Friday, September 14, 2007


Magic That Makes a Difference
This past weekend of shows was rather interesting to say the least. First during the week a possible customer called to book me about 45 minutes from my home. Price does have to go up for the travel, makes sense. So I never really heard from her until Saturday afternoon. She tells me that she is bringing her group to the restaurant that I am working at to see "My Show". I had to explain its not a show as much as close-up magic at each table of the restaurant. So her request was to visit and spend more time at they table. This was not a problem and to really think about it that also is my job to bring in customers to see me and to order food. So that was my first set of customers that came just to see me and have a meal. This is what a restaurant wants to see!
Second event was Sunday, a birthday party for 2 ladies turning 30 years old. Now in the big picture it was a family show, lots of kids and grandma's, grandpa's etc. I performed it as if it was a birthday for young kids and did feature the two ladies in a couple of effects. The show was over and the two ladies made a speech to the crowd of friends and family. What surprised me is the history these two friends shared growing up and the possibilities that each of them were surprised to be alive by their 30th birthdays! Not sure what they meant but I noticed photos around of them growing up. One of the ladies did serve in the Army. So I guess both have been through a tough life so I was honor to be there with their children, husbands and the rest of the family. In their speech they took the time to include me in the happiness of life they both share. So sometimes magic can make a difference and touch lives. How were your gigs?
Reminder to start locking in Jan 19th and possible the 20th for the Second Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet and Magic Get-Together ! Last year was a great event, everyone had a super time! Don't miss out!

Tony's Picks
Just to let you know we have Freakey in stock. Get yours now.
Levent's Salt Pour
This legendary trick has been featured by such great magicians as Dai Vernon, Roy Benson and Fred Kaps now made by Levent. Levent is the author of “Roy Benson By Starlight” has taken Roy Benson’s original Salt Pour Gimmick and he has added many unique design features that make it by far the best gimmick ever produced. Custom molded out of durable and corrosion resistant flesh-colored plastic it will never require painting or touching up. Because of the lightweight material being slightly translucent so that under proper stage lighting conditions you can see exactly how much salt remains in the gimmick as the salt is reproduced. A concave base enabling the gimmick to sit upright and be ready to use in the prop case which also provides an indentation for your thumb making it easier to do the Benson “Turnover Move” as well as allow for better control during Vernon’s salt flow control technique. The gimmick includes a DVD, in which Levent teaches the various Salt Pour techniques from the past masters of magic such as Dai Vernon, Roy Benson, Ross Bertram and Fred Kaps. Levent covers the Salt Pour history of all the great performers of this act as well as teaches the entire Salt Pour routine that he currently performs in his comedy magic act. Plus, he includes multiple variations such as the production of the salt from both fists. Finally as a bonus he reveals the secret of his earlier routine in which a borrowed wrist watch is transformed into an hourglass, the sand from the hourglass is used for the Salt Pour trick and at the finale the sand magically transforms back to the borrowed watch. A classic of magic prop that will last you a life time with a DVD full of knowledge all for an amazing price.

A Weekend At the 4F
As a kid magician growing up in New York I heard of this legendary convention of invited only close-up workers getting together at the Forks Hotel. Names like Garcia, Loyrane, Dingle and Roth, fueled my imagination of what these great workers talked about and shared with each other. Perhaps later when they would return to NYC after coming off the mountain to impart the creations of the weekend to us young ones. Well now thanks to East Coast Magic Productions and long time event host Obie O' Brien you get to attend this very prestigious convention. On this the first volume of Magic at the 4F's you get on the DVD an interview by John Blake with Obie and Mike Gallo to learn about the history of the legendary 4F. Magic effects from Jim Klayder, Ali Bongo, Patrick Page, Hayashi, Richard Kaufman, David Regal, Vanni Bossi, Tom Craven and Scott Robinson. A once in a lifetime event on DVD and you have a front row seat.

Zupan's Professional Money Machine
Here is the grandest Money Machine you could ever own. Imported from overseas, each Zupan's Professional Money Machine is meticulously hand-crafted down to the finest detail. Utilizing the finest woods, hardware, and finish, this is sure to become one of the most talked-about pieces in your close-up and parlor acts as well as one heck of a collector's item! If the pros use it, you know it means quality through and through. Each unit comes complete with its own elegant wooden chest lined with special holders for all its pieces to be packed snug, detailed instructions, CD-ROM with performance and explanation video, various flags from different countries, two steel "performance keys," foreign bill gaffs and mis-prints. The full routine is well described on the website with all the comedy one could ask for as well as magic. Also on the website are 3 real time media clips of the routine that is sure to make you show stand out.

From the wacky and creative world of Anton Corradin comes a mini illusion just in time for Halloween. Image the magician standing on stage alongside a 3 legged table. He explains that he once saw what he believed to be a magician/butcher perform a pretty shocking trick. As he describes the tale, he places a dishtowel over his left hand and places it on the table. Picking up a large and very menacing butcher knife with a gleaming silver blade, the performer proceeds to cut off his very hand! Placing the knife down, the performer lifts off the cloth to reveal a severed hand on the table. Looking shocked, he immediately picks up the hand and promptly and magically reattaches his hand. Sounds pretty sick and wacky truly as i said from the mind of Anton Corradin. In this effect you get, Collapsible table nicely done up with gold fringe, Large butcher knife, Fake hand, Dish towel and a full performance/instructional DVD. In addition to the effect, the included gimmick table is perfect for other effects and ideas and Slap can be performed surrounded. The best yet is that only a few minutes after receiving it, you will be able to include it in your show. Get yours for that ghoulish magic Halloween show now.

Royal Random Time Pieces
A beautiful watch and an amazing magic trick all rolled into one that is the Royal Random Time Pieces which are made to the highest quality specifications. Display this ordinary watch and ask your spectator to name any time in the future. When you show the watch again, it's set to the selected time! The Royal Random Time Pieces, stop in a different way than previous models. And now there is a whole range of different styles to choose from. Choose from, The Majestic, Aristocratic Gold Face or Silver Face, Select Timepiece Black or Brown. Check the website for the look of each style that I have just mention. Paul has done nothing but rave about the look and the price of these great watches which are easy to perform. If you are into watch effects these are the best made and the best priced on the market right now!

Tony's Tips
To say tonight's guest blogger must never sleep would be an understatement. Whether traveling around the world performing or creating new magic routines Paul Romhany is a magical force like no other. Paul Romhany got his start in his native New Zealand, earning his degree in music from Auckland University. A piano certificate from London’s Royal College of Music followed, but Paul’s passion remained in theatre. Soon he was traveling the globe performing to universal acclaim and recognition with such awards as Entertainer of the Year in New Zealand. Paul travels the world performing his magic on cruise ships. One of the highlights of his performances is his tribute to Charlie Chaplin. We are happy to have Paul's friendship here at Hocus Pocus and tonight he shares a few tips with all of you.
Pack small and Play Big Magic
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)
Linking Coathangers
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.
Thank you Paul for those well learned rules from the road and the school of hard knocks. I hope you now understand what it is like to hear from a real worker who is ready for any problem. I always tell folks to have backup props as well as by 2 of something just in case.
So if you have a story to share, idea, routine or just advice send it to:
Thanks for reading each week,
Tony Blanco

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