Monday, November 28, 2005

 

Magic For The Ages

As this year ends, so begins a new generation of magic. This past year has been filled with some great new magic creations and feature magic stars. It is in the past one must look to learn of the future.
One of my favorite sayings is "Those who forget the past are condemmed to relive it". So as this year ends remember the magic created by these folks this year. In the Ideals, DVD's Books, Tricks and much more to help you become the entertainer you wish to be. So again, Thank you all for shopping here at Hocus-Pocus and for reading my blog. Last week I shared with you in My Tips, the beginning how I made my cool close-up table. This week finshes with a few photos of how to build it. I look forward to when I start getting some tips from you my readers, you know like ideas and things that helped you grow as performers.


This Weeks Picks

Just in and ready for shipping .............................................



Robert Houdin A Magician's Life DVD

Well speaking of magic for the ages, what can be more perfect then the Father of Modern Magic now on DVD. It starts with a film about the life of Robert Houdin and then goes into footage and features about him. An inventor, clockmaker, and creator of magic for the 19th Century. Lots of great history of the man whom Eric Weiss took the name Harry Houdini from.

Dr Q Locking Slates

Again traveling into the past into the future comes, Dr Q Locking slates. First made in the '80's and soon became a collectors item. Now Maverick Magic (having the rights to make) these once again. Wonderfully crafted in Maple wood, these slates are regarded as the finest for Spirit Slate writing. Slighty larger then 9 1/2 by 12 inches and once again soon to be a collectors item. This is a limited edition run, so mentalist take note.

Impossible Cassette Prediction

Since we chatting mentlism tonight comes a modern take with the Impossible Cassette Prediction. Two weeks before a show you mail a cassette tape to the show sponser and tell them Do Not Open. Well as your about to finish your show invite the sponser on stage to place the cassette tape in a push play. The audience now hears your preminition of two weeks ago of today's headlines. Comes complete to make you look like a star.

Forgetful Frosty

Once again our masterbuilders send us another clever idea for those Holiday shows. Once again based on the theme of Forgetful Freddie now comes Forgetful Frosty. Those of you looking for something extra will enjoy Frosty. Frosty's magical tale of his head disappearing only to replaced by a balloon and then to reappear back on top of his body. In stock now and ready for your last minute shows.

Just in Case your still looking for more Christmas Ideas click our link Holiday Magic

http://www.hocus-pocus.com/static/xmas_page.html

This Weeks Tip

So last week I started mentioning a portable close-up table I built. As I said I started with a portable keyboard stand. This you can get from most great music stores (price range from $15-$30). Then I got a room service tray at a thrift store only to find out it used to be the trays used at the Venetian Hotel Casino. The tray is made of fine cherry wood and brass corners (see pic). The tray has a depth of almost an inch and measures 23 1/2 x 14 1/2 .

So cutting myself a piece of thin wood (like masonite or luan) just a hair smaller then the above measurements. Now you will need some polyfoam. I used 1/4 foam and carved the sides a little at a angle. Spray contact cement to foam to the board.

Now using black fleece material cover the foam to the back of the board. Either glue, staple and then tape the excess fabric to the board. If you did this right the board will just snug fit into the tray and now you have a really cool. So for the cost of a tray (which you can find at Pier One type places or craft supply stores) and the stand, scrape wood, foam and fabric you will have a great table and look like a Pro.

Hope you enjoy the idea and take the time to find parts and make yourself one. Mass Production and selling of this table is forbidden. The tray does have built in wooden handles and if you smart about it make a nice vinyl travel bag and make a backpack for the tray. Now you can look like and travel like a magician from years past.

Copyright Tony Blanco/Hocus-Pocus.com Mass Production Forbidden!!

Hocus-Pocus.com keeps growing faster and faster.

As the Largest Internet Magic Shop to the World, we are looking for another worker. Magical Knowledge a plus, as well as relocating to Fresno, CA.
Contact me thru the store phone number 800-407-4040 or email me Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com if your interested in a great place to work.


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. Some of the items I have recomended have videos to view.


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,
Tony Blanco


Monday, November 21, 2005

 




The Magic of Giving Thanks

As all of you have been reading its been an amazing 6 months here in Fresno, CA after leaving 18 years of Las Vegas. For many moments one has to look back and say Thanks for being able to do what one enjoys. Its just a moment to say "Thank You" for the way luck and life deals you the cards to play. First and for most Thank You to Paul and his lovely wife Betty for making me part of the Hocus-Pocus Family.
Like any new born one makes mistakes and doesn't always know the rules but luckly I have been given room to learn and grow. To the brother I wish I had, Poster boy for Hocus-Pocus, Mike Giusti for his friendship and understanding. Thanks to other folks here you don't get to see, Jan, Jason, Ken, Louie, and Nick.
Once again for the short time I have been in Fresno, I give thanks to the many things that could never have happen even living in Las Vegas. Gigs given to me by both Mike and Dexter. A wonderful lifestyle in a wonderful growing city.

Like the other night watching a young college opera student at Cal State Fresno do magic that I taught him, getting ahhs and laughs. This was like watching your own child make good. So as we sit this week and eat for Thanksgiving, stop a moment and think of all the Magical Moments you have to be thankful for.

Hey! Don't forget to watch the Macy*s Thanksgivingday Parade, I had been a part of it for 5 years in a row and have taught the workers of Macy*s to be clowns sooo many years ago.

This Weeks Picks

Just in and Ready for Shipping ....."As I Recall Slydini"


ReinCardnation

One of the most amazing magcial effects to wrap up the year 2005. Imagine a signed card, then folded in four, torn apart piece by piece and then restored piece by piece. Oh Did I mention, A SIGNED CARD!!! Hocus-Pocus has to thank one of our best customers for turning us on to the genius of Kris Nevling the creator of a one of a kind magical effect. Criss Angel take note!! There is a video on the website for this powerful effect.

Wacky Worm

From the creative workshop of Wolf's Magic comes Wacky Worm. If you don't know about Wolf's Magic wonderful workmanship, colors and production stop and do a search on our site. This is a kind'da take on the Snake in the Basket theme but with a educational take. This time with the bookworm being the magical creature that helps a future magician learn his talents from reading a book. Full of comedy and magical moments that only Wolf Magic could do. One for my show right away!

Berlands Bill Tear

As I promised Encore Magic will be releasing the Classics of Sam Berland. Second up...Berland's Bill Tear. The spectator gives a bill (or note) and marks it. Then the Magi tears it up to the point of not even noticeable. The Magi shows the pieces and then slowly makes the Bill come back to life in one solid piece with no false moves and no gimmacks. Fully illustrated booklet and practice money to learn with.

Wizard's School

If I seem to have a favorite young creative person it would be Andrew Mayne. Clever in his marketing to us magicians comes his second Wizard's School DVD. Talk about timing with the release of Harry Potter's fourth movie. Those of you who work with kids or even teach magic to kids will welcome Andrew's theme of magic and wizards. This second DVD teaches future Magi's some classic tricks of the trades using household items. There is also a special interactive part of the DVD for the viewers at home.

The Vortex

Creative, Inventive, one of magic's best teachers are all words that are Jeff McBride. From one of magic's most visual performers comes the The Vortex. This is Jeff''s take on the Dancing Cane. From the techno talent of Gary Stradier (a guy who is a new age composer and electronics wizard to the Burning Man Festival) Jeff and Gary created the first light up Dancing Cane. As you perform the routine the cane will produce a rainbow of colors so at this point there is no way anyone will look at how it is done. Just enjoy the wonderful magic the cane creates. This is an item that we are truly honored that Jeff has released only to Hocus-Pocus, with a video to check out on the website.

Teleporter

If you ever saw the James Bond movie "Diamonds are For Ever" (filmed at my old home Circus Circus) or a Side Show act where a person changes right in front of your eyes to a Gorilla comes the magic behind Teleporter. Imagine showing a empty box (spectator can see thru the front window) with a light above. Then dial in the magic and watch a rabbit appear right before your eyes inside the box. This is the magic and craftsmanship of one of our favorite builders Jay Leslie. You can do like Willy Wonka (like the scene with Mike TV) vanishing a rabbit from one box (different one from Teleporter) and then reproduce the rabbit in the Teleporter. Once again made by Jay in high quality strong lightweight plastic. P.S. My bunny Benny is the Poster boy for the ad...lol

Elemendo

Something new and visual in Silk magic from the Studios of Mephisto Magic. Written as a magical story about the colors (the silks) of darkness (black), the earth (green) , water (blue) and fire (orange) four silks change into a Rainbow Color 36 inch silk. So here is a effect you can do as a talking piece or as a musical silent act. Either way very visual and different.

Hot Seller Don't Miss out for those Christmas Shows

Forgetful Rudolph

New and Hot and a limited run item so don't miss out
on this great take to the item we all know as Forget Freddie.


This Weeks Tip


One quick tip comes from the music chain "The Guitar Center". I noticed this great keyboard stand which is used to hold keyboards for bands. It is a great idea for a close-up table too. With the use of a room service bedtray from one of the Vegas Hotels, I made a great close up tray/table. This same stand could work as a sidetable or small roadie case table. The price is between $15-$25 depending on the music store you go to. Height can be adjusted from a quick release grip in the middle. I'll give you pic of the tray next time.

Hocus-Pocus.com keeps growing faster and faster.

As the Largest Internet Magic Shop to the World, we are looking for another worker. Magical Knowledge a plus, as well as relocating to Fresno, CA.

Contact me thru the store phone number 800-407-4040 or email me Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com if your interested in a great place to work.


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. Some of the items I have recomended have videos to view.

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 Thanks to all of you for supporting all of us and our hard work at Hocus-Pocus. From our family to yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Best Magical Wishes,

Tony Blanco





Monday, November 14, 2005

 
Magical Season

As we approach the end of the year, there are many magical things a happening. Look forward to more TV Magic specials coming up. Usually this time of the year repeats of World's Greatest Magic. Penn and Teller were on the other night. The release of the DVD of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Great movies come to TV during the holidays.
This Friday the saga continues with the 4th Harry Potter movie...Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire. Hey! Here is a great chance to do some magic for the folks waiting in line. Great PR there! So contact your local theatre owner. Also look for the classic C.S. Lewis story Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe coming to the big screen. What a film season... Dragons, Lions and Wizards, Oh my!
The magic of the holidays can only inspire your magic for your shows. This inspiration can get you more work if you put in the effort to promote your show.
One such idea Paul and I talked about is selling your show as a Magical Santa Claus. So for the cost of a good costume and wig and beard, you can become the part of many shows for mall's Breakfast With Santa, company parties, family get-togethers. Perhaps those regular bookings this time of the year now can earn you an extra $100.00 or more. Think about it and get ready share the "Magic of the Season".

This Weeks Picks

This Just in "Ulitimate Card Through Window DVD" ready for shipping.

Forgetful Rudolph


One of the most clever takes on the Forgetful Freddie prop comes Forgetful Rudolph. A creative idea and well made professional prop for the Holiday season. Rudolph is so forgetful the he once forgot his nose (vanish nose with Devil's Hank) replace the nose with a red balloon. When Santa sees this balloon he pops it only for Rudolph to have his nose again. A clever idea that has been, been made just in time for this season.

Fuse

Imagine the power to create your own custom Flash Paper with the ability to make shapes burn. With Fuse and some tissue paper you can prepare paper for all types of predictions. Using a ziplockbag "prepaint" the paper and keep the paper fresh. So then you can have card logos, psychic/ESP symbols. The ideas are unlimited with this chemical. Just light a match blow it out touch while still hot and watch your design slowly burn into the paper.

Cory

The magic created by a puppeteer bring a piece of foam and fabric to life is one every magician should do once. Now with "Cory" your perform your favorite card tricks and let Cory be the magician. Psychic, Cute, and loveable is "Cory the magical Fish". Another Dick Barry comedy and magical routine.

Coins

From the magical creator of many effect Michael P. Lair comes the DVD Coins. Sixteen visual standup coin effects. Coins change to silver streamers, coins burst into silver confetti, 3 inch coins splits into two coins. Over the years Michael has created many visual magical effects. If his name is not one you know just check the back of most magic magazines for he has advertised many of his creations for years and now comes to Hocus-Pocus.

Little Grey Hair

The performance of sponge rabbits is not new but Little Grey Hair is. The routine created by Ryan Pilling and Gerald Kischner and grey sponge bunnies by Gosh is a comedy filled joy to have. Filled with magical moments and loaded with jokes and one liners Little Gray Hair is truly a packs small plays big close up routine. Kit comes with about 25 bunnies and full illustrated instructions. For the price, its a great item to have in your bag of tricks.

Other Hot items for your show

Amazing Kreskin DVD

( both DVDs will be here by the end of November)

As I Recall...Slydini

Christmas Routines (will sell out soon a few copies left)


Chock full of ideas for your Holiday shows
Get you copy Now





This Weeks Tips

Let see what I tip this week? First Am I helping? I still don't get much feed back from all of you folks. You got to let me know if you enjoy my writing or have been helped. Comments on the bottom of this blog are welcomed or email me...Thanks

This week lets talk about the power of the spoken word. If you call in your orders you either speak to Ken or me. Ken took a afternoon off to go see performance artist Henry Rollins. He is a fast and furious working person on stage. Paul's favorite comic is Lewis Black. Taking the angery young man to clever everyman level. I tend to go for the British/Irish/ Scotish comics such as John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connelly and of course Billy McComb. All of these guys use the humor of the spoken word and tell visual stories . Alot of times now a days speaking for an audience can get you stares, so its time to look at what you say to them.
Having started as a magician and storyteller... comedy was only the next step. Timing is important, as well as being honest in your humor. I have learned people will listern to your patter but will believe you more if your story is based on truth. Bill Cosby is someone like this in telling a story and then going off the edge really making a story a fable.
One of the most powerful set of tapes ( now on DVD) is a series to help you use words in your show is Wonder Words by Kenton Knepper. Many famous magicians have changed their style of performing after hearing this series of tapes. Each time you will hear more ideas to help you speak and have your audience in the palm of your hands. Most magicians have a problem creating patter or a story that blends with their act, this is why many magicians work silent.
Giving a story or a tale to your act even if its a small deversion while a set is being change it still must entertain. So first I recommend watching more comics when you can on TV or go to live comedy clubs. You talk about putting an act together wow, it never stops for the standup comic. News changes, styles change, so you have to update your act all the time. So should the magician also. Staying fresh and trendy for your audience is also a lesson to learn from watching standup comics. Watch folks like Jay Leno, and David Letterman to see the freshness you should have everytime you walk and talk on stage. When you can rent or buy famous comics' DVD or tapes and watch them over and over and learn the timing of speech. Its just like good music when done right. Also learning to edit your patter for an act is just as if not more important when putting your show together. Remember on stage your a magician, storyteller and salesman.

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 always to be the best you can be...
Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco


"Remember what happen to the guy who got everything he ever wished for ....He lived Happly Ever After".

Saturday, November 05, 2005

 
The Magic Just Keeps Happening




This week we begin with more magic then you can fit into a Top Hat. First off those who have been waiting the wait is over.


Criss Angel's Mastermind DVD is Here!!
Even as you read this, our great Shipping Dept is packing all of your Criss Angel's MasterMind DVD Volume 1. So those of you that have ordered this Coin in a Soda can DVD, the wait is over. Orders have begun leaving Fresno, CA and depending where you live in the USA you should have it in a week or so. Those of you in other parts of the world a little longer. Again we extend our thanks to all of you for your patience in waiting till Criss and his company sent us this most wanted DVD in Hocus-Pocus history!

This week we have so many new items for all of you to choose from. Its like a smorgsborg of magic, with items for Family performers, Close-up guys, Stage workers, & Mentalist. A taste of something, for each magical experiance. Oh by the way, Thank You to all of you who have read my blog and started placing your Christmas and Holiday party equipment needs early. We have been filling soooo many Santa/Christmas trick orders, so if you haven't already, don't wait till the night before Christmas

This Weeks Picks

Mouse Animation

One of the coolest things in magic is the talent to make something come to life. A few years ago Quentin Reynolds made a video called 5 Minutes with a Pocket Handkerchief. Well now comes (for more then hal the price) is Mouse Animation. This package comes to you with a cute little mouse and a manuscript written by Supreme Magic's Ian Adair. This booklet shows all the moves to make this mouse "come alive" as well as diagrams for making the mouse hanky also. Paul has purchased so many of these pkgs and more then half of them are already sold. The price is so low you may as well buy a few to have in all your magic cases.

Berland's Bill in Lemon

Whats old is new again. One of the legends of magic was Berland, a man who created many magic classics. Such as the case when Chris Reesman of Encore Magic (who has the rights to Berland line) brings back the first of Berland line. Berland's Bill in Lemon is the granddaddy this great effect. Very simple to perform and masterful craftsmanship for a trick you will use over and over again. Look for more of the Berland items to be made by Encore in months to come here at Hocus-Pocus as a Exculsive. Its a joy and clever to perform.

It's Magic Flash Silk

A 18x18 silk in black and white with magic designs and with a shake changes to a very colorful symbols of magic. This super little magic effect can be used with your favorite coloring book trick, produced from any magic box or use as a storytelling effect. Your ideas can come to mind once your see how wonderful this silk looks.


Complete Workers EBook by Mike Close

Over the years the term "workers" has been used over and over. Mike Close is the guy that gave this term it true meaning. Over 30yrs Mike has written 5 different books with some of the best entertaining, commercial closeup magic. Now comes all 5 books in EBook form, thats 650 pages and many updates and new routines. When it comes to closeup magic, Mike is the man. Don't take my words, read recommedations by Max Maven, Simon Aronson & Simon Bean.
Many useful and creative routines for "Workers".

Mindreading 101

Over the years of working on comedy magic effects I have personal commissioned artist to create what now is being made in quality photography and glare free 11 x 14 posters. Mindreading 101 is a grouping of some the best comedy mentalism effects. Some of the effects that are linked together in a great routine (or do them separate) include: The Baby Gag, Bar Code, 52 Cards on One, Around the World. I look forward to getting a set for myself and be able to have some really great comedy magical effects for all my different types of shows.


Time Control

From the creative mind of Guy Bavli comes a very unique piece of mental magic.
Imagine having a prediction hanging in full view during your show. Ask a spectator that at anytime during the show he can just stand up. When he does (on his own no Stooge) the prediction envelope is handed to him. When opened it is a kitchen clock with the extact time he stood. Here is the kicker the clock has No Batteries in it! A different ending is also possible. In stock and ready to make your look like a real mentalist magician.

Other Hot Items (check them out)

Corker coin in a bottle
Seance a collection of a bizarre magic magazine
Real World Magic DVD
hot close up magic British style
Ripped Up
another great effect from creative mind of Peter Eggink
Campell's Cube Off a classic block trick
Changeabill DVD great money magic
Macbee Rings/DVD well crafted rings back now with a DVD to learn from

This Weeks Tip

Its all about getting your name out there. Since moving here to Fresno, I need to get my name out there. So far thanks to my friends Mike Guisti and Dexter, they have been passing the kid shows my way. I have no problem doing them and its a great way for any magician to gain a name in a new town. If you make the kids happy the parents are happy. The main thing to hear after your done is someone saying... Do you have a Card? Here are a few ideas to give out.
After my show each child gets a ziplock bag (gallon size) with a custom made coloring book of cartoon art of me and my show. This book is made on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Then I include the Ed Harris 12 Amazing Magic Tricks Book with a custom back cover with my logo and numbers.

Then a biz card that is on a magnet. These magnets you can buy at most office supply stores. Next I include a novelty such as yo-yo's or some hot little toy. Below are some of the custom art I have had made for my coloring books and gifts. Remember that everything you give away has to have your telephone number on it (I am not showing mine here for now). Folks like free stuff just make sure they can contact to book you.
Postcards are great too. With a scanner and a copy machine or your home computer your the printing company to make your ads work for your next gig.






Back and Front

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












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