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        Fun show this past week

         I had a fun week at a corporate job the other night. I was hired for an Oscars Award themed night for Executives of the banking industry here in New Zealand. The venue was amazing as it was held at the Civic Theatre in Auckland. It's an old theater that was recently refurbished and looks amazing. Here are a few photos from the show.

        The BIG news this past week was also our son Jon-Paul's FIRST birthday! What a great time we all had. My wife and I actually thought the celebration was more for us as we survived the year as first time parents. The day was filled with dear friends and family and we all had the most amazing time. You have to ask yourself where on earth did the year go? Everybody tells us children grow up so quickly, and now I realise what they mean. It's been the most incredible year and we love every moment. 


        The next issue of VANISH  MAGIC MAGAZINE is on the home stretch - and again I am astounded by the high caliber of contributors. Some really BIG names are now joining the team of writers. Our feature artist this month is none other than television superstar Keith Barry. I saw Keith work live recently and got a standing ovation. What an AMAZING performer!!

        Better late than never

         This weeks BLOG is a little late due to a busy schedule. I've been busy working on several projects, had a major corporate gig and doing some work on next issue of VANISH magazine. I spent several hours interviewing a major star for the next issue. I must say it was such a pleasure to talk to somebody, who has worked incredibly hard and is living the dream. He is also very down to earth and grounded, which is always a treat when somebody is such a TV celebrity. This person is equally a star during a live show as he is on television. Keep tuned to find out who it is at the end of the month.


        Here in New Zealand this past Sunday was Fathers Day and it was extra special for me because it was my very first. I had a great day with my wife Natalie and our young son Jon-Paul who will be turning one this month. Where has the time gone?


        Genetics by Sean Goodman - DVD


        Wedding magic seems to be very popular in the UK - I'm not sure about other countries, certainly not here in New Zealand. However this is a cute trick that would be perfect for a wedding venue or restaurants where there are couples at a table.  It comes with the DVD with extra bonus ideas as well as the cards. Everything is professionally produced and will last a long time. Certainly something restaurant workers will want to consider.

        MagicTricks is proud and excited to introduce to you Sean Goodman, making his debut with a blinder of an effect...a guaranteed worker and perfect for any wedding magician...completely self working, fun trick to perform...please welcome...Genetics!

        A fabulous effect to show to a couple! You explain that men and women think differently and like different things. To illustrate this, you show some cards which have pictures of various items such as a dog, cat, iron, whip etc. and suggest that some will appeal to men and some to women.

        The cards are mixed and then offered one at a time to the man and woman alternately. Any cards they don't want are discarded. At the end, to their amazement the man's selections are turned over and they all have BLUE BACKS, and the woman's have PINK BACKS!

        You receive a set of specially produced quality cards in a plastic wallet together with an instructional DVD. The DVD runs through different handling variations of the basic plot, and also includes anothergreat routine which has a fab kicker finale.

        PLUS, Sean also shares his brilliant double business card peek technique which can be added to the basic Genetics routine - this is worth the price itself! A truly practical peek that real workers will use immediately.

        Genetics is a joy to perform. It's fun and full of audience participation. Simple to perform, immediately resets and packs a punch! And it's DIFFERENT!!!!!!

        The feel good trick of the year!

        "The Perfect Wedding Trick!"
        - Wayne Fox

        "A Real Worker's Dream!"
        - Matt Daniel-Baker

        Unreal by Bruce Bernstein - Book


        Everybody knows I'm a huge fan of books, and a huge collection like this is one of my favorites. For those who have been in the business as long as I have will know the name Bruce Bernstein, a very well respected creator of many famous effects. This is a must have book for any performer - an amazing collection of over 30 years of creations, many number one sellers during their time.

        Bruce Bernstein has spent over three decades creating, refining and developing some of the most devious feats of mentalism known to man. He's become a trusted, go-to source for many of the greatest mind readers of the last twenty years. He's collected an enviable list of endorsements from nearly every great magician and thought reader of the last thirty years. And now he's gathered together years of thought-provoking, engaging writing into a comprehensive hardbound collection that showcases his work in the finest possible light.

        It's called Unreal.

        This new book contains Bernstein's most baffling, amazing brainchildren. From commercial predictions (Eat at Joe's), to mind-numbing card miracles (Psych-Out, a revelatory 10 Card Poker Deal), to must-learn techniques (Bernstein Center Tear), and beyond, Unreal covers territory essential to every wonder worker's repertoire.

        The book outlines mysteries with the most basic of objects: slips of paper, cards, and money, as well as inexplicable feats of thought reading: predictions, mind reading feats, psychometry, utility techniques for obtaining secret information, cold reading scripts and techniques, and more. Ten new essays compliment the tricks themselves, each written specifically for this book.

        All of the miracles described in these pages are within the skill set of the average mentalist. No complicated sleight-of-hand or digital dexterity is required. That said, a healthy dose of chutzpah may be necessary in several instances.

        It's all explained in a familiar, engaging style, expertly illustrated by Tony Dunn. Unreal may be the book's title, but performing the miracles it explains is most definitely within reach of everyone that reads it.

        256 pages in deluxe hardcover; all material newly edited and expanded and illustrated, with an introduction by Jon Stetson.

        Murder By Magic

         This week I performed my Murder By Magic Show again. The concept was designed by Cris Johnson, and without a doubt the best investment I've ever made regards a 'business' type package. I'm not sure if Cris is still selling these (check out www.hocus-pocus.com), but I do know if you can get a copy either from the team at Hocus-Pocus or Cris himself then it is well worth it. It is a really great concept for corporate shows and certainly something very different. You could perform it exactly as Cris has done, and as it is in the script - or you could easily adapt it. The concept itself if genius and the corporate clients love it. I can't wait for Cris to release another one.


        I also had fun designing a few new posters this week. Some of them are 'arty' and some are pretty simple - but still it was fun. I'm busy working on a few new concepts for shows and needed some promo material. Thank goodness for Photoshop.


        I've also teamed up with a well known UK mentalist and together we are going to re-lease a brand new series of effects from his professional career. I've seen all of them re video and each one is extremely strong. We have several we are planing on releasing at this stage and I'm really excited. He is an actor/mentalist in the UK and his work is very original. While his style is comedy the effects will play well for all types of performers. The series we will call the Pro-Mentalism Stand-Up series. One of the main concerns of releasing things on DVD these days is pirating. I get asked so many times if my books are out as PDFs, and again because people pirate things I have not released them as PDFs. The same with DVDs. Too many people making copies. So - we are releasing each effect as a book with performances only on DVD, plus in some cases props if needed. it's the only way to combat those who want to cheat and steal. I actually also feel it make it a little more exclusive if it's a book, as everybody won't own it.  What I love about this series is that the material has been in his professional act for many many years and gone through stages of getting it to where it's 100% commercial. 


        Don't forget if you find yourself with a spare weekend in October and feel like a trip to New Zealand, the 31st International magic Convention is taking place in Christchurch. One of the nice things about a NZ convention is that they aren't too big. There are usually between 125-150 people which is a really nice size, where you can meet and hang out with everybody. I don't have anything to do with it myself, other than they have asked me to design the program and tickets for the shows. 

        There is a real variety of performers coming from Spain, USA, Canada and the UK. Many magician from Australia make the trip over so it's always a fun time.

        For more information you can contact Alan Watson at alan@watson.co.nz

        HOT PICKS FROM www.Hocus-Pocus.com

        Peter Lougrhan presents Fenced In Illusion by James Wiggs & Scott Emo *

        I really like this. It's a very different kind of 'walking through' style illusion that I think is much stronger than a lot of other methods out there. This doesn't use the over-used third hand gimmick. It's well built and will really fool your audience.  it fits in to my 'pack small and play big' category that I like so much because of the travel that I do. 

        Peter Lougrhan is proud to present a brand new illusion from the creative minds of James Wiggs and Scott Emo called Fenced In! There have been many 'Walkthrough" illusions in the history of magic, but never one as baffling and impossible as this! You won't believe your eyes.

        Effect: The performer introduces 2 assistants that are each holding a solid staff with a series of bungee cords fastened between them. When pulled apart they make a fence or barrier that would be impossible for the performer to pass through. The performer stands behind this barrier, pulls up a cloth in front of him briefly and then lowers it showing he has melted from one side of the bungee cords to the other, giving new meaning to phrase 'Bungee Jumper'! You have to see it to believe it!

        This can be done in a living room or on the biggest stage, and uses NO FAKE HANDS, or third hand gimmicks! This method is so clever it fools magicians too! It can be learned in minutes, and while your assistants will know how the secret of this baffling illusion works, if you don't use assistants then you can easily show any two people, at any show, in just a few minutes to help you with the illusion. It packs small, yet plays like a large stage illusion at a fraction of the price. It is built to last you forever and will baffle any audience guaranteed!

        Packs small
        Plays big
        New original method
        Easy to do
        learn it in minutes
        Very affordable
        Impossible and Baffling
        James Wiggs and Scott Emo's Fenced In Illusion comes complete with everything ready to go out of the package including the Fenced In barrier shafts with bungee cords, professionally made illusion drape with rod, and instructions.

        Please note, there may be limited stock on this product at any given time, so in some cases please allow up to 7 - 10 business days for us to ship your order in these instances.

        Antique Haunted Timber by Dave Powell - IN STOCK

        Dave Powell is known for producing really good looking wooden props, and this Haunted Block really is a great looking prop. It has the feel of an old style block of wood, which really lends itself well to story ideas and presentations around the age of the block and where it came from. I love this type of magic as it's kind of spooky but very visual. There is an anticipation as the block falls over.

        Add Robert Harbin's classic telekinetic Tippler to your act with the beautiful Antique Haunted Timber!

        The magician displays a beautiful old block of wood. He tells a story about how years ago, a wealthy developer cut down the world's oldest oak tree. But first, a witch cursed the ground where the tree grew and all of the wood taken from the forest.

        The townspeople claimed spirits inhabited the wood, causing it to shake, rattle, and move on its own. It was impossible to build anything out of the timber, as it would just crumble to the ground. They were eager to destroy the cursed wood, yet by an incredible twist of fate, this block survived.

        The story sounds unbelievable, but some legends are easy to prove. The magician balances the block on top of a bottle and calls to the witch. Bam! The block leaps off the bottle and falls loudly onto the table. The magician leans the block against the bottle at a steep angle. Suddenly, the block stands up on its own! Then SLAMS against the table with a loud bang! The spirits have arrived... or perhaps they never left.

        * Self-working! Self-contained!

        * No wires, threads, or magnets!

        * Made of fine oak for years of magic!

        * Hand-distressed for a realistic aged look!

        Based on Robert Harbin's original routine and prop, the Antique Haunted Timber is a block of fine oak hardwood, 9 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches. The block is hand-distressed, aged through a series of seven re-working procedures for an authentic-looking "cursed block."

        There are very few magic tricks available today with such deep impact as this frightening demonstration. Your audience will be scared and amazed in a way only the Antique Haunted Timber can deliver. Play it light if you want, performing it with the story of your choice, or incite the cursed imagery of ancient magic 

        Books Now Available

         I'm pleased to announce that both of these books have now hit all the magic book stores including my favorite www.hocus-pocus.com.

        The first is Orange, Lemon, Egg and Canary. it's one of the most classic effects in magic, yet there is very little written on it. This book answers a lot of questions and has my own handling plus a good friend James Holguin's version. James's routine is a really great version because he does it all away from tables, and has put together a really lovely piece of theater. This book is Number 9 in the Pro-Series collection that I am writing. I have started work on Number 10, and again it's a twist on a very classic effect in magic.


         THE REAL DEAL

        Here is a book that contains over 25 years of my professional career. It is filled with tips, hints, advice and stories from my career to date. It also contains a lot of material from magicians all around the world. It is a HUGE book that will take a while to read, but even professionals are sending emails saying how much they enjoy it. I'm very proud of this book as there really isn't anything like it in magic.

        It is also now available from www.hocus-pocus.com.


        Coming up in October is the 31st International New Zealand Magic Convention. It is shaping up to be a great weekend of magic with international guests including Shawn Farquhar from Canada, Ken Scott from USA, Felix from Spain and The Gillam Family from the USA, and the one and only Mark Mason from the UK. 

        The convention will be held in Christchurch New Zealand from the 19th October until 22nd October and promises to be a relaxed, and fun weekend of magic. Sadly at this point my schedule means I"m booked with other events so can't make it myself, but would encourage all others who are free over that period to get down to Christchurch and enjoy themselves.

        What's HOT from www.Hocus-Pocus.com This Week

        Charlotte Pendragon's Wonderball - Limited Time Introductory Price 

        This is proving to be an extremely popular item at Hocus-Pocus and one that is very well made. If you are looking at a floating ball then be sure to check this out!

        Price $299.95 for a limited time...Price will increase to $350.00 soon.

        A timeless piece of magic. Every great magic act needs something that either levitates or floats in the air. When it comes to effectiveness the Wonderball rates highly.

        Inspired by the dancing cane, the simple and unique mechanics employed when performing the Wonderball allows the magician a variety of mind twisting moves and the possibilities are endless for further creativity.

        The Wonderball is not only fully self-contained (including an instructional DVD) in it's own attractive carrying case, but the case also serves as an effective prop during the routine.

        Pre-show set up takes only minutes, and hooking up at show time can be done on or off stage in a matter of seconds, with or without an assistant. The Wonderball can be in most theaters and cabarets with the appropriate background and lighting (a black or sparkly/busy background is best).

        Also included is a 10 inch brass ring to prove there are no wires, trap doors or mirrors as well as an adjustable belt (cummerbund style).

        NOTE: Magician must wear long sleeves of dark or busy background

        The Wonderball has been priced not only for the seasoned professional but also for the aspiring beginner - both young and old alike.

        TWIST & TALK Balloon Puppet System Manual Headstick by Axtell - PRE-ORDER 

        Steve Axtell has really outdone himself. This is AN INCREDIBLE idea and something I think all balloon and vents AND magicians will want to add to their show.  

        Pre-order yours today. Expected release date is mid-late September.

        This is the manual version called "Twist & Talk" Balloon Puppet System! A simple to use moving mouth on a puppet stick ready for you to twist balloon characters on. So easy to do!

        Give your BALLOONS something to TALK about!

        Includes TWIST & TALK balloon Puppet Stick with Moving Mouth, 3 additional Mouth Plates for different sized characters, Stand Base and Free On-Line Videos)

        Art Deco Weekend

         What a great week we had. Last weeks BLOG didn't happen simply because we were on a flight to the Art Deco Capital of the World, Napier New Zealand. In the 1930s the city was wiped out by an earthquake and fire, they rebuilt it within two years. This was the mid-winter event and was fantastic. The summer event has over 30,000 people from all around the world. I worked for the events manager of both events about 20 years ago, so it was great to catch up with him again. Here are a few snapshots of the weekend including one of me as Chaplin and my son Jon-Paul. The first time he's seen me as Chaplin.

        It's a busy time here in New Zealand for us. Corporate shows this month and this weekend a new event company has booked my full evening hour and a half show. It's a venue that is looking at a regular gig as they do dinner theatre. They have also booked me for end of year gigs so all going well it will result in some good work.


        I have been incredibly busy putting finishing touches on the upcoming VANISH MAGAZINE. If you enjoyed the last two issues then I think you'll be blown away by the third issue. It is a HUGE 160 pages!!! The articles are out of this world and covers everything from street, illusions, close-up, coins, kids magic and mentalism. The magazine is actually finished just spell checking and editing it. I'm very proud of the featured artist this issue, as he is very famous in the non-magic world as he is in the magic world. We were out this week taking the photo shoot for the cover photo and it's VERY DIFFERENT.


        Stati Kid by Tom Burgoon - FREE SHIPPING IN USA

        This is one of the funniest kids routine I've seen in many years. Tom has really put together a fantastic product - if you work for any type of family audience you'll definitely want to include this. Heck, I'm even thinking of putting it in the Chaplin show with adults!!

        This hilarious effect from Tom Burgoon's Comedy Magic Show is the perfect prelude to any kid effect!

        You attempt to teach a kid how to do the old spoon on the nose trick. When he fails to accomplish the effect you explain he needs more static charge in his body. You then rub the kid down with an inflated balloon turning him into a super charged static magnet!

        The routine that follows in nothing short of hilarious!

        Check out the video!

        HERE'S WHAT YOU GET: Tom's detailed routine; Spoons and secret stuff; and Royalty free STATI-KID music along with world performance rights!


        "Another OUT OF THE PARK HOMERUN for Tom Burgoon! What can I say, this bit KILLS!"
        - Doc Eason

        Apple 2 Phone by Jordan Gomez

        This is a really clever idea and a cool routine. If you wanted something different and very HIP this could fit the bill. As you'll see in the video you produce an apple, then change the apple to your iPhone. It has some clever features and the online video will teach you the moves step by step. I'm a fan of online videos rather than DVDs and I'm really pleased they have done this with this trick. From my own experience I know it can keep the price of a trick down. Put it this way, for $49.95 (or $35 for members) you get a really cool trick I'm sure you'll perform in the right place. However, with a DVD you could easily be adding on an extra $25.00 - so really it makes more sense to have instructions online. I started this trend with my Linking Hearts and it's slowly taking off within the industry.

        Anyway, great routine, great props and in the right place in your act would look great.

        The most amazing & original trick using your iPhone!

        EASY TO DO

        Apple + gimmick + online video
        Bonus trick : Apple from nowhere

        You can use any object for the final load. In fact, the most orignal is to use a Apple product like the iPhone or iPod... you can also make the apple vanish.