Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Masuda's Frozen in Time
That's the term we hear from that credit card commerical to make sure you carry the right credit card all the time. Well my, thought is what is the right magic you need carry to your show that you can't live without. Now I am talking about either your stage show or in your close-up shows. What would you consider the ammo that makes you blow people away with your magic. I know for me a set of sponge balls and a purse frame are in all my cases (Stage & Close-up). This is followed by both regular Bicycle cards and Casio cards (for signed card effects). Having a few sharpies in your close up bag is a good start. Four Half dollars, some quarters also Cocktail napkins both plain and the rose colored style. I have found that having a small balloon pump the hand held style is good to have, so much so that I have one in each of my cases ready to go.
Certain items are great to have with you. I have been teaching my weekend students knowledge is good also. Knowing moves like the Flip stick move means chop sticks, pencils, pens, drinking straws can be vanished at anytime. Having a knowledge of moves like the paddle move can turn any found object into a magic prop also. Keeping you mind and hands together as one can make you a "magical Mac Gyver" being able to do magic anytime with anything. Begin to store up a knowledge of effects that you can do using found objects when your performing in restaurants or in some one's home. One of my favorite "found" objects is the nice cloth napkins in fine restaurants or good dinner parties. So many effects can be done with a good dinner napkin.
So now what is in my stage show roadie case I can't live with out...hmm. Well having an extension cord is a must first for my sound system. You just never get that luckily having a outlet where and when you need one. Then it comes down to having extra hanks or spools of rope, extra decks of cards, sheets of newspapers and plastic shopping bags to clean up your mess after the show. So what's in your magic case?
Then we can think about the type of effects that you would carry if you had just a bag like a leather gym bag. Shows on the spot what would you carry? Again I would have a small sound system boom box CD player. Juggling Balls, Ropes, Silks, Scissors, cards and newspaper. One of the most interesting lines or sayings comes from my friend Jeff Mc Bride...."If you want to be a Master of Time and Space...You Need to get to the Space on Time". What does that mean, just show up on time? Get up Early? Honestly, its what you see and hear in it. For me its about Planning, Thinking Ahead and studying so you can being able to perform at the drop of a hat. Being able to do magic with anything. Wisdom is Knowledge. So gear up tricks that will be able to be done and work for all types of crowds.
As much as I do kid show/family shows with set routines and props, it is more amazing to do actual closeup magic to kids. Since performing in restaurants I have but a shorter time to perform so I dive right into coin and card magic, this for children of all ages. The response is much better sometimes then having to present a show in the formal way. Sometimes I feel as if I just really keep the magic visual and perhaps even silent you actual go over much larger.
Well, this week I seem to be rambling a bit, but since I have your attention. Let me start hearing more from all of you. I would love to feature our customers, even if its just a picture and a bio...send it. If you want to share a performing story, a funny thing happened to me at this one gig, send it to Tony@hocus-pocus.com
Thanks for reading,
Friday, September 14, 2007
By Paul Romhany
During my early career on cruise ships I would take long contracts which would mean that I stay on the same ship from anywhere between three to six months. This made life much easier when traveling because I could ‘courier’ my show prior to leaving for the contract, and once it was over, ‘courier’ it back home, never having to worry about losing my luggage.
The past few years I decided to do shorter contracts so I would fly to a country, sometimes a 40 hour trip, get on a ship for five days, perform my night of entertainment then fly home. I am usually home for about four or five days before flying to another country. This has caused many problems with flight connections being missed, missing the ship and losing my luggage. My luggage has been lost by the airlines NINE times this year, which meant that I turn up to a ship without any clothes or my act.
What lesson have I learnt?
Be prepared! The biggest lesson I have learnt from this type of work and travel is to design an act that can pack small and play big and ALWAYS be prepared. My main act on cruise ships is my Charlie Chaplin Act, a 50 minute one man show which travels in one case along with my clothes I need for the week on a ship, this being the case that keeps getting lost or delayed by the airlines.
I am now ALWAYS prepared and have a ‘back’ up second show that packs even smaller in my backpack. This means that if my main act is lost, I can still perform a full evening show with props I have in my backpack and objects I find on a ship.
Here is a basic list of the magic I take in my back-up if my main show is lost or I’m asked to do another 45 minute show:-
Rope (I find this on the ship)
Comedy Five Card Repeat (released through Hocus-Pocus)
Big Ten – (released through Hocus-Pocus)
Multiplying Bottles (released through Hocus-Pocus)
Dream Prediction (released through Hocus-Pocus)
Out of the above effects I am able to entertain for 45 minutes. Last week my act was lost again on my way to Iceland, and I had the entire ‘lost luggage’ show filmed. You can see a short 5 minute clip on youtube of me performing the above show at:
I get many emails from magicians wanting to work on cruise ships and they always ask for advice. My main advice is to make sure you are ready and always BE PREPARED. Design an act that can pack small and play VERY BIG.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Actually we had one of the largest turnouts, 50 people and a great evening.
From kid show entertainer and magic creator Mike Bent comes Big Bag O' Bunny. Turn your audience helper into a bunny like magic. Reach into a small bag and pull out a pink sponge nose along with fuzzy bunny ears. Place these on your helper and the fun begins. Magically, the bag turns into a beautiful 36" bunny silk. Your helper becomes the bunny in this great visual act. Comes complete with bunny silk/Blendo bag, sponge nose, bunny ears, and Mike Bent's full routine! Now along the same routine and just in time for Christmas holiday shows is also Mike's Big Bag O' Blitzen this time you change your spectator into one of Santa's raindeer. Both are great for the working family show entertainer. Stock up now.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Second Storm John Guastaferro
Thanks for reading,