Monday, January 30, 2006
What is Magic with Pure Imagination? As Doug Henning would say "That Sense of Wonder". Some of you reading each week may be "Workers" and others "Weekend Warriors" but either way your show should always take your audiences on some sort of journey. Be it magical or comical it has to have a place in the world of make-believe. Last week's guest tippest Barry Mitchell talked about being a magician is being a storyteller. VERY TRUE!!
Another thing I also believe is that you also have to be a sales person from the very start. This starts with the booking of the show right up to the performance to the meet and greetings after the show. You are selling "Pure Imagination" of the world of magic. Recently watching the DVD "Highlights of Paul Daniel's Masterclass" (which I attended in Las Vegas) it's all about salesmanship and how you can really do well in this business, if you have the focus and energy to want folks to believe. So what this all ties into is never losing that view of how the audiences sees all the things you do as magical and entertaining but you should not dream away that sense of business and making money. Don't spend all your income and never save for your future when the magic disappears.
Its a fine line to walk between being an artist and being a hustler. Many artist (painters and photographer types) need agents to sell their creations. Well, many of us can't afford or don't want an agent when we think we know our product better then they do. That's a personal decision for you, and if you choose not to then you better be able to sell your wares and still put on a good show. Either way you better be able to create a "sense of wonder" and magic whenever your hustling the next gig. Fine line for sure like a juggling act but that's a modern take on what I would call fooling them all the time. In sales and on stage. Think about it next time you have to sell your show and then perform it. Don't forget plenty of giveaways with your phone number too!
This Weeks Picks
Wizard PK Ring
Ok all you magicians, bizarrest, psychic's your new sercert weapon is now here. Freak people out with power to move ojects, stop time and just do wierd stuff. The Wizard PK Ring is your new tool of choice. It is a ring made to look like a wedding band (in gold and silver choose when ordering) but it is made of Neodymium, That's a 100% rare earth magnet. Which means 360% of powerful magnet power to make your performance magical and wierd. Imagine just having this "magnetic" personality to move objects (made of metal of course) say at a dinner table or at a party. Then to play like Uri Gellar and control someone's watch. The ideas and possiblites are endless. Heck! I wore one today and spun a clothes pin on a table.
From the creative mind of Jim Pace, creator of the Web, comes the Volcano Wallet. Handtooled leather, small in size (hip style) and so unexpected to see flames burst from this fine piece of leather. In its style is a clever hidden flap so that the wallet can still be seen as normal for everyday use. Volcano does use regular lighter fluid and flash paper to create its flametastic effect. A must for stage and close-up workers.
Bend it Wand
I was always told that there is never anything new just a rehash of old stuff. Well as one who works lots of kid shows....THIS IS NEW!! The Bend it Wand which uses the same idea as woman's twist curls will add more comedy milage to your program. Imagine bringing out the magic wand for your helper on stage to use. You hand it to them give it a quick twist as you turn away and turn back to find it out of shape. Laughs begin. So you fix it, and then hand it back and its twisted again. Fix it and rest it on a childs head and do the Wand thru Head gag ala arrow thru head gag. Many running gags, many ideas will come to you. Snatch up yours now...never know how long this will be around.
From the creative minds of Anthony Blake, David Harber and Max Maven comes a new idea in testing ESP powers. You get 10 offical casino weight and size chips printed with Rhine/Ziner symbols for many different E.S.P. testing type effects. 3 of these routines are outlined on the website from many of todays top mentalist performers including Max Maven and Banacheck. Powerful little tool to carry in your pocket for some astounding and errie ESP results. Not even to mention that you will know which one is the square, star, circle when they are face down.
From the craftsman at Viking Magic we are proud to have the finest Diminishing Al Baker Style Cards made today. Each set are hand made in the style that will last for the real working pro. When I was a street performing in New York I would marvel at Jeff Sheridan doing his card act and then finish with a wonderful set of Diminishing Cards. Same look in this set, magical, visual and unexpected to see happen. Each time the cards would shink about 1/4 of the last size that you had just seen. Really cool to see and well made can't say more then that!!
Now the best for the last! A Trip to China....
Buddha Chop Cup, Chinese Coin Bag, Nesto Boxes, Pro TipOver Trunk
In his searching journey to bring Hocus Pocus members the best from magic around the world comes what I will nick name our Chinese Line of Magic. We have found some of the finest looking, working, as well as collectable pieces of magic. Each piece has either silk screened or handpainted gold with painted dragon guilded designs. Finest silk and satin print fabric for carry bags or as part of the effect. So good and what we have are it! Once sold, we will not be able to get these items again. How wonderful are they? I purchased one of each. The prices are a super deal for these fine works of Chinese Art and Magical Props. Look for each prop on the site. In this case one picture is not worth a thousand words seeing is believing how lovely each prop is.
This Weeks Tips
As I started to say in the beginning about being a working pro....its called ShowBiz so don't for get to be a businessman. As we all start to get our W-2's and 1099 forms ready for the great April 15 tax deadline start organizing those receipts. Remember if your using something in your show its a deduction. So those boots, those tux shirts, that magic trick, balloons, DVD, Books. If its for your show its deductable. Start preparing now.
Few tips from readers of this blog:
From Local Fresno Teacher and Magician Frank Collins
When last I talked of give aways, Frank wrote in about some food items that he is using with some of his magic routines. He mention something he called "Invisble" using a form of Kool-Aid in his act. Then"Magic Popcorn" which he says actually taste like cotton candy. During his presentation of Barry Mitchell's "Got Cookies" he has little packs of Oreo's to giveaways at the end of his show. If you shop the warehouse stores like Costco or Sam's Club or Winco you can get this stuff in case sizes. Even the production of Peep Rabbits for those Easter Shows from Dove Pans or Chick Pans is another of his ideas. He also found candy bars which have a magical name or two which tie into his show. In his version of "Instant Magician" (by Kevin James) he gives away plastic Top Hats for his future magician helper.
From Magician George Franzen
When I last chatted about using the napkin rose, George wrote in with this great patter. "Most Origami (the art of paper folding) is very hard and pointed, but this origami is very soft and delicate and beautiful, just like you". He says woman love hearing that. I just want to say make sure her boyfriend or husband doesn't hear you say that....kidding its a great line...I'll use it on the single gals just to be sure of not getting hit.
Thank you Frank and George very much.
Hope you all reading this will start sending in your ideas to share. See your name in print for the World Wide Web to read.
Well again, Thank you for reading and check out the website for full descriptions of these items I take the time to recommend to you each week.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be Magical and Save your money
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Its Always Going to Be Magical
So if all of you have been following my journey from Las Vegas to Fresno, let me let you know its going great. I was booked for a birthday party the other day. I was told it was going to be for 3 kids and 5 adults. The ages of the kids were 4, 7, and 13. One would think (as I did) why or how would this be a great show. I am used to having lots of kids and big crowds for my shows. Well I was just so blessed by a great little family event, this small group renewed my thought how everything can be magical. The family was so attentive, focused, and was better then any big audience. This just seems to be more then one reason that you live and learn every time you go on stage. As a matter of fact I think for the first time (in a long time) an audience actually got all the magic, jokes and timing. So never under estimate a booking, it might be the inspiration you need.
This Weeks Picks
Cesaral Melting Point
On of the hottest and fastest selling items on our website is Cesaral Melting Point. It has to be the most visual effect on the market today. With video to watch on the website, watch how a coin just seems to melt thru a piece of glass. This technique learned from a CD/Video with gimmick can be applied to other ojects like candy, bigger coins. So many orders I have printed out for this effect as well as phone orders so don't you miss getting this really powerful effect.
From Barry Mitchell productions and the music talents of Nathan J. Roberts comes MagiTunes. This is a collection of "Royalty Free" magical music for Magicians, Jugglers and Clowns...heck any entertainer. The tunes range from simple drum lines to pieces for opening a show to grand movements for a production. All the tunes come to you Royalty Free which means not having to pay any unions for your performance on TV or in a live theatre show. Some of the tunes even have a "New Age" music sound to them. Use one tune or blend them together for your show.
Ketchup Side Down
New from the comedy mind of David Allen. A new comedy classic using mustard bottle gag with a yellow string. But now the old gag is just the beginning to something new and original in children's entertainment. It's topsy-turvy ketchup and mustard bottles! This version isn't like anything you've ever seen before. David's method allows the performer to place those recognizable squirt bottles under potato chip cans for laughs and magical moments. You can even allow the child to choose which bottle to use. Comes with bottles, tubes and gimmicks. It also has a Video CD of a live performance/ instructions, tips, and complete script for two different variations.
From one of magic's creative thinkers and Master Illusion designers Jim Steinmeyer, is the futher adventures of Impuzziblites. This is a second in the series of self working magical effects. Effects that are easy to learn and best of all self working. One thing about Jim's creations are that they leave a lasting memory of the performer who uses his effects. This book has 10 routines that you will enjoy and best of all use.
Tossed Out Deck
Years ago (and I mean years!!!) I was a the Tannen's annual event in upstate New York and watched Dr. David Hoy blow a room away with his "Tossed out Deck". Over the years I have learned and been given many different styles of tossed out decks, but until now there is nothing like Cody Fisher's Tossed Out Deck. Having chatted with him the other day on the phone, I could not believe all of the clever ideas he has put into this grand old magic staple. First showing the whole deck as normal to the audience...YES! Showing all the cards. Then his routining has applause cues built right in for a standing ovatation style finish. I told him this might be the only gimmick deck I personally will ever use!
This Weeks Tip
Once again it is my honor to present a guest for this week's "Tips". A guy I like to call the "David Copperfield of Family Entertainers". With so many creative DVD's, magical routines, props and books to his credits, Barry is a gifted & knowledgeable friend. One of his best works is his DVD and Book combo (both of the same title) is "The Magic of Thinking Creatively". Now, enjoy some of the wit and wisdom of Barry Mitchell.
The Creative Storyteller
Did you ever wonder how the creative imagineers of Disney are able to develop such creative characters and theme park attractions? How do they begin? It ALL begins with a story! Every ride, restaurant, and attraction at the Disney Parks communicate a story. Walt Disney was a storyteller.
It has been suggested that most powerful communication ability can be summed up in six words, "let me tell you a story." I often teach workshops on creative storytelling and I begin by sharing the three greatest forms of communications throughout history. 1.Telegraph. 2. Telephone. 3. Tell-a-Story. I bet you thought I was going to say tell a woman. Shame on you. That line always gets a laugh.
Experience has taught me that magic with a story line aways garners the greatest audience response. Many of David Copperfield's early TV specials involved storytelling magic. The greatest actors and movie directors agree that the birth of a great movie begins with a great story. Life itself is a collection of stories.
Effective story communicators use a simple method to grab and hold the attention of the audience. George M. Cohan used a three part formula when writing a play. First act: Get the hero up a tree. Second Act: Throw rocks at the Hero. Third act: Get the Hero out of the Tree. I don't believe it can be any simpler than that. Most magic tricks follow the same formula. 1. Intoduce the subject of the trick. 2. Reveal barriers that prevent the magic from happening. 3. Wave the wand and watch the magic!
Whether you like it or not, if you're a magician you're also a storyteller.
Thank you Barry! Those are some powerful and true words of wisdom. I hope everyone will get the real magical understanding now in why we wanted to be magicians. Because truly, we all (as you say) have a story-to-tell.
Thank you all for reading each week. 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. Let me tell you this is a labor of love each week for me. It is still work though so let me know you enjoy this Blog and share...thanks
Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com or snail mail me at: Hocus-Pocus Magic
Some of the items I have recomended have videos to view also.I would like to hear from you personally, really, so feel free to write to me at:
2311 E. McKinley
Fresno,CA. USA 93703
Have some great shows and magical moments this week !!
Monday, January 16, 2006
With Knowledge Comes Wisdom
One of the great things being here at Hocus-Pocus is being able to share some of the Hot New Items and recommend whats growing in the magic community. Stopping by today was Robert Baxt sharing some of wit and wisdom. Again Thank you Robert for being the first guest Tipster for this blog.
I will also continue to share my reviews of some of the DVD's, Books and Tricks that are coming to us this season. Also I still need to hear from all you who would be interested in a Hocus-Pocus Weekend Swap Meet. Email me to know if you would be interested in traveling to Fresno for a weekend.
I hope all of you know if you ever have any questions at anytime before you make a purchase, your welcome to email me to help make the right choices for that something special for your shows. After 30 years of performing all you have to do is tell me the type of shows your doing and what your interested in buying. Paul and all of us at Hocus-Pocus will be honest and tell you if its a right trick for you. We rather see you look good on stage then just sell you something you can't use. Also from the time you read this till midnight Wed Jan 18 we have another Sale going on. This one is buy one get one half off. Don't miss out
In Stock and Ready for Shipping
All Criss Angel DVDs are now in stock and ready to ship
MasterMind 1 and 2 as well as MindFreak Season 1
Don't miss out on this years Hottest Magic DVD
Last month I knew I sold the last two Kinetink's on the shelf, well in the shop today came a box from creator Craig Matsuoka of 30 of this bizarre piece of magic. Placing a dot of ink on a piece of cardboard you watch how it draws a shape that of which the spectator had choosen. Complete with cards that you can give out after the performance, ink pen, and teach in DVD. There is a video on line to see how cool this effect is. Remember after these 30 are gone who knows...
Incredible Magnetic Holdout Device
The term "Holdout" has been linked to the gamblers of the Wild West, secretly being able to add or change cards during those Poker games in the Saloons. Well now comes a holdout device made for the the magician who has a magnetic personality. Ok being silly for a moment, actually it's a magnetic holdout for helping you produce and vanish metal items. Coloring Changing Knives, Rings, Keys, Nails, Magnetic coins. so just think of the things you can do with this powerful secret weapon in your magic bag of tricks.
Imagine performing what would would appear to be a classic ambitious card routine. You know spectator's card goes from the middle of the deck to the top of the deck. Then the card goes to the bottom of the deck. Well, with the Ambelitious Card you are about to just blow the spectator away when after all of the above are done. This time as a finale, the entire deck vanishes just leaving the spectators card in your hand. Comes complete with gimmick cards and teach-in DVD. A Very Visual kicker indeed.
Derek Dingle's Last Notes CD-ROM
One of the icons of New York Close-up magic was Derek Dingle. Recently his friends put together a 46 page manuscript. Well they sold out very fast, it was a limited print. Now those 46 pages have been put to CD-Rom in a PDF format for both Mac and PC viewing on your computer. Derek was know as a magicians magician when it came to working for magicians. When he performed for lay audiences he performed his 5 classic effects. These effects are on this CD-Rom. So learn from one of the true masters about working real world close-up magic.
West Coast Conjurers
So now a days its all about reality TV when watching performances. Shot on location at a typical gig with 4 of the West Coast top real world workers, look learn and listern. See how these performers work the crowd and make magic look just that magical. If you ever wanted to see what its like from a working pro's view this is the DVD for you. Watch and learn some great magic featuring Tony Clark, David Regal, Lou Serrano and Jason Alexander.
This Weeks Tip
Last I mention about giveways for your shows. Everyone makes balloons so how about one of the hottest things to do is to make a Napkin Rose. If you don't know how to make one there is a Napkin Rose DVD which to learn form and get great hints. A Rose can be a nice gift and a powerful memory. I have been making roses for over 10 years, and each time its a magical moment after performing in a close-up situation. I have worked many Wedding Dinners and when you make a rose and say just the right loving words as you present this to the bride and groom there is never a dry eye in the room. This will score points for you having you visit their table not to mention bigger tips. One idea I do is when making the rose, I say "I am going to give you the rose (to the guy) then you give it to her and she gives you a kiss". This way the heat is off you for looking like you were hitting on his gal.
Since the time I have been making them usually out of just regular bar napkins, comes Michael Mode's custom made rose napkins. Made perfect with a mix of Red and Green. Also other colors are pink/green and yellow/green. One thing I learned which I think makes them look even better is to split the napkin removing the white backing. The colors just pop more and its not as thick to twist.
When you have now given roses to all the ladies at the table what about the children or the guys. I like giving the Fortune Telling Fish. You can get these from places like www.orientaltrading.com. Now to have a little more fun with the Fortune Telling Fish is the Misfortune Fish by Michael P. Lair (this you get from our website). Have a bit of fun showing how the fish moves and can tell your fortune. Then slip in the Misfortune fish to the spectator and no movement at all. Great little comedy bit and then give them a real fortune telling fish as a gift.
Let me hear from all you on what you like to giveaway to your spectators. Then I will share them with all who read this blog
Thank you all for reading each week. 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 also.I would like to hear from really, 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
Monday, January 09, 2006
Looking To The Future of Your Magic Career
The New Year has many great things to look forward too. Now is the time to start planning out those shows for the year. Time to sit down and look at a calendar and figure Holidays, School Events, Fairs and Festivals. This is a great month (since some of us are stuck in snow or fog) to plan your attack to sponsors and buyers for your services. Time to plan new brochures, update that website, get new PR pictures. As I have moved and my show will be new to the folks of Fresno is a saving grace for now....But I need to plan for those return gigs this year and next. So should you! After years of being able to do the same act over and over in Las Vegas, here in Fresno I know I will be seeing some of the same folks again and again so I am always going to need to look Fresh and New.
This is why every little idea, article, website, ad, should be but into a book so you have a working "play book" to call upon for ideas and inspiration. Many books I look to draw from are still The Tarbell Course in Magic, Edwins Magic Series (Supreme Magic) David Ginn Books and now Barry Mitchell books. This is for my family shows. For Close-Up I return to Bobo's Coin Magic and The entire Apocalypse series.
So be Ready, Set and Go for any and all gig you get calls for. Time for new costumes and updated props (if not touching up the paint) as well as give- aways. Check out folks like www.orientaltrading.com for those little gifts for your shows. With the use of a gallon ziplock bag for each child to take home filled with gifts all with your logo and advertisment means repeat bookings.
Next week I will give you more ideas for give-aways.
This Weeks Tips
One of the hardest things is to start a show. What do you choose as a opener? Well, comes Hocus-Pocus friend Losander with a DVD called Salt Pour. Drawing upon the use of a Thumb Tip and the concept of vanishing Salt is a complete routine for 5 minutes. This is a magic packed routine for the restauant worker when your trying to gain their attention and their trust at their table. Good enough for many other venues. So again I am impressed on how a simple idea can be more entertaining then a complexed Illusion. Remember Less Is Always Best.
Coloring Changing Shirt
From France, come this very ( and I mean) very limited item that is made for the small to medium size performer. Its made and ready for shipping a nice black satin shirt that magical changes to a full white satin shirt. You would pay much more for a shirt like this if you went to a tailor to have it made. Well made and velcro sew in in the right spots for the quickest full shirt change. From watching the Greater Magic DVD on costume changing this is a super item that any magic shop could offer and if your of medium build then this one is ready for your show. Pictured is is our new phone guy and up and coming magi Jeremy. He is about 6 foot tall and has a fit figure so he was choosen best to show the full effect of this great, well made shirt. Get yours now, we really can't say how many we will be able to get.
Magic of Paul Potassy
What can I say about being able to be gifted to learn the secerts not of the tricks but how to form a life as a magician. You have heard legends of many famous magicians who have toured the world. Now get this, "How to live like a millionare with six scraves and thirty razor blades, and a great hair cut. This is the slogan for this book....honestly it can be done. Remember I said in the beginning "Less is Best". If your are a performer that understands it about entertainment and not the tricks then this book is a lesson to learn and live from (Paul reserve my copy) the knowledge of Mr. Potassy. Look at the many famous magicians still working and you can be assured its the knowledge of entertainment as well as the tricks.
From the creative comic mind of Eric Buss, comes the answer to the audience member with a cell phone ringing during your show. Eric has come up with a great comic bit for those folk in your show who have no class to shut off their cell phones. This bit is visual and funny as well as ( I hope) teach a lesson to folks that during a show turn off your phone. Its funny and visual and easy to perform. Eric is a great and funny visual performer and tips one of his personal bits for all of you to look funny. Recommend by Las Vegas icons Lance Burton, Kevin James and Chip Lowell.
Greater Magic's Charlie Miller
One of the Magic Castles icons is Charlie Miller. This gentlman was one that knew what magic was about. I remember reading his wisdom in Genii years ago and now his knowledge is caputed on DVD (transfer from video) to continue the legacy that is magic. Having been confident to legends like Dai Vernon and the Great Tomsoni, now is your chance to learn some great magical effects as well as a history of magic.
This Weeks Tip
This week, I am happy to present the words and wisdom of Bill Abbott. Many of you know of Bill from his creations of Chico the Monkey and The Thing, not to mention one of my favorite DVD's, "Bill Abbott Performs Close-Up for Kids". Don't let the title fool you its packed with great close-up magic for everyone. Today Bill shares is take on using helpers on stage. So Bill take it away.
Choosing A Young Volunteer and Managing Them On Stage
Nothing will EVER go according to your plan.
When you are choosing a young volunteer during a stand-up performance look for one with an agreeable manner and a smiling face. If they initially refuse to come up because of shyness dont try to convince or beg them to the stage, simply move on and choose someone else.
Don't choose a child that is bent over backwards trying to get to the stage. Their eagerness is commendable but for some reason I've found these kids are either futile to work with in front of an audience or will attempt to ruin you.
Several times over the years I have pointed out a child to come up and two children will come up. Either one child was sitting directly behind the one I chose and they thought I was pointing at them, or sometimes it is a younger sibling who doesnt know any better and has come along for the ride with big brother or sister. In either scenario I've found it best to involve both children in the routine you're prepared to perform.
There is always something you can have the extra volunteer do. Get them to hold a prop, sprinkle magic dust, say magic words, watch something intently, etc. Far better to keep them on stage after they've arrived then ask them to sit back down because I didn't choose YOU, sorry. How embarrassing and degrading for a child who is usually quite excited because they think they are coming to help the magician only to be told to sit back down.If you find your young volunteer is stealing the show with funny remarks or actions, let them. If you try to contain them or downplay something they are doing that is truly funny to your audience, you will not be viewed positively. You are hired as an entertainer not a disciplinarian.
Go with the flow and laugh along with them. At the end of the show it is you who are getting paid anyway. I realize that this ability to be fluid in a performance situation comes with experience, but I've witnessed the performances of seasoned pros who constantly feel the need to be in control of every moment of their show. It's mostly about attitude if nothing else.Be loose and take it as it comes.
Thank you so much Bill,
Thank you all for reading each week. 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 also.
I would like to hear from really, so feel free to write to me at:
or snail mail me at:
Hocus-Pocus Magic Att.Tony Blanco
2311 E. McKinley,
Fresno,CA. USA 93703
Monday, January 02, 2006
Congrads everyone that has made it to another year...lol. Just kidding, but really each year that you have made it being a performer means that your going the path you have dreamed of. If you look back each year just think how much you have grown and learned (and I hope share) from all of the other working pro's that want you to look good. So again Congrads and lets keep growing.
Speaking of growing Paul and I have been talking about a special event we maybe doing this year. We will need to hear from all of you if you want to be part of this. We are looking into having a Hocus-Pocus Magical Swap Meet Weekend. Are you interested? Would you come to Fresno? Time to trade, sell and buy Magic from fellow Hocus-Pocus on-line club members. We need to start taking a count to make this happen. Trust me if this comes to be, it will be a classy event filled with lectures and shows as well as good friendship. Email either me or Paul to get an idea if you would come. It would be on a weekend.
Another special already started as you read this is a Inventory Clearance. This will end January 4 at Midnight (West Coast) time. This is our way of saying Thank you to our loyal customers as well as making space for new hot magic thats coming in. We are in touch with the world's most creative minds, so stay tune for a truly magical 2006. Click on the link below to see the sales list of Clearance items and some Estate items which we have.
Hot New Items
Coming in this week
Those of you who have ordered any Criss Angel DVDs please be assured we are getting more in. Criss has been so busy and his DVD sells out so quick that more needed to be made. So we are waiting for the next shipment from his production company. The demand has been overwhelming and we expect more DVDs in soon (maybe this week or next)
World's Best Card Rise
Over the years many different card risers have been made and created. When Iwas young there was one rising card gimmack that was the hallmark of them all. Now comes a DVD and the gimmack to make up to 3 choosen cards rise from a deck. This gimmick would never been seen less expected to be introduced into a regular deck. Trust me you never want for another gimmick again.
From the creative mind of Ramos comes the reinvention of Sympathetic Wands. Have two magic wands and two soda bottles is just the begining of this magical demo of magnetic power. Even thru no magnets are used, these wands act as if by magnetic power do oppsite of each other. Put one in the bottle and the other comes out of the bottle. Movements of floating up and down back and forth create a eerie feeling of mystical powers forces controling their movement. My description is but a beginning of what can be done. Read the full description of this cool effect on the website.
Chink a Chink
Dai Vernon's name is golden in the world of Close-up Magic. Whit Hayden of School of Scoudrels Fame owns Vernon's personal set of Chink A Chink and has given Encore Magic the right to make these classics pieces of magic. Master craftman Chris Reesman has reproduced the best Chink A Chink you will ever see. Spun brass this set comes to you with 4 hollow weights and one shell. Nicely made for a classic of this 19th Century matrix street performer type act.
Recently here at Hocus-Pocus we have found a vendor whose company makes the most beautiful feather flower you'll ever see. On the website you will see a few different feather flower productions items. My favorite starts out with what we all know as a Dove Pan, in this case it's called a Change Pan. So in the tradition of placing silks or sponge balls or a cooking act. You cover the pan and produce a truly wonderful, colorful ring of flowers when the lid is remove. Paul and I both agree that this item could easily cost much more since the flowers are just that darn great looking.
Classic Chop Cup Teach In DVD
One of the coolest close-up effects I have enjoy is the Chop Cup. Many different versions can be done such as tin cans, coffee cups, little pails. Well now comes a DVD "Chop Cup Teach In", featuring the talents of magicians, Larry Jennings, Martin Lewis, Don Alan, Brad Burt. These 4 great talents share their best "private secrets"on this knowledge packed filled DVD. So much "worker" tips as well as watching the master of the Chop Cup Don Alan perform.
This Weeks Tip
As we begin a New Year I have promised to have some of todays working pros share their tips. This weeks blog starts with the first of our guest blog tips from "real world workers". This week, Hocus-Pocus creative friend and working comedy magic pro Robert Baxt. Robert has created so many comedy magic effects and has performed all around the world. So here are a few words of wisdom from Robert Baxt.
Well thank you Tony for this chance to chat with your readers. I feel magic is not about the props, but the performer. Being able to do stuff impromptu is a great thing. A singer can sing a couple of bars of a song, a dancer can show a few steps, a comic can tell a joke, even an actor can do a short monolog; but a magician usually has to stop and find a deck of cards or his props before he can do any of his material. I think this is part of why thousands of actors, comedians, and singers go on to greater fame and fortune. But ask a lay person and while they can go on and on about the famous actors, comedians and singers they know, when you ask them to name a famous magician they can just barely name one or two at the most.
For example, I just got back from performing on the Celebrity Cruise line ship, the Summit (photos attached). I did great shows, and during the day the passengers would come up to me to tell me how wonderful I was. Having some impromptu stuff to do around the ship at any moment made me a character they will long remember. You don’t want to do actual close-up tricks for them and have to carry all your strolling props in your pockets at all times. Doing that would take away from the impression I made when I was just the star in the big 1,500 seat theater on board. Lots of magi can do close-up magic, but not as many of them can hold a large crowd in a theater the way I can. It’s actually a different set of skills, in the same way a guitar player at a wedding is not the same as being Eric Clapton the rock and roll guitar god. I want to be remembered as a comedy god on the ship, not a strolling entertainer.So remember it’s the singer, not the song.
The tricks you do are just the hook you hang your personality on. Don’t be confused thinking the hook is the important part. If that was true, then anyone with a platinum card and the www.hocus-pocus.com website would be the next David Copperfield. (WAIT, DID I JUST SAY THAT?!) UM, ER... I MEANT TO SAY THE TRICKS YOU BUY AT HOCUS-POCUS.COM ARE WHAT MAKE YOU GREAT!!!! YES! ESPECIALLY THE ONES I MARKET LIKE BAXT’S BETTER NEWSPSPAPER TEAR, BAXT’S LIE DETECTOR LANTERN, BAXT’S SILK TO SODA CAN TRICK, AND BAXT’S COMPUTER CUTIE ROUTINE! (Plus be on the lookout for my new instructional DVD “Baxt, A Boy, & A Bucket: The REAL Work on the Miser’s Dream” that will be out later this year with my own special gimmick and coin pail. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Keep on buying! Paul Gross has teenage kids he has to get through college! (This has been a paid plug from our sponsor! LOL!)
Seriously, I mean that the tricks you buy should be chosen carefully to fit your style, presentation, and artistic sensibilities. That tricks by themselves are inanimate props. It is only when the performer breathes life into them that they seem to live for the moment and still that is just an illusion created by the conjuror. It’s all in the performance, not the prop. If it wasn’t this way, you could get applause just for displaying your props. A musician with a $10,000 dollar guitar does not come out on stage and put the guitar in the spotlight and expect people to applaud for it. It is his skill playing it and sharing his emotions and feelings with the crowd that make him great. Your personality is what will make you a great magician and entertainer, not the props.
One last example: The beginning of December, the legendary Carl Ballantine was honored at Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas with a tribute sponsored by the local I.B.M. ring there. It was a star studded event and I was very honored to be asked to emcee the evening as Carl is my very dear friend. I’ve also been very fortunate in that I’ve gotten to play with and touch some of the props Carl has used all these years. You know, in his suitcase they’re just a rubber chicken, some rope, a wicker basket, a top hat, a scissors, and a feather duster; but on stage with him they are the props that made him a TV and film star for lo these many, many years. I held them in my hands and realized that they were nothing, the magic was in the man. With all my skill I couldn’t make them funny even if I did Carl’s routines line for line and move for move. It’s Carl alone that makes them great and that’s because he is great, not because the items he holds are. It was a very sobering thought and I’m glad I can share it with your readers.
Thank you so much Robert. Those are great words of wisdom and inside knowledge. Thanks for sharing your time with our Hocus-Pocus family.
Thank you all for reading each week. 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 also.I would like to hear from you so feel free to write to me at:Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com
snail mail me at:
Hocus-Pocus Magic Att.
Tony Blanco 2311 E. McKinley,
Fresno,CA. USA 93703