Tuesday, May 02, 2006

 





Magic for the Summer Season

The seasons are a changing again and its time to think about all the summer type shows you can book. Recently, I got booked for a evening outdoors (almost under the stars) at a first annual Mother/Son Root beer Float Festival. This took place at a elementary school in Clovis with a great courtyard/field. It was something like in a movie watching everyone come to the space with their chairs in backpacks. The show wasn't until 7 pm and folks began setting up their chairs at 5:30. So I always have plenty of warm up music with me just for cases like this. Gave the audience a little jazz education and featured the Rippingtons and a group called Afro Celt. If you have never heard of either check them out.
Well, the evening started out with a great Sunset to my left and a magical group of young and old, bonding together for a common goal to be entertained. It was like performing in Central Park or at a festival. It was a great event and the best part was everyone asking for cards afterwards. So check with your local schools for these type of special events and get those bookings!
On the new Hocus Pocus front we are all settled in and are working hard to fill your magic needs. Paul and Betty have been super nice to me, both giving me a great space to work in and letting me set up a little workshop (see Paul's Blog of April 28 for the pictures). To top that off they both purchased a great big office desk for me to be able to handle all your calls, and file my collection of instructions and make me feel like the manager of Hocus Pocus that I am. Thank You Paul and Betty!

Tony' Tips


Octopus Deck
From our creative friend and inventor of The Thing, Bill Abbott comes Octopus Deck. This is a routine which is a routine which is 7 years in the making and perfected in real world situations. Bill lays out a routine in which in print has 15 pages to learn this most excellent mind reading act. This is a routine that gets you noticed and is the reason Bill is always working in his native home of Canada. He has worked out this routine where you can have as many as 6 people on stage working your magic with you. These decks are hand made and will be in limited number (about 100) being made. Get yours now.

Rider, The Runaway Deck

Here is one for the magician that likes to shake things up. From the Candle master Fantasio comes Rider the Runway Deck. Imagine a deck on the table when pushed a little forward it comes back to you to your lap. This is different from the idea offered years ago by Collectors Workshop and much lower in price. This also maybe one of those items that I have mention in my blogs that here it is and then its gone so I would get one now. So you can switch this out for your nomal deck and start your card routines. It's a great way to break the ice when working tables.

The Business DVD

From Martin Sanderson who gave us the great dvd Corporate Close-up about working corporate events comes The Business DVD. Martin countines his teaching you how to look like a pro. From the first phone call to working the actual event. Martin gives you the true facts on making magic a Business and not a hobby. If your ready to step up to a real world working pro level take the time to get this DVD and learn. If you have been performing for a while and you think you need to be getting paid better this is the DVD for you. On top of all this working pro's knowledge and wisdom are 7 killer effects to cement your talents with your clients. Got my copy...every bit of information helps.

Snakeless Snake Can

Mike Brent is a master of the family entertainment market. Last year's big hits Dracula Bites the Dust and Mummy Dearest shown his creative side and showed you how to be creative with common magic props. These CD-Roms gave you graphics and ideas to create great Halloween items. Mike does it again for a routine this time that can be used all year round. This time it starts with a helper and a can with the idea the something creepy is inside. Showing some cards with a number of creepy critters on them and then the scary fun begins. Check out the full act on the website. Its like I am leaving you in horror to find out what happends next. All this saying (or not saying....) Mike gives you all the PDF's to make the props and routines on this CD rom. Recommended highly if you have ever seen his other two great CD ROM's.

Kandu's Six Card Silliness

For those who have ever gotten any Kandu item, these come from full time fair and festival working pro and Hocus Pocus friend Jeff Eaton. Jeff spends (like David Copperfield) a year perfecting the routines. His latest is a comedy sucker kid friendly version of 6 card repeat. This routine is chock full of the bits that make it a great "Kandu" item. Jeff has worked out those spots to get the kids to yell when the 9 is a on the sign instead of a 6 and those bits of business that make for great family entertainment. I am one of his fans, having got his Kandu Silk Box effect and us it as a opener for my birthday shows. Check out the other great "Kandu" effects if your a working pro for family shows. Always fun filled and comedy packed items.

Tony's Tips

It is now just about a year (in a few weeks) that Paul had me tryout to see if I wanted to make the jump from Las Vegas entertainer to Manager of Hocus Pocus. Gees where did the year go...I know I haven't stopped moving either myself or Mike or the shop. Well, it all was my pleasure and has kept me fit...which leads me to this weeks tip. No, it's not about joining a gym, although many magicians should.... ok I'll stop. It's about being active with your audience. Whether your running like a loon on stage or getting the kids up to do stuff or the whole crowd is part of a bit. Today's crowd when watching a show are like couch potatoes (do you not agree?) because of TV. So I recommend highly that at some point in your show do something that get everyone active.

Be it a hand gag like Lance and David used in the opening of both their TV specials (was that wierd timing or just bad timing) to a full blown game of Simon Sez. You would be amazed how much a difference it makes almost like a 7th inning get up during a baseball game. It makes everyone feel part of the show.

Also think about adding a game during your show if your planning those summer shows for schools, camps, family and company picnics. This will add more to your show playing a full game of Simon Sez with say 100 people at a company picnic. Not to mention killing say 10 minutes of your show without magic. Spend a full bucks from those gift sites I have mention and give out some great prizes with your name and logo and information also. Heck if you do it right, everyone gets a prize with your information and the company picnic folks pay for it. Just a quick summer tip.

I would be very remiss if I didn't take a moment to mention the passing of a great magic star and one of my idols, Billy McComb. I did have the pleasure of hanging with Billy from time to time at magic events. I first got to met him in person at the first Magic Live (where I also met Paul and Mike for the first time) and along with Mike, Dexter and I had a late night breakfast with Billy in a casino coffee shop. A picture of this event graces my kitchen/family room. It has become known as "Breakfast with Billy". When he held court, all listern to this walking knowledge of magic. I also shared time in Michigan at Chris Ressman's (Encore Magic) Michigan's Magic Day in 2005 and I got to be backstage tech and made sure he made his way on and off stage like a pro.

When I was working out a routine of his, instead of getting upset he gave me his prop and said "take the measurements from my Dye tube". No magician ever shared the way Billy did. I remember a story about Lance Burton and Billy on the same show. Billy is famous for the Bird Cage Vanish and Lance does it also, when both were on the same show Billy said to Lance "You do the cage, I have other stuff I could do instead". That's the kind'da loveable, creative, funny man he was. From his appearances on the Greater Magic series to the Sci-Fi movie Lord of Illusions to the many conventions, where he was always there to chat with, Thank you Billy for making me welcomed in this magic family.

"Two magi's sharing pipe dreams and a smoke "

God Bless you, Mr. McComb.

Thank you so much for your inspirations, talent, and friendship.
Chat with you all next week.

If you wish to send you thoughts or ideas to grow on :

Tony@hocus-pocus.com

Thanks for your friendship my readers

Tony Blanco


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