Archive for August, 2012

The Boss’ Birthday

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2012 by hocuspoc

This weekend is Paul’s birthday so we let him have a few days off; it seemed only fitting since he is the boss.


As you know, one of Paul’s favorite subjects to talk about in the blog is his grandson, Zachary. Max took this great picture of Zachary, who will be a pirate for Halloween, in Paul’s backyard. Just like Grandpa, Zachary likes to water the garden when he arrives. He has an entire standard routine for his backyard adventures (and we know all pirates have adventures) which include not only watering, but visiting the birds inside the birdcage, petting and kissing the stone deer, feeding the koi in the pond and pretty much following grandpa around. Grandpa loves every minute of it!

Zachary The Pirate in Paul’s backyard

Paul has other topics that he regularly likes to talk about in the Blog, but this week we’re keeping it simple.


Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Paul’s People


Less Than 30 Days to Go…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2012 by hocuspoc

Hocus Pocus Newsletter

This week we emailed the fourth edition of the Hocus Pocus Newsletter. I wanted to write a Newsletter for the longest time and finally issued the first one in May. I know it was long overdue, but we’re there now.

The newsletter is meant to be forum by which we can share our love, knowledge and insight of magic with you. We hope to let you in on some of the great magic effects and illusions, old and new, that are currently available; featured performers and makers; what is going on in the world of magic; and maybe a few history lessons and stories. The newsletter comes out mid-month and is sent to our entire mailing list. If you’re a member and you’re not receiving the Hocus Pocus Newsletter, please contact us and we’ll get you on the Newsletter mailing list.  I would love to hear from you, the Hocus Pocus member and magician, on what you would like to see in the newsletter. Give me a call!

UPDATE August 27 – The BIG Event has been POSTPONED

Due to scheduling conflicts the BIG Event must be postponed. We will reschedule the BIG Event at a later day. Thank you for your interest!

The BIG Event is getting closer and we need everyone to make their reservations!

The BIG Event Lecture Package featuring Daryl, Suds, Dick Barry and Angelo Stagnaro. Four lectures, one low price $30! Saturday, Sept 22 at Hocus Pocus

The Swap Meet is FREE, but we still need reservations so we know how many people to expect and it doesn’t become overcrowded. RESERVE your FREE Swap Meet ticket here…

If you’re attending the Lecture Package on Saturday or the Daryl Workshop on Sunday, your Swap Meet reservation is automatic.The Lecture package features Daryl, Suds, Dick Barry and Angelo Stagnaro. All lecturing on one day, Saturday, September 22 at Hocus Pocus. A day not to be missed! Click here to reserve the Lecture Package ($30 for 4 Lectures).

The Daryl Workshop will take place on Sunday, September 23.

World Champion magician, Daryl, is known by his peers around the globe as “The Magician’s Magician” because he represents the best of the best in the highly specialized world of close-up magic.

This Two-hour Hands On Teaching Workshop will be completely different from that which will be taught in the lecture. Daryl will personally GUARANTEE each and every student’s COMPLETE satisfaction. Click here to read more about what will be included in this workshop and  make your reservation for the Daryl Workshop here ($20).

To Sell or Not To Sell

That was the question.  I kept changing my mind — should I keep it or not. Finally, I decided to sell the Vintage German Talking Skull. This Skull at one time belonged to Buma at the House of Magic and was then passed down to

Vintage German Talking Skull

me by his son, and I have had it in my office for well over 20 years.While it does hold a lot of sentimental value for me, because it belonged to Buma, my mentor, I decided maybe it was time for someone else to have this fine example of German craftsmanship for use in their act or in their collection.

Take a look at this gem…it is hand-made; it has lasted this long and is in great condition because of the materials it is made of…seriously, it looks like it has been stored away for preservation, rather than being on display in my office.

I’m already feeling seller’s remorse so I don’t know if I will be able to keep this on the website and actually sell it. We’ll see.

Back To The Grind

Max – first day of junior year in college Fall 2012

Max is back at school this week.

Betty and I don’t know where the years have gone and how we could possible be this old, but our baby is a third year college student!

Max has started his junior year of college and is now at California State University Fresno. He will still be working with us at Hocus Pocus and with his major in Business Entrepreneurship I’m sure it is only a matter of time before he starts offering advice on how to run the business!

Have a good weekend.

Until next time,


America’s Got Puck!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2012 by hocuspoc

How great was it this week to see magicians on America’s Got Talent? Almost too great for words. We were treated to some great talent shown by Rudy Coby, Eric Buss and Puck.

Puck was voted through based on his outstanding performance of the Dancing Hank which we’re sharing with you here. I can’t wait to see Puck’s future performances because we know what a great talent he is!

Be sure to tune in to America’s Got Talent and vote for Puck, we need to support our fellow magicians!

Private Estate

This week we have received a glut of Private Estate items. We’ve added so many new items everyday, and then, just yesterday we received cases and cases of books. We’re trying to get them all up before the weekend, but it will probably overflow into next week. Keep checking the website to see if we’ve received that great effect, illusion or book that you’ve been waiting for and if you don’t see what you want, give me a call (800-847-4040) or email ( Sometimes we just haven’t put it on the website yet, but I am more than happy to let you know if we have it on hand.

Deal of the Day

I have been searching and scouring through our resources’ inventories looking for Deals of the Day. You wouldn’t think this would be so hard or take so much effort, but a Daily Deal needs to be a very special item at a very special price. I wish I could find items to have extraordinary Deals everyday, but really, not everything I come across is Daily Deal-worthy. I always want to be personally excited by these items and this week I was excited by three great items that I was able to offer at low, low prices.

My favorite item this week is probably the Psychokinetic Marker; the reason it’s my favorite is its versatility and multi-function capabilities. You can make it move and spin on the table; it can be a cueing device easily from offstage; a coin placed atop it will slowly move then fall off — it has it all and it is at a great price.

We also have the Mentalist Self Bending Key which fits perfectly with the Marker because of its psychokinetic functions.

Lastly, we have XBOX by Kevin Schaller at a super great price. XBOX was the hit of Blackpool 2012 and deservedly so…this is not your grandfather’s simple card to box routine. Take a look at the video…

The BIG Event

We’re continuing to work on The BIG Event, which by now everyone should know takes place on Saturday, September 22. There is a FREE Swap  Meet all day, plus there will be four lectures featuring Daryl, Suds, Dick Barry and Angelo Stagnaro (lecture cost is $30 total for ALL four lectures!)

And now, we just added a Sunday event: Daryl is going to conduct a hands-on teaching Workshop on Sunday, September 23. The 2-hour workshop starts at 12 noon; Daryl will draw from a large number of special material that he reserves for Workshop students only. Cost of the Daryl Workshop is only $20!  There is NO DUPLICATION between the lecture material and that which is taught in the “Hands On” workshop


Have a great weekend.

Until next time,


You Just Never Know Who’s Going To Show Up…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2012 by hocuspoc

Magician in the House!

This week we were treated to a visit by Charlotte Pendragon. We just received Charlotte’s Wonderball last week and now we had her in person at Hocus Pocus this week. It was great visiting and sharing stories and I’m always thrilled to have a professional magician visit us. When Charlotte spotted the original Ralph Adams Sword Basket in the showroom (see in the picture below) she shared that of the five ever made by Ralph Sr., one was for her act in 1977 and it was Ralph that taught her how to perform the basket. Now it was definitely time for a photo op!  And speaking of the Wonderball…Inspired by the dancing cane, the simple and unique mechanics employed when performing the Wonderball allows the magician a variety of mind twisting moves and the possibilities are endless for further creativity. Checkout the video below and then read more here… 


Paul Gross, Charlotte Pendragon and Randy Lessley with Charlotte’s Wonderball and the Ralph Adams Sword Basket (on the right) at Hocus Pocus

New York, New York

Hey, all you New Yorkers! Max is getting ready to go on his first trip to the Big Apple at the end of next week. He’s looking for suggestions…sites, sounds, food, whatever…any suggestions? Email

Lazy Days of Summer

Betty and I took the family on a much needed break from the heat and work when we spent last weekend at Pismo Beach.  I have many times extolled the virtues of living in Fresno because of its close proximity to the best that California has to offer and last weekend just reinforced that belief. It was so hot in Fresno, and in 2 1/2 hours we were at the beach and needed to wear sweaters and jackets. The cool down felt so good…although our timing might have been a little off because it is going to be even hotter in Fresno this weekend, the temperature is expected to spike to 110 degrees!

The Kids: Max and Lindsay; Renee, Jonathan and Zachary; Cole and Amanda

The entire family enjoying lunch in Pismo Beach

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,



Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2012 by hocuspoc

Yep, you read that correctly. The Hocus Pocus BIG EVENT is back!

It’s been two years since the last Big Event. We stopped holding it because of time and space constraints, BUT  we have had so many requests for and inquiries about the Big Event in the last few months that I changed my mind and we’ve scheduled it. Never say never!

The Big Event will be held on Saturday, September 22. There will be the Swap Meet part of the event where various vendors will be selling magic effects, props, etc at rock bottom prices. The Swap Meet admission is FREE, it starts at 9 a.m. and closes at 3:30 p.m. The Lectures part of the Big Event will start at 10 a.m., run throughout the day and close with our FEATURED lecturer, World Famous Magician, Daryl at 3:30 p.m. There will be $30 charge for the entire four lecture package. The entire event takes place at Hocus Pocus in Fresno, CA. We are centrally located which makes for an easy day trip from Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Central Coast and other regions of California.


There will be lectures throughout the day (starting at 10 a.m.), the lecturers are Suds, Dick Barry , Angelo Stagnaro and of course, Daryl. The entire lecture package, all four lectures, is just $30. You can’t beat that! Seating is extremely limited so you don’t want to delay buying the lecture package.

World Champion Magician, Daryl, is internationally acknowledged as “The Magician’s Magician”. He is much sought after, world-wide, as a professional performing magician, lecturer, and keynote speaker. He has invented magic for many famous TV magicians and brings you some of the finest, most practical magic in the world. Betty and I have seen Daryl perform on many occasions and we love his performances – one of the best entertainers out there and there is much to be learned from him.


Daryl’s 4FXII (Four F Twelve) Lecture

From Daryl:

Even more so than usual, this special lecture contains a wide variety of procatical and PERFORMABLE magic. Close-Up Magic, Stage Magic, Impromptu, Angle-Proof, Quickly Re-Set, Finish Clean, Easy to Learn, etc., etc. This has always been my favorite type of magic and this lecture is full of it!

Hers’ a list of what this brand new lecture includes:

  • Comedy Surprise Torn & Restored Paper routine
  • Color Changing Backs routine
  • Rope Through Neck
  • Ropes through Body
  • Cards to the Fourth Dimension and BACK!
  • A totally impromptu Chink-a-Chink effect
  • Dai Vernon Dice Routine
  • Tri-Ropes
  • Impromptu Rise
  • Totally Impromptu Cup & Ball Routine
  •        Theory & Principal
  •         Effectless method
  •         A Backwards Classic
  • My First Magic Trick
  • Passage of Thought!
  • Daryl’s Favorite Trick

Great fun, great tricks, and great answers to your questions, at no extra charge!

Ted “Suds” Sudbrack is a very inventive guy — a virtual walking encyclopedia of knowledge and experience garnered through many decades of experience in the art of magic.

Known by many as a magic dealer, Suds has created many effects that are distributed throughout the magic fraternity to great response and appeal. Suds travels across North America to conventions bringing his magic effects and unique props to countless family entertainers.

Suds is a Past President and lifetime member of the Orange County Magic Club, a past president of the PCAM and a lifetime member of Ring 21.

Dick Barry – After 20 years of entertaining on cruise ships, Dick Barry is now giving Lecture Tours around the country. You can learn great stage and close-up magic that packs small, plays big, and is easy to perform.

Dick has mastered the art of entertaining large audiences and close-up shows as well. Discover the secrets of the Magic Castle act that won him 7 nominations for Best Parlour Magician at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. Many of the original effects from his book Magic with Class are demonstrated and fully explained. There will be something for everyone! Dick has been a performing magician at the MAGIC CASTLE for 25 years!

Dick Barry

Angelo Stagnaro (whose stage name is “Erasmus”) performs as a magician and mentalist and divides his time between Europe and North America.

Stagnaro’s books on mentalism and cold reading have been translated into four languages and are considered seminal in the art. The first book of Angelo Stagnaro’s Psi-Books Series is aptly named Conspiracy. It is a textbook on practical mentalism and concentrates on partnered codes and other secret arrangements between a mentalist and his confederate.  Another of his books, Something from Nothing, explores the topic of cold reading on a very practical level. The title was chosen to express the idea that the mentalist should be able to come on stage unaided and, with nothing in hand, simply read a spectator’s mind.

Angelo “Erasmus” Stagnaro


The tent for the parking lot is ordered, the tables and chairs have been reserved, the Taco Truck has been scheduled… The Swap Meet will be open to the public at 9 a.m. We have many vendors already lined up who will be selling their magic at rock bottom prices and, of course, Hocus Pocus will also be adding some magic at rock bottom prices to the Swap Meet assortment.

Here are two things that alone will make it worth your while to attend the Big Event.

First, we have a Private Collector, who prefers to remain anonymous that is bringing a collection of 60 years of magic props, books, puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist figures, DVDs, etc. It is a major coup for us to get him here. He has collected magic from all over the world for over 60 years and is bringing it to the Hocus Pocus Big Event. He told me it was going to take two days to load the truck with the items he is bringing. I went nuts when I saw his collection and I know you will go nuts, too!

Secondly, the Hocus Pocus Showroom will be open during the Swap Meet!  If you haven’t been here, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Come feast your eyes on vintage and antique magic collectibles that you have only ever dreamed of seeing. Take a look at our new Hocus Pocus Showroom tour video:

Don’t forget to put the Big Event on your calendar!

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,