Tuesday, May 29, 2007

 

The Peace before the Storm


This past weekend I hope that all of you either were busy performing or like me finally had time off to relax. This weekend was one of time to catch my breath since I have been on the road the past few weekends. Between visits to Southern California and Northern California this weekend was the just the down time 'til all the summer gigs start kicking in. Today alone I just booked about 5 gigs. So I hope you're getting all that you deserve and want for your show and persona. As you read last weekend it was the Tony Blanco and the Biker Babes Magic Show. I still can't get over the funny facts that made the show work. I tell you this honestly it wasn't all just as simple as it looks but it all made for some great PR pictures that you know I will use. So here is hoping you're working the up coming months for great summer gigs.



Tony's Picks


Vanishing Radio by Doug Malloy





One of our creative friends Doug Malloy with Paul's inspiration has created the newest version in a long line of Vanishing Radio. This is radio that has the look of a real in this era boom box with CD type player. At any point the magi (you) takes a CD and inserts it into the radio and it plays (sound really off stage). The magician takes a large silk and covers it and brings it to the edge of the stage to cause it to vanish. Doug has made what has been deemed the Rolls Royce of the Vanishing Radio. Long time in design by Doug, and unique to appeal to today's crowd that use this type of radio/CD player, Priced well for the knowledge and craftsmanship of a real performer's needs.










Mercury Wallet





From the ever producing mind of Jim Pace comes Mercury Wallet. Jim is one of those guys in the magic world that has his purse on what is needed to make magic happen. He is the same guy that gave us "The Web" a trick that even Lance Burton took to heart for one of his TV specials. Now Jim has come up with the Mercury wallet you can perform a few amazing miracles. Effects include a Card Prediction, Deja Vu a wedding ring vanish and appear, ESP Bill Switch the idea that you can predict the serial number of a spectator's bill. Clever ideas from just one great prop.







Red Light Dancing Cane





As someone that actually makes a great dancing cane (mine doesn't light up) and someday make them again for all of you. I look upon anyone that takes the time to make a cane that can also light up. To make a dancing cane takes a lot of the time and care to make sure it balances just right . To add the talent of lights or glowing takes even more knowledge of balance and science. So check this one out as it glows in such a wonderful red light as you perform the classic dancing cane routine. Folks like David Copperfield and Jeff McBride have made an impression on the world with Dancing cane acts, adding a little color kicks it up a way big notch.





Color Fusion Change Bag



Change Bags to me have always looked like something passed around in Church to get money. Nothing magical about that. Henry Evans that magical creator of many classic magic effects also tonight in my tips has kicked it up a notch to create Color Fusion Change Bag. Here is a change bag that (yes still looks like a church thing) still makes the magic happen. So don't miss out on the next generation of Change bags.




No Camera Tricks

What can one say of Richard Osterlind? He is today's modern master of mentalism. Everyday I speak to hundreds of you and the name that comes up the most is Richard Osterlind. You all by his stuff more than any of our creators of magic. Richard comes up with solid mentalism effects for the working pro. Now with "No Camera Tricks" from L&L magic he presents his best effects that as the title says is " No Camera Tricks" are part of the show. This DVD is produce to give you the knowledge to perform mental miracle magic live on TV. This means no stooges just real magic with audience members. His miracles are line up on a 3 DVD set. This is Richard Osterlind at his best. Giving you his real world stuff both in the studio and live in restaurants. This again is a one off type of DVD packed with so much!!!!





Tony's Tips



Not a rant tonight as much as a time off from the past 3 weekends of travel and performing to step back and create. One of my favorite things is to learn from others. No matter how old you get and think you know it all (this means you know actually nothing ) there is always room to learn from the Gods that come before you. One of my recent heroes (not that recent actually 10 years now) is Michael Flatley. Yes the guy from the Lord of the Dance frame. Here is a performer like most of us that can claim he worked his way up the ladder of success. If you have never seen either Riverdance or Lord of the Dance you have missed out on the art of creation. This man took the legend of Irish Music and the classic Irish step dance and created a world of knowledge to the Celtic dance and history of Ireland. Brash he is but if you listen to interviews he gives, he is about artistic creation. That's all that we should attempt in creating a magic act or routine.
Magic is a standard already made, how do you make you magic different from everyone else. Hell ,I have spent a life time trying and see the Criss Angels and David Blaines doing it with less knowledge and sometimes less passion than I think I have. Is it about having the right amount of money or talent? Sometimes! Most of all it is about having the smarts to know what is now even if it is not hip at the moment and creating the moment that everyone sees hip.

One of my favorite things in the last few years is when Paul asked me to perform at Max's school. I took it as a walkaround event, no different from working hundreds of the restaurants that I would do. Well I was in a baseball field with lots of teens and I did my close up stuff on a small table. I got the same reactions you see on a Criss or David TV show with kids running away saying Holy #$%^ or oh my $%^&ing God. So what makes me get the same reaction like David or Criss? Timing and the lack of ever seeing a live performing making magic happen, right before your eyes. My only down fall was I didn't have a camera crew like these street magic guys.
So remember your magic is powerful and like today's Youtube.com world if it is not seen on video you will have to prove yourself over and over again. So start saving those magic moments for future audiences. My friend Ayala told me once get as much as you can on video so it builds up your resume. In my time you would show a bunch of photos or news clippings, now agents and bookers want to see your DVD. So start video taping anything you do. That's the tip that can make your career.


Thanks for reading,
Tony Blanco


Want to share a tip or idea;






























Tuesday, May 22, 2007

 



Another Busy Yet Magical Weekend

This past weekend things were still running (I look forward to the 3 day weekend) busy. Saturday for the first time in weeks I had the last session of the kids magic class. We will start back up for another 4 week set of sessions, Saturday June 9th. If you are a local kid magician and are interested please call the shop, 559-266-5150. Now last week I mention about the performing again at the Biker Event I did once before. Let me tell you if you have never gone to a Biker event its an eyeful. First off there were a large amount of finely made and incredible designed motorcycles. This is a serious competitive event for bike builders. Then there are the vendors with everything from biker clothing, helmets and so much biker stuff. Then the shows one stage featured dancers and a band. Another stage featured my magic show.



This time around the sponsor wanted me to use some of his models for the show, which meant he wanted some illusions in the show. I have always wanted to do an illusion show since I was a teen, but learned many other skills over the years so that I never had a chance to have boxes or showgirls in my shows even all those years in Las Vegas.



This time I got to have both. So (after all these years I could afford to have ) a zig-zag made for the show and my sponsors company did the painting. That really came down to the wire for the painting. We still didn't do the figure of the girl on the front. Next I got to meet with a charming gal who was the perfect size for the Illusion. Believe it or not after a few quick rehearsals and she got the routine down. I was also given two other girls to be my Ta-Da girls. Remember this was a Biker event and they didn't come to see my magic...lol, it's about bikes and babes. At the end of the blog I have shared a few pictures of this wild day. All and all it was a real learning experience and different from any event you would normally do, but hey isn't that why we all do this anyway to learn and grow!



I just wanted to take the time to point out a few new product categories on the website. If you look to the left side of the website you see some 3 new categories. Axtell is Steve Axtell and his world of wonderful puppets and magic products. Clown will feature some great products for the working clown. Right now we are introducing ShoeBee's Clown shoes. Then we have a clearance section for those of, you looking get a great deal on some items that we have .




















Tony's Picks




Tony Clark's In & Out Rope Escape

Tony Clark has been a main stage stable in the Reno/ Tahoe casino showrooms for many years. He is now sharing his take on the rope tie escape. This is a routine that he has worked night after night perfecting and now you can do it too! Here is a 5 minute comedy Packed routine that as we all look for packs small and plays big. Tony has done this act for TV spots for news programs as well as in live performances on stage. This routine and a piece of rope can create many magical moments and make you a name for your show.












Kikuchi Fire Phone




The name Kikuchi stands for some of the best products that we have sold from the land of the rising sun this past year, Ghost Spoon and other Spoon effects. Well now you can have the power to magical produce fire from a cell phone. Here is a very real looking prop that will give the impression of a cell phone and yet do many magical fire effects. So open a cell phone and flames appear close it and the flames are out and all looks normal. A very clever idea for real world use and no one will thing twice when it all happens quick and simple.







Thimble Dexterity




One of the most magical types of manipulation I think is simple with everyday objects. Even that most people don't sew much any more let alone use a thimble to protect their finger (I do when I have to). Thimbles rock! It's the fastest version of a billiard ball act one can do and carry everywhere. Now our friend Joe Mogar has spent over 50 years performing this style act and is tipping his knowledge and wisdom on a DVD. He shares get moves and vanishes that you may never have seen or heard of. Joe is the same man who has created some of the finest color changing knives so you know this man is all about closeup magic at its finest. I got my copy and am amazed to see how much is on this DVD that I only could read about and still never learned right. Here is an act that again plays big and packs small for sure.









Comedy Funnel




Here is a well made prop that lends itself to so many great comedy routines for the family show or adult show. The comedy funnel has been a main stay in most magic shops but each time the funnel will have one or two draw backs. This version has a nice trigger that makes the magic work just fine for any running gag in a show. Warming endorsed by our friend Gaetan Bloom you know that a working pro enjoys a well made prop. Check this one out for all of you that consider yourself a working pro!!!










The Bigger Book of Boo




From the time I first saw Max Maven on the World's Greatest Magic say Boo! I knew that a new world of magic had been uncovered. The world of Bizarre magic is that of what legends and stories are made of. A good magician knows that sometimes it is the story that makes the effect. So now with the Bigger Boo of Boo comes magic and stories that will touch you audience in the most weird way. Finally, it's back and bigger. Over twenty years ago, Everett with input from a few good friends wrote a book. Within months The Big Book of BOO became a "must have" for performers that appreciated the new frontier known as Ghost Magic. Here in one concise volume was the off the wall thinking of Larry Baukin, Scott Davis, Linc Darklon, Adrian Devlyn, Joseph Fraher, Maskelyn Ye Mage, Jim Magus, Terry Tyson and tied together by Everett. Long out of print, it is now being re-published as part of a larger expanded work, so don't miss out on this amazing collection of magic and story effects.







Tony's Tips








Featuring Mark Strivings

This week I got an email from creative and inventive magician Mark Strivings. Mark is a full time pro working out of Denver, Colorado. He is best known in the trade as a mentalist but Mark does all kinds of magic shows ranging from daycares and schools to libraries and walk around. Over the years we have carried many of Mark's fine books and effects. He has just written a new book called "Magic That Matters". Here are a few tips he has found to be invaluable for decades now. He will now quote directly from his book. Thank you, Mark.





Magic That Matters"




Mark Strivings

Mini Tip #1








In an earlier chapter I mentioned I was going drop in some nuggets from time to time throughout the book. These are little tips and tricks I have learned and used over the years and I’m going to start you off with one that will save you a ton of grief.






As a magician I am very fond of props that pack flat, as witnessed by the fact that a bunch of the ideas and tricks contained in this book use flat props. The reasons are two-fold. First they take very little room in your case, which is always a good thing. Second they invariably play much bigger than they actually are, also a very good thing. Many of these props are made of cardboard or even paper and, as such, are not the most rugged props in the world.




I know a top working pro who is absolutely top notch in every aspect of his work with the major exception of how he treats his props. To tell you the truth I have no idea how in the world he manages to keep his props looking good at all. When he’s done with a prop he throws it back into his case and I know for a fact that those props are being beaten to death. Some of them are virtually irreplaceable. The day is coming where his props will no longer be usable anymore and he is doing it to himself. How can anyone work this way?




As you well know, many times a prop comes along on the magic scene, is available for a while and then disappears forever. How can you replace a prop if it’s no longer available? Well more often than not you simply can’t, which is why the scenario above really bothers me. It is an absolutely true story and it gives me nightmares, as it should you. I know most guys try to take good care of their props and that’s a very good thing. The problem comes in when you are actually trooping those props from venue to venue and performing with them often. I found a way to protect those somewhat fragile cardboard and wooden props and keep them looking good through hundreds and thousands of performances. Try the following idea out and you will increase the life of your flat props many times over.




Go to your local well-stocked office supply store and get a box of large Tyvek envelopes. These envelopes come in a variety of sizes and can be had in boxes numbering up to 100 or even 500 envelopes to a box. At the very least get a box of 9 X 12 inch (or even better, get 10 X 13 inch envelopes) and a box of 6 x 9 inch envelopes. They are pricey, but they are worth their weight in gold.






In case you are not familiar with Tyvek, it is a material that is as thin as a piece of paper yet is tough as nails. It cannot tear yet you can easily cut it with a normal pair of scissors. It is virtually indestructible. These envelopes are what I now store my flat props in. I not only store them this way when I’m not using the prop, but I also keep the prop in the appropriate envelope in my case when I do perform the trick. I simply remove the prop when show time comes and put it right back into the envelope when I’m done. Basically the prop never leaves the envelope except to be performed.






An envelope takes literally no extra room in the case and the prop is protected from being scuffed and scratched by anything that surrounds it. Obviously the envelope will not protect a prop if it gets dropped, but it will keep it looking good for a whole lot longer than otherwise. I cut off the flap of most of my envelopes for this making it easy to get to the prop while it is in my case, as well as returning it when I’m done.






Another nice thing about Tyvek is that, as I mentioned, you can cut it easily. Suppose you have a flat prop that is too large for the envelope you have on hand. No problem! Make a new one. You can take two envelopes, remove the flap and cut down one side of each envelope. If you now ‘nest’ the two envelopes one inside the other and telescope them apart you can create a custom width envelope. Once the proper width has been achieved take a heavy packing tape and tape the new envelope right across the seam that has been formed. This new envelope will withstand just about everything you can throw at it and still protect your valuable prop. Virtually every flat prop you read about in this book has a Tyvek envelope that it calls home and has since the day I got it. It still looks good and works like a charm.







In my own opinion, if you are a worker you just got your money’s worth out of this entire book, even if you don’t do a single other thing from it. This one idea alone has saved me thousands of dollars and I’m quite certain that most if not all of my flat props will outlive me, while being used constantly, and still look pretty much good as new. Try this idea. You’ll be very glad you did.







Mini Tip #3






I learned this little tip many years ago when I was working for a company that had some fairly odd and inconsistent hours. As a performer this happens as well, so this has come in handy more than once.






This is for those times when the schedule gets so hectic that you haven’t had a chance to get everything done with your laundry that you should have. It’s also handy when there’s an accident of some sort that has taken a toll on your clothing and you don’t have sufficient time to do laundry. It’s a simple tip. Keep a plain white dress shirt, pressed and ready to wear, on a hanger and wrapped in plastic (like it came from the dry cleaners) at all times. This shirt is never to be worn except in case of an emergency.






Why a white shirt? Well it goes with everything for starters. Unless you perform in special clothes that have a particular look (in which case you had better have spares anyway), a white shirt will work in a pinch if you get caught out or have a mishap of some sort. When my schedule gets particularly hectic I actually keep one hanging in my car. This way I can be prepared anywhere I happen to be. What a Boy Scout, eh?








Trust me on this if you perform enough the day is coming when this little tip will be a lifesaver. You may go years and not need it, but when the day arrives, you’ll thank me.






Thank you Mark for your working tips and a sneak peek from your new book.








So I hope you have a great enjoyable long weekend. For me I hope to be able to clean house sense it has been so busy here the past few weekends. Spend sometime cleaning house and getting ready for some up and coming events. Spend some time with friends, and maybe build a few props if not just relax this coming 3 day weekend.




Next week I hope to share more tips from my working pro friends. Thank you again Mark and we look forward to your new book. Thank to my sponsor for the biker event and his lovely models that helped me look good when they did so much to make the magic happen also.


Best Magical Wishes,
TonyBlanco


tony@hocus-pocus.com




http://www.tonyblanco.com/















A little Chair Magic




Biker Babes and Magic ala Zig-Zag Illusion



Its a kind'da Biker Babe Magic


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

 
Getting to Travel around California


Last weekend it was down to LA area, this past weekend Lisa (my lady) and I traveled up the coast of California to Mendocino (Northern CA.). Now this was not the romantic get away weekend I wished, yet. Believe it or not I had a gig 5 hours out of Fresno it was a birthday party for a charming little girl whose home sat on top of a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The view was spectacular as was the weather and the folks at the party. A tent was set up for this grand little gal's event. Lisa and I actually left Fresno at 4 am and got there about 9:30, earlier then the 12:00 call (that I use) for a 2:00 performance. I was told that it was 4 hours above San Francisco and it would have been if we got caught in traffic coming up the mountain. So getting there early enough I set the show and we went into the town of Mendocino and played tourist. For your knowledge Mendocino has been the home to many movies and television shows, most famous as the village shots for "Murder She Wrote" and the town of Cabot Cove. So after a quick visit we headed back to the home for my show. Just a wonderful view and the kids were great too.

Once done with the show, Lisa and I were going to head home to Fresno but on the way back pulled into the town of Santa Rosa for a hotel and dinner. Looking in the lobby at the tourist cards (always look for them) was one card for the Charles M. Schultz museum. Yea, Charles Schultz of Peanuts fame. I found out Santa Rosa was his hometown and he did so many great things for this cool little city. We got up early (not as early as the day before) and spent the morning visiting the museum, his ice rink, and of course the gift shop. As I was a big Peanuts fan as a kid, there were a few touching moments as I viewed his original artwork. "Sparky" (as Schultz was known) had been drawing Peanuts cartoons for over 50 years. There is so much to see and enjoy, if your in the Santa Rosa area take the time to visit this amazing place for the history of the legendary art of Charles M. Schultz and the world of Peanuts (http://www.schulzmuseum.org/) .
Sometimes you never know what magic you find when your travel.


Tony's Picks

Trilogy DVD Johnny Ace Palmer


Now on DVD from Johnny Ace Palmer was voted Best Close-Up Magician at the Magic Castle in Hollywood two years in a row. He is the only magician to have received both the International Brotherhood of Magician’s Gold Cups Award of Excellence and the Society of American Magicians’ Gold Medal Award of Honor. And, at the triennial International Federation of Magic Societies’ Convention (FISM), magicians from 47 countries around the world witnessed, for the only time in the history of magic, the GRAND PRIX, magic’s highest honor, being awarded to a close-up magician - Johnny Ace Palmer. Johnny shares with you his top material that has made him a world champion many times over. this is also magic for the real world as in working restaurants and parlor magic. There is over 4 hours of material on these 2 DVDs from one of magic's clever performers. Check out all the effects he shares on the website.



Grandmother's Ambry

First off what is an Ambry? I looked it up online and it is an enclosure with wooden doors that can be pushed back found in a medieval church for storing goods. Later on it developed into cupboard with doors and fitted shelves for storage. So here you have an effect that begins with a platform which contains 9 different knobs from the cupboards around grandma's house. Over the years knobs would be changed and grandma started a collection of what she used to have. Now comes the bizarre magic point of this charming effect. She was a mischievous lady who always hid a surprise in one of the drawers when you would visit and then give you just one chance to choose the correct drawer and claim your surprise. You never missed.

A small paper bag which has been in full view, is turned around by a member of the audience. You never touch it. On the bag is written the word “Photographs.” You tell the audience that your grandmother kept her photographs in one of the drawers, the drawer with the knob that the spectator choose. You name the selected knob. Inside the bag, the spectator finds an old photograph and a cookie. The photograph shows your grandmother. The cookie is for the spectator who correctly selected the appropriate knob. That’s a wonderful trick. But there is more.

You tell the audience that you’d like to explain how you always knew which drawer held the surprise. But you can’t. It only worked when your grandmother was there. It was her, not you, who made the magic happen. You turn the table around so that everyone can see a tag hanging from a string. The tag—one of the labels that came from the ambry — says “Photographs” on it. You pull the skirt away from the table, exposing it. The tag has a hole punched in it that fits over the head of the bolt attached to the knob selected by the spectator. And that is how you knew. Because you never could duplicate what your grandmother did — until now. It wasn’t you who selected the drawer with the surprise. It was your grandmother who always predicted which drawer you were going to choose. You predicted that a member of the audience would choose that particular knob. You pull it up and the audience sees the “Photographs” tag fall once again.

Finally, you show the bottom of the table. There is only one tag there. The only way that the tag could have fallen like it did is if the spectator selected the knob you predicted. You ask the spectator with the paper bag to look inside and remove the items left. Eight different paper tags from your Grandmother’s antique ambry and each one has a different word on the label. The beautiful props and the nostalgic script deliver a wonderful effect and an unforgettable piece of theater. Comes complete with everything you need to perform: script, table, skirt, drawer knobs, paper bag, gimmick, photograph and tags. There are no forces or any kind used. You may choose to us other object instead of a photo. It is all up to you to keep grandmother's magic alive.

The Lecture Network

Imagine being able to have some of the best working pros from around the world on your computer teaching you. This is basic idea behind Jeff Hobson and Loren Christopher Michael's Lecture Network. If you the kind of magician that is working all the time. Maybe you live in a area that magicians don't come to your town to lecture, this is your chance to see and hear 40 lectures a year. So check out the link on the front page that my friend Jeff Hobson has given use to hear the wisdom of the best of the working Vegas entertainers give to all of you worker. I encourage all of you to sign up for this great idea to learn from working pros, maybe Jeff will ask me too to chat with all of you also.....lol. Honestly this is going to be a real big deal and I highly recommend you join his network to learn and grow from the years of pros like Lance, Jeff, Loren, Losander, Luna, James, and so many more of my Vegas friends.




Tony's Tips

I just figure tonight I will share a few photos with you to show what magic is about with this trip five hours away from my new home of Fresno to make kids happy. This was a magical trip and special. So my tip is tonight is know your craft and know it well so that someone will hire you no matter the cost (trust me I got paid) and prove you are a pro. Next week I promise to give you a working tip from a few of my working pro friends. I would like to know that some of you that read this blog would share with all of use of Hocus Pocus friends. If you read here share or some day I may stop writing, never know. Thanks to you who have called and said you like my blog. Please share and I will highlight your talents. Next week if you can I will share the laughs, as I will do another Biker and Babe magic show. I honestly look forward and yet fear for the event at the same time. Silly huh but I will let you be the judge. Now on to the photos showing of my trip this weekend.





Best Magical Wishes
Tony@hocus-pocus.com
My best friend and future wife Lisa






















Kids getting rewarded for coming on stage




A little Storytelling magic



Olivia's Magical Moment


A Little Stage Magic


A wonderful view of magic and the coast of California


The Worlds largest rabbit I have ever seen in town in Mendocino








Tuesday, May 08, 2007

 

The Weekend that didn't stop!

Once again it has been like that "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" line from the movie. "Life moves really fast if you don't stop to look around you might miss it". So lets start last Friday I spent the day with over 1000 kids at an event called "Kid's Day". This was a 4 hour walk around day for me with disable children, some not able to walk or some with mental disabilities. It was one of those events that anything you do for the children will be a gift of love and magic. About a thousand students attended the event. All of Fresno's best turned out to help give a special memory to these kids. Police & Fire departments with many action packed things to see. Forest rangers with Smokey the Bear off course. My friend folksinger Oklin Bloodworth singing and dancing up a storm with the kids. Myself, well it was a combo of juggling and magic. Keeping it as visual as possible, for attention spans are short but still entertained.

Then Saturday morning finds my picture in the paper from the event (that is the photo above) as I prepare to pick up Mike in our rental van with lots of Hocus Pocus goodies. We are off to the Hollywood and the Magic Castle. After a 3 hour drive, we arrive in the land of movies & magic at the Magic Castle Hotel. Our trip to the Castle was because of an invite from the great Mark Wilson to be part of Dealers Day on Sunday.

Still back to Saturday, Paul has arranged lunch for all of us at Musso and Frank, Hollywood's oldest bar/dinning place to be seen. Then we all did the tourist thing and of course visited a magic shop, Hollywood magic. Then Mike and I wandered Hollywood Blvd and found the perfect gift for Paul a poster from the movie the "Sunshine Boys" his favorite movie. That night we had a wonderful dinner at the Castle and toasted Paul's daughter Aimee's 21'st birthday. Sunday morning finds us setting up what must have been the largest rows of tables to display the wonderful wares that we sell. Lots of folks came by and it was great to met some of you in person for the first time. The dealers day went off like clock work in both set up and tear down to head back to Fresno.

Last night the Fresno magic community was treated to a great lecture by our friend Danny Archer. Danny is a creative thinking performer who knows how to entertain as well as teach. His newest lecture "Danny Archer on Target" is full of great ideas for the working pro. Most of his routines that are in his lecture notes are easy to make yourself. His ideas all pack flat and play big. This is great for all of us who travel and want to get the most bang for the punch when performing. So don't miss out if Danny comes to your town to lecture. Also don't miss out on his Las Vegas Magic Invitational being held where else Las Vegas, June 10-12. You can actually sign up for the convention thru Hocus Pocus at 1-800-407-4040. So that's why this weekend feels like it just didn't end, but it was all fun. Hope you had as much fun too.






Tony's Picks

World's Greatest Magic Stand Up Magic DVD

From the folks at L & L another in the series of some of the greatest magicians teaching a special skill. The World's Greatest Magic DVDs have covered topics such a coins across, Card warp, Cigarette through Quarter, Sponge balls, Rope routines, and much more. This new series off 3 DVD covers Stand Up Magic. These DVDs always feature some of the best magicians that have appeared on a L & L series of videos (now DVDs). So now World Greatest Magic (kinda the best of L&L I like to say) topic is Stand Up magic and features the likes of Richard Osterlind, Johnny Thompson, Bill Malone, Terry Seabrook and that's just Volume 1! This series is designed for you if you perform platform, stage or even in the parlour. It is a great series of DVDs so don't miss out.








David Stone Real Secrets of Magic

Now here at Hocus Pocus we are on the pulse of what's happening in magic. So it is amazing when some of our customers ask about an item before we have it on the website. Such is the Case with Real Secrets of Magic by David Stone. Here is a DVD Volume 1 that takes you past just doing the magic but how to have a life long career as a magician going. Some of David's tips are on capturing and entertaining an audience. Effects that are easy to perform and have commercial appeal. David takes the time teach you new ways of learning magic. As well as working in those tough conditions that come up from time to time. Included on this DVD are fantastic effects with cards, coins, rope, bottles glass, roses all real world objects in real world situations. This DVD is well over 2 hours of footage, plus many extras. Check it out!!!






Kandu's Rootin' Tootin' Root Beer

One of the classics's of magic is the Multiplying Bottles. In the hand of folks like Fred Kaps, Tommy Wonder, Nick Lewin, Lance Burton this is a wonder to behold. The only problem was that this effect involved bottles that either look like wine or booze. Now our friend Jeff Eaton aka Kandu has created a fantastic family friendly version of the multiplying bottle routine. The routine is great and comes with a great warm up effect also. The labels look so cool with the Rootin' Tootin' Root Beer logo created by Jeff. So this is it the first time professional ready family friendly version. The bottles are well made out of spun metal. Don't miss out on a great family effect. I have already gotten my set for my medicine show so should you.



Party Animal DVD set by Matthew J. Dowden





Matthew is a professional close-up magician and on his debut DVD you will experience some of his LIVE work. There is NO audience setup and NO fake reactions, just the real work in a real world setting. All the routines explained on this DVD have been audience tested over hundreds of performances. The handling of each effect has been honed to perfection and each one has been geared for maximum entertainment value and quick, visual impact! Learn all of this and more on this incredible two-disc set! Also includes much more including a bonus section featuring Matthew’s routines & technique for stealing watches. Not to be missed DVD!!!!





Shoebee's Professional Clown Shoes

These are the best looking clown shoes I have seen. Remember that I have been a working clown also and trained by Ringling Bros Clown College. My first pair of shoes were custom and cost me over $400. These shoes are so impressed with these, the quality of these European clown shoes, that I am glad that we need to offer them to our Hocus Pocus customers! All leather construction for long life and durably, vibrant colors and unique patterns and design. One size fits all. Perfect for clowns, children entertainers, MCs, circus entertainers, etc. Imported from England, one size fits all! Spice up your act today with a pair of these cool clown shoes! Please take a look in the "clown supplies" section for more styles and colors. Many color and styles to choose from.






Tony's Tips


As I said its been a long weekend. So I will let a few pictures speak a thousand words. From Hollywood and the Magic Castle to Danny Archer's Lecture here in Fresno, enjoy the pics.




























Best Magical Wishes

Tony Blanco

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

 

The Magic of Being Ready


Well as I was not able to write last night please forgive me. It is this type of thing that make me come alive. The last minute lack of planning on someone else that lets me get to shine. This should be what drives you also, the ability to shine in the fear of failure on some one's unprofessionalism planning. This way you get to look like a star and the person calling you in the Chinese way ("Saves Face") for their boss. This follows my rules of the Ready, Set, Go rule of thinking. If you not sure what that means we shall talk about that in "Tony's Tips" tonight later. Paul, Mike and I as well as Danny Archer will be down at the Magic Castle this Sunday along with our hero's Mark and Nani Wilson for "Dealers Day". So if your around the LA area please stop by and use the name of Hocus Pocus to get it to the Castle to shop at our booth. I look forward to seeing all of you and take photos and have magic moments. Also don't forget Monday May 7 at Hocus Pocus Danny Archer will be here lecturing. It happens at 7:PM $10.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door. It is going to be another great event as our lectures have been. Danny is a true working pro and always shares SO much in his lectures.

Tony's Picks





Cuff Links Supreme


Harry Anderson the legendary performer from the streets of San Francisco, to the stages of Reno and Vegas, to Saturday Night Live and HBO is now honoring Hocus Pocus with Cuff Links Supreme. This is Harry's classic effect that is fully seen on his HBO special "Hello Sucker". Harry shares this classic burnt bill routine with all the comedy that is Harry Anderson. We have taken Harry's routine (with his permission and rights) to bring you the finest wallets for this effect. You get a custom leather locking himber wallet and matching fire wallet. The best gimmick handcuffs (welded not glued) to make the illusion just right . Everything is made beyond any version made before of this great act. Include is a DVD performance to learn word for word and move for move of this timeless routine. We are glad and honor that Harry is working with Hocus Pocus to re-release " Cuff Links Supreme.




Bish Bash Bosh


From the wonderful workmanship of Colin Rose comes Bish Bash Bosh his take on the Russian Roulette crazy in magic. This version is so family friendly. No Knives or Spikes but the funny possibility of smashing the wrong cup that has a egg in it. Colin has crafted the finest of woods to make his effect so wonderful looking yet also very normal looking to the eyes of spectators as just simple wooden stands he calls plinths (platforms). One of these has a wonderful hand turned egg cup and the other 3 are just the plinths covered by poly foam coffee cups. Colin also includes a matching wooden mallet hand turned of matching wood. Its comedy and magic and safe and again family friendly.





Freakey


From creative closeup master Gregory Wilson comes Freakey. This is his take on the copper/silver change this time using Keys. There is a street style performance of this act on the website to see all of the magic that Greg has come up with. Its a clever version and worth the price to be able to look like its a simple act, which it really is. There are no hard sleights to learn its magic fast and amazing. So don't miss out on this effect. See the video!



Red Carpet



Here is one for those movie magic buffs effects from the talents of Jason Palter and Ari Sorokas. Everyone loves hearing about their favorite movie star now comes a mentalist challenge. Showing a sketchbook filled with over 40 great looking drawing of movie stars you are going to try to predict which star your spectator chooses. You then cover your head with a red bag as your spectator picks a star from the book. You try a couple of times to name the star, both times failing. When you remove the bag a big surprise awaits your audience. All fine made props, the sketch book alone would cost you at least a thousand bucks to have had professionally drawn. This is a pack small plays big type of effect! Don't miss out on this one.









Restaurant Portfolio




From our friend Bruce Kalver, the genius behind many magic effects, DVDs, and books comes Restaurant Portfolio. Here is a no holds back book to getting and working and keeping a restaurant gig. Working a restaurant be you magician, balloon artist or face painter can be a very money making venture. Bruce has built a life long business from entertaining in the some of the more popular food chains. In this book everything is covered from tips to making the magic moment when only a magician can save the day. This type of work opens the door for you to get outside gigs as well and that to is talked about in this great book. Bruce shared a story with me when he recently visited Hocus Pocus about giving a lecture from this book in a restaurants private room with a room full of magicians. He made a very fancy balloon and gave it to the waitress, a few moments later the manager wanted to book him for the place. The power of a balloon. Who knew? Don't miss this out on this book which is so fill with knowledge and updated from the last time it was printed.


Tony's Tip


Well as I said last night was a last minute call to run to a private company party. Being Ready, Set, Go means having things ready at the drop of the hat. My clothing gets cleaned after the weekend on Monday. Suits are always pressed and rehung in the same spot. Magic props and tricks I carry are always placed back in their proper magic bag or Ziploc bag or container.


My carry around bag is set in the same place in my home in case it has to be brought to me at the gig if I leave from HP and some one meets me at the gig with my stuff if its a last minute call like last night.


Never leave anything to chance. Lately alot of my gigs are not like in Las Vegas, those are planned out in advance. Sometimes with a year contract to let you know way in advance what you will need. This time around here in Fresno, the calls come in for the day before or even that day. It is a whole other world, but you can get more money for a gig by some one's lack of planning. So you better always be prepared!



I hope to see some of you this weekend at the Magic Castle on Sunday. Paul, Mike and I will be on hand to sell, take photos and sign photos. Please make a point to mention Hocus Pocus to get to visit us on "Dealer's Day" presented by our good friend Mark Wilson


Trust me I will have lots of photos to share


Best Magical Wishes,

Tony Blanco















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