Archive for January, 2008

Post Swap Meet

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2008 by hocuspoc

Last week, as many of you know, was our 2nd Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together.
As promised, here is the full report along with photos:

To say it was a rousing success would be an understatement; last Friday, around noon, vendors and lecturers began showing up to set up. Friday evening, Betty and I hosted a dinner for all the lecturers at the famous Joy Luck Chinese restaurant.


All the gang in deep conversation


Dick and Gwen Barry along with Daryl and Allison


Chuck Kirchner and Robert Baxt


Losander and Tony


David Regal enjoying himself way too much


Jay Leslie, my son Cole, and Dean Dill


Jonathan, the Invisible Man, and Betty


Betty makes sure all is going well


Gerald Kirchner stops amidst all the fun


Sharing stories of past performances and magic tricks

A great time and meal was had by all, and we were all entertained during dinner by Dean Dill, Jay Leslie, and Losander, and David Regal. Dean traveled around the table with several puzzles, trying to get everyone to solve them. Even the people around us at other tables got involved in the fun. Before we know it, it was time to go and rest up for the next morning.

At 6:00 AM, I arrived and opened up the store and warehouse, while the rest of the vendors came and set up their wares. This year, we had s many vendors, we had to rent a heated tent to house the overflow.


Before the chaos began inside the tent


Wolfgang Wollet is ready for the rush


Michael Mezmer and his daughter ready for action


Norm Lambert and Dean Dill get ready for the doors to open


R. Paul Wilson and Joe Porper


The doors finally opened and chaos ensued


Daryl and Suds begin demonstrating


Daryl and Allison answering any and all questions


Tim Mannix and Losander demonstrating


Suds’ table was completely full


Shoot Ogawa performs his Ninja Rings


Jay Leslie demonstrates behind his booth


The crowds kept coming


Suds was the first lecturer


David Regal performs for Jim Setrakian and the Lamb family


Losander causes his Merlin Wands to move by forces unseen


Dick Barry is always a pleasure to watch


David Regal demonstrates his brand new Trans-Locations coin effect


Dean Dill performs Dean’s Box and slays everyone!


My cousin Karen and sister Jan at the registration desk


Tim Mannix monkeying around


The crowds grew as the morning progressed


Losander demonstrating his new Excalibur Table to a mesmerized crowd


My personal favorites: Mark and Nani Wilson signing autographs and taking pictures


Dick Barry performs and answers questions from Billy Gwartney


A view from above


Jay Leslie lectures in his inimitable style


Dean Dill demonstrating the star of his table: Dean’s Triangle


Ron Saylor and I discussing his upcoming Bakersfield show!


David Regal hard at play


And the numbers grew in the afternoon


Posing with Mark, Nani, and their Lester Lake Chopper


Daryl’s lecture was a phenomenal success


Nani poses with my sister in-law, Susan!


Taking a time out for lunch in the warm winter sun


My son Max generates some revenue to help buy new tires at the $1.00 video booth


And he earned every single cent


Caught up in the midst of all the fun on the phone


Losander’s Floating Table was the talk of the convention


The last lecturer of the Day, Losander


Losander proves he is the master of levitation


In my office at the end of the day with Gerald and Chuck Kirchner


Tom Jorgenson was present to draw performers’ hands. Here are Ron Saylor’s Hands.


Last call before the dealer’s room closes

All in all, it was a fantastic and memorable 3 days of magic and comradery. All the events ran smoothly, and believe it or not, we’re already in the planning stages for next year’s event. I want to personally thank each and every person who attended, and a special thanks to Suds, Jay Leslie, Daryl, David Regal, Shoot Ogawa, Losander, Dean Dill, and Mark and Nani Wilson for all they have done to make this year’s event such an overwhelming success! I also must thank my wife, Betty, Mike, Tony and Lisa, Ken and Vinnie, Karen, Jan, Jonathan, and Louis for all their hard work, planning and attention that went into this event.

Below are just a few nice emails we’ve received from some of the attendees:

Just wanted to send a message letting you know what a great day I had at your Magic swap meet and lectures. “Is this heaven?” No , its Fresno. Was there all day on Saturday, but the time went very quickly. To meet the vendors and magicians that I have seen on the DVD’s I have purchased was great. All were very down to earth. Was a great day.

Again, thanks for a day I will never forget…..

Dan Rudolph
Fresno, CA


Paul,

Thanks for a great weekend of Magic. You outdid yourselves. Service and attention to details was fantastic. Friendly group of people at Hocus-Pocus. Great group of Lecture Magicians. Daryl’s workshop was terrific. I hope it was profitable for everyone. I know I spent a few dollars for some great Magic.

Thank You,

Hugh “Skip” Webb

Paul, Tony,

Thanks for a great event. Hope you do it next year too ! All good. No criticisms. You may need more space next year as popularity increases.

Easan


Paul,

My grandson and I enjoyed your Swap Meet & Get-together very much. We met lots of nice people (old friends and new).

Thanks to everyone who worked to make the Swap Meet & Get-together a big success.

Tom Tourville
Goleta, CA


Paul, Betty and the whole wonderful gang at Hocus-Pocus,

Many thanks for the fun time at the swap meet. When it comes to being host all of you are the BEST.

Take care my friend,

Dick Barry

Paul, Betty, Tony & Mike,

Congratulations on the huge success of your Swap Meet! It was run very professionally. I’m looking forward to next year.

Jim Setrakian


Dear Paul,

I wanted to thank you for bringing back a special kind of magic, when I was young and took a trip to the magic shop it was really a magical experience, the owner/operator and his wife cared about magic and the people who came to the shop more than making a buck. They knew their customers by name.

My earliest magic shop experience was with a person named Lee Searles, she and her husband owned the Magic Wand shop near Pasadena CA, although long before the internet it was a shop not unlike yours where the owner really cared about the art of magic and wanted to help the young and old people interested in the art.

Y
ou, your wife, your kind personality and your amazing store brought back that magic feeling to me, it is a warm feeling I never thought I would have again and reminds me why I have such a love for magic.

Thank you again for your kind business practices and I look forward to our continuing business relationship in the coming years.

Sincerely,

Michael Mezmer

Thanks again to everyone at Hocus Pocus. You are the very best in all
areas. I appreciate how you take care of everyone and what a professional and
friendly atmosphere you have there.

Thanks,

Dean Dill

Until next time,

Paul

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T-Minus: Hours and Counting…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2008 by hocuspoc

Hey there, kids. Mike Giusti here.

If you think Paul has the time to write the blog today, you’re nutty; the phones are ringing off the hook, guests and lecturers have already started arriving to say hello, and the final preparations are under way for the 2nd Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together! All the local media have been going crazy with both newspaper write-ups and television crews filming all of us in preparation for this weekend. One of the highlights is a feature write-up that appeared on the front page of 7, a weekly magazine that is included with the Fresno Bee. See the photo above. The full story can be found here:

http://www.fresnobee.com/entertainment/story/332174.html

How does Paul feel about all this? I think the pic below explains it all:

And before Ragnarok officially begins, here are some photos before the chaos hits:


If you build it, they will come


Pay no attention to the masses behind the curtain…


Inside the lecture curtains


Setting up the tent for additional dealers and guests


What you’ll be looking for when you drive into Fresno

Oh, and fear not; we’ll have full coverage next week of this weekend, so stay tuned if you can’t join us.

Until next time,

Mike

It’s Almost Here!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2008 by hocuspoc

The excitement is in the air. The phone calls are coming in, the newspapers are covering their stories on Hocus Pocus, and it looks like we’ll have a record attendance for this year’s Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together! If you attended last year, you know how much fun was had by everyone in attendance. Well double that because this year we have twice the number of lecturers, twice the amount of dealers, and twice the amount of fun! You still have time to sign up if you are interested in attending the lectures and/or attending Daryl’s Workshop on Sunday, but hurry; seating for the workshop is limited!

Of course, you’ll also get a chance to meet all our superb staff here at Hocus Pocus like Mike, Tony, Ken, Jan, Karen, and my wife Betty. Of course, I’ll be there in the midst of all of it, too so make sure to say hello…

We’ve gathered all the details you’ll need right here in order to attend the Swap Meet and Get-Together:

We’re only days away! Find out why almost 300 magicians attended the First Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet last year! Please join us for an unforgettable weekend of magic, lectures, guests, free gifts, and more!

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! If you haven’t already registed, don’t delay; spots are going fast!

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! FREE GIFT BAGS will be given to all who attend and a special prize drawing for Hocus Pocus Gift Certificates will be held!

Check out the Saturday lineup:

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Swap Meet

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM – Special Guest Lecturer Suds (left)

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

Mark & Nani Wilson will be our special guests selling memorabilia and signing autographs. This is a rare treat you don’t want to miss! Special Guest Dealer Dean Dill!

*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.

*A special hands on workshop with Daryl is being offered on Sunday from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM at an additional charge of $30.00 per person (seating is limited, so make sure you register early to reserve your spot). Daryl’s “Fooler Droolers” lecture is GREAT, but his “Hands On” workshop is even better! It’s much more personalized and the “Hands On” method of learning is the best there is. The workshop contains COMPLETELY DIFFERENT material from that which is taught in the lecture. In the workshop, Daryl teaches every detail of his beautiful Fingertips Coins Across routine 3FlyIII, an EXCELLENT and totally impromptu “no switch” version of Out of this World, several variations of one of the most beautiful sleights in card magic, and ANYTHING ELSE any of the attendees would care to learn! Remember, seating for this workshop is limited so register soon.

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.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to spend these 2 days with some of magic’s greatest performers, and who knows; you may pick up a bargain or two at the Swap Meet!

Now I’m signing off because tomorrow is my 17th Wedding Anniversary and tonight, Betty and I have a date! We’re going to dinner at a new restaurant, and then we’ll be seeing ventriloquist Jeff Dunham.

We hope to see you here next Saturday and Sunday!

Until next time,

Paul

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2008 by hocuspoc

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxed and rested New Year’s. I enjoyed my small five-day vacation and did nothing but run some errands, caught a movie, and a few Twilight Zone episodes. The five days went by so fast, but I’m glad I took the time. By the looks of things here at Hocus Pocus, you would think the holidays were still in session. The week between Christmas and New Year’s hit an all-time high in sales. The shipping department has been working overtime (actually being the last to leave every day), and we’ve had the UPS and postman scratching their heads with all the outgoing packages still going out after the holidays! Thanks to all of you for helping us achieve a record year!

As we start the new year, we all have our resolutions to try to maintain. One of ours, of course, is to strive to better serve all of you. On a personal note, one of my resolutions will be to try to take a little more time with my wife and family for those special moments like getting away for little vacations, taking in more movies, and time off in general. In other words, celebrate those little things that make life so important. We all get caught up in the daily grind that sometimes, we lose sight of our own “contentness.” Not a real word, I know, but it sums it up pretty well… I realize that I am pretty lucky to have all that I have, and I must say that I am content. The older I get, the more I realize that life is less about things and more about sharing memories, experiences, making friends, sharing time with family, good health, and taking steps to insure your own and others’ contentment. I am blessed with a beautiful and understanding wife, four great children, and a comfortable lifestyle. Never in my widest imagination would I have ever dreamed that I would be doing what I am now or where I am at personally today. It’s been a pretty incredible ride so far, and I can’t wait to see what 2008 will bring…

Here’s to all of you and a brand new year!

Until next time,

Paul