Tuesday, December 26, 2006

 

A Very Merry Time of the Year


At this point I bet your still eating Christmas left overs, still walking through gifts on your floor and showing off your new clothes today at work. Mine was a new watch and a wonderful knitted scarf from my sweet lady, Lisa. In a few days a New Year will be here. Time to think and plan for a New Year of shows & dreams to be realized. Planning ahead to create, produce, and have more fun then you did last year. There is a goal for you to set.

So as we are looking towards new magic items for you to use in your shows we are also producing the first Hocus Pocus swap meet, January 20th is the day! So far Paul and I are getting our favorite venders to be here. Folks from up and down the California coast are calling in to be here. Mark Wilson, Dick Barry, Robert Baxt and now Suds are polishing up their lecture notes to speak to all. It will be a day not to be missed. Its going to be alot of work. We are all looking forward to meeting all of you and see the faces of the folks we chat with on the phone each day. So please call and book your spot for either a table to sell you stuff or lock in your seat for the lectures. Call me direct and I will take care of your personally. Its just 3 weekends away.


Tony's Picks


Card Rap

From John Kaplan, the guy that gave us the Mind Reading Orange comes Card Rap. A wacky take on Monte Routine. imagine doing a hip version of a monte routine with an original musical soundtrack and catchy lyrics about the day you encountered the slickest "Monte" man in town!Comes with durable vinyl cards screen printed in 6.5" x 10.5". JUMBO size to be easily seen by large audiences. Step-by-step DVD instructions to make learn the fast pace comedy routine program almost immediately! You also get a bonus DVD of a live performance in front of a mixed family audience - see exactly how to perform it and hear the enthusiastic reaction professional routine audience-tested in thousands of performances since 1996.

$wop

Our good friend Wayne Dobson shares with us one of his pet effects $wop. For those of you that love great coin effects but don't have the skill of a David Roth...$wop is for you. Wonderfully made coins of American Quarters and Chinese coins for a quick reset type effect you will do all night from table to table. Even Paul mention for the price its a great effect with well made gaff coins. This effect is a traveling effect done right in the spectators hand. $wop also comes with machined Brass caps to help with the coins changing place. Not to be missed for the price and Wayne's most excellent routine.







Ghostvision Reload Pack

One of the most errie effects of 2006 has now been kicked up a notch. As I told you our Dexter used this effect to leave a lasting moment to all who visited his Seance during Halloween. If you don't know Ghostvision let me say it is a way to capture spirits on your camera phone. Now Andrew Mayne has come up with extra gimmicks to produce images of a Pentagram, Bleeding Handprint, Smoke Monster, Ghoul and footprints all on your camera phone. This effect is for those of you using the term "Street Magic" pure street scary. The Reload Pack only adds to the creative ideas from Ghostvision. Don't miss out on this hip and errie addition to a super effect.







2wo Faced DVD

When I first stared out packet tricks ruled! Names like Emerson and West, Ron Frost, Phil Goldstein were the guys coming up with clever packet effects. Back then cards were Aviator bridge cards (which made for looking like gimmick cards) since most folks knew only Poker cards. Now comes 2wo faced DVD with 11 killer effects. Along with the DVD are 20 Gaff cards for the effects all made in Bicycle Card Stock to blend so natural to the cards that you use everyday. If your a fan of packet effects don't miss out on this DVD. Some of the effects are inspired by the likes of the guys I have mention and now in the same guise of today's "Street Magic" magicians.







Turkish Delight

From our creative genuis friend Paul Romhany comes his take on the one ball, one cup routine. So cute in design is a small Fez that "your uncle gave you as a little boy from his travels around the world. Actually to tell all of you the truth Paul did have these handcrafted by a street vendor in the market places of his travels on cruiseships. So there itself is a story in itself from the great one that Paul provides on the DVD that comes witht effect. All is include in this routine that has served Paul around the world. A charming story, colorful props, and great finale...what more can you ask for in a close-up/trade show/restaurant routine.


Tony's Tips

This is my spot to share stories, give advice, have a rant (if like I ever do) and encourage all of you who have choosen magic as your life long passion. Here is something you may never put together. What is the differeance between a magic person and a sports fan? Actually nothing! Both have a passion for what is visually stunning. The magician looking to produce a magic moment and see the eyes of the spectators lit up. The Sports fan spending money to have a football jersey or jacket go to the game and scream and shout for his team.

Now as a magician I could only wish folks would have that much passion for a magic show. Having seen some of the top Las Vegas magicians work that passion has to be instilled to your audiences. Folks who come to a magic show but don't show up like crazed sports fans with make-up and big afro wigs. We always have to be there from the beginning for them. Imagine each of your shows as if it was there first. They never know what your going to do. So the element of surprise is always on your side. Each performance is a educational process also. Folks will either in life like classical music or not but everyone kindda know who Bach and Mozark were. Outside of the guys on TV, Copperfield, Blaine, Angel at this time the public will never remember your name, unless you make a lasting and educational name. I have always had folks say "Do you do tricks like the guy on TV?" I say " Which one?" Most of the time they can only remember the trick not the name.

So this coming year it is about "Your Name Here". Lets all work together to get the audiences to remember your name. Not the party they were at that had a magiciand he was good. Use you name over and over in your stories or effects. Now don't go third person and talk about your self as if your talking about someone else and its you. Thats just wierd like Ross Perot used to do, but get your name on everyones tongue in your show and when they go home they will have a reason to go to the phone book and look up your number when they need fine fun family entertainment. Always have Biz cards ready and give away flyers for the kids. I encourge you to make this coming year the year folks will know your name and book you more. Good Luck my friends for this the magical 7 year. You see in the other world of magic 7 is a mystic number. Why? Email me and I will share in my next blog if I have made you wonder.

"I am able to stand before you because of the ones that came before me and took a risk."

(Who said that quote?)


Best Magical Wishes to all of you and your loved ones this coming 2007

Tony Blanco

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

 
A New Year in just 13 Days.....


Howdy friends, as you may have already been told we are having our first annual Hocus Pocus Magic Swap Meet & Get-Together and it is only a few weeks away!

On Saturday, January 20th at 9:00 AM, we'll be hosting one fantastic day of magic, lectures, and more! If you are a Hocus Pocus Online Member residing in California or Nevada or if your on the road at the time, I am letting you know to attend and be a part of this spectacular event!

There will be a swap meet to buy and sell magic and at this time 3 scheduled lectures: Robert Baxt, Dick Barry, and TV's first family of magic, Mark & Nani Wilson! To attend the swap meet, it's absolutely free. To sell your magic it just cost $15.00 for a table. The lecture fee for all 3 lectures is $30.00. If you are traveling from out-of-town and wish to spend the evening, we have made special arrangements with a local hotel close to Hocus Pocus to accommodate you with special Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together rates! Please call me toll-free at 800-407-4040 to get a table or hold your place for the lectures. We look forward to meeting the faces of the folks we chat with. My staff will be your host and if you need to get some magic while in town place your orders before you arrive so you can take it with you. We stock many items but somethings we need to get from our vendors. So plan ahead so you can save shipping charges. I personally will be on hand to help as well as get things going.

So if I forget I wish all of my readers a fantastic Holiday and a most magical New Year.


Tony's Pick

Miser's Dream DVD Chris Capehart


From time to time we get magic in and I review it and go great idea. Bewtween all of you last week calling in and I getting a chance to watch this DVD this is my Pick of the year!!! Here is a gentleman that knows about working. Watching Chris this past weekend I can only speak pride in his way of sharing years of knowledge of this classic effect. Chris has shared and will insipire you to get 12 half dollars and make magic. Chris has mention on this DVD that this routine has gain him repeat shows and made his name and now he shares this with you. Oh my gosh what more can you ask for in magic. A fun family routine that uses folks from the audience and makes tons of laughter also. Include in this DVD is his Miser's Dream routine as well as Coins across and One in the Hand. So as I said this is my Tony's PICK OF THE YEAR!!!!





Ultimate Floating Wand

Here is one that is the great opening to prove your worth as a magician. Start your show by making your magic wand from a box float up and out and the even around your body. This proves that the rest of your performance is going to be magical. This is a deal that I work to be a Hocus Pocus one of a kind item so trust me it a keeper for your show. It is in the tradition of magic a packs small and plays big. Great for close-up, parlor, and stage. It can be done at any time during your show. So it may be a limited time effect don't miss out.


Gravitate

From our good friend Peter Loughran comes Gravitate. This is going to be for you "Street Magic" folks the ultimate levatation. Imagine show a large cloth and then layi ng it on the ground. Then a block for your head and a block for your feet and you lay on top of them flat with about a foot below you. The blocks are removed and there you are floating above the ground with folks able to view underneth. This kicks magic up a notch for those who want a visual street type effect on the spot. Pre-order now for after the first of the year arrival to us. There is a on line video to watch this cool effect.


Matrix Mirror

A visual effect that would make ALICE go "What the Heck"! Showing a really good size mirror.
They can look at it and touch it from both sides.The performer then pulls a pliable cloth cover around the center of the mirror. The spectators can still see the mirror from the black cover both on the mirror's right and left-hand sides. The mirror is only covered in the middle. Now the magician shows a silk and presses it into the front slit of the cover and mirror andimmediately he pulls the silk out from the other side of the mirror. This is the first magical moment. Now the spectators notice that the cover begins to strech as something is moving inside the cover and suddenly the magician's hand appears on the front side of the cover and mirror! He moves hisfingers and pushes his arm forward a full 5 inches! It can be seen from both side The magician pulls his arm out from the mirror, pulls off the cover, and the middle section of the mirror is perfectly unharmed; it can be shown from both sides and the spectators can even touch it! Comes complete with its own custom padded transportation case and fully detailed and photographed instructions.



Star Trick

From our creative mentlist friends Larry Beck and Lee Earle. In this star struck world of movie star this effect is so timely. You start with a four-times folded 24" X 36" poster that has 576 unique photographs of public celebrities - all printed in gorgeous color on a brilliant paper that is incredibly tear-resistant. You slowly and deliberately unfold and show every square inch of the printed surface to an audience participant, who verifies that all 576 shots are indeed different. Now the kicker, he selects one of those icons as his secret star. Only now do you unfold the full poster so the entire audience can see that the hundreds of photos are really tiles in a mosaic becoming a work of art that depicts the participant's secret star! You can play it straight, as subconscious influence, or as a gag, "Who wants to read his mind?" No stooges, no pre-show work. No sleights, no electronics, no counting, no adding, no writing, no plastic baggies, and nothing to get between you and your audience! The selection itself is clean, clever, and diabolic as well as easy, direct, and logical! Lee Earle spent hundreds of hours creating this digital masterpiece both to honor an instantly recognizable star who transcends generations and to design a visually intriguing prop to support an engaging routine!

Tony's Tips

Well it has been a year (actually more) since I started working here at Hocus Pocus. I have seen some great magic effects and also some real duds. I won't mention the duds in case you actually own one and have made it work for your show. Here are the effects that I think transend magic and actually if your not using them in you should for your New Year of shows. It is going to be a list vs. descriptions. We still sell them and you can read about them on the website. So check my personal favorites as well as items that just keep selling every day. These would be my Tony's Picks for any show, some are Tricks, some DVD's, all great items

The Thing
Chico The Monkey
Bill Abbott Performs Close Up Magic
Spike
Wonder Pet
Any and all DVD's and Effects by Daryl

Misers Dream DVD
Magic With out Mayhem
Terry Hubert DVD's (he has two)
Dream Lock
Three Card Prince
Jeff McBride Teach In DVD's

GhostVision
Mrs. Brown's Cookies
Paul Daniels DVD's
The Borodin Books
Magic Any Time Any Where
Losander's Tables
Making Magic DVD

Cardiographic
Magic of Trevor Lewis
Barry Mitchell DVD's

Floating Rose DVD
The collection of Greater Magic DVD's
Mark Wilson Coloring Changing Knives
Books and DVD's by Richard Osterlind
Max Maven VideoMind
Tivoli in Tivoliland
Wayne Dobson DVD
(notice I am stuck on DVD's)
No Tear Paper Pad's
Baxt Better Newpaper Tear
Baxt Naughty or Nice
Ultimate Pitch DVD Paul Rohmany
Entertainers Guide to working Cruise Ships
Any produced by Bob Kohler DVD
Bet your Bucks
Laser Anywhere


There are many more personal favorites but heck I don't want to give away all my show favorites...kidding. Any time you want just call or ask me at Hocus Pocus. Paul and I will be honest and tell you if it's great or a dud. So I hope that I have inspired you this past year. If you wish to share, you know where to write. Tony@Hocus-Pocus.com

Here is also a personal thank you to all our vendor's that bust everything for us at Hocus Pocus to get you the great new items for your shows...Thank you all !! To my crew at Hocus Pocus thank you for so many reasons that I can't begin to mention. To all of you, Thank you for reading this blog each week, for shopping and trusting us with your magic career. Here is wishing all of you a wonderful Holiday season with your love ones. Hope you get all the toys you want and if you don't well I think I gave you a great shopping list for next year.

Magic and love to you all,

Tony Blanco

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 
Tis The Season to be busy......


Evening Gang! I am posting earlier to tell all of you that I will be live on the Magicbroad Cast tonight Tuesday December 12 th. If your reading this before 8:15 PST tune into The Mike on the Mic Show http://www.magicbroadcast.com/

I will be chatting up some of the past blogs, Tony's Tips and what will be happening next year here at Hocus-Pocus. I will also share some great magic items you may want to give to your family for your stocking stuffers. Hope you all tune in.


Don't forget to shop earlier then the 16th (if your ordering online) so items can get to you on time for your holiday gift giving.

Best Holiday Wishes,

Tony Blanco


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

 

A Family Tradition Since.....

Here it is the Season of Magic and Gifts. Seems everyone has a sense of the Holidays even a transplanted Las Vegan. The warehouse even has stockings hanging with our whole crew's names on each one. My story I told you about last year about the Rodeo coming to Vegas each year at this time and there was no real Christmas Spirit there. Last year my first year in Fresno I worked on Christmas Tree Lane with Marching Bands and so much pride of this famous street in Fresno. This year is no different as I have filled my weekends with Holiday parties and now this year will have a lovely Holiday at home with my best gal and her family and a few friends. This is reason #47 why I left Las Vegas because all that shines is not always gold. So I hope for you a calendar of great shows and close times with love ones this season.

On to the begining of the New Year a fresh start for us all. If your one of those near us in Fresno on the West coast this is news. Hocus Pocus will be having its first Swap Meet on Jan. 20. Price if you want to sell stuff is $15.00 a table. So those North and South of Fresno its a Saturday all day event with Guest Lectures also. Lets say two really famous folks will be here. One from Las Vegas and one from LA. You won't be disappointed. Please call me and sign up for a table or just let us know that you wish to attend the selling and lectures. 1-800 407-4040. Great start of the New Year for new ideas, trick and inspiration, new props to buy. Heck just a chance to visit the place that serves your magic need and get to met the faces on the phone. Paul, Betty, myself will be your host and make it a magical day indeed. Also I will be starting Magic Classes again the week after the swap meet Thursdays( Jan 25th )for Adults and Saturdays (Jan 27) for the kids in the great Fresno area. Each session last 4 weeks so call me if wish to sign up. The classes have been a big hit.


Tony's Picks


Fandemonium

Imagine creating the effect the big illusion of going thru a fan now done close up. From the mind of Devin Knight and John Moyer is Fandemonium. Now take the choose card routine one step further by putting your hand in danger. Thats right hae a card choose. Introduce the Sq. house fan and state that you will find there card if you wrong your fingers come of. Start the fan up to show it working, it real! Now cover the front to prevent blood and flying fingers as you choose one card and push your hand thru the moving blades. This is a visual effect with the right card choose and cit in half but your fingers are safe and sound. We have a liminted number of these fans so if your looking for the act that has something different this is it.





Sykys

An effect that has been 3 years in the making from Bazar De Magi. A real watch (which it is ) and can be worn all the time. Your are ready to perform at any time a time prediction. Just take the watch off and hand it to a spectator. At this point watch can be set and you will know what time it is. You can do this even four times with each time being different. This comes to you with 17 different routines from the masteminds of Max Maven, Trevor Lewis, Rich Block Fantasio, Tony Binarelli and Anthony Blake. So here is a bit of mental magic that you will carry every where you go. It also has a one year warranty on it fine workmanship. Waht more can a buddy mentalist want.







Frost

Just in time for the winter season from Dan Kuniak, the chance to be able to create snowball magic. Telling a story how you saved two snowballs when you were a child. Showing a melted one then introduce a clear box with frost in it and cover it with a cloth. Then the cloth comes to life and is seen pulling you around only to have the snow ball appear on top of it. Perform what I would consider a snowball zombie like act only to have the ball vanish as you bring it to the crystal box that it was in. Then you fine that the snowball has vanish. Bring forth the first snowball in a test tube that has melted and pour it in and it changes to snow flakes. Pretty magic done cool.





Mark Wilson Color Changing Knives

Well what can one say of the "First Magician of Televison" Mark Wilson, I being one of his family of kids that watch him and got into magic because of him (Paul too!!). We are proud to bring you his version of the color changing knives. We have convinced Mark and lovely Nani to have this routine for our Hocus Pocus family of magi's. This is Mark's personal routine with knives like the classic "Sanders" ones. This includes a DVD with Mark teaching you all the fine points of his routine like only Mark can. A true classic which has taken Mark around the world and back several times is now shared to the magic community. Don't miss the chance to be touched by his style of magic and own a set which you will always use. It's on my Christmas wish list!!








Christmas Star

From my friend from over many magic conventions Dr. Magic from Las Vegas comes Christmas Star.
This is Doc's take on Forgetful Freddie only this time with a Christmas Tree and a Star. We include a great tear apart bag to vanish the star only to have it appear on top of the Tree again. Doc has given us only a few and here is something to think of. Doc is not about making money for himself. Funds from his items go to Candlelighters charity. So that is real Christmas spirit twice fold when you purchase one of these.





Tony's Tips


Well we have been talking about taking your show or act to the next level the past few weeks. Yesterday I get a letter from Kevin Burke sharing his ideas and good luck. So I am going to share his letter and a pic with all of you. I hope this inspires you. Take it away Kevin.......



Hi Tony,

I've been reading your advice about making it to the next level. To all that solid advice, I would add...Move YOURSELF to the next level, whatever you perceive that to be.

In my case, I had been doing comedy clubs for 15 years as a comic/comedy mentalist. When my daughter turned three, I wanted to give her a taste of showbusiness, so I put together a one-hour autobiographical theater show that could include her at the end. I pitched the idea to a local theater which just happened to be putting together it's New Plays Festival, and needed a light comedy to round out the bill. Perfect! We ran for six weeks to audience of no more than 20 people per show, but we had a blast together!

At around the same time, Rob Becker was looking to cast a replacement for himself in the road company of his hit one-man Broadway show "Defending the Caveman." Since both our shows have pro-relationship, pro-family themes, mutual friends who knew about my theater had suggested me for the gig. Rob gave me the job, and I've been performing the show for three years. On January 10, I'll be opening Caveman for an unlimited run at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

My particular Vegas dream is about to come true, but it no one would have thought of me for the Caveman gig had I not put together that seen-by-only-20-people-at-a-time show in an obscure theater in Indiana. No one would have connected "Kevin Burke" to "theater." I was lucky, true, but I also made my own luck by moving myself to 'the next level' by re-positioning myself from a $15 per ticket comedy club act to a $25 per ticket theater act. The Caveman gig flowed from that because people were now thinking of me differently.

SO, my long-winded advice would be: Put together a show for your "Next Level". (It doesn't even have to be a good one...my theater show certainly wasn't.) Then, find a venue for that show. Local theaters are always willing to co-produce a show that costs them little-to-nothing. Rock your show and make sure people know about it. (Example: YOU, the reader, now know that I'll be doing Caveman in Las Vegas, don't you? ;-) Finally, explore the possibilities opened up by your new status.

It may surprise you what those opportunities turn out to be.

Kevin Burke


Thanks Kevin. You are what magic dreams come true are all about, that I talk about each week. I thank you for sharing this with all of us. When the show opens I hope you'll let us all know and send pictures and two tickets to you humble blog host...kidding. Please folks keep your eyes open for his show. Remember you heard it here first here before reading it in Magic or Genii.

See magic dreams can come true if you believe and work for them. Heck, Lance Burton was a act for years in the Folies Show at the Trop. Then he produced his own show and then got pick for the Monte Carlo Hotel Casino and got that 100 Million Dollar Contract. The first step is hard but even harder if you never make one. Choose what grass is greener and go for it.


Best Magical Wishes and Dreams Come True,

Tony Blanco

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