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

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