Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 


Tis the Magic of the Season


I do hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got some rest. We are now in the busiest time of the Season. I have already almost filled my weekends for the rest of the month and soon some evenings also. Since leaving Las Vegas I look back and am very Thankful to this move to Fresno. I even have been here long enough to get my first repeat booking of a child's birthday party. It has been a long time since that has happen. I even am told that I am requested to appear at the Irish Pub where I was a Leprechaun performing closeup magic. Sweet! So here is wishing you shows and repeat bookings abound this season.




Tony's Picks


"Bet Your Bucks"

From the mind of Cody Fisher and his Real World of Magic comes "Bet Your Bucks". Now yougoing to say not another Bill in Lemon routine. Do we need another version. I say with Cody's version this will be the only one you will ever need. This has been a pet routine that Cody has had in his show for many years, and now shares only with Hocus Pocus. His method of loading the lemon right in front of the audience is so clean and there is no heat on you the performer. Cody's take on this comes in the form of a game show, complete with CD music and game show presentation of "Bet Your Bucks". Please take a moment to read the complete write up on the website. There is sooo much that Cody has done to give you a magical yet fully packed entertainment piece for your show. 10 Thumbs up for this one!!







Live At the Jailhouse

Strange title for a 3 DVD set about working the restaurant biz. Here is what may be the most complete 3 DVD set to teach you everything and I mean everything about breaking into the very profitable world of working restaurants. Disc one starts you out in getting the jobs and keeping them. Then goes into tips, getting paid and working with staff and what stuff to perform. Disc Two covers how to really approach the tables and some great magic to perform Disc Three goes into making friends with customers which means repeat work for your restaurant and you. Working for Celebs and how recover if you blow a trick. Featured on this DVD are long time working pro's Kirk Charles, Garrett Thomas Paul Green, Dan Fleshman and Justin Miller. A must have for anyone starting in or have been doing restaurant work!!


Laser Anywhere Manipulation CD Box Set

Lets start out with a fact. The normal CD that we use measures 1.2mm not to flexable without snapping it. Imagine having a CD that measures 0.6mm half the thickness. Now imagine doing every kind of Card production act you have ever seen now with shiny silver CD's. Thats right split fan type production and vanishes. Silks and Card moves with CD's. Flash productions of endless CD's. Thats what Laser Anywhere Manipulation CD Box set is all about. We have them in 15 and 30 Box sets. To really grap the scope of what you can do with these CDs check out the mindblowing on line video. If your interested in these CD's also sold are two DVDs called Laser Anywhere which teach you all these amazing moves. Not to be believed and not to be missed grab them while they last. This is a new wave of stage magic don't miss the boat.



Flesh Wound

Ok this is for all of you that call and ask to be like the street magicians you see on TV. Those who want to push the envelope and in this case the stomach's of your audiences. This effect too has a on line video. Lets just say this takes the needle thru the arm for a toss in the garbage. Imagine taking a knife to your arm, you start to bleed. Then you even peel the skin back and then wipe and heal the wound. A clever idea would be to produce a folded card from the inside of the cut or coin. This effect comes complete with flesh wound (works for any skin color) any knife can be used and a CD to explain all of the gore to freak your audiences out.






Psy Key


From the magical mind of Yves Doumergue comes the most interesting and mindblowing take on the bending key routine. This routine and prop is a must for the working pro. This is it a wild self bending key that once it is bent it can be handed out to be examination and no one will be able to bend it back. This is a limited run effect and it comes with two routines one for close-up and one for stand-up magic. As this effect has a on line video so my words any further won't do justice watch the video. If you have been looking for a great key routine that will shock you crowds this is it!



Tony's Tips


So lets continue with John Johnson's question of "How do you move up the ladder to get to the big time". Depending on we you live and what you perform you already be in the big time. Favorite story of mine when I worked at the Excalibur Casino was when visiting magicians would come by and see my show. The Court Jester stage provided free shows every half hour. Mine was one of 20 diferent shows every half hour. As soon as I got off stage once in a while a visiting magican and his family would greet me.

This visiting magician would tell me that he was looking to move to Las Vegas to make it big. Now having to be a honest person (sometimes too honest) I would ask how much he makes as a magician in his home town. I would get answers like he was the busiest working party magician and even rented out a bounce house also. "So how much do you make a year" He would give me his answer saying it was only part time and he had a real job also and made about one hundred thousand dollars. I had to be honest and tell that I work Vegas and don't make that much, you best stay with your family in Ohio. He got a proud smile and learnd that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the street.

Now I am not saying not to have dreams of being a magic star. Honestly I want everyone that reads these Blogs to be a star, but you can be a star in your own home town and work forever. Fact most big time magicians if seen on TV use up a hour's worth of magic and the public always wants something new and fresh. Story has it the first time Mark Wilson performed on TV he entertained more people in one night then Houdini did his whole career. Thats the power of TV.


What alot of you may not know is that many magician in Las Vegas first start out by actually paying the rent for a theatre. Then paying for a cast and crew (crew of course being union) then animals and handlers. This is not counting the $4000 a month for billboards or magazine ads. Ticket brokers and agents etc. etc. Then after you spend your money you might be lucky and get that big contract from a casino maybe.

My thought and even a reason why I left Las Veags is yes I would like to be known and famous but maybe one has to look at the Big Fish in a small pond thought verses a small fish in a big pond. So to all of you, think about how lucky you maybe in your town or city and make yourself a star there first before Vegas. Remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas....unless you spend a few million to let people know what you do there.

Here is wishing a bright star for all of you both in performing and for this Holiday season..

Best Magical Wishes

Tony

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

 

"If you don't look life moves pretty Fast"

This is a brief line from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Honestly it is true if you are in middle of life, life can pass you by if you don't stop and smell the roses. This has been my life sense moving from Las Vegas to Fresno and serving all your magic needs at Hocus Pocus. Not complaining! Just amazed given I am not in the limelight of show biz but spending time to make all of you look good to your audiences. Not saying that I am not still performing. When you call understand that each of us are here to make you look good selling the lastest magical props so treat my staff with care as we all are here to make you look good and wish only the best for you. Trust me we will, no one cares more then Paul and myself to create magic. Both of us have been doing this magic thing for well over 35 years each, thats 70 years of working and setting up shows. Each weekend I am still doing what most of you do, so we at HP know and understand your needs.

Has the year gone by already.....soon it will. Well, then its time to think and plan ahead. Paul tells me he would love to have a magic swap meet right here at Hocus Pocus, sometime in January. This would be the type of event where you can come down and sell off your old magic stuff to fellow magicians. We may even have a famous magi lecture too and perform that evening! If this sounds like something you would be interested in let either Paul or I know in a email. All of you in California, we are located in Fresno so we are central to the state. Anyone is welcome and I think we will have a date for the event soon. Let us know so we can start a vendor list. Call us or e-mail us at sales@hocus-pocus.com


Tony's Pick's


I have to say I choose what I like and what would use but sometimes even I would say you need to be the final choice in what you buy. So as in the Third India Jones movie..."Choose Wisely" and if that is not enough, my staff would help you in making your choice. Paul, myself, Dexter,Ken, and Jeremy will be able to answer your questions before you make a purchase. We try every day to make sure your a happy buyer. We all take it personal if we have a problem with a customer...we really do!!!

Honestly no other magic company will tell you not to buy something if its not right for your act or show like Hocus-Pocus does. I as manager will tell you, we care not to make you upset in your choice of purchases. So we have a 800 number, call and ask for me or Paul to make you magical performances look perfect.




Devil's Nail


Ok you have seen many versions off the three cup smash with a knife routine. Hey there is even a youtube.com screw up of a famous magi slaming a spectator's hand on the real knife. This as well as another one I will recommend that will never happen to you. The Devil's Nail is about electronics and a other thing I can't mentiion that makes this type of act safe. We at HP never want you to look stupid unless you don't rehearse and read the directions. So this is pretty impressive to do in a find which cup has the big nail that you better not slam you hand on!!!









Lemon. Lime, Balloon, Shoe

Now honestly I love the Wiz Coat concept. My friend magician Kevin Barnes killed each night when we worked backed to back at Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas with the effect. Now my friend Jay Mattioli has produced a version that combines the old parakett version of the lemon, lime, egg trick into the shoe version of the Wiz Coat trick so that no animals are needed. This is a plus for the magician that travels around the world. I spoke to Jay today and YES this can be done for the Birthday Party magician!!! Just make sure that you work up against a wall. So here is a effect that will play big even if it may not pack flat. Honestly once we get our first shipment I may beg Paul for one, knowing how its a full show performance value having seen my friend Kevin work with the version he had.





Three Card Prince

How many of you having grown up watching the great Harry Anderson just blow a audience away with his version of Sidewalk Shuffle? Well, now Harry release's his version made in great life time usable cards. So here is your chance to own that routine and cards that will be with you for a long time. If your not sure what this act is you can view it in the video "Hello Sucker from his HBO special. This is the ultimate street version of such an act for the stage with stage size cards. Honestly if you don't know shame on you......as it is a magical classic next to cups and balls. Get It!!!! Do I need to say more!



Sobriety Test


From our good friend Chance Wolf of Wolf Productions, maker of some of the greatest family effects made from the finest material and crafted to perfection. I only wished I only owned each of the props he made!!!! Now he remakes one of his effects for the adult audiences. It's a version of his cup stacking routines with all the bell and whistles for the concept of DUI with
lots comedy and not a lecture. "Friends Don't Let Friends Stack and Drive is the premise for this comedy magic act and there is a non drinking version also. It just comes to a point when the entertainer has to educate and entertain but still have fun and Chance does that in this great routine. I honestly love his craftmanship and ideas...so don't miss out his stuff does not hang around long.








Spike

Now as the earlier chat of the Devil's Nail the act is the same!! This version does not depend on electronics! Can't say no more execpt this vesion has no electronics. So actually thats a plus for my life style. Again your dealing with a 3 cups and spike act. Spectator can place the Spike under any cup and move it around and you will still know what cup has the Spike! Then is a matter of you being a performer to make the show work. Don't end up on on the internet screwing this one up....lol



Tony's Tips

Hey Tony,

Wasn't sure how to contact you through the Hocus-Pocus site so here I am. Hope it is not a hassle doing it here.I read, enjoy and find useful your blog on HP whenever I find the time.

Currently, I am a full time touring school performer with a background of everything from events, festivals, parties, night clubs, blah, blah, blah. Have dabbled in event and festival shows for years, but now I want to focus my business on those and related markets.Any tips for a cat like me looking to change gears and get big into new markets?

I've been writing copy for a website targeting that market plus working on additional materials that would apply. Any input a vet like you would offer would be solid gold.Thanks Much and keep on writing,John Johnson

P.S. Enjoyed your bike event tale--I've been riding since I've been a kid and bikers are good company. JJ


Thank You sooooooooooo much John and now your a feaure for this weeks Blog. Get the hint my readers email me and your questions will be answered!


So how to move up the ladder of success? First I would say, Do you have a DVD to send to Entertainement Directors or Agents. This is a MTV world and flash and 3 minutes is all the time one can afford on the biz world. It may cost money but have your show or act taped and then edited to 3 minutes. Why 3 minutes? That is the attention span of the viewer of this genaration. Make it flashy with music, don't have a lot of patter! Make it visual and to music. Use flashy words and recomendations fly across the screen. Make sure you send to the right person in Casinos or Cruise ships, dont waste your money and postage.

Good 8x10's are a plus. When I first started out B/W photos were the case now it is about full color photos so a good ad guy makes a poster for the place your working. Sending them a written PR release is a plus so that a in house PR person does not have to do the job ther were hired to do helps also. Like Mike did when I worked here in Fresno for a Indian Casino get a great photo to send them and they made poster of his great photo. See past blogs or the photo below.

Anyway if you have the drive and focus you can work anywhere and get repeat work if your good. Most important don't have a too many problems for them. Work like you are always ready to go on the moment you walk in. Don't be an artist that they can't handle and be humble.
This has be the secrert to my long career.

Any other questions email me I am here to help.

So now for your Thanksgiving Dinner a great side dish.....

Waldorf Salad

Raisins
Celery
Apples

and Mayo

Slice the apples in small bits no skin. Same with the celery. Mix with Mayo. Let sit over night in the fridge. This is a classic salad name after the famous Hotel in NYC. Make in size to the amount of guest you are going to have. So say 4 people slice up 4 to 5 apples and small cuts of celery. This is a concept that needs like most cooking a sense not measurments to the number of folks coming over.
Then mix with mayo and let fridge over night.

Hope you enjoy and wish you the best time off with you love ones

Magically,

Tony Blanco


That's what the PR Guy did with a photo I gave them for a poster. Folks want it handed to them to make you a star. So give them the tools to make you a star!!!

Thank you, Mike!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

 


Born to be Wild and Perform Magic

Well this is going to be a wild story to tell you. Here is a event you bet you never think of performing at. Let's start form the beginning. About 3 months ago on a nice summer evening I was hired to perform at a 50th Birthday party for a guy that owns a motorcycle clothing company. His wife had planned this surprise for months, and the night of the party he was totally surprised. I performed close up magic during the evening and did a great job and that was that, I thought. Two weeks ago his wife calls for me to work an event they put on each year called "Rally in the Valley". That's right a Biker Show & Festival! They liked my magic and I appeared to be hip enough for their crowd for their event. So here I go working a crowd of Biker Guys and Gals.

Looking like something from all those Discovery Channel Biker Build Off events on a stage with Budwieser logos and a Heavy Metal Band in between biker babes dancing and the awards for the best Bikes was me doing magic. Trust me it was a experiance and actually lots of fun, but you had to be there to enjoy it. I was decked out in my best leather biker jacket and black jeans ala David Copperfield. I was laughing inside the whole time as I worked the stage doing magic. Check out the photos in this blog. If your looking for the best biker leather and stuff check out http://www.renegadeclassics.com/
A bit different from the family shows I normally do but heck it's just another type of family only cooler and hairy.



Tony's Picks


Chico The Mindreading Monkey

From our creative friend Bill Abbott comes Chico the Mindreading Monkey. We have asked Bill to send us a few as we have sold out of this great item over and over. Bill has sent six and we don't know when we will get more. This has been a top seller throughout this year . It is a comedy packed routine that anyone that knows about working for kids or adults has put this into their show. So get yours before we sell out. Its comes packed with Bill's act and all the props and of course Chico puppet.








Kabuki Throw Streamers

So many of you have called in and asked for them and now Hocus Pocus has them...Kabuki Throw Streamers. These are the same well made streamers that my friends Jeff McBride and Paul Kozak use in their acts. These have to be considered the best made Throw steamers made each with a little lead weight to make them just sail just right. Choose from either white or red to enhance the magic or moment in your show. Magic is about being visula and Kabuki Streamers are just that VISUAL!! Those of you the are looking for the best we found them and now have them for you.










Ultimate Pitch DVD

Paul Romhany once again keeps the creative and working magician more tools for his trade. Either as something to sell after your show or as a give away the Oitch DVD with your name, photos and logo on the DVD is a product you need to get you name out there. Paul and i will help you make a custom teach magic DVD for your audiences to remember your show by. Paul has been selling these for years on Cruise ships after his show. Here is how it works, you purchase the Pitch DVD from us. Send me your photos and logo and Paul will make a master DVD that you can copy on you PC (or go to a master Dup place) and then you can either give them away or sell them for $10-15 after your show. Its done to music and the hands in shot show the magic. What a great way to make extra bucks after a show.





Parakeet Gizmo

From pro worker Dave Womach comes Parakeet Gizmo. How many times would you like to add that touch of a live bird to your show like this. The magician takes a silk handkerchief out of his pocket and runs it through his hands to show it completely empty and free of any apparatus. The silk is gathered up into a small wad, and from it, a parakeet emerges. Well Dave has made the perfect holder for your Parakeets. Reinforce fabric for the wear and tear of teeth of the bird. Easy velcro opening and setting and safe loading so that the birds feather never get ruffled. watch the YouTube video to see how this all works on our site. A must indeed for any bird worker.






Johnathon the Caterpillar

From Europe comes a clever take on the black hole theory. A board with a tree on one side then a Caterpillar on the other. You reach in and produce a apple board is shown at all times both front and back. The apple goes back in the hole and its gone. This time reach in and the apple has been eaten. This is a great family show prop and the concept of the black hole into which the apple goes into makes this even more charming along with the silk screen of the Caterpillar who eats the apple. A little (not to hard) sleight of hand makes this even more magical. You will use this over and over and again. You may even come up with a great story or just do it to music. Either way a stunning visual effect.

Tony Tips

Over the years I have written of what I call the RSG concept, RSG = Ready, Set, Go. This is where you know what your doing the moment you walk into a gig. You may be book for one type of show and then find it is some thing else. In the case of this past weekend's Biker event I knew what I was getting into. What I didn't know was my 4:00 show was going to be a 2:30 show. I figured to get there earlier then needed to be just to soak up the local color. As a working pro I saw that the line up had been that the awards were going to be given out then the entertainment would follow.

Well after 18 year in Vegas and many Slot promotions I know that once the food has been eaten and the prize money is given folks leave. That is it, even if the folks planning the event plan for a band to stay and play music for folks to dance to. So when the MC of this Biker event asked if I could go on at 2:30 when I had just got there 20 minutes earlier I said "No Problem". This means I better not have to many things that need a long set up, and if I do I better have it ready in my case to go when I get to the gig. So I unload my roadie case and hooked into the bands sound system and was ready in less then 10 minutes.

You need to look at your show and figure how fast how quick you can look like a pro. The general thinking of most folks are that you are magic and need no set up. It is the real Pro that makes the booker or client really believe you are magic by being the johnny on the spot ready. I can't begin to tell you of all the events that I had to have just jumped on stage and be ready at the last moment becuase of lack of planning on the part of the casino or agent. For everytime you work in front of a audience your must have all the prep time done before your get to the event. If you need to set or load stuff into a coat or pan or box do it before you leave the house.One thought is to get to the gig extra early to set up even more.

The past few weekends I have had back to back birthday parties, so the first gig I get there early and blow up 3 dozen balloons before the kids arrive to make hats at the end of the show. Saving time so I can get out and get to the next gig. One of my favorite films is "Bring on the Night" a movie by Sting on the making of his band after the Police. One line he says is that " In Jazz music you have time to figure out what to play, but in Rock you must Burn from the begininng". This has aways been with me on how you need to walk on a stage and "Burn from the Begining". Start thinking how to get your time right to make more bookings and more cash for your programs. Start to think RSG, Ready, Set, Go.

Here are a few "Rally in the Valley" pics of yours truly in action.









Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco
Biker wantabe...well

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

 
Get Ready For the Busy Season


Last Saturday was a busy one for me. We have just wrapped up our magic classes for the time as the Holiday season is near. The Kids last magic class did an amazing job creating they own Cups and Balls routines from seeing many different moves and routines I showed them. It truly is a great feeling to see someone learn from your ideas and then grow them into something of their own. Saturday we also had a visit from the creative genius of Alan Wong (Alan and I at Excalibur on the right) . You know Alan's name from his great effect Wonder Pet. It really was a pleasure to see him again and you folks will have to check out his new items that we carry and will be getting soon. Then the rest of the day finds me doing not 1 but 2 birthday parties back to back. Lucky both were about 10 minutes apart. So by the time I finished the second party the sun was just setting. That's around 5:00 PM now since the time change, amazing to realized I actually woke up at 5 AM to start this Saturday. Hope your weekend was a busy and eventful.


Tony's Picks


Snow Animator 4.0

From magician, inventor and Las Vegas producer Kevin James comes the 4th in a series of creative turns on his Snow Animator. Those of you who remember the senstation that Kevin created with his grand finale of the Snowstorm in China with the first snow animator's creation well over 10 years ago. Now Kevin has slimmed it down to the point of a napkin box and a table. This version the sound is lower and the snow flies much higher. This has got to be Kevin's crowning achievement in the development of the Snow Animator. Comes complete with traveling case, battery charger, A DVD with Kevin sharing his 15years of knowledge on the Animator and making the right snow load.





Human Phone Number

Our good friend Bob Kohler has finally tipped something that has been working on for over 18 years in the making. Bob tells of his first time learning of the phone book test some 18 years ago. He learned each and every way that it could be performed, and now shares his most treasured version that he has created. This method has served Bob all around the world (hence two versions for sale) that even Paul says "I would use today if I was still performing". Imagine going into a town and using a local phone book. Here is a effect that can play for parlor, stage and close-up. This is the ultimate phone book test. Bob has spared no expense to cover all aspects of this type of effect. CD with over 41 pages and 4 movies to teach you the most wanted effect in magic. I want you to read the full write up on the web for the history of what Bob gives you for a one of a kind effect. Honestly this is a name maker effect and I won't be surprised if someone like David or David or Criss use this in their next show!!!!


Spots Before Your Eyes



Again Paul Rohmany has with Reg Donnelly have add a twist to a basic effect of What's Next. This classic effect that every magician has done at one time or another. This year we even started sell Mrs. Brown's Cookies which I thought was a clever twist. Now Paul and Reg share Reg's pet routine using the "teaching audio" ala Bandanna routine to perform this effect. Simple in its concept but hey you didn't think of it so now with a video and audio to teach and perform it. Clever that the audio actually comes in English and Spanish for your audience to see you perform it to. Since moving to California this works for me in so many ways!!




Dream Lock

My good friend that I mention earlier Alan Wong made a point while in California from Hong Kong stopped by Hocus Pocus to blow both Paul and I away with his Dream Lock. This is a effect that I promise you that you wil carry every where. It appears to be a simple combo lock and it is! Then showing you how it opens and closes and spin the numbers it is locked. Spectator can try many different combos and it will not open. Have now 4 different folks give a number each and the it will open. This is the most well made and clever device that I will be very proud to carry any time that I do walk around or even have for a stage performance. I am just sorry that Alan didn't leave me with one for this weekend's shows coming up. Trust me you will want this one as much as all of you have purchased Alan's Wonder Pet!!!








Love Storm and Butterfly Storm

Since I am proud to tell you more of Alan's creative ideas from the land of the Far East comes his take on the Snow Storm in China. Both Love Storm and Butterfly Storm play on the magic that is Snowstorm. This time as the titles state one snow storm is the flowing of red hearts over the audience. Then with Butterfly storm a shower of Butterflies. Each very well made and each with a clever storyline for the magic of love. The clever magic can see this being used at many different types of events, first of course working a wedding party. Thank you Alan and your crew of Hong Kong wizards for this great effects. This is only the begining of Alan's ideas, look soon for many Hocus Pocus effects thru Alan coming soon.



Tony's Tips

Each week it gets harder to chat with all of you as I really am not getting feed back from what all of you may need to learn and want to hear about. So I write on and hope you will ask for some help. In the meantime thanks to Paul and Mike I have a voice to share what I find interesting this week. Some times it might be a spark from something I learned this week or think you all need to learn. So again this week its a mix of things that come to mind.

Change is good and sometimes a surprise! About a month ago I did one of the many shows that I have done for our local Zoo. If I did mention this that night for some reason I did not have my regular show CD. I have a few with me all the time and know the music well on each one. well that night I needed to sub for the regular opening of my show with one of these. A effect that I have been doing for years had been getting mixed reviews for the Fresno audiences. This night with different music and movements it killed. So what was different that this effect went over!

It's that challenge of doing something new. It is said in show biz that the first time is always the best.This is why so many shows you see on TV of a live performacne are taped on opening night. Each time you perform it must be like the first time. You can have done this show a hundred times but never forget it is the first time this audience maybe seeing you. The show of course must be rehearsed but still must look like your doing it off the top of your head. This is what most folks forget after awhile when performing. We all get up and do a daily routine but your show must not look like it is.

I performed two shows (as I mention back to back this weekend) and after each show I either got tipped more money or someone had to hug me to tell me how great I was with both the kids and adults. Not showing off to you but telling you I made a moment seem like it was not a routine or a act even though it is. It was alive and on the spot for that crowd and looked fresh!

We as magi's are able to access much magic, but the magic is to always make it look in the moment. If your shows looks like a robot then your audience is cheated. Keep the magic alive and make your name by being someone that your audience thinks is real at the at moment that they are watching your act. Someone sneezes make a joke, something happens work it in. I even had the birthday gal in the middle of helping me stop and say she needed to go pee. She ran out and everything stopped. 32 years that was a first, what did I do? Popped music on and started reloading for the next show til she came back. Not much to do, that was the Birthday gal and it was an effect for her to shine and shine she did in so many ways....lol.


By the way if you have not seen the two magi movies of this year "The Illusionist" then "The Prestiage" catch them at a theatre near you. The Prestiage has so much magic history in it you won't believe it. Both are great !!!!

Next week your not going to believe what crowd I am working for....hopefully I will have pictures. Just let you know now I am right now listerning to Van Halen and Led Zeppelin to have to change the feel of my show for this crowd. I am laughing as I write cause I never thought I would work for this type of crowd. Thank goodness I watch a lot of the Discovery Channel. Now I have your interest hmmm. What or who is Tony going to perform for?
Tune in next week.


Best magical wishes
your friend in magic,
Tony Blanco

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 

BOO!!!

Last night here in Fresno, CA far removed from my days in Las Vegas. I played host on my block along with rest of the kids and parents for a safe Halloween night. The kids knocking on doors looking for candy. I performed magic and strolled along with the kids. It was a fun scary night for all. I even had a toy knife which played the Psycho theme when a button pushed. I even made a kid cry tonight. Opps! That's Halloween, sorry kid you wanted candy... Boo!
Anyway it was nice to be part of the group having some fun with folks that are your neighbors. Years ago a friend of mine would have lasers and fog in front of his home. I would love to do that but time was short to plan for it. Maybe next year. Either way I hope you made a bunch of kids happy last night .........BOO!

Tony's Picks
Here are 5 items I would be honored to have in my show, hope you agree.

The Orange Tree

Those that know of the history of Robert Houdin's Orange Tree will get a kick out of this. Magician enters with a sketch pad talking about his new work as a artist. First drawing is just a stick figure, second drawing a little better. The last drawing is that of a Orange Tree only no oranges. The magi then makes the oranges appear in the tree. Turning the pad sideways the oranges fall out of the pad. Very visual and you can even make it orange juice or othe fruit real or fake. This is the kind of magic I like visual and open for many types of performances. Amust have for storytellers or stage magicians




A Sucker for Magic

Our friend Paul Romhany has release yet another of his pet effects. Imagine working a private party all dressed sharp and wearing a necklace with a baby's sucker. Well there is a ice-breaker indeed. You can chat about how long you have been doing magic. Now comes Paul's clever series of magical moves and routines with the necklace and sucker. This is again one way of standing out in a crowd. Folks get to know that your the entertainment for sure. Here is one routine that indeed plays for kids and adults! A sucker comes complete with baby sucker, necklace, and DVD.







Finn John Close Up

Here is your chance to have a one on on session with the legendary magic of Finn John. On this DVD Finn shares some of his best kept secrets. His style of magic is visual and beautiful. Learn his inner secrets on both close up and stage magic. You will learn Finn's work on Elastic Thread, his zombie gimmicks, silk production. To me the price of the DVD has to be Finn sharing his Portable Soap Bubble Gimmick. It is a pleasure to watch a master work, but its more of a honor when the master shares his miracles with you.









Visual Encyclopedia of Contact Juggling

From Matt Olsen comes the most complete DVD set explaining the lost art of contact juggling. When I grew up this style was making a come back due to a amazing juggler Michael Moschen. Michael's hands did the wonderful glass ball juggling in the movie "Labyrinth". That is contact juggling!. In this 4 DVD set Matt has covered every aspect and the numbers of types of objects that make for a great contact juggling routine. I could not believe how much information is on these DVD's. A must have for the knowledge of a wonderful and visually stunning type of act.








Naughty and Nice 3 Rope Trick

Hocus Pocus' good friend Robert Baxt shares with us his take on the 3 way rope trick called Naughty and Nice. Here is Robert's 3 different routines for the Professor's Nightmare. One routine is a sweet family routine, then another is a bit on the naughty side. It is performed to music in a rhyming patter. Then the routine that has taken Robert to hundreds of trade shows around the country. This DVD comes with a great set of ropes for the routines as well as Robert's very clever routines.


Tony's Tip

Tonight lets chat about close-up kinda stuff. Since teaching the workshops at Hocus-Pocus I have reviewed many things we take for granted in our everyday perfomances. Take for example the very powerful but not used move the paddle move. Teaching the adults and the kids this great move made an instant hit with them. You can see that folks learned this very quickly. Then all the fun showing them to remove the writing off the Bic pen using this move. The classes learned about cocktail stirrers and how you could custom make your own paddles. The paddle move then lead into a teaching of the Flip move (Tarbell 7). With these two moves you can at anytime and anywhere make instant magic with everyday objects.

Then one card move that I personally need to put back into my performances is the slip cut or riffle force. Most of the time I use a Hindu Shuffle force, but sharing with the class I remembered how powerful a move this is. the version I like is to hold the deck in the mechnics grip a riffle the outer left side with my thumb, say stop, and slide that top card on the pack as it gets cut. Extend the hand with the deck foward as you move the top half up the arm. If you know one force then try learning this one just to be able to force a card in a different.

One of the goals in the class was to make sure that each person has a sense of being magical, ready to perform with not to much or no setting up at all. This became a lesson in how to use a coin or a ball and do a retention move. By "placing the coin" in the right hand and having it vanish. Then only to show the left hand empty and then producing it again in the right. Simple in thought but smoothness counts. It is perfoming moves over and over that they are not moves but just habit. No different then getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth.

So many times we rush to get the hot new magic but forget its the time spent to make it look natural. Take the time rehearse each move till you don't have to think about it. Not learning a routine so well would be like hearing a dancer counting out loud as she does a ballet. Not cool.
Take the time to "Be" with the magic you perform, so you can spend the other time "Being with the audience".

Share with me some of the moves and magic you enjoy. Email me at tony@hocus-pocus.com
Now Practice, Practice, Practice!

Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco

























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