Archive for September, 2006

Like a Phoenix…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2006 by hocuspoc

Resurrected from the ashes, the Hocus Pocus Round Table forums have returned with a vengeance! If you haven’t already taken the time to visit, please do so now, sign up, and contribute to the boards by clicking the banner below:

With already over 3,000 hits in less than 1 week, we’re extremely excited about this project, now that key members are in place to help moderate and contribute. People like Bill Abbott, Chance Wolf, Bill Palmer, Robert Baxt, John Mendoza, and others with whom we are in negotiations. This board will be different from all others as we will strive to help promote and help the magic community grow and learn. We appreciate any comments and suggestions, and if there’s a particular topic or forum you’d like to see, let us know on the boards. It’s with your help and suggestions, these forums will grow ever stronger! Since the boards will keep me very busy, I’ll still be updating the blog, albeit less frequently and with some modicum of regularity.

There’s been lots of excitement around here this week as we’ve gained a number of Hocus Pocus Exclusives. You’ll definitely want to check out the two newest products from England’s Wayne Dobson called $wop and Lucky Dip. Both were huge hits at the recent FISM convention in Sweden and are now sweeping the nation! The other item we’re extremely excited about obtaining the exclusive on is Mike Caldwell’s Perfect Choice. Check it out on our web site. You’ll be glad you did!

The big Fresno Fair arrives on the fourth of October, and the entire town will be attending at some point. My good friend, Tom Jorgenson, will be in town performing at the fair, and he has promised to stop by Hocus Pocus as well. My son, Max, will be working with Tom during the fourteen day fair run as his assistant in the Blade Box Illusion. It’s 5-7 shows per day, every day, and the pay isn’t too bad either. Max is going to put the money in the bank as he’s saving up his money to buy a car. My guess is by the end of this run, he’ll be sick of corn dogs and lemonade.

Speaking of the Fair, there’s live horse racing every day as well as concerts from some of the music industry’s most notables. In fact, Carl Ballantine and Robert Baxt will be here next week to take in the races themselves as well. Carl’s a big fan of horse races, and we’re excited to have him drive up to see our new location. I’ll give you a report soon on Max’s days during the fair, so stay tuned.

So there you have it: they’ll be chatting on the forums, new products galore, and events to come (I keep thinking about Carl and the horses and my son in the boxes). Oh, what great things we’ll have to discuss next week. In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend. I know I will…

Until next time,

Paul

As the Week Ends…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2006 by hocuspoc

How can it be Friday already? This week has flown by at supersonic speed! The weather has gradually cooled down from the 90s to the 80s, and the nights couldn’t be more comfortable with lows reaching the high 40s and low 50s. I guess Fall is officially here!

Tony Blanco is strapping on his tool belt as he begins construction on our new stage here in the building. This new stage will enable us to begin the Lecture Series again and allow local performers to practice their stage shows when they’re here. It will also facilitate Tony’s magic lessons which have become a huge success! He’s on his second session with older children and adults. We’ll be posting here as the Lecture Series begins anew with upcoming lecturers, entertainers, and events if you wish to participate.


Cirque du Soleil

Speaking of Tony, this week Fresno hosted two performances of Cirque du Soleil. One of their performer is also a magician, and Tony helped him make several purchases here at Hocus Pocus! For his time and effort, Tony was given both entrance and backstage passes to the show! Tony was describing the goings on backstage and was even asked to do several magic tricks for the show’s manager. This weekend, Fresno hosts Mickey’s Magic Show, a Disney production featuring the illusions of Jim Steinmeyer. The guys from the show have been hanging out at the store. It’s been a really good time. If either of these shows come to your hometown, I highly recommend you go see them.


Mickey’s Magic Show

Mike has been working diligently resurrecting and remodeling the Hocus Pocus Round Table chat board, which will go live within a week. Stay tuned to the front page of our web site for the big announcement and come ready to post, post, post! It is our contention to provide a positive and informative forum that will benefit the magic community, and we would love to have you be a part of it.

Last week, I told you that I would be seeing the Black Dahlia by Brian dePalma. Now, trust me; I’m no Siskel & Roeper, but I have to be honest and tell you that you should probably wait until it comes out on DVD before seeing it. I’m sorry to say it, but this one just didn’t pan out for me. However, speaking of movies, I’ll be taking my son, Max, to see Jackass 2 today. Can you see the excitement in my typing? I thought not. I’m sure I’ll have a few chuckles, though. It will be a great father and son outing and then later, Betty will join us for dinner.

Tomorrow night, we celebrate my mother’s 74th birthday and all my family will be there. Even Cole’s making the trip from college to help in the festivities. It will be great to have everyone all together once again, if even for a little while…

With the Fall season rapidly approaching, lots of new products are arriving every day. So much so that I can’t even keep up with it, and it’s just begun; wait until you see the Fall lineup we have for you. It will be better than anything network programming has to offer…

So, as you can see, there’s been a lot happening this week, which probably explains the speed in which it’s passed. I can’t wait until next week. Have a great weekend, do something you enjoy, and don’t forget your family.

Until next time,

Paul

76 Cool Degrees…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2006 by hocuspoc

And just like that, almost overnight, we went from a sweltering 102 degrees Wednesday to a cool 76 degrees today! The girls in the warehouse are wearing sweaters today, that’s how cool it is. Let’s keep our fingers crossed in that it really is the beginning of Fall here in Central California!

Mike wanted me to remind everyone that this Tuesday will be the final day to submit your Most Embarrassing Moment to the Mike on the Mic Show on Magic Broadcast. The winners (there will be 2 this time) will receive a Bowling Pin Production by Michael Mode and some super cool videos and DVDs. You can email your submission to Mike directly at mike@magicbroadcast.com. The winners will also be announced this Tuesday evening at 8:15 PM PST. Check out the show at Magic Broadcast!

Mike and I will be taking our semi-annual trip to the Magic Castle in a little less than a month, October 14th, the final Magic Castle Swap Meet of the year. It is also Mike’s birthday that day, so I’m certain he’ll be in hog heaven. We always have a great time when we go the day before, when we go to our traditional Musso & Frank’s lunch. Everyone will be there, including Chuck and Gerald Kirchner from Magic City, Doug Malloy, Joe Porper, Pete Biro, Robert Baxt, Carl Ballantine, and new guest this year, Glen Farrington, and who knows who else will show up? If you’re planning to go to the Swap Meet this year, make sure you stop me while I’m running around to say hello. If you’ve never been to the Magic Castle Swap Meet, you really should go; it’s a great time to see a ton of things, both new and vintage, and meet new people in a great atmosphere.

Congratulations to Stan Allen and MAGIC Magazine, who celebrate their 15th year in publication! Stan continues to produce the finest magic magazine on the planet. His attention to quality, detail, and layout continues to be unsurpassed!

Joe Porper does it again with his take on the classic Ellis Ring by creating one of the coolest magic props that can be worn with you at all times: the Wedding Band Ellis Ring! Joe took a few of these to the recent FISM Convention in Sweden and sold out immediately! Just to tell you how good they are, Joe didn’t even have printed instructions ready at the time; he was just showing demonstrations and sold them all on the spot! If you are looking for a truly impromptu miracle, check out Joe Porpers Wedding Band Ellis Ring!

Betty and I saw the new movie, Hollywoodland, last week, and I have to say that we both give it two thumbtips up! If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth your time checking it out. That’s two movies in two weeks: The Illusionist and Hollywoodland, and both were great! Tonight, we’ll be seeing The Black Dahlia. I’ll be sure to give you my movie review for that next week.

The cool weather here reminds me so much of Fall, which is my favorite time of year. We should start thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, because, before you know it, I’ll be writing about it! Thanks for checking in this week. Relax, enjoy your family, and see a good movie while you’re at it.

Until next time,

Paul

The Week After

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2006 by hocuspoc

First of all, thank you so much for all your nice emails, phone calls, and especially those who sang happy birthday to me on the answering machine. I also want to thank Mike for taking over the blog last week during my short 5-day vacation. No one could believe I actually took that many days off in a row. In fact, I found it hard to believe myself, now that I think about it… I spent the time off with my family: we had dinner together; Betty and I caught the film, “The Illusionist,” which I highly recommend if you haven’t already seen it. Also, before the movie, we caught the preview of the other magic related movie coming out, “The Prestige” with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. This looks exciting and I can’t wait until its release! My daughters gave me a new book on Frank Sinatra, one of my favorite singers. From the rest of my family, I got a new Koi for the Koi pond and other goodies too many to mention. All in all, it was a fantastic birthday celebration. Thanks again, everyone!

This week has been very busy as we’ve been receiving lots of effects, one of which is the award-winning FISM effect from Henry Evans entitled “Find the Way.” When Marc DeSouza returned from the convention in Sweden, he told me that this was a must-have, and I can see why! We are very excited to be able to offer a limited supply to you, our Hocus Pocus fans! If you have a moment, check it out on the website here and check out the new online video as well!

This just in! We’re very excited to be able to carry the David & Dania line of quick-change products. Their first offering is the David & Dania Top Hat & Color Changing Gloves, a fantastic and unique color change straight out of their award-winning act! Stay tuned as we’ll be offering more of their products as they become available.

Also, Lee Alex’s Color Changing Vest has been flying off the shelves. It is definitely one of the hottest-selling items we’ve ever offered, and I cannot believe the quality that went into making these! Costume Change effects are HOT, thanks to David & Dania. Adding something like this definitely sets your act apart from your competition. It really is a small investment that delivers a very large return! Check this out as well as other color-changing effects we have to offer.

Cole is all settled into College and doing well. We know this because we rarely hear from him anymore. I’m sure his schedule is just as busy as mine, if not more so, with all the reading, writing, and homework that gets piled on!

Speaking of school, Max is now in his third week of high school! The first week took some adjustment for him, but he’s in the swing of things now. He’s excited because the last class of the day is P.E., and right now, they’re swimming, one of his favorite things to do.

My oldest daughter, Rene, is enjoying her new management position with Gottschalks department stores. She’s all settled into her new apartment, and she was telling me the other night how Gottschalks is getting ready to set up camp for Christmas the end of this month. Man, it seems like the stores are doing this earlier and earlier every year, doesn’t it?

My younger daughter, Amy, continues to study hard as she nears her final year in college. Where has all the time gone??? I can still remember them all in diapers like it was yesterday.

We’re very excited about a special offer here at Hocus Pocus. On your next order, upon request, you will receive 2 free DVD demos of various effects available at Hocus Pocus. This is part of a new program we’re starting, and we will continue to update and offer new DVDs as time goes on. They’re absolutely free, and all you have to do is request one on your next order. It’s like having your own visual catalog you can watch over and over again!


Bill Palmer with his Cups & Balls display at TAOM

I just got off the phone with Bill Palmer, who was very excited about his History of the Cups & Balls lecture at the most recent TAOM Convention in Texas. For those of you who don’t know, Bill is THE authoritarian on Cups and Balls and owns just about every version ever made! Bill sent the above photo showcasing just a small sampling of his collection on display! Thanks, Bill!

So there you have it. Never a dull moment here at Hocus Pocus. This place is where the action is, that’s for sure! I think I’ll take off a little early this afternoon as Betty and I will try to catch the new movie, “Hollywoodland.” Have yourself a fantastic weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

Happy 51!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2006 by hocuspoc


Happy Birthday, Paul!

It’s me, Mike Giusti, overtaking the blog as Paul takes some time off to celebrate his birthday. On behalf of all the employees at Hocus Pocus, I want to take a moment and wish Paul a happy 51st birthday! Thank you all who sent birthday emails and phone messages this morning as well. Hopefully, he’s resting and relaxing, which is somewhat alien to Paul.

Starting Tuesday night at 8:15 PM, I’ll be taking phone and email submissions for the Most Embarrassing Moments Contest, a semi-annual contest I run on the Magic Broadcast. The winners (we will be choosing 2 this year) will receive a Bowling Pin Production by Michael Mode and various videos and DVDs, thanks to Hocus Pocus and Magic City! Simply tune in and participate by submitting your Most Embarrassing Moment while performing for friends, family, clients, etc. in email form to mike@magicbroadcast.com or call in toll-free at 888-851-1534. You can enter as often as you like with more than one embarrassing moment, and the winners will be announced live on the air Tuesday, September 19th on the Mike on the Mic radio program! See you there!

I’ve been working feverishly (my temperature averages 103 degrees on a daily basis here) on putting up hot, new products on the web site. Just in the last two days, you may have noticed a slew of unique magic offerings from Hocus Pocus. And there’s more to come so stay tuned to the website for more updates!

Have yourself a wonderful Labor Day Weekend, and we’ll see you next week!

Mike