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
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

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