual act or now might be inspire to do one must own a set of these braces. Pretty funny!

This Weeks Tips

Rose Napkins This first idea just came up the other day. Like most of you (and if you don't you should) I make paper roses for my guests. The problem is I end up having napkins that get wrinkled in my pocket. I got an idea to wrap tape (either duct or packing tape) around entire package of the rose napkins. Then with a razor blade to open just the top. This way I get a package of 50 napkins in the pocket of my suit and the package stays firm.

Ready, Set, Go I am always in search of cool cases or bags. One such bag I found at Lowes Hardware. I found this in the tool department. I use this "doctor bag" made of duct canvas and its blue and black with many pockets as my close up bag. It's so cool a bag that Mikey likes it too! There are many types of bags and tool cases to keep all those little tricks Ready, Set, Go. Check out your local Lowes or Home Depot.

Speaking of RSG, most of you probably do gigs on the weekend, so think ahead and get ready, be ready at all times. Order your magic supplies on Monday's so you can have it hopefully by the weekend. One way is to keep things such as costumes and props always set. After the weekend bring those suits/costumes in on a Monday to the drycleaners. Reset the props. If you have a regular job doing the week (not performing) let the rest of the family know where things are set . Just in case you get a last minute gig in the middle of the week. Your family or friends can meet you at the gig with your stuff if you can't make it back home to get everything. For me, I have a jacket and clean shirt and the above mentioned back in the van ready at most times.

Emergency Perfomers Kit This is the type of thing to have when last minute gigs or needs arise. I have a bag with extra things like hair spray, after shave, shaver, etc. As well as tools like touch-up makers for props, duct tape, extendtion cords. Just think ahead and be ready for all emergency situations.

Billy McComb, once told me that one thing when putting a routine together is that he thinks about all the outs if a trick ever fails. Be prepare for all those outs when an emergency happens.

Be ready, Be Magical, Be Happy!

Thanks for reading each week....hope I am of help.

As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website ( ) of this weeks picks I recommend for you to have for your show.
I would like to hear from you so feel free to write to me at:
or snail mail me at:
Hocus-Pocus Magic
Att. Tony Blanco
2311 E. McKinleyFresno, CA USA 93703

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