Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Busy Week Here At Hocus Pocus

We are down to the last few days before the Swap Meet. This week so far we are getting things set up and making final touches to our dealers. As of yesterday Joe Porper and R. Paul Wilson have been added to the list of vendors. We are expecting lots of vendors and guests. So far guests to the Swap Meet will be coming from all over California, Nevada, Utah and one guy flying from New York! Last Friday our local newspaper the Fresno Bee came in to photograph Paul for the cover of their weekend magazine. What will follow will be an article about the Swap Meet and a interview with Mark and Nani Wilson. Tomorrow morning (Wednesday AM) Paul, Mike and I will be up very early to be on a local morning show. We will be promoting the Swap Meet and giving a tour of Hocus Pocus as well as doing magic live! All this and its only Wednesday so more things maybe happening to make our second Swap Meet a success. We hope to see you all here on Saturday. The fun begins at 9 AM Jan 19th and then continues on Sunday with a workshop by Daryl. It is not to late to sign up. Call 1-800-407-4040 to be part of the lecture package or the workshop on Sunday. For more information read all the information below. Hope to see you there.

Hocus Pocus Swap Meet January 19th and 20th 2008
It's almost here! Where will you be on Saturday, January 19th and Sunday, 20th? We hope to see you here in Fresno, California for the 2nd Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together!
Starting at 9:00 AM on Saturday the 19th, the doors will open and the second annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together will officially begin! Be a part of magic history where, in addition to a fantastic swap meet, there will be a fun-filled 2 days of lectures and guests, free gifts, and more!

Our lectures for this year include Suds, Jay Leslie, David Regal, Shoot Ogawa, Daryl, Losander.*Lecture fee for all 6 lectures is only $40.00*Individual lectures may be purchased for $15.00.*The Swap Meet is free to attend, however if you wish to sell your magic wares, tables are$20.00 each.*Special optional Workshop with Daryl is being offered on Sunday (11am -1 PM) at an additional charge of$30.00 per person (seating is limited, so make sure you register early to reserve your spot).

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Swap Meet 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM - Special Guest Lecturer Suds
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Jay Leslie
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Special Guest Lecturer David Regal
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Shoot Ogawa
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Daryl
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Special Guest Lecturer Losander

Since Fresno is centrally located in the San Joaquin Valley, California, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, we're so close, why not join us for our Swap Meet & Get-Together? We've even reserved special hotel rates for your convenience if you are planning on staying the night. The hotel information is listed below: Best Western Water Tree Inn 4141 N. Blackstone Avenue Fresno, California 559-222-4445 To get these special rates, just mention the Hocus Pocus Swap Meet when phoning the hotel.

The Water Tree Inn is only a few minutes away from Hocus Pocus and has been host to many of our past guests, friends, and lecturers. This promises to be a fantastic, fun-filled 2-day event. If you wish to participate or attend (or both), contact us toll-free at 800-407-4040 to reserve your spot! Reserve January 19th and 20th on your calendar and be sure to show up at: Hocus Pocus 1492 N. Clark, # 104 Fresno, CA. 93703.

Remember, to attend the Swap Meet is absolutely free and won't cost you a dime! To purchase tickets for the entire lecture package or individual lectures, call now at 800-407-4040. Remember, to sell your magic items, you must reserve a table. To reserve your table, call now at 800-407-4040.

Tony's Picks

The It Factor

As a student of marketing I have always learned and watched how other entertainers, and business people make a fortune. Not that I have made one big fortune but I have been lucky to keep working for the past 33 years in showbiz in one form or another. There are many books and tapes on marketing but now Brad Ross produces one geared just right at the entertainer whether your a beginner or seasoned Pro! You may not have HEARD of him, BUT you HAVE heard of entertainment giants like Disney, Six Flags Theme Parks, Holland America, Seascape and Carnival Cruise Lines... and Brad Ross has worked for all of them. He is currently on tour starring in Disney LIVE! presents Mickey's Magic Show - in it's 2nd year touring the WORLD! When the Disney show was in Fresno I was lucky enough to be asked by the local Ad agency to promote the show.

Now on to Brad Ross's "The It Factor", now you can try to learn everything on your own…try to create your own systems and promo materials…learn by trail & error (like I did). You can buy thousands of dollars worth of marketing courses and waste a lot of time and energy trying to adapt these materials to your magic business (like I did), hoping you will become a star over night. Instead you can use a system designed specifically for magicians and family entertainers that is 100% guaranteed and has already been proven to be wildly effective. Brad's system reveals how you can quickly and easily make yourself into a pro…a celebrity who has “IT.” And at the same time book more shows & make more money. It’s easy. It’s professional. For more of a description of all the CD's, Marketing Books and much more contained in the It Factor please take a moment to read the full description on the website. I only wish someone had laid out all this information when I start some 33 years ago. I would have had a big jump start vs. stops and goes in my career.

Magellan Witch Levitation

From the creative mind of Jimmy Fingers we are proud to be the exclusive dealer of The Magellan Witch Levitation. This is the ultimate portable levitation of an assistant, and we think you'll agree. The magician displays a large cloth, and raises it in front of his assistant. She begins to slowly, deliberately rise upwards until she reaches an apex of almost 2 feet above her initial standing height. The magician removes the cloth, and she is seen suspended in mid-air! The descent is the opposite of the ascension, and the cloth is again removed to show the assistant standing on the ground, in front of the magician, just as she began. This utility gimmick offers many potential uses. A rising levitation, a classic horizontal suspension, a production of the assistant before the levitation... The possibilities are only limited by the creativity of the performer. The gimmick itself weighs only 22 lbs, and yet, will support over 200 pounds.
Nothing is attached to the performer or assistant. The gimmick will fit into a suitcase. Without a case, the gimmick will fit easily into the smallest of automobile trunks or hatches. No electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanical parts to fail. This is simplicity at its best! Jeff McBride was the very first purchaser of this illusion, and his insight and commitment to the art of magic are unparalleled, and his gracious support is truly appreciated by all involved with this project. His innovative spirit makes him the pioneer in simple, beautiful COMMANDO-style magic. This transaction exemplifies a perfect union of performer and concept. Please note each unit is custom built for each order. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Please also note that no case or cloth are included, as these will be provided by the performer to match their own show designs.

Exploring Magical Presentations DVD

An intimate opportunity to learn from one of magic’s greatest teachers Eugene Burger. On this DVD Eugene will help you think about your performing style, and grow as a magical presenter. We all know plenty of tricks, but how can we turn them into memorable magic? In this DVD session, Eugene Burger explores that topic, and provides specific examples—including fully developed routines that you can adapt for your own performances.
THE BLACK ENVELOPE VARIATIONS - A classic (and amazing) prediction of a playing card, explained in detail with discussions of eight different presentational approaches, including:
A DREAM OF YOU, THE DEATH CARD, THE GAMBLER’S FATE and Eugene’s favorite, INEVITABILITY. Then FADING COIN - Imagination becomes reality! Invented by Tomoyuki Takahashi, and taught with his kind permission, this astonishing routine is nearly impromptu, and truly astonishing. Eugene has invested a great amount of thought into getting the most impact out of his presentation, and now he shares it with you.
INVISIBILITY POWDER - Discover how a simple presentational premise can turn a good trick into great one. OB-SER-VO - Inspired by a Robert Neale effect, this was developed as a “message” routine for corporate performances. Over time it has evolved into one of the strongest audience participation routines in the Burger repertoire. OUT OF THIS WORLD - Years of exploring countless versions of this Paul Curry classic have led to this approach. Eugene explains that journey. Problems are solved and strengths are emphasized, and the results are both practical and impressive. So I recommend this DVD and having Eugene expand your way of thinking and looking at the magic that you perform.

Time Change

From our good friend Paul Romhany, comes what just maybe one of the best-selling items for 2008. A mind-blowing mentalist routine ideal for all close-up situations. A stack of cards with a photo of an old pocket watch is shown, the time on the pocket watch is written on the card and signed by a spectator which is then placed on a table. A wrist watch is borrowed and the magician pulls out the stem to show the hands turn freely. The spectator then takes their watch face down and turns the stem to a random time. The magician claims that the time on the wrist watch will now match the time on the signed card. However, when the watch is turned over it does not match. The performer then snaps his fingers and the card is turned over showing that the time on the POCKET WATCH has now change. The signed card is then handed out for the spectator to keep.

Tony's Tips

Real World Magic

So as we get ready to gather for the Swap Meet I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. One of the reasons I write this blog each week is to try and join magicians together and share new information. This past week I have had the chance to listen to Brad Ross's The It Factor. Here is a clever young man who has taken the time to put down on CD and paper the things he has learned over the years. It is with this look at what other folks see that works for them and suggest ideas that is the key for all of us to grow.

One such thing is being able to perform on a moments notice. We are getting ready for the Swap Meet and I just ran an errand to a local carpet store. My van has my logo on it and as I pulled up these guys were reading and waiting for me to exit. So the question comes up what kind of magic do you do? Then of course can you do something? Do you have a business card? So here is where you get to shine. Folks actually asking for you to perform. I take a business card out of my wallet and quickly do a back palm (vanish) and show both side of my hand empty. Then I produce the card right in front of them. They all went freaky like when you watch Criss Angel's audiences on the street. So hopefully there maybe a gig in the future from this little drive.

Sometimes magical moments are what you make of them. Not always having a bunch of tricks in each pocket makes you think and keeps you on your toes when asked to perform. Always having a working knowledge of basic sleights is very important. I speak to alot of magicians everyday when the new products come out. First question is "Does it take a working knowledge of sleights?" I feel sometimes to many folks want everything to be push button magic and really that does not cut it in the real world. Walk into a bar or a restaurant and there are so many props ready to perform magic with. Cocktail sticks, napkins, glasses, shot glasses, olives, salt shakers and more.

Making a study of real world objects and how you can use them to make magic look natural is what really is the true meaning of "Street Magic" is to me. If you check books like Tarbell and Mark Wilson Course in Magic you would be able to learn basic sleights so that any object you touch can be magically. One thing I like to do when going shopping is to look over things you see in the store especially in the kitchen section since most of my magic is always around food and food events. This eye for detail is one that you need to start developing in the same way Charlie Chaplin looked like he just grabbed 2 folks and 2 dinner rolls and created his famous dinner roll dance scene on film. Details like this only happen from practice and lots of improv then a act happens.

I remember watching an interview with rock legend David Bowie. He said that when everyone is in the studio and music is happening if a musician hits a certain group of notes that works, he says "Do that again!". The first time was an accident, second time it just might be something. Onnce more "play it again" and then the third time its a possible song! Everything that looks natural has actually come from lots of rehearsal and practice. So my rant and tip today is to learn and know your basic sleights, take a closer look at objects and the world you live in. Pratice at home with objects that you may only ever see when dinning out. What looks like you making magic with a small toy from a child or a dinner table object may just be more amazing then a set of cups and balls. Then again an impromtu cups and balls act with dixie cups and crushed dollars bills would really kill!

Hope to see you at the Swap Meet this Saturday and Daryl workshop Sunday.

Best Wishes,

Tony Blanco

Become the Busiest Birthday Party Performer CD

So one of the performing things that every magician starts out doing usually are Birthday parties. If you have ever or still do perform them how are about becoming the busiest guy performing them. Check out Brad Ross’ Brand New Double CD on the subject hosted by Brad Ross & John Carlson. Here is a must for every part time, full time, and aspiring birthday party performer. Brad & John go in depth and talk about EVERYTHING you need to know to dominate your market and make some big bucks doing birthday parties. This is a "tell all" CD with both Brad & John who have been doing children's birthday parties for a combined total of 40 years. Think about that - a combined total of 40 years of experience, know-how, tips, tricks, and secrets. Since Brad & John are both now working in other areas of magic - they unleashed all of their top secrets for you! This double audio CD set is a guaranteed road map to birthday party success. Whether you are just starting out or you're a full time pro, or anywhere in between, this audio Cd set is a great investment. Again here is the inside information I wished I had when I started!

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