Archive for December, 2014

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2014 by hocuspoc

happy-new-year-2015-colorful-snow-wallpaper

 

As we close out 2014, we at Hocus Pocus are…

Wishing you all the
Hope, Wonder, Joy and Magic
that the New Year can bring!

We look forward to 2015 and to serving you.

Happy New Year,

Paul

 

 

Snowville-Happy-New-Year-2015

 

 

Merry Christmas Everyone

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2014 by hocuspoc

merry-christmas-everyone

Our Wish for You

From the Hocus Pocus family to yours, we wish you a happy holiday filled with all good things that the season brings.

We thank you  for your support and friendship this last year and look forward to another year of serving you.

Our Hocus Pocus family at Christmas party lunch.

Our Hocus Pocus family at Christmas party lunch.

Christmas often creates strong indelible memories, and I wrote about one such memory several years ago. So, I thought it was appropriate to repeat it this Christmas. Here it is from the December 2011 blog:

All I Want for Christmas is a French Guillotine

Christmas Traditions

When I was a kid, every year my parents would have my sister Jan and I make a list of what we wanted for Christmas. We were to make sure and make the list in order of importance as we couldn’t get everything. Well, I would take it one step further and use a check mark system, the more checks next to an item, the more I wanted it. So one year, when I was about 13 years old, I put a UF Grant French Guillotine on my list. It had four checks, it was the absolute most important thing on the list and we always got what we wanted the most. So my parents head up to San Francisco to see Buma at the House of Magic, but they came home EMPTY-HANDED. They explained to me that it was just not going to be possible to get me the Guillotine that year.

The catalog page for the French Guillotine.

The catalog page for the French Guillotine.

Every Christmas Eve our family tradition was that Dad would go to work and as soon as they were done with all the deliveries (he had a furniture store), he would come home and we would open our gifts. Jan and I would separate all the gifts into piles for each family member so that it was all ready for when Dad came home. Dad would come home early and then he would stretch out the afternoon, building up the anticipation for the Christmas gift opening. Another thing Dad did was to always trick Mom about what her gift was going to be, it was something he did every year, the joke was always on Mom.

Finally, after Dad was home for a while, we got to open our gifts from our piles. When we were done opening the gifts from under the tree, Dad told me to help him bring in Mom’s gift. So we go out to the garage and there, in the back of his truck, was the Guillotine. The joke was on me that year!

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Since then we’ve had many French Guillotines come in and out of the Hocus Pocus showroom, but none as great as the one I got that Christmas.

After we finished opening our gifts, we would go to my grandparents for Christmas Eve. My grandparents would have a huge party, over 100 people, with their family, friends and neighbors coming and going all evening long. They had this huge picture window in the front of their house and it always reminded me of the house in It’s A Wonderful Life. I would look out that window and see crowds of people all night long just like in the movie (except there was never any snow).

Tomorrow we will have Christmas Eve lunch at my mother-in-law’s house, then go to Christmas Eve party tomorrow night at my cousin’s house and finally, on Christmas morning, we will be at home with the family. It is a wonderful life!

Merry Christmas, The Elves Need to Rest

I can’t believe it is already here; it seems like yesterday was Thanksgiving and now we’re at Christmas. We’ve been working like Santa’s Elves in the shipping and receiving department all month long; huge shipments arriving every day and zillions of orders being shipped out every day.

The Elves resting at the Hocus Pocus Christmas lunch.

The Elves resting at the Hocus Pocus Christmas lunch.

Sometimes I wonder how we get it all done.

We had our Hocus Pocus Christmas lunch with food catered from AJ’s; you cannot believe how good the food is…lulu kebabs, grilled chicken, pilaf, salad and, of course, dessert. We had such a good time eating lunch together as a group, which is something we cannot do daily. It was festive and relaxing at the same time. After a hectic four weeks, it is nice to sit back and take a breath.

Through the Eyes of a Child

I have always loved Christmas and I especially loved it when the children were all small. The excitement of Christmas morning was something I always looked forward to; it is just a wondrous thing to look at all the possibilities of the world through the eyes of a child.

Zachary with Santa on his first Christmas.

Zachary with Santa on his first Christmas.

This year, I have new eyes, this is my grandson Zachary’s first Christmas. I know he still won’t be quite aware of the holiday and everything going on around him, but I have many years ahead of me where he will be bringing the excitement and wonderment to Christmas morning.

I’m wishing you all enjoy the holidays with the wonder and excitement of a child.

~~~

How quickly time flies. Here is Zachary today. I cant’ believe how quickly he’s growing.

Just three years later with Santa. Can you believe how fast this kid is growing?

Just three years later with Santa. Can you believe how fast this kid is growing?

The Holidays Make Us Want to Dance

And finally, courtesy of JibJab, a silly holiday video starring some of the local talent here at Hocus Pocus.

 

Have a wonderful holiday,

Paul

 

 

Christmas is Just Around the Corner

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2014 by hocuspoc

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Here we are down to the final week before Christmas, and what a hectic and busy week it’s been making sure that Christmas orders reach their destinations in time for Christmas Day. In fact, it’s been a very busy season and we are most thankful to you, our customers, for your continued patronage.

We know you have a choice when it comes to where you purchase your magic, and we thank you for choosing Hocus Pocus.

Holiday Spirit at the Magic Castle

There is definitely that holiday spirit in the air as we get down to the wire. And speaking of the holiday spirit, this last weekend Tim performed at the Magic Castle for the brunch shows and said his shows went very well to enthusiastic and very receptive audiences. Every inch of the Castle was fully decorated in Christmas décor and Santa & Mrs. Claus were there as well.

Tim said he performed Santa’s Hat, a new holiday trick, as a warm-up for his act and it got great laughs.

Tim Mannix in the Parlour of Prestidigitation last weekend. He performed Santa's Hat and said it went over very well.

Tim Mannix in the Parlour of Prestidigitation last weekend. He performed Santa’s Hat and said it went over very well.

I think it’s one of the best uses of the Bathing Beauty concept I’ve seen in years, and for $20 bucks, you can’t’ go wrong. You may want to pick one up at this price for next year’s holiday shows. He performs it in reverse, removing Santa’s Hat instead of adding it, like in the description.

Santa's Hat really is a funny bit, and for $20 buck you can't go wrong.

Santa’s Hat really is a funny bit, and for $20 buck you can’t go wrong.

 

FINAL DRAWING: Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing

Since December 1st we’ve been hosting Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing, giving our customers a chance each week to win a $250 Hocus Pocus gift card!

Our Gift Card drawings have occurred on the following dates: December 5th, December 12th, and now, December 19th, our final drawing! The first week’s winner was Norm Lyde and Dr. Masato Mugitani won last week’s drawing. Both were thrilled and more than pleasantly surprised when we contacted them regarding their $250 gift card award.

Finally, for this final week’s drawing, December 19th, we are pleased to announce that Mickey Thurmon aka Mickey Magic has been selected the winner.

Mickey_Magic_Winner

 

Owen Sells, Owen Sells, Owen All the Way

I know what I got for Christmas. Owen Magic Supreme.fancy-christmas-bells

I cannot adequately express how pleased I am to be carrying Owen products, and to be able to offer them to our customers. Each time we get Owen props in, I turn into an eight-year-old. I guess I really am just like a kid at Christmastime. I think that’s what keeps me young, my love of magic.

This newfound alliance with Owen Magic Supreme has been rewarding, exciting and mostly fun. It tickles me to see that I’m actually selling Owen props. We’ve been able to sell a good number of them in a relatively short amount of time, so the Owen gang are very pleased with us. In fact, Alan has just shipped another load of products (12 massive boxes of goodies) for us to put online, so be on the lookout for them next week.

Click on the Owen Genie below to visit our Owen category.

Carrying Owen Magic Supreme items is like Christmas to me.

Carrying Owen Magic Supreme items is like Christmas to me.

 

Holiday Hours

We will be closed both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we will be back on Friday the 26th for those that didn’t get exactly what they wanted.

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Our Dancing Elf

And finally, Zachary.

Yes, someone we know is VERY excited about Christmas as you can see by the recent video shot at a preschool performance of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. My grandson Zachary is the one on the end wearing the Chillin’ t-shirt and singing the loudest, complete with hand gestures. I think we definitely may have another performer in the family.

We start ’em young. Show business is in his blood.

One thing is for sure. You can’t say that Zachary isn’t IN the Christmas spirit.

Until next time,

Paul

13 Days ’til Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2014 by hocuspoc

Vintage-Santa5As you might expect at this time of year, we’ve been very busy with the holiday rush getting packages out and orders filled promptly. I do love this time of year. Yes, because it’s busy, but also because it’s Christmas, and I have always loved Christmas with all that it brings.

We are SO very grateful to you for choosing Hocus Pocus for your magic. That is a fact that we are forever cognizant of and will do everything possible to retain your business.

This Week’s Visitor – Any Amyx

This week we had another visitor to the shop, Andy Amyx, a seasoned corporate magician and dove worker. In addition to his well established magical talents, Andy is also a very talented photographer having photographed some of magic’s most renowned performers.

Andy was in town for the day to perform at a company party and took the time to stop in and pay us a visit. We welcome anyone passing through Fresno or visiting the vicinity to stop in and tour the showroom and see us.

Andy Amyx stopped in while in town for a show.

Andy Amyx stopped in while in town for a show.

Christmas Deliveries – Delayed

I thought it prudent to mention that although UPS and the U.S. Post Office are doing their best, the holidays always bring increased traffic, thus slowing Priority Mail and all deliveries in general. Do yourself a favor and get your shopping done as early as possible to ensure delivery by Christmas.

Christmas+Holiday+Shipping+Delivery

Cue the Magic is Back!

Finally, it’s back. Been thinking about adding cue the magic to your act? Now is the time to order, before they disappear, again! The last time we had an instant sell-out and all were gone within 48 hours.

We are anticipating a repeat performance, and with Christmas, another rush is anticipated, so order yours now.

Finally back in stock, our supply is sure to be depleted very quickly.

Finally back in stock, our supply is sure to be depleted very quickly.

 

Santa’s Hat

We thought this prop was timely and humorous, so we’re including it in this week’s blog. Tim actually performed this at a Christmas party last night and it got a BIG laugh.

With this new seasonal bit, which is a funny play on the old bathing beauty effect of yesteryear, you and your audience will see a bald Santa.

A really funny play on the old bathing beauty effect of yesteryear.

A really funny play on the old bathing beauty effect of yesteryear.

Effect : Santa feels as if he has lost his hat, he is unaware that his hat is with the magician. In the poster Santa is Bald with no hat but, magician show’s his kindness and gives Santa’s hat in a magical way.

Possibility : You could come with a hat and vanish it in the poster showing Santa back with the hat or you show Santa with a hat in the poster, pulling a real hat from the poster in a result bald Santa is left with no hat.

This trick is a perfect buy, it will create story, gives visual changes, will provide suspense with lot of humor, fun and excitement to your lovely audience … well the trick is also very easy and simple to perform.

A HOCUS POCUS SUGGESTION: This may be done even more comically if reversed. You can steal Santa’s hat and then restore it at the end.

REMINDER: Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing

If you don't enter, you can't win!

If you don’t enter, you can’t win!

Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing gives you a chance each week to win a $250 Hocus Pocus gift card!

With every order you place between December 1, 2014 and December 19, 2014, your name will be automatically entered into a weekly drawing.

How It Works

  • For every order you place between December 1, 2014 and December 19, 2014 you’ll earn ONE chance to win in the weekly drawing.
  • Each week a new winner is drawn from the chances accumulated from December 1st, so the more you shop the more chances you’ll accrue, thus bettering your odds of winning.
  • Gift Card drawings occur on the following dates: December 5th, December 12th, and December 19th! We’ll post the winners on our blog weekly.
  • No special code required to enter or remember since your purchase automatically enters you into this holiday drawing.
  • Don’t have an order right now? Simply send us ONE email to receive a chance to win. Only ONE email entry per customer please to Cole@hocus-pocus.com

Gift Card drawings occur on the following dates: December 5th, December 12th, and finally on December 19th!

Masato-Mugitani-Winner
UPDATE: Owen Magic Supreme

As you may recall from last week’s blog, Alan Zagorsky delivered our first shipment of Owen Magic Supreme props last week. I am happy to tell you that nearly everything he delivered has been sold. We received a new shipment today, so we are sufficiently stocked and ready to ship any Owen prop you are compelled to purchase.

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Back to work I go, it’s Christmastime you know.

Until next time,

Paul

Quite a Week, Plus A Big Announcement!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2014 by hocuspoc

We’ve been somewhat remiss in the last couple of weeks, keeping this blog updated. But, what with the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday, and most recently, Cyber Monday, we’ve been busy. Hopefully, this blog entry will make up for lost time, because there’s lots to report.

Lie Detector by Suds

Ted “Suds” Sudbrach paid us a visit this week, personally delivering several of his newest props including his Lie Detector. The prop looks great and has a loud and very amusing buzzer.

The Lie Detector is a hilarious routine using a remote to create a very humorous presentation appealing to the gamut of audience types. Suds’ clever routine utilizes the lie detector to locate a chosen card and features a funny bit at the end where the detector turns on the magician. At its conclusion, though the batteries are removed, the detector continues its loud protests including a different sound effect, a shrill siren. Very funny stuff!

Suds shows off his new Lie Detector

Suds shows off his new Lie Detector

The Lie Detector bit has been used for umpteen years by performers who’ve recognized the intrinsic value that this laugh-packed prop generates with audiences. You can literally have them rolling in the aisles.

We haven’t’ had a good Lie Detector in stock for some time now, plus one that’s so affordable.

Suds really does make the BEST Pom-Pom Pole available.

Suds really does make the BEST Pom-Pom Pole available.

And I’ve got to say that Sud’s Pom-Pom Pole is one of the best I’ve seen. I don’t’ think anyone makes one better. It’s built to last for years and the quality is outstanding.

Finally, the Elusive Wicker Basket is Mine!

As a teenager, I was a committed magic catalog pursuer, so I’d seen the ad for the Hindu Basket in the Abbott catalog many times. But its description didn’t do it justice, so my interest was never piqued. That is, until I saw a couple of clowns at the Ringling Brothers Circus perform it, practically as a throw away. It knocked my socks off so completely that I knew I HAD to have one!

Without delay the next day, I’m on the phone to Abbott Magic ordering one for delivery. I recall being disappointed to learn that they no longer offered it in wicker, but in the newfangled fiberglass, so popular in the mid-1970’s.

Of course, I ordered my Hindu Basket and began performing it right away receiving enormous attention and exemplary reactions. I was on fire. If only the catalog description would’ve depicted it accurately, I would’ve added much sooner. You know, it was the ONE and only time I can recollect a clown so completely impacting my life. You see, it pays to go to the circus.

Linda fits perfectly into the new basket, and it's wicker, so I'm happy the search has ended.

Linda fits perfectly into the new basket, and it’s wicker, so I’m happy the search has ended.

For many years I looked for a wicker basket to replace the fiberglass one — never finding one.

Recently, resurrecting my act for the 3 Amigos of Magic show, I decided to renew my search for the elusive wicker Hindu Basket. Still no success. Until last week, when a friend tipped me off to one for sale, and I nabbed it! The basket arrived this week, so Linda came in for a fitting and she fits perfectly inside. It’s going into the act. Problem solved. And it only took 40 years.

A Big Announcement

I’ve been keeping this news under my hat for some time now, practically bursting at the seams, but now that it’s official I can now make the announcement. We are pleased to announce our new association with Owen Magic Supreme. Hocus Pocus will be representing an array of Owen high quality magic props and paraphernalia from their vast product line.

Known worldwide for creating props and equipment for top working professionals, the Owen name is recognized as one that is synonymous with magic of the highest caliber.

It all started a number of weeks ago when Betty and I were invited down to Azusu to visit the Owen warehouse and spend the day with Alan Zagorsky, owner of Owen Magic Supreme, to tour his operation and get better acquainted. Alan and I had started to get to know one another as he began building props for me for my upcoming performance with the 3 Amigos of Magic, which occurred last month. Little did I know this association would lead to another friendship.

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I had never been to Owen Magic Supreme, so I was excited to be invited, and to be getting the opportunity to see the inner sanctum of this venerable purveyor of some of the world’s finest magic props. The day couldn’t come fast enough.

Well, to say that I was amazed, is a complete understatement. The skill, mastery and level of craftsmanship involved amazed and surprised me to no end. Alan educated us on every step of production, explaining precisely how these extraordinary props come into being.

Everything, and I mean everything, is painstakingly manufactured on the spot, right there at Owen facility. They don’t buy a rubber canary needed for a prop, they pour their own into a mold that they’ve made themselves. No pieces are bought and added to a prop, every facet of every prop originates from that very facility.

I was so impressed, I was almost speechless. These superb props begin as a pieces of wood and metal, and end up finished products fit for a king!

Alan and I discussing some of his products during his recent visit to Hocus Pocus.

Alan and I discussing some of his products during his recent visit to Hocus Pocus.

Happily, this week we hosted a return visit from Alan and his associate, Jim Olsen, who came to tour our showroom and warehouse. Alan was more than pleasantly surprised and said, “I had no idea it was like this.” He couldn’t believe the amount of props, equipment and collectibles that are currently housed under our roof. Needless to say, he was very impressed with our entire set-up. I guess he thought it was another magic shop.

Alan telling me about the Bang Firecracker as Cole, my son, looks on.

Alan telling me about the Bang Firecracker as Cole, my son, looks on.

 

Alan Zagorsky, Jim Olsen and me posing next to an Owen Geometric Illusion.

Alan Zagorsky, Jim Olsen and me posing next to an Owen Geometric Illusion.

Alan brought with him a quantity of props that are now live on our site, including the Owen Wrist Guillotine. And what a beauty it is — a work of art made of steel, brass and wood.

And now to think, Hocus Pocus is  representing the Owen line of products under our banner. I couldn’t be more happy, thrilled & proud of this great new alliance, and especially to have found a new friend in Alan Zagorsky. We seem to be “brothers from different mothers” as the saying goes.

On the way out the door, Alan handed me a small package and said, “Open this after I leave.” So, I did. And was I ever pleased to find a very generous gift, a beautiful Snuff Box made of hard rock maple. Thanks Alan, your gift is unnecessary, but very much appreciated.

Such a beautiful and generous gift from Alan Zagorsky, an Owen Snuff Box.

Such a beautiful and generous gift from Alan Zagorsky, an Owen Snuff Box.

VANISH Magazine – Entertaining Kids by Tim Mannix

Several years ago, I urged our friend Paul Romhany to use his many talents to create an online magazine for working professionals. He did, and in April of 2012 VANISH magazine debuted and has continually been putting out first-rate material written for and about professional magicians. I would’ve given my left arm to have had a resource like this 30 years ago.

Beginning with this month’s December issue, our own Tim Mannix will begin with an article entitled, “Nothing Personal Mister Magician, But My Child Will NEVER Participate in the Magic Show!”

Click on the image below to download the latest version of VANISH:

Click on this article to be taken to VANISH and download your own copy of the latest edition.

Click on this article to be taken to VANISH and download your own copy of the latest edition.

Celebrating December with Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing

Announcing Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing, giving you a chance each week to win a $250 Hocus Pocus gift card!
With every order you place between December 1, 2014 and December 19, 2014, your name will be automatically entered into a weekly drawing.

Frosty's Magic Top Hat Drawing has a weekly winner.

Frosty’s Magic Top Hat Drawing has a weekly winner.

How It Works

  1.  For every order you place between December 1, 2014 and December 19, 2014 you’ll earn ONE chance to win in the weekly drawing.
  2. Each week a new winner is drawn from the chances accumulated from December 1st, so the more you shop the more chances you’ll accrue, thus bettering your odds of winning.
  3. Gift Card drawings occur on the following dates: December 5th, December 12th, and December 19th! We’ll post the winners on our blog weekly.
  4. No special code required to enter or remember since your purchase automatically enters you into this holiday drawing.
  5. Don’t have an order right now? Simply send us ONE email to receive a chance to win. Only ONE email entry per customer please to Cole@hocus-pocus.com

Shop now AND weekly to maximize your chances of winning!

Gift Card drawings occur on the following dates: December 5th, December 12th, and December 19th!

Winner-FMHC-1205
I think I’ve more than made up for some of the leaner blogs in week’s past. I’d better get back to work.

Until next time,

Paul