Archive for September, 2008

What Did You Think?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2008 by hocuspoc

Last night was the David Blaine Dive of Death TV special. What I found interesting was that there was very little advertising and publicity (at least in our area) for the show. It wasn’t until last week that I even became aware that it was on! You would think that a 2-hour special on a major network would have garnered a little more attention. But with that said, here are my thoughts:

Each David Blaine special I’ve watched I go back and compare it to the very first one. The first episode was full of close-up magic, although standard effects, it truly did bring a renewed interest to a new generation of budding magicians. Whether his style appealed to you or not, you have to admit that it was a boon to magic in general. Maybe I’m an old fuddy-duddy, but my personal preferences were specials like the World’s Greatest Magic specials that aired for 5 years on Thanksgiving Eve and even David Copperfield and the Doug Henning specials. There was something for everyone in those specials, and there was a great cross section of magic being exhibited. But remember, this is just my opinion. I think that last night’s Blaine special was the closest offering to his first endeavor: more street magic, more reactions, more focus on spectators than performer, and out of it came several great effects like Lit and Compression, both of which are now available on our web site.

Unfortunately, however, there is still some question about stooges and confederates and staged performances. Is this really magic? Is it really necessary? When you think of all the money spent and technology available in this day and age, I feel that it is unnecessary. Think of all the pioneers of magic on television, Mark and Nani Wilson, for example: did they have a need for stooges and camera trickery and set up shots? Absolutely not; what you saw was what you got, all in real time, and the best part: they could actually perform these effects again and again if necessary. In other words, none of the effects they performed were a “miracle” that could only be performed on television and not in a live setting. Take, for example, a certain performer with a weekly A&E; television special (no need to mention names): in my estimation, he has not pushed forward the advancement of our art, rather he has set it back. Quite a bit, in fact. When non-magicians walk up to me and ask me if I watch that particular show on A&E;, I reply “Not any longer.” I also think the public is smart enough to discern what is “real magic” and what is camera trickery/stooged/set-up. Performing in this manner is taking the easy way out; ANYONE could do it.

But back to Blaine. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate last night’s show a strong 7. I would like to see him get back to basics as he did in his first show (and I know the public agrees with me). It’s unfortunate that his final stunt did not come off as planned for live TV, but that’s the risk you take. All in all, I believe the real focus of the show should be everything but the finale.

So, now that you know how I feel, let me know how YOU feel. You can email your comments and responses to sales@hocus-pocus.com — I am truly interested in your thoughts.

On another topic, I am proud to announce that Autumn is officially upon us, and I can’t wait for those Summer temperatures to magically disappear! Start thinking about your upcoming holiday shows because now is the time to start planning and preparing. Before you know it, the songs of the Winter holidays will arrive, and the New Year will be upon us!

So there you have it. Lots to think about and lots to discuss. Have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

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A Full Schedule

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2008 by hocuspoc

Wow. We’ve had a pretty full schedule and a busy week here at Hocus Pocus. In fact, so much so, we’ve now had our local UPS delivery person schedule 2 pickups per day instead of the usual 1. And we have you to thank for keeping us so busy, so thank you very much. We had scheduled to take pictures of the packing and shipping department working hard to get your packages out as soon as possible, but we were just too busy to do so…

Last week, I spoke about the fact that we here at Hocus Pocus were very excited to reach the century mark in exclusives. I am very proud to say that the number continues to increase as we add more exclusives, most notably, the latest creation by Anthony Miller: The Modifier! Anthony Miller’s modifier actually allows you to transform your every day wallet into a signed card to wallet! You can read more about it HERE.

Another product that I’m excited about is “Stand-Up: A Professional Guide to Comedy Magic by Ian Keable,” perhaps the first book ever written on the theory and performance of Stand-Up Comedy Magic! No one is more excited about this book, however, than our very own Mike Giusti. You can rest assured that this book will be reviewed on his Trick Talk MagiCast in the near future. Check out Stand-Up: A Professional Guide to Comedy Magic HERE.

And do yourself a favor and stay tuned to the web site in general and keep tabs on the EXCLUSIVES category as more and more products will be added.


Diamond Jim Tyler

This Monday, Hocus Pocus will be hosting a lecture by Diamond Jim Tyler. If you’ve never seen this man work, do yourself a favor and reserve your seat today; it promises to be one of the best ever! His lecture has been seen in half of the states in the US plus five other countries. His magic has been featured in every mainstream magic magazine of the day. He has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood on numerous occasions. He has worked his magic in restaurants, for private clients, and for Corporate America for over 20 years. He is the author of the best-selling magic book Pockets Full of Miracles and the new book called Bamboozlers. He just returned from a fifteen city lecture tour of the UK and stopped at the Magic Circle in London where he was well received. Recently he was a consultant for the new thriller called Mirrors starring Kiefer Sutherland and was hired to help produce a featurette for the movie. In his lecture he promises to teach one of those “mirror routines”, plus other reputation makers and effects that have won him awards from his peers at the Texas Association of Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Be there to discover why his magic shines!

When: Monday, September 22 2008 at 7:00 PM
Where: Hocus Pocus Magic Shop
1492 N. Clark, STE. #104, Fresno, CA. 93703
Admission is $15.00 in advance / $20.00 at the door.
To reserve your seats, call 559-266-5150

You can find out more about Jim and the lecture by clicking HERE.

Also, if you haven’t already heard, be sure to check out or set your DVRs for David Blaine’s Dive of Death television special this Wednesday, September 24th from 9:00 PM-11:00 PM. Then, after the special, check back here at Hocus Pocus for a very, very special surprise. ‘Nuff said.

As for me, it’s been a while since I took a Friday off, so I will do so tomorrow and spend time with my wife, Betty and my son, Max and work outdoors some more on my backyard landscape. However you choose to enjoy and celebrate the weekend, I hope you have a great a safe one.

Until next time,

Paul

Exclusivity

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2008 by hocuspoc

It was just brought to my attention by Mike Giusti that Hocus Pocus has just reached the century mark in the number of exclusives. 101 exclusive items, to be precise. Wow. I cannot express enough what an honor it is when a creator/manufacturer/vendor approaches us with the opportunity to be the exclusive dealer for their product. These are products that we stand behind and believe in 100%. That is why we offer a new policy on our exclusives: a 100% money-back guarantee on any Hocus Pocus Exclusive product. That’s a deal you just can’t beat.

And, although we are offered many exclusives, we are very selective in those we choose. The supplier/creator must be able to deliver a quality product in a timely manner at a fair price.

Two of our favorite exclusive vendors are Paul Romhany and Tim Wisseman. First, I’ll start off by telling you about Paul: Here is a guy who’s brain never rests. Not only is he a full-time working professional with more work under his belt than most, he still has time to create and manufacture so many unique and time/audience-tested routines. What I really like about Paul is that everything of his we carry has come from his live stand-up act. No flavor of the month, no “I have to put out a trick because I need the money,” just honed and perfected real-world workers stuff. This is stuff that doesn’t lay around in some drawer unused. Our relationship with Paul is now over 3 years old, and I look forward with promise to the future and what it will bring.

Next is Tim Wisseman. I couldn’t ask for a better supplier than Tim. He’s absolutely incredible and spot-on. Many of you know of his effects we have sold like the Remote Vision Color Cube, Butcher’s Blade, Remote Vision Die, and he also manufactures Mike Giusti’s Ringamajig and currently is building our newest item The Drills of Death. No challenge is to great for Tim. Example: For several years I’ve had an idea for a Spirit Bell. My own design and unlike any other on the market. I’ve since spoken to many manufacturers about what I wanted, and every one of them turned me down, explaining that it was impossible. Enter Tim Wisseman. 2 months ago, sitting in my office, I discussed the Spirit Bell with him, and his immediate reply was, “Yeah, I can do that!” And so, now we can offer you our latest Tim Wisseman product, Dead Ringer. Not only is it what I had envisioned, it’s even better than I could have hoped for! And judging by the amount of orders for Dead Ringer over the past few days, you all agree. Like Paul Romhany, the future looks very promising and bright for Tim Wisseman here at Hocus Pocus.

My point for bringing this up today is that we strive to look for different and unique effects instead of the normal sitting-on-the-shelves stock items that every magic shop carries. We work hard every day looking out for those unique products, and if we can’t find them, we try to create them. If you are a creator or a manufacturer and have an effect you would like to bring to the magic community, we would very much like to hear from you. We have the ability, if necessary, to manufacture, distribute, and advertise to our email database of thousands of online members instantly. Our proven track record of success and satisfied clients speaks for itself and creates a win/win situation for all.

Please feel free to contact me directly via phone at 800-407-4040 or 559-266-5150 or via email at sales@hocus-pocus.com to discuss your project. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing the possibility of an exclusive partnership with Hocus Pocus. It is our continued goal to bring the best possible magic products to the marketplace.

So why not do yourself a favor and check out the Exclusives category on the web site? In fact, it is due to be updated again today, making the grand total 102! And with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee, how on Earth can you go wrong?

Until next time,

Paul

The Party May Be Over, But…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2008 by hocuspoc

The party may be over but the fun hasn’t stopped. My birthday was Monday, September 1, and there’s never been a better one! Starting with my time off last Friday, I got to work in my yard, go to the movies, spend some time with my family, and receive some pretty nice gifts — it was like an early Christmas. I must thank so many of you who sent emails, phone calls, and even some birthday cards for your thoughtfulness. It was very much appreciated.


Drills of Death

So, this week we’re very excited to announce a brand new Hocus Pocus Exclusive, the Drills of Death. Occasionally, a great effect is brought to our attention. Drills of Death is definitely one of those effects; it has everything that makes for great magical theater: Audience participation, drama, built-in comedy potential, and most importantly, the element of danger. So impressed were we by this effect, we purchased the rights to manufacture and distribute it. If you want edgy, in-your-face, hardcore mentalism, this is definitely worth checking out. The method is so clever and 150% safe, that all your efforts can be put into the most important part: the entertainment. For more information, Check it out HERE!

Allakazam Update


Coming soon.

Lots of response to my teaser last week about the upcoming Mark & Nani Wilson project. Now in its final stages, Mark will be filming the instructional DVD this weekend, and then it goes off to the editors and duplicators. The official launch of this project will follow. It won’t be long now, I promise. More importantly, congratulations to Mark and Nani for celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary!

Magician/Rock Star?


The multi-talented Mike Giusti

Earlier this week, our very own Mike Giusti was asked to audition for Midnight Run, a Journey tribute band, and only after a few songs, they asked him to join. Soon, they will be touring all over the United States, Canada, and even overseas. Give them a listen HERE and tell me they don’t sound just like Journey! Between magic gigs, working here at Hocus Pocus, and at least one music practice and gig per week with his other band, I don’t understand how Mike will be able to fit this new endeavor into his schedule. Regardless, congratulations, Mike and enjoy the little amount of sleep you must now be getting.

Until next time,

Paul