Wednesday, October 24, 2007

 








A Magical Weekend



So I left off last week telling you about Lisa and I getting married (Below are pictures). Before I took the day off on Friday, the Hocus Pocus family Paul, Betty, Jan, Karen, Ken and Mike threw a surprise wedding luncheon for us. Lovely gifts and great feelings for Lisa and I on our big day. Thank you very much gang, Lisa and I were surprised and honored!



Then Friday I took off from work to get the wedding papers taken care of in downtown Fresno. Then it was off to get food, the wedding cake and more food. After a bit of confusion (and I am being polite about what happened) with not having the person who plan to make the cake, make the cake. We found a Spanish Super Market and I mean super! Make us a two layer 1/2 sheet carrot cake in 30 minutes. They saved the day. Off to Costco for more food. A couple of days earlier the guy (Kent) that runs the motorcycle events I perform at hooked us up with coffee pots, tables and all sorts of kitchen stuff to serve food. Thank you Kent! Then it was early Saturday morning (5 AM) to set up tables and chairs. The wedding was called for a 10:00 but we had a rehearsal at 8:30 called for. The day turned out wonderfully and you can see by the pictures that we had a Celtic style wedding. Nothing more then lovely words said and a traditional jumping over a branch to step into our new life together. Again many thanks to everyone for all your kind words and help.







Tony's Picks


Don Alan's Magic Ranch


The name Don Alan will go down in magic history as one of the most creative performers and inventive entertainers. Don was one of the guys that was there in the beginning of alot of firsts in magic, trade-shows, nightclubs and television. Now witness Don Alan, magician and his complete Magic Ranch television series now available on three fully search able DVDs. The thirteen episodes of Magic Ranch from 1961 contain Don Alan close-up gems like the Chop Cup, Stack of Quarters, Flying Eagles, and many other classics of Don's blend of magic and comedy. Don featured some of the best in the business at the time including Jay Marshall, Al Flosso, Jack Gwynne, "Senator" Crandall, Karrell Fox, Richard Himber, Neil Foster, George Johnstone, James Reneaux, Johnny Platt, and many more. One of the best parts of these DVD's is an interview with Eugene Burger (one of Don's early devotees), Magic Ranch stills and outtakes, long-lost footage for the Alan's Alley show, and an early Don Alan TV performance








Heiny 500


From the creative mind of Karl Hein comes Heiny 500. Here is a DVD that in one day I must have written orders for over 30 of them. You the working pro know a good thing when you see it. Which is my way of saying, yes it is on the website for your to view. Here is one of the most visual money effects ever as five $1 dollar bills morph into 5 $100 dollar bills. Don't believe what you see. Then here are what the working pros are saying "Heiny 500 is the best *#@!!% money effect I have ever seen." --Chris Kenner. "Karl made a good trick into an amazing one! The difference is now I use it all the time."-- Bob Sheets. "Who introduced Karl to Harry Potter? This effect is REAL magic!"-- Daniel Garcia."This is the best handling of Pat Page's Easy Money anyone has come up with, and I've seen them all. It's better than Hundy 500, Slow Burn, Foreign Exchange, 3-D Cash, or any of the others."-- John Lovick. So with all those recommendations I will add mine which is to say "This is a fast hot seller and don't miss out on this one!














Royal Fantasy







One of my favorite memories of magic is watching Harry Anderson on TV. Now you can perform a visual stunner that Harry Anderson used to blow away millions of television viewers. Harry would always perform so of his best card effects in way jumbo cards. Here now are a standard size version of Royal Fantasy is perfect for close-up entertainers. Show four playing cards - all Kings - and place them one at a time onto the spectator's waiting hand. First, the King of Hearts, then the King of Spades, King of Clubs, and King of Diamonds. Remember, each card is individually placed onto the spectator's hand. Without any further work, all four kings instantly change into four spot cards of different values. Only four cards used! Nothing added or taken away. No specially printed cards. So here is you chance to look sharp and smooth the way a good card man should







Dragon Puppet
Here is a dragon puppet that will truly impress the neighbors. With all the current rage of Harry Potter and Wizards here is the perfect partner to have to help make your magic work. His mouth opens and closes, head is separate from the body for amazing realistic movement. Just check out the amazing detail. The dragon tail has wire inside so you can pose it any way you want. In fact, you can even wrap it around your arm. This puppet is perfect for the magician, children's entertainer, ventriloquist, clown, MC, strolling performer etc. This puppet is an exceptional value and we guarantee that you will be impressed with the quality and detail.




Werry's Miracle Disk



Werry experimented for six months on this trick, until he produced a masterpiece of modern close-up magic. Not a trick in the usual sense of the word, but a SUCCESSION OF SUCH UNLIKELY EFFECTS, that you must have seen "Miracle Disc" (former called Bewitched Disc) to believe the description. Just read what the audience sees: The magician places a little wallet on the table in front of him and takes out of it a clear round disc of transparent plastic, which has a large bright red spot on each side. EFFECT 1: After the magician has shown the disc on both sides, he covers it for a moment with his empty hand, which he immediately draws away to one side. The two red spots on the front and back of the disc are now bright GREEN! - and the magician's hands are EMPTY, except for the disc. EFFECT 2: The performer shows the disc on both sides, covers it again for an instant with his empty hand, moving the hand almost immediately away to the side. The 2 green spots are now YELLOW! EFFECT 3: The artist taps against the disc with his finger nails. Right away the UPPER SPOT ONLY turns green again! EFFECT 4 AND 5: The disc is laid in the left hand in such a way that it is quite clearly seen which color is uppermost. The audience are asked, "Now, which color is on top?' Let us say the answer is "green". The magician opens his hand slowly and shows that the YELLOW spot is on top. This effect is repeated. EFFECT 6: The disc is in the left hand again, so that it can be seen which color is uppermost. "Which color is on top?" asks the magician smilingly. "Green" say the audience. But perhaps one sharp-witted chap says "yellow". "You're WRONG", says the performer "now it is BLACK" And yes, - there is a black spot on the disc. EFFECT 7: "I'll do it again, so that you can see it clearly", says the magician and for the fourth time he places the disc into his left hand. Then he asks, "Now then, what's on top now?" There is a doubtful silence. He opens his hand - and the disc isn't there, it has VANISHED! "Obviously you haven't been keeping an eye on it, else you would have seen that I slipped it into the wallet as I touched it just now!" The magician brings the disc out of the wallet. EFFECT 8: The magician taps the disc with his finger nails again and the spot on the other side is BLACK! EFFECT 9: Suddenly both spots turn BLUE! EFFECT 10: Once more the magician covers the disc for a moment and when he jerks his hand sideways, as at the beginning, the 2 spots have turned WHITE. And his hands are quite empty except for the disc. With this the performance of the "Bewitched Disc" would be at an end, if there wasn't a yet more staggering climax to this staggering routine. Effect 11, the CLIMAX: Modestly, the magician puts the disc on to the table and looks at the audience, who immediately rush to give the disc a thorough examination. But the only thing they discover is a GOLD "Query" Mark (?) on the white spot, which poses an other question to the audience. Is that enough for one effect or what?






Tony's Tips



This week I am featuring some of our customers that have sent news of their careers and a suggestion or two for your shows. First from the Massachusetts area Matt Roberts.



Matt Roberts is perhaps best known for his performances as "Magic Matt," on the national television series, Ribert and Robert's Wonderworld, currently on over 120 PBS stations in the U.S. and on military bases around the world on the American Forces Network. As a regular cast member, he continues to create and perform new, themed segments of the popular show that brings his magic to millions. Matt is also an award-winning actor with professional stage credits, Matt holds a B.A. in Theatre and has performed in 31 states and 13 countries.

I recently returned from a two-month theater tour of Asia. Before leav
ing the U.S. I learned that, while working in the Philippines, I would have the opportunity to make a special visit to a youth center in the middle of a squatter village. Hundreds of families live in really awful conditions there and rely on this community center for free clinics and activities for their children. Bringing some fun to these people is what magic is all about, so I was excited about being able to help.
The unique performing conditions and the somewhat treacherous trip to the village made bringing a traditional road case impossible. The search was on for a pack-small, soft-sided, durable, lightweight bag that would look good and hold about 30 minutes of material. I ended up stumbling upon a very handy little “lunch box” from Eddie Bauer that is perfect for all of those shows where you can’t (or just don’t want to) bring lots of stuff…and it’s less than $20.
*Check it out: http://www.eddiebauer.com/eb/product.asp?cm_cg=T347&product_id=31229&.rand=disabled If you look close you can see the bag Matt is talking about in the photo to the right in his hand.


Matthew Johnson here from Vancouver, hope you are keeping well. You ran the story about me being in the Nationwide TV commercial as a magician, I am sure you remember.

Anyways......I thought you may be interested in a crazy friend of mine by the name of Justin Kyllo. He lives just around the corner from me, here in Canada and when it comes to Halloween he is a NUT! When he is not running his competition catering company (http://www.smokeandbones.ca/) he is the proud owner of a haunted house that was voted as the "Scariest House in Vancouver" last year by CTV news. He has had more newspaper articles and press coverage than I care to mention and does it all for the community and the food back here in Canada. Usually he raises about $10,000 worth of food every year. Everyone coming to the house does not have to pay a dime they just have to bring a food donation.

I know what you are thinking.....great but what does this have to do with magic?

Well I have been up there in the wind and the rain for the last 3 weeks helping to build this incredible display and this year I am going to be in the haunted house performing some creepy magic like "Knife through arm" to really freak people out.

I hope that your readers will feel inspired by the pictures I am sending of the haunted house and by reading this letter in two ways. One I hope it inspires creativity and a will to strive to be inventive and think outside the box. Two, here is a guy who has no movie set training but has created something from scratch that helps to raise money for a great cause, something we (as performers) should all work towards. Sometimes the moments we take to give back to the community around us are the greatest moments of all! Justin Kyllo is a very clever and artistic guy who is the king of giving back to his community with no personal gain. He also happens to be a little bit of an amateur magician and would love to get into magic more.

On a second note Justin has helped me build & design props for my own act and in the next five or six months we will be collaborating together to bring new effects to the market based on original ideas of mine. Judging by Justin's work I know the new stuff will be great!

The shots I am sending you were taken in the day for clarity. For anyone in Canada passing through Vancouver, BC the Haunted House (http://www.magicshow2go.com/) is at 1920 Casano Drive in North Vancouver and will be open on the following days :

Friday the26th of October 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Saturday the 27th of October 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Sunday the 28th of October 6:30pm to 10:00pm
Tuesday the 30th of October 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Wednesday the 31st of October 6:30pm to 10:30pm
The times and details are posted on the blog page at my website

Be prepared for a terrifying experience of sight, sound, smell with a little bit of gory magic thrown in....you won't be disappointed!











Tony and Lisa's Wedding Pictures




Tom Jorgenson w/LisaONG>

Lisa and I Bert, Carmine, Lisa, Me, Mike and Tom

A sit down in the morning sun after the Wedding


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

 
Trick or Treat
I hope your weekend was busy. This was a back to back event weekend for me. Nice thing is the weather was wonderful for each outdoor event. Lots of great ideas came to me out of these events for future Tony's Tips. It is always an interesting time of the year when you see folks get dressed up for Halloween. The idea of becoming someone else even for just a few hours is such a magical release. So to work even with non-pro entertainers at an event makes them almost seem like pro's when they get to pretend during a Halloween event. In the past I would run away from "local" type events but more and more folks have learned a lot from watching movies and TV. Some of these local productions now really are wonderful events to walk in and stand in front as the feature entertainer. Anytime you can help make the production of an event look professional always let folks know of your skills and talents. It could only make your show or appearance go smoother.
This week is the final count down to Lisa and I getting married on Saturday. We have planned a very simple and yet Celtic wedding to happen in our backyard. Again I hope the weather stays as nice as its been. I hope I can share some pictures with you in next weeks blog. So many last minute things to do so if the blog is short today forgive me.




Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues





Hocus Pocus upcoming news is we thought we were done with lectures for the year until we got some amazing news. Hocus Pocus dear friend and magic legend John Calvert is going to be here December 10. It seems John is being honored in Las Vegas by his peers for his years of performing. John is a living legend not only as a magician, but as an actor John worked at a time when stars like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power or Douglas Fairbanks ruled big screen. John also worked with most of these stars and did appear in over 40 movies during the Golden age of Hollywood. Along with his wife Tammy, John still performs and travels around the world. So I would mark your calendar for December 10th 2007 for an Evening with John Calvert at 7:00 $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door the night of the lecture.









Hocus Pocus Swap Meet 2008
News for those of you who were part of last years swap..we are doing it again and now for 2 days. First day Saturday January 19 will be like last year, dealers and lectures oh my! Then the next day Sunday will be a special hands on workshop with none other then Daryl! I just wanted to wet your appetite a little. We will have some of the folks who were dealers last year back again including Dick Barry, Suds and Mark and Nani Wilson. I don't want to tip to much just yet, but do lock down the weekend of the January 19 and 20th 2008.







Tony's Picks

Here are some effects that I have chosen that I would use in my shows.


Ultimate Card in Bottle Trick


As performed by Cyril on Japanese television, this is a a mind-blowing stunt wherein a signed card from the audience appears inside a genuinely sealed plastic bottle of water or iced tea! The magician selects a volunteer from the audience to choose one card from a deck of cards. The card is then signed and returned to the deck of cards. Then, the volunteer shuffles the cards by himself. Next, the magician takes out a brand new sealed plastic bottle from a paper bag and proceeds to wrap duct tape around the bottle. Then, he explains that when throwing the deck of cards in the air, he will hit the cards with the plastic bottle, and the card which has been signed by the volunteer will stick to the bottle. However, instead of the signed card sticking to the bottle, all the cards drop to the floor. The magician explains that it was due to hitting the cards too hard. Then, peeling off the duct tape from the bottle, the signed card has magically appeared inside the bottle! Just about any plastic bottle can be used Comes with 30 special gimmicks Give the bottle to the spectator as a souvenir Comes with detailed instructions and instructional DVD.



Optical Wallet


Two cards are shown in a little transparent wallet, let's say the nine of clubs and the jack of hearts. You take the jack out of the wallet and show it around before placing it face up onto the hand of a spectator. Then you take the second card out of the wallet (the nine of clubs) and you place it face down over the jack of hearts which still openly rests on the spectator's hand. You say that you are going to visually pass the nine of clubs through the jack. No sooner said than done, you turn the nine of clubs over and believe it or not: it has vanished! The card is now totally blank! "But where is the nine of clubs?" you say pensively as you scratch your head. Then a sudden inspiration comes to your mind and you invite the spectator to turn the jack of hearts over. The spectator does so and discovers to his big surprise -and to everyone's amazement too - that the nine of clubs is printed over the back of the jack of hearts! The cards are immediately given out for a close examination. Strong points: Easy to do, is self-working, you do not make any suspicious moves; everything is handled in a very natural and casual way. Optical Wallet does not use the classic systems that everybody knows such as the Himber principle, the double pocket, etc. Imported from Europe Optical Wallet is the best of its kind.




The Devil of a Bar and Book

The Devil Of A Bar And Pub is known to readers of Linking Ring, members of the exclusive Shadow Network and elsewhere. The Scribe has long written reports about the goings on of this pub, and the peculiar cast of characters that frequents it. Those people are the alter egos of a veritable Who's Who of the magic, bizarre and storytelling world! Who are they and who is The Scribe? Well, that has never been made publicly known... Until now! Yes, in addition to over 60 of the scribe's reports - in addition to never before published reports - in addition to reprints of the Linking Ring Pub specials, here you will learn the identity of the Scribe and his cohorts! We will tell you that editor and co-publisher of Oracle Magazine, Larry White is the head of this group, and the rest is a Who's Who of the storytelling, bizarre and magic world - but to find out WHO's Who, you'll have to own the book. This is a very exclusive hardcover collection of storytelling, bizarre and psychically entertaining magic together for the first and ONLY time. This dust jacketed hard cover book is 383 pages and is sure to become a collector's item.



Hathaway Rising Cards
Hathaway’s remarkable contribution to the rising cards trick has become a classic of its genre. This astonishing effect is not only deceptive and practical but highly visible too, making it most effective for stage or parlor presentation. Three cards rise up from an examined jumbo deck which is inside a clear houlette suspended on ribbons held by you and a spectator - under seemingly impossible conditions - yet totally under your control. The self-contained apparatus is both sturdy and attractive and built to Martin Lewis’ exacting standards. This is the quality you have come to expect from Martin’s Magikraft Studios. Included is an instructional DVD by Martin Lewis, showing a live performance for an audience of 700. Martin explains in his clear and informative manner the working details and variations which “sell” the effect to the audience. And he should know, the trick having been in his act for over 30 years.




Motivational Silks

Tricks using silks have long been a favorite of magicians. They pack small, are colorful and many provide a strong effect. The Motivational Silks are all of the above but in addition they fit into almost any performance situation. He is an idea how this routine can play. "Recently I started doing a classic of magic involving two silk handkerchiefs which are tied together. As I was just tying them together someone from the audience shouted at me and said If you were a real magician you wouldn't need to do tricks with handkerchiefs, you would just make money appear! That is what the man said ... and so I did!" With the last word a large $100 silk appears between the first two silks!

The Motivational speakers of today that use magic effects to illustrate what is said opens doors to a very well paid field of entertainment Here are two ideas on how to use this trick in such way. Use the silks to represent two important character attributes: Wisdom and Diligence. If we are willing to work hard, but also understand that we must work smart, that is where we find the pay-off! (As this is said the two silks are tied together and at the end the large Dollar silk appears between them). Use the silks to illustrate the sales department and the production department. Both can not be without the other. Sales do not help when nothing is produced and the best production does not help when it is not sold. However, when the two work together (tie silks) there is a huge payoff (make Dollar silk appear). So you can see by the above examples this is a very versatile trick that plays well in many different venues. You receive two 24" silk in different colors (colors may vary in your set) and the large $100 silk (36" x 14").



Tony's Tips



Over the past two years of writing this blog, I hope that you have gotten some ideas for your shows and looked at how you perform your shows. I have talked about bookings, give aways, roadie cases and much more. I hope to continue writing this blog but as I ask each week I would like to hear from you all. I have opened this blog up to having guests such as Bill Abbott, Jeff Hobson, Paul Romhany, Whit Hayden, Robert Baxt, Tim Ellis & Sue Ann Webster.


These pro's have shared tricks and tips for you. Just recently in this space I have profiled some of the folks that make and sell items to Hocus Pocus, but now its time to hear from all of you the Hocus Pocus family of customers. I would be happy to profile you with your photo and hope that you could send a bio or even a tip or suggest. One such customer was Damon Reinbold, he was nice enough to also suggest a routine from his lecture notes of bizarre magic.


Now I know not everyone is a writer of books or lecture notes, but you have had to come up with something over the years you think is a cool thing in your show. This would be the time to be featured for your creative talents. I also know that the world of magic can be very protective of its secrets but I figure if I can come up with ideas and my friends can share with you then its time for you to be featured and heard in this column.


Right now I wish to again Thank all those who have given their time to send articles, tricks, routines and advice from years of performing to make this blog work each week. In the coming months I hope to have more of my Las Vegas friends share with you there knowledge but I am asking you to join in. Any topic, any pictures, even a question that sparks an answer for a article in this part of the blog. Any thing you want to send! This blog is for all of you who read it .


Hope to hear from you at tony@hocus-pocus.com. Thank you....time to get more stuff for the wedding.


till next week


Best Magical Wishes,


Tony Blanco








Tuesday, October 16, 2007

 
Wizards, Little Critters and Goblins

This is your count down week to Halloween. Have you gotten you shows lined up? Props ready? I hope so. This week I am performing as a Wizard, Zoo Magician and Real Estate magician. First it will be off to the Tea House for a Harry Potter style evening of magic, treats and tea. This will be so great as everyone is told to come in costume for a ballroom full of Wizards and muggles. Then again I get to entertain at our local zoo for "ZooBoo". This will be an evening of kids roaming the zoo in costume, visiting the animals and then the grand costume parade. Sunday finds me going to help sell homes (not actually doing paper work) by entertaining at a brand new home development. This Halloween/fall event will feature radio stations, cooking demo's, landscape ideas and of course homes for sale. You see how magic could be used by so many smart marketing folks. So there it goes a full fall weekend. Next weekend for those of you who don't know (which I think will be all of you) Lisa and I are getting married on Saturday 27th. We are planning a nice simple wedding in our backyard, so here is hoping the weather is going to be good this weekend and next.





Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues
Hocus Pocus upcoming news is we thought we were done with lectures for the year until we got some amazing news. Hocus Pocus dear friend and magic legend John Calvert is going to be here December 10. It seems John is being honored in Las Vegas by his peers for his years of performing. John is a living legend not only as a magician, but as an actor John worked at a time when stars like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power or Douglas Fairbanks ruled big screen. John also worked with most of these stars and did appear in over 40 movies during the Golden age of Hollywood. Along with his wife Tammy, John still performs and travels around the world. So I would mark your calendar for December 10th 2007 for an Evening with John Calvert at 7:00 $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door the night of the lecture.







A New Hocus Pocus Website

If you have not noticed this week the Hocus Pocus website has a new look and new features. One of the features that is very cool, is signing up for an email notice of what are the new items that Mike has posted that day. This feature is on the right hand side of the screen just below product search which was also moved to the right. Sign up and at the end of the day a email will be sent to you. Another feature now is when looking at the website you will now see right away which products are non-discountable when ordering during a sale. Also featured is a Holiday magic section link click on the bottom left. Check out the great Holiday items and Paul says we have Santa Hat Tears for the first time in two years. The website is still adding more features and fine tuning, so if you have suggestions or ideas we would like to hear from you.

Tony's Picks

Real Ghost

Ever since the premiere of Real Ghost at MindVention 2006 the underground buzz on this outstanding effect has been phenomenal. In fact Christopher Taylor was approached within minutes of his performance with an offer to sell the TV rights (he did not choose to do so)! By utilizing Real Ghost, Christopher has created the finest and most hands off version of PK Touches we have ever seen! Real Ghost can be used in a number of ways to create numerous outstanding magic, PK, mental & bizarre effects.Please check out the online video and be amazed and begin to wonder how did he do that. Real Ghost comes complete with the Real Ghost Unit and a password that will allow you to download the video instructions and gain access to the Real Ghost users forum. Here is what I have told you about certain magic products and this is true for Real Ghost. The Real Ghost units are going to be produced in limited quantities.






Spongeball Eyes "The Eyes Have it"

In time for Halloween, this routine is hilariously funny, and Steve Marshall is performing this professionally in his nightclub act. Welcome to the wonderful world of eyeball magic! It is one of the lesser-known areas of magic. With these sponge eyeballs that Alan Wong has created you will be able to create many different kinds of ‘eye-popping’ effects. Some of you may choose the creepy crawly route. Steve and Alan have both chosen to go the comedy route, and the included routine contains more than a few corny jokes. Whichever direction you decide to go, we know you will have lots of fun, and get great reactions from these eyeballs! This package comes with a set of four sponge eyeballs and the full routine!








Here I go again

From the hardest working man in magic Bill Malone (chant it out loud Bill Malone) come his newest set of DVD's Here I go Again. Bill's first DVD set, “On the Loose,” is considered as one of the greatest magic collections ever released. Now from Bill, comes magic that is truly the most entertaining magic ever caught on DVD. With everything from self-working effects to advanced sleight of hand, this incredibly funny series offers something for everyone.
Here he shares it all—the presentations, the secrets, the tips and touches that come from years of experience, plus discussions on business that will help bring your magic career to a different level. Remember this is the guy that travels the world doing trade shows, company dinners, hospitality suites and his entertaining winning personality wins everyone over. Some of the effects from this 3 DVD set include: Autographed Baby Gag! - A great opening for any stand-up act. Rub-a-Dub-Dub / Cups and Balls - (With Special Thanks to Phil Willmarth) Worth the whole price of the DVD set. There are tons of great effects on these 3 DVD's check out whats on the DVD's from our website. Now for me on each of the DVD I enjoy Bill's Tips: Taking It to the Next Level, Situating Yourself in the Right Place, Secrets to Increase Your Quick Wit Abilities. Putting Together a Stand-Up Show, My Trade Show Pitch, Drilling a Good Show Into Your Head, Following Up With Your Clients. Restaurant Magic — The Owner’s Point of View! How Much Should You Charge, Dealing with Meeting Planners. Here now are real world ideas from years of experience that only Bill can passes along to you. These DVD's are again going to become classics. One of my customers called today ordering this DVD set. He was so excited about a new Bill Malone set, it was like Christmas came early for him and it will be for you too if you get Here I go again.


Shoot Ogawa Collection

Last January, Hocus Pocus held it's first swap meet and we had many highlights during the day. One of the most talked about was the amazing talent of Shoot Ogawa. During his performance/ lecture he blew everyone away with his skills. Shoot Ogawa has been performing since he was 10 years old and been featured on every major network in Japan. Now a regular feature performer at the Magic Castle as well as around the world. From cards to coins to thimbles and his most famous effect the Ninja Rings, Shoot performs and teaches on DVD's. We are honored that Shoot has chosen to let Hocus Pocus be his exclusive dealer of his fine products which include his DVD's, Manipulation Thimbles, Manipulation Cards, Ninja rings and much more. Check out the Shoot Ogawa section on our website. You can find a link located on the left of the screen.








Light Before Your Eyes


From Jay Mattioli comes a complete routine that is elegant, enchanting, and entirely entertaining! Standing center stage is a tall, living room style torch lamp. The magician enters, turns the lamp on and the magic begins. The magician then produces a silk, waves it around and in a blink, the silk vanishes! At the same moment the lamp goes out. The magician tips the lamp toward the audience, revealing the vanished silk inside the sealed light bulb! The magician removes the bulb from its socket, removes the silk from inside, and replaces the bulb in the lamp which causes the lamp to again light up. Then, the magician holds an ungimmicked 36" x 32" foulard spread in front of the lamp when suddenly the audience sees the entire lamp begin to levitate! Yes, while still lit, the lamp levitates right to left, up and down, and even turns horizontal in mid air. The visual sight of this very tall torch lamp floating around freely is mind boggling and utterly shocking! Finally the lamp comes to a rest to a wonderful round of applause Special features to this product is you can do a liquid to light bulb instead of the silk. The gimmicked bulb is water tight. You can perform this in many venues from a large stage to the living room floor. Jay supplies the lamp, bulb, silks, vanishing gimmick, foulard, cases, and best of an instructional DVD. The Light before your Eyes packs into two cases; one hard-shell tube 4" round by 33" long, with a shoulder strap; one padded briefcase 18" x 13" x 6". We thank Jay for coming to us to sell his great concept only to Hocus Pocus.




Anti Gravity Cloak

From the wacky mind of Woody Pittman comes his Anti Gravity Cloak. Imagine being surrounded, suddenly, you begin to rise over 12 inches off the ground, floating from side to side. You can gently return to earth and remove the cloak. The magic is just that simple and an amazing illusion comes with everything. The Anti-Gravity Cloak, carrying bag, hand-crafted from quality materials. The stabilizer that makes the magic work can easily support up to 275 pounds. To make everything more clear you even get a DVD of Woody explaining his self-levitation in complete detail. Here is the best part, there are no additional parts to buy or make! So those of you with a need to float or perform a self-levitation this is that great, wacky one that you have been looking for.








Tony's Tips


Well here is another one of those ideas that came out of a call with a customer looking for an item. I was chatting with Doug Roberts "Potty the Pirate" from England who wanted to do a mentalism effect for kids. Now not to say kids are not smart but then again mentalism is the kind of thing where you have to understand whats real and what is not. Its not always visual magic, it tends to be more of in your head then in your face kind of magic. So I believe the magician's force is probably the best visual way to do something with mentalism for any age. Potty (Doug) had mention this was something he wanted to do a Christmas time. So with that in mind along with the magician's force here is something I came up with called:






Santa Knows!

You start out with Christmas Gift ( a box all wrapped and decorated) with a tag that says Merry Christmas from Santa. This gift is given to a child that you invite up on stage and told not to open it. Now you bring out some Holiday Items, let's say a Toy Christmas Tree, a Christmas stocking, a tree ornament, Toy Soldier, Teddy Bear what ever you like but lets stick to 5 items. Invite another child on stage and start with asking to pick two out of the five items. These are set aside. Then pick 2 more items. These are put aside. One is left. Ask the child with the gift to open the box. The child opens the box and pulls out a laminated sign. The sign reads "The child will pick the Toy Soldier because....Santa Knows! Please give them each a stocking full of goodies from me. Love, Santa". From inside the box remove two small stockings with gifts (or what ever goodies you wish to give away.
Seems pretty simple and I really think it would play big as well as it would be visual also. Now of course you need to know the magicians force for this effect. So preparation a box big enough to hold a sign (81/2 x 11 should do it) and some stockings with a gift or goodies. It would be smart to make this box one that you can use over and over again. Decorate the box and use a ribbon that you can just tie a big bow to keep the box closed. When the child opens the box all they would have to do is untie the bow. The sign you can make up on your computer, and I would make up different signs for each of the items you are going to use. This way if your doing the show in a place where you have repeat shows during the day (malls, schools, department store) the result will be different for each show. Now laminate the sign also. This way the sign will last and a clever line to use is "that the message is sealed in plastic so there is no way I can change what is written". This line has served me well in doing a trick by Max Maven. I even did a Max's trick from his Videomind series for him and he agreed that added a strong point (laminating and the line) to his effect. So I think any chance you use a card laminated this would be great.


Then when choosing objects make sure they are ones everyone knows and can relate to. The storyline is up to you but I would talk about how Santa knows the good boys and girls from the bad boys and girls. The rest I think is performance as already explained in the beginning of this routine. Now the cool thing with the idea behind this routine you can change it to Halloween and the objects can be five scary things such as Skull, Dracula doll, Frankenstein, Witch, Jack-O-Lantern. The box in this case could be a coffin with the note and wierd Halloween treats.

I just want to thank Doug Roberts for the inspiration on our phone chat to come up with this idea and using the magician's force for a fun bit of mentalism for kids. Let your mind wander how you can change this routine and let me hear what you come up with.

Thanks for reading sorry for the delay of a day in writing.
Best Magical Wishes,

Tony Blanco




Wednesday, October 03, 2007

 

Things Going Bump in the Night

Halloween is just around the corner, then a slow slide into Christmas time are you shows ready? Later in Tony's Picks I recommend some of our Halloween magic favorites for you shows. This weekend I had a interesting day on Saturday. First the kids magic class and lots of great ideas were taught. Then off to the mall for a Grand Opening of a Ice Cream Parlor chain called MaggieMoo's. Nice setting outdoors for the show with perfect weather to actual keep my long coat on even during the juggling number of my show. I'll have some pictures to share with all of you. Then Saturday night back to the restaurant to do close up and balloons. Sunday, Lisa and I took in the Big Fresno Fair. I finally got to see this grand event for Fresno that Paul loves so much. It was great to see friends Tom Jorgenson and Terry Godfrey perform their magic shows at the fair. Lisa even got interviewed at the Fair by a local reporter about a new feature of the Fair. So how was your weekend?


Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues
Hocus Pocus upcoming news is we thought we were done with lectures for the year until we got some amazing news. Hocus Pocus dear friend and magic legend John Calvert is going to be here December 10. It seems John is being honored in Las Vegas by his peers for his years of performing. John is a living legend not only as a magician, but as an actor John worked at a time when stars like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power or Douglas Fairbanks ruled big screen. John also worked with most of these stars and did appear in over 40 movies during the Golden age of Hollywood. Along with his wife Tammy, John still performs and travels around the world. So I would mark your calendar for Decemeber 10th 2007 for an Evening with John Calvert at 7:00 $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the daoor the night of the lecture.








Tony's Picks
John Calvert's Spirit Cabinet

For the feeling of a seance in the daylight comes John Calvert's Spirit Cabinet. Imagine having the power to bring "Spirits" on stage with you to perform. The Spirits perform they magic to a spectator while inside the cabinet you the magician is tied up. The curtain is raised and all magical mayhem begins around the spectator. A act that Mr. Calvert has perfected in his 60 plus years as a traveling superstar of magic. This entire act is a true pack flat plays big. Everything is included even a video by Mr Calvert teaching you all his years of knowledge to create a very eerie act.














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.



Forgetful Frankie


Any kid show magician knows Forgetful Freddie, now comes a Halloween special Forgetful Frankie. Frankenstein now becomes subject for this classic of kidshow magic. In the process of removing Frankie's bolted neck loud cranking noise can be heard as well as sparks kicking off. Replacing Frankie's head with a balloon you then proceed to vanish his head from the body, balloon pops and his head reappears on his body. Dr. Frankenstein couldn't have come up with a more entertaining act.










Haunted Illusions

From the master draftsman and illusions of Paul Osborne is the book Haunted Illusions. This book presents some classics of magic with a Haunted Halloween twist. For years, Paul has shown all of us how to build illusions. Now Paul shares some themes to create spooky easy to build illusions. If you ever wanted to do illusions here's a good start to learn from.










Dracula Bites the Dust
Talk about theming, Mike Bent has created not one but two Halloween effects. First one is based on Terry Seabrook's Chattering Teeth routine. Mike has produced a CD-Rom with all the graphics to use a Dracula theme for this laugh-filled routine. Graphics include Transylvania Today newspaper, images to make a "Dracula Deck and much more. So if you feel you can upgrade a act your currently doing this one is a winner. Mike shows that with a little thought any standard act can be made more personal to the event.










Mummy Dearest

This is the second of Mike Bent's Halloween theme effects. Dust of that old Temple Screen to produce a Egyptian theme story of conjuring up the spirit of a mummy. Have a child come on stage and then have your helper cast a spell only to produce white paper. Instead of the spirit of a mummy you transform your helper into a mummy. All is included in the CD for transforming you old Temple Screen into the walls of a Pyramid with hieroglyphics. I have already seen a couple of smart magicians placing orders for this CD and a new Temple Screen.









Tony's Tips
Special Guest Alan Wong

Alan Wong was born and raised in Hong Kong. He started magic after his father showed him a svengali deck when he was about 10 and got hooked to magic right that moment. At 16, he ate a real lightbulb for the talent show on his secondary school graduation. He went to Queen's University in Canada and there he met Antony Lindan and Robin Dawes, his first fellow magicians in Canada. He performed his way through university for private parties, schools and libraries, city hall, art museum, and was resident magician at the Sunflower restaurant in Kingston. In 1986 he met Sid Lorraine and Harry Allen at a convention in Montreal, where both in their own ways encouraged and inspired him to be determined in the magic arts. It was not until 19 years later Alan Wong and Harry Allen met again in a Singapore magic convention in 2005, where the kid who helped Harry packed his van had also become a magic dealer himself.

In 1999, Alan Wong entered the commercial magic scene with his original trick Stargazer, released through JB Magic. Since then he has created a number of magic effects such as the Wonder Pet and Dream Lock to name a few. Hocus Pocus manager Tony Blanco was the first person in USA to have seen the Wonder Pet trick when they first met in Las Vegas a few years ago. Soon after that it became a big hit from Hocus Pocus. Alan learned from the masters Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger and is always inspired by them to be more creative.

Alan Wong and Steve Marshall finally met in 2006 at the AMA convention in China after Steve wrote a column on him in the MUM magazine and they have kept in touch since then. During the past year Steve has been the test pilot magician for most of Alan Wong's newest magic toys. Together they recently released the Strawman routine, an improved version of the Okito voodo doll trick. A series of new tricks will be expected to be released by Steve and Alan before the end of this year in 2007.

Alan Wong is a magic inventor, convention dealer, co-founder of the Hong Kong Fellowship of Christian Magicians. In the working world he had been seen operating boats in Florida's EPCOT CENTER, or walking elephants, to later launched his career as airline pilot with Cathay Pacific Airways and also served in the Royal Hong Kong Auxillary Air Force. For the past 14 years he has been working in the Human Resources profession and currently Head of Human Resources for the Asia Pacific region with a multinational company. He has lived in Canada, USA, Scotland and now living in his home in Hong Kong with his wife Catherine.

Here is a quick mental trick using ordinary paper and 3 paper clips:

What you need:
3 pieces of square scribble note paper (desk top paper blocks are ideal)
3 paper clips (I use triangular shaped ones), with the short leg slightly tilt upwards in its design.
A pen

Effect: An impromptu mindreading trick where magician can sense the paper with spectator’s signature among 3 folded papers.
Secret: The subtle mark of the identified paperclip bending down in a different direction than the other two reveals the signed paper to the magician who looks for the sign.
Handling: Ask spectator to sign his name on one of the 3 papers and then fold it into quarters to make sure the signature cannot be seen. Show 3 identical normal paper clips.

Then fold the other 2 pieces of blank paper exactly the same way so they cannot be distinguished. While he is folding the 2 blank pieces you take any paper clip, or handed by the spectator, to clip the folded paper with signature inside to ensure it does not open up during the trick. Normally one would just slide the paper clip with the slightly bent up short leg onto the paper’s edge and the paper will slide along under this short leg very easily, so the short leg will remain on top of the paper and the long leg under the paper.

Instead you do it the other way so the long leg is on top and the short leg is pushed down and clipped under the paper now, with the bend in the short leg touching the paper. This is your mark. With the other two pieces of blank paper, put the paper clip on the normal way so the bend in the short leg faces outwards.

Mix the papers around and cup them in your hand. You can even do this blindfolded.
Just touch the paper clips one by one and feel it with your finger tips. The one with the bend on the short leg of the paper clip pointing into the paper is the one with your spectator’s signature. Once you identified the paper, open it up to qualify and at the same time the evidence is destroyed without a trace.
Alan, thank you so much for sharing your time today, for this clever bit of magic and for your friendship. We all look forward to your next clever magic creation along with Steve Marshall.
Next week I will share an effect that you can do for Christmas as well as Halloween once you know the principle of the effect.
Best of Magic to you,
Tony Blanco




Magic At Maggie Moo's



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