Tuesday, April 24, 2007

 


Outdoor Magic


This past weekend sees your humble writer again visiting the Zoo. This early morning event was called "Breakfast with the Animals". This yearly event was so set up that even the army would be amazed in the scope of organization. As folks would make their way to the open field where breakfast was being served, truly an army style set up was feeding hundreds of visitors. My job was to mingle and perform close-up magic. Then after breakfast, I performed my stage show with magic and storytelling for the young and young at heart. So if getting up at 4:30 AM and performing from 8:00-11:00 am was not enough, it was off to a Applebee's for another kid friendly event. This was to help finger print kids and teach them safety. Again strolling magic and a chance to introduce myself to this restaurant. Busy weekend indeed hope yours was as fun filled.
Don't forget to call Hocus Pocus and get your spot to see
Danny Archer's Lecture May 7th 2007 at 7:00PM


Tony's Picks


Clean Sweep

Here again our friend Paul Romhany has come up with another winner "Clean Sweep". This is another of Paul's best routines from his travels around the world on cruise ships. So you know this packs small and plays big. So the magician uses a beach ball to select a spectator and has a jumbo deck of cards. Each of the backs of the cards have names of different objects which leads to the comedy of this prediction effect. Magician shows a paper bag and mentions that in the bag is a prediction. A card is chosen and it says broom. The magician reaches into the bag and produces a broom. All is given on a teach in DVD that Paul has made this one of his best routines.


Spot On

One of England's creative performers and inventors is Wayne Dobson and now gives us "Spot On". Imagine a self-working prediction using a freely selected Domino. A spectator is invited to apply magnetic dots to a domino in any standard combination as the magician explains that they have made a prediction... Let's say he makes the standard 4 and 2 pattern. The magician then removes a small mirror from the vinyl case and holds it next to the domino to reflect pattern. "See, my prediction is in the mirror!" Unimpressed the spectator is asked to turn over the domino and there, on the reverse of the domino, is an exact match!! The domino may be immediately examined!! No gaffs. The spectator has a free choice of domino patterns, yet your prediction is always 100% accurate! Comes with the domino, six movable dots, mirror, vinyl case and complete routine. This is a great walk around or stage effect, ready anytime and again self working!

TNT

Again is another effect tonight by Wayne Dobson, "TNT" or THIS, NOTHING and THAT, is a play on words that ends up being a very baffling prediction. TNT was conceived after seeing the excellent effect, Free Will. In fact, at the end of the TNT routine is a wonderful subtlety that is also used in Free Will, credited to Deddy Corbuzier. It is a very commercial, 100% self working, instant reset, and comes complete with 3 very good quality, highly polished black Plastic dominoes that are embossed in gorgeous gold lettering. This is a great and funny way to be able to hand out your business cards to your audience.








Green Backs

Here is a comedy poker themed packet effect by Sean Taylor. Poker is a hot TV programs lately with all those Poker series with stars playing. So you tell a tale of a poker game showing four of a kind turning the cards over to show green back poker cards. Then the magic and comedy begin when the green backed cards turn into red back cards. As your tale continues a warning of the dangers of losing your shirt is given and now the backs of the cards are printed with dollar bills. This is a clever routine and easy to perform. You will want to get a few of these to have one in each of your magic cases. Comes with a full teach in DVD so each move is made clear. Cards are made well on Bicycle style cards.








Chiang Mai Block

From the craftsmanship of Tony Curtis (not the actor) comes "Chiang Mai Block". This is an item that we will have for just a short time as Tony has only made about 50 of them a true collectors piece. A small block of mahogany wood with wonderful inlay has a cord placed thru it. This is placed into a cabinet which is then all tied together. Then the magi is able to have the cord release from the block and the cabinet. Again once you see this fine workmanship you will want one for your magic collection (see photo on the right) The box measures 5 inches by 4 inches and 4 inches deep. Wonderful polished finish to the mahogany wood.


Tony's Tip


Since we started tonight talking about my outdoor shows here are a few tips I have learned. Lots of programs I have been performing folks seem to want more and more outside. This is great if the breeze is nice or your in a park with trees. This is not always the case. About 3 weeks ago one mom wanted me in the middle of the backyard in 85 degree temps and the sun right on me. This as the kids sat under one of those nice pop up tents for picnics. Luckily enough the folks had another tent to cover my spot, once I asked for the one covering the guy working the grill. So here is a suggestion to get one of those tents if you know your going to be doing a lot of outdoor gigs.

If you use any electric equipment, don't just have a regular extension cord, but say a 50-100 foot cord just in case you not working next to a house or building for power. You don't want to not be able to have music or sound if you need it for your show. If possible you might want to invest in a small battery or gas generator if your going to be really out in the woods.

Clothing is always had to figure out during the course of a long out door gig. Some of our best customers tell me that they always wear short sleeve shirts when working outdoors. If you do or can great. My look is more formal. I will roll up the sleeves during the show but never wear short sleeves. Its not that I have an rigging on its just my look. So if this case make sure you have used plenty of deodorant and even carry a bottle of say fabrize to give the costume a quick spray.

Also be prepared if your working a long day at say a company picnic to have change of clothing. Nothing is worse if a child spills ice cream on you or touches you with dirty hands, and you have to wear the same outfit all day. Bring back up clothing always!

Making a mess outdoors with confetti, balloons, streamers etc. is not a professional look as well as not good for the environment. So always have some sort of plastic cleanup bag such as the kind from supermarket shopping. Just tidy up after your show and impress the folks that hired you.

After a while you can only do so much magic. So be able to organize a game or contest if you are going to work all day outdoors. Such games as Hot Potato, Duck, Duck, Goose, Simon Sez use none or little props. You can do this at anytime and anywhere. There was a guy who used to work the resorts in the Catskills mountains in NY who became famous as Mr. Simon Sez. He would get everyone up to play. So think of this as a great filler for an outdoor day.

So just a few ideas and tips as Spring turns to Summer and the gigs begin to roll in. Do you have some suggestions? Send them in to: tony@hocus-pocus.com

Getting my Coppertone ready,

Tony Blanco

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

 

Watching Magic Come Alive

Last night Hocus Pocus had the honor and pleasure of a lecture by Mark Mason. Fresno's magic community turned out in full force for this special event. Mark's style of lecturing is to truly entertain and educate at the same time. His charming British humor made it a magical evening for all. Our group of guests which comprise off working magicians, clowns and hobbyist all agreed Mark has shown them what good magical entertainment is all about. Mark has a humble appeal saying that the magic comes first and not the moves. This is being proved by his version of the "Matrix" with 3 coins and 3 cards. This was fast and visual and at no time did he perform a finger flicker type routine. This encouraged the folks watching him to prove that they too can make magic come alive. So a big thank you to Mark Mason, a true gentleman, super performer and great teacher of magic. Coming to Hocus Pocus in May (May 7th to be exact) is Danny Archer. Call me now to make your reservations at 1-800-407-4040.

Tony's Picks

Voodoo 1

From the mystic mind of Werry comes Voodoo 1. Here is a effect with some interesting history. This I will let you find out by reading the full description on the website. Let's just say Werry has created something rather special for those of you mentalism fans. You start out with a spectator a sketchpad and a felt maker. The spectator writes their name across the top of the pad in large letters. The sheet is removed and torn into two pieces, one piece for the spectator and one for the magi. The spectator's piece is crumbled up. The magi draws an image on the back of his paper. Now here is when it gets weird, the spectator opens his paper to find the same image on his paper. This is a method totally different from what you may think. So again check out the full write up on the website.




Model Bottle

From the creator of Glass Mirage, Alex Lourido comes Model Bottle. As was said when I was a kid one picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the video on this one gang. A bottle (green beer bottle type) is placed in a bag and then you flatten the bag only to remove a flatten beer bottle. Now with this method you can also change the bottle from green to a brown bottle, vanish or make a bottle appear. Everything comes to you for this amazing effect, Special bottle, machine made gimmick and a DVD with so many ideas. This one is an in your face type of magic that will leave folks stunned!











Big Bucks

Danny Archer the creator of many of my favorite effects brings you now Big Bucks. Big Bucks is truly what it says BIG! From the idea that packs it small and play big this one is just that. Imagine 4 7 inch by 16inch $10.00 bills shown freely on both sides. Then in a flash blink of the eye each one changes to a 4 $100.00 bills-that quickly and that visual. Large enough to play big venues yet pack in a standard attach. Danny has produced these in 4 color printing and on heavy glossy stock paper. This will give you a prop that will last a long time. Big Bucks is Big on Entertainment.







Something, Nothing and More

Now here is a colorful and magical prop to have in your show from the comedy mind of Terry Elton and the craftsmanship of Wellington Enterprises. Terry has created a magical, fun play on words routine. Large words are produced from the box (words even larger then the box) in which several members of the audience take part in the mayhem. This is Terry's "Play on Words" routine that a worker like Terry has kept his personal secret for many years. We are honored to now be able to share with you. To make this effect even more amazing is the wonderfully crafted box that Wellington has built for this act. It comes to you with the famous Wellington table base which sets up in seconds. To make this routine even more complete is Terry's 15 page book with all his tips, ideas, and knowledge for having performed this act for so many years.




Foreign Affair

Gregory Wilson is one of close-up magic's amazing guys. To watch him work and how excited he is about his craft is the reason we do what we do. I have seen him just blow magicians out the door at magic conventions. So now Gregory has come up with a clever idea about money from around the world in Foreign Affair. Here is the premise how a magician makes money while travel around the world. Starting with a one-dollar bill (green), he folds it in half to reveal an Australian note (bright green). He then folds it in half again to reveal a twenty-euro note (blue). One more fold reveals a hundred-yen note (red). Finally, when the bill is unfolded, it has now transformed into a one hundred-dollar bill-which can be thoroughly examined. Now that is an effect that would make a banker think twice about letting you walk in the door of his bank.





Tony's Tip

This week I turn the spotlight on again a local guy here in Fresno, Frank Collins. Frank is a Magician, Houdini Expert and Teacher in our school district. Frank is a clever and inventive guy who came in today to Hocus Pocus with some ideas to share with all of you. He gave me a bunch of ideas so here is one and we will save the others for future blogs.
(Mike and Frank at the Swap Meet right)

A Cut and Restore Rope Routine

Patter. "Today I want to talk about something that changed my life, it has two ends and center."

(Swing the rope between your hands)

"Yes, I am talking about a football team."
(gather the center)

"But the coach decided that he wanted to cut me from the team, I told him that he shouldn't but he did."

(Cut the center as you would in a cut and restore rope routine)

"I was the center, I held the team together, after I was cut."

(drop the ends)

"The team fell apart and became two teams, now there were 4 ends and 2 centers. The coach decided to try and make things right he put me back on the team as a tied (tight is the proper term) end."

(Tie the ends together)

The coach said " Do you want to play tight end?"

(ruffle the ends)

I said, "I'm afraid not." (frayed knot, OK its a groaner I know....lol)

"He said would you like to play off center?

(Slide the knot two inches)

"I said No!"

The coach then asked, How would you tackle this problem?"

(slide knot two more inches)

"I said I would round up all the players in a huddle."

(wrap the rope around your hand while sliding the knot off the rope into your other hand)

I said, "Coach you taught me alot but, I have more fun with magic. I'll leave the team and not (knot) have any regrets (show the knot) and my suggestion for a perfect play would be to go long".

(Show the rope fully restored)

"And to this day I have had a lot more fun with magic".

That is just a very clever, charming and funny story to perform the cut and restore rope routine to. Thank you very much for sharing your magical gem of patter and wit. Not being a football fan I still got all the jokes and bits. This one is a real keeper and winner. So all of my readers I hope you get to use this in your next gig. I only wished I knew this when used to host Superbowl parties in Las Vegas. It would have been a funny, killer little number to do both on stage or close-up. Again Thank you Frank, and we have more from him to share with all of you.

A Few pics from Mark Mason's Lecture





Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco

tony@hocus-pocus.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

 
Lights, Camera, Magic!

This past Friday Hocus Pocus played host to our local Fox station KMPH's morning program, "Great Day". The crew came in at 4:30 AM to do interviews and feature magic of my students and me. The reporter Brian Loftus, was new to the Fresno area was a great load of fun. We set up the local cutaways at the store and Brain was so open to be surprised by the magic. For 5 hours throughout the morning (about 17 times) live remotes were seen of the store and the magic of Hocus Pocus. I got to perform some great close-up magic and my chair suspension illusion with student Brady Lee. During the morning first up of the students was Michael Jackson. Michael is a great kid with an even bigger heart for the craft of magic. He and his mom Janice showed up at 5:30 AM with Michael look so smart in a black tuxedo.

Michael performed one of the first close-up effects I first taught the class. So as a surprise to the reporter it looked as the card effect was going wrong. Brian picked a card, Michael placed it in the deck and cut the cards. Then turning over the top and proclaiming this was your card, Brian was a little surprised to have to say "no its not". Then Michael does this two more times with no luck. At this point I am saying things like "Michael! We are live on the air! What are you doing?" So the scene is 3 cards on the table (you see it coming) "So this is not your Card? Not this one either? What was your card?" Then Michael turns over the correct card. The reporter was blown away. Then Brady came on later with his shoelace untied and just shook his foot to tie them by magic live on the air. Then had fun with a few magic items that looked like he made a quick stop at McDonald's for breakfast. Paul provided two magic kits to give away on the air for two different trivia questions. It was lots of fun, great PR for the shop and the magic workshops. Later after the live remotes were over and the crew left, Brian called from the station saying how well received the broadcast went. Below you will see some photos from Michael's mom. Thank you Michael and Brady for looking like real professionals. Thank you to Brian and his crew and everyone at Fox KMPH.


Tony's Picks


Cups and Balls DVD by Bob White

One of the true tests of a magician has been the way he or she works the cups and balls. This effect goes back to the dawn of time. On this DVD I think Bob has opened up some of the best kept secrets to learning a great presentation of the Cups and Balls. On the DVD Bob goes into routines and moves by Charlie Miller and Dai Vernon. He even goes into the legendary Vernon ball vanish move. There is a complete routine on this DVD to learn or just use parts for your current act. Also as performed by Bob is the Vernon single cup and ball routine. So much great information packed on this DVD, it is not to be missed.




Bright Ideas

From the mind of full time worker Christopher Williams comes Bright Ideas. This full time pro shares his most powerful routines from his daily routines. His routines are those that have been time tested and streamlined to work in any situation. First, the DVD catches Christopher live working his amazing routines. Then it's back to the studio for his personable style of teaching you every move and subtleties that has been perfected over many shows. A few of the effects include ideas from Dr. Daley and Larry Jennings. If you love great card magic this is a must for your DVD collection to learn from






Frozen


From the magic inventive mind of Nefesch comes Frozen. Here is one for you "Street Magic" fans. Spectator gives a coin to the magi after the spectator has signed it. Now cupping his hands, the magi blows a "cold breath" to his hands. No different if it was a cold winter day. With his hands over the spectator's hands water begins to drip. Upon opening his hands, the magi drops an ice cube into the spectator's hand and yes the coin is frozen inside the cube. Amazing and that clean. You get a book with 45 pages and over 50 photos showing you not just one version but two. Either version you perform is just that magical.








A Promise Kept

Now here is one for you storytellers and bizarre magi's. It's a close up effect that inspires a haunting tale of love and mystery. A wonderful wooden box with an inlay design is the focus of a coin in a box and a tale of its disappearance and reappearance. The story (or tale) is so well crafted, that it has been know to invoke, shrieks, chills and even a tear or two from those who have heard and seen this effect. All the magic is done right in the box and in the spectator's hand which makes this such a personable and haunting tale of magic and love. Truly it it one for those who can tell a tale and move an audience.







Casino Caper

From the workshop of master craftsman Doug Malloy comes Jules Lenier's Casino Caper. Jules if some of you may remember wrote Light from the Lamp for Genii magazine for many years. Jules was one to come up with clever ideas that he shared in his articles, as well as stories of the doings of the Magic Castle. This effect Casino Caper was one of his great routines that is now here for you, a simple yet funny tale of about the odds of your number coming up. You get all the props that make you look like you have a mini casino where you are going to predict the out come of three spectator's numbers chosen. Here is an effect that is great for the stand up or walkaround performer, truly fun, entertaining, magic routine.


Tony's Tip

A quick chat about being on TV, as mention we were on in the morning last Friday, and I had to act as MC for Hocus Pocus. Now if you have ever seen or been on TV little time is ever given to doing your full length routine. Lots of times you have 30 seconds to perform not to much time for patter. Actually the more visual you are on TV the better. Save the story routines for your show. This is a visual media and no time for much more then the magic.

The morning of the show, I set out the magic props on my workbench next to my desk. These items were effects that I know very well as my close-up repertoire. Live TV is not the place to try out a "new routine". You must also be aware or at least develop a real good sense of timing to know when to "wrap up" you tricks. The morning of the show we had maybe 3-4 minutes the most for the interview and then for a quick performance. So fast paced, close-up magic works well. Like a coin matrix, a sponge ball routine, a quick version of the ambitious card routine, Professor's Nightmare are few that come to mind when you have to do something quick.

Another misconception about being on TV is that (either in the studio or on location) some one will be there to do your make-up. News programs are not like the movies, you better come to the table ready to look good. That means putting on any basic makeup yourself, especially if you're getting up at 2:30 in the morning for 5 hours of being on TV. The reporter that came to Hocus Pocus made sure he had his make-up and hair spray so should you when you on TV.

Rehearsal is usually a very short thing when it comes to live TV, but Brian was very good at putting in the time to show Brady and Michael where to and how to stand. The best part of the morning rehearsal came from Brady when he asked that the station not put his name on the screen until after his shoelace was tied. This blew Brian away, thinking about what am I teaching them besides magic. Heck this was one from Brady's mouth not me. He totally impressed everyone with such a knowledge of the camera and angles. So take into account where you're performing when on TV. Know that nothing is growing out of the back of your head. Know where you're standing and angles for the camera to get the full effect of your magic.

Promotional words are always important when on TV. Make sure you get all of the messages that you are there for. Always learn the host's names and talk like you have known them for years. Try to keep down the witty jokes, sometimes it may not be funny for the viewers. Just make sure you are magical in what you do and say. Remember also to set the VCR or TiVo to catch this moment for your video resume. Agents and buyers want to see lots of video of you so they can have something to sell you with. Hope that helps you next time you get a chance to shine on TV.



Michael on "Great Day" at Hocus Pocus














Michael w/ Brian Loftus
Want to share a tip: tony@hocus-pocus.com


Best magical wishes

Tony Blanco

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

 





The Dawn of New Magic

Like the new flowers in the spring, a new crop of magic is growing. We have so many things in bloom at Hocus-Pocus. This Friday a local Fox network will visit with us for about 5 hours for their morning program. Doing live remotes in-between the news, weather, and sports. I am having some of our magic students get a chance to show off for the Fresno locals, live on the air. I will see if I can get some clips to show you soon. Then in two weeks to remind all of you in the CA area, that on April 16th Mark Mason is coming to lecture at 7:00 PM. We look forward to his style of close-up and stage magic with that touch of British wit. Call in to great your spot for this lecture. Then in May, Paul, Mike and I make the journey south to the Magic Castle for the dealer's weekend. This will be a great time to meet some of you that we only get to chat with on the phone. So truly magic is growing in the next months here at Hocus-Pocus.


Tony's Picks


Dream Prediction

Once again our friend from up north Paul Romhany comes Dream Prediction. Here is Paul's take on the famous routine Dream Vision as performed by David Copperfield. Only this time Paul has worked it out that you don't need any off stage helpers setting things up for the finale.
The magician talks about his dream holiday and tells the audience that he wrote it down on a large piece of paper and sealed it inside an envelope which can be seen hanging on a stand. The audience can see the prediction through the envelope at all times. A beach ball is then thrown out into the audience and a spectator is asked to call out the name of a cruise ship they would like to travel on, the performer writes the answer down on a small white board for verification later on.
The beach ball is thrown and another spectator is asked to call out a destination they would like to visit, again it is written down on the white board. A third spectator is asked to count the change in their pocket and the amount is again written down on the white board. This spectator comes on stage to verify each of the items called out. The large envelope is shown and opened, the audience can see the prediction fall out of the envelope and the spectator reads the prediction which matches EXACTLY what the audience chose. This routine can play in any situation from cabaret, stage to a more intimate setting like a private home. Paul Romhany has spent years working on this routine and performing it in all types of situations. It is extremely adaptable as you can use any presentation you like. Here are all the props and a DVD of Paul's teaching and performing the routine for you. Now you have a truly plays big and packs small version of a great stage act.

Mini-Magic Switch Board

From the magical inventions of Wellington Magic we present the Mini-Magic Switchboard, an effect that is both magic and science. In the current frame of the movie "The Prestige" this act will truly play big. You show a board with 4 different color light bulbs and 4 switches. You can remote the light bulbs and place them in different sockets and yet when the red switch is flip it lights red and so on and so on. You can switch the switches and still yellow light yellow and so on. A great tie in to what is magic and what is science in the age of enlightenment magic may win over science or is it science wins over magic. There are a few in stock so don't miss out on this classic of magic for your programs. Done close-up or parlor it's a killer.


Losander's The Floating Cap

From our great friend Losander, the man who gave up his great floating table and many DVDs on the art of Levitation comes The Floating Cap. Here Losander gives you his take on a clever idea for the use of a spectator hats. Using a cloth (yours or the spectators) you also borrow a baseball type cap and begin the eerie magic and making the hat come alive floating around the cloth. This is so why cool in this the age of street magic. Imagine all is borrowed to make the magic come alive right before the spectator's eyes. Included with this are a cloth, the gimmick and a full teach in DVD. This act as well as all tonight on this list pack small and play big for either stage or close up.







Seance DVD

From the mystic mind of Dixie Dooley comes the Seance DVD. Dixie has long been known in Las Vegas as a working magician, Houdini expert and escape artist. In years past, Dixie has held many Houdini seances during Halloween time. Now he presents all his ideas for you on the performance of a Seance. This is a no holds bar DVD for presenting and performing for the entertainment purposes a Seance. Dixie teaches you so much on this DVD, building the magical props you will need, the setups, the look and even a comedy version of a seance. Please read the full description on the website of what this DVD offers you will be impressed by the knowledge being given. Dixie has given so much time and thought into this an act you will love to know how to do.







Flashlight Fun

From Trevor Lewis, England's beloved family entertainer comes back into the magic fold with Flashlight Fun. This was an effect made many years ago and just recently we sold a collector's version of the old version. It has been long hard to find, but now it's back in a modern look and with modern parts for a longer lasting Flashlight Fun. We start off with a flashlight that doesn't work when you take it apart the light works on its own away from the main body of the flashlight. Then the light stop and the body of the flashlight lights up. So much confusion and comedy magic abound. Your kid shows will benefit from all this wacky goings on. You great Trevor's routine and yet you can add it at any time in a show as a running gag also.







Tony's Tip

Tonight I would like to introduce to you Damon Reinbold, a customer at Hocus Pocus and a charming gent to speak to. I find out that Mr. Reinbold (as I call him) has been involved in the field of Hypnotherapy for well over 50 years. He mentions that he studied under Milton Erickson the man who started the trend of curing smokers with this type of therapy as well as other problems people have had. Damon is also a working mentalist and magician having spent many years in Little Rock, Ark. now makes New Mexico his home. He is still continuing his talents of magic and mentalism. Tonight I share a page from his lecture notes (with his permission) on magic, mentalism, and storytelling. Here is chapter 4 (I know I said Chapter 2 Mr. Reinbold but I figure a trick to share would be good also...lol)

Once Upon A Time...Damon Reinbold

Where does a story come from? All storytellers throughout time have been asked this at one time or another. To tell the truth, I don't know. Certainly I have my theories, but I can honestly say I know of no specific formula. It might be overheard conversation, something in the news, a day-dream, some thoughts that leads to the question "What if" etc. All of the above have led to at least one story for me. In fact, let me tell you a story.


One rainy Saturday afternoon, I decided to journey down to the magic shop in my area to hang around with friends as I frequently have done. The shop, by the way, is one of the most well- stocked in the country. During one of the "war stories" of one my cohorts, I glanced up to a shelf on my left. There was a vase I hadn't seen before. I t was a flower vase that looked like (to me at any rate) it was from the 1930's. It almost beckoned to me.


"Is that a Chinese Prayer Vase?" I asked. When told that "Yes, it is"-instantly the whole story jumped into my head. I felt so comfortable with the story I didn't even write it down and then performed the piece the next week in my theatre show. I set aside the cord that was suppose to hang from the vase and used a long stemmed rose in its place. Here's the story-


"This vase was once owned by a woman named Theresa Schmidt. She lived in Manitowoc, WI and was married to an undertaker by the named Edward. When they were first married, money was tight and Edward skimped on his lunch money, scraped up a quarter here and a quarter there, until he had enough money to buy Theresa this vase on the occasion of their anniversary. Knowing what he went through to get the vase for her, Theresa treasured it.


Years later, after Edward passed away, each day that Theresa passed the vase on the mantle, she was reminded of the deep love they had shared. Then one day, a neighbor found Theresa dead on the floor a victim of an intruder to her home. When she was found the vase had been tightly held in both hands. In fact, it took the authorities more then an hour to pry the vase from her dead finger and it is said that at the moment of death, Theresa's spirit passed into the vase.

"Because it was involved in the murder, it was kept in the evidence room at the police station. The officer working the graveyard shift (you should pardon the expression) swore that at times he could hear voices coming from the vase.

"It is said that flowers put into the vase even without water (Put a long stemmed flower in vase and invert) would stay fresh for days, weeks and even months. It is also said that the vase would move by itself (hold by stem only and let the vase cling by itself) from place to place (Release flower stem).

"Now we all know that's not possible" (Remove flower from the vase.) At this point, a spectator is called up and the mouth of the vase is held to her ear. "Do you hear anything?" Then it is held so she can look into it. "Do you see anything"?

The flower stem is placed back into the vase and the gimmick is engaged. "It seems that Theresa loves life and will hang onto anything beautiful that has life". (Flower is demonstrated hanging from the vase, which is turned upside down). Vase and flower then is turned upright keeping the stem lodged in the vase by the gimmick and the spectator grasps the stem with the vase hanging from it.

"I'll place one hand under the vase and my other hand on your". (Push down slightly releasing the gimmick). "Did you feel anything?"

Many times she will answer "yes" and still not know what it was. "That was Theresa. She likes you and wants you to have the rose." Remove vase downward leaving the spectator holding the rose.
The End.

Wow! Now that was powerful magic and storytelling with the simplest magic prop the Chinese Prayer Vase and a real rose to give away. Damon goes on to mentions that story was so powerful that when he first performed it, a couple thought they even knew the family he was talking about in the story. He then knew that he had a keeper of a routine. Damon also points out that Theresa and Edward were real, they were his grandparents and really lived in Wisconsin. No, there was no murder, but when he tells the story he can see them in detail in his mind. The house, the mantle is vividly there. "It comes down to body language that sells the truth of the story, Tony. The more real facts you can put into a story, the more believable and effective it is. Besides, it's easier to remember!"

Thank you again, Mr. Reinbold for this great sharing of your knowledge and wisdom of creation of a magical performance piece. I hope this inspires all of you to look at your everyday magic props and create a gem like this.

Wish to share an idea or a routine, email me tony@hocus-pocus.com

Tony Blanco

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