Tuesday, February 27, 2007
What I wish to chat about I hope are the years that I have learned from the school of hard knocks. Heck if I didn't find magic I could be selling fries at McDonalds or being a lawyer. The choice I made was one from the heart. What I do each day for a living is from the heart. If it was about the money I would have never done anything that I have done for 35 years of being a entertainer. So how fast the times have changed with the internet. So this weekend my lovely lady, Lisa got me hooked up with http://www.myspace.com/ . Now to look at the big picture this is a free service where everyone can chat and promote themselves. If your not part of this I recommend you do become part of it. Heck it doesn't cost you a dime. You can promote your shows and appearance and build a fan base. Heck you can direct folks to you "free website". My myspace is http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=40572549 This is a tool that rock stars, actors and many more tell there fans where they are performing so don't miss your chance for a free PR fan base to post your shows. Thank you Lisa, Sting, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Mike, Kozak, Eddie Izzard, Marina V, and so many others who are my new best friends in this cyber world.
Don't forget sign up for our next lecture Mark Mason.
Well, we have been a busy gathering the newsest hottest items to the HP website. This week here are some folks that Paul and I have gathered to Hocus Pocus for your magic dreams to come true.
Here is a way to kick the D'light up a notch. When we saw this at our swap met, we knew we immediately we had to offer it to you. Introducing a Miser's Dream so unique and different, you'll never want to put it down. You'll love performing the Miser's Delight! Start by showing a simple paper lunch sack completely empty. Produce a light from your fingertips and throw it towards the bag. SNAP! The audience sees the lights fall into the bag one by one in a zig-zag fashion until they hit the bottom. This is repeated 9 more times until there is a total of 10 lights inside the bag. The bag is completely full of lights! How cool is that! Suitable for just about any type of performance you can think of from children's shows to large stage venues; the Miser's Delight fits the bill! The Miser's Delight comes to you complete with everything needed to perform, including specially constructed "delightful" lunch bag, D'lite, and detailed instructions. Dont miss out on this one time event to own one.
Houdini's Style Straight Jacket
We are always working here at Hocus-Pocus to find the coolest stuff for the working pro. This is a straight jacket the looks and works just like Harry Houdini himself would use. We have found a maker that reproduced the look and feel of those days of escape artist and magical moments. A well crafted and something I am going to be proud to own. So honestly so should you. I really have a love for things well made if I can not make it myself. So when I spend my bucks and don't make it myself then you better know that its well made.
From our newest best friend the one and only Harry Anderson. He has released to us one of his pet routines Monte Gras. This is his take on the 3 Card Monte with a New Orleans twist. Harry personally makes each of these and they are number that he made them. So if you never use it, it will then be a collectors item. If you have ever seen Harry perform it on Saturday Night Live, or the Tonight Show or live in performance you know how much work goes into his 3 Card Monte act. We are honor that Harry has choosen Hocus-Pocus to release this effect thru us. Thank you Harry and look forward for more stuff soon from you.
Sean McCree is one of England's top close-up workers. For over 20 year he has worked in Pubs creating magic effects that have become his trademark routines. Most of these effects without close-up pads or the use of a table. Watching his DVD this impressed me! That's what walkaround is about. He has on his DVD over 3 hours of stuff that working magicians will learn and use. No Fluff and easy to learn! Stuff that a worker would say "Gee I wish I thought of that". Here is a worker sharing the real world magic that has made him a living. Most of us will never be known like Copperfield or Angel or Blaine but if we are workers and are working that is the most important thing in the world we live and work in. Sean has done just this and shares his tricks of his trade with you!!!!
From John Archer the guy behind the hit DVD set of Educating Archer and Blindfold Tips comes Collard. John has taken an effect of a prediction to new comedy heights. You now have a spectator join you on the stage and draw their attention to the dog that has been sitting at the other side of the stage and especially the collar that he or she is wearing. They will see that the collar already has a name on it…impossibly; it matches the previous randomly selected name exactly. This is just the bare bones of the routine though as you will see once you have witnessed John Archer’s high-energy performance, you will receive detailed written instructions to accompany the custom manufactured gimmicks. The beauty of Collard is that it can be worked in parlour and cabaret situations, stage performances, and also kid’s shows! This routine really is the ultimate in creative thinking, superb routining and a premise that proves that stuffed toys are not just for children If you like good, direct, entertaining and funny presentations accompanied by strong Magic and Mentalism; you will absolutely love Collard. A video is on the website to see this great routine.
Tonight its a quick chat about getting work. Remember we are the keepers of knowledge and secrets. The thumb tip, the double lift, the pass, the palm. We work hard to make things look like normal. So with the advent of something like myspace and blogs you should be able to link your name all over the world. It does come down to what type of work you can get. I have noticed already that agents as well use myspace to book shows. So check this thing out. Its kind'da cool and fun but, can make you money and it doesn't cost you a dime.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Where is the Time going?
It continues to be a great journey moving to Fresno. Since moving here time has flown by. The bookings are been coming in. Even seeing tours of big names passing thru Fresno is as impressive as living in Las Vegas. Just recently I have been named the offical magican for our Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Such an honor again would not come in Las Vegas without paying for the title. So I guess the time here has been good. I am actually getting alot of repeat shows this year also. A few things coming up soon I will love to share with all of you. I am in production for another Biker show and this time with Biker Babes as my on stage talent. I never had showgirls in Vegas! Now in Fresno I have a crew of Biker Babes to float or cut up, too funny. Anyway back here at Hocus Pocus we are getting ready for our next lecture. This time from England master performer and magic dealer Mark Mason. So those of you in the California area ( or if your passing thru) on Monday, April 16th, 2007 ~ 7:00 P.M. he will be here at Hocus Pocus. Tickets are $10.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door. Please call me to lock in your seat for the event. This will be another event not to be missed.
Now having been a Origami person from my days back in NY these two DVD's have caught my eye. In many ways to be a magician means always being magical. Lately magicians perform in many different places. So just think of yourself on a cruise ship or a pool party, taking a towel and folding and twisting it into a Swan or Elephant. Even a seal balancing a ball on the nose. This is such a clever new act for the clever magican that knows when and how to make use of sucha skill. This is a two DVD set with so many tips, ideas, and routines that again will make you look so cool at an event. Also feature is the long sought after how to make a Wedding or Birthday Cake that make a spectacular gift your will be remembered for. Again a must for your talents to have at the right moment and time.
Endless Rose, a brilliant rose magic effect, was created by Horace Ng. Inside a vase, there are 6 beautiful roses. One of them is red and the rest of them are yellow. Pick up the red one and pluck the rose away. However, no matter how many times you pluck the rose away, the rose keeps reappearing on the stem again and again. Dramatically, with a magical gesture, the red rose changes its color to yellow. Finally, all the roses in the vase change to yellow rose! This is such a simple act to perform and has a lovely appeal to all. It can be done close-up to stage.
Roger Reeves Benson Bowl Routine
Here is a classic of magic that has been packaged from Roger Reeves. This is a act that has been around since the 1950's created by Roy Benson. It has been the featured act of many magicians such as Frank Garcia, Don Alan. Now it can be yours because of the right props that are supplied as well as a teach in DVD of the performance by Roger. Once you learn the few moves your will have a time tested routine that will show off your great skill as a magician for the rest of your career.
Redefine Magic/ Jeremy Pei
One of our customers from Asia has come forth to share with us all his line of magic that has made him a star. Jeremy Pei's company is Redefine Magic and is now producing a fine line of card, rope, paper effects. To see the workmanship and clever ideas from him are amazing. Type in product such either Redefine Magic or Jeremy Pei to see what I am talking about. His first big hit is an act he call Eternal Ropes. This is an award winning routine that was inspired by the rope routines of Tabary, Flip, Daryl and James Lewis. Jeremy puts together a custom gimmick rope set to perform 3 complete routines (all explained in a detailed instructional DVD).The
Competition Rope Act - A dynamic fast paced routine suitable for platform and stage performance. The Eternal Ropes - A slow paced graceful routine for platform and stage performance. Professor's Supreme Remix - A close-up routine and variation on the classic Professor's Supreme Rope set. This is a great item to have in your bag of tricks ready to go at anytime.
Limited Edition Redefine Rings
We are honored to sell possible the best Linking Rings ever made. Jeremy has created Linking rings that are perfectly balanced in stainless steel construction. The set comes to you in a very wonderful Asian style carrying case, 12inch rings 8 ring set with seamless construction. If you are a linking ring performer you will be very proud to have a set of ring s made this will and look so great on stage with you. This will be a product that we will have only for a very short time so if your interested don't wait. I can't say how long we will get these in as it takes some time for them to be made. A true magical prop from Jeremy Pei and Redefine Magic.
Well tonight it is with great honor that I have a guest for Tony's Tip. Sharing a tip with us tonight is my friend and boss Paul Gross. Paul is going to share one of his pet routines that he has performed for over 15 years. Take it away Paul. Thanks Tony. Well this is a routine that I created from the classic Nielsen Vanshing Coke Bottle, but any of his fine bottles will work for this routine. Making this routine either family friendly or for an adult crowd. Just depends on which bottle you use. I will explain this routine with the Coke bottle as I perform it. First you will need a Vanishing Coke bottle, a tiny coke bottle ( the size the you would find in novelty stores or even on key chains) and a 6 foot appearing straw and 2 paper bags.
First put the Vanishing coke bottle in one bag. Then the straw and "tiny coke bottle" in another bag and crush up this bag. Now your set, lets begin the act. You now go thru the routine of the Vanish of the Coke bottle from the bag. Show the bottle in the bag and take it out and state how your going to vanish it. Place it back in the bag and turn the bag over grabbing the bottom of the bag holding the bottle to stay inside. Ladies and Gentleman its gone! Turn the bag over and now produce it again "It's back!" Yes the audience will groan. Now you do the actual vanish by placing it back in the bag and crush the bag and throw it behind your table. At this point you ask the audience "Would you like to learn how its done?" Now bring out the crushed bag with the tiny coke bottle and straw. Undo the bag and bring out the tiny coke bottle. You explain to the audience the that tiny bottle is actually a balloon. During the act you let the air out of the balloon so that shinks so that you can crush the bag up. The only problem is the straw that you have to use to blow the balloon up with. At this point reach into the bag and pull out ( slowly) the 6 foot appearing straw. Once fully out of the bag give the straw a hard bounce on to the stage and let it bounce a bit showing that it is solid.
This has been a killer effect that get lots of laughs and gasps when you pull out the straw. Don't miss the chance to add all your comedy bits when doing the first part of the vanish of the Coke bottle. This has served my show very well and I hope it will yours. We can get you all the props here at Hocus Pocus except for the "tiny bottle". For paper bags I recommend you get them in bulk at Costco type places. I hope all of you will give this a try.
Thank you Paul very much for such a great routine. I know its going to be something I am going to add to change the way I do the Vanishing Nielsen Bottle routine in my show and I hope you try it too.
Best Magical Wishes
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The Magic of Valentine's Day
OK, here we go on another theme type blog. So tomorrow is Valentine's Day, the day of love. So what is the point of the theme tonight. Love and Passion! We have choosen to be magicians, so we must love what we do. Many motive speakers speak of the passion that you must have to achieve your goals. So why not think that love and passion in work is the reason to win in your chossen career. We care to entertain people so we love and care for what we do. So let chat about that
This weekend we had a video crew come in from our local newspaper and film my boys of the magic class. They showed me the love of the things that I taught them when I asked them to show there best tricks to the crew. They shined and looked great. This could be the door to make them a star here in Fresno. This is going on the website of the Fresno Bee in about 3 weeks or so. The magic and love of their performances showed that they are learning and love what they do. Thats it, that simple. To love what you do you give it life and these kids looked like they love to learn and in turn I feel loved for teaching them the magic that I have learned over these years. When I get a disc of the day or get a link I will share it with all of you.
Each week I share tricks and books and DVD's that I love that I think you will to will love for your audiences.
Zoom, Bounce and Boom
My good friend Jeff McBride shares some of his best routines that have made him a "Star". Jeff has been doing his card act for years. This part of his act is pure magic and also lots of skill. He nows tips all the moves of his card final. Watching him make cards zoom into the audience and bounce off the stage is not only magic but amazing skill. This DVD is a must to own for all the knowledge and skill the Jeff has worked out. This DVD breaks down all the moves and give credit where credit is due to the gods that inspired Jeff's act. Plus you will see Jeff in action move by move teaching you how he created this famous act that has taken him around the world and has made him a magical legend.
In regards to the great electronic genius Tesla comes Tesla Vision by James Biss. James is on his way of become the next Tesla in regards to the way he thinks in electronic magic. James has come up with a very clever method for producing a cue for the magician. Having found a great device to have your helper cue you to what the spectator is either thinking or what their have picked is what Tesla Vision is all about. This is the ultimate in cueing devices so don't miss out in having one of these.
Clever title from Wayne Dobson at 40 years young. Wayne has been and still is the young star of British magic. This book is some of his clever rountines as well as a Bio of his life. This book not only contain's his bio "Star Struck" but also contains 40 of his best routines. Mark Mason says that "Wayne deserves a spot in magic history for all of the great ideas that he has created." This book will be here at HP at the end of the month and I have my copy already resereved and so should you. I have chatted many times withhim and I know that magic is his love and passion and know that its an honest love that you will learn from.
From the production company of Paul Harris comes Ladybug. This is a must for all you "street magic" guys. Paul has produced a clever concept of a drop or your blood that changes into a ladybug. Simple to say but magical to see. Imagine a knife to your finger a drop of blood that change to a ladybug. Thats magic! At no time are you or the ladybug harmed. Then can reset in 30 seconds with another ladybug. You are supplied with all. Yes a way of getting a hundred lady bugs which I am told you can get at any Home Depot garden spot. Clever and magical and image making for your act.
From the creative mind of Andrew Mayne comes a DVD of his newest magical stunts.again taking the street magic them to the max. Andrew blows your mind with 5 stunts that are not only visual but again image making for the camera and your audience. Andrew keeps coming up with ideas that are visual and make magic come alive for the spectator and blows them away in the long run. Pop Fist, Drawn from the light, Death Finger, Finger Saw, Stab'd are the effects on this DVD that Andrew teaches you in his clever way. Everything is simple to learn and always safe to perform even if it looks deadly. Best get for this year so far. Andrew never ever fails to just rock my world in his clever ideas. You will learn and be gratful for his wisdom of creating and teaching you.
So on this Valentine's Eve what is love and what is magic. One could look at the love of parents teaching their child. One could look at look at the day we realized what is magic in our lives. Why we choose to be magicians. This is a love of our craft the we gain love from our audiences. We work hard producing, paying for overnight shipping for a show that we hope the audiences will love what we do. Think about his, I know I get very moody in talking about a career that has given me must love and pleasure ever time I perform. I have told many a girlfriend that you will always be my second girlfriend and she would ask "Who is First" I say "Magic". To be able to do what you love in life is Magic. If magic is what youlove to do then you are actually twice lucky. To make spectators love you for what you do and love what you do ..... thats magic. To be part of a brotherhood of folks like Houdini, Blackstone, Kellar, Wilson, Henning, Copperfield, Blaine, Angel that means you are also part of magic history. Ever if you perform in a world that is not TV or Vegas your are magical in your hometown and yes loved by those who watch you.
In the real world we can't always be the next magcial star on TV or in movies but if you are in a star in your hometown...hey that enough. I remember guys coming up to me when I worked Las Vegas saying" How do I get you job". I am the big guy in xyz, Ohio. I asked "How much do you make in XYZ, Ohio". 9 out of 10 times it was more then I was making in VEGAS. I said "Stay in Ohio and enjoy the love and magic and money there"! So remember the grass is always greener somewhere else, but the money is always better at home. Now you have found out reason 56 why I left VEGAS. There are about 89 reason why I left Vegas for Frenso. Reason number one.....To be loved for what I do and my choosen craft that I love.
Ok is that enought magic and love for a night before Valentine's Day
Well last time I ask you to send your stories and ideas for this blog. I will give you full credit and the love that you knowledge deserves. I can only ask so long to hear from those that read this blog each week. Heck I can stop writing each week and may do so. Let me know if I should or if you can spare and idea or theme. P.S. Tell the ones important in your life that you love them today or at least say to them that they are important in your life and your glad that they are in your life. It is magic to the regular folks who don't know the power of magic. Give a call to a old friend today know that magic of life.
Best Magical Wishes
My love, Lisa and I at the Swap meet.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The Magic of Hocus Pocus
Well gang, we are on the way since we moved to our new location. Paul is now able to bring not only a swap meet but now the best in the magic biz lectures. This week I had the honor to present Bob Sheets. First off a true gentleman and a lover of magic. This was self-evedent in his over 3 hour lecture. This is a guy who holds magic true to his heart and wants to share the magic for those who also want to entertain. I have seen many lectures, and Bob was just the most honest and caring to share his knowledge and tricks. At no time was this a "Dealer Show". Bob is a one off! His caring to share is how magic is going to inspire the next generation of magicians. Each person was touched to learn and understand that we are lucky to be able to do what we do. Thank you very much Bob for sharing your knowledge and talents. I was humbled to learn his mystic ways and his zen like outlook to magic. I am so glad that he was able to stop by Hocus Pocus and spend time with over 30 of our local magic folks. If Bob is in your area don't miss this truly loveable magic person. He will teach you so much. So run, don't walk to see his lecture . Thank you Bob for all you did for our locals and for you humble host.
The fastest selling magic effet that I have seen here at Hocus-Pocus since I started here. This is a effect that will make you look like a true magi. Traditional a ring flight effect is all about the ring in a key chain or even a tiny shoe in your back pocket. Now imagine it on your shoelace of your shoe. Thats's right the spectators ring on your shoe. This is one for those of you who think like "street magic". This is one for those of you who know real magic on the spot. Little prep work and you have a magic miracle. Now think smart and join the folks who have been buyingup this effect left and right within the last few days. If I tell you we have sold a hundred in a few days don't think I am a pulling you leg. You know a good thing when its hot and you all call and get one so don't miss out.
Now here is one presented by our good friend Bob Kohler from the creative mind of Scott Alexander. Here is taking the standard cut and restore routine kicked up 5 notchs. Imagine never ever again to buy rope! That's right never ever again to buy replacement rope to do this classic effect. Scott has created a laugh packed routine that has been time tested on his many cruise ship shows (which is featured on the DVD that comes to you ) to prove this is pure entertainment for the price. This is a effect that youwill carry with pride in your bag of tricks instead of a bundle of rope that you have to replace after each show. Each rope i am told by Bob takes a day to make. Bob is caring to make sure that every magician that uses this will be proud. It one that you will be happy and glad you perchased. For the price you will save so much money in the long run of your career.
Since the concept of a car to find the choosen car there have been many verisons. Our good friend Dick Barry has worked out the best version I personally think. This version everyone can afford. I only wish I thought of his idea first. His concept comes in the form of a road trip with a card that the spectator chooses to be the travel spot to go to and the car finds your spot. You use plain cards and the spectator writes the city and signs the card and magically when the car travels across the cards it skids and stops on the choosen city. Again for the price you will be silly to miss this one for your bag of tricks.
From Hocus Pocus creative and wacky inventor Jay Leslie comes Psychic Carnival. First off a visual stage look are balloons. Folks know and love balloons. 4 balloons and 3 Spectators with a enevelope in each balloon. Having the spectator break a ballon with different color darts and the message in the envelope days what color the dart will be and the magician still ends up with the cash payoff. There are many varations of this effect. I know Jay and he spend soooo much time on the DVD to tell you all the ways you can perform this effect to make it a shining moment in yur show. He has kept this routine to himself for over ten years for his top clients. He now shares this most covented secret to all. Don't miss out on a routine that will make you look like the magic that you want to be.
Would you believe it if you didn't see it (video to see on the website) a coin the turns clear and a lump of silver is in you hand. This is a visual killer effect! Then you can also perform it in other ways. A clear circle turns to silver in one hand and then a clear disc in the othe hand. What more can you ask for in a visual effect. Here is a effect that the likes of David Roth, Bobo, and many other coin guys would go, Oh my God, thats cool! Its made very well and comes in different coin styles. Don't miss this one !
Well as I travel here in my new home of Fresno vs. Las Vegas...I again have to say I am glad I made the move. After looking at 30 plus years in magic (37 to be exact), I now can look at the years of prep to be able to walk on a stage and take charge. We have to know how to be incharge when we get hired. I work for alot of housewives want to be PR people. This is not be rude but know that you are hired to be the star of the show. If you let them tell you how it goes and you have to change too much that you have created then your show will fail. Last night I did a school gig (hence not writing last night) I was treated like a star. The stage was set for a show for 500 people. No way was I going to fail!! I was ready to do my show from Las Vegas for the town of Clovis, CA. For a mother-son night out at a school. This is a concept new to me and this is the 2nd one of these I have done since moving here. Only in California, I say.
Well to say that the gig went well would be a understatement, it went great!! I was surprised by the folks who pulled it together. My first impression was a bunch of housewives that were going to dress up a room with paper decor and hope for the best. Well these folks were like a Vegas stage crew. Either way I still made my point clear in what I needed in regards to lighting and sound. Which never happends when I tell them. So I was surprised twice fold in the professional way that this gig turned out.
So what is my tip and point tonight. Getting ready for the worse. Prepare for the worse. Be surprised if you get all that you ask for. We know that every school show or VFW event or local fund raiser is never going to be as profesional as we hope. Yet we better look more then they expect. If they turnout to be on the same level (or page as you think), all the better. At no time should you depend on the sponser for sound system, the proper lights, or an audience. Just focus on your show. Get a signed contract (so you get your fee no matter what) and get there and kick it.
I was honored last night to perform for such a great crowd. This is your goal too. Make all the problems vanish before your show. I was lucky this time as I really didn't do more then book the show. Next time I will make sure all my set ups will be ready by the folks in charge. I did tell this show group what I needed and they did actually have it ready, but remember you need to tell that to each and every booking you make. Don't always expect a sound system or lights. Always be ready for the worse and then be surprise for the best. Last night was the best I could ask for.
Best Magical Wishes