Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A Magical First Day of Spring
Today is the first day of spring. Here in Fresno we have actually had temps in the 80's already. Today its pouring rain outside, so much for a sunny spring day. Spring reminds me of growth and rebirth. These past weekends I have been telling my students of an expression I use called "going back to the well". I have been searching thru the old magic books for new ideas.
One of which I will share with you later in "My Tips" tonight. The idea of teaching these young kids stuff that I first learned makes the magic new and fresh all over again. You tend to forget the stuff you first did when you started in magic for the hotter flasher stuff. Watching a DVD tonight of "old style" magic reminded me that this stuff is still great, if you can get past the dated jokes and stick. "There is gold in them there hills". Explore your past and create a new beginning.
Kovari Chinese Sticks
The name Kovari is one in magic that speaks of craftsmanship. His Chinese sticks are those things that magic legends are made of. Now our good friend and master craftsman Jay Leslie
with the rights of Kovari is making his Chinese Sticks. Jay has even made vast improvements to the fine work of Kovari. Jay has added a stop on the inside to prevent tangles of the string. He has found the finest string to make the sticks run even smoother. He has added the choice of colors to the outside as well as great looking tassels. All this makes these the finest Chinese stick you could use. To grab a copy of the Greater Magic Series DVD on Chinese Sticks would give you a great insight in what can be done with this classic magic prop. This will be a limited run so grab yourself a set real soon.
Off the Meter
From the masterful creative of mind of Steve Axtell, Axtell Puppets and Magic Drawing Board comes Off the Meter. How many times have you looked for the best way to warm up a kid show? What could you do to get kids to clap hand and scream and shout. Here now is simple in design but big in comedy comes "Off the Meter". You can begin the show showing a case that has a meter on the front and you have a microphone in hand to gauge the crowds reaction. Teaching the kids to clap hands moves the meter higher and higher. Scream and it moves more until it falls apart and springs come shooting out. We suggest even adding plastic gears and other funny thing like a spring snake or two. This is a super prop , made well , is very colorful and is going into my show ASAP.
From Hocus Pocus customer and inventor Jeremy Pei comes the Ultimate Flash Gimmick. Imagine showing your hands empty and then be able to produce a sparking flash. Jeremy has done just that with his new gimmick. This gimmick is made to be able to give you that extra bit of flash in the beginning, middle or end of a magic moment. Use it to produce an item with flash or vanish an object with a little flash. Either way this gimmick is the poof of magic that will make your act stand out. The uses are endless with such a powerful gimmick.
Weeks ago, I was teaching my students the paddle move. This is such a useful move with everyday objects. Color changing knives have been a long favorite with this move. Cocktail sticks have always been cool to just pick up and do magic. One of my favorite moves is to remove the printing on a pen and the make the printing reappear. Paddles have always been magic. Now comes a really cool set of paddles "Magic Streetlight". With the colors jumping from one end to the other, then changing place and then even changing color. This is a nice set and small enough to always have ready to go. A video is on line to see part of the routine. You imagination can create even more.
Table Cloth Stunt
From a legend in the world of magic, David Ginn, comes the "Table Cloth Stunt". You know what I am talking about, the pulling off of a table cloth with a table full of dishes. You have seen it in many movies and it makes for such an amazing stunt. David Ginn the "Godfather of Family Entertainers" has perfected this stunt for over 20 years. He has created a DVD to show you all the proper moves to make this stunt work without ever breaking a single dish. To top this deal off even better, David includes just the right table cloth for the act that he has done in well over 100 live performances! So to be able to follow in the footsteps of Chaplin, Keaton, W.C. Fields and Laurel and Hardy we are so proud to be able to bring this DVD to you. To even sweeten the deal Paul says "Anyone ordering this DVD that mentions "Tony's Picks" when ordering this DVD either online or when calling an order in....Gets Free Shipping on this item". So don't forget to mention Tony's Picks if you wish free shipping on the DVD that will teach you a classic routine for your show. We also want to let you know to look for more of David's great magic soon to Hocus Pocus.
So as I mention the journey back to the well in the beginning of tonight's blog. This term I have gotten from the Irish folk group the Chieftains. A few years back they did a PBS special where they went back to Ireland and traveled to the city's and villages that they used to play. This was shown on this special with the help of some of today's musical talents that were inspired by the Chieftains when they first started out. Here on the show you see the Chieftains play along with many styles of musician yet still holding on to the core of the Irish folk music.
So my journey back to the "Well" comes in the same guise as teaching the new kids on Saturday and looking back on my travels and giving them the old with a new look. My travel started with watching Mark Wilson and owning his course in magic along with the Tarbell's and Bobo Coin magic. These were the bibles before videos and way before DVD's.
One such trick in its simple form is that of the lonely paper bag. My gosh the things I used to do with one little brown sack! From the Mark Wilson Course in Magic was the creation of the Double Walled bag. This is a device that is so over looked. The making of this bag is simple. Just cut the center of a brown paper bag so that you end up with a flap left and right, no bottom and the back. Glue this to the inside of another bag tabs to the left and right. Leave the back unglued. What you have made basically is a simple change bag that yet you can rip open and then toss away. So you can vanish stuff, produce stuff or even change stuff. Showing this to the kids here are a few ideas we all came up with.
1. A few colorful silks go in the secret pocket tear the bag open and produce one big multi color silk.
2. Same idea as above but now the final silk can either be Happy Birthday or a THE END silk.
3. Toss in ripped pieces of foil only to produce a streamer of silver
4. Same idea only silks to one long silk streamer.
5. Change a the wrong card to a jumbo card or to a Card silk
6. Produce a Rope, cut it up put the pieces in the bag only to become solid again.
7. Small objects can change or grow.
So that was a great round table of ideas from kids whose average age is around 10 -12. Just think back to something so simple that you may have forgotten how powerful a magical vision it was to the audience. Sometimes simple things are more magical then what you think.
Send me your favorite simple ideas and lets all share in the magic!
Best Magical Wishes