Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The Magic of Fall is just ahead

As the big Labor Day Weekend approaches I do hope you have had great summer. This weekend always meant the end of the summer and beginning of school when I was a kid. Now schools are all year round. So is work if you know how to look for it as an entertainer. This past Saturday I started working on a regular basis at a local restaurant and bar. It is the same type family friendly place I like to be seen at. Also this weekend as if it was not hot enough here in Fresno, I did back to back Birthday Parties. It was fun going from one end of town a millionaire type home then to a small backyard (I mean small) with 50 people in it. Smoke from the Bar-b-que right across my face as I juggled and performed. Tiny kids and adults and noise, but I wouldn't have it anyway as long as I am performing and the folks love what I am doing. It's not to say I was not as wet as a towel when I left because I was. The nice thing is at both shows everyone was there on time (a rare thing) and so I actually went earlier for each show. So I got home earlier on a Sunday and enjoyed the rest of the day. At the end of the blog tonight I will share some summer pictures of shows with all of you. Hey just like, "What Did you do on your Summer Vacation" reports back in school. Send in your pictures and I will share them with everyone who reads this blog.

Hocus Pocus Lecture Series

This reminder to start getting your space reserved at our next lecture at Hocus Pocus. It will be Sept. 11 (a Tuesday night this time) at 7:00 for Fielding West. He is one of Las Vegas' great working comedy magicians. Fielding West is not only a magician's magician, but he possesses that very rare and impeccable sense of comedic timing that has landed him the opening spot for some of the biggest names in show business. A winner in the prestigious Desert Magic Seminar's Comedy Magic competition, Fielding has opened the show for such A-list celebrities as Liza Minelli, Glen Campbell and dozens more. His numerous network television appearances include spots on A & E's An Evening at the Improv, Caroline's Comedy Hour, and NBC's The World's Greatest Magic and World's Wildest Magic specials. Fielding is also in demand as a writer, magic consultant and technical director and has worked with Lance Burton, Siegfried & Roy and many others. Fielding West continues to headline in major resort destinations all over the world and for the first time, he shares the secrets of his tremendous success. So don't miss out on this one, $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door.

Tony's Picks
Just to let you know, WOW is back on the website. With a fresh order of 100 almost half of these are sold. So get your order in for the most wanted trick of the year.

Fingers of Fury Volume 1 & 2

On DVD for the very first time, one of magic's newest and brightest talents, Alan Rorrison, unleashes the very best material from his working repertoire. Volume One - Weapons Of Choice! Watch as Alan breaks and then restores a borrowed key! Slices a chosen card deep into his arm! Causes a marked coin to penetrate into his cell phone! Repeatedly pushes a coin through an ordinary shot glass! Moves the head of stickman drawn on his business card! All this and more awaits you on this fantastic DVD. Volume Two - Death By Cards! Watch as Alan magically links and unlinks rings torn from a playing card! Causes the deck to eerily cut itself right to a selection! Discovers a selected card between two Jokers that have been in full view throughout! One magic's hottest new names in FINGERS OF FURY Vol.2 - DEATH BY CARDS

Real Secrets of Magic

Now here is a DVD that everyone was calling about would we have it. Seems you guys sometimes know more then we do about how great a performer is. Well first David Stone's volume-1 REAL SECRETS has won awards, and Stone himself has won the coveted FISM. Finally, after the smash success of Volume 1, comes the sequel which was a full year in the making. On volume 2, you will learn 15 hard hitting routines. Fast visual magic that gets attention with Coins and cards, plus more great camera production value. Not to mention brilliant tips to help you perform in restaurants. A massive success in Europe, now finally in USA. This is the one you guys were asking for now it is here.

7 More Secrets

JC Wagner is the guy that has inspired a generation of great card men and now returns on DVD with 7 more secrets in his pocket! Simple and direct card magic for all levels, including the following: Underground Transposition II: This is an updated handling of a wonderful effect from Commercial Magic. This method removes the cop, palm and switch required in the original handling! Another Four Ace Assembly: Combining a Bruce Cervon idea and the original lay down sequence from "Honest John's Aces" (Super Magic), this Ace assembly features a fair opening procedure and an ending of the O'Henry variety! Aspen Universal, 1978: A general/wild card effect featuring very clean shows, magical changes and an ending that leaves you completely clean Revisited Christ Aces: An updated handling of Henry Christ's "4 Ace Routine" that you can do at anytime in your performance! If you liked "Fabulous Four Aces" from Commercial Magic, you will love this new handling The Vietnam Card Trick: This is the routine JC has used for the past few years to completely fry magicians and laymen alike. This puzzle of a magic trick is a true miracle. Re-Figured Pre-Figuration: This is JC's handling of a tested Jennings effect from Classic Magic. This method, coupled with an idea of JK Hartman, makes for a clever and commercial card routine. Not only does JC teach the above routine, but with the permission of the late Jules Lenier, he throws in an added kicker finish (created by the great Jules Lenier) that JC has been using for the past 25 years! Not to missed DVD by one of the greats

Ultimately Under

Read this today, put people into trances in your performances tomorrow. Kenton's new "Ultimately Under" does for hypnosis what Completely Cold has done for telephone psychics. Literally overnight you will get spectators to close their eyes, levitate their arm, see imaginary balloons and all manner of things - without stooges, hypnosis, or tons of practice. Spectator's hands get stuck to a table, they cannot move from a spot on the floor, their fingers seem glued together and more. No memorizing special hypnotic scripts or fancy words. No funny props required, though you may want to use your cell phone or make up a thing or two. Most of the effects can be performed up close, in a living room or on stage unlike what all the others teach you, Kenton tips how mentalists and magicians can use trance work TODAY without worry or failure. This work is for magicians and mentalists by a working pro in both fields. You don't need to be an expert in hypnosis when all you really want to do is show how you put people into a trance instantly. No dangerous methods, no difficult work. Read it today, perform trance effects with ease and complete confidence tomorrow!

Card Dupery

When Hartman meets your deck, first he will teach it to talk then he will teach it to lie! Seven years in the making! J. K. Hartman's newest collection of card magic more than 90 tricks, routines and sleights over 400 pages and 600 illustrations! The published history of J. K. Hartman's card dupery began in 1969 and has continued unabated for thirty-eight years, producing along the way three large, significant, and widely respected works: Card Craft, After Craft and Trickery Treats. In the seven years since the appearance of the last Hartman tome, the creative mills have continued to turn, resulting in CARD DUPERY, a collection of more than ninety new card tricks, routines, and sleights. The well-known Hartman touch is ever-present in this new compilation of astonishing effects made possible by elegantly direct methods, extraordinary cunning, and moves within the skill range of the intermediate card-magician. What is more, the ideas and sleights embedded in these duperies have a utility that will inspire the reader toward fresh creations of his own. If this book feels heavy in the hand, it isn't just the paper; there is deep thought and high entertainment packed inside, all carefully and fully explained, with the aid of more than 600 drawings by one of magic's greatest illustrators, J. K. Schmidt. Available September 17th, pre-order your copy today!

Tony's Tips

This weeks tips starts with a letter from one of the readers of this blog. Check this out!
Hi Tony,

Matthew Johnson here from Canada.

I thought I would drop you a quick email as I am a regular visitor to
www.hocus-pocus.com and a regular reader of your blog, it's great! I also have some products on the market through Murphy's that you guys stock, you can find them by doing a search on my name. Which brings me to my email & an exciting story I would love to share with your readers

I recently landed the part of a Street Magician in a funny, US national TV commercial for Nationwide Auto Insurance. I only started auditioning for TV commercials about 7 months ago and this was only my third audition. I am a full time Magician & performer here in Vancouver/Canada but have never been for acting lessons or commercial coaching. I started auditioning at the suggestion of my good friend Bro Gilbert, who (I am proud to say) can be seen on season three of Mindfreak with Chris Angel! He's a great Magician, Actor and just an all around good dude!

The film company held auditions for the part in Canada, the US & Argentina and even though I was one of the last to audition I got the part. What an incredible experience I had. I was flown from Canada to Buenos Aires to film the commercial and had a fantastic time. I was given the 5 star treatment for 5 days in Argentina. The best part, I only had to film for 1 day out of 5 so I got to be a tourist too.

On the day of filming we filmed for 16 hours from 6am in the morning until about 9pm at night, I loved every minute. In between takes I would show the crew & the other actors magic, fool around and generally be a goof ball. I also got to visit everyone at Bizarre De Magia in Buenos Aires, what a great bunch of people!

I thought I would share this experience just to motivate others to get out of their comfort zone a little. You see when I first started doing auditions for TV commercials I felt like a fish out of water but I stuck at it, and it paid off on only my third attempt! Now I have added another string to my bow that allows me to continue making a living from something I love! The commercial will run all over the US so you may have already seen it. If you have not you can see it at Nationwide.com. here is the link
http://www.nationwide.com/nw/about-us/our-ads/auto-ads/index.htm. Just click on the Magician commercial. Please feel free to post the link so your readers can watch the commercial too.
Warmest Regards, Matthew Johnson
Wow! Congratulations to you Matthew and thanks for sharing such a positive experience in the world of making a TV commerical. I hope you get lots of checks from the showing of the ad. I was going to talk about restaurant work tonight but instead lets build on what Matthew did.

Being a magician can open alot of doors in the world of entertainment. It's being ready when the door swings wide open that makes or breaks chances like Matthew got. Lots of times folks asked me while working at Excalibur " How do I get your job!" Well I thought, "I am not going to tell you if you can't figure that out". At times it was funny to see magicians coming from around the world hoping for the big Las Vegas break. When alot of times there are more chances for work in their own backyard.

Having the right tools such as business cards and a promo video/DVD. It is now highly recommended now a days in my opinion to also have your own Press release done. Having a press release is like giving someone a news article all written out so they don't have to do the work. As a matter of fact now a days reporters don't really report but just rewrite the press release give to them by such entertainers. This way the entertainer get the correct spelling of their name and only good facts are told about their show. Although not as much used anymore is to have a photo portfolio. Models need this but why a magician. Having lots of different photos and looks can inspire a director or casting agent to see you in different looks. Never ever think getting professional photos cost to much. Good pictures are always the key tool to have your face get the work you want. Now a days you can your photos done on CD disk so you can actually print the pictures yourself. This way you can also add text to the name plate part of the picture. You can now print your resume right on the back of the 8x10 also.

Let me list a few ideas to get more work right in your own back yard.

1. Local and National Restaurants
To perform on a weekly basis where folks can see you gives you great PR for also private
2. Local Radio Stations
Radio stations sponsor all types of outdoor events. Also radio stations do remotes for mall, stories real estate open homes. If they don't know of you then you can miss out on some great family events. I did one this year for an Air Show. Who would have thought it!
3. Local & National Groups
To begin to list organizations like the Lions, VFW, Rotarian's, Knights of Columbus, Shriner's, Elks, Moose, who all have events like family picnics, breakfasts and bar-b-ques are always looking for entertainers. Granted sometimes they all ask for free entertainment, but they have the money to pay.
4. Local TV morning shows
TV shows (morning chat shows) need fresh material everyday. If the local stations don't know who you are then don't expect them to come calling you. Promote an event you might be performing at for one of the groups I just talked about. Talk about reading week or magic day. So have a reason to get you on TV it is a chat show.
5. Local Hotels, Church or Temples
To hook yourself up with a with either a hotel, church or temple that has a ballroom or convention space or catering room. Here is a chance to do all types of private parties and possible even convention work. Just introduce yourself to the manager or catering director.
6. Local City Parks Department
Here is a chance to get paid to perform in your own backyard and the city or state pays you. This off all the ideas tonight is a tough one to get. You will have to be ready to do alot of work selling you show and then sometimes waiting to get paid even longer. I think it is worth the headaches as your own town gets to see you.
Well again congrad's to Matthew on his first time out getting a national commerical. Look for it on TV or go to the link I gave earlier. Also if you have as I always say any ideas or tips to share great news like Matthew this is the place to share it. This is your blog as well as mine. Next week we will get into restaurant. If you wish to share your restaurant experiances for next week's blog...email me at Tony@hocus-pocus.com.

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