Tuesday, January 23, 2007

 

The Magic of the Hocus Pocus Swap Meet

The Stage was built. The tables and chairs set up. Weeks of planning, emails sent out to magicians as far South of California as well as far North. It was now Saturday Jan 20 at Hocus-Pocus time for the first annual swap meet but lets jump back one day for a moment.
Friday was arrival day for some of our vendors and lecturers. During this day Dick Barry, Suds, Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell made the trip up from the LA area. Shoot Ogawa traveled in from Las Vegas. Each of these folks got in early to set up of their tables. That night Paul hosted a great dinner for all our guests.

Dinner the night before the Swap Meet at the Joy Luck
A meal and time to catch up with friends before the next day's event.

Mark Wilson, Nani Darnell, yours truly and way to much food!

Ok lets jump back to 7:00 AM Saturday, as it was now time for the other folks that purchased tables to sell magic. Wolfgang made the travel from Las Vegas via LA. All the vendors had a 2 hour window to set up, we opened 9:00 AM sharp! Starting at 8:15 folks were already lining up in front of the building on a very cold morning in Fresno. So the doors opened and the swap meet begins. To understand that at least 70 people had already pre-paid for the lecture package, we knew we were going to have a full house. By count at the end of the day we figured at least 200 people showed up. So much magic to buy. So many magicians sharing ideas and making new friends. Each vendor had great new and used magic to sell.

Getting free coffee and food ready on a cold Fresno morning

The fun had only started. We planned out a day of lectures also for all these visitors to the magical building that is Hocus Pocus. The lectures ran the course of the day on time and to the minute. Suds was the first lecture and then came Robert Baxt, Dick Barry, Shoot Ogawa and for the grand finale Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell. Here are but a few pictures that are worth a thousand words of the fun, magic and friendship from the day.

Suds with the first lecture of a day of 5 lectures

Todd Brown of Mrs. Brown's Cookie fame visits the Hocus Pocus table

Mike Giusti and local magician/Houdini expert Frank Collins

Hocus Pocus Magic student Brady Lee getting words of wisdom from Bobby Reynolds


Performer/ writer/ Artist Tom Jorgenson, Mike, myself, Brady.

Notice Brady already knows how magicians need to pose for a proper picture. Lesson learned well young man!

So the day just kept getting better and better. Around 11:30 lunch was being cooked up in the parking lot for all the hungry magi's. To watch all of these famous folks gather eating, telling stories and performing for each other. This was and is what the brotherhood of magic is about. You could not have asked for a better day. Everything worked like clockwork. During the day I checked and rechecked that everyone was OK and things were going well. Again this job was made easy by our great staff. The Hocus Pocus staff pulled the best magic trick in the world making each person happy and amazed by this event. Personal thanks to everyone on the Hocus Pocus Team. The amount (sounding like a Las Vegas person for the moment) of love in the room was wonderful. To see the working magicians taking time to teach the young ones. To see the vendors making great deals for those who traveled far to find a good deal on magic. To know that each persons life has been enriched by this event will be something I am proud to have been a part of.

We are now looking at 3:30 in the afternoon and swap meet part ends. The vendors cleared the tables. We now move out of the lecture room into the main showroom. Taking about 125 chairs and setting them up in no time (thank you Ken, Louie and Jason) for Shoot Ogawa's lecture. Shoot started on time at 4:00 and just blew the room away with his brand of magic. His lecture is not to missed if he ever coomes to your town. Now the way we had the lectures lined up we were going to have a dinner break and then come back for Mark and Nani. Well the energy was just to good in the room to stop and come back. As soon as Shoot was finished (hour and a half lecture) Mark and Nani went on earlier.

Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell

This was the highlight of the entire day. First off Mark and Nani had been there all day. Taking time to pose with everyone and signing autographs. They had posters and 8x10's to sell as well as DVD's of all of the shows that they did on TV over the years. We were all treated to see videos of the Wilson's magic of TV. Mark also taught everyone some magic. First a cool trick with wine corks (which by the way have the Mark Wilson logo on them) Then a great rope effect was also taught. Then we all got to play "Mark Wilson Bingo". This is a great act for any promotion that you may do and we do sell it. All of this was like a boyhood dream for me to spend time with them. You see Mark was the reason (as well as Paul) why we got into magic. It was truly a honor to assist them during his lecture. This is my memory for life of this event. Thank you Mark and Nani for being the real magic with no trick photography (inside joke).

Mark and Tony

So by 9:00PM it was now time to lock the doors. Everyone has left the building. A day no one will forget! Paul and I are talking about doing this again soon, maybe as soon as this June. Words of praise keep coming in on how smooth this ran. It is thanks to all who attended that made this the best event one could ask to come to. If we do this again in June, do yourself a favor do not miss your chance to come. You will understand why we all have become magicians. The time spent chatting and meeting folks will only recharge your magic batteries. You will grow more and become a better person for having spent time with you hero's of magic.

So whats next at Hocus Pocus?

Since I built a great stage now for the showroom, get ready for the:

Hocus Pocus Lecture Series


Now is the time to sign up for a visit from the wacky man of magic and winner of lecturer of the year from the Magic Castle. This event will be on Feb. 5th at 7:00 PM and only cost $10.00 in advance $15.00 at the door. Bob will show you the best way you can make magic more entertaining thru comedy. He will give you his insight from his many years of working comedy clubs, bars, restaurants. His style of magic always leaves an audiences laughing and you will too on Feb. 5th. Call me at 1-800-407-4040 to get your seat reserved.

Once again my Thanks to everyone who were part of our first Swap Meet. Please tune into Paul's Blog on Friday. Mike has taken much more pictures and Paul will share much more stories of the event. Thank you, everyone.

Magically,

Tony Blanco


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