Another busy week coming up - hence another short BLOG. Next week I'm off to China, Japan and Korea - busy times ahead so I'm very frantic packing as you can imagine.
MAJOR NEWS - VANISH - International Magic Magazine - and it's FREE
For some time now I've been teasing you all with a major announcement. Well it's ALMOST ready but I want to give you more of a sneak preview. For the past few years I've been working on developing a new concept in magic magazine. It's a magazine that you can download and read on your computer, e-reader, iPad etc. and it's FREE! The first issue will be ready April 1st and you can download it from a lot of sites on the internet including my own.
And now a sneak preview of contributors and articles - the idea of this magazine is to offer articles that will make you think about our craft, and hopefully inspire you to take magic to a new level.
The cover story is about Chipper Lowell - one of my all time favorite comedy performers - this interview has lots of wonderful photos plus an amazing story of a boy who was brought up in 'the business'. There is a great story of him traveling to New Zealand with his parents in a show when he was a young boy, then returning years later with his own show on tour.
How is the value of a commercial magician measured? - JC Sum essay that will definitely make you think.
Evolve your magic - Magic Babe Ning tells us like it is from a female perspective.
Bamboozlers - Diamond Jim Tyler shares a bar trick with a can of Red Bull
It's Child's Play - Tony Chris AKA Zany Zak - an essay and effect for children's performers from one of the busiest guys in Canada.
Magic Trick Reviews by Harry Monk
The Magic of Mentoring by Nick Lewin
Wrong Number - an effect by Wayne Rogers from New Zealand
The Success Series by Cris Johnson - great tips on calling clients on the phone
Magic FaceLift - Illusion designer Mark Parker takes a well known mentalism illusion and gives it a makeover.
Income Marketing System for Magicians by Randy Charach - the Millionare magician gives away some amazing secrets
From the Desk of Keith Fields - a full time professional who writes with increidble thought and asks some really great questions.
Unprepared and Impromptu by Ken Dyne - well known UK mentalist talks about being prepared at all times.
Dear Pemela - a great effect by the one and only Richard Webster.
You Can't Buy Personality by Bizzaro -
Karate Shadow by Gerard - an effect using a stir stick and a shadow
Tricks are For magicians silly rabbit - TC tahoe talks about connecting with the audience
Magic 24-7 by Ben Robinson - from the trenches with a real pro.
Real Coin in Bottle - a routine using a real coin inside a bottle by Ken Ring
Flying Carpet/Chair Suspension tips by Kyle Peron - he wrote the book (literally) on the chair suspension so we are excited to have him share tips with us in Vanish.
As you can see the magazine is filled with wonderful articles as well as loads of amazing photos and drawings for the articles and effects. We want every magician in the world to read the magazine as it's a way we can share our craft and try and improve our audience's perspective of what we do.
You can go on my mailing list to find out when and where to download by clicking on subscribe above, and I'll email when the first issue and other issues come out.
This week we are away from Auckland as we prepare to move in to our new home at the end of March. It's been all go. For the past nine months we have been pretty much living out of suitcases due to our travels. We have bought a house just out of Auckland in an area called Stanmore Bay. it's a lovely area and walking distance to a lovely beach. We can't wait to get all of our belongings out of storage and set up a home.
This week I've been busy writing the new Pro-Series book, which will be on my Headling Prediction routine with the bonus of Cris Johnson's brilliant routine as well. Three routines all up in a booklet that is over eighty pages. It is the biggest book so far in the Pro-Series. It will be out next month.
I have 99% finished working on Performing Mentalism For Young Minds Volume 2. All the contributions are in and currently editing. The plan is to have that ready for April as well.
To top it all off I have been working on the BIGGEST project of my writing career - the launch will be end of March and will be shaking up the Magic World a bit. The project will be available to every single magician in the world and it WILL BE FREE!!!!! I can't say more but it's been in the planning stage for several years now. Stay tuned to this BLOG to find out more at the end of the month.
ROMHANY'S MAGIC TRICKS OF THE WEEK
Elite Chair Suspension - EXCLUSIVE
This week I had my own Chair Suspension arrive. Hocus-Pocus have exclusive on this amazing version of this wonderful illusion. I've owned several versions over the years including the most expensive Bill Smith version. Bill's version was great, however it was extremely heavy and hard to transport. The first thing I noticed about this version by Jay Leslie is that is was light. I have owned other 'cheaper' versions made from plastic chairs but wouldn't use them in any of my shows because I didn't trust them. This version by Jay has to be the best on the market for an incredible low price. For a self contained one person illusion you really can't beat this! Jay supplies really well made props that you can trust. The great thing about this is that it will support an adult without having to worry if it will fall. Jay has added a few improvements that really make this a great prop. Everything has been strengthened to hold the weight of an adult. I got this to perform for kids shows and promotional work but will certainly use this for adult shows as well. I am building this in to my Chaplin act as well. I can honestly say I've not seen a well built chair suspension like this before. It is without a doubt the best out there and any magician wanting to add this to their repertoire should look at this version.
This is with out a doubt the best Chair Suspension we have ever had the pleasure of offering.
For years we sold the European Chair Suspension because it was the best we could buy, but we had difficulty keeping it in stock. So, we had our builder custom make an updated Chair Suspension.
THIS IS NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR SUSPENSION. Our builder made it better! There are significant structural changes that now allow for a weight of up to 325 pounds. This gives the performer much more opportunity when selecting an audience member to be the participant in the act.
Five exciting improvements have been made to the engineering, making this the sturdiest Chair Suspension we have ever stocked. With the assistant centered, you can use adults or children with confidence.
Three never-before improvements have been made to the cloth. These range from an optical illusion of making the assistant appear suspended further away from the chair to the way the cloth hangs and how it hides that certain something better then ever.
Different and stronger chairs were used in the basic construction.
The carrying cloth had been simplified to drop over the top and buckle under the bottom then you just carry everything with a strap that goes over your arm.
This model has enough improvements to be considered "An advancement of the arts". All improvements were made by Jay Leslie, so you know a lot of time and effort was invested into thinking them out completely. All in all there are several never-before available improvements made to this standard illusion making it the NEW standard of the industry. After you watch the DVD and see Jay sit and effortlessly lay on the gimmick, without it moving, you'll know exactly whet we mean when we say that it's an advancement of the arts.
A complete set of detailed instructions has been created, including an exclusive DVD to show how to use your new illusion. Because this DVD is specific to the advancements on this model it is available only to those who take advantage of this exclusive offer and we urge you to do so while they are available.
Magician begins by placing two chairs on stage and places a wooden board across the top of both. He then invites anyone from the audience (up to 325 lbs) on stage to lie on the board. While holding onto the board at her feet, the magician removes the chair closest to her feet. Next, he yanks the board from under her, and she visibly remains suspended in mid-air with only her head resting on the top of the remaining chair! An impossible head-scratching illusion perfect for any type of performance venue!
Don't confuse this with any other type of chair suspensions on the market today. This is solidly built and one that you'll use in every one of your shows.
The gimmick portion of the chair is built of sturdy metal and this Chair Suspension can support a weight of up to 325 pounds, which means you can suspend either a child or adult without fear. This perfect illusion will fit in the back seat of your car for easy transport, enabling you to take it wherever you go!
Supplied complete with everything you'll need including a carry sheath.
It's great to be home again after a busy time away performing. I am keeping busy with various projects including a close-up version of Dream Prediction. I've been working on this for quite some time and can reveal that it is close to finished. The props include a wallet that has been especially made for Dream Prediction out of high quality leather. The wallet is designed with a few special features that make the effect easy to perform. It also includes the gimmick envelope that has been hand made for me. I have to say that I'm extremely happy with the final product.The first person to see the wallet was Richard Webster who immediately placed an order! As Richard noted, it's a high quality production that any mentalist would be proud to carry with them at all times. There is something very classy about having props that look and feel good - especially when performing close-up.
Speaking of Dream Prediction - this amazing video came to my attention recently as James Holguin performed Dream Prediction at The Magic Castle for Valentines Week. You can see by the reaction of the lady on stage, and the audience how strong it is. This is definitely worth checking out, and James does a fantastic job. He also came up with a wonderful idea of clipping the prediction to ANY microphone stand.
A few years back I interviewed my good friend Alan Watson. Alan, for those who don't know runs a weekly e-zine magazine for magicians. It's filled with news updates and has over 16,000 subscribers! Alan is also a successful magician here in New Zealand performing kids shows, restaurants and trade-shows. He has to be one of the hardest working magicians I know.
Be sure to check out the series of interviews because he offers some real insight and valuable information that will help any performers career. Visit them at:
Each week I take a look at what is hot in magic from my good friends at Hocus-Pocus in Fresno California.
Bearly Impossible Pro Series Volume 7 by Paul Romhany
I have finally released the FULL version, complete with script for the opening of my mentalism show. This book is 57 pages and includes both the stage version and 'stand-up' version I have used. It's a fun routine where you predict a chosen object, the cost, and color. There is certainly something very endearing about a teddy bear, and the routine I use really connects with the audience. The reason I came up with this (thanks to my friend TC Tahoe for the idea), was because I wanted something that let me show some humor to the audience, had a kicker ending, and let them get to know me. It sets the tone for the rest of my one show. Included in the book are photos and drawings of all the props, including the latest version I had made by a design from Illusion designer Mark Parker.
BONUS - there are three great ideas in the back of the book using Teddy Bears for other effects including a novel production for Paper Balls Over the Head, and two other mentalism style routines.
For the past twelve years this routine has been the opening act of Paul's Mentalism Show, both land and cruise ship work. This book details the original method plus the updated method and equipment used. The book also explains a solo version that Paul uses in more intimate situations.
This book also gives Paul's word for word routine, complete with gags and bits of business making this a COMPLETE package. BONUS ROUTINES: As a bonus Paul shares THREE different effects that use Teddy Bears including a Paper Balls over the Head Production and another highly commercial stand-up bear routine plus a great Bear Routine for kids performers.
"There is something very endearing about using a Teddy Bear in a show - especially if you end up giving it away. This is one of my all time favourite routines to open my show as it immediately gets the audience on my side and prepared for the rest of the show."
- Paul Romhany
THE EFFECT: The performer shows a gift box, and talks about how he bought this gift for his four-year-old niece for her upcoming birthday. He then talks about 'coincidences' and wants to try an experiment. Audience members are asked to call out any color, any amount of money, a ladies name and a 'gift' is selected. The selections are written on a whiteboard.
The lady is invited on stage and SHE TAKES OUT of the gift box a birthday card addressed to the magician's niece whose name matches the one called out ... coincidence ONE. She then takes out a gift certificate for the EXACT amount that was called out ... coincidence TWO ... she then reaches in and takes out the gift which matches her choice AND it is the exact color that was called out. The color, money, name and gift ALL MATCH 100%. Also, the SPECTATOR takes out the items from the gift box.
Instructions by Paul Romhany
Illustrations by Mark Parker
Pages: 52 - 5" x 8" - Softcover - Perfect bound - Black and white photos and illustrations
Populate by Mark Parker - book - FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!
Here is the latest illusion design from Mark Parker. I had the honor of seeing this illusion during it's working stages and then the final production. Let me just say that it is probably the strongest production illusion I've seen in a long time. Even though I know how it works I still couldn't figure out how the heck all those people were produced! This is so much more stronger than than the Jarret Box because this is shown completely empty just before the production. If I were to perform for America's Got Talent THIS would be the one illusion I would perform - it would blow the minds of the audience. When it comes to Illusion Design Mark Parker is without a doubt one of the most creative and original thinkers in the industry. This is why he consults for some of the largest names in the business.
Populate - An illusionary appearance of a small crowd. Introduction by Eric Olsen of EDF Magic
This is the first in a series of single illusion publications by renowned Illusion designer Mark Parker, author of illusion books 'Vivify' & 4E Illusion Design.
Populate is Parkers take on the Guy Jarrett 21 person cabinet.
In this version an elevated framework structure, screened with fabric is shown completely empty & revolved 360 degrees. In an instant the fabric is stripped away revealing the surprise appearance of 26 people.
The illusion is self contained, performed away from any backdrops and requires no black art.
A stunning and surprising appearance of a small crowd of people.
The illusion is described in detail complete with dimensions and construction notes. The apparatus required is designed to break down into individual sections for easy transport
Printed in glorious full color throughout, complete with detailed 3 dimensional illustrations.
"Mark has a devilishly creative mind that scares me!"
"Populate is a wonderful & surprising illusion. Mark's elegant design solution to this plot is a must read."
- Charles Bach - Las Vegas
"Mark Parker is an explosive creative genius of illusion design! A rare combination of style and intellect --sometimes bold and sometimes practical --but always a thing to behold. Fascinating excellence!"
- Brett Daniels - USA
Always Remember to Floss by Dan Sperry - IN STOCK
Finally Dan is releasing his famous Razor Blade routine - something I've been waiting to see for a long time. Having seen Dan perform this I can honestly say his routine will leave your audience with a memorable impression! What I like about this is the structure of the routine - it really makes sense. It is also something you can perform surrounded as it's very clean - everything is shown at the tips of the fingers. The idea of using Dental Floss is great as the props aren't 'special' and the audience can relate to them.
Dan performs this close-up and on stage - so it's a very versatile routine.
In recent years the gut wrenching Razor Blade swallowing illusion has become increasingly popular. What has always been regarded as a stage routine has now been adapted for close up and street performing environments by Dan Sperry. Using innocent looking every day objects that you can carry on you and set up in a matter of seconds Dan has created a simple yet diabolical switch method that is completely safe and sure to shock and amaze your audience.
Magician displays 3 razor blades and places each blade on the open palm of a spectator. Next he shows a small piece of paper and a box of dental floss. To prove they are real he slices a small piece of paper. He next takes a length of floss from the box and begins to ingest it - showing he has indeed swallowed it by opening his mouth. Finally he places the three blades into his mouth apparently swallowing them as well. After a few moments he produces the 3 blades threaded onto the floss from his unharmed mouth.
This method and effect can be performed close up and surrounded. The method is extremely simple and can be adapted to stage performance situations as well. There is no limit to the number of blades used in the routine, 3 is just used as an example for close up situations. The gimmick can be assembled in a matter of minutes and effect can be reset in less than 10 seconds - even in front of your audience!
The effect comes complete with all necessary gimmicks.
Another hectic week. I had a great time in Hong Kong, the reports back from the show were great and already we are looking at more work throughout Asia. Many times as a cruise ship magician we joke about the fact we get paid for the travel and not so much for the show. Having just flown 11.5 hours one way then perform 10 minutes and back home for another 11.5 hours I must say I got paid for the travel. It really takes it toll when you travel this much. Having said that I'm very pleased to be working of course. One of the best moves I ever made years ago was developing an act that was truly international. This has allowed me to perform in countries that the majority of magicians wouldn't get booked. Also, having continued on with the Chaplin character has helped in these in these world class venues.
What many people may not know is that I also perform other shows than the Chaplin Act. My full evening Mentalism show and my comedy show. In the future I'll put up photos of the new act I've been busy developing - very different but again it's aimed at the international non-English speaking market.
Next weeks BLOG will be late as I'm on a cruise ship again. Work is coming in for ships - despite what people might tell you the cruise lines are still booking acts - they have however canned a lot of the older acts that have been working on ships for 30 plus years. I have a lot of good friends who have worked ships for many many years and can no longer get regular work. The industry has changed a lot since I started. It's all about keeping your act fresh and exciting - this will keep you working for a long time.
UPDATE ON PERFORMING FOR YOUNG MINDS VOLUME 2
I have had a number of emails from people asking when Volume 2 will be ready. I'm pleased to say it's ALMOST complete. This volume has even more effects in it than the first - and all of them are amazing. I would say that if you perform any type of mentalism you will want to get your hands on both books. Volume 2 has quite a large variety of effects from close-up, strolling to stage and even an illusion idea for performing on stage.
Here is an effect that offers ALOT of possibilities for a performer. I really like this idea. The magician enters and produces a guitar from a briefcase, then causes it to float. This could make a great 'piece' of theater with the right music. The quality of product is great and I can certainly see this being a feature in somebody's act. Everybody today seems to float a table, why not float a guitar. Being a musician I really like this and can see it as a part of my stand-up act. It's very easy to perform and is extremely visual. If you need to perform a solo illusion then this is perfect. The great thing is that it really does look like a real guitar!
I am a HUGE fan of mental bending. I perform all types of versions from spoons to forks. I had the opportunity to see this myself and test it out at a convention in Vancouver, Canada. This floored everybody who saw it. The great thing about this version is that you can pretty much leave it out and when you want to perform it, have a spectator hold it and the fork will start to bend. It's unbelievable. I now own one myself and used it recently on a TV spot I did here in New Zealand. The reaction from the host was worth every penny and caused quite a stir. I think the perfect way to do this is to incorporate it in to other different bends you already do, and at the end finish with this one in the spectator's hand.
Ellusionist has added a chrome finish to so that the fork resembles REAL
flatware, cut the price in HALF, and engineered the gimmick to stay
straight in room temperature UNTIL you place it inside the spectator's
Shift will remain unbent, unnoticed, and unassuming until the moment you
place it into the spectator's hands. From that moment on, your work is
done and the real phenomenon begins.
You now have the tool for a surreal performance. A physical impossibility is now within your reach.
IMPORTANT: This is NOT an opening effect. If used as an opening trick,
make it your ONLY trick and walk away... we've discovered that NOTHING
can follow Shift.
You can now perform the impossible action of bending a fork INSIDE your
SPECTATOR'S HAND, in plain view, for the world to witness every surreal
Jay is well known for releasing innovative and highly visual magic. I have to say that he has really outdone himself on this one. It is EXACTLY as it reads in the advert. A blank card is placed in a spectator's hand it is visually changes, face-up to their card. It just doesn't get any more visual or stronger than this!! I'm not a huge fan of card tricks unless they are commercial and work in the real world. This has to be one of the most visual effects I've ever seen. The method is outstanding and right up there with Jay's other creative effects. Jay often takes his magic to different levels, beyond what most of us would normally do. Aura is certainly one of those effects.
Jay Crowe and Jason Brumbalow have worked together to create that
mythical holy grail of card magic; the no-move, no cover, color change
as the blank card comes into being without any sleight of hand or moves
Nowhere in magic does a blank card develop like a Polaroid in your spectator's open palm. Until now.
From a blank deck a card is chosen and placed in the hands of a
spectator. They are told to think of a card, and visualize the image
flowing forth from their mind to the blank card in their hand.
Slowly, Visually, face up, the image materializes from nothing. The
blank card has manifested on its own, becoming the very card they had in
Witness what real magic should look like as the image of their card breathes itself into existence before their eyes.
Perform in spectator's hand which makes this SUPER STRONG MAGIC!!
What a week it's been. I had a one off corporate gig in Hong Kong - so on Wednesday I flew eleven hours to perform my 12 minute show. The clients were International Investors so there was A LOT of money in the room that night. It looks like that one gig will be leading to more one off international gigs and something rather big is in the pipeline for later in the year. If it comes off I'll be very happy indeed.
My flight the next day wasn't until 9pm so I was able to spend a day in Hong Kong again. This time I wanted to make sure I caught up with well known Hong Kong magic superstar Alert Tam. For those of you who frequent magic conventions I am sure you will know Albert. What a really great guy. We spent about 3 hours just talking about his philosophy on Magic as a Teaching Tool. I will tell you it completely opened my eyes to how magic is a great learning tool for kids. We also talked about magic competitions and his ideas on judging. With FISM coming up this year it is interesting to see the different styles of judging used around the world. Albert shared with me what he does in Hong Kong and I have to say it's probably the best method. You are judged on THE PERFORMANCE - in other words from the moment you enter until after you've gone - even the impression you leave on the judges. There are acts that when they are finished you don't think about - and then there are those that stay in your mind. I am going to try and get Albert to write something about both Teaching and Judging for some projects I'm working on. Thank you Albert for a wonderful few hours and look forward to hanging out again soon.
Hocus-Pocus has just received some great new items in the Private Estate sale. This is something you should check daily because there are things in there that are truly one off products, as well as very hard to get - all at great prices. Here's a few I would like to highlight for the week.
Paul Gross' Custom Manipulator's Cube Table - Private Estate MT
This is something that is truly unique and a one of a kind. If it doesn't go this week I might just have to get it myself!! For those that may not be aware, Hocus-Pocus owner Paul Gross was a very busy professional magician. One of his key routines was his opening comedy dove production. This table was built to be used as a regular table for any type of act, but had the built in comedy dove routine in it.
It was built by Ray Lum who makes TOP QUALITY magic. If you have been looking for a fantastic manipulation table this is it - at an affordable price. Anything Ray makes is going to be the best quality product made to last.
From the crafty hands of Ray Lum, right into the stage act of magician Paul Gross comes this workhorse of a cube table.
As you may know, Paul hung up his magician's cape from performing several years ago, but this Cube Table has lingered as a memento of those days. Barely used, it was constructed at the end of Paul's performing days. But now, it can be yours!
DESCRIPTION: This table was custom-made to Paul Gross' exact specifications by master craftsman and magician Ray Lum. Utilized in connection with his opener, one of the bits featured in Paul's act was a dove gag.
To begin his show, Paul would produce a live dove allowing it to flutter its wings in the usual manner. Then he would explain that it was actually ARTIFICIAL, but the audience would protest seeing that the dove was a REAL dove. Lifting its tail, a battery (palmed) would fall to the floor. (Belly laughter would ensue).
As Paul bent down to pick up the battery with his left hand, the right hand would place the dove in the special holding compartment inside the table and grab the latex dove, thus switching doves.
Since the switch was seamless, he would proceed to remake the point that the dove was in fact a FAKE and roll it around his finger, then place it into his breast pocket.
Of course, as you might guess, the audience went bananas! A perfect opener, letting the audience know precisely the kind of act they were in for....great COMEDY and great MAGIC!
The special compartment can be used for switching as in Paul's act or securing a dove before or after its production. Use it as a dump for items that are produced during your show -- it holds quite a lot!
The entire unit measures 40-inches tall and the cube is 16-inches square.
Included are two shelves that can be attached giving additional tabletop space.
Condition: Excellent - Only used a few times by the all-powerful magician, Paul Gross.
PLEASE NOTE: Special packaging is required for this item.
We like to think of it as a little bit of magic history, Paul Gross magic history that is....
As with all of our ESTATE items, we've only got this ONE, so buy it without DELAY and put it into your act right away!
Dove to Rabbit Cylinder by Dazzling Magic - Private Estate MT
I used to own an original and used it in ALL THE KIDS SHOWS! This is such a wonderful effect that the kids really go nuts for. I haven't seen one of these in many years - and there is only one here at the Private Estate sale.
The standard dove to rabbit cage is a phenomenal effect, but on repeat dates, the audience knows what to expect. Now we have the solution in the Dove to Rabbit Cylinder.
EFFECT: Place a live dove into the clear cylinder...cover is placed over cylinder. Instantly cover is removed, and the dove has become a live bunny rabbit! Kids and adults go nuts!
The Dove to Rabbit Cylinder stands about 11 inches high. The load tube measures 7 1/4 inches high by 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Decorated with in a durable red jewel-like finish. Comes complete with a heavy vinyl drawstring carry bag.
This remarkable effect was created by Gene Elmo many years ago and still plays beautifully for contemporary audiences. It's really a GIANT Crystal Silk Cylinder for livestock transformation. Simply beautiful and easy to do!
Condition: EXCELLENT - Stored away by the original owner and appears to have NEVER been used. What a find!
There's only ONE, so why not get it NOW and start WOWing your audiences today!
Soirees Fantastiques by Christian Fechner - Private Estate
This has to be my pick of the week. This book is VERY RARE and an English edition. This contains the original floating bar stool levitation as well as the walking skeleton illusion. If you have ever wanted to own this book, either to get the illusion plans or just to invest in then this is a very rare opportunity!
Soirees Fantastiques by Christian Fechner, English 1st edition, 1988. A two volume set in a slipcase.
Condition: Pristine Mint.
Only 300 copies of this English edition were produced. Extremely rare.
Volume 1 is 431 pages that describe the history, working, and inner detail of Fechner's entire act and fine details of his illusions.
Volume 2 is a fake book that opens to reveal 3 flip books, in outstanding color, that can be used to see some of the illusions actually performed. Underneath the flip books is an additional compartment that holds the 12 plans for all the illusions in Volume 1, all in a large size with extremely great detail.
Whether you're a collector or if you are interested in illusion building this is a great asset to your library.
Remember, there's only one and when it's gone, it's gone forever!