Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Fall Magic in the Air

Again its that time of the year for leaves to fall, pumpkins in the door way and time to shop for a big turkey on sale. This time of the year can be most magical as it is also the change of times and seasons which create an effect on the planet to hopefully be a lot nicer this time of the year towards each other. This weekend saw your humble writer with two interesting gigs. One of which I recommend you check out in your area. This was a gig for the Children and Family Services of Fresno, the folks that place kids for adoption. This was a giant picnic with musicians, bounce houses, food and of course magic. Here is an event that truly reaches to the child in all of us and how much you can give to a child who has no family. During the day 30 children were placed with parents and now have a place to call home. So I would contact your local group and they just maybe having such events for the services of magicians and clowns. The next day after all that carnival like atmosphere found me in the home of folks just celebrating a combined day of birthdays in the family. Imagine almost the same carnival atmosphere from the day before only now for about 15 people (4 or 5 were kids) this made for such a nice magical storytelling/comedy magic show in what was a truly wonderful forest type setting in this home. This weekend coming up its all about the Bikers and my magic show again. Tune in for those pictures next week.

Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues

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.

Tony's Picks

There are many variations of this effect, but with the Insta-Cube, you can give the puzzle out at the end of the trick for complete examination! The "Enchanted Cube" created by Craig Nichols in 1980 and marketed by Daryl in 1998 has been vastly improved! Effect: You explain to your audience that the Rubik's cube is a very difficult puzzle. You can solve it without the rules! However, the best you can do is only one white line of the puzzle. You show it to your audience. But remember -- you are a magician!You throw it in the air where it visually solves itself! You show that it's completely solved and you immediately hand it out to your audience for examination! Insta-Cube is visual magic at it's best! Perfect for parlor, stage or closeup performance. Don't pass this one up, order yours today!

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.

Aldo Colombini Magic

Hocus Pocus is proud to carry the newest line from Aldo Colombini. He is a F.I.S.M. prizewinner, one of the most prestigious awards in the world of magic. He performed often on Italian television (RAI 1) and has also appeared on television shows in Portugal, Spain, Japan, Colombia and Sweden. Now Aldo and Rachel Colombini has released a new series of magic effects and booklets all within the price range of 10.00. Aldo is one of magic's creative guys and now with effects like Dig-it, Not-Gone, Sorcerer's Stone, Zodiac Code, Stage Presence, The Adder Potter's Pentagram you can get great magic for stage and close-up at a great price. Aldo also has new booklets some titles include: "Your Host for Tonight", " Cut above the Rest", "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" and "A Set-up with Aldo book". Just type in the name Aldo in product search to see some of these many new and great effects from Aldo and Rachel Colombini.

Influence 2

From the creative team of Larry Becker & Lee Earle comes Influence 2 which is an anytime, anywhere, any card miracle. Spread a shuffled deck face up on the table. Someone thinks of a random playing card - value, color, and suit - and writes those thoughts on the back of a business card you hand him (for example he writes 7, black, Spades). You square the deck and leave it face down on the table. Next, he is asked to dial the toll-free number printed on the card (any phone can be used) to connect with a friend - a corporate executive, who moonlights as a numerologist. When he reaches her voicemail (she always seems to be out of the office) after the standard "Leave your name and number," she adds, "The destiny card and lucky number for today are: the 7 of Spades and 35 That's when you ask your participant to deal down to the 35th card - it's the 7 of Spades! You get a supply of professionally designed full-color business cards, illustrated instructions, and (although it's not required) a bonus of a Demon Deck which is a $35.00 value.

Santa Rudolph Story

Displaying a silk depicting Santa by himself on his sleigh, the performer begin this tale "It was a very dark night. In fact, Santa was glad when he finally made it back to the North Pole. But Mrs. Claus quickly pointed out to him that he had forgotten to take some presents with him. When he looked over in the corner he knew at once that they were Bobby's presents. 'Oh, my,' said Santa. 'I have to deliver these presents at once. He called for his elves to load the presents into his sleigh and then quickly got into the sleigh himself only to realize that the reindeer had been put into their reindeer stalls. "'This will never do. But I don't need all the reindeer," Santa says. Placing the silk inside the change bag, you say the magic words, and pull it out again. This time the silk displays Santa along with his pal, Dasher. "I'm afraid,' said Santa, 'that it's a little too dark for you and I to do this run together. You can go back into your stall and finish your dinner." Place the silk back into the change bag, and when it is pulled out once more, Santa is depicted in his sleigh along with his red-nosed pal, Rudolph. "We only have one stop to make,' said Santa with a big smile on his face as he saw Rudolph's nose lit up. It took no time for Rudolph and Santa to reach Bobby's house. Down the chimney he went with his bag full of presents and then back into his sleigh and Rudolph took him safely home." Three silks which come with the effect. Then you need to use either a change bag or Tote Bag or Xmas Stocking Change Bag and let the holiday magic begin.

Tony's Tips

Booking Shows "The Telephone Call"

I find it amazing that over the years the way a phone conversations start when someone wants to book a show. It could start very sweet by someone asking if you entertain children to HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE? Either way you always have to be ready for the tone of the voice and not answer right away but ask questions back first! In the case of How Much do you charge? Never give a price right away, ask questions like "Where is the show going to be held"? Travel will add into the price of your show. Never get stuck not charging enough. Also when asking about the location of the show, this would also determine the clients location in regards to income and what you can charge for the show or if you even want to take the show if it is dangerous part of town. One perform I knew used to have a map of his area on the wall and would have number of $ signs in the different towns on the map knowing which were the rich folks lived. It actually not a bad idea to have a map in the room in which you do your bookings so that you can determine mileage while on the phone with the client. Remember by asking questions first you get all the information to give the client a proper price for them and no surprises for you.

Another thing to remember before answering what your price is to ask the size of the audience before giving a price. This can also help set the length of your time at an event. Example when a customer says they are having an open house party and want you there for 4 hours and only expect 100 people or less. It is my job to say that maybe 1 hour and a half would be more then enough. Nothing more boring then to be somewhere when you have 40 people to entertain and you still have 3 more hours to be there.

The minute you pick up the phone it is your job to sell your talents but not bore the person with everything you have ever done. Time to time folks ask who you are or what you have done or where they can see you perform. Be ready to answer them by naming 3-4 top clients that the customer would know, if possible having a website with a video of you in action is also a plus. I have both ready and now a third, a restaurant where I can be seen doing my magic and stuff, 2 nights a week. This again gives you props in the eyes of the spectator that you are a working professional when they are calling you cold out of a phone book.

Also before giving a price, if it is for a kid show ask the ages of the children. Here in Fresno I get alot of calls for folks that want to have a birthday party for a 1 year old. Well that is just to young for me unless I know the rest of the kids will be older or if the party is really going to be for the adults. Then and only then would I book the show. Nothing sillier then doing a cut and restore rope with a baby...kidding.

A booking sheet by the phone is always a plus to help remind you of questions to ask. One important question to ask is how the customer heard of you. This will help let you know if you are running a ad somewhere like the phone book or a children's magazine if you are getting the proper pay back from the ad. The most important lesson in booking a show is to listen to what the client is looking for in entertainment. If they don't know be ready to help and suggest the right services that you may provide. If you don't think your the type of entertainment they are looking for then be able to suggest a clown or puppet show or bounce house. This way they will still remember you when they really will need you.

Just a few telephone tips from years of booking shows but I still have a lesson or two to still learn every time I pick up the phone. Beacuse you just never know what or who will call and what they need.

Thanks for reading,

Best Wishes,

Tony Blanco


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