Monday, November 12, 2007

The Show Must Go on!

Last week I gave you a tease about me doing another Biker event. Well the weather has finally changed here in the central valley of California. Sunday morning we wake to see a rainy day, this on the day of the Rally in the Valley Biker Show. With some new magic and a new sound system I began to wonder how much of a show I would be able to do that day in the rain. Upon arriving to the stage area I find everyone setting up as if nothing was happening. Very cool the show does go on. Rain was actually starting to stop but the day still looked overcast. This event I had the pleasure of working with two new talented dancer/models, Kristen and Kelly (photos to follow). We did notice the turn out was a bit thinner then last time in May but that was the weather and could not be helped. Show must go on! During the day the ladies and I did 3 shows. Since last time the zig-zag had a new paint job. Also I used a new small production box to produce Kelly from, I was actually surprised by the great reaction from the audience.

Then yours truly was the MC for (get this) a Tattoo Contest. There were different class levels of the Tattoos i.e. Best Arm, Best Leg, Best Harley-Davidson Logo etc. It was my job to bring the folks to the stage introduce them to the judges and then get the scores to the folks adding up the scores. It was a sight to see and to believe me where some of the tattoos were on folks body's was not always a pretty sight. Overall between the weather and the wacky folks in the contest it was truly a fun day. Lots of great custom made motorcycles to see and the show must go on! Check out the pictures below of the event. So what did you do this weekend? Let me hear about your shows for this blog!

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

Ultra Visual NightShades by Paul Harris

You borrow a dollar and draw a tiny pair of ink sunglasses over George's eyes. You cleanly showed both hands to be absolutely empty, then hold the bill by its extreme edge. There's a moment of silence...then suddenly the shades come to life! The drawing of the glasses visibly leap off George's eyes and up to his forehead!

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

Paintball Prediction

This effect was recently featured on television and was a huge sensation for the live studio audience. A spectator is invited on stage to participate in a demonstration of psychic power. The magician dons a protective vest, jacket, mask, and gloves. He hands the participant a paintball gun and instructs him/her to fire 2 to 6 paintballs at him, hitting him wherever she wants. After she has finished shooting the magician, he picks up a sealed envelope from the table, opens it up, and reveals a target that correctly predicted where on his body the balls would hit! For magicians who do not wish to use a paintball gun, there are other versions included, using different props. Paintball Prediction is set to go with target, envelope, and special gimmick. To keep the price low you supply your own Paintball Gun.

Big Bag O' Blitzen

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

Andy Comic Cups and Balls
From one of Australia's busiest performers, Andy Comic comes his Cups and Balls set. Andy has put together the ultimate Cups and Ball set up an incredible savings to you. If you ever wanted to perform the cups and balls, this is the best introduction to this classic of magic. The Andy Comic Cups and Balls Kit comes complete with a really nice set of jumbo copper cups (3.74" high and 3.82" wide ) large enough to hold a nice sized apple or orange. Also you get 4 balls (one is magnetic), 3 fake fruit final loads, Chop Wand (wand with a magnet inside) and a Special Floating Wand gimmick. Now if all this was not enough you also get a Cups and Balls performing pouch and Andy teaching all basic and advanced moves you on video. This is a once in a lifetime chance to get a complete act ready to go... well once you practice. Truly a marvelous set of Cups and everything you need to get started. Once we sell out thats it, so don't

Letter to Santa

Here is another effect in time for all of your holiday shows. Letter To Santa has all the right stuff and it gives the audience the warm fuzzies to boot. A special mailbox adapted for magical use is introduced. On one side the sign reads "North Pole" and on the other side it reads "S. Claus." You can tell the audience that Santa himself is letting you help him gather cards and letters. Open Santa's mailbox and remove a list or letters that you read to the audience. Then produce a rabbit OR other items from inside. After the mailbox is shown empty you can produce a rabbit for the kids. The letters in the box could be the holiday bonuses that the boss wants handed out. First you produce a trophy for the best employee then hand out the bonus envelopes. Get the idea? Then produce the P.T.O.s awards from inside and pass them to the winners. Hey! Sometimes a customer wants you to produce a puppy at a birthday party. If he is the size of a rabbit, you're in business. Start with one rabbit up front. Make it disappear then reproduce a second matching rabbit from inside. Tell them that Elves up to their old tricks. You can produce a spring rabbit then put it in your Duck Bucket and it magically turned into a real rabbit. Lots of presentations are possible. Letter To Santa is made using a steel bodied mailbox. It also features special vinyl graphics on both sides. The gimmick and interior of the box is flocked black, making a perfect Black Art illusion. A wood base is added. Attach your own flange and mount everything directly to a table base instead of using an entire table.

Tony's Tips

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.

Dear Tony,

Congrats to you and your lovely bride.
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.

Are they a lot more work than other gigs? You betcha. So charge and schedule accordingly.
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.

My view is that he is spreading misinformation that those of us who use animals are somehow abusive. Something a fellow pro and brother magician ought not to do.
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.
Again-great blog.
May this love between you two grow and blossom and be ever refreshing for you both.

King Chapman
Magic At The Speed Of Life!

Once again King, thank you for sharing with all of us. Now we go from performing for babies to working with Biker Babes. Here are some of the photos from this weekends gig.

To see more photos go to myspace at and click the photo section:

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