Monday, November 26, 2007
We are now just a few weeks away from the last lecture of the series here at Hocus Pocus this year. 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 the week before. 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 now it is time to start making your reservations 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. Call me at 1-800-407-4040 if you wish to reserve a seat.
From the world of Magickraft studios comes Business Card-iographic by Brian Curry. You show an image of a deck, drawn on your business card. Slowly, and in full view, a drawing of a selected card rises from it. You then give it away as a souvenir. Business Card-iographic is a stunning promotional giveaway, that your customer will keep for years. The instructional DVD comes with Brian’s routine, which incorporates ideas from Joel Givens, Bob Sheets and David Oliver. Plus a bonus you also get Martin Lewis teaching his “Wino-graphic”routine, in which a drawing of a wineglass magically fills with the spectators choice of beverage. On the disc you will find all the necessary artwork for you to create your own custom Business Card-iographic. Using these files requires a computer running current Windows or Mac OSX and a color printer. Check out the online video and you judge how amazing this really looks! So if you have ever wanted to do Cardiographic close-up now here is your chance with Business Card-iographic!
For the past few months my wife and I have been busy working in Europe on cruise ships and no matter how many years I've been a full time magician or been working on cruise ships the one thing I have discovered is that you never stop learning or experiencing something new. This is what keeps you on your toes and makes for such an interesting life.
These past few months have certainly been interesting and full of surprises, some wonderful and some I could have done without.
One of the greatest thrills about working on cruise ships are the wonderful places you get to visit. A few weeks back we were fortunate enough to be on a ship that went to Israel and we took a trip to Jerusalem and Nazareth. It is times like these that make me realize why I am so lucky to be doing what I do and visit these breathtaking places. I have lost count of the all the countries we have now visited, I always have to ask my wife if we’ve been here or there, she has a great memory for that sort of thing. We are both history and culture buffs so when we get the chance to visit ancient ruins or as we did last week Malta and Egypt we make the most of it. To us this is what cruising is all about.
I get many emails from people the world over asking how I go about creating my ideas and routines. One of the great things about working on ships is that you are exposed to a lot of different cultures and ideas, these in turn spark off some pretty crazy ideas, most of which never see the light of day but are in my notebooks I take with me. Working on ships enables me to regularly work on some of those ideas, film them and watch and study each performance. I am fortunate that my wife travels with me and films every show I do. This is the best advice I can offer to anybody wanting to work on a routine. Film it as often as you can, watch it and be VERY subjective. If you have somebody who can give you honest feedback, both good and bad, then ask their advice. Don’t be scared to ask people you respect in the business for advice, but be prepared to ‘take’ it. I know most of us only want to hear the ‘good’ but if you want to rise to the top then listen and take in what others tell you. Because of our travels we are able to immerse ourselves in other forms of entertainment and ‘life’ such as theatre, music and other production shows. These all help the creative juices flow.
I mentioned at the top of this article about a few surprises. Just when I thought I’d seen it all things like this happen. I write this just to let those magicians out there know that working on cruise ships is not all about glitz and glamour and drinking Long Island Ice Teas.
Three weeks ago my wife and I got off one of the largest ships sailing, it is a lovely ship and great cabins and the theatre is state of the art. I had six people working on lights, sound, stage manager and so on. We then flew to Rhodes where we joined a ship that was by far the WORST we have ever sailed. Actually it was over 40 years old and at one time was a car ferry!! My agent did warn me but he didn’t go in to detail, it came as a real shock to the system when we saw it, especially from where we had come.
The stage was actually a dance floor with people directly above me, behind and to the sides. There was no way I could perform my full act. They also wanted me to perform four different 20 minute show. I only had my full 50 minute show with me so ended up doing routines I hadn’t done for years. About 1/3 of my full show had to be cut because I couldn’t perform it under those conditions. To cap it off our cabin was only 5 foot by 10 foot. It was so small we could not put our bags in there!! We were on there for two weeks and it felt like I had gone back in time 30 years. My agent, like all good agents, told me I was a real professional and would be able to handle it. By the end of the contract my wife and I were ready to jump ship! The agent is getting a phone call this week.
As I said, you are never too old to learn new tricks and no matter how many years you’re in show business you will always find life is full of surprises. I always like to look at the positive side of things and certainly these experiences turned out for the best as I realized I have enough material to do a full evening show as Charlie Chaplin without speaking, opening up a lot of new doors around the world for me to work. It also has enabled me to invent a few new routines that will no doubt eventually end up on the market for magicians.
For those interested in seeing some of my work then be sure to check out youtube. Just type in my name: Paul Romhany and you’ll find me performances.
All the best
Monday, November 19, 2007
Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues
After various comical attempts to find the audience members signed card in the deck the magician finally gives up. The magicians hands a Pop-Tart® to the audience member as a sign of good will for helping out. As the magician bites into his Pop-Tart®, a surprised look comes over his face like he just bit into a rock.
He pulls the Pop-Tart® away from his mouth to reveal a card inside the fruit filling in the middle of the Pop-Tart® (yes, it is ACTUALLY INSIDE of the Pop-Tart®). The beauty of POP-CARD is in its simplicity, as very little preparation and skill is needed to perfect this amazing effect. POP-CARD is one of the most unique "card to impossible location" effects on the market. On this DVD you will see POP-CARD performed in a restaurant and then you will learn how this amazing visual effect works. POP-CARD is perfect for stage magicians, street magicians, restaurant workers and strolling magicians. The instructional DVD supplies everything you need to know to get started to perform POP-CARD. Alternate handling and ending included, No difficult sleight of hand required. POP-CARD can be learned in minutes, Packs small, plays big and provides a shocking climax. Any card may be selected (a true free choice) Easy reset, and may be repeated with a different card.
Tony's Tips: Some ideas to Grow on
Monday, November 12, 2007
Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues
The astonishing animation of the cartoon shades happens in full view...with absolutely no cover of any kind! The borrowed bill is immediately handed back for examination...the shades are indeed permanently inked onto George's furrowed brow.
- Easier, cleaner and 100% more visual than the original Improv Nightshades
- Use any borrowed bill
- No Plaming
- No switches
- Instant reset
- Perform surrounded
- Works with most foreign currencies that have a face
- Draw a head with shades on a piece of paper or business card and do the exact same effect
Just in time for those holiday show comes Mike Bent's Big Bag O' Blitzen (well Rudloph actually). Big Bag of Bliltzen is in stock ready to ship. You can begin your routine by having a spectator come to the stage and perhaps get the audience to sing Rudloph the Red Nose Raindeer. In doing so reach into a small bag and pull out a big red sponge nose and plush reindeer antlers. Place these on your helper. Magically, the bag turns into a beautiful 36" reindeer silk with your helper now becoming the reindeer. Mike Bent's Big Bag of Blitzen is supplied with reindeer silk, Blendo bag, sponge nose, plush reindeer antlers, and Mike's full routine
I recently mention about booking shows and some things, ideas that have worked for me. Here is a view from one of my readers and Hocus Pocus customers King Chapman (pictured to the right). As there are always two sides to a story here is what King says about booking parties for 1 year olds. Thank you King for sending your views in for all of us to make the choice to book or not to book these type of shows.
We should all be so blessed to find the love of our
life. As always I enjoy your blog. I think that when a professional shares many get into the
right or wrong mode. That is to say they take each nugget and place it into the category of "this is right" and "that is wrong". I think it is more of perspective. Which leads me to the thoughts you shared on one year old parties.
I regularly do them. In fact where I live there is a very large population of folks from a certain foreign country that is known to celebrate one year old birthdays at restaurants with a banquet. Further most magicians find dealing with this particular situation difficult. I have another subset of wealthy folks who have parties for one year olds as well.
Mostly babies, a few toddlers and a smattering of pre schoolers. So I play to the adults and make sure the kids enjoy. By way of perspective they might have a cake that costs $750 to $1000!
So I formulated a way to sell, perform and succeed at these shows. Like you said ask all the questions first. Then charge knowing what all the haggles are. Some of these parties have huge built in haggles. So I charge accordingly and have a show that works for this crew.
First I make sure the hosts understands that my entertainment is a celebration of the one year olds life-not a party for the little one like when they are 7 years old. Further I tell them I will entertain everyone from the children through the adults. Most of these shows have 20-40 kids and 50-150 adults.
Lastly I charge them like I would for an adult show-not a kids show. Period. There is no negotiation of price available-and these groups love to negotiate. (Please understand I have custom shows including ethnic music, flag tricks from the country of origin and am the house banquet magician at many of their favorite restaurants.) I know I charge more than others they will contact. In fact I tell them they are welcome to call others. If I have down an adequate job the gig is booked. I regularly do these gigs and am well known for it.
I never begrudge others who prefer no to do these gigs. In fact I am glad they don't!
However I would prefer they not tell clients that magic is not appropriate for these gigs.
It is simply that their magic is not and therein is a huge difference. I know of a fairly high profile kid show performer who says he doesn't use animals because it is cruel to the rabbit or the birds to use them in an act. Privately he admits it his way of avoiding the hassle while looking politically correct.
Please understand I am not slamming your thoughts or your blog. It is great!
You were very clear that you qualify your clients and tell them what you do.
I am simply weary of the calls where they start out telling me that some other magician said that magic is not appropriate at such and such an event.
May this love between you two grow and blossom and be ever refreshing for you both.
Magic At The Speed Of Life!
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
We are now just about 1 month away from the last lecture of the series here at Hocus Pocus. 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 the week before. 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 now it is time to start making your reservations for Decemeber 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. Call me at 1-800-407-4040 if you wish to reserve a seat.
Brian Geer's Knife Thru Coat
For years, the Knife Through Coat effect has been a classic of comedy featured in many magicians' acts. Many versions have been marketed: some good, some not-so-good. The handling issue was always a concern with many performers. Now, professional entertainer Brian Geer has come up with what we feel is the finest, most practical Knife Through Coat we have seen in years! The effect is simple and straightforward: The performer displays a matted paper frame and hands it out for examination to the spectators. An "X" is marked on the paper, and the magician then borrows a coat from the audience. It is held outstretched by the volunteer and the magician proceeds to puncture the material of the coat as the blade of the knife is seen poking through the paper, however, completely out of range of the "X." No problem. The magician then proceeds to saw and cut his way down to meet the "X." The look on the spectator's face as this is done is priceless. Have no fear, though; the knife is pulled through the paper (and it is completely whole -- there is only one knife used), the paper is removed, and the coat is seen to be completely unharmed! With Brian's method, everything happens smoothly and without any awkward movements. Everything is logical, and it makes for a comedic routine from start to finish! And the best part is the price! You get all this magic and audience involvement for the low, low price listed below! Supplied complete with matted frame, knife, detailed instructions, and DVD explanation and all this at an incredible low price for such a powerful effect .
Make it Magic Christmas
From the creative folks that gave us "Make it Spooky", Arthur and Leslie Stead present MAKE IT MAGIC CHRISTMAS CD. This CD will give your shows that professional dazzle and set you way ahead of your competition. Imagine over one hour of wonderful holiday music in a variety of different styles for your Holiday shows. Perfect for warm-up music to feature music for your show. "Make It Magic Christmas" includes well-known Christmas songs and catchy new Arthur and Leslie Stead originals which have been arranged in the Christmas Spirit to charm and entertain your audiences. Some of the pieces of music on this CD are Santa Says So, Merry Mambo, Joy To The World, A Precious Gift, Candy Canes, Sing, O Sing, Jingle Bells plus 11 more tunes.