Tuesday, July 17, 2007

 


Hot enough? Busy enough?


This summer sees your humble writer just as busy as ever. Last minute parties, props still not built, more shows oh yea a wedding to plan in the fall, mine! I was walking thru Wal-Mart the other day and they are already stacking the shelves with school stuff. Is summer already over? Stores are moving seasons up faster each year. Hey speaking of Wal-Mart, here is something I found in the sewing department, maybe your Wal-mart may have this too. I found this little backpack (very small) almost for a little kid. I looked at it and figured a way of making this into a cool hip pack for my belt. All I did was cut the straps and sew them down and now I had belt loops so it fit perfect to my belt. I have already "road tested" this on a hot day when I could not use or wear my long coat outdoors. I actually got two and one is on the back of my belt filled with balloons and a small balloon pump. The side pouch had the close-up magic. So I worked a possible regular restaurant gig the other night and it was great. Speaking of balloon pumps I am a big fan of T.Meyers Pump One. As a matter of fact I had probably the first ones made, but now a days for a dollar ( dollar stores) they sell these little hand held pumps that take about 4-5 stokes to blow up a 360 balloon verse one shot of the Pump One. Don't get me wrong if I have an all day gig my Pump One comes with me!! For simple gigs these little cheap pumps are great. So look for them in dollar stores or party places. Get one for each case!






Tony's Picks


Cellini- The Royal Touch

Cellini is considered by many the ultimate street performer. We sell dozens of his DVD's showing his best magic and how to be a street performer. Well now back in print is his great book showing you his journey as a street performer. Choke full of photos of his career and the many friends he has met along the way. He teaches you his master routines, which include split fans, cups and balls, linking rings and so much more. This book is also filled with great illustrations of how to perform each of these effects. Jim Cellini gives you so much knowledge in this book which has taken him a life time to learn. This book is a must for anyone that calls himself a performer.




Kikuchi Feather Flower Rings



Kikuchi has created yet another wonderful product. The Feather Flower Rings are beauty that will add so much color to your show. 3 large white feather rings are placed in a large envelope. First one in and a green silk is passed thru the center of the envelope. Remove the ring and it has change to green. You do this to the other two rings turning one red and the next yellow. Then the now color rings are placed back into the envelope only now transform linking as one big 36 inch ring of green, red and yellow. A teach in DVD is included to learn from. This is a colorful touch of magic that you will indeed be able to find a place for it in your show.




Snow Leopard Vest



From the maker of the color changing vest now comes the Snow Leopard Vest. First a word of the color changing vest, incredibly well made. OK, that was 3 words! Really I have never seen a concept that was so professionally sewn for a magician to use over and over again. The fabric on these vests will last you a long time and the gimmick to make the magic work is so clever. Now comes the Snow Leopard Vest with a different style gimmick for those of you who own the color changing vest. Imagine wearing a black vest and with a toss of confetti or during your snowstorm in China act you vest now changes to be black with white polka dots. Visual and magical. Think of other effects that you can combine the vanish of polka dots from a silk only to appear on the vest. Again clever and well made!



Entertainment First


From the Dean of the SAM, George Schindler comes 50 years as a working pro his DVD Entertainment First. George performs all types events as well as having appeared in Woody Allen's New York Stories movie and on Late Night shows such as Conan O'Brien. He is a performer of magic, a ventriloquist, writer, comedian, public speaker and tradeshow worker. On this DVD, George shares his best routines that have kept him working as I said for 50 years. It is my honor to get to chat with this walking historian of knowledge on a regular basis. So much information is on this DVD I ask you to read the description on the website of what he tips of his pet routines. Thank you George for all the knowledge you have shared with so many.


Shrinker



Andrew Mayne is today's most creative and innovative magician around. Not only does he create amazing effects and DVD's but is willing to share them with the magic community. This kind of knowledge would only be if you were like David Copperfield and hired Jim Steinmeyer to be your personal show designer. Andrew now shares Shrinker Imagine, at any point in your act, causing yourself to shrink to a full 1/3 of your original height! That's right -- a full 1/3 of your original height! Just as miraculously, you can grow back to your original height and continue on with your show. Check out the online video below to see how cool it looks! The complete illusion includes the specially constructed apparatus and instructional DVD! Stage and Street magic at its finest, that's Andrew Mayne.



Tony's Tips: The Divisions of Entertainment


The other day in my Saturday morning class I mad a statement that bares repeating for you my reader. "When I started out as a young magician I thought that was going to be it! From magic so many doors got open. I never ever thought that the journey would have taken me to be a street performer, mime, circus clown, juggler, puppeteer, woodworker, costumer, stilt walker, prop builder, balloon artist and unicyclist". To my students I tell them "just don't stop at magic, if your interests go in a different direction follow them". This is what I give to you don't stop learning and don't shut yourself off from different avenues of entertainment.


Today as well as when I stared back in the '70s having more skills gets you more jobs. That is what we always want to be is working and have agents think of you as the "GO TO GUY". One agent I worked with in Las Vegas would book me last when he had a big event to book with many entertainers. He would say tonight I need you as a Mime or tonight you're the stilt walker. I know that he looked at me as the last person having filled the other spots and needed me to be the backup talent he could not find for the event. Being able to fill more shoes as I said can keep you working. Let all your buyers or agent know of all the skills you have. If they don't what you can do then someone else gets the job.


Best example was to work an event that I was to do magic and make balloons at a buffet event 2 times a month. First day the magic was great but now go make a wacky balloon hat for little old ladies. Not one of them was going to have that. So quick thought (I had just learned at the time) paper rose for the ladies. So quick to the bar and grab those napkins. The event ended up lasting for last for 2 years and folks would now ask for roses and forget the magic. It was a talent that I never would think of myself doing, just roses no magic. Heck I was working that's what matters.

Another example is just a little different. You call yourself a magician, yet you don't like doing closeup magic. OK, but I know folks that turn down so much work because they don't want to put together a few quick effects and just be able to work dinners and private parties that would pay just as much as doing a stage show. Never turn away a gig unless it's just not something that you can't ever think of doing. Honestly the old joke in show biz is if a casting director says "Can you ride a horse"? If this is a part in a big movie your answer should be, "YES I CAN". Then go out and take horseback riding lessons. Heck that's the way today's stars do when the get that dream movie role.

Just be more open to learn more of the different skills that are the performing arts. This way you have a true understanding of showbiz. Who is to say you don't end up making a career change or at best an addition to your career. Understand this Steve Martin, Arsenio Hall, Johnny Carson all started out performing magic and look where their careers took them in the entertainment world. Just think more then just magic and look at all the performing arts and don't be afraid to wear many hats.
Best Wishes,
Tony Blanco



















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