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