Archive for May, 2007

A Magician’s Life

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2007 by hocuspoc


Bruce Cervon (1941-2007)

I hate starting the blog like this, but I am very sad to report that magician Bruce Cervon passed away last night, May25th. I am especially morose about this as Bruce and I worked together at a couple of venues and had some great conversations and stories to share.

From the Whaley’s Who’s Who in Magic:

Cervon, Bruce, AIMC (Akron, Ohio: 20 Jun 1941-2007) Stage name of Andrew Bruce Cernava, a grandson of Yugoslav immigrants. Inspired around age 7 when father taught him a one-hand cut. Soon self-taught from Gilbert Mysto Magic set & the card section reprint from Hoffmann’s Modern Magic. Pro close-up & stand-up magician since 1964 when he moved to Hollywood.

1971 AMA Best Lecturer.
AMA Best Close-up Magician 1973, 1976.
Expert court witness on gambling.
AMA Treasurer 1978-94 & Secretary since 1994.
Co-publisher (with Louis Falanga & as successor to Larry Jennings) of L&L; Publishing since c1990.

Wrote The Real Work: Card Secrets of Bruce Cervon (1976, 64pp), The Cervon File (1987), Ultra Cervon (1990, 186pp, with Stephen Minch), etc.
See Mike Maxwell, Bruce Cervon’s The Black & White Trick and Other Assorted Mysteries
(1989, 151pp), and Stephen Minch, Bruce Cervon: Hard-Boiled Mysteries (1998m 192pp). Produced The Vernon Chronicles (4 vols, 1988-92), including as Vol.4 co-edited (with Keith Burns, He Fooled Houdini: Dai Vernon a Magical Life (1992, 308pp).
Tricks in Genii, Pallbearers, Epilogue, Ibidem, Cardiste, Hierophant, Talisman, Linking Ring, Magic & Spells, Magick, MUM, Richard’s Almanac, & in books by others.
TV segments.
2 audios; 2 videos (“Ultra Cervon).

What an accomplished magician and an all around nice person. Bruce will surely be missed by us all.

In other news, Paul has taken a day out of the office to work with friend and magician Robert Baxt about a new project that they are being especially candid about. I had an opportunity to take a candid shot of them working and talking about something in the offices yesterday, but I can’t make heads or tails of it:

And check out this video of Robert performing a levitation. While I’m unsure if this has anything to do with the above photo as far as a new project goes, it certainly is interesting and entertaining:

If the above embedded object doesn’t work for your web browser, you can check it out here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZMaQfosV1dI

Regardless, make sure you keep tabs on the web site for more details when this new project hits!

Until next week when Paul returns,

Mike

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Private Collection Extravaganza

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2007 by hocuspoc

Boy, how I wish all of you could be here in person this week. Mike and I have been feverishly working on compiling a massive private estate and collectibles list. This is one of the things I enjoy the most. You never know what you’re going to see or what’s coming in the mail. Check out the photos below of just some of the things you’ll be able to purchase is you are an online member as I am going to send out a private email listing this Saturday. It is a massive list with something for everyone, whether you are a children’s entertainer or a stand-up comedy magician, and everything in-between. Make sure to click the pictures below to get a bigger and better view:


Just take a look at some of these gems!


Some of the larger items for sale


Items for as far as the eye can see!

A new feature of the web site we’ve created is the Clearance Product Category where you can save a bundle on various items. Many of you have already found it and grabbed up some major deals. Remember, all the products in this category are new, unused, but limited to stock on-hand. Check it out often as new products are added almost daily.

Hocus Pocus teams up with Jeff Hobson and the Lecture Network, which host live magic lectures over the Internet and so much more! Just another way the Internet brings magicians from all boundaries and backgrounds together directly to your computer! We urge you to check out this new service, and you can subscribe directly through Hocus Pocus by clicking the banner below:

It’s back to work on this list for now. Remember, if you are not a member and want to get in on this weekend’s massive estate and collectibles event, sign up here.

Until next time,

Paul

From the Magic Castle to Happy Birthday!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2007 by hocuspoc

This week has certainly flown by! Last Friday, at 6:00 AM, Betty, Max, Aimee, and I headed south to Paramount, California where we spent the entire day with Chuck and Gerald Kirchner, owners of Magic City, one of our major suppliers. Around 5:00 PM, we all then drove to Long Beach, California to have dinner on the ocean at Gladstone’s. Gerald’s wife, Marilyn, and his son, James, also joined us. We all had a great time and a great meal as well. Then everybody loaded up and headed to Hollywood. We arrived around 10:00 PM, where we were met by my good friend, Robert Baxt, who helped us settle in. We sat up for several hours catching up and trading ideas.


Gerald Kirchner with his son, James and wife, Marilyn


My daughter, Aimee, my son, Max, and Gerald Kirchner


Chuck Kirchner and me


The Magic Castle


The Magic Castle Hotel

Saturday morning, Mike and Tony arrived with a van full of Hocus Pocus merchandise for Sunday’s Dealer’s Day at the Castle. After checking in, we all walked down Hollywood boulevard to our favorite hangout spot, Musso & Frank’s where we were treated to a fantastic lunch. Afterwards, we walked across the street to Hollywood Magic and visited there with owner, Greg St. Pierre, Woody Pittman, and the rest of his staff.


The Virgin Megastore on Hollywood Boulevard

Time for shopping afterwards, where we accosted many stores, purchasing several Marilyn Monroe paintings for Aimee’s birthday and then back to the hotel where we ran into Rafael Benatar, who was performing that evening in the Close-Up Room at the Magic Castle! Before we knew it, it was time to get ready to go to the Castle for dinner and shows. Because my daughter, Aimee, just turned 21 years-old, this was her first visit to the famous Magic Castle, and she couldn’t be more excited. We enjoyed the shows after dinner, and Robert Baxt graciously gave Aimee an insider’s tour of the Castle. Next was a surprise played on me as Mike gained access to my Magic Castle membership card and gave it to Robert, who had secretly uploaded my picture into a brand new digital picture frame hung in the hallway to the Palace of Mystery. He slid my membership card into a secret area and up popped my picture among all the legends at the Castle. This is a new gag recently installed for all members to take advantage of. This can also be your five minutes of fame. Around midnight, we headed back to the hotel to get some much-needed sleep as it was going to be a full Sunday!


My picture used on the digital frame at the Castle

Mark and Nani Wilson had invited us to be featured dealers at Dealer’s Day, and on Sunday morning, we took full advantage of the opportunity and started unloading all the merchandise into the downstairs bar area of the Magic Castle. We used a full 12 tables to display everything, and it was a sight to behold when we were finished setting up (in record time, I might add, thanks to everyone involved). Mark and Nani showed up and were as gracious as ever as our hosts, making sure that our needs were attended to, from having enough tables to enough coffee for Betty and Mike! 11:00 AM came quickly and the doors flooded with people! Business was brisk and I was certainly happy to meet many of you in person. There was not a moment when people weren’t flooding the tables taking a look at what we brought with us. I’d like to thank Mark and Nani again for inviting us to this great event and thanks to all of you who attended.


Tony, Mike and I are ready for the doors to open!


Tony and I look over the placement of the magic props


A view of one of the tables


Another view


Yet another view


Did we bring enough?

At 3:00 PM, we began packing up the van and, believe it or not, we were back on the road heading to Fresno by 4:00 PM! Everyone arrived safe and sound by 7:15 PM and couldn’t believe we did so much in so little time!

Before I go, I have a special announcement: my son, Max, turns 15 today. I know this because he has reminded us continually on a daily basis. His laundry list of wants for his birthday goes from DVDs to a miniature pot-bellied pig! Guess what he WON’T be getting?! Tonight, he’s already put in a special request for his birthday dinner: halibut with mashed potatoes and peas. Of course, for dessert, he wants Oreo Cookies & Cream from Baskin Robbins. Not a bad life for a kid.


My son, Max, at the Castle on Sunday

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so Happy Mother’s Day! Make sure you thank your mom, wife, grandmother for all they’ve done.

Quite a lot this week, so until next time,

Paul

Have Fun Stormin’ the Castle!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2007 by hocuspoc

Hi, kids! Mike Giusti here with another exciting episode of “From the Desk of Paul Gross,” who has left for the Magic Castle a day early to help prepare and set up for Dealer’s Day this Sunday! I’ll be there after a gig tonight, Tony will be there as well, and this Sunday, May 6th from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, if you are a member of the Magic Castle, lots o’ fun will be had. And, if you are not a member of the Magic Castle and wish to attend, check this little secret out:

Simply tell the Magic Castle receptionist that you are a guest of Hocus Pocus and you will be able to attend the event! How cool is that?

We hope to see many of you there, and please stop by and introduce yourself to Paul, Tony Blanco, and myself. There we will be showcasing and demonstrating some of our most popular products, signing autographs, and taking pictures!

We’ve been packing up for this event for a week (you know how Paul is), and we’ve even rented a truck to help us get all the merchandise over to the Castle. I hope my back can take all this action and excitement.

Personally, it’s been a feast as far as magic gigs are concerned. My phone, all of a sudden, has been ringing off the hook with requests for appearances and performances. It appears (and I didn’t even know this) that my MySpace page is the number-one ranked comedy page in the Central Valley, and I’ve already appeared on television to talk about it. It felt weird not performing in front of a camera for once.


Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco

The highlight of all these gigs was last weekend at the beautiful, famous Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco for the Board of Directors of a major hospital in this area. The gig was one of the best ever, and now the entire board of directors remembers a certain doctor who attended as “Dr. Viagra.” Ask me about that some time…

Here are some pictures of that fantastic weekend:


A great hotel room offers all the comforts of home


Where, oh where do I set up my laptop?


The view through the window


Wow!


Wow again!


I can see the terrace from up here!

The next day, we took in the city. Now having grown up in San Francisco, both Jules and I knew where to go, but we decided to go to the tourist spots together for the first time, so the first stop was, of course, Pier 39:


On a clear day, you get a great view, and the weather was terrific!


End of the pier at Pier 39 with a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge


Another great view: Alcatraz Island

Although Ghirardelli Square was going through some major renovations, Jules and I decided to walk over there from Pier 39 and have some lunch at a restaurant both of us truly enjoyed! If you are ever in the area, make sure to stop by McCormick & Kuleto’s (pictured below at the bottom right of the picture). The view was amazing, the atmosphere was incredibly romantic, and I recommend it highly!


Walking back to the car with a great view (the background, too!)

After lunch, I decided to take Jules on a tour through the Presidio, where she had never been. It’s like the Central Park of San Francisco, and the views are spectacular!


What a great day after a stormy night!

What a great weekend it was, and what a great weekend it will be as the Magic Castle hosts Dealer’s Day this Sunday, May 6th. We’ll have lots of pictures to share with you next week, so stay tuned. If not, we hope to see you there!

Until Paul returns,

Mike