Monday, October 31, 2005

 

Today is Halloween....Ho Ho Ho ?

Well, as the little goblins come a knocking on my door tonight for free candy its time to think of Santa and Christmas shows. OK.... I am not crazy but the last customer of today calling actually was calling to order his Christmas show items. I was rather impressed. This reminded me of my work in New York when I worked with the Macy*s Parade. The designers of the Parade would finish one Parade on Thanksgiving Day and the very next day plan next years Parade. So as this greatest part of the year for all types of Holiday Parties, Events, Shows. It is the smart magician that begins to think, plan ahead, to be a pro and look magical. I am not picking on any of you but hopefully, try to inspire you not to order last minute and hope we can get it overnight to you for a show tomorrow.

This Weeks Tips

Christmas Routines

To begin our Christmas journey comes Christmas routines by David Lew and Harvey Raft. Many clever holiday routines. Routines include ideas for Holiday magic and games. The magical production of Toys is worth the price of the book. Many ideas that will inspire and get those holiday ideas coming.

Forgetful Santa

Those of you real pro's know the legend of Forgetful Eddie, now comes this great kidshow effect with Mr Claus himself. If you don't know of Forgetful Eddie (or Frankie for Halloween) its the tale that your mom would say that you would forget your head if it wasn't attached. Well this time Santa is forgetful and his head disappears, replaced by a balloon with face drawen on it. Then this Balloon pops and Santa's head returns.

Magic Christmas Stocking

Those of you magi's who use a change bag will love the look of the Christmas Stocking. Think of all the effect you currently perform using a change bag now have the look to create holiday magic. One such effect comes to mind is using 20th Century Silks and tell a story of Santa, the reindeer and the Elves. There's an idea from me your create the story. Next use the Stocking to produce all the trimmings of a Christmas Tree. So produce, vanish, change objects to inspire the magic of those stockings hung by the fire with care.

Santa's Chimney

Santa's gift to the world was to bring magic and gifts to all of the world. With Santa's Chimney you can create this magical vision. Not a Square Circle box but a box with many uses even all year round and with many stories. Produce, Vanish or Change....All you have to do is think and create the same magic Santa would coming down the Chimney on Christmas Eve.



Christmas Present Trick

Those of you working pro's who have ever used the classic kid show trick ABC Stung Again Trick will love Christmas Present Trick. This take on that classic is about Santa and his gift giving of presents. Again as in the classic effect this is a sucker type trick with the most magical ending for the Holiday.

More Christmas Effects and Ideas

Christmas Mouthcoils
Big Red Nose
Peppermint Stick Nesting Wands
Santa Stuck In The Chimney
Santa's Suit
The Real meaning of Christmas


Tips of the Week

As it is Halloween and I am sitting here writing about Christmas but watching A Houdini History Channel Show and Criss Angel's Halloween Mindfreak Show what am I doing, I am always learning! One line tonight on the Houdini show was that Harry had a massive library. Every little word or picture is an idea. My friends know its all about knowledge with me, so much so friends even call to let me know when something is happening...Thanks Betty!

One of the most interesting lines or sayings comes from my friend Jeff Mc Bride...."If you want to be a Master of Time and Space...You Need to get to the Space on Time". What does that mean, just show up on time? Get up Early? Honestly, its what you see and hear in it. For me its about Planning, Thinking Ahead and studying so you can being able to perform at the drop of a hat. Being able to do magic with anything. Wisdom is Knowledge.

So the Tip this week is about knowing and planning. Currently if you are following my journey from Las Vegas Magician to Real world working magician, In the weeks to come I am going to share with you some of my new working class ideas for Kid Shows, Close-up Magic, Private Parties. I would like to start getting feedback from all of you my readers and share your knowledge also.

Roadie Cases and Planning for Magical Moments

When it comes to your show and props no cost should come to mind to protect and save your tools of the trade. Currently I have just purchased 2 more cases, now that numbers about 8 or more roadie cases, as well as numerous suitcases and sportbags. Why? Well, if your a worker you know its about easy in and easy out.

I am always looking to make my set up as magical as I hope my show will be. Below see some pictures from my collection of roadie showcases. The teal color one is my newest for Birthday parties. With 3 drawers I have room for the tricks with the back lid that becomes my backdrop. If you notice it has a folding leg on the lid and clips to the case as a table. I made it a backdrop with two bungee cords to the handles. The top drawer is even section out so now I really know where a certain trick should be.

I just did 3 shows in one day. So with 3 setups and 3 tear downs I now learned that my set up time has been cut in more then half because of the ease of this case's layout. Now in this way my magic can appear more magical to the audience, but its about lots of planning to make things look natural. So Tip of the Week.... Plan, Know, and your life will be more magical then ever.

So once again gang, Paul and I are always on the look out for the next magical effect. If you have created something your interested in selling on our website. DVD's, Magic Tricks, a Book, please contact me or send your sample .

As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website (http://www.hocus-pocus.com/) 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:Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com

or snail mail me at:

Hocus-Pocus Magic

Att. Tony Blanco

2311 E. McKinley

Fresno,CA USA 93703

With my Honest Wishes for you to be the best you can be......

Think Ahead,

Tony Blanco















Monday, October 24, 2005

 
Silence Can Be Golden

A picture is worth a thousand words. This ancient Chinese saying is still true today as it was thousands of years ago. Most of today's magic is about being visual. Chatting up a routine for today's audiences doesn't always work in this MTV generation. Over the years most folks watch and really don't listern. In the movie "Chaplin" ( about the famous comic) an argument about why Charlie (the little tramp) should not speak happens when talkies are being introduced. Charlie points out the other people on the planet that don't speak English so this is why the "little tramp" can't speak.
So let take that concept in mind that your now doing your show for folks that don't speak English. How will someone get your jokes? Understand your intro to a Illusion? So this weeks blog is about Visual Magic. Whether done to music or just silent. To watch the amazement in the eyes of the audience is magical.

This Weeks Picks

PTS (Programmable Thread System)

Using magic and music and to see objects float has been the hallmark of a magician. Over the years has created a number of versions of the Floating or Dancing Hankerchief. Well now comes the grand finale to all of his creations or should I say the combination of them all. Using his suitcase idea along with a new concept you can use a silk, or objects like a rope or tie to dance and fly around your stage. The performer who knows how to truly make movements magical will shine with PTS. There is a video on our site to give you just a taste of a full size stage illusion for way less then any box illusion you would ever buy. "Spooks in a Jug" "The Blackstone Dancing Hank" are just afew of the effects with the PTS. Thanks Sean for making magic look magical again!!

The Thing

Bill Abbott takes the Zombie into the 21st Century with this creative new act. Movement and style is what "The Thing" can be all about. Like the famous Zombie act timing and movement to music can make this a funny or eerie piece of magic. Having done the Zombie as a teen magician myself I love the improvements Bill has added to "The Thing". I mean kids can sit on the floor and look up and not see anything. In the hands of a talented magician its truly about Silence and Mystery.

Aerial Fishing

For a bit of fun and comedy to music and mime let me recommend Aerial Fishing. Going back to the silent movies I can actually see folks like Laurel and Hardy doing this act. Its clean, self-contained, silly, and visual funny. The idea of fishing in the audiences and then producing a "live goldfish" not once but 3 times is pure magic. Be aware its all about timing, movement and the right music to make this appear as funny as can be. So for that spot in the show that needs something silly and magical ...Aerial Fishing.

Fiber Optics

This is a DVD that teaches you what has to be the most magical rope around. This routine when learned is a 16 phase act with each move (as they say) a picture. Something that you can carry once learned and never need scissors. Five minutes of truly visual magic, add music and it will be a act you will enjoy doing over and over again. The act has 22 eyepoping moves and goes from a 3 rope act to one to three again.

Eccentricks DVD's Volume 1 and 2

Talk about Visual. What do you get when you mix a graduate of Ringling Bros. Clown College, Dick Van Dyke look alike, a magician and a Juggler? You get the creative talents of my fellow graduate and friend Charlie Frye. Charlie has long been a student of everything comical. His writings in MAGIC each month prove his love for visual comedy and magic. His DVD's show the creative genius that is his knowledge of mime, movement, comedy and magic. Watching Charlie's DVD's is like a private class in what made the silent movies and vaudeville so much the ground breaking class room for today's legends of comedy. Charlie tips his best bits and acts for you in a way that Buster Keaton would be proud of. Visual and magical, Eccentricks.

Card Cocktail

Here's one that Swings baby! To the current craze of swing music and dance, comes Card Cocktail by Doug Malloy. Its all about the swing mood doing a pick a card effect and then instead of a shuffle in the hand, how about a shake not stirred effect. Cards go into a Martini shaker, SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE, and pour out liquid cards into a Martini glass. Now turn the Martini glass over the liquid turns into a card silk of the chosen card. Visual and very hip
Daddy-O.

More Magical Ideas to Music

Dancing Canes or Brooms
Misers Dream
Sponge Balls
Bubble Zombie
Floating Tables
Card Swords


This Weeks Tips

One of the many talents I have gained over the years is Puppetry. I was even lucky to be in "Muppets Take Manhattan" at Kemit and Miss Piggy's Wedding. From that one day I learned and watched directing from Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Also one of my directors Carol Fijan wrote the book on "Making Puppets Come Alive". So where am I going with this introduction? Well all 3 of these folks taught me one important thing about being on stage or in front of the camera with your act. "Say it in Mime"
Before you go out and do some act with lots of words, make sure you know all the movements. If need to say the words in your head to give you direction for the movement, but its about the movement and actions. Rehearse and rehearse all the movements to gain the most out of the magic your doing. Even play different styles of music and have a play session with the tricks your working on (Thanks Jeff!!) to gain new movements and ideas.

Remember if one picture is worth a thousand words, then every move should be a picture. I like that take on it better.

Magic Alert!!

With Halloween just around the corner. Paul says that ready for shipping are just a few of Losanders Floating Jack-O-Laterns. Get one now before they vanish forever....

If you have created something your interested in selling on our website please contact me.

As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website (http://www.hocus-pocus.com/) 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:
Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com
or snail mail me at:

Hocus-Pocus Magic
Att. Tony Blanco
2311 E. McKinley
Fresno,CA USA 93703

Best Magical Wishes and Dreams ,
Tony Blanco











Monday, October 17, 2005

 
Is it Magic or a Place for my stuff?

As I have been buying and collecting magic for so many years. I have finally moved my stuff down from Las Vegas so thats 18years there. Then 20 something years plus of performing past.
So the question is are magicians "pack rats"? Well having a habit of traveling to .99 cent stores, thrift stores and such everything seems to be an idea for a magic act or routine. Alot of times we have the feeling if we don't get it now it will a case of now you see it now you don't. So as I really now feel settled into my new home and job, I plan to share some of my "Pack Rat" visions.

Yes! That's my library being set up amonst all the other stuff in my collect....ok go say it Pack Rat!!!


This Weeks Tips

Chain Breaker By Losander

Sharing one of his pet effects, Losander presents Chain Breaker. Years of perfection Losander creates a modern take on the Thumb Tie. It is a visual performance piece and comes to you complete with all the props plus a teaching DVD. If you ever wanted to perform a thumb tie routine this is the a must for your act!! Want to learn more click to our site for a video preview of this one of a kind act.


Inner Ear

If you ever wanted a new take on a telepathy act then check out Inner Ear. Created by one of our personal builders "Louie", he has made a tool for the working professional mentalist. Louie's genuis has made a wonderous piece of equipment that needs no stooges or assitants. Its also ready to go with no set up time or wires or magnets to worry about. To fully take advatage of this prop for your act read the full description. This prop is so cool that you can even use it as a walkaround mentlism prop. By the way when Louie is not building and designing props for us, he even gives great haircuts (see Paul's blog of Oct 14th). All kidding aside this is a clever and well made tool for the working pro!!


"I'm Sitting On It"

Greg Gleason has perfected and shares one of the highlights of his Las Vegas and Cruise Ship shows. This is not a prop as much as it is a kit to help you build a laugh packed comedy stage act. All the parts and pieces are there, as well as step by step building DVD. Once you purchase the kit (and chairs separate) you not only get one routine but 3 routines for a true packs flat plays big show to perform anywhere!!



Seance Handcuffs

One of our newest members of the Hocus Pocus family is Mark Cannon. Mark is a master escape artist as well as builder. The first of many items to come from Mark is the Seance Handcuffs. With these handcuffs inspected by the spectator and taped off the keyholes, the fun begins. Performing many daylight seance effects while handcuffed. Reverse your jacket, link and unlink thru a chair. In the future look forward to straight jackets, more handcuff effects and escapes acts by Mark Cannon.


Mini Crystal Production Box

From the creative forces of Encore Magic comes a new take on the Crystal Production Box. This version is not your dad's Crystal Box. Its cute look blends well with magicians that entertain for children or for a full stage show act. Designed with a clever gimmack many different performing ideas will come to you. With a handle on top I even imagine having the spectator even hold it when the magic happens

Hot Items Moving faster then we get them in!!

Dynamite Book Test Set
Shufton's Ultimate Floating Match
Horwitz Wallet
Chimera Wallet
Apple, Banana, Tomato
Human Rotation Floation
10
Super Silver Sharpie


This Weeks Tips

Seeing the many sides of the big picture is one of the lucky things I get to do here at Hocus-Pocus. Looking at new items I have some ideas how to combine magic. Lets see if you agree.

Andrew Mayne's Infusion is a great effect on to itself. If you add Peter Eggink's AE2 with a little practice you'll have a killer routine. Imagine borrowing a spectators bill and doing both of these routines together I think you'll blow their mind. So here's a vision that can make one act twice as good.

Crystal Production box can be more then transforming and producing. It can be linked to many acts. Pieces of ripped fabric can be transformed into a blendo silk or a rainbow streamer. Silks can change into Sponges.

Chain Breaker as the opening of a seance routine and then lead into the Seance Handcuffs.

Let me know and share some of your creative combinations that come to mind for you.

New and Used Magic Alert We are currently looking for a Collectors Workshop " Khayber Cobra".

We will pay cash or you can have a store credit to shop Hocus-Pocus.

If you have something your interested in selling on our website contact me.

As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website (http://www.hocus-pocus.com/) 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:Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com

or snail mail me at:Hocus-Pocus Magic

Att. Tony Blanco

2311 E. McKinley

Fresno,CA USA 93703

Best Magical Wishes and Dreams,

Tony Blanco












Tuesday, October 11, 2005

 

The Creation of Magic (part two)

If you read Paul's Blog (on Friday) you'll know I went back to Las Vegas to get my roadie cases and magic books and props. I was in Las Vegas less then 24 hours. Most of my real stuff has been in storage. I have been missing that, what makes me a performer/teacher, my library and show stuff. The creation of an act or inspiration starts with knowledge. So to continue this part 2 of the creation of magic. Let me point out my favorite sources of knowledge.




This Weeks Picks

New Modern Coin Magic (Bobo)

As a young magician (started at 15 in 1975) one of the first books I spent really big money ($20.00 at the time) on was Bobo's Coin Magic. The nickname I grew up knowing. Bobo's is still consider the bible of coin magic. Every move and routine was laid out in the classic book. Routines, moves, and the knowledge and wisdom of many of coin magics stars. Since DVDs have come of age many coin teachers have produce their take on really was the first book...Bobo.

Apocalypse Vol 1-4 Harry Loyrane & Richard Kaufman

One of the magical moments I had was looking forward to getting my copy of a single magazine called Apocalypse. This magazine contained the greatest close-up effects from the greatest close-up performers of the time. Marlo, Vernon, Slydini, Garcia, Maven, are just a few of the names that made Apocalyse from 1978 to 1997 the hot magazine to have. Now all issues are bound in a 4 Volume set and spotlights real creativeness in close-up magic. So if you need to know what creative ideas are read these books.

L&L Publishing

Under the publishing emperior of L&L today's magicians have stepped into the limelight and shared their best secrets. Since 1985 Louis Falanga has sought out magic's greatest creators and thinkers. He then preserved their talent first in video now on DVD. L&L has introduced the likes of Michael Ammar, Doc Eason, Gregory Wilson, Jeff Sheridan Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Bill Malone, Tommy Wonder and many more to all of us. Each tape/DVD is always jammed packed with magical knowledge. Always the best in today's hottest names sharing their best magical, from books to videos to DVD's .

Andrew Mayne

Living, Learning and Inventing is the magic of Andrew Mayne. I have a total respect for this young guy who I would rank in the same names as Jim Steinmeyer, Alan Wakeing, and Paul Osbourne. Andrew has created some of the most totally inventive effects from close-up magic to stage illusions. Many of his illusions are designed to be easily built using common everyday objects. He has created so many performable and easy to do magic which can make you a magic star. Type in Andrews name in product search to see the many amazing creations of this young inventor.

Hot New Items in Stock and Ready for Shipping

As they say in the Baseball Parks "Red Hot Get them while they Hot"

Icarus
Kinetink
Mona Lisa McComb
"I'm Sitting On It"
Correct Key
Aerial Fishing


This Week's Tips

Its always a creative process to examine what you want to be and what to create. I am always looking for many new ideas. Creative ideas are all around. Movies, TV, shopping in a .99 cent store. So this weeks tip is a simple one. Discover everything around you. As I have just moved so much stuff from my storage (Paul wonders why?) each little piece of something inspires me to create new magic and shows. I have seen so many magic tricks that are just something simple but its all about the presentation. So as with these books and the DVD's I recommended learn from the past and create a future. Famous saying time....Ready? "Those who forget the past are condemmend to relive it".

As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website (http://www.hocus-pocus.com/) 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:
Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com
or snail mail me at:
Hocus-Pocus Magic
Att. Tony Blanco
2311 E. McKinley
Fresno,CA USA 93703

Thanks for reading sorry for the delay this week.

Be magicial and create,

Tony Blanco

Monday, October 03, 2005

 

The Creation of Magic (Part One)

One of the joys about being here at Hocus Pocus is to see the spark of creation of magic from talking to our great vendors/creators. The creative process is in front of you everyday. Some of the effects that Hocus Pocus offers are not just about the tricks. It's really like being an artist and looking at paint and brushes. You need only to understand what makes one magician's style verses another. So today's blog is about the tools and teachers that can make a act or a show. If you know your tools, then you can paint a masterpiece.

This Weeks Picks

Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic CD-Rom
Now a days, I am told no one reads books. So I guess putting a 4 Volume cl
assic series of books is maybe the only way folks will stop and read. Rice's Encyclopedia takes you thru every single silk routine, act, and technique to help you create pure wonderful magic. From dye tubes, color changes, blendo, knots to silk fountains. This CD-Rom preserves some of the most classics of silk magic. .

Greater Magic Collection
Years ago when video was King, it was thought to preserve some of the best
performers and teachers of Magic. So with this in mind the Greater Magic Video series was started. The performers/teachers over the years have included the likes of Karrell Fox, Billy McComb, Don Alan, Eugene Burger, The Great Tomsoni all performing & teaching their best routines. This series also features just the tricks also. Such as DVD's teaching one subject by these different magicians. Linking Rings, Chinese Sticks, and topics such as Comedy Magic and Bar Magic. So type in the product search using the words Greater Magic Series and discover hidden treasures.

Max Maven VideoMind
The bizarre master of mentalism is Max Maven. If you ever wanted to try y
our hand at mentalism. I am not into mentalism too much, but I do enjoy and honor the knowledge and wisdom that is Max Maven. In this series he covers all types of venues as well as styles of mentalism. One effect is so great I have it my wallet ready to go at anytime. So if you ever wanted to "Freak" folks out once in a while check out this really wierd series of DVD's .

Stunners Plus!
Speaking of Mentalism I would be remissed if I didn't mention Larry Becker
. Larry has created so many mentalism masterpieces over the years. A great deal of these works of art are in his Stunners Plus! 20 years of creative, baffling and entertaining routines that can play on stage, parlour or close-up. In this book Larry includes updates to his classic routines Casino Royale, Serial Killer and many more. This book along with a visit to OfficeMax for your supplies and you too can be a mysterious masterful mentalist.

Jeff McBride On Stage
This 3 DVD series comes from one of today's most passionate teachers of magic, Jeff McBride. Coming from the same background of performing, I can relate to how Jeff has studied the history of all types of moves and motions that make magic come alive. Jeff explains in detail some of the most classics of magic from rings, to ropes, silks, props to illusions. Besides this series Jeff has other DVD's on manipulations (check those others out) for closeup and stage. Jeff walks you thru many styles and venues of performance. Inspiration and ideas abound.

This Weeks Tips
As we continue to learn, we should share. Over the years some of my best discoveries as a performer come from shopping. Favorite places range from OfficeMax to Home Depot, to Thrift shops. Being a performer again is like being a artist. You just need to know where inspiration comes from. An idea I have done for years and then found it being taught on Jeff McBride's On Stage Volume 1 is what he calls the "Masterbooks". The same idea I got from Jackie Chan's "My Stunts".


So many ideas come from magazines such as Magic, Genii, Linking Ring. I have a loyality to old books. I would never tear them apart. So copy what you need and then with plastic page protectors create a looseleaf book of your subjects. I have books on Close-up, Stage, and Kid Show effects. In this way you have new ideas at your finger tips always.

Plastic Bins and Tubs
Looking around Walmart/K-Mart I have found so many different style plastic bins & Tubs. These are great for organizing the amount of stuff we as magicians collect. Making travel and performing, as well as set up easier in your show .

Hey! Here are some music tips from one of our Hocus-Pocus family for your Halloween Shows.

Hey Tony...Here's something worth a look... www.midnightsyndicate.com Their music is AMAZING. It's dark, spooky, and, most important, fully orchestrated! Most spooky music discs are one guy and his synth. These guys have it all, and they are INCREDIBLE composers. I especially recommend "Gates of Delirium."........... Kevin Burke

Thanks Kevin for sharing.

As Always please read the full descriptions of these items on the website (
http://www.hocus-pocus.com/ ) 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:

Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com
or snail mail me at:

Hocus-Pocus Magic
Att. Tony Blanco
2311 E. McKinley

Fresno,CA USA 93703

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