Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Happy New Year
It's finally here! A New Year for those things you said you were going to do last year. A Chance to create, discover a new you! Each year folks make promises to become a better person, get in shape or get more focus on they career. Don't try so hard just think about it and you know what things will happen. This past year I have been able to do more then I could have believed years ago. So this year you can get a fresh start to. Plan a trip to get new ideas. Where? How about Fresno, California say this Jan. 20th. Well you know I have to remind you all to attend Hocus Pocus' first swap meet. Heck this past Sunday (yes on a Sunday) I built our new stage for this event. I used 10 2x6's and 2 4x8 3/4 birch plywood. This will be the stage where one of my magic hero's Mark Wilson will lecture. Also on this same stage during the swap meet will be Robert Baxt, Dick Barry and Suds. These are going to be some great lecturers sharing years of wisdom and knowledge. The Lecture package only cost $30. To rent a table to sell your stuff is only $15.00. To attend the swap meet (priceless) is free. So don't miss your chance to start the new year on a great note. If you want to attend or sell please call me to reserve your table or lecture.
King King Rope Rings
Now heres a new and novel idea for a old effect. Having rings of ropes link has been around for a long time but now the spectators can examine the ropes! Showing two rope rings your cause them to link, unlink and all can be checked out then link another set of two, then three, then all four. Very Visual and get this easy. No magnets or snaps that's the other kicker! These ropes are brightly colored red which means all can see this effect and the method is very clever. Here is a routine that you can say follows magic's number one rule of "Packs Small and Plays Big"
Designing Miracles Book
Since we are talking about a fresh start for the new year here is a book for your new ideas. Darwin Ortiz has continued his way of thinking he first published in Strong Magic and has really tipped his personal secrerts. Darwin is famous for creating so many amazing card effects. How does he do it? In Designing Miracles he lets you in on his thought patterns in creating killer effects. Darwin spends the best part of the book also showing you a new way of thinking when putting your routines together. This book will show you a new way of thinking and understanding when you audiences are amazed or if the effect just lays a egg. Darwin lets you in on the insight of the audiences reactions and how to get the reaction you wish. Simply...this book will change the way you think about magic.
From Old to New DVD
From France comes Dominique Duvivier and his DVD set From Old to New. Dominique has been consider one of todays modern thinkers of magic. In France's he owns the oldest magic shop there and a new club called the The Double Fond. If that didn't keep busy he is always inventing new effects that not only amaze audiences but (key word) entertain them! This DVD set includes some of his best kept secret effects. I have had the pleasure a couple times to see him work. His look and his manner always seem to fool not only audiences but magicians too. So on this DVD set are just that, amazing effects that you will learn and entertain to create great close up magic moments for your audiences.
From magic's best kept secret weapon Tom Jorgenson comes Brazen. Tom is truly the jack of all trades that every magician should live up to be like. An artist (art work for Magic Magazine), An Inventor, A builder and Performer. Tom's book The Medicine Show Book is a classic in showing the ways of building and traveling a show. Now Tom has come up with a brilliant take on the Blindfold routine. You the magi having saved the spoon bowls from a bending routine are now going to use them as part of your blind fold act. Spectator comes up and places these bowls on your eyes and then tapes them in place with strips of black tape. Yet by some miracle you can still see and know whats in front of you. You can even do this with clear tape and your eyes are seen coverd with the spoon bowls at all times. This truly will become your favorite way of doing a blindfold routine and never use another method.
Anton Corradin is a name that just says creative ideas and amazing props. From anvils that come out of no where to well crafted boxes to truly visual magic that's Anton! The Money Bag is his latest visual magic miracle (video on the website to see). In brief a black bag can be shown empty (it like a tube) reaching in an twisting it. You even prove the bag has no bottom after you have dropped a half dollar and it falls thru. Do this a couple of times and then it changes to a jumbo (and I mean jumbo) half dollar. Well if this works on a coin lets try a dollar bill. You place the bill in and now lots of dollars appear out of the bag. It's a great piece of visual money magic that you will want to put into your show.
As we started off tonight talking about new ideas and new creations lets look back to the past for fresh ideas. They say that every so many years a new star of magic comes along to change the look of our craft. I go back in my career having watched Mark Wilson as the first nationally know magician on TV. Mark showed the world some of the latest creations that soon ever magician had to have. I know I wanted a Zig-Zag illusion and a Girl Thru glass. Mark set a standard for magic on TV. Then came Doug Henning who added rainbows and a sense of wonder, then David Copperfield who added charm, dance and romance to magic. Not only that a style of dress that some magicians still dress like.
So what am I saying here, each of these magicians each with their on style still drew water from the well. Having spent many years learning the tricks and the history of magic to reinvent it. As we all must do. but never forget the past of magic. Having the latest hottest effect is one thing but do you actually know how it even came to be. I find that if you spend say an extra bit of time really researching you tricks you can be surprised on how much more you may get out of an effect. Jeff McBride calls this "Play Time" when you but down the instructions and see how that magic box or tube can also be used. I was at his studio once and we chatted about the Ball and cone routine just playing and studying the cone. He told me of several ideas that could lead into the routine (the Dai Vernon act) but the magic was now about the theme of the effect before you even do the magic. That's Playtime!
So now our new genaration of magi's have really returned to the well, actually the street. This new group of Criss Angel's and David Blaine are really paying tribute to ancient performers. From India, to old England, Eygpt, todays magicians are creating that magical feeling in a special way on the street and in your face. Now I have my respects and complaints about some of this style of magic, but it is keeping magic alive. Gone are Tuxs and Doves and canes. So that's ok but lots of these effects done today are from the tails and top hat era only now done with snakes and creepy bugs. So where are you in this history of magic? How are you going to change or be the next look of magic? What will make someone want to hire your program? Are you hip or cool? Are you classy? Are you magical? Ask yourself these questions so that you can move toward bigger and better shows.
Now that we are begining a new year lets dust off all those books and DVD's and videos to see what gems we have overlooked these past years. I know I am always creating themes and ideas for each trick. That's not to say I just don't also do the effect as per instructions but you would never know I am, once my personality has been buffed over the effect. So this year I promise to have a few more guest bloggers from the world of show biz...but really I would like to start featuring some of you who read this each week. I can draw "water from the well" as much as the next guy but I would love to feature some new "wells" with fresher tasting ideas also for our family of Hocus Pocus readers.
Here is hoping to see you all soon at the swap meet and hoping some of you will be willing to let me feature you on this blog spot. A very best Happy New Year wish to all of you
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