Archive for November, 2004

The Week After

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2004 by hocuspoc

I hope that you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. We certainly enjoyed ours. Robert Baxt was in town to take photos of his latest project with us at Hocus Pocus. Watch our web site for this to be released in the coming weeks. It’s another piece of show business that Robert uses in every show and it has that touch of Robert Baxt all over it! We even convinced Robert to stay over and celebrate Thanksgiving with us! Anywhere Robert goes is a party on wheels! We were also fortunate in that Robert brought his props along for an impromptu performance. My son Max is still trying to figure out where all those coins came from.

A Svelte Robert Baxt.

Friday morning, and the big season has finally begun; the phones are still ringing off the hook and the orders are coming in faster than we can keep up, but trust us, we will. Just to give you an idea of how busy it’s been, we’ve shipped over 500 packages since Friday! We’ve had to order a couple of new computers and hire additional part-time help just to keep up with all the activity around here. What started out as a “small business” many years ago has turned into something much more. It has surpassed my wildest expectations! For that, we must thank all of you. I’d also like to thank all of you for all your well-wishes, emails, and letters. They really made our week here amidst all the magic and mayhem.

If all this activity in November is any indication, the upcoming month of December promises to be an exciting one. If you are planning on making your purchases before the holidays, do so now before the last-minute crunch and deadlines. Remember, you are the reason we are here, you are the most important factor in our business, and we continually recognize this by providing you with special promotions, sales, emails, incomparable products, and what we believe is the best possible customer service anywhere!

Before I go, I wanted to leave you with a heartfelt message we received from our good friends over on the other side of the pond, Colin & Sharron Rose:

Dear Paul,

Colin & I just wanted to say we have been reading the ‘Message from Paul Gross’ pages and they are almost as addictive as the Product Pages! But your recent message really ‘hit the button’ and we both wanted to empathize with your thoughts and feelings about what you do…….we have always felt truly blessed to be able to make our living from Magic and like you……. to be able to create our Magic together as a team, we are living our dreams on a daily basis, and again, like you we have the MagicBrotherhood to thank for making it all possible…….we would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation not only to The Hocus Pocus Team….but to all of your customers who have bought our Magic over the last couple of years, the support and encouragement we receive is our reward forwhat we do…we are both very happy to have been invited to be a part of the Hocus Pocus Success Story…………

Happy Holidays to all our American Friends!

In Magic & Friendship

Colin & Sharron Rose

Thanks, you two.




Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2004 by hocuspoc

How fast the year’s gone by, and I have a lot to be thankful for! I have a beautiful wife who supports and believes in me and what I do every single day, I have four healthy children who I am very proud of, lots of close family, and true friends I can count on!

I’m thankful to be able to do for a living what I enjoy the most. Hocus Pocus has grown exponentially (in leaps and bounds) every single year, and none of this could have been possible without you. So I thank you, our loyal Hocus Pocus family! As this year comes to a close, on behalf of my staff and I, we promise you that the best is yet to come! There are so many new projects and plans in the works, we are all very excited to be able to bring them to you!

So, as you sit down with your loved ones for your Thanksgiving meal, remember what and who you are thankful for. Take time with your family to enjoy them and enjoy what you have. Don’t get too caught up in the Holiday Hubbub; stay safe and enjoy this time of year!

Below are some of the comments we’ve received about this blog. It looks like it is becoming a very popular edition to the site. Here are a few:

Dear Paul,

Great Offering! I love having a chance to see you, the store, and hear a bit about your life. Seeing Carl Ballantine is a treat too. Your life and efforts I’m sure, have effected many others in wonderful ways you may never even know…both in your performing, and now in helping to provide performers with the best possible tools of the trade. I commend you, and wish you many more years of fun and growth in this most magical world.


Lawrence Lemon




Thanks so much for an informative blog to read about Hocus Pocus. Magic is something that we all love. It gives us a kinship, no matter how far apart we are. As you know, I was in a bad auto accident four years ago. Magic has been a big part of my rehab. I’m grateful to Hocus Pocus and other magic friends for helping me be a part of life again. I will be speaking at the Magi-Fest in February 2005 about “Hope Through Magic for People With Disabilities”. Thank you for your wonderful service for all those who love magic, beginners and advanced.

Dr. William Jarvis


Hey Paul,

I’ve been meaning to tell you that “A Note From Paul Gross” is a nice touch to your web site. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit your shop the November 2 note gave those who may never have the opportunity to visit you shop a virtual tour. I have enjoyed reading them all. Well done, keep them coming.

Your Friend & Patron,

Patrick Bryan


I just “found” your message page. (I usually leap right into the product listing.) Great idea! I enjoyed being able to put faces with names and a visual of your operations with the name Hocus Pocus. While this wasn’t a true interactive experience, I felt as though there was a “connection” made which made Hocus Pocus more “human” and real.

Thanks –


Castle Capers II

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2004 by hocuspoc

What a weekend! Around noon on Friday, we arrived in Hollywood, California and had lunch at the world-famous Musso & Franks. What a party it turned out to be. In fact, I’ll just show you:

Starting left center clockwise: R. Paul Wilson, Pete Biro, my son Max, my son Cole, my daughter Renee, me, Robert Baxt, Carl Ballantine, Gerald Kirchner (obscured), Chuck Kirchner, my wife Betty, Lou Hirschorn, and Joe Porper.

Mike steals Carl’s cigar!

Carl receives a gift from Max!

R. Paul Wilson, Pete Biro, and Joe Porper showed us several of their new releases, which you’ll see appear on our web site first. In fact, the rumors are already flying around the Internet about how cool these new products really are. I agree!

We stopped by and visited Hollywood Magic, but not before saying hello to Houdini!

My daughter, Renee, having just turned 21, couldn’t wait for her first time at the Castle. She sang with Irma, and even got involved in the acts that evening!

My daughter Renee and me

That evening at the Castle, we enjoyed an excellent dinner and headed over to the Palace of Mystery where we saw the performances of Joseph Tran, David Deeble, and Jason Baney. All great acts, the highlight was watching the young Joseph Tran and his unique approach to the Shadow Box Illusion involving Barbie and Ken dolls. If you’ve seen Joseph’s act, you know just how clever and cute this routine is. It never fails to get the crowd’s reaction! Next up, we saw Doug Brewer in the Parlor of Prestidigitation. He borrowed my $100.00 bill without even knowing it was me and reproduced it one of the final loads in his Cups & Balls routine. Very clever.

The next day was pure pandemonium. I have never been to a Castle Swap Meet that had so many vendors and buyers. I was able to pick up many antique and hard-to-find items, which you’ll see popping up on the web site (if you haven’t already). One of the things I am most excited about was finding and original Richard Himber Upside-Down Pail! I couldn’t believe it! This thing is terrific, and if you’ve ever seen Richard Himber perform it (look on volume 2 of the Magic Ranch video series), you know what a head-scratcher it is!

No matter where you looked, there was magic, magic, magic everywhere!

After a great 2 days of wheeling and dealing and seeing old friends, it was time to leave. I was happy to see that my other daughter, Aimee, was able to visit and spend some time with us from Santa Barbara (she’s standing to my right). Can’t wait until the next one in April!

I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Please keep ’em coming and thanks for taking time to read this page.



Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2004 by hocuspoc

We’ve gotten so many positive emails in response to the blog, that we’ve decided to post some of them here from time to time. Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment on it. We appreciate it more than you know!

Hello HP –

I really like Paul’s message page. Thanks for posting it. It’s nice to put a face with the names from HP and to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of a place most of us can only dream of visiting, much less working at.

George Mullican

Thanks, George!

I wanted to take the opportunity to share someone with you. Anyone who knows Jerry Foster knows what a gentleman and consummate professional this man is! Never having a bad thing to say about anyone, Jerry is always upbeat, positive, and he never fails to share his experiences with anyone who asks. When Jerry sent these recent promo photos, we thought it would be kind of cool to post them here so everyone could see them. As you can see, Jerry has a very unique kind of act.

If you have any suggestions and/or requests of what you would like to see here, let us know. Simply email your suggestions to


Castle Capers!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2004 by hocuspoc

We’re gearing up to go down to Hollywood, California this Friday through Sunday to visit the Magic Castle and have lunch with some good friends, including Joe Porper, Robert Baxt, Mike Giusti, R. Paul Wilson, Chuck & Gerald Kirchner of Magic City, Louis St. Pierre of Hollywood Magic fame, and the legendary Carl Ballantine! One of the greatest experiences of my life was getting the opportunity to meet and know Carl. If you’ve ever seen Carl perform his classic comedy magic act, you know what we mean when we say he’s tremendously funny. Trust me, this guy was just born funny! He’s also a very keen cigar aficionado. We’re currently working on a project with Carl that we’re very excited about, and I hope to announce it very soon!

Carl Ballantine in one of his more “cerebral” moments.

While there, we’ll also be attending the semi-annual Magic Castle Swap Meet, as we’re always keeping our eyes out for great bargains and antique collectibles for you, our loyal Hocus Pocus customers! We also enjoy seeing our old friends and some of our customers there as well. We’ll definitely be snapping photos and keeping you up to date right here, so stay tuned.

We’ve finally finished construction on the second tier to the warehouse to accommodate all the shipping materials and new products coming in each day to insure that you receive your orders in the fastest, most professional manner possible. It really helped us out as we are constantly running out of space, even in our 6,000 square-foot building!

The holidays will be here before you know it. Listen for those Christmas tunes to hit the radio waves soon but not before you’ve sampled some Thanksgiving turkey!


Election Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2004 by hocuspoc

It is, of course, Election Day! Don’t forget to get out there and vote. It doesn’t matter who you vote for or how you vote, the most important thing is that you exercise your right!

Dan Harlan

We had a special treat today! Dan Harlan stopped by with two of his new products: The Jug and My Word Dan is well known for his other great products like the Band Shark DVDs, CardToon, and Premium Blend DVDs!

I want to thank everyone who emailed and called us with their compliments and thoughts about this particular blog spot. We’ve had tons of compliments and inquiries as to what the store looks like, both outside and inside, so here are a few teasers:

And that’s just one corner of the warehouse! Recently, we’ve added new space (including a second tier) to accommodate the immense amount of products and packages arriving for the holiday season! Although it can be a little overwhelming at times, we love it and also love this time of year!

It’s easy to get lost in the warehouse! In fact, it can drive you a bit insane. Right, Mike?

Actually, he’s like this all the time!

Keep checking out this page as we’ll be updating it often. If you have any suggestions or even special request, we’d be happy to hear them!

Don’t forget: Go out and vote!