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!


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

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