Tuesday, May 09, 2006

 

Entertain, Educate, Enlighten

To entertain, to educate, to enlighten, is a way to start thinking on how you may get more bookings. Over the past year's there has been such a move to have entertainment with a message. Many schools just don't hire a magician unless, that magi has an educational program. Programs can range from Reading, Just Say No, Safety and much more. Lots of these types of programs can open up more bookings for you. Do your research and see what your schools may need for your community.

Lots of working Pro's from the convention market have found just doing a trick with the company logo doesn't cut it anymore. Many have combined magic and motivational speaking which keeps some of these Pro's really working. Then to really make the extra dollars, selling them a promotional package teaching sales people to perform magic. In this way their look, and to entertain can make that sale something special.

Making folks feel something special by your magic is always the goal, but to enlighten them, to inspire them, and take them away from their day to day problems truly is what magic is about. So in the course of creating your show, your close-up act, pick magic that reflects something inspiring. True it's easier to just "freak" people out, but to put your act together with patter or music to uplift your audience there is a talent. Make your moments special, memorable as well as magical.


Tony's Picks


Now in Stock: Third Degree Burn, The Thing, Scripted Insanity

Cesaral Psychokinetic Twig


For those of you of the bizarre magic nature this is truly natural looking magic. Introduce a very simple looking twig. Tell a story of its powers from a forest from long ago or just have a twig from the backyard. Placing it on a table and using your powers of mental energy it moves and then falls to the floor. A very normal looking twig (because it is) which is crafted to be able to do this effect. This is as I said bizarre magic at its finest for every thing is examinable and resets fast and uses no magnets or threads. Spooky and yet very much a natural looking prop.



Pyris

One of this years newest miracle gimmacks from Nicolas Lapage is Pyris. Imagine having a lighter which can be borrowed and then what appears to be lighting your hand on fire only to change the flame to a half dollar. I f you watch the on-line video you will see many places for this clever little gimmack to be used. Personally, I think it could be a very hot opener for the usually boring Misers Dream routine. Simple and very clever idea that your going to say I wish I thought of that. Which means you'll want two in my book.



Exploding Microphone Stand

From our friend and wacky creator Derek Rutt comes the most useful comedy prop for a standup magician...the Exploding Microphone Stand. A prop the great silent film stars wished they had. This great prop can be used in almost every type of show when a mic stand is needed on stage for the magician to speak. As you go to use the mic, it doesn't work, remove it and a bang goes off. Now going to pick up the stand another bang and everthing starts to fall apart. Fast, visual, and great to start or in the middle of your act for comedy sight gag. How good is it, our own Mike Giusti grabs the first one for his standup act...He likes it, He likes it.


Gut Buster

If you read my blog on a regular basis you will know the name Andrew Mayne and the praise I have given his books and DVD's. Well Andrew has come up with a very (to say the least visual) effect. This effect has the look of a very, very costly stage illusion but for way less then you would pay. Imagine standing behind your assistant and then pushing your hand right thru their body. Don't believe me see the online video for the killer visual look. With Gut Buster your ready to go with almost no preparation time need, and can be done closeup or on stage. This killer visual can be performed in many other ways. The spectator can do it to you or you can even perform it on yourself. Again check out the video and get ready to be blown away.


Table Lifting Set

Now back to those of you who like to add that touch of wierdness to your show. Imagine while say doing a house party or intimate dinner affair you say its time for a seance. Have everyone gather around the table and with hands placed begin. In your best tribute to the days of Houdini begin your seance and the table begins to raise. These gimmacks are made super strong and strudy. I have seen these come in once to Hocus Pocus and we sold out so fast, so they are back again for a limited run. If this is a effect you ever dreamed of doing don't miss your chance to get a set of these Table Lifters.



Tony's Tip

Recently I have been on a movie watching kick (since I have gotten Netflix) and catching up to those I have missed in the movie theatre's. Most of what I see and learn and create has always come from watching (maybe too much) movies and TV. Not being raised in a showbiz family I watched and learned as well as being moved by the movie. One such lesson was to watch the credits and then find out what each job was. This was like learning a new magic trick in itself. Then to understand the feelings of what each actor went thru to create the part.

So what is this weeks tip your saying....well like the title of the blog it is to be entertained, to be educated, to be enlightened. Placing yourself on stage to entertain folks is powerful talent to have, now use that knowledge and wisdom to help others. Many times we see famous movie stars lend they time and talent to raise money for a charity, that's one way to pass on the luck and gift that they have been given to others who need a helping hand.

As summer grows near perhaps start finding local day camps in which your talents as a performer gets you more bookings if you also let the camp owners know that you also teach magic. So now you can actual get paid for two gigs or maybe just raise your fee and offer a "free workshop". Supplies such as cards, rope or sponge balls for a small fee per child.

Maybe instead of charging for this "Workshop" get a sponser and make sure the sponser gets some PR for having hired you to do this great "free event" for the kids of the town. There is one way to get your money up front and lots of PR.

The concept of educating and entertaining can be followed even further by hooking up with your local bookstores (Borders or Barnes and Nobles) in which you may do a magic storytelling time. In this way you begin to gather a mailing list for your services for Birthdays and other shows that you offer. Most bookstores have a storytime each week with just a working reading the book and showing the pictures. How much more exciting would it be to have a magician tell a story and make the story come to life by magic?

As a entertainer, we are put on a very high pedestals by the public. Living up to their image of who we are is not always easy. So to get off the pedestals and educate, enlighten and entertain makes us as performers more loved and remembered by the public. This is what makes for a endearing performance, as well as repeat bookings. So look to add these 3 E's to your way of thinking when putting your show together, booking the show, performing the show.

Thanks for reading.

Want to share an idea or a tip

Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com

Finally settled into our new home at:

Hocus-Pocus

1492 N. Clark #104

Fresno, Ca 93703

Best magical week to you all

Tony Blanco


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