Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Wizards and Muggles

This past Friday night was the big count down to get the new Harry Potter book. Book stores and libraries were having all night events til the midnight hour of the release of the book. I was lucky to do a Harry Potter event at a great library here in Fresno. The evening had great events like, an Evening with Owls provided by the Fresno Wildlife Rescue Service. Science Mania: the Harry Potter Version provided by Dr. David Frank, Professor of Chemistry at CSU Fresno. Other activities & games included, costume contest, potions class, make your own wand and more. So by the time yours truly got to perform at 10:30 and 11:00 the kids were deep into Harry Potter's magic and waiting for my magic performance. To finish the 20 min show off I did the chair suspension which drew gasps indeed. So that was great to don my Excalibur costume once again since it has a great wizard type look.

Tony's Picks

Link DVD by Nabil

The hottest DVD running out the door here at Hocus Pocus is Link. What you have here is the ultimate crazy man's handcuffs. This a classic rubber band effect now kicked up alot of notch's. Imagine two rubber bands (ungimmicked) wrapped around your fingers and visually penetrate each other to link together. Then you repeat this only they unlink going out. Here is the most again I say visual magic. On this DVD you not only get the routine that Cyril made popular on TV but much more. Folks like Michael Ammar, Dean Dill, Loren Michaels chime in on this effect and give you their personal touches on this effect. Saying this you get over 2 hours of solid magic with camera angles shot from over the shoulder to better teach you. There are also bonus effects using wedding bands taught. Here is an effect that you can perform any where and anytime! What can I say more about this DVD then don't miss out!

Vegas Coins

From the master craftsman Thomas Wayne comes Vegas Coins. Let start out with Las Vegas Slot machine tokens from the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel Casino which are golden. Then create a shell which is so well machined that it will fit each of the 4 tokens that comes in the set. The tokens ( gold chips) are protected by being made from non-corrosive metals. The golden look of these tokens when performing close-up magic adds a touch of class to your act. So now your asking what is the routine? Well actually these have been made so that you can perform many routines such as David Roth's Coins Across, Chink A Chink, Matrix, Translocation. Any routine we you would use a shell and a coin, if not all four coins and a shell. Very limited in production and soon to be a coin man's collectable item.

Pure Filth

From the wacky card artistry of David Regal comes Pure Filth. Now here is an effect that can play both for fun or for a bit of naughty. Specially made cards from bicycle printing for a rather interesting final. To tell much more might give it away except to say 4 royal family members end up in a rather unusual climax finale for a card trick. Indeed a very funny and witty effect from David Regal. Wink Wink.

Cube A Libra

A classic of magic that is now made better and crafted by Jay Leslie. Jay is the kind of working pro and craftsman that knows what will work in performance. Just on the phone with him today he mention performing his version and getting 7 rounds of applause's from his audience. Jay has made the cubes and tubes in the best grade plastics. All machine on his CNC machines for exact measurements. The effect is well explained on the website so I wont go into that. I will tell you the Jay has built a great prduct and in his style expalins all the handling and history on a teach in DVD. Truly a classic for both adults and children.

Broom Thru Body

From our friend Peter Loughran comes Broom Thru Body. Now here is another effect with that "Street Magic feel using everyday objects yet truly magical. The performer introduces a small ordinary looking lobby broom, and places it behind their back. With both ends of the broom visible at ALL times, the broom then melts slowly into the performer's body sideways! The performer twists the broom inside his body in different directions. The performer turns his body from side to side showing all angles that the broom is indeed inside his body and both ends of the broom are visible at ALL times during the illusion. For the stunning finale the performer turns 360 degrees as they pull the broom completely through their body for a thunderous applause Great for stage, street performers, illusionists, comedy magicians, MCs, and can be done close up. Performance ready right out of the box! Peter Loughran's Broom Thru Body Illusion comes complete with specially constructed gimmick broom and detailed instructions.

Tony's Tips: On the Road Again

Well lately travel and set up and tear down is like when I was on the circus. It has to be quick to get to the next town or gig. I have been doing gigs that need me to get in and get out of the venue to the next show. I travel with a case that is a roadie case with 5 drawers. It also means I need to have a ramp to load this into the van. The other night for the Harry Potter gig I went back to my cube case made by the great Mark Evans from Utah. The case is cube in shape, the lid comes off and becomes the base. Then a pole is placed in the base and then the cube goes on the pole. The inside of the lid now on the ground has wheels.

My personal friends know I am a collector of suitcases and travel bags. Last week I mention the little back pack I turned into a hip bag for my strolling shows (picture below). One favorite place to get those shiny metal suitcases is Harbor Freight Tool company. If your not aware of these stores, see if your town has one. So many great things for the traveling performing to get there. Another favorite haunt is thrift stores. Getting an old trunk or suitcase for a couple of bucks ...what a fine. My favorite garment bag is the one you read about in the travel magazines on the plane. It sells for at least one hundred dollars. I found one in a thrift store and it just needed to sew something back on, price 10.00 or as they say in the commercial on TV priceless.

The most important thing when putting your show together is the case and the way it lets you get in and out of the gig. You need to figure size of the props to the case. If you use large cards for different kid show effects or poster effects look at the lid size as the place to store the flat props.

Then think about what is know as egg crating the inside of the case for each trick. This way you know where the trick goes every time. Canvas bags are cool too! Such is the case in sporting good stores or Wal-Mart that are made for hiking and biking. One canvas bag I have is actually a large canvas and leather lunch bag for hikers. It is a great close up case.

If you really need a pro type case check out Guitar Center stores for different roadie or DJ cases for your show. Then for custom cases I recommend folks like Anvil and Encore cases. Both you can find on the web if you use google. Either way when you get to the gig look like a pro and be able to get out even quicker. If you can reset during the show or if it takes a few moments after the show, all the better to be ready for the next gig in the same day. Bring plastic bags to dump the torn papers and broken balloons out. Never leave a mess at a gig. Check out the pouch before and after pictures below. Just think fast and quick set up. Tell me your case or table ideas for next weeks blog.

Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco

Before and after sewing the new pouch

Belt loops

New side pouch in action

Photos from Bedford Productions

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