Archive for June, 2013

Flying Boxes & Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2013 by hocuspoc

flyingbox

I am on cloud nine. I’m excited about a new stage illusion we landed as an EXCLUSIVE that’s been elusive to me for over a year. Only a select few people had it, and I wanted it for our customers.

I’d seen the Flying Box Illusion on the YouTube and been aware of it for quite some time. But I could not get my hands on it to save my life — until now!

A true marvel, the Flying Box Illusion is not only an astonishing and surprising way of introducing your assistant, but an authentic and intriguing miracle that baffles anyone who encounters it!

This very ORIGINAL stage illusion is a unique approach to the classic levitation that I’m certain will send your audiences into ORBIT!  It’s definitely not your “run-of-the-mill” illusion. Featured for some time now on European television, the Flying Box Illusion is, in my opinion, the ideal compact illusion!

“But, why?”, you may ask.

BECAUSE — it’s loaded with all the VERY best features any illusionist could EVER desire; it’s completely PORTABLE, uses an EVERYDAY object (use ANY cardboard box), ideal for MULTIPLE stage settings, and is truly IMPACTFUL to onlookers as it seems entirely implausible.

We are hopeful that we will be able to bring the Flying Box Illusion to Magic LIVE! However, due to the limited number that are being made available to us, we’ll will just have to wait and see. We may very well sell out even BEFORE arriving at Magic LIVE!

Heat-Wave-Temperatures-on-ThermometerThe Heat Is On!

We are literally baking here in Fresno. And I see by the news, that we are not alone. This record-setting heat seems to come earlier each year. This weekend we are predicted to reach 108 on BOTH Saturday and Sunday. That’s way too hot. I’ll have to get out into the yard and water early before the sizzling heat starts roasting everything in sight.

This weekend is going to be hot!

This weekend is going to be hot!

Ordinarily, the heat doesn’t bother me, but triple-digit heat of this magnitude becomes a health hazard if you’re out in it too long. If you live out West, keep hydrated and indoors. This heat wave will pass, but not soon enough.

Sad News to Report…

One of magic’s greatest, Amos Levkovitch passed away yesterday.

World class magician and human being.

World class magician and human being.

I got the news yesterday afternoon about Amos. It is very sad. I met Amos several times at the Magic Castle Swap Meet. He was always very happy and full of energy. I think that he was one of the nicest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

My fondest memory of him was several years ago when we did the Dealer’s Day at the Magic Castle, my son Max was about 13 or 14. Max was sitting at our table when Amos happened to walk up. I told him how Max was raising doves in our aviary. Amos immediately sat down with Max and spent over a half hour discussing how to train and care for doves. Max still remembers that meeting to this day.

Amos Levkovitch, originally from Israel, was unquestionably one of the top magicians in the world. He worked every venue imaginable: from private parties, to night clubs, cruise ships, television and the world’s greatest stages. If you were ever LUCKY enough to catch his dove act on a live stage, you know exactly why he became one of the busiest performers on the globe.

levkovitch_posterThere are many people that we meet in life, some for just a short time, and others longer. It’s the ones that are really special that you remember forever…Amos Levkovitch was one of those people.

It reminds me that we are here but a few short decades, so we have to appreciate the ones we love and appreciate while we still have them.

Please enjoy your weekend and the coming Independence Day holiday!

Until next time,

Paul

First Day of Summer!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2013 by hocuspoc

Today is June 21, 2013, the longest day of the year. It is officially called the Summer Solstice.

We’ve got lots planned for Summer 2013 including magic classes, Magic LIVE and several collections slated to hit our doors and appear in our Antique & Collectible Magic section of the website. Just stayed tuned to see what treasures appear.

first_summer_day

It Finally Happened!

I WON, I WON!

I’ve been entering a local contest for over 2 years and it finally happened. One of our local radio stations, KJWL features a give-a-way each week, and I have religiously entered our name into the contest weekly, never winning.

Kirsten Krejcik of KJWL awarding me my prize!

Kirsten Krejcik of KJWL awarding me my prize!

But, not THIS week. Nope. This week I was the happy winner and Kirsten Krejcik, one of the on-air talents, personally delivered a box of bakery goods from Great Harvest Bread Company. It just fun to win, no matter how BIG or small the prize.

Countdown to Magic LIVE!

Magic LIVE is fast approaching and we are getting very excited. We will once again have the largest both in the dealer’s room offering state-of-the-art magic as well as collectible magic apparatus. It’s always a total blast to rub elbows with the “Who’s Who of Magic” and see old friends and longtime customers. Attendees travel from all points on the globe to attend the “Gold Standard” of magic conventions. Once you’ve attend, all other magic conventions. We hope you will consider attending if you never have as this event happens every other year and is completely different in theme and activities with each new convention.

In Other News…

Summer Magic Classes begin soon here at Hocus Pocus with Tim Mannix as the teacher-in-residence. This is our third summer offering the classes with Tim as our instructor and they’ve been a big hit with the locals. Doctors, salespeople, lawyers and lots of other professionals use magic as a ice-breaker and we’ve had many adults participate fulfilling a lifelong dream of learning magic. So, it’s not just kids that attend.

Tim's set-up prior to the Auberry Library show.

Tim’s set-up prior to the Auberry Library show.

Also, Tim is once again appearing all over Fresno County as part the Summer Reading Program offered by the Fresno County Public Library. This year’s theme is “Reading is Delicious” and 33 libraries will see Tim’s show, which is fun, funny and definitely offers the message to kids of the value of good reading skills.

Richard Sanders Does It Again!

Ace by Richard SandersWe are pleased to offer two new Richard Sanders tricks, ACE and Turbo Stick.

Both are excellent effects from the mind of one of magic’s best thinkers, Richard Sanders.

ACE combines easy sleight of hand with a devious gimmick. Ace is not a simple packet trick, it’s a diabolical card change system that happens in the spectator’s own hands.

Turbo Stick by Richard Sanders

TURBO STICK allows you to draw anything on the paddle, transform it and then wipe it all clean in one swipe of the fingers. Turbo Stick allows you to perform almost any paddle trick…in one paddle!

Such clever usage of both the paddle move and New Age technology.

Both Richard’s new effects come with a DVD and FREE Shipping Worldwide!

Say Goodbye to the Cool Spring Mornings!

We’re fast approaching the triple-digit heat of summer, so we’ve been enjoying the cool mornings until they are but a distant memory.

Please enjoy your weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

Ode to Dads Everywhere!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2013 by hocuspoc

We get visitors in the shop weekly, but not like the one today. This little fellow, Bubba, meandered into our shop and must have known that it was a safe place for dogs as we are all dog lover’s. Luckily, he had a tag with his owner’s contact information, so they were able to pick him up soon after his arrival. That’s the value of having your dog properly tagged. Hello and goodbye Bubba, but it was sure nice meeting you.

Tim holding our visitor, Bubba.

Tim holding our visitor, Bubba.

In other news, we’ve just launched the Hocus Pocus Video Testimonial Contest and we’ve received several fun and creative videos already. We’re offering $50, $100 and $200 prizes for the best submissions. Click the image below for information.

Video_Testimonial_Contest

As it’s Father’s Day weekend, I thought it appropriate to re-post my blog from several years ago about my dad, Marvin Gross. Every year I publish this about my father because it comes from the heart and truly epitomizes who my father really was. As I read it aloud to myself, it is just as powerful now as when I originally wrote it. Here it is:

Can you hear his words of wisdom? I’m talking about your dad, of course. How many times have you gone to your dad for help, advice, or just to talk? Where would we be without our dads? I noticed that it’s time to recognize all the dads around the world because, as you are probably already aware, this Sunday is Father’s Day! Let me tell you a little bit about my dad:

Marvin Gross, my dad.

My dad, Marvin Gross

My dad, Marvin Gross

My dad was instrumental in the creation of this business, believe it or not! When I was a mere 18 years old and decided I wanted to be in the magic business, my father was right there supporting me all the way. He taught me to work hard and do what it takes to be successful and not be afraid to go the extra mile. Although he may have had his doubts about my success in the business at first, he never once voiced them. Not once! Instead, he supported me, helped me get a bank loan, and he even came and helped me paint the walls and hang shelving at my first store! I learned from my dad how to be a good businessman, but more importantly, how to take care of my children and how to be a good husband. He was always the best audience whenever I got the newest magic tricks and wanted to perform them. If I could fool him, I knew it was perfect. If not, back to the drawing board.

Happy-Fathers-Day-Greeting-CardMy dad had a great sense of humor and was always the center of attention at any party or get-together he attended. He attracted people like a magnet. He stood a full 6′ 6″ tall, a bit intimidating when you first saw and met him, had a boisterous voice, however, he had a heart of gold. He would give you the shirt off his back and the last dollar in his pocket without hesitation if you needed it. He was honest, hard-working, and never selfish. He had literally hundreds of friends who I didn’t even know, and he was never a stranger anywhere he went. He was always there for my sister and me no matter what we were going through! Always supportive and overly patient, a trait of his I wish I had inherited, he was a great provider, and we always had everything we needed and then some.

He worked long hours, sometimes up to 14 hours per day, sometimes weeks on end without any days off to make sure his family were well taken care of, and he never complained. No matter how busy he was, he always had time for his family.

fosters_freezeWhen we were kids, our Father’s Day tradition was to let Dad sleep in on Sunday morning followed by the breakfast of his choice! Then we would go visit my grandparents, and the highlight was going to Foster’s to get a Root Beer Freeze! Sounds simple but it was a great time for us all!

It has been 24 years since my dad passed away, and I still think about him every day. Referring to his words of wisdom whenever it comes to making a life or business decision, I always find myself reflecting and repeating the words of advice and love he always gave me.

So, this weekend, my entire family will be here on Father’s Day. We’ll have a barbecue and enjoy each others’ company in the outdoors. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Father’s Day weekend. So, if you’re a dad, happy Father’s Day, and if you can, wish your dad the same.

Please enjoy your weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

It’s Your Time to Shine!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2013 by hocuspoc

We’ve come up with something the we believe will be clever and fun involving our customers. A contest tapping into their talents. How’s this for an attention-grabber?

Win $200 With Your Best Hocus Pocus Video Testimonial!

Or put another way….

Want to Know How to Make an Easy $200 for Generating a Great Video Testimonial?

It’s simple. Your_Time_to_Shine2You’re a performer, you’ve been on video many times, and as a magician, you’re a public speaker. We’re seeking to tap into the vast talent reserve that is our customer base. And that includes you Mister Magician!

Announcing the….

Video_Testimonial_Contest2

Specifically, we’re seeking enthusiastic testimonials from customers who are ready, willing and able to generate an exemplary video extolling the virtues of shopping at Hocus Pocus.  In direct response to the best videos submitted, and then finally selected as the winners, we will award 3 significant prizes.

As your create your video testimonial, just remember to bear in mind that you’ll be answering a simple question:

“What would you tell someone who is considering purchasing their magic from Hocus Pocus?”

or, said another way…

“When recommending Hocus Pocus to another magician, what would you tell them?”

Frankly, you can get as sophisticated fancy as you like or keep it quite simple, the choice is yours.

Stage_CurtainsRemember, you don’t have be a little Spielberg to create a really great video. If fact, its quality, not quantity that we’re looking for. Here are some suggestions to bear in mind for bettering your chances at producing a quality video:

● Be energetic and enthusiastic; remember you’re recommending Hocus Pocus to friends as a trusted source for all things magic — enthusiasm is contagious!

● Dress in your magician’s garb, business attire or something that says “MAGICIAN” or performer

● Consider using a backdrop, be on location, or utilize a neutral setting that won’t interfere with your message

● Create a brief outline, bullet-point list or script and then rehearse it prior to recording

● Remember to have FUN on camera as it will “read”  to viewers of your video

We’ll be featuring the most excellent video testimonials on our website, so you’ll want to deliver your best performance to win that $200 top prize!

testimonial-logo

ABOUT THE PRIZES: A total of THREE Hocus Pocus gift certificates will be awarded to the top THREE winners; 1st Prize $200, 2nd Prize $100 and 3rd prize wins $50!

Once recorded and edited, just forward us the attached video to cs2@hocus-pocus.com.

The Hocus Pocus Video Testimonial Contest closes July 31st with the winners being announced Aug 10th.

Triple-digit heat hits Fresno

Triple-digit heat hits Fresno

Ugh. It’s here. The triple-digit heat of summer I mean.

Usually it’s a bit later that it arrives, but summer has arrived early this year. Guess I’ll have to work smart by getting out early to garden to miss the midday heat.

Hope you’re staying cooler than we are…please enjoy your weekend.

Until next time,

Paul