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

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