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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