Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How is your Summer starting?

I hope your summer has started well. The weather here in Fresno is not too hot yet. This past weekend was another great event at the Zoo. The event was called a Zoo-To-Do. This was an evening of great foods from all of Fresno's leading restaurants, a concert by a band called Papa Doo Run Run, which is made of guys that have worked with the Beach Boys over the years. My gig was simple, stroll the zoo and entertain the folks enjoying this night of food, music and magic. Honestly it was like a very well planned social event and of course fundraiser for the zoo. So if you know of places that do fundraisers suggest this type of event to them and of course get yourself booked also. It's actually a big event gathering all the different food vendors and musical talents but it is a great community event. Be a leader and suggest this to your best non-profit groups that are looking for something different to raise money.

The Hocus Pocus Lecture Series

Hocus Pocus is proud to host "An Evening with Fukai." From Osaka, Japan, Fukai is world renowned for his innovations in stage magic, presentation, and his award-winning parasol act! Fukai, the well known Japanese magician of Umbrella act fame will be lecturing on both stage and close up magic.
Fukai will be displaying some of his latest magic products as well as Japanese magician Masuda's innovative magic items ("WOW", etc). Some of Fukai's famous items include Fukai's Throw Coils, Any Can Airborn, Car Siren, Flying Silk Reel, Dancing Cane, Lighted Dancing Cane, The Top Hat Set Routine, Lecture DVDs, and more! Lecture notes and instructions are in English, not to worry!
Where: Hocus Pocus Magic Shop ~ 1492 N. Clark, #104 ~ Fresno, CA. 93703 When: Monday, July 9th, 2007 ~ 7:00 P.M. Admission: $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door.To make reservations by credit card or for further information, call us toll-free at (800) 407-4040 or 559-266-5150

Tony's Picks

Bish Bash Bosh

This past year and last year we have seen many versions of the magician's Russian Roulette effect. There has been Spike, Devil's Nail and Smash and Stab. Now comes a great fun family-friendly version "Bish, Bash, Bosh, from creative magician and master woodworker Colin Rose. It starts out with 4 wooden turned plinths (platforms) 1 wonderfully turned egg cup attached to one of the platforms and a wooden mallet. Now don't get ahead of me. An egg is placed into one this cup and covered with a polyfoam coffee cup. The other platforms also are covered with cups. The spectator gets to mix these cups up. Your task is to smash your way to the last one without smashing the egg. Lots of comedy, lots of well made props, and great suspense to the final blow of the wooden mallet. Thank you Colin Rose for finally a safe and fun way of doing a Russian Roulette act.

Napkin Rose Cube

As I am long time maker of the paper roses, comes from Michael Mode Napkin Rose Cube. Here in this great little carry all cube you get 150 napkin refills. That is 30 napkins of Red, Yellow, Pink, White and Purple. All of them with the green bottom half to make the most perfect looking napkin roses. Now lets do some quick math. Normally a packet of 50 would cost you about 29.95 plus shipping. Now thanks to Michael we can offer you 150 napkins for the price of $24.95 and in a great carry case. Limited time offer so don't miss out on this great savings.


From European performer Stefan Olschewskis comes his signature routine Pierrot. Here is a complete act ready to go. Combining both magic, mime, and puppetry is the heart of this tender performance piece. Stefan has built a name with his Pierrot act. With the help of a monkey puppet and a bit of make-up you create a very endearing performance of a pick a card routine. Just the type of act for those ooh's and ah's from your audience. It comes complete with performance CD with royalty free music and sound effects, fully explained DVD, numbered performance rights certificate. Check it out it might be that something special you have been looking for in your show.


From our good friend Dick Barry comes his last creation and find Quacker. Dick is the master of creating routines that really do pack small and play big. One of his most famous effects is the Champagne Goldfish routine that the likes of Doug Henning and David Copperfield have performed. Now comes Quacker, a cute little rubber ducky that helps you perform a magic moment. Using a deck of cards (your choice the style ESP, regular deck, ABC cards) you have a spectator choose a card. The card goes back in the pack and is mixed up. The cards are then placed in a row on the table. At this point you admit you have no idea where the card is. Quacker is introduced and is placed on each card. Quacker begins to quack and his bill starts to flash on one card. Turn it over and this is the spectator's card. Oh so cute and great for those close-up family situations. Got mine for my restaurant shows so should you.

Ko Chang Paddle

From the mind of Tony Curtis (not the actor) comes Ko Chang Paddle. A wonderfully crafted teak wood paddle with 3 small holes in it. The effect is simple yet amazing and puzzling. The performer shows this paddle and makes a pass over it and then the holes get larger. The magician does this one more time and the holes again get larger. Now for the kicker the paddle can be handed out for inspection. A true collectors piece as well as a worker's professional prop. Each paddle is numbered by the maker.

Remote Control

From the wacky mind of Tom Burgoon comes remote control. Here is an effect that will leave the audience wondering and laughing all the way. In the same way folks love seeing the funny multiplying banana or hot dogs routines, now you can do the same with TV Remotes. This is a great bit for an MC or a running gag in your show. Never lose that remote again as you are able to produce as many as you like when you need one.

Tony's Tip

I was reading an article today from an old MAGIC magazine (2002) by Jim Sisti. This article, because Jim is the Magic Menu publisher, was talking about restaurant magic that looks natural. What do I mean? Well, Jim was taking about something I always tell my students and try to strive in my shows, magic that is of the moment and from the table. Sure we all do card tricks and coin tricks when working close up, but here is a reminder from a true worker, use what you have in front of you. So on that note he explained a clever routine with sweet and low packets. You will just have to find the Bob Kohler issue for that effect. I don't want to get in trouble with Jim or Stan Allen (publisher of Magic).
What reading this article did was to inspire me to do start a list. What is on one's table in a restaurant?

Sugar Packets
Salt and Pepper Shakers
Napkins (cloth and paper)
Forks, Knives, Spoons
Bread Sticks
Wine Corks
Bottle Caps
Napkin Rings
Coffee Cups
Water Glass w/ Ice
Chop Sticks (depending on the restaurant)
Ketchup and Mustard Bottles.
Lets see what else you can think of. Now having a list like this you should try to have or create at least a dozen routines that you can have ready and not always have your pockets loaded down.
Idea 1. With a cloth napkin make the famous rabbit puppet found in many beginning magic books. Here is a simple find the card routine ready to do at anytime.
Idea 2. Get a copy of Losander's Salt Game a great routine with a salt shaker
Idea 3. Paper napkins and coffee cups, instead Cup and Ball routine.
Idea 4. Chop Sticks for Flips Vanish as well as a magic wand.
Idea 5. Ring on Chop Stick routine
Idea 6. All those spoon bending effects both in print and DVD
Idea 7. Bottle Caps Chink-a-Chink
Idea 8. A Sponge Ball routine with bottle caps
Idea 9. The old salt shaker thru the table
Idea 10. Ring and String routine using the napkin ring (ok so you need to carry a string )
Idea 11. Wine Cork lock and unlock in your hands (a great do as I do bit) Mark Wilson DVD
Idea 12. Vanishing bread sticks (ala Wiffle dust in your pocket)

These are just a few that came to mind tonight looking at the above list of table items. Do you have some favorites? Do you know of other items that are on tables that I have missed. I didn't even begin to mention the stuff that you could find on top of the bars in restaurants. Let me hear from you your favorites and share with all who read my blog.
Any suggestions write me at Tony@Hocus-pocus.com Thank you Jim Sisti for the inspiration for tonight's Tony's Tips. If you don't own copies of Jim's Magic Menu Books I highly recommend them. They are the bibles for working pros's of the restaurant market.

Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco

Tony's Tips

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Is it Summer Already?

The time keeps flying by and this Thursday will be the first day of Summer. Have you gotten all your summer gigs lined up? Seems this year Birthday season gigs have been coming in very well. With the price of gasoline getting high this year, folks are going to be planning more parties and events at home. So use this logic to sell your shows. Market the term " all is included in one price" when giving your final price for a booking. I have just seen one of the casino's in Reno are actually giving a gasoline credit if you stay at their Hotel. So this is going to be a very interesting summer to see how well you can score those picnics and parties and camp shows.

As for me I have just been lucky most of the gigs have been no more then a half an hour away from my home, sometimes as close as 10 minutes away. This week I am actually all booked up in the evenings after work here at Hocus Pocus. So I am taking some time at work to get the blog done today instead of tonight.

The Hocus Pocus Lecture Series continues....

and is proud to host "An Evening with Fukai." From Osaka, Japan, Fukai is world renowned for his innovations in stage magic, presentation, and his award-winning parasol act! Fukai, the well known Japanese magician of Umbrella act fame will be lecturing on both stage and close up magic.

Fukai will be displaying some of his latest magic products as well as Japanese magician Masuda's innovative magic items ("WOW", etc). Some of Fukai's famous items include Fukai's Throw Coils, Any Can Airborn, Car Siren, Flying Silk Reel, Dancing Cane, Lighted Dancing Cane, The Top Hat Set Routine, Lecture DVDs, and more! Lecture notes and instructions are in English, not to worry!

Where: Hocus Pocus Magic Shop ~ 1492 N. Clark, #104 ~ Fresno, CA. 93703 When: Monday, July 9th, 2007 ~ 7:00 P.M.

Admission: $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door.To make reservations by credit card or for further information, call us toll-free at (800) 407-4040 or 559-266-5150

Tony' Picks

Tickling The Mind DVD by Mel Mellers

One of the greatest things about working here is getting to see the hot new items. Some are get and some are just short of great. Here is a DVD set that is beyond great, Tickling the Mind by Mel Mellers. Mel is one of Europe's leading cabaret performers and it shows on each frame of these 2 DVD's. "Tickling the Mind" comes as Volume 1 and 2 with 16 killer comedy effects (8 effects on each DVD). Watching Mel work a room is what comedy magic is all about. He tips some of his best routines and it is filmed before a live audience (not a studio group) to really get the sense of his powerful style of humor. Here are routines, gags and bits of business with a touch of mentalism for both a magic moment and a comedy laugh at the same time. Video clip is on the website of his work, don't miss out on these 2 DVD's

Color Spot Paddle

Once again master craftsman Joe Porper has created a magical work of art with Color Spot Paddle. The premise starts out with a Red spot on both sides of the paddle. Then it changes from Red to White on both sides. One more time a magical change of White to Blue. Thanks to Joe's great workmanship this paddle is as safe as can be to hand out to a spectator because of a locking mechanism. Check out this great and well made future magical classic while they last.

Lester Lake Guillotine

From the classic by gone era of magic comes the Lester Lake Guillotine. A true classic of magic as performed by many legendary magicians. Here is a new version yet with a classic feel of old world magic. This version has holes on the sides so that the spectators actually see the blade pass through. It stands at about 3 1/2 feet high and 2 1/2 feet wide a good size visual illusion yet able to pack in the travel case (provided) and fit in the back of your car. Now here is an illusion priced just right and plays big.

Little Fishy

From Diamond Jim Tyler comes the return of one of his great effects. It began in 1997 when Diamond Jim would blow the minds of both spectators and magicians with the production of a live gold fish and bowl close-up. Magicians began to ask Jim to release this great effect and he did. Then after awhile the fish bowl was not available. Now Diamond Jim has found the perfect fish bowl and is re-releasing this great effect. You get the full workings on the effect, fishbowl and super secret gimmick to make it all work. Goldfish not included. Here is a effect for those of your working close-up, parlor, stage or street. Its a winner!

Big Voice

Just in time for all those outdoors gigs where finding a electrical outlet is just not going to happen comes Big Voice Portable Waistband Amplifier. Here is an item I personally got to test the other day. I put the batteries in, hooked it up and started testing it. I had Paul stand at our entrance of Hocus Pocus as I proceeded to walk out the door and down the street. He said he still heard me clearly over 50 feet away. This being a rather industrial block with trucks going by at the time. This unit has won several awards for its compact size and 6 watts of sound. Comes with a main unit, headset microphone system, charger and batteries. I recommend getting rechargeable batteries for this unit. Imagine now being able to play outdoor gigs with a compact sound system that really works! Great tool for any strolling entertainer and stage too!

Tony's Tips
I started to touch upon a topic earlier in the opening of the blog and that is cost of living (gasoline to be exact). Over the years I have noticed when the economy has problems sometimes folks are not willing to spend big bucks for parties. Then on the other hand like this current gasoline price hiking for the summer, folks just choose to go to one event verses many more.
I read the papers and see lots of ads for all types of products. The big boom in advertising is about making homes look like show places to be exact the backyard. Yes you might say its about summer and to sell the great back yard but nope this is to make it all year round place. So I am thinking in the same way magazines and newspapers advertise the latest greatest BBQ system, start gearing your photos the same way. Go for the look of the entertainer of the great backyard. Make your PR photos look like you make the party happen.
In the Casino biz the sales photos always look like they are shoot at the hottest blackjack tables or slot machines. Lots of energy and color. Well you may want to study these types of ads so that your photos look full of energy and lively. You can even think the same way the casino does and set the shot with models and props to give the impression of high energy. OK, I got off to a little rant. Anyway with the current economy folks are looking for the best deal and how much you can offer to your customers will make you stand out more.

This weeks tip is about how you should start thinking more like advertiser's do and to sell your show or services on both a commerical level and yet entertaining level. Be aware not to get to slick in your style of ads but yet touch on how using your magic show the customer will always get their monies worth . The use of different levels of shows and prices is something I never considered because most times its to much for the customer to think about or choose. Now on the other hand with different price levels and show lengths you can adjust what the customer has to spend when looking for a entertainer. Having folks call and finding out they don't wish to spend as much as you charge hurts and to lose a gig hurts even more. So I am not saying lower your prices and not make money but see what their budget is and maybe you can still get the gig.

Do you have any suggestions on your ways of saving customers a little money? Do you have special budget ideas?

Share your ideas here at Tony's Tips and Picks. Send email to tony@hocus-pocus.com

Wishing you a magical week full of gigs,
Tony Blanco

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The Magic is a Journey of Ideas

What makes a magician? Years ago when I was a kid there was a Fur ad..."What becomes a Legend?" This ad showed famous female movie stars wearing Mink coats. Now it's not PC to wear fur but back then it was about the image of Hollywood and the magic of being a star . Magic is Illusion, never forget that. I love movies and travel the path of each movie I watch. I personally love now on DVD the back stories on how the magic is made. Not so different from how a trick is done but how did that stunt get done in that movie. This is that magic we seek as tellers of the tales of magic. Just think if you never found out how to do a double lift or a French drop and called yourself a magician and later fooled by another magician. I t is the principle of knowing the effect that creates new magic. If you never seek the knowledge of the old then you will spend a life time trying to recreate that basic concept. Magic is a journey. Tonight I am honor to have a magic legend share in my tips section a great view about magic. So be open to his views and understand he is a working pro like all that share in my blog and his view may change you mind as well as open you mind a bit.

Tony's Picks

Funny Money

Here is yet another magical creation from the comedy mind of Robert Baxt. He is one of our creative friends at Hocus Pocus and Robert lives in the real world of the working pro to come up with fresh ideas from the routines of the past. This routine Funny Money is Robert's idea of the classic "cards across" only using 2 wallets and cash. This routine is full of Robert's classic humor and jokes. It is a five minute routine that you get to see on DVD from a live performance at the Magic Castle. Included are the wallets and "Funny Money" (which as a side idea you should make up with your face on the dollar bills) but you can use real money. His idea is one more classic routine that will go down in the magic lexicon so don't miss getting one.


From our magical friend from the great white north (Canada) Peter Loughran, comes MindShades. Here is something out of the James Bond school of spy's. Something you would see in the first Casino Royal movie when Orson Wells was able to see the cards on the table. These shades have been produce by not one but two makers to make them look like regular sunglasses. Here is a set of glasses that will make you be able to do many effects that Peter has taken the time to explain in a fully produced book that comes with the shades. Don't miss your chance to have that secret power that can be performed anywhere, from the Stage to company picnics.

Lucifer's Wallet

From our friend Jim Pace that in the past few years has created effects that the like of Lance Burton have used on TV shows comes Lucifer's Wallet. Well made in leather is a fire wallet of high quality. Lending it self to many comedy effects. Here Jim has taken the time to make a fine Fire wallet for many comedy effects. It is well made and will give you a life time of use for Bill in Wallet, Card in Wallet effects, as well as if your smart enough to use for Harry Anderson's card and bill in Wallet routine.

New York Coin Magic

Here is a set of DVD's (4 in all) from the creative minds of NY magicians like David Roth and Dr. Rubenstein , Mike Gallo and many more. The first DVD alone is 2 DVDs and is over four hours long. These DVDs were part of the NY Coin magic seminar and feature these top pros best of the best routines. Coins across, Copper/Silver ideas and so much more. I can not personally believe how many ideas are shared are these 4 DVDs. This is killer coin magic at its finest. I remember calling David Roth just to learn one of these routines when I was a kid. I woke him up and to this day he can laugh about it but I was still feeling opps "I imposed on one of my idols". So get this entire collection to learn the best of the best of coin magic without a early AM wake up call.


Here is yet another version of Max Mavens routine Kurotsuke (from his DVD series Videomind which you should also own) but this time with yet another twist which is killer. I personally learnd Max's routine and know that I am at the the mercy of making this routine work if I don't read the folks just right. Wayne Dobson has taken that worry out of the mix as this routine is self working and totally easy. The basic concept is to find the odd ball out from a bag of balls you present to the spectators. Wayne has a few twists in Max's routine and this is what makes the routine truly Wayne's Check out the full run down on the website as he turns it into a clever "bet you" routine.

Tony's Tips

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Whit Hayden. Whit is an all around performer and has been honored by the Magic Castle with many awards. He is also the VP of the Magic Castle and I am Lucky to call him a myspace "friend" as well as a friend in real life. and his knowledge, wisdom and friendship with magic's legends is a lucky thing to have. Whit has created many DVD routines which we sell and he still performs so you know that this is again "real world magic". If you are a myspace person you can see his performances of these routines at the magic castle. Again I am honored that Whit is sharing with my readers some honest writings of what magic is about. Thank you Whit! Whit has a forum site called School for Scoundrels http://www.scoundrelsforum.com/ Here is a place for anyone interested in magic, short cons, big cons, cheating at cards, dice, and other games, pool hustling, scams, and any of the soft rackets.
The forum also has members who are interested in the history of the theater and the relationships of various kinds of show business with the development of modern advertising and marketing.
He has sections on carnival and side show, circus, burlesque, vaudeville, medicine shows, chatauqua, dime museums and more. Tonight Whit shares his take on Originality in magic and you are going to be surprise at this concept.

Against Originality In Magic

In magic convention contests and in the meetings at local rings, much is made of the importance of originality. It seems to me that this concern is sometimes misdirected, and most certainly so when it comes to young or beginning magicians.

It is essential that those who want to learn magic start by copying or imitating others. There is nothing wrong with this—provided of course, that the effects and routines being copied have been published by the originators. In fact, I don't believe one can learn to be a good magician except by imitation.

A beginning guitar player isn't told to make up original songs. He first learns to play other people's work. Neither should a beginning magician be asked to do original tricks.
The way that patter goes with the presentation of the trick, the feel for routining, the subtleties of misdirection—these are all learned best by the student taking a great routine and learning to do it the way it was created by a competent working performer. I have too often seen magic students learn a classic routine and then immediately begin to muck around with it for the sake of "originality."

Often, one doesn't understand the subtleties of a routine until he or she has performed it many times in front of people. It is only from faithfully reproducing the routine in front of an audience that one begins to see why certain moves or patter lines are structured or placed the way the originator had them. Without spending time performing the routine the way it was created, the student abandons all the experience, knowledge, and thought that went into its creation.

Routines should not be changed for the sake of being "original." Originality should come in when there is some need—when the routine as written doesn't suit the personality of the performer, his performing situations, or has some inconsistency or fault that the performer finds and corrects. This should come after the routine has been explored in front of an audience many times.

All the great magicians had to learn their craft somewhere. They all began by copying the work of those that they admired. In Zen brush painting, the student would apprentice with a master for eight years. Each morning the master would let the students watch him create a few paintings, and for the rest of the day, the students would try to exactly copy those paintings with as much speed and accuracy as possible. In the evening, the teacher would look over their work and give them suggestions for improvement in their technique.

Students were not encouraged or allowed to be "original." At the end of the eight years, the students were sent out into the world. At this point they would have absorbed the point of view, values, and tastes of the instructor. They would have an appreciation and understanding of their art.

The idea was that if they could capture whatever image the master showed them perfectly, then they could capture any original image that came into their heads. If they were not original
thinkers, then they would always be good copyists and could make a living at that. If they had original ideas, then they would have the skill to realize them.

In magic, I have often seen very clever and original material that suffered from a lack of knowledge of the basics of the craft. I prefer to see classic or familiar magic done well, than original magic that fails to fool or to entertain. Much can be gained from reading the philosophy of magic in books such as Maskelyne and Devant's Our Magic (my favorite magic book), but it is only in the experience of performing that these lessons really begin to make sense and can be applied.

There is nothing wrong with a magic act that lacks originality but is professionally and competently done. In music, this would be the equivalent of the cover bands that play for weddings and similar events. These groups are respectable and serve a need. The lack of originality will keep them from going beyond these sorts of venues, but within this area, they are perfectly fine.

Many magicians would fall under a similar category. Not everyone has the skill, originality, and dedication of a Lance Burton, but magic that is well executed, and performed entertainingly is always going to be well received. As the magician grows in his understanding of the art, his need for originality will grow as well.

I would like to see magic organizations encourage young magicians to learn the classics. Too often, the need for the hobbyist to see something new and different regardless of its quality overtakes the need for entertaining, well-executed magic. The great street magician Jim Cellini hosted a famous get-together of close-up performers in Greensboro, NC a few years back. Slydini, Frank Garcia, Bob Sheets, Karl Norman and many other top performers attended.

The performers concentrated on their most commercial magic, without regard to repetition. We saw many different variations of the card on ceiling, the cups and balls, and other classic effects. It was an incredible experience. Watching fine performers do their own versions of the same routines provided a hugely rewarding lesson in the art of magic, and a resource for future ideas.

The contests for young magicians might best be structured around classics like the linking rings, cups and balls, etc. Within the context of a cups and balls contest, for example, a premium should be placed on skill, technique, and entertainment value. Originality should be relegated to its rightful place—as an important but not necessarily the most important criteria.

Thank you Whit for your insight to what has to be the most interesting thing about magic. For years I heard that you need to do the stuff that's different from other magicians. To hear of these great legends all doing the same trick but yet indeed coming up with their own version is truly inspiring.

Hope you get some insight from this great article by Whit Hayden and check out the School for Scoundrels. Again Thank you Whit for your insights to the world of magic and performing.

Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco


Write me to share, you will be featured. If you do this for a living share or the magic you create will be lost...................forever!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Work, Be sharp, Be ready !

Just logging in to write and the counter says that this is the 100th blog that I have written. Gee where has the time gone. Yesterday was a little milestone also as I am now 47 years old just sliding towards 50 soon. No matter its the magic that keeps me young and the enjoyment of performing. It's also about creating and meeting new people every time I perform. I hope all of you still have that feeling every time you get a chance to perform. This weekend had me performing again for our local Zoo. Both nights were family nights where the public was welcomed for free. Seems it is a national thing that Zoos do on the first of June each year. So go and check this type of gig out for yourself. A few pictures at the end of the blog for you to see.

Tony's Picks
Surprising Dove Box

I have never had the chance to do a Dove act but this Surprising Dove Box is hot! Imagine the illusion Origami now being done with a dove. If your not sure of the illusion check out the pictures on the website. This is a clever little box that just may shock some folks when you perform this one. A box about the size of the dove is shown which has 3 sections. The left and the right sides move and are push into the center box. Then mini swords are placed thru the box. Then you reverse your actions and remove the dove unharmed. Like I said this is hot and clever and will be the talk of your act if you perform with doves.

Bearly Impossible

From our clever friend from up North, Paul Romhany comes Bearly Impossible. As I have mention Paul works lots of cruise ships. His performance must always play big and pack small. This time its all about a mentalism effect that plays for the family audience. In this routine Paul talks about a gift for his niece. Predictions are asked of the audience. A color, an amount of money, lady's name. These are written down now a spectator is asked on stage. A Gift box is given to the spectator to open. She takes out of the box a birthday card which has the name from the audience magic moment #1! Then inside the box is a gift certificate with the amount called from the audience magic moment #2 ! Then the color of the gift also match's, magic moment #3. All is given to you in this effect plus Paul on DVD teaching you step by step the ins and outs of this great effect. Many of showbiz top performers praise this effect including Nick Lewin, Murray Hatfield and Wayne Rogers. Now I also highly recommend this great performance and touching piece of magic.

Best of Friends Book Volume 3

The name Harry Loyrane is the stuff close up magic legends are made of. Harry has been writing about close up for what seems forever. Harry has been on the fore front of creating generation's of real workers in the field of magic. I know I started out reading some of his first books. He now introduces Volume 3 of his Best of Friends series. This book includes some of the best routines from the likes of Max Maven, Martin Nash, Allan Ackerman, Howie Scharzman, Aldo Colombini, Gregory Wilson and so many more. This book is over 500 pages and over 400 hundred clear photos of some of today's top workers. Not to be missed 22 years in the making.


Now I watched the video today of Disintigration and I can't believe what I saw. We all know that soap routine of spelling a name or a suit of a card on our arm with ashes. Well now imagine doing this to the spectator's (no stooge) arm. That's right their arm and show the chosen card or initials, symbols. On this DVD so many variations are taught to you including using pepper instead of ashes to reveal the hidden message on the "Spectators Arm"!! Watch the video it will blow your mind!

Stand Up Coin Magic

Nathan Kranzo has come up with a killer DVD of routines for coins that are all about Stand Up. These routines are the perfect thing for those of you workers that do strolling parties where tables don't exist. Powerful in your face changes, appearances and traveling coin effects. Four of the routines use nothing more then a expanded shell and the other 3 no gimmicks at all. Some fast and quick stand up powerful magic. Knowledge from this DVD is a powerful thing to have. Check out the online video.

Tony's Tip

Funny thing happened the other night at the Zoo. The lady that hired me had a sponsor providing the free food for the event for all the guest visiting the Zoo. The lady from the food company has many restaurants, and the zoo lady made a point of introducing me to her. We chatted a bit I gave her my card. She went back to the booth as I proceeded to load my pockets for the evening's event. As the food lady had just left, the zoo lady made a point to say hurry get over and show her some of your magic. I had to laugh deep inside as it was sweet she wanted to open a door for me to make a connection. Trust me as soon as my pockets were loaded I was going to do just that and did. Future gig may be just around the corner.

Now what I am leading to is that every moment is an audition. Every chance chat about being a magician or clown is a possible booking. One of the most powerful weapons are your business cards. When I was a kid magician I had them and still use them at the drop of a hat. Now a days with the use of home computers you can create many different types for all tips of work. The main thing is to always have them and for some reason you don't get the other persons card. This way you can either call them our send them your card.

The next tool is a quick flyer or hand out. Keep the price and work simple so that you can actually go to Kinko type places and get hundreds made. If you have a great fast printer make them at home then. I choose to make a flyer that also has magic tricks someone can learn from along with a little coloring page and then my telephone information. This way it first looks like a gift verses a piece of advertising.

Remember that you should never lose a chance to get your name and phone number into everyone's hand that watches your performances. Building up a rooster of future bookings from one paid booking (or free one) is the best way to get more work. Personally when I lived in Las Vegas I spent thousands of dollars on phone ads in the yellow book. Never ever made the money back. The meeting of people one on one and giving them your gift with your ad makes a better and lasting impression. So look at ways of getting your name out there with out spending lots of cash. Every meeting is an audition don't lose your next gig by not being ready.

Tony Blanco

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?