Monday, November 19, 2007


The Magic of the Holidays, ARE YOU READY!

Seems like this year has just gone by so fast. I wonder if as you get older you tend to say that more? Hmm. Anyway last night one of this year's highlights was to see Billy Joel perform live here in Fresno. Now here is a performer that I have know of since I was 11 years old. Now I find out that is exactly our age difference he is 11 years older then me. Billy Joel is 58, and still rocks the house along with a catalog of music that is the soundtrack of my life and many folks. Lisa and I actually won tickets from a local radio station which meant we had noise bleed Actually between the tron screen which is used during basketball games and our seats we had a great time. One highlight for me was watching the tron screen and a camera set-up right next to his keyboards. Just watch his fingers run the ivories was like watching the best sleight of hand magician showing off. As for songs to see and hear Root Beer Rag performed was just fantastic. I actually used to do a 3 Ball juggling routine to that song.

Well this week we all look forward (or not) Thanksgiving Day. If your not the one cooking all day here is a time after the Macy*s Thanksgiving day Parade to begin to get ready for the next month of madness. First up, shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I cannot believe some stores are now opening at 4 AM to get you to shop early on Friday. I actually look forward to those last minute gigs and crazy weather...hmm it just says Happy Holidays to me. Let me now what you have been up to for this Holiday season and we can feature it in the blog. Send me pictures or a little write up. It was nice to hear from a magic Santa that is actually going to use the "Santa Knows" routine I came up with. If you missed it, the routine was featured in my October 16th blog. Check it out for your Holiday show.

Hocus Pocus Lecture Series Continues

We are now less then 1 month 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 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


This sweet sign card to impossible location effect will have your audience salivating for more! An audience member is asked to select ANY card and sign their name on the front of the card. The card is then lost into the deck. The card magically vanishes from the deck.
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.

Neat and Tidy

A jumbled mass of rubber bands instantly snap together to build a neat and tidy rubber band ball that can be dropped on the table or handed out to your spectators. Neat & Tidy is perfect for any rubber band routine. It creates a stunning effect out of the 'down time' moment when you introduce your rubber bands to the audience. As well as providing 'magic along the way' Neat & Tidy can act as both an opener or closer for your routine! Neat & Tidy is visually stunning, a great way to end any rubber band routine. Is this easy to perform? Yes! Neat & Tidy comes with a special device that does all the hard work for you. If you can hold a mess of rubber bands in your hand, you can perform Neat & Tidy. Wayne Fox teaches you in detail, walking you through the method and presentations, then concentrates on the little details, tips and variations, that can raise your presentation of this effect to the best it can be. Will I need to buy or make anything else? Nope, Neat & Tidy comes complete with everything you need. Not only do you get the special high quality device and a mass of rubber bands that do all the work, we also include the handmade rubber band ball, saving you HOURS of work putting your own one together. The angles are perfect, it's an instant reset, the rubber ball is examinable, no pre-show set-up is required, and its been tried and tested 'in the trenches'. The ball also makes a perfect chop cup load.

Mental Frisbee

At last, a mentalism opener that fits in your pocket and can play to hundreds of people. This is the perfect tool for magicians and mentalists who sincerely want to add some comedy and strong mind reading to their act. Over the past few years whenever Nathan Kranzo shared this routine with a fellow performer they would immediately ask if the effect was available. You see, the laughter and visual color this routine creates makes it so unique and commercial that you would be silly to not want to perform it. Here are a few reasons why it might be of value and interest to you. It’s the perfect opener, which is PRICELESS to the professional performer. It packs flat. VERY flat. The routine involves a ton of audience participation. You fill up the stage WITHOUT an expensive illusion. The routine plays just as well for 30 people as it does for 3000. The effect is funny AND strong mentalism. The use of Frisbees gives the routine unique appeal. The routine includes a full professional script for you to follow. The routine is full of comedy to put the audience at ease.
And that’s just the beginning of the knowledge that is shared in this routine. The BIG SECRET about Mental Frisbee is how Nathan used it to set up other classics of mentalism. He even includes the exact routine he follows up with including great ideas from David Hoy, Ron Wilson, and David Ben. MENTAL FRISBEE contains important timing and performance techniques that will help you command the stage, develop a rapport with the audience, and make you look like an amazing entertainer.
Five frisbees are tossed out into the audience. Whoever catches a Frisbee is asked to join the performer on stage. The performer explains that the people who caught the Frisbees may seem random, but are in fact not. Adding to that he explains that certain people “attract” particular colors. The “law of attraction” if you will. As each person approaches the stage the performer gives a hilarious comedy reading to them regarding their color. As a finale the performer explains he will test an audience member to see if they can read the performer’s mind. A sixth volunteer is asked to try and read the performer’s mind and “receive” the thought of color the performer is trying to send him mentally. After a little humorous banter the volunteer finally announces the color that has popped into his mind. To the complete astonishment of the audience the performer proceeds to show that indeed the volunteer is correct in his “hunch”. As proof the performer reveals his prediction to be 100% accurate!!! You will receive the complete Mental Frisbee manuscript detailing the VERY CLEVER SECRET TO THE EFFECT, the detailed handling, presentation and framing of the effect, plus additional thoughts and ideas that can be added to the routine. Within this manuscript is also the complete script which is packed full with all the comedy lines and audience management. You will also get Nathan’s follow up routine that he performs after Mental Frisbee with ideas from David Hoy, David Ben, and Ron Wilson. This manuscript is signed and numbered. A certificate giving you full performance rights and TV rights. The FIVE special soft frisbees. These frisbees are made from special material that enables them to fold up and fit in your pocket. Each frisbee comes with it’s own very small nylon pouch.

Art of Levitation Part 3
At last, the Master of Levitation, Losander, brings you the Art of Levitation Part 3. Losander has created several new thread systems using elastic thread. With this DVD you will learn how to float and animate light objects. Some of the effects you will learn are: Floating bill based on a new thread system, Perfect Balance teaches you how to animate a business card, Dancing Wand, Losander also shows you how to build your own Wand, Genii in the Bottle, Shoot over a banknote, Self contained Dancing Handkerchief Routine, New Levitation system for Bubbles. Special features include Losander's famous version of The Zombie, based on a new designed gimmick. This DVD includes elastic thread so you can begin your lessons right away! You will not believe how much knowledge and information is packed in on the Art of Levitation Part 3. This is a must have DVD for your magic collection.

Jester's Gambit

The magician brings out a container and removes a small pewter jester statute. He explains that the jester has made a prediction. Three cards are then placed directly in front of the spectator. The magician asks the spectator to choose a card with colored dot on it. The spectator picks a card. The magician shows the jester's prediction and it matches the card. Comes complete with special cards, small jester, and detailed instructions. A very simple and yet clever idea that could lend itself to any number of bizarre magic stories. It also can be a straight performance of the Jester's prediction, but once you learn the method you will come up with more routines.

Tony's Tips: Some ideas to Grow on

We are you going in your magic career? Don't know? This is that time of the year I like so that I can sit back and get a little reflective. If you have a good core of friends or family that believe in what you do, maybe a little Q & A with them to find out what they like about you, your shows and maybe even hear from them in what they envision you as you perform. It is so great that even after watching Billy Joel and seeing a 58 old rock musician perform, I can still see the rock and roller he was 30 years ago. He still has that spark that inspires and the motivation to make his own kind of magic! What is the motivation that inspires you to create a new show or learn a new effect.
Here are a few ideas that might help you to keep "the little grey cells" always working to come up with new magic.
Each day try to learn a new trick. Simply said when folks are always busy but even if you watch one trick a day from a DVD by the end of the week you will have learned 7 new tricks.

To practice them is another story. Break down the trick to its basic core. If it is a trick with lots of patter see if you can learn the patter on the way to work driving and getting stuck in traffic. Make a recording of the patter and listen to it on your car radio or ipod. This way your still practicing and learning.

Take a topic or a idea and enter it into Google. I call this "traveling down the rabbit hole" others call it "surfing the net". Either way by doing this you can learn alot on a subject that you have an interest in then open more knowledge from one idea to an other. I look at Google like the new encyclopedias of the online world. When you do this "Google search" don't forget to also click on Google images also. Some recent searches have included Medicine Show, different movie stars, a movie title this way I get the information for most of everything I want to know ASAP on the subject on hand.

Coming up with ideas is as simple as knowing the basics of what ever your interested in. Make sure that if magic is your career you know the proper sleights and terms. This way coming up with a new routine from an old ideal is much easier. Make sure you know what the magician's force is, know how to also force a card in a few ways. Make sure you know all your counts so that you can come up with a new packet trick. Learn and remember the basics

I have mention my collection book of ideas before but I always like to remind folks about it. Here you get a loose leaf book (larger the better) and then get a box of those plastic pages. Put the pages in the loose leaf book. So when your surfing the web and printing out ideas or tricks now start saving new information. See something in a magazine (copy the picture) or tear it out save them in your book of ideas. Building a library of books like this can also give you a source for future shows. Also it is not a bad idea of having one of these books as a keeper of the instructions that come with new magic you purchase. This way you are organized and if you ever sell your old magic you still have the instructions to sell with the trick.

Ready Set Go about your props and clothing. Once your done with your show reset and clean props that need to be cleaned as soon possible. This way your set for your next show. Organize your case and always empty your pockets of tricks after shows. Cleaning costumes and clothing after your shows also means your ready for those last minute gigs. Also if you are someone that works at a regular job and your show is at home and you get a call for that night. Make sure members of your family know where everything is so perhaps they could bring your props and meet you at the gig, if time does not allow you to go home in time.
Setting up a regular schedule for learning, repairing, cleaning and promoting your show and yourself will be the way to make more shows come your way. Again I think having a good video camera and a good core of family or friends that can be honest and tell you when something works or doesn't is also important when you can't afford a director to watch your show.

Any suggestions from you? What have you learned that might help all of us be the best magicians we can be. Let me know for a future blog. Well from all of us at Hocus Pocus I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Stop a moment and think about all that you have to be Thankful for write it down and then think what else would I like to achieve in my career

Best Magical Wishes
Tony Blanco

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