The New Project - share your stories for an upcoming book

The New Project - share your stories for an upcoming book

After almost two years of working on this project I am pleased to say that this new book of  tips, hints and stories about performing and travel has finally begun!! It's something a friend asked me to write a while ago, and because of other projects I just kept in on the back burner, although collecting and writing for it.

I am still collecting stories from other performers, so if you have a travel story, a tip or hint you'd like to share with others I would LOVE to hear from you. Please email to

It could be about anything in the business -from a close-up tip (for example I like to take  a lint brush in my close-up bag with me for cleaning my close-up pad) to what you take as a back up show should your own show get lost. This happened to me 14 times in one year while working on a cruise ship - I put together my 2nd show based on having no props!!

If you have any 'advice' or survival hints, tips then this is what the new book is all about.

I would like to share something really exciting with all my readers of this BLOG. I just got word of a wonderful new addition to The Magic Network. 

Here is the message from the owner Vincent 

"I just wanted to let you know I have big news that I want to share with the magic community. I am launching a Magicians Directory as a branch of The Magic Network.
Feature-wise, it is the best magicians directory on the web. Each listing includes a video, a map, 4 photos, and links to the magician's website and social networks. My mission is to make it the best directory for finding and contacting magicians on the web!

I have belonged to The Magic Network for a few years now, and this new addition is certainly a great addition. I joined immediately! If you want to check it out then go to The Magic Network and click on Magicians' Directory.  It's a fantastic idea ,

The Magic Network is a Hot Social Network for magicians and mentalists. You'll meet the best magicians on TMN. You'll find magic reviews, chat, blogs, groups, photos, videos, a forum, and more. Join the magic revolution now & don't miss out. It's free.
To be the premier place online for magicians and mentalists to share ideas, improve their magic, and promote themselves and their magic. To serve as the definitive directory of magicians, mentalists, and magic product reviews online.
Company Overview
A place for magicians and mentalists to meet online, share thoughts, product reviews, classified ads, videos and photos, and discuss magic and mentalism in forums and private groups.
 My Favorite Effects from


It's been years since I have seen anything that I wanted to rush out and buy, simply because I instantly knew it would KILL in a live show. This is a routine that wants to make me run out and start doing more kids shows! If you do ANY PRESCHOOL work - you MUST get this routine. Not only are the props fantastic, but the routine it self is MADE TO WIN KIDS OVER. You'll have them laughing so hard, and interacting it will be the best investment you could make for your show. 

 Hocus-Pocus have managed to get the US exclusive on this and I think it's one of the BEST items they have every carried. I know Paul at Hocus-Pocus has been after this for some time, and he told me the orders are going nuts for this item. It seems anybody who watches the promo video, and does kids work really understand this is a winner.

Best of all, it's easy so you can add it to your show without too much fuss. Of course the more you work it the more fun you'll have. One of the things that really appeals to me is that adults will get a huge kick out of this. It's just plain old fun pure and simple. I will never forget, as a kid seeing something like this and it stayed in my memory all these years.

I have been trying to get Ben In A Basket for Hocus Pocus since I first saw it performed two years ago. Thank you to our friends at Practical Magic for allowing us to carry this great effect exclusively for the USA. - Paul Gross.

"Got mine at Blackpool; to see it demmed is to buy it; superb prop for the tiny tots, even had the adults laughing out loud..." P.H.

"Hi Practical Magic, I bought Ben in the Basket a couple of weeks ago and I have had the chance to use it the last two weekends for children's parties. The response I have had, has been fantastic. I have always been cautious about using puppets but I feel very much at ease with Ben. I have been on the look out for a basket for a puppet ever since I saw your own production of Terry Herbert's magic for the Under 5's. Well this has done it and I am sure I will be using it for years to come. Great entertaining prop. Many thanks." G.S.

Ever wanted to include a puppet in your show but were worried that you couldn't do vent? Time to stop worrying! Here's a 10 minute routine with NO vent - just very simple movements. Not only that, the prop comes complete with all the props you need AND a DVD with performance and explanation!

We've said before, and we'll say again, you can have the best puppet in the world, but it means nothing unless you have a great routine. We have always provided a strong routine with the puppets we sell, but this time we think we've excelled ourselves.

First of all, there's Ben himself, an adorable little collie dog, but Ben's naughty (there's a missing chocolate biscuit to be explained!) - just the thing that children LOVE! During the routine we see Ben trying to mend his basket with a very large hammer; trying to perform magic with hilarious results; and finally showing the fish he has caught. All the time the accent is on comedy.

Just look at what you get:
a custom-made basket with a window woven into the back (not just a hole hacked with a sharp knife!);
a very cute dog puppet with a long sleeve;
a tap (faucet);
a 9" silk;
a 3" sponge ball;
a large hammer;
squirting fish;
a DVD showing the full routine and, after it, lots of advice and tips for getting the best out of your puppet.
It has taken over six months to polish the routine and assemble all the props and we are really proud of the end product. Not only that, we think that Ben in a Basket represents exceptional value for money!

(N.B. Colours and exact specifications of incidental props may vary slightly.)

The DVD starts with a studio performance of 'Ben in the Basket' followed by a thorough explanation of the routine. I do many puppet routines in my shows and I know without even trying this that is is a winner. The routine would be very funny for kids although I wouldn't use all of the 'bits of business' in the one routine, however you have ample material here for repeat bookings. The explanation portion covers not only the routine but also hints and tips on manipulation of a puppet (very important). Even though I have more puppets than a grown man should, after viewing the DVD I am going to go ahead and purchase Ben In A Basket. Highly recommended. TP

I also received my Ben in a Basket DVD today in the mail, I watched the DVD with my 7yr old son and my friend's 5 yr old daughter. They both laughed at the DVD as it went through the routine. This is a great routine for the younger audience. I think anyone over 8 yrs old would not enjoy this as much. If you are looking to add a five minute puppet routine to your show this one is priced right to do so. The basket on the DVD appears to be made well and Ben is a nice looking puppet. For the price you can't go wrong and you can always add your own props to make this your own routine. This is more of a comedy routine then a magical routine; however it can easily be changed to be a magical effect. Thank you Jeremy for allowing us to comment. RS

I also received a DVD to review.
I am not currently using a puppet routine in my show, but for my preschool shows I think it would be perfect. I like the routine as it is presented although a couple of the gags will not be understood by American audiences. There should be many opportunities for some creative additions to the routine. A cute puppy is something all children can relate to along with a good story line. I would say it will play best with the preschool age group, although my teenaged boys saw me watching the DVD and I detected a smile on their faces as they were watching, too. Thanks to Jeremy for sharing. PR

Put this into my show for the first time at a kindergarten and stormed it! Afterwards the principal came over and said the children were mesmerised by the puppet. Jimbo (aka Jimmy Carlo)


3 Card Routine (Cards and DVD) by Steve Valentine 

Here it is - something I wished HAD NOT BEEN RELEASED!!! I first saw Steve perform this live for a group of magicians - all of them couldn't believe what they were seeing. It is without a doubt THE STRONGEST and MOST VISUAL 3 Card Monte routine I have EVER SEEN!! It is the perfect walk-around and close-up routine. I actually am looking at adding this to my repertoire to do onstage a 1500 seat theatre - using a video camera on me. 

Many of you will know Steve from various well known TV shows such as House and Monk, and sitcoms by Disney, and movies. I met him in NZ a few years back while he was filming a movie here, and we got to hang out a bit. I then got to see him work one night for an audience of pretty famous magicians, including THE Paul Daniels! While I was watching Steve, I kept my eyes on Paul. Remember Paul Daniels has seen pretty much everything there is to see in the world of magic, so for somebody to really impress AND entertain him you know they have to be damn good. Well, Steve did all that and more. I knew about Steve of course, but it was the first time I'd seen him work, and he INSTANTLY became one of my all time favorite close-up performers. His material was original, very sharp and his skills were out of this world. 

Steve showed me this effect when we got to hang out, and I knew when he released it that it would be an instant winner. It doesn't come out until mid-May, but may I suggest you ALL place your orders NOW before they sell out. It is an effect that you will take with you everywhere and perform for everybody!!! It really is THE most visual 3 card monte I have ever seen!!

Pre-order yours today for FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Expected release date is mid-May.

Some of you may know Steve Valentine from TV's CROSSING JORDAN or I'M IN THE BAND, some may remember him as the sly magician on HOUSE or the evil one on MONK, but did you know that back in the day Steve was one of Hollywood's top close up magicians?

Vegas headliner and two time winner of The Magic Castle's CLOSE UP MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR, Steve was a highly sought after entertainer in the Beverly Hills- private party- circuit. In 1999 Steve quietly retired from performing magic professionally but never lost the love.

Over the years many people have asked what happened to all of the powerful and original close up material that Steve honed over thousands of shows for incredibly demanding clientele. The material that put Steve where he was.

The answer is here, Steve has finally agreed to release a limited edition Pro Magic series of teach in DVD's. Starting with his favorite packet effect THREE. A trick that has blown away the likes of Gregory Wilson, Joe Monte and Richard Kaufman.

THREE is the perfect walk around packet trick: visual, entertaining, modular, no reset, put the cards back in your pocket and you're ready to go again. There's nothing to break during performance and at the very end everything can be examined.

What more do ya want? THREE by Steve Valentine, available from magic dealers everywhere.

"This one routine has more MPM (Magic Per Minute) than most complete acts!"
- Gregory Wilson

Eddie Ace Hand-Carved Sponge Rabbits - LIMITED QUANTITY

These are the Rolls Royce of multiplying bunnies. I have tried to get these in the past and they are very hard to find. Paul Gross at Hocus-Pocus has found a source and they are limited supply. Anybody who does Sponge rabbits knows these are the finest around.

If it were me I'd be buying several sets and put a few away!!

These little guys are back in stock....Order yours now because they never last long!

We are so excited to be able to offer the extraordinary meticulously hand-crafted sponge rabbits of Eddie Ace. Truly the very finest sponge products currently available to the magic fraternity.

Eddie Ace is known for his fine work with sponges, and THE choice of top professionals. Eddie's sponge rabbits are hand-carved, hand-painted and we believe, the finest available to the trade!

EFFECT: You place Poppa Bunny in your hand and Momma Bunny in the spectator's hand. A few magic words and that ever loving couple are both now in her hand. That's not all! You place Momma and Poppa back into the spectator's hand and when they open their hand once again, low and behold there are Momma, Poppa and 4 little Baby Bunnies.

Now for the climax -- the four baby Bunnies are picked up and placed in the hand along with Momma and Poppa. A magical pass and now when the hand is opened, the baby Bunnies have vanished and only Momma and Poppa remain.

Complete instructions included with Eddie's kicker finish.

LIMITED SUPPLY: Please bear in mind that these sets will go FAST, so don't delay in ordering as they really are available in a very LIMITED supply.

Seriously folks, when we're sold out, who knows when we'll have more!