Thursday, September 13, 2007


Magical Lecture, Inspirational Ideas
Sorry for the delay in this weeks blog. The Hocus Pocus Lecture series usually happens on Mondays but this time we had it on Tuesday, blog writing night. So here we go 2 days later. Tuesday night we had the great fortune to have Fielding West here at Hocus Pocus. Now given the fact that we changed from a Monday night to a Tuesday night I was afraid of a low turn out.
Actually we had one of the largest turnouts, 50 people and a great evening.
Fielding West is the ideal of what a working pro is about. During his lecture Fielding shared his top secrets that have made him a top entertainer for over 32 years. Fielding has been seen on TV programs like the World's Greatest Magic, An Evening at the Improv, Caroline's Comedy and so many more to mention. This coming year we all will get to see more of Fielding on TV programs ranging from Criss Angel's show to his own 1 hour TV special produced by Lance Burton. While here, Fielding with Bob the Bird showed the folks attending the lecture the many professional ways to work with Doves. The knowledge Fielding shared about dove work has been handed down to him from folks like Johnny Thompson and Channing Pollack, and Fielding made sure everyone will know and continue these great theories of magic.
Fielding is best known as a wacky comedy magician but as with all comics a serious side is always there. A caring nature to share and make sure the next generation of magicians learn from his years of performing. We were all treated to great magic, but most of all were the ideas to learn to create magic and develop a character when performing. At lectures, magician's speak and come to sell items. Fielding is just the opposite he wanted everyone to be inspired by this art we call magic. His work with everyone attending the lecture, the way he was concerned that everyone learned something, to giving extra time to those who wanted to stay longer and learn more, to customizing a dove harness for someone, proves Fielding is a guy that loves what he does and wants everyone to look like a Pro!! We were all very lucky to have Fielding visit his hometown area (the first time in 40 years he says) for his lecture. From comedy, to staging an act, to dove work, close-up magic, to character development, Fielding does it all and is a true inspiration to learn from. So those who attended will agree and if Fielding is in your area don't miss his lecture. Check out the photos at the end of the Blog from the lecture. Thanks again Fielding!!
We are now making plans for our next swap meet. This again will be held in January on the weekend of the 19th 2008. Please make that date down and start cleaning your closets out to sell or trade your magic. We will again have tables for you to sell your items and of course the finest in magic lectures. Plan ahead now as I have just again made a deal with a great local hotel for rates also.

Tony's Picks
Amazing Mystical Vanishing Bandana
Magic Enhancer has released a brand new and completely updated and revamped version of the Vanishing Bandanna. This version contains an updated and fully produced CD with BOTH male and female voices, a longer and more comical script with better music and sound effects (a full 7-minute routine), and a custom-made Devil's Handkerchief which makes clean up so much easier! So, your saying "What another version of this trick"? Well once you perform something time after time, ideas and improvements do come to mind. So the folks at Magic Enhancer have created a totally new, practical re-worked script with much more comedy, but there are also two bonus effect scripts absolutely free. As if that weren't enough, also included are two free Magic Enhancer tracks that you can't get anywhere else. The most important improvement to this classic act that I close my show with is the Devil's hank, with removable pocket liners. No more mess. The Devil's hank is top quality created and designed by Sandra Sisti of Seams Like Magic. The Devil's hank uses a parachute lined removable pocket that makes clean up hassle-free. All you have to do, is take out the "dirty" pocket, slap in a replacement liner and you're all set to go. Since it is made of a parachute material, the banana doesn't stick to the lining which makes clean up very easy. The Devil's Hank is well made and will last a lifetime. For all the new additional comedy tracks (read the website for all of them), the new style Devil's hank and a great lesson in performing this effect by Bill Palmer, this truly is the "Ultimate" in the Vanishing Bandana set up" for your show and I should know I have been performing this for over 10 years sometimes 3-4 shows a day.

Big Bag o' Bunny

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.

System 88
When you have a power or a system, it attracts money, women, prestige and fame. System 88 is not simple cold reading. It does not require an understanding of human nature. Within seconds of selecting a target subject, System 88 analyzes the subject, filters through 3,337,000 combinations of specific personality traits and reveals to you over 50 different singularities These are easily listed on the System 88 chart, a pocket-size card that each subject keeps and cherishes for years. System 88 is amazingly accurate. Developed by professional mind reader, Docc Hilford and clinical psychologist, Dr Lisa Chin, it analyzes and defines over 50 personal characteristics The target subject will be in shock at the unimpeachable information shown to her. There's nothing to memorize. Although System 88 can generate over 3,000,000 different factual readings, everything is designed into the chart. It works automatically. System 88 has been a real hot seller these past few weeks. So again when you guys tell me about something, I need to recommend it to all. So for all you mentalist/mind reading kinda guys this is another must have!

Gary the Goofy Ghost
Just in time for Halloween comes Mike Bent's Gary the Goofy Ghost. Gary the Goofy Ghost lives in a rickety old Haunted House illustrated on a beautiful, full color 18" silk. Hand the silk to a helper and ask if they can find Gary. They examine the silk, but find nothing. Explain that Gary lives inside the house and point to one of the windows. Reach into the window and pull out a small white silk with a goofy, grinning ghost face. Poke Gary into your fist and he vanishes. Now you tell the audience that "He flew back to the house, which room do you think he's hiding in?" They point to one of the 13 doors or windows. You reach in, and there's Gary! "Let's put him in the dungeon and see if he can escape." Poke Gary into the dungeon door and he vanishes right into the cloth. Where could Gary be? Reach inside the helper’s sleeve and discover that Gary has been hiding there all along. Finally, Gary vanishes one more time, but can't be found anywhere, until the audience finds him hanging on your helper's back! You get an 18" full color Haunted House silk, 2 Gary the Goofy Ghost silks, special gimmick, and Mike Bent's full routine complete with ghoulishly goofy gags. Like I said just in time for Halloween or for any spooky story you may want to tell during your act.

Comedy Five Card Repeat
From creative force in magic Paul Romhany straight from his cruise ship shows Comedy 5 Card Repeat. The premise is that the magician tells the audience that he will play a CD and together they will learn the famous $100 Three Card Trick. The magician then follows along with the voice over and that’s when the craziness starts. Things get out of hand as the magician keeps fooling the ‘voice-over’ with little ‘climaxes’ along the way until finally the trick works. This is 4 minutes of solid entertainment from a working professional’s act. One of the most commercial routines on the market today that packs small and plays big. Paul has taken the basic principle of five card repeat and re-designed gimmicked cards making it so easy to perform, including a few surprises that you can only do with his gimmicked cards. If you can hold playing cards in your hand then you can perform this version of FIVE CARD REPEAT. Here is a routine that makes you look like you have great sleight of hand skill as well as the talent to invoke loads of laughs from your audience. Here is one that really packs small and plays big. Check out the website for more information on this another Paul Romhany winner.

Tony's Tips
The Next Generation of Magicians
To say its has been a busy week would be a understatement. It was great to see Fielding again. He is a Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe staple when it comes to entertaining. The time he spent here will be an inspiration for all that attended. It reminded me of when I first started performing, and how everything was new and magical. After 32 years of performing (actually both Fielding and I) it was amazing to see his passion to teach and share. Recently I had a conversation with one of our customers that buys for his son just getting started in magic. They both attend a local magic club (I don't remember if its IBM or SAM) but I do remember what he said happens to the young guys who perform. Seems this club (and I have seen it in others) stands judgement with folded arms at the teenagers that get up to perform. For some reason it sounds like the older and wiser members are not being wiser or nice. They are standing judgement on these kids not as a lesson to grow and be better but I guess a feeling of jealous is what it sound like to me. Well if you are part of a magic club here is one rule that you all should live by...We all love magic so be here to INSPIRE! It almost blew me away that stories like this are still around about "old timers" getting nasty to kids who want to learn. It's like some weird child abuse story, "no one helped me, so I am not going to help some kid". Lose that kind of thinking magic clubs and create the next generation of magicians. OK rant over!

Restaurant Magic Part 2
Last week I was talking about starting working a new restaurant gig. This will be a little more of that again for this week. I have found that a good visual opening when starting you first trick is best. Don't talk, Do. This way you have made a visual impression that you are magical! Then you can begin slowly with a talking effect maybe. I still go for a second visual effect that cements my magic/sleight of hand skill. Then an inter-action effect making sure you learn most of the folks at the tables names.

I again say keep you time short at someones table. Have effects that are short, in case you have to rush to end of an effect because the food is now being served. This will always make you look good to stop performing and not continue when the food is served. Promise to come back if they want more and make sure you do. Unless you name is above the logo of the restaurant no one came to see magic, they came to eat. Also the management will be impressed to know that you know that the customer comes first and not the chop cup routine your doing.

Speaking of visual, your look should be one that as you walk around a restaurant folks should know your different from the waiters and waitresses. Not to say wear something goofy but clothing that looks different then the customers and staff. Make sure that a picture of you is if not on every table letting folks know when you appear, then at least one by the front door. This does not cost anybody but a space to hang a picture or a least on the counter by the register. Heck, I even came to them with the picture framed. I see it that the restaurant wants you to bring folks in, but I know they won't take or have the time to do the PR. Do it for them and you will be well like when customers say they are here to see the magician and management spent no money and time doing PR. In the long run this type of work will help build your name up in the area and outside gigs do come from this. You can also use this time as your own audition when folks want to see you before they hire you. Tell them where you perform and the restaurant makes money and later hopefully you will too from the gig.

Have as many different ways of giving your name and number to a spectator doing your time at their table. Never over look business card tricks as well as the 12 Easy to do magical trick brochure. Here is an idea that just came to me. Using your printer, make simple address labels with only your name, number and perhaps logo. If you make napkin roses, peel one of these labels off and stick it to the stem of the rose. I would fold it in half so it stick to itself and the stem is in the middle. Always be friendly and helpful to the customers and staff. Speaking of the staff, once in a while do a magic trick for them, but don't hang with them. Let them see you as someone special but not one of them. You need them to come to you when a customer wants to see magic so maybe if you get a tip from that table, tip them also. This kind of incentive will get them to work for you and again makes everyone happy. You get to perform, customer get treated well and wait staff gets tips also.
Hope that has inspired you. I hope to hear from those of you that read this blog.
Thanks for reading and thanks waiting for the blog.
Tony Blanco

Pictures from Fielding West Lecture

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