Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The Magical Hazy Days of Summer
Ok is it Hot enough yet! Lots of heat and believe it or lots of fun. I have been lucky this summer to be performing at a series of Day Care centers. I tell you the kids have been super nice, and manners too! It does help that they are in a school type area also. This seems to be I think the best way to entertain kids. They seem to understand that there are rules to follow when in a school situation. So during the show I mention I have something for everyone to take home, 12 Magic Trick booklets. Hey image getting paid to entertain about 100 kids that could possibly be more private shows, so why not give them a little gift with booking information. Three more Fridays to go, thats 2 shows a day with some of the nicest kids I have met in a long time. Oh I did mention that but its worth repeating.
This past Sunday the local paper did a amazing story on Hocus-Pocus. Paul and your humble magi. I was luckly to get a full color photo of myself and my rabbit"Benny" on the cover of the Life section. I know that this week (Friday) this is going to be Paul's Blog so don't miss it.
By the way space is closing fast on my magic classes if you in the Central Valley area. Starting Thur Aug. 17-Sept. 7 will be the Adult program 7-9 PM and Sat. Aug. 19-Sept. 9 for the kids (ages 8-16). Call now to get your place in the program. Props, lessons all for the price of $100.00 for the four weeks.
From my friend Alan Wong, the creator of Wonder Pet come his newest idea Diamond Twist. Here is a little twist on the old Ace trick. Sorry about the Twisting the Aces pun. Anyway what appears to be a twisting the ace routine with each ace turning face up. Then only one ace hasn't turned face up. When the spectator is asked which one has not turned up, they answer the diamond. At that point a large crystal diamond appears in they hands and when turned over the Diamond Pip is missing from the Ace. Alan is a clever guy, this effect is right to the point of entertainment and surprise .
Nicholas Einhorn's In-Flight
This is one of the most coolest self leveatation effects that one could own. Nicholas has created an effect that be performed anywhere and even surrounded. A couple years ago Paul Daniels performed this at the Midnight Cabaret at a Las Vegas magic convention and blew the room away. Image a cardboard box with holes in it and a hoop of fabric. Step into the box and pull the hoop up. As you do you begein to float. The audience can see right thru the box and see your feet ar gone. Float up and down a bit, come down, drop the cloth and fold the box up to walk away. Plays for cruises, cabarets, even kidshows. Did I mention this is a self contained effect. No wires or helpers needed. We are lucky at Hocus Pocus has been choosen to offer for a limited time this great effect. So once this short run of In-Flight is gone, we never know if Nicholas will make another batch. There is a on line video to watch.
Long Distance Card Trick
From the comedy mind of Chris Mitchell comes Long Distance Card Trick. Todays audiences need to be entertained as well as fooled and Chris is a master of both. Imagine a deck of Card rubber banded, put in a bucket at the end of a 4 foot pole. Then the pole extends to 15 feet over the audience. Four Spectators each peek at a card and then in a without looking at the cards, you name each one. This is done in a very comic way as only can be routined by Chris. All the props and Chris's own personal act. Paul told us he had seen Chris do this act and steal the show with how funny it was.
Professional Pickpocket Book
Ricki Dunn was know as the Funniest Pickpockt. He spent 50 years performing at every major nightclub and major city. From NY to Miami to Las Vegas, Ricki perfected a 20 minute act that made him a legend. Now his treasured secrets are shared in this 208 page hardcovered book, covering all the classic effects that make a Pickpocket act a rare thing to see. Watches, belts, Shirts, Wallets it's all here to learn from one of the masters. Included with the book is a DVD of the act the made Ricki famous. A must have collectors type book.
Fantasio Lecture at the Magic Castle DVD Volumes 1-3
The name Fantasio is linked to style, class, and most of all magic. Senior Fantasio has created sooo many wonderful magic props that today are still a mainstay in every magicians act. Who has not ever vanished a candle or made a cane appear? Well now in this 3 DVD set, the master of smooth moves shares his creations at the legendary Magic Castle. Everything is shared from his years of touring around the world. Magic with Candles. Canes, Silks, Lighters, Ropes all performed in that musical magic style that is Fantasio.
What's real and what's Illusion? These are the opening lines from Doug Henning performing the Anderson Paper Tear. Over the years I always ask myself that and have learn something by doing this. When I see something new (as we all do) I see the first impression of the magic. Once thats over we all have that bad habit of mentally tearing it apart to figure it out. Once we learn how its done the magic is over, right? No the real magic begins now for your to learn the effect and recreate that magic feeling your got when you were first amzed or fooled.
Today with the lastest "Street Magic" group of folks performing its about fooling and not always entertaining audiences. From the camera interviews after that "unrehearsed on the street on the spot effect is done" the spectator talks about being blown away. A lasting memory for sure, but really were they entertained? For this generation of spectators that just might be entertainment. As long as that Magi remembers one thing "Always Make it Magical".
Recently getting to see childrens eyes light up again for me is magical. In Las Vegas, folks see so much that is all a blur after awhile. That's why my tip is about rehearsing and creating. In buying some magic read the instructions, watch the DVD examine the prop. Then in a space away from the phone and other noises, its time to play. Put music on and work with the prop in ways that perhaps the trick wasn't ment to be used for. Find out every version of the prop or trick you wish to use. This is the way so many big time pros come up with new and one of a kind versions of a act. My favorite example is the Illusion Origami. To see how Greg Frewin took this Illusion even further the it was first designed to be performed by also turning it into a broken and restored mirror effect "blew me away". There was a reason to have the mirror on stage now and now instead of swords in the box, pieces of broken mirror were used. Then the mirror get restored. To bangs for the buck.
Make this time to challenge yourself to come up with newer versions of classic effects. Folks like Kevin James, Christopher Hart, Mike Micheals are on the cutting edge of magic for just that reason. Studing the classics and then rehearsing the old and turningit into something new and different.
Set your time (I know its hard to do) to really research, redo, and refine your show so that it will be entertining and create a lasting memory. This is how all the pro's finally choose which version of a signed card in wallet they do or in Jeff Hobson's case a signed card in mouth!
So what is real and what is Illusion? The amount of time you collect knowledge and wisdom. The amount of time you put into rehearsing. In this case when your on stage it will feel real and natural. In this way the Illusion will be perfect for the spectators. So Practice, Practice, Practice. Famous old joke, "How Do you get to Broadway? Practice my boy, Practice"
Hope I help you each week, any ideas you wish to share feel free to write me at
Making life as magical as I can