Thursday, May 26, 2005

Memorial Day Weekend

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Hi, all. Mike Giusti here. I've hijacked the blog once again, and you're all in trouble now!

Paul has decided to take a long overdue mini-vacation from Friday to Tuesday to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, and I can't say I blame him! As for me, I have to drive to San Francisco to perform, so Monday for me will be a welcomed extra day (as I find myself behind the wheel driving all the way back). Just to let you know that Hocus Pocus will be closed on Monday, Memorial Day, but don't let that deter you from placing your orders as usual. We will have our 24-hour answering service taking your calls, and the emails will be working overtime as usual.

As for the shop itself, as you probably already know, there isn't a day that goes by wherein Paul and I don't put anything new up on the web site. There are literally hundreds of new products to be released for the Summer, and my fingers already ache from typing and clicking... I know that Paul was excited about securing a new exclusive product that I'm sure he'll be teasing you about in next week's blog, so stay tuned!

You may want to head on over to Magic Broadcast, where Hocus Pocus and I will be giving away a $50.00 gift certificate for the winner who shares their most embarrassing moment. That's $50.00 to spend any way you wish, and just for writing or speaking. Simply go here or email me your most embarrassing/funny moment while performing magic, or and you could call the Magic Broadcast Talkback line at 1-888-808-2412, and you could hear your submission live on the air Tuesday, June 7th from 9:00-10:00 PM PST at Magic Broadcast!

The heat is really kicking in over on this side of the coast! Temperatures are already in the triple digits with no signs of letting up! It gets more and more difficult to be outside and even exercise in such heat, but before I know it, I'll be bundling up for winter!

The next time you read this blog, my good friend Tony Blanco will be in his office, ready and willing to take your orders, answer your questions, and track down new products for the web site. He'll also be Paul's personal slave, so I'll probably never see him again! Inside joke between the three of us. Now, I have a huge favor to ask of you:

Tony has spent the last 20+ years performing and living in Las Vegas, so moving all the way to Fresno is a whole new ball game. Tuesday is Tony's first official day with us here at Hocus Pocus, and I know it would mean the world to him if you called us toll-free at 800-407-4040 just to welcome him aboard and introduce yourself. Tony's one of the nicest, most unassuming, yet professional people on the planet, and I know he'd love it!

Hold on a sec -- phone's for me...

That was Paul on the line (taking that so-called vacation) reminding me to wish all of you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. I was going to do that.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Friday, May 20, 2005

The Heat is On!

Boy, oh boy, is the heat on here! We went from pouring down rain and wind to over 90 degree weather almost overnight. Time to pull out the shorts and short-sleeve shirts and get ready for those triple digit days!

You might remember the first part of the year, I mentioned a visit we had from Criss Angel and his manager. We teased you about a project they are working on, and now I'm happy to give you a bit more info. On Wednesday, July 20th at 10:00 PM on the A&E Network will be the series premier of Criss' new weekly show, "Mindfreak!" This is big news for the magic community and will definitely be a boon to the promotion of magic in general!

Got an email this morning from Robert Baxt who is on the set at Universal Studios where he is playing the part of Joseph Pujol, better known as Le Petomane in a motion picture due out later in the year. Robert sent the photos along, and I thought you might enjoy them as well.

Robert's not only one of the busiest working pros (he's not only a magician, but an actor, writer, and comedian), I don't know how he finds time to even sleep!

It's been a busy week here at Hocus Pocus as always, and I can't wait to spend some quality time with Betty and the kids. Cole, my eldest is hardcore into raquetball, and he's trying to recruit Mike into joining him at the local gym for some serious bottom-kicking! He's also very excited (Cole), as he finally had his braces removed this week, and he couldn't be more elated! Both he and Max are incessantly trying to convince Betty and I to take them to go see the new Star Wars film. I can't believe this movie generated over $17,000,000.00 in its first showing alone! If we're lucky enough to even get in, I'll give you my brief review next week.

In other news, our own Mike Giusti has been chosen to perform at the premiere of the new "Bewitched" movie to be released in the next few weeks. Mike will be bringing his own wildman and zany attitude and make this one of the most unforgettable premieres this town has ever seen! Remember, anything that has to do with magic that you become a part of is always great for not only your promotion but for magic in general!

Today, we'd like to formally announce that Tony Blanco will be joining the Hocus Pocus team full time on the 30th of this month! Tony is a master of magic and mime. He's an expert stand-up comedian, host, and master of ceremonies. He's a professional juggler, stilt walker, and unicyclist and full-time Las Vegas performer. Tony will be bringing all these skills and many more to Hocus Pocus, and we welcome his arrival.

So there you have it -- quite a full week. Don't forget to check out the web site as we are updating it with hot, new items each and every single day.

Until next time,


Friday, May 13, 2005

Who's Superstitious?

Friday the 13th, and we defy all superstition! We're walking under ladders, crossing the paths of black cats, and breaking every mirror we see. Not really, but it sounded good, right? It's funny how we all believe in these little things: my mother, to this day, will not let you open an umbrella inside her house, and that's no joke!

Lots to talk about this week. My son, Max, became an official teenager on Wednesday! The big 13! To say he's excited about becoming a teenager is an understatement. We started having the pre-birthday warm-up from Max two weeks prior by him leaving us notes on the refrigerator, slipping them under the bedroom door, and of course, verbal hints being dropped at every opportunity. For his big gift, he wanted a new Go-Cart, so Wednesday night, after dinner, we had the official unveiling! This baby goes a full 25 MPH, believe it or not, and for Max, that's supersonic! Of course, he test-drove it up and down the street all evening, and this weekend, we'll be taking it to my mother in-law's farm where there will be plenty of wide open space for Max to break it in.

Tomorrow, Betty and I will be taking Max and 8 of his best friends to Boomers for a big birthday bash where, for four hours, they'll be able to stuff themselves with pizza, cake, and ice cream, play arcade games, miniature golf, bumber boats, and Go-Carts, and play Lazer Tag! Ah yes, to be 13 again!

In other news, my daughter Aimee is visiting for a few days from Santa Barbara. It's always good to see her when she has time due to her hectic work schedule.

Today, we received Gilligan's Prediction, which, I'm sure most of you have seen on our web site. We ordered 200 units, and I would guess that a little over 150 will be shipped out today to those of you who pre-ordered. Thanks again for your orders! If this is something you were considering purchasing, it is a tremendous value for your the low priced at which it's advertised. The method is really clever; I cannot believe a fifteen year-old magician came up with something as good as this! Definitely worth a second look if your are still pondering purchasing this item!

I'm sure all of you know by now the sad passing of one of magic's great legends, Jay Marshall. I can happily say that I was extremely lucky to see Jay perform over the years at many magic conventions. To see him perform "Lefty" and "Paging Juan Escadero" was the epitome of true magic! I know it's cliche to say, but there really will never be another like him! As we like to say at Hocus Pocus, "He had a great run." With Jay passing away, it really is the end of an era.

Mike recently had an interesting show last weekend for an insurance group. Talk about a challenge: the room he was performing in was surrounded 360 degrees with mirrors! Not only on the sides of the room, but also on the ceiling as well! If there's nothing more challenging in a magic career, it's performing in those conditions! Kudos to Mike; he pulled it off and even received a standing ovation! When I hear stories like that, it makes me want to take up performing again! Mike keeps encouraging me to do so, and I must admit, the notion is becoming more and more
appealing. It's just finding extra time that is the problem...

I'll leave you with a wonderful note I received from our good friend from the United Kingdom, Nicholas Einhorn. Congratulations to both he and his wife, Jo, who had their first child, a baby girl:

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Jo & Nick are delighted to let you know that at 2.59am on 5/12/05 Emily Natasha Einhorn made her first public appearance. She weighed in at 7 lbs and 4 oz. The Show started at 3.00 pm the day before so as you can image the performance was quite long, but the main act was well worth waiting for and the whole cast is now resting and excited about future projects.

Lots of love,

Nick (Director) and Jo (Producer!)

Thanks again for all your letters, comments, and suggestions. I really do read them and appreciate them all. It's you who makes Hocus Pocus what it has become today!

Until next time,


Friday, May 06, 2005

Remember Your Mom!

All right, guys and gals, let's not forget that this Sunday is Mother's Day. The most important thing your mom wants is to more than likely spend some time with you and your family. Remember all the nice things Mom did for you while growing up?

I remember for my 6th birthday party, it was a pirate theme. For two weeks, my mother slaved away and made all the party decorations and party favors herself! I can still remember her sitting up late at night cutting out pirate hats and eye patches and gluing skulls & crossbones together. Oh, and the cake: no store bought cake, but a homemade cake shaped like a pirates' island, complete with palm trees, pirate's chest, gold chocolate coins, and pirates. By the way, my birthday is September 1 (no gifts, please), and in Fresno, California the temperature around then is generally 104 - 108 degrees. Not this particular September 1, though; for my 6th birthday, it poured rain like you wouldn't believe! I thought my big outside birthday party would be ruined, but fear not; Mom came to the rescue! She went to the hardware store, bought a ton of roll-out bamboo fences, and both she and my father lined them up against the walls of the garage and brought all the tables inside. Opening the front of the garage, it was like living in a pirates grotto as the water cascaded off the open garage door! It was better than it would have been had the day been sunny! I have my mom to thank for that memory and many others.

Speaking of rain, that's all we've had here. It's May and it's pouring like crazy. It should be bright and sunny but all the weather reports tell us we're in for rain, rain, rain, until the middle of next week! We're so close to the mountains, it's great for the skiers as ski slopes report that they'll be open all the way until Memorial Day! Hard to believe but true.

Our visitor this week was my good friend Terry Godfrey from San Diego. Terry was on his way to perform at the Sacramento State Fair, and he stopped by for several hours. Terry's one of the busiest professionals in the business, and he's truly one of the most well-rounded performers whether it be be large stage shows or close-up work! His version of the Miser's Dream would make Al Flosso "stand up straight, boy!" Terry and I had a chance to reminisce, and he left with a big box of books, his favorite...

Hope you've had a chance to check out the web site this week and notice all the new products being updated and added by my favorite "number one guy" (said in my best Jack Palance voice), Mike Giusti.

Speaking of Mike Giusti, Mike and I will be in a huddle Monday compiling a list of private collectibles to be sent to all online members. If you are not an online member, be sure to sign up today! Simply enter the web site HERE and sign up to become a member! It's simple. It's fun. Best of all, it's free!

So there you have it! I want to say thank you to all the moms out there, to my mom, and to my wife, Betty, for not only being an incredible mom to all of our children, but the best wife any guy could ever have!

Until next time,