0 Cart
Added to Cart
      You have items in your cart
      You have 1 item in your cart
        Total

        News

        ISSUE TWO OF VANISH NOW READY FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

         VANISH INTERNATIONAL MAGIC MAGAZINE NUMBER TWO June/July 2012

        By Paul Romhany - Editor

        FREE Download magazine from www.vanishmagazine.com

        OVER ONE HUNDRED PAGES - and it's ALL FREE!

        The magic magazine everybody is talking about.  This is truly an international magic magazine with writers from Asia, Europe, South Pacific and North America. The articles range from Marketing, Essays on performing, as well as close-up and stage routines.


        Contents
        This issue our feature artist is magician, movie and television star Steve Valentine. In this interview by Chipper Lowell, you will find out how Steve went from one of the busiest magicians to one of the top working actors in television and movies in Hollywood. He also has some great tips for close-up workers.

        JC SUM - Six Thinking Hats for The Magician

        TELLER SPEAKS - an insight in to the recent Shadows lawsuit

        MAGIC BABE NING - Working with female/male partners and assistants

        DIAMOND JIM TYLER - Bamboozlers - learn a cool effect with a bottle and ketchup packet

        LUCA VOLPE - Impossible Prediction - Italy's top mentalist shares an amazing lottery prediction effect

        MARK PARKER - Logic and Reason - essay on performing illusions by Illusion Designer Mark Parker

        BRIAN WATSON - Housekeeping? An essay on Cups and Balls which can relate to other forms of our craft

        PAUL ROMHANY - Magic Reviews - a look at the latest effects and Applications

        NICK LEWIN - The Magic of Cruising - a look at the inside story of getting on cruise ships

        WAYNE ROGERS - 364 on 1 - a stand-up routine by Wayne Rogers

        CRIS JOHNSON - The Success Series continues

        PETER LOUGHRAN - Marketing Tips for Bizzarre Magic

        RANDY CHARACH - Income Marketing System for Magicians Part 2

        KIETH FIELDS - That should be ME up there!

        KEN DYNE - The Revelation

        LEE ALEX - Hermione - a costume change illusion

        RICHARD WEBSTER  - a great card reading routine called, "Cards Of Fate"

        KYLE RAVIN - The Transformation

        BIZZARO - The Secret to Happiness

        ANDREW GERARD - A Penny for Your Thought - a close-up coin/card routine  

        TC TAHOE - A Very Good Year - card reading routine by TC Tahoe

        BEN ROBINSON - Magic 24-7

        NICK KOLENDA - Top 3 Rehearsal Tips

        DANNY ARCHER - Routine called Barrel Of Fun - close-up coin routine

        KEN RING - Glorius Stack - a memorized stack that is easy and great for ACAAN

        KYLE PERON - A Magician's Constitution

        ADRIAN SAW - Review of Lu Chen show in Hong Kong

        DANNY WEISER - The Healthy Performer

        The last issue was ready by at LEAST 30,000 magicians from around the globe, that we could track. We estimate our readership is probably well over 40,000 readers. With the amount of downloads we are still receiving from issue one, we believe that we will eventually end up with a target audience of 100,000 readers. Please share this magazine with your friends, colleagues and members of your local magic clubs. The aim is to promote magic in a positive light, and encourage us all to give better performances.

        BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY TODAY FROM http://www.vanishmagazine.com

        From the Editor - Paul Romhany

        Lecture Review

         Last night I went to see a great lecture by Hoebi Kull from Switzerland. Hoebi was a student of the great Cellini. For those who are aware of Cellini's work he was the God Father of street magic, and busking. I did not know that he was also a singer, and so would perform in bars singing and doing magic in his early days.  I'm not a street performer but found this a great lecture, and Hoebi was very entertaining and such a joy to watch. One of my pet peeves with street performers is that they are often agressive, and rely on putting their audience down. It's very old school humor that seems to turn people off today rather than keep them. Hoebi was certainly a lesson in that you should treat your audience with respect, and they will in turn respect you as a performer. Today if I see a street performer abusing their audience I will just walk away. I understand that on the street you need to get a crowd, but the idea of having to resort to a deogratory style of humor is very old school. 

        Hoebi was charming, and his magic was very strong. Time went by very quickly. His use of the pouch was fantastic, and proved his point that the buskers pouch goes unnoticed by the audience. While he shared tricks with us all, I think the main point of the lecture was making your magic make sense. All of the moves to 'do the dirty' work went unnoticed by the audience simply because every action made sense. There was nothing out of place if he would reach in to the pouch to put something away, then he could come back out ready for the next trick. His lecture finished off with a fantastic cups and balls routine that floored everybody. He acknowledged the impact Cellini had on him and his magic. A real joy to see such a charming performer.


        The Real Deal - Survival Guide For Magicians

        What started off as a small 80 page booklet has grown in to a whopping 450 pages!! It's got a huge range of contributors, from close-up magicians to stage show to kids performers. There are hints and tips, stories and advice from seasoned pros. I would say this is easily the best book I have put together. It is jam packed with golden nuggets of information that can help save a lot of time and money for every type of performer. The book is still a work in progress, but I can tell you is ALMOST finished. Just waiting on some cartoons I've had done for the book, plus a few essays and hints and tips from others.

        Ventriloquism

        Some of you may be aware that I started my career off as a ventriloquist. It's something I really enjoy doing and getting back in to again. Here is a photo of my puppets.



        ROMHANY'S PICKS OF THE WEEK

        Flash by Chad Long

         

        This is one of my favorite color changing knife routines out there. What makes it so great is that it doesn't use a knife, but rather a small flash drive. It's one of those things you thinkg, "Why didn't I think of this?". Chad has done an amazing job producing such a professional prop. This really makes sense to me, more so than a color changing knife for today's audiences. 

         A classic trick, brought up-to-date with modern technology! Two USB flash drives, one red and one black are freely shown. They switch places several times, each more visual than the last, and then the black drive stretches to three times it's normal size!

        EASY TO DO!
        FUN TO PERFORM!
        EYE-POPPING MAGIC!
        GREAT CLIMAX!
        PERFECT FOR STROLLING!

        Includes: 2 small flash drives, 1 long flash drive and full-color instructions with photographs.

        * These custom-designed flash drives do not contain memory.

        Jumping Bow Tie by Guan Da Wu
         It is very rare to get such a visual effect, that can play well for many different performing situations. This would be perfect for close-up, parlor or stage. This reminds me of Daryl's Jumping Knot of Pakistan - but with a tie. There is ALOT of magic that happens in this routine you should check out the video.

        his is a STRONG, MULTI-PHASE, HIGHLY VISIBLE routine. We strongly urge you to watch the video as the description cannot do justice to this effect.

        The performer is wearing a black necktie which is removed from his collar and then wrapped around his neck; then the necktie VISIBLY PENETRATES THE NECK.

        Next, he ties a bow on one end of the necktie, then introduces a white necktie, the two neckties are then intertwined and when separated the black bow is now seen tied to the white necktie.

        When the black bow is untied, that segment of the white necktie is now shown to be BLACK. This can be tugged on to show it is still one necktie.

        The performer stands on one end of the white necktie (displaying the black segment) and stretches it out; he then runs his hand up the black segment and it INSTANTLY & VISIBLY JUMPS OFF THE TIE and TURNS INTO A BLACK SILK.

        The white tie can now be shown to be completely white again.

        The Black silk is then transformed into a black bowtie which the performer can attach to his collar if he wishes.

        This bow tie easily matches any of your favorite shirts and achieves a simple perfect design effect. There is no set-up required before performing. Create an amazing and fantastic show for stage, private and corporate venues!

        Comes complete with black tie, white tie, bow tie, scarf and instrutional DVD.

        To view a Windows Media clip of Jumping Bow Tie, click HERE!


        ANSWERING A QUESTION

         

        This week I had a question come in from a reader in Puerto Rico, I'll do my best to answer it. If any readers would like to ask questions please email me at info@paulromhany.com

        "My name is Hansel, I'm a magician from Puerto Rico. Big fan of your books ! I read your blog weekly, but I would like to read a little bit more about your  recommendations for Show Finales, And Closings.


        Actually I Close my Stage show with the "No Tear Restored Newspaper" . Its getting nice reactions from the audience, BUT I need something MORE strong I believe. Can you please touch this theme on the blog about good stage closers ?


        Thanks, Hansel - Puerto Rico"

        A closing effect is very important because you leave the audience with a lasting impression. The newspaper tear is a strong effect, but you say you would like a stronger reaction to close your show. Personally I feel it CAN be a strong enough closer, it's just how you theme it. I like to leave the audience with an effect that really connects with them on different emotional levels. The magic for torn and restored paper is strong enough, but you may need to change the presentation. If perhaps you treat it as an encore piece. One of the strongest closers I've seen was a friend who did an illusion show, he finished with a torn and restored newspaper. At the end he told the audience he would like to leave them with one more effect - something from his past he remembered as a kid, etc. The lights went off and then a single spot light of him center stage dressed in a Humphry Bogart jacket and hat. He then performed this amazing routine with voice over to an old movie detective style theme. It was incredibly strong and the perfect closer. So there is just one example of using a newspaper tear as a closer, but having a really different presentation. It tugged on various emotional levels, had elements of humor, and a strong magic finish. 

        Try and think outside the box. If you perform a comedy style act why not close on something that isn't comedy but comes from the heart, perhaps something your audience can relate to. With a little imagination you'll think of something. Try to think outside the box - something your audience perhaps wouldn't expect.

        One of the reasons many magicians close with Kevin James Snowstorm is because of how it tugs at people's emotions. There is a great story line followed by a visually strong piece of theater. I also saw a friend finish with Multiplying Bottles, this was also a great closer because it built to a strong climax with surprises a long the way - in other words the routine had kept building with comedy and great magic.

        Banachek finishes his full evening show with his Knife Stab routine - something that keeps the audience, and himself, on the edge of their seats. Because of the elements of danger, and his presentation you want to give him a standing ovation when he's finished!! After all he just saved his own life!

        I finish my own show with my floating broom routine. I tell a story with the routine, and it plays on the audience's emotions, leaving them with a lasting impression. I then finish the show off by walking in to a movie screen - so the show starts as me walking out of a screen and finally finishes with me walking in to it. The entire show tells somewhat of a story. 


        In my mentalism show I finish with my Dream Prediction - however I've added extras to the routine because at the very end I predict everything that occurred during the show. People's names, events that took place during the show, predictions, etc. In other words at the end everything makes sense and the effect ties it all together.

        One of my favorite movies was Unusual Suspects - one of the best endings of any movie - if you haven't seen it check it out. It stars Kevin Spacy. The ending really makes you go, "WOW - now THAT'S AN ENDING. I did NOT see that coming at ALL." You go away feeling really good about what you've just seen, and that the ending was worth watching the entire movie for. Imagine if you knew the ending to the movie prior to seeing it - you may not even stay. Your impression is certainly different than had you not known the ending. The same could be said for magic and for a show. If you can do something that is out of left field for the audience, you will get a stronger reaction.

        I do feel you can achieve this with the newspaper tear. Recently a friend saw a show where the magician produced a helicopter, then came back and performed a small cups and balls type routine. The Cups and Balls got a stonger reaction. Something to ponder about. 

        I hope I have answered your question - you raised a great point.
        If you'd like me to answer YOUR questions please do drop me a line.

        ROMHANY'S PICKS OF THE WEEK FROM www.HOCUS-POCUS.com

        Thumb Tip Flash

        This is close to perfection as you'll get with any type of FLASH at the fingertips. With about 50 uses before you need to recharge this is a great item for the close-up or walk about magician. What I like about this is that there is no danger involved, and it's very practical. If you have ever wanted to add a touch of 'flash' to an effect this could be the final answer. One of the best selling items this week at Hocus-Pocus.

        Flash is perfect for dramatizing the magic moment when an object vanishes or appears. Use it for balls in the cups and balls routine. Flash when coins are vanished. Use it to reveal a final load in a cups and balls or chop cup routine. If you do routines involving the appearance of a silk, Flash beautifully lights up the colors of the silks. Hold it beneath a glass and it makes the glass sparkle with light.

        We are sure that after you experiment with the Flash device you will come up with hundreds of appropriate applications of Flash for yourself.

        Electronic
        Rechargeable
        More than 50 flashes before recharging
        Very easy to use
        "We love your invention. It is great!"
        -Jeff McBride

        The Thumbtip Flash is a unique gimmick I love!"
        -Juan Mayoral

        "This gimmick is very simple and it has a very stunning effect."
        -Kim Hyunjoon

         

        Roadrunner Cull Vol.2 by Kostya Kimlat

        When it comes to a deck of cards you can't go past Kostya as far as skill and entertainment value is concerned. He is one of the best in the business, and this DVD and book contain the final work when it comes to the Cull. I had performed a cull for years, but when I saw Kostya's work on it, I realised there was so much more to it, and everybody should know how to do this. As far as I'm concerned there are two things (OK three) every card magician should know how to do, and do well.
        One is a double lift, the second a force and the third is the Cull. With these three items mastered you can perform some of the most amazing magic ever!!

        In this volume, Kostya goes beyond the "cull" of duty to provide an in-depth look at the technique, handling, and attitude that will make your card technique look flawless.

        This is the ultimate compendium DVD for all lovers and performers of card magic. Over 90 minutes of new magic, techniques, and a complete live-workshop session with commentary from Kostya. In this volume, Kostya goes beyond the "cull" of duty to provide an in-depth look at the technique, handling, and attitude that will make your card technique look flawless. Once you've devoured the contents of Volume 1, you're going to love how the learning experience continues on this second volume.

        BonusInsert this DVD-ROM into your computer and you will see complete interviews with Michael Ammar, Vito Lupo and Adam Rubin. You'll also find the complete Roadrunner Cull 20-page manuscript in English, Spanish and French, along with other bonus tricks and videos that have been unavailable since the initial release of Volume One.


        Sixth Sense 2.0 by Hugo Shelley

        I LOVE this type of effect. This is by far one of the best on the market. What makes it so great? First of all, you don't have to be right over top of the spectator's hand to do this. The range is quite amazing, which makes the effect that much more powerful. The gimmick is small and is made to last hours and hours of performances before you need to recharge. 


        Small. Light. Easy to use. Incredibly powerful.

        With an extended range, 360 degree sensing pattern and self-calibrating digital circuitry, Sixth Sense 2 allows you to perform a variety of beautiful and stunning mind-reading effects including the classic 'which hand'. Place the tiny sensor under your watch strap and a silent vibration will let you know in which hand your volunteer has hidden a magnetic coin.

        Sixth Sense will allow you to perform this effect in short sleeves.

        The basic effect

        The performer chooses a spectator and asks her to hide a coin in one hand behind her back. If he guesses incorrectly, she wins the game. The effect is repeated as the stakes are raised ...

        This plays just as well in close-up as it does to an audience of 2000. If you are currently performing any kind of mentalism routine, this device is invaluable.

        Limitless variations

        Although Sixth Sense was originally designed for 'which hand' effects there are an endless variety of different effects that can be performed using magnetic coins or other objects.

        Kurotsuke, Find the Lady, and Smash and Stab effects are all possible. You are limited only by your imagination.

        Extended range

        We have seen many other devices that try to create a similar effect. But where a weaker sensor will leave you 'scanning' your volunteer's hands in an unnatural way, or failing to detect the coin entirely, the range of Sixth Sense 2 allows a variety of coins to be used with complete confidence.

        Advanced miniaturisation

        Not only is Sixth Sense 2 the most powerful detection device in the world, it is also one of the smallest. 12 months of prototyping have enabled us to create a device small enough to fit under a watch strap, allowing the 'which hand' effect to be performed in short sleeves and at a moment's notice.

        Instant on

        No calibration routines, no wires, settings, or complicated hookups. Just turn the unit on via the switch at the base and Sixth Sense 2 automatically configures itself in a fraction of a second. Keep it in a pocket and perform your favourite effects wherever and whenever you want.

        Long battery life & enhanced durability

        Using the very latest in low-power digital circuitry and power saving techniques, Sixth Sense 2 will function for over 50 hours of continuous use (18,000 detections) on a single set of readily available button cells. The rubber coating and inset switch ensure that Sixth Sense 2 is robust enough to withstand years of constant use.

        Specifications

        Dimensions:
        33 x 20mm x 8mm (approximately 1.3 x .8 x .3 inches) Battery life: 50hrs
        User-replaceable CR1632 batteries
        Includes sensor, demo DVD, velcro wrist strap and written instructions

        Range
        Range (to Magnetic US Half Dollar - Kreis Magic) ~ 4.5 inches

        Range (to Wizard PK ring)~ 5 inches

        Range to PK Ring (Wizard FX): 5in

        Range to larger magnetic objects (Scorpion, Spike): 12in+

        Please note - magnetic coins must be purchased separately and are not included with the Sixth Sense 2. We recommend these magnetic coins to use with Sixth Sense 2:

        Magnetic US Half Dollar, Super Strong Version, you can get it HERE!.

        Magnetic US Half Dollar, Normal Version, you can get it HERE!.

        Magnetic US Half Dollar, Economy Version, you can get it HERE!.

        Magnetic Coin One Euro by Tango, you can get it HERE!.

        Magnetic Coin English Penny by Tango, you can get it HERE!.





        Review of Chris Cox Show

         Hi all

        A very good week this week. Just confirmed a wonderful job in China where I will be performing for the Royal Family of Monaco for a special event. Very excited about that. On Friday night I did a great corporate job. Actually I was called in at the last minute as the original act cancelled on them. He had confirmed the gig, then decided a better one had come along and cancelled, without even finding them a replacement. A really bad business move on his part, because this job has lead to quite a bit more work for me. It turned out the owner of the venue, an event center, watched my show, and afterwards wanted my years schedule. Good for me, not so good for the guy who cancelled the gig at the last minute.

        I'm finishing up in a week or so my new book "The Real Deal"- Survival Guide For Magicians. What started as a little booklet has now turned in to a huge 350 page book! The stories have been coming flooding in - I have put the deadline down for one more week, so if you wish to have a story published, a tip or hint then please email me now at info@paulromhany.com OR paul@chaplinmagic.com


        CHRIS COX REVIEW

        Chris Cox - Fatal Distraction


        On Monday night, a group of friends and I went to see a brand new show at the Auckland Comedy Festival, by UK Mentalist Chris Cox. We had all seen Chris two years ago when he was a headline act, and so were extremely excited to see his new show. I'm pleased to say he did not disappoint. What sets Chris apart from most other acts at these comedy festivals is that he doesn't have to rely on swearing to get embarrassed laughter. His show is incredibly smart, very well thought out, and one of the best productions of a mentalism show I have seen. He comes across as a charming, quirky guy, and has no problem getting people on stage to help him out.

        He has no hecklers because you don't feel like you want to heckle him. I found this interesting because having watched a few other comedy shows, I now realized that many of them invite people to heckle them due of the abuse they give the audience. I can see why his show was voted the best Comedy Show in the UK by Venue Magazine! It's a show everybody will enjoy, and not offend
        anybody. That will be one of the many reasons he travels the world with his show.


        Aside from the original effects in the show, Chris's skill is in weaving a story throughout the fifty minute performance. He
        comes up with unique themes that are intertwined, and at the end all come together. It contains everything that makes a great
        play; an opening, middle and strong closing.

        To list each routine would take too much time, and I could not do it justice, suffice to say everything he did had an original
        twist. There were no store bought mentalism tricks here!

        A few personal highlights included:-
        His Drawing Duplication with three people from the audience which built to a very strong climax, and came as quite a surprise. His
        energy keeps the show moving along at a very fast pace, and each routine flows in to the other. During the fifty minute show,
        Chris took us all on an emotional roller coaster ride. It reminded me of watching a Chaplin movie, where one minute you are
        laughing and the next you have a tear in your eye. While it is a comedy festival, and the majority of comedy acts are out to make
        us laugh, Chris takes us on a journey with his mentalism. A lesson for every performer in how to structure a very strong
        one-person show. He brought 'theatre' in to mentalism, and at the end you wanted more.

        One of the strongest moments in the show involved an older couple holding a newspaper. Without giving the effect away, because it's something that you need to see, he was able to create a very special moment, and something everybody was talking about after the show. Perhaps what made it so unique was his use of the stage, lighting, and silence to create a wonderful theatrical
        moment. You could hear gasps from the crowd the moment the 'effect' happened.

        His Q&A was very different, and unlike any other Q&A I had seen. It was so strong that for a minute there I believed he was really
        reading minds! His energy is very high, and he is constantly building each 'piece' to a frenzy where the outcome is mind-blowing mentalism at its best. The Q&A got the entire audience involved and kept them all on the edge of their seats.

        The finale of the show reminded me of the ending of movie, The Usual Suspects, where right at the end everything that happened
        during the movie, or in this case the show comes together, and you get that 'Damn I didn't see that coming' moment. It was
        certainly an incredibly well scripted, well produced show, and highly entertaining and mystifying show.

        While Chris tells the audience he 'is a mentalist who can't read minds,' I am sure that there were audience members that night who left that theatre believing he could. Having seen several other comedy acts at this festival, the new Chris Cox Show - Fatal
        Distraction was by far the highlight for us all.

        Chris takes his show to the Wellington Comedy Festival then prepares for his upcoming US TV series. 

        At the show L-R - Richard Webster, Paul, Chris Cox, Alan Watson

         ROMHANY'S TOP PICKS FROM www.Hocus-Pocus.com

        The Berglas Effect (books and DVD) by Richard Kaufman and David Berglas

        One of the most respected people in our business, David Berglas started a craze after he first performed his ACAAN routine years ago. Since then many have tried to find what card magicians think is the Holly Grail of card tricks. Well, in this book Berglas has over 60 pages on it!!

        This book is a treasure trove of card material from one of the greatest minds of our time. If you love card magic then this is a MUST HAVE for you!!

        The big hardcover book that reveals the innermost secrets of the card miracles performed by the legendary David Berglas for 60 years, written by magic's most experienced author, Richard Kaufman.

        Almost 400 pages
        Oversized, Hardcover
        Dustjacket, Inserts, and 3D Glasses
        Includes 3 DVDs
        Over 60 Pages Devoted to "The Berglas Effect" and "Any Card at Any Number".

         This is definitely a book every single card magician should own, read and put what David says in to practice. A book that I feel is worth more than the asking price!

         

         



         

         

         



        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 info@paulromhany.com

        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.
         
        Mission
        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 www.Hocus-Pocus.com

        BEN IN A BASKET

        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!