Magic Rendezvous at Snead’s

Off to Bakersfield to meet up with my longtime magician friend Mark Price as well as to rendezvous with Alan Zagorsky (Owen Magic Supreme) to pick-up some more Owen items.

Also, I’ll be meeting with a local Bakersfield magician for consignment items as well as some illusions he wants to divest himself of. We’re meeting at Mark’s store, Snead’s for Men, an upscale menswear store started by his father, Snead Price.

And yes, there’s a story behind the name SNEAD.

Mark Price, me and Alan Zagorsky all convene at Snead's for Men in Bakersfield, where fashionable locals procure the latest styles.

Mark Price, me and Alan Zagorsky all convene at Snead’s for Men in Bakersfield, where fashionable locals procure the latest styles.

If you’re ever in the Bakersfield area, be sure to drop by Snead’s for Men and say hello. Mark’s even got a little magic section set-up for impromptu shows AND the dressing rooms have magician memorabilia on the walls. Honestly, the place has got character galore and you may pick up some snazzy new underwear, a tie or maybe one of Mark’s famous hats.

By the way, look for new items to be added to our vintage & collectible magic section next week.

Mark's alter-ego, Mister Snead.

Mark’s alter-ego, Mister Snead.

Changes to Our Website

You’ve probably notice that our website. Cole has been working with our web master to make some changes that make our site more user-friendly, easier to navigate and overall more attractive. I think they’ve done a great job in a short amount of time. The site is definitely easier on the eyes and faster-loading.

Today is Download Day for Hocus Pocus

Who is ready to download magic, because the “wait” is finally over!

Hocus Pocus is proud to announce that our magic downloads are now INSTANT!

What does that mean for you?

Effective now, when you purchase a download from, you will gain instant access to watch the video or read the eBook from your mobile device or on your computer.  No more waiting for your order to be processed… just log in as a member and pay with credit card or by PayPal and enjoy immediately.

Other benefits to purchasing your downloads at http://www.hocus-pocus.comare:

  • Instant access to your purchases 24/7 from anywhere in the world!
  • Over 1150 Tricks and Over 240 eBooks available Now!
  • Titles from major magic producers such as L&L, Paul Harris, Big Blind Media and more!
  • Watch instantly on mobile devices or download it for later*

*(downloads are watermarked for your protection and will be available as soon as the process is complete).

  • New titles added every week!

To make things even better, we have redesigned our website to simplify viewing your downloads!  Simply go to, and log in.  You can click on Download Center and it will automatically log you in and display all of your downloads that you have ever purchased from us!

Want to try our new Download system without spending a penny?

We are offering you a FREE download from Cameron Francis and Big Blind Media’s new release Out of Sleight!

Click THIS image to get the FREE download.

Click THIS image to get the FREE download.

Want to see “The Coat” and download it now COMPLETELY FREE? Click HERE!

The effect “The Coat” which is being offered is one of the many great effects on this DVD and download.  To read more about the full Out of Sleight release, click here.

There will be many more exciting DOWNLOAD offers coming soon, so be sure to check your email and check the download categories!

Some History On The Newsstand Crystal Casket

You just never know who’s looking at our site.  Apparently, Bill Shedoudy got wind of the Newsstand Crystal Casket illusion that was recently listed on our website.

It had “disappeared” for a number of years and now resurfaced on our site as a consignment. He was pleased to see the illusion he was so very familiar with and had indeed constructed. Here’s his email to me regarding its history:


Dear Paul,

In the late ‘80’s I was producing a magic act at Sea World California as part of their “City Streets” show.

This was an “all human” (no marine life) variety show that took place in a specially constructed and very elaborate outdoor arena which looked like an actual street in a city with fully functioning buildings and balconies, fire escapes and even a subway tunnel.  The show consisted of several performers who each performed a short vignette showcasing their individual talents but each act also had to have a storyline as to why they were in the “city”.  All the props and costumes needed to fit the city theme as well and look like things you would genuinely see in a real city environment.

The Newsstand Crystal Casket built by Bill Shedoudy.

The Newsstand Crystal Casket built by Bill Shedoudy.

I was brought in not only to help write and produce a magic act for the show, but to perform in it as well.  I had pitched an idea for an act which involved a detective and a jewel thief and that was what they decided to go with.   I was working on it with a Sea World producer by the name of Jon Silver, who also happened to be a magician.  Once the storyline and magic got the greenlight, David Mendoza was commissioned to make 2 of the major illusions required, and I built the 3rd one (a packing crate styled sub-trunk) myself.

One of the Illusions to be built by David needed to produce an assistant, so I met with David several times at his shop and discussed possible designs and methods.  Together we worked out the art direction and method for the newsstand prop.  I suggested trying to incorporate a way to have the stacks of newspapers start off taller and then drop a bit after the girl appeared inside.

This was primarily to make the prop more deceptive if anyone should attempt to backtrack and figure out where she could have been hiding within the prop, but as it turned out it also made it easier on the assistant to perform the illusion because as the top dropped it would partially reveal her making it faster and easier for her to get into position.

Many magicians who saw the show commented on the deceptiveness of the prop and the speed of the appearance.

The Newsstand Crystal Casket, a one-of-a-kind illusion, lost, but now found.

The Newsstand Crystal Casket, a one-of-a-kind illusion, lost, but now found.

Okay, now jump ahead a few years and by this time I was operating a custom illusion building business called Creative Magic Design.  I got a call one day from an illusionist named Cameron South who was aware of my previous association with Sea World and explained that he was trying to locate the newsstand production as used in the now defunct City Streets show at Sea World.  I still had an association with the park and made some calls on his behalf to people I knew in their scenic arts and entertainment departments, but no one had any idea where the newsstand prop was or what had become of it.

So Cameron hired me to build him a NEW one. He was performing primarily on cruise ships at that time.

Having worked with the prop first-hand for over a year and performing it literally hundreds of times, I had become aware of a few changes that could be made to the prop in order to make it even better than it was originally.  So the prop you now have is the one I built for Cameron back in the early ‘90’s.  He performed with it for several years and always loved it.  I built several other illusions for Cameron over the next few years but eventually retired from magic building and eventually lost touch with Cameron.  Last I heard he was performing hypnotic shows.

So where the newsstand has been the last 15 years or so I have no idea.  Obviously, someone must have been taking pretty good care of it because it looks to be in excellent condition.  The “newspapers” are exactly as I gave them to Cameron when he picked up the prop over 20+ years ago.  I am amazed at how well they have held up complete with the silly writing on the papers that of course only the performer would be able to see.

That’s as much as I know about it.  Nice to see it is still around.  Hopefully someone can use it and give it a good home.

My Best,
Bill Shedoudy


Have a great weekend my friends,

More news later,



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