Archive for November, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 for the Gross Family

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2014 by hocuspoc

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. We had a great day with the family at my mother-in-law’s place. One of the many things I’m very thankful for is my great family. It’s days like this that make me proud, happy and filled with gratitude for everything we have, and in particular, our family. Betty and I are so very blessed.

My family...I am so blessed!!! I Love you all!!

My family…I am so blessed!!! I Love you all!!

The food was great, as usual, and it went very quickly. Max brought his 3-wheeler, so the boys had a diversion, which included Zachary’s first ride with his daddy. Zachary was adamant about NOT riding that 3-wheeler, but suddenly changed his mind. I think he’s hooked after riding it with his dad.

Zachary is crazy about trains, so the REAL closer was dad taking him over to the train tracks. Next time maybe a train will come by when they’re 3-wheeling. I think he’s hooked though.

When all was washed, dried, and put away, everyone went home with plenty of leftovers. Thanksgiving 2014 was another success.

 

Let the Packing and the Shipping Begin

The much anticipated Tenyo 2015 releases came in and we shipped them out as quickly as possible. And with the dawn of Black Friday looming on the horizon, it appeared that many got into the shopping spirit EARLY as we had lots of orders to process.

Thanks to all of you who’ve started shopping early. We really appreciate your business. And we LOVE early-shoppers!

Boxes of 2015 Tenyo product ready to go out to waiting customers.

Boxes of 2015 Tenyo product ready to go out to waiting customers.

 

I've got it all laid out so I can find things easily.

I’ve got it all laid out so I can find things easily.

 

Quite the assembly line. As a business-owner, I like the look of this - lots of magic on the way to customers!

Quite the assembly line. As a business-owner, I like the look of this – lots of magic on the way to customers!

 

Betty has been a busy bee processing all these packages for shipping out.

Betty has been a busy bee processing all these packages for shipping out.

As you can see by the pictures, we kept the UPS and U.S. Mail men busy with a glut of packages for our customers.

Seymour the Psychic Serpent by Dick Barry

Dick Barry came in this week to personally deliver his Seymour the Psychic Serpent. It was good to see Dick and it gave him a miniature get-a-way, even if for a day. Dick and his wife came to see the 3 Amigos of Magic, the show we performed recently, so I was surprised he was willing to make the trip. What a guy!

Dick Barry came in to deliver a limited number of Seymours as our newest exclusive.

Dick Barry came in to deliver a limited number of Seymours as our newest exclusive.

Here’s the write-up for Seymour the Psychic Serpent, Dick’s newest creation.

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It’s no secret that Dick Barry has been keen on snake baskets for years, collecting for decades any variation on the much loved effect AND including it in his repertoire as a quasi signature piece.

Now you too can include the perennial favorite “card-finding” snake with Barry’s latest version of the savvy serpent, and have audiences in stitches. A conjuring cobra of sorts, Dick Barry’s Seymour the Psychic Serpent works without the customary basket to effortlessly charm your audience.

A “striking” and non-venomous effect, Seymour magically locates a spectator’s card using their scent — all while dancing to snake-charmer’s music.

EFFECT: Explaining that you’ve always been interested in the snake charmers of India. You introduce your trained cobra, Seymour, who performs a miraculous card trick. Continuing, you explain that the secret is his ability to use his forked tongue to smell the chosen card once it’s been touched by a spectator.

Once a card is selected from a deck of cards, the deck is returned to the box and Seymour goes into action. As mysterious snake-charming music is heard to play, Seymour dances (swaying back and forth) and remarkably removes the chosen card from the deck to the amazement of onlookers.

Seymour is truly a snake who knows how to precisely use his skills to sniff out a card, but most importantly, entertain an audience.

A special deck and Seymour's "scent-finding tongue" does all the work for you. No sleight of hand required!

A special deck and Seymour’s “scent-finding tongue” does all the work for you. No sleight of hand required!

Dick Barry in association with Hocus Pocus, has produced a very limited number of the Seymour the Psychic Serpents in this limited one-time run. Once the supply of Seymours has been exhausted, no additional units will be produced.

Here are some of Seymour’s noteworthy highlights:

  • Absolutely No Sleight of Hand Required
  • Electronic Red Flashing Eyes
  • Plays Equally Well for Either Children or Adults
  • Plays Snake-Charming Music as Seymour Dances
  • Fully Scripted Routine
  • Limited Number of Units Produced

A special deck and Seymour’s “scent-finding tongue” does all the work for you.

We think you’ll agree that Seymour is Sssssen-sssss-sational!

~~~

Another Visitor, Al Lampkin, Pops in for a Surprise Visit

Al Lampkin was passing through on his lecture tour and stopped in to see the shop. Al worked for many years in Los Angeles, and on the road as a warm-up act, and in television. A real seasoned professional.

Unfortunately, Al couldn’t stay long since he had to be in south Orange County for a lecture, but he loved our place. He said he hadn’t’ seen anything quite like it before. That’s really saying something consider Al’s been in magic almost all of his life.

Al Lampkin stopped in to see us before heading south to Orange County for another lecture.

Al Lampkin stopped in to see us before heading south to Orange County for another lecture.

 

It’s always a pleasure to talk shop with like-minded individuals who appreciate the past and can share a bit of magic history with us. Al was authentically taken with the showroom and was disappointed that he didn’t have time to stay longer.  Al Lampkin, please come back any time. We’ll be here.

A Social Experiment on Sharing

A friend of mine sent this to me and I was so moved by it that I wanted to include it in this week’s blog, especially since this time of year we give thanks and move into the “spirit of giving” for the holidays.

I do hope you find it as thought-provoking as I did.

 

Casket of Pandora

I’m seeking an Abbott’s Casket of Pandora for my magic act. We’ve been asked to perform a second rendition of our 3 Amigos Show, most likely renamed something else, in the coming months. Looking to incorporate this prop into my act.

Seeking this versatile production prop. Do you have one?

Seeking this versatile production prop. Do you have one?

Do you have a Casket of Pandora? Know someone who does? If so, let me know. For my purposes, I really don’t care what color it is.

May the remainder of your holiday weekend be great.

Paul

 

 

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Complaint Department

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 by hocuspoc

This week’s blog is going to have to be relatively short.

Next week is Thanksgiving. Wow! Can you believe it? The holidays are already upon us. This week has been a very busy week. Frankly, I’m glad the weekend is here.

After last week, it’s good to have everyone well and back in town. My sister Jan was out sick, down with the flu and Tim was out of town, so we were shorthanded.

Tim took off last week to go back to Oklahoma City, his hometown for a visit and to perform a couple of shows. He performed a magic show at his childhood elementary school and produced a rabbit he’d rented named Riley. Interestingly enough, Riley was the name of the magician that Tim first saw at that very grade school!

Tim with one of the students after the show at his childhood grade school, Rosary School in Oklahoma City.

Tim with one of the students after the show at his childhood grade school, Rosary School in Oklahoma City.

Complaint Department

We knew we had to have Complaint Department when we first saw them. Here’s the description.

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“Please take your suggestion to the Complaint Department!”

Make a permanent and strategic impression with the office complainer or resident whiner with this novel and humorous display piece.

Although NOT a magic trick, we thought this was such a funny item that we just had to offer it to our customers, especially with holiday gift giving on the horizon.

This one made us laugh, so we had to order it for our customers.

This one made us laugh, so we had to order it for our customers.

Yes, going to the complaint department has never been such a BLAST!  Display this laugh-inducing novelty on your desk or hang it prominently on your wall in the shop or workplace.  This faux hand grenade will keep people smiling and act as a gentle reminder to keep their unsolicited complaints to themselves.

And honestly, you’ll wish it was the REAL thing when it comes to that annoying and disgruntled employee or the bellyaching bozo that always seems to have a grievance — no matter what!

“Go ahead, take a number, punk!”

It may not banish objections, criticisms, disapprovals, condemnations, protests or grumbles, but it SURE does get the point across to the sniveling employee, disagreeable neighbor or whiny friend.

Without a doubt a great laugh-generator, conversation-starter or smile-maker guaranteed to remind people to “Put A Sock In It” when it comes to submitting complaints.

Makes a great gift for anyone with a sense of humor or a sincere desire to stifle the naysayer, pessimist or worrywart.

Frankly, it’s a BLAST!

~~~

And finally, Mad Max, my son.

If only he was wearing a Hocus Pocus T-shirt, I could’ve awarded him a gift certificate.

My son Max tearing up the streets of Fresno on his newest acquisition.

My son Max tearing up the streets of Fresno on his newest acquisition.

Well, I said it would be relatively short. And it is.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends,

Paul

 

 

 

The Week That FLU By…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2014 by hocuspoc

I want to start off this week by saying a very heartfelt thank you to all of you for your comments, phone calls and emails congratulating me on my show.  It has been a very enjoyable process (especially now that the show is over and it went well).  I will try to post some pictures soon but as the title of this blog indicates we have had a very rough week.  It has just been Betty, Cole and I for most of the week.  Max has been in and out of the store with school projects and class.  Tim has had a trip planned for a while to go visit his family so he has been out all week, and the whole shipping department has been out with the flu.

Betty, Cole and I have been running around the store doing our best to fill every order and answer every email and call, and we have succeeded!  To top it off, what I believe is one of the best tricks ever put out by Paul Harris: Fair Play, which has been on pre-order for the past few weeks, came in and shipped out today!  This was a project that would have had our whole team busy, so you can imagine how it was with just the few of us shipping out hundreds of packages today.  If you haven’t looked at Fair Play yet, I highly recommend you take a minute to watch the video below:

To read more about Fair Play, click here!

Cole opened one right away and watched the DVD so he could demonstrate it for me and I have to say it is even better in person that the video shows.  It can be performed right out of the box and honestly the DVD isn’t really needed, but it has great information and performing techniques.  At just $39.95 and free worldwide shipping I believe this will be the perfect holiday gift for any magician from novice to professional.

One other new item that I wanted to tell you about, mostly because I was so excited to unpack them today, is Hare Mail.  This is an exclusive that we got in limited supply.  It is a great way to produce a rabbit or several doves, or non-livestock productions as well.  It could be adapted for other seasonal routines such as a letter from Santa, etc.  It is light weight and packs small.  If you haven’t looked at it already, here is a link and the video:

To read more about Hare Mail, click here!

Tomorrow I think Betty and I are just going to relax to recover from this week and we are having a family dinner.  Sunday we are going to go to Bakersfield so I can be an audience member in the theater I recently performed in.  We are going to support my good friend Mark Price who is performing in a show that his wife Laurie directed: Moon Over Buffalo.  Call 559-325-6100 to get tickets if you are in the area.

buffalo

Mark is a great performer and we look forward to seeing him and his wife.  I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to sharing photos of my show with you all next week.  Now I have to get back to packing boxes.

Paul

There’s No Business Like Show Business

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2014 by hocuspoc

We did it!

After 30 years of NOT working with my assistant Linda, and 26 years since my last performance, I am happy to report that The 3 Amigos of Magic was a roaring success!

What a great time we has as The 3 Amigos of Magic.

What a great time we has as The 3 Amigos of Magic.

The many weeks of practice paid off handsomely. Was it a perfect performance? No, but the few glitches we experienced played well into the theme of “not working together” for many years.

Initially, I has stated that I was NOT interested in having the show videotaped, but my friends and family convinced me otherwise, and am I ever glad they did.

We all take a bow at the conclusion of the 3 Amigos of Magic show.

We all take a bow at the conclusion of the 3 Amigos of Magic show.

Had it not been for the urging of Betty, and the persistence and encouragement of my good friends Mark Price and Tim Mannix, I don’t think I would have come out of retirement. I was convinced that the glory days of performing live were long since past.

In fact, I had so much fun, I’m ready to do it again.

Linda's sassy assistant persona driving me crazy during our act.

Linda’s sassy assistant persona driving me crazy during our act.

I could not have done it without Linda Davis, the comedy relief to my straight man. We really work well together and she’s so funny and talented.

And even though the audience was pre-loaded with family, friends, and supportive well-wishers, we were both still anxious and a bit nervous as we were introduced.

However…. Linda’s magical appearance worked well, which totally set the tone for the rest of our act.

Tim, Linda and I take our curtain call at the end of the show.

Tim, Linda and I take our curtain call at the end of the show.

Pardon the expression, but the Dove Act worked like MAGIC! The Dove Cannon (thanks Joe Eddie Fairchild) went over great. The Revelation Chest got a HUGE reaction. But, our Hindu Basket far and away was the absolute HIT of the show.

Steve Dick, our stage manager, who by the way did a brilliant job, said the guys on the headset, in the booth, went nuts when we were performing the Hindu Basket.

Tim Mannix goes back to when it all began.

Tim Mannix goes back to when it all began.

In short, I had a blast.

And now, I’m told, that we tentatively we have another date set for a performance scheduled for sometime in the first quarter of this next year. And you know, I’m ready to do it all over again.

Funny how life is….ten months ago, you could NOT have convinced me that I would be performing my act again.

After the show with Zachary and Renee.

After the show with Zachary and Renee.

Thank you to my family for the love, support and patience you’ve shown me during this process. And for coming to the show, and for being the most appreciative audience members cheering me on, on the front row.

Even my grandson Zachary got to come up and help on stage during Tim’s act. But, more about that next week.

Zachary made a rabbit appear at the end of the show.

Zachary made a rabbit appear at the end of the show.

We’ll have another installment of pictures next week. But, for now, thanks again to everyone who came out to see the show, including magicians and friends who traveled all the way from Fresno & Los Angeles, and even Sacramento.

The Hindu Basket went over VERY well with the Stars Dinner Theater crowd.

The Hindu Basket went over VERY well with the Stars Dinner Theater crowd.

Betty, you were the one that made this happen. You found Linda and kept encouraging me to do this.

Linda Davis, your talent elevates my act to new heights.

Mark Price you are a true marvel and a wonder-worker. Your Disecto routine is gut-bustingly funny.

Laurie Howlett, you are a jewel, much like my Betty.

Tim Mannix, thank you for your humor and friendship. You’re the best.

Yes, I guess I can say, that there is NO business quite like SHOW business.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends,

Paul