Monday, November 26, 2007


Its beginning to look like alot like.....

So I hope your beginning to feel that holiday magical spirit and that you had a nice Thanksgiving. Now the madness begins in my life, the time of the year when doing things normally takes a back seat. To travel anywhere and to deal with the shopping crazed folks in stores and on the highway. So if you need to go shopping I highly recommend as early in the day that you can. I have also noticed a good time to go shopping is also at dinner time. Less lines and folks in the store can help you. Here is another idea to think about, make a list of what you need and where you want to get them. This way you can make a grid map of travel and shopping. The less time you are in stores during the holiday rush the better you will be able to enjoy the holidays. Here in Fresno, dollar stores and Big Lot type stores actually have stuff that you would find in the Pier One type stores. Remember first impressions are important when a gift is opened. Here is wishing you a safe and hopefully some fun when you begin your holiday shopping. What tips have you learned about shopping?

Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues
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.

Tony's Picks

Business Card-iographic

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!

Kidding Around 2 Volume DVD Chris Capehart

Last year was when about this time I saw Chris Capehart's Miser's Dream DVD. Here is a entertainer that just did pure magic and fun with kids. He has an amazing way of teaching you this classic routine which he has turned into again another classic the way he performs it. Well now a year later comes his Kidding Around 2 Volume DVD. On this two DVD set you will see Chris in action before a live audience of kids and adults. You will learn his way of getting kids to really be excited about magic and be part of the show. Chris shares so much knowledge and wisdom about being a performer for kids. Then comes the explanations for the effects you just saw in the show some of which include, Cards for Kids, Misers Dream (performance only),Coloring Book, Matilda and the Lota Bowl, Sponge Balls. Don't fool yourself reading the items he performs with, these are not your granddads magic props when Chris uses them. You can see that here is a man that enjoys what he does. His way of performing magic for children is a bit in your face but he does get the gigs and kids love him. On the second DVD is more of the logic of how Chris creates his magic. Last year I called the Miser's Dream DVD the best of the year. Well here is another best DVD of the year to Chris Capehart again this year!

So now in this world of "Street Magic" people want to see weird magic. What makes a trick weird or a classic of magic? It takes several components: First, you must have an incredible method that fools everyone. Second, you need an emotional hook that insures that your audience cares about watching your performance. But the one thing that really makes a trick a classic is that it gets an incredible reaction from the spectators. iVanish meets and exceeds all three components. First let’s talk about the methods: There are three methods included in iVanish and each method is totally different from the others. In fact the solutions are so different that each method absolutely cancels out the other two! This is great for repeat performances. Each method is incredibly clean. You hands are completely empty immediately after each vanish. All three methods are done standing. Of course you can use iVanish while seated because there is no lapping. Each vanish actually looks like trick photography! One of the best features of iVanish is that all three methods are really easy to perform, in fact anybody can do it! Many magicians are afraid of visual coin magic but iVanish does not require years of knuckle busting practice. You’ll be up to speed in no time at all! Second, the emotional hook that iVanish creates will guarantee your audience will be riveted to your performance. It’s simple. When we’re all kids we’ve had it drilled into our heads to never, ever put anything into your eye. Using the iVanish techniques you’ll be able to rub or shove a coin directly into your eye! People are forced to watch. Some squirm, some will wince, many will cringe but they’ll all watch. It’s like a car wreck. Everybody slows down to see what’s going on. iVanish is part geek, part magic but 100% a showstopper. Read the full write up on our website and you decide if this is not the weirdest magic effect that you have been looking for.

Magic Land of Allakazam DVD Set

As a kid watching magic on TV there was only one name I knew. Actually two but they were said as one big name in my young mind it was always... Mark Wilson and the lovely Nani Darrnell. This began my world of magic each week which was the history making Magic Land of Allakazam which was the first network television magic series. Allakazam debuted October 1, 1960 on the CBS Network and aired every Saturday morning on CBS for two years, then switched to the ABC Network. Now all 24 shows of this legendary television venture can now be yours to own. If you order your set be sure to check out the free bonus gift offer that comes with all 6 DVD's. This is a special while supplies last. Each DVD includes a full color inserts with your favorite photos and original run-downs. Each Saturday morning, Allakazam aired until December 26, 1964. Starring Master Magician Mark Wilson, beautiful Nani Darnell, the incomparable Bev Bergeron as Rebo the Clown, Allakazam features a sparkling supporting cast of Basil the Baffling Bunny, Charles the Charming Chicken, Doris the Daring Dove, Gertrude the Glamorous Guinea Pig and Bernard the Biggest Bunny in the Business! The half-hour shows include fast-paced openings ... magic with the children in the studio audience ... comedy magic and clown gags with Rebo ... sleight of hand sequences ... audience participation ... magical commercials ... and major illusions. The shows were shot "live" and recorded on the CBS Television Recording System (35 mm black and white film) for later broadcast. Soon, all of the ninety-eight different Allakazam shows will be professionally transferred to DVD. The first 24 are ready and are being made available to magic collectors for the very first time on DVD. The cartoons have been eliminated, but all the magic is there.For the first time on DVD, see the "magic" that made The Magic Land of Allakazam a 5-year network television hit. Don't miss your chance to own these DVD's magic moments of time that were Mark and Nani.

Tony's Tips

Well to my surprise I just got this email from Paul Romhany and its for all you readers of this blog. Enjoy Paul's tales of working the cruise ship market. Paul is one of the nicest guys in the biz and is always busy. This is an honor that he spent time to write this article for all of us. Here is Paul, and your
Never too old to Learn New Tricks

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.
While on that ship we received an email asking us to fly back to the big ship we had got off as they had a charter cruise and my Chaplin act would be ideal. We would only be on the ship for two days but the money was great so we decided to take the gig. We flew through the night (leaving at 9am and arriving at 6am the next day to join the ship), arriving at the ship exhausted and wanting to sleep. I then find out I am working that night, PLUS all the passengers on this cruise are from Thailand and NOBODY speaks English. One third of my Chaplin act is in English as I do some comedy and put on my make-up. I ended up spending the rest of the day working on 15 minutes of new material with new music to come p with a FULL 45 minute non-talking act. I am pleased to report it went over very well and everyone was happy but what an adventure. I had not slept for two days and the day after the show just crashed.

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
Paul Romhany

Paul, Thank you so much for sharing with all of us told you he was a cool guy.
Well I hope to hear from you (reading this) when you get a chance, and you would be featured on this blog. Be Safe and be happy this season.
Best Magical Wishes,
Tony Blanco

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