Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Moving Right Along

I hope your summer is moving right along and your having a good time. Gigs are already lining up for fall parties. I think I have just secured my first restaurant here in the Central Valley for a weekly gig. I will let you know more about that when it takes off. This coming weekend is another appearance at the Fresno Zoo. This is always a great type gig for I really get to met folks of Fresno and Clovis. Few events have come from this type of work. So after posting the article last week about my Mad Hatter Tea Party, a few of you wrote in with some ideas to share. Special thanks to Blake Maxam who made a living a few years ago doing just that up in the Oakland, CA area. So maybe in a future blog I can share (or you folks can) theme ideas for your theme charactor you may use in your show. I will be lecturing at our local clown group this coming Monday so if your in the Visalia area come by or email for more information.

Hocus Pocus Lecture Series

Reminder to start getting your space reserved at our next lecture at Hocus Pocus. It will be Sept. 11 (a Tuesday 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

Baxt's Lie Detector Lantern Deluxe

One of our good friends Robert Baxt just keeps coming up with more and more comedy ideas. Hocus Pocus has teamed up with Robert to produce the Baxt Lie Detector Lantern. For a while we were not able to get the right lanterns anymore (change of makers) but now we have them back and better then ever. Here is great bit for magicians, clowns, comics or MCs. He's taken a classic comedy premise and added to it a state of the art, quality constructed, reliable, ultra dependable, simple to maintain, piece of electronic equipment so that everyone can easily be funny! The performer shows his audience a perfectly unsuspicious battery operated camping lantern. Explaining about the latest advances in technology he tells them this device is actually a state of the art lie detector as used by military forces in the field. So letting every one know that it is a very expense prop worth 10s of thousands the lantern starts to buzz and light up. OK maybe 5000.00 Again the lantern goes off. You can see where this is going gang. Well just think how you can routine having a kid on stage and find out the truth or lies. Very funny and a great workers prop.

Automatic Square to Jumbo Dice

Here is one that if Mike didn't perform it today I would have thought it was a cutie trick. Mike changed my mind for sure. You start out doing what we magicians know as the Whats Next or Dots Next routine. Spots on a flat black square appear and disappear each time you turn the square over. This can go on for a while until the finale when the flat square turns into a large size cube die. Now here is a real finale to the old Whats Next act. For those of you that know or do the routine having this Automatic Square to Jumbo Dice will really see how this can up grade your routine. I am getting one for sure (gosh I am really sounding like a Californian).

International Collection

Jay Sankey is one of those guys that just seems to keep producing and creating more and more magic every time I see our website. Here is a collection of Jay's all-time favorite magic routines completely performed and explained without speaking. So here for the first time on one of Jay's DVDs it is not about the jokes but the moves. No words spoken, making this a International Collection which anyone from any part of the world can learn from. If you want to learn Jay's secrets behind his most visual and original sleight-of-hand magic, get this DVD. It features 14 amazing visual effects with playing cards, ping pong balls, envelopes, coins, finger rings, drinking straws, business cards and dollar bills. Talk about mime and magic. Consider this more and more not everyone speaks English and be visual is what magic is about!!

X- Board

Now tonight we go from comedy to close-up magic to mentalism and introduce X-Board. X-Board was until today a well guarded secret – a secret now released to the magic world. Conceived by Menny Lindenfeld a few years ago, this potent mind reading tool has been used in his own performances to blow away both laymen and professional mentalists dumbstruck. With X-Board you’ll be able to immediately duplicate a spectator’s exact drawing live on stage, with no external assistance or suspicious moves of any kind, with no need to open, pull or remove anything. It’s that simple! There is no messing about with carbons or center tears this board does it for you. A professional piece of equipment for the professional worker!

Birdcage and the Kid

Hocus Pocus is proud to introduce this fine piece of illusion magic. The performer arrives on stage displaying a giant birdcage, obviously empty. The cage, sitting on a table, is empty however the audience can hear a bird singing out of it! The performer then pulls a red cloth around the cage, covering it completely. But only for a second. The next instant, the cloth is pulled away and inside the cage is not a giant bird, but a real ten year-old child! The appearance is extremely quick and flashy. The illusion can be performed completely surrounded. It can takes less than 10 minutes to set up and tear down the illusion. The cage is made of uncoated wood so you can customize the decoration. Table is built on casters and will support up to 100 pounds. Right now only one of these are in the USA and Hocus Pocus has it. Act fast and it is yours for your show.

Tony's Tips

Tonight I have a special guest for all of you, he is creative, magical and funny Patrik Kuffs. You may have heard of Patrik from his DVD series Mind Stunts. It is packed full of great effects that take very little if no set up at all. The props are as simple as business and playing cards yet Patrik offers some powerful routines. One of my favorites from the Mind Stunt series is Bold Business. I have been able to email Patrik about a possible project and he was kind enough to email his lecture notes. He suggested for all of you from his notes, Pool Master. So from Canada please welcome ......Patrik Kuffs.

Pool Master

An envelope is placed on a pool table; A deck of cards is spread (face up) on a wide range of
the table. A spectator places the balls in the triangle shape and breaks the triangle with the
white ball (as in a regular pool game). The balls will reach some cards (or at least come close to
some cards). The mentalist then opens the envelope and inside is found a message written on a blank business card: "The 4 of Hearts is the chosen card...". The mentalist shows that there is another part of the message on the other side of the business card; A billiard ball is drawn. Let's pretend that it concerns the ball number 5: The spectators look at the table and can see that the ball number 5 is very close (or above) the 4 of hearts. You just predicted a first coincidence. All the cards are then turned over and the spectators realize that the 4 of hearts was the only one marked by an "X" on its back!

On the back of a four of hearts (or any other card you wish), draw an "X". It must be a big bold black marker "X". Write the sentences on the prediction card but leave the ball number empty. The number of the ball will be secretly written in a misdirection moment during the trick. You will need what is called a "swami gimmick" or "boon writer". I am sure you already know these types gimmicks are used to secretly write!

Introduce the envelope and placing it on the table to one side and ask a spectator to help you to spread the cards (face-up) on the table. Be sure that the forced card (4 of Hearts) is not near the center of the table. Ask the spectator to form the triangle shape with the balls and break it. During that moment, have the swami gimmick secretly ready on the tip of your thumb, and take the envelope on the table with that hand. When the balls are no more rolling on the table, notice which ball is the closest one to the 4 of hearts. Open the envelope, in such a way that we can only see this side of the prediction:

"The 4 of Hearts is the chosen card...and the chosen ball is…"

Have a spectator read the message closely by showing them the card: During that moment, you secretly write the number of the ball that is close to the four of hearts (on the table). Then show that there is another part of the prediction on the other side: Note: Using another positioning of the writings on the card could make you feel more comfortable when you secretly write the number with the writer.
When the spectator sees which ball was predicted on the card, they will compare to the coincidence on the table. Give them some time to appreciate this first mystery and then turnover all the cards on the table until they realize that the card is the only one with an "X".Note: A boon writer can also be used instead of a swami gimmick. This final revelation is VERY important. It confuses the spectators so that they can't think of the true solution. An important note about drawing the "X" on the card use red cards instead of blue ones (so the X
is easier to see!). This routine was developed for a T.V. show but was never presented because of technical reasons at that time (I lost my boon/swami!). A few years ago, I used to always do a version involving an invisible deck but I rarely have an invisible deck with me since “Clowns” have invaded the magic market, so I developed this friendly method.
Thank you Patrik for sharing one of your routines with us all. If we are lucky maybe I may be able to share another effect later in time, of course with Patrik's permission. Hope the summer finds you well, happy and working.

Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco

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