Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone! We're just a few days away from the huge candy-fest know affectionately as Halloween! Our cupboards at home are bursting at the seams with candy, and I'm sure it will be all gone come Wednesday evening with the number of trick-or-treaters we regularly receive each year.


Speaking of Halloween, that evening will host the 2nd episode of "Phenomenon," in which our good friends Guy Bavli, Angela Funovits, Mike Super, and Jason Scott will make their appearance. So stay tuned and make sure to vote for your favorite performer.

This week has been very busy here at Hocus Pocus. Obviously, judging from the orders we've taken, many of you are gearing up for the holiday season, which is rapidly approaching. You may even want to check out the new "Holiday Items" category on the web site to help you make your holiday effects come to life. There are many effects we've hand-picked that are perfect for any holiday party in which you are performing this year! Remember, adding one or two effects like these to your show sets you apart from your competition, and your audiences and clients will remember this the next time they book you.

Just got off the phone with Robert Baxt who has been working at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas substituting for Jeff Hobson for 10 days while Jeff is away. Robert's having a great time, and he was telling me how he spent last night at Lance Burton's house until 3:00 AM along with Johnny Thompson and 30 other guests. They are filming a new Johnny Thompson DVD, which will make its appearance in the near future. Robert was amazed with Burton's new home which was built like a castle to meet Lance's entertaining needs. Filled with trap doors, secret passageways, it's a magician's dream home, for sure! Robert jokingly remarked that the house itself is so big that you need to stop and rest every so often just to get from one end to the other. He's taken many pictures, which we'll post here next week, so look forward to that.

Special thoughts and prayers go out to our many friends who are dealing with the fires in the Los Angeles/Southern California area. We've been in contact with many of them over the phone, and they have managed to escape any harm so far. One of our friends has been without power now for several days, and it's taking our very own local PG&E crews to travel down to those spots to help out. Special thanks to all the firefighters and others who have done so much to help get this situation under control. Hopefully, we're coming to the end very soon.

Wedding Bells toll for our very own Tony Blanco who is getting married Saturday morning at 10:00 AM. We wish Tony and Lisa all the happiness in the world as they begin a new chapter in their lives together.

How would you like to have $1000.00 to spend at Hocus Pocus? Don't forget to check the special page on our web site on October 31st for all the details. One lucky person will win a $1000.00 gift certificate to go on a Hocus Pocus shopping spree!

Until next week,


Friday, October 19, 2007

Home From Hollywood!

What a weekend it was! Betty and I left early Friday morning for Hollywood, California, and arrived around 11:30 AM at our usual destination, Musso & Frank's! My friend, Craig Harlan and his fiance, Deborah, followed us from Fresno and hooked up with us as well in time for lunch. The whole gang was there, including Robert Baxt, Carl Ballantine, Chuck and Gerald Kirchner, Steven Steele, Joe Porper, Glenn and Melinda Farrington, and Big Lou Hirschorn. We all had a great time, and it was good to be back together with my old friends.

Clockwise: Steven Steele, me, Carl Ballantine, Robert Baxt, and Lou Hirschorn

Craig Harlan, Deborah, and Glenn Farrington

Joe Porper, Steven Steele, Betty, Me, and Carl

Big Bad Lou Hirschorn

After lunch, we trouped down Hollywood Boulevard to a new store that captured my fancy online, called Dapper Cadaver. This place is filled with the strange, weird, and bizarre. In short, I loved it! The owner, B.J. Winslow and his staff graciously gave us a tour of his facility. They are a major prop rental and sales house for the television and motion picture industry, and chances are, you've seen their props in more than a few movies. Anything from an iron maiden to pickled punks, they've got it all! They even custom make props as well. I made a couple of purchases to add to my collection. These folks are great, and I urge you to visit them on their web site, and tell them Hocus Pocus sent you:

The Dapper Cadaver entrance off Hollywood Boulevard

The Iron Maiden

The Electric Chair

Are you talking to me?

Chupacabra in the window display

Have a few skeletons in your closet?

A view of the showroom

Alien autopsy. Yes, I bought this.

Pickled punks galore

Scoping out all the gory details

Watch out for the giant cockroach!

Thanks again to B.J. Winslow and his staff at Dapper Cadaver for showing us a great time!

Back in the car to the hotel where I met up with Chuck and Gerald Kirchner again where we talked about magic, I caught a glimpse of David Regal walking through the hotel lobby. We called him over, and he told us that he was there filming for a TV reality show that will air on VH1. It will be like Dancing With the Stars, only celebrities will be taught to perform with professional magicians as coaches. Some of the coaches are David Regal, Simon Lovell, David Kaye (Silly Billy), Rocco, and more. All these guys were staying at the Magic Castle Hotel while filming, so stay tuned for more details on VH1.

As David Regal left our room to get ready for his spot on the show, who else but Terry Seabrooke showed up! Having just arrived from England to work his week at the Magic Castle, we realized we were having quite the magical afternoon, and we hadn't yet gone to the Castle yet!

Time to get ready to go to the Castle for dinner, so we dressed up and met up again with Craig, Deborah, Chuck, and Gerald, Robert Baxt, and his girlfriend, Yumi.

Betty and I, Deborah, Craig, and Chuck

After a terrific dinner, we all went to the Palace of Mystery for a great show, and we were in for a pleasant surprise, when our friend, Shoot Ogawa, showed up as guest entertainer. Shoot opened the show with a bang and really set the show for the rest of the evening! After the Palace of Mystery show, we went downstairs to enjoy David Regal perform some of his signature close-up magic. Late now, we had to go back to the hotel room to get some rest before the Swap Meet the next day.

Saying goodnight to the Magic Castle

The next morning came rather quickly. I was first in line for the Swap Meet, and the doors opened right on time at 9:00 AM. Lots of things to see, and I was lucky enough to pick up a few of the more rare items. One of the highlights for me was acquiring another of Doug Henning's costumes for my collection. We were excited because Mark and Nani Wilson had asked us to stop by their warehouse on the way home for a tour, and I couldn't have been more excited! Unfortunately, there was a massive accident the night before on the Interstate 5. It was closed, so we were unable to make our appointment with Mark and Nani. What would have normally been a 3 hour trip home turned into 6 hours! Mark and Nani have graciously extended their invitation to us the next time we are down their way, so I plan on taking them up on their offer. I can't wait...

So there you have it. Thanks to Mike for taking over the blog last week. I want to also thank all of you who have written us and given us your comments and compliments on the new interface of our web site. My son, Cole, is home from college this weekend in time to celebrate Betty's birthday this weekend, so whatever you're doing, make sure your weekend is a good one.

Until next time,


Friday, October 12, 2007

New Website Launched!

Hi, kids. Mike Giusti here hijacking the blog while Paul is off to the Magic Castle Swap Meet.

I am happy to be the one to announce that the new Hocus Pocus web site is now up and running with tons of new features for you to enjoy. You can now do things like click on a product image, and its larger image and details (along with video features) will load immediately underneath rather than load in a separate page! All the product links are now fully featured on the left and right-handed columns for those with low resolution monitors, and there's even a Best Sellers feature on the right hand side if you are interested in seeing what products are flying off the shelves! Soon, we'll be adding even more new features to make your virtual shopping experience more enjoyable and easier than ever before!

Also, since there are many products that go up on the site on a daily basis (many of which are not listed on the front of the site), you may wish to choose to sign up for daily updates of ALL the products that are added daily. Simply sign up under the NEW FEATURE section on the right-hand column inside the shop and you'll be all set. And, of course, you can opt out at any time if you wish.

Now, having said that, as with all new software, there may be a few glitches here and there, and nobody knows about them until someone stumbles upon it randomly. So, if this happens to you, please let us know by emailing the situation to, and we'll get on the problem immediately.

Shoot Ogawa

I am also happy to inform you that Shoot Ogawa has selected Hocus Pocus to carry his line of products, so for your convenience, I have created a new product category called "Shoot Ogawa" (I know, I know, I'm so smart) so you can find all of the products there. More will be added as the day progresses, so keep refreshing your browsers and remember to sign up for those daily updates. Thank you, Shoot.

Also, Hocus Pocus was able to obtain Real Ghost by Christopher Taylor! Ever since the MindVention 2006, the underground buzz on Real Ghost has been phenomenal! Now, it can be yours! Check it out along with the video clip HERE!

On the home front, I am happy to report that MAGIC Live was a great success last weekend in Campbell, California. I want to thank each and every one of you who took time out of your weekend schedule and joined Ray Lum, Marshal Magoon and myself for what I feel was a tremendously entertaining show for the entire family. Ray was kind enough to send the below photos of the show:

The Medicated Magician makes his appearance

Performing the Lumball Machine

Getting as far away from the spectator as possible as her ring vanishes

Ray swindles the crowd

Performing Cardiographic for an enthusiastic spectator

Ray makes sure a spectator doesn't lose his head

Performing an impossible prediction with a spectator and the audience

Ray closes his show by making it snow

Curtain call

Signing autographs after the show

After the late show and packing up all of Ray's and my props, I did something that wasn't very smart: I drove 3 hours home at 1:30 AM! The next morning (afternoon), I felt like I was run over by a freight train, so I took some time on Sunday to recuperate before traveling north again on Wednesday to perform in Berkeley, California for the Bayer Corporation. After an hour of walkaround magic, it was my turn to take the stage and the crowd gathered and had a great time. At one point, I had a spectator laughing so hard on stage, he was actually crying! At first, I thought I had actually made him cry, but he was just having a lot of fun. Whew! Wish I had a picture of that...

Paul will be back next week to tell you all about the Magic Castle Swap Meet! Until then, have a great weekend!


Friday, October 05, 2007

1 More Week

I know we talked about the launch of our new website in last week's blog. We anticipated launching it this week, but we needed to clear out a couple of the cobwebs and glitches before it goes live, SO... look forward to the website being launched sometime in the next week. It is very important for us to have everything letter perfect for you in order to make your experience at Hocus Pocus safe, secure and fun! We appreciate all your anticipatory emails, comments and suggestions, and are glad to see that you are just as excited as we are about the next step in the evolution of the Hocus Pocus website.

The Big Fresno Fair

The Big Fresno Fair started up again on Wednesday, and Betty, Max, and I took off early to go see what it had to offer this year. My good friends, Tom Jorgenson and Terry Godfrey both are performing magic this year at the fair, and Tom has three different attractions: a kid's karaoke, Picasso's Place (a kid's arts and crafts area), and his Mr. Wizard Magic Show. Terry is performing walkaround magic on the open air stage and does the best Magic Mouse pitch you will ever see!

After catching their shows and visiting, we went on to the Exhibit Center and then onto Betty's favorite attraction, soft tacos! Next, Max went for some cheesy nachos, and I had bottled water. Yum. Yep, I'm still keeping a close eye on my food intake, especially at places like the fair. After everyone had their fill, we hit the midway, and Max wanted to win a huge "Ball of Money." All I can explain is that it is a large bouncing ball covered in a cloth printed with money on it. Hilarious. Now, you might be asking yourself, "Why would he be wanting this?" The answer: he's still a kid, and he had to have it. So, we went from game to game, trying our best to win this thing. After about $65.00 and several failed attempts Max finally won it! Now, I completely understand that the actual cost of this thing is probably about $5.00, but I guess it was the thrill of winning it that really counted. Max proudly carried this with him for the remainder of the night around the fairgrounds, all the while being stopped by people asking him what it was and where he got it. You just can't put a price on the thrill of winning.

One last stop at the Cinnamon Roll booth (you can smell it for miles) because as everyone knows, you absolutely cannot go to the fair without having one of these delicious cinnamon rolls. Except for me, of course, and man, what a battle it was! My mouth was watering the entire time I watched Betty and Max eat theirs. As if it wasn't enough fun, we're going back tomorrow. Who knows, maybe Max will win another giant "Ball O' Money!"

The Magic Castle Swap Meet

Next Saturday is the Magic Castle Swap Meet, which I will be attending. I'll be leaving Friday to meet up with the gang at Musso & Frank's to have lunch, see the show that evening, and then check out all the wares that the vendors have to offer, because you never know what you're going to find there. Even if you don't find anything, it always great to see old friends at the Castle and visit with them. If you're there, as always, please stop and say hello.

Speaking of Swap Meets, the date for the 2nd Annual Hocus Pocus Swap Meet & Get-Together has been set, so mark your calendars now for Saturday, January 19th and Sunday, January 20th! Performers and lecturers already booked are:

David Regal


Shoot Ogawa


Mark & Nani Wilson

And more to be announced...

Last time, we had almost 300 people in attendance. There were lots of vendors, and a great time was had by all! We'll have some special announcements as the weeks go by, so stay tuned. We guarantee that this next year's affair will be even bigger and better than before! If you are interested in participating as a vendor to sell your used magic or attend, please contact Tony Blanco or myself toll-free at 800-407-4040 or 559-266-5150 or email

Thanks to everyone who has signed up to be pals on MySpace. You can check out Hocus Pocus' MySpace page here if you haven't already joined:

And if you haven't already done so, make sure to check out Mike Giusti's new podcast, Trick Talk, which is rapidly gaining popularity on iTunes by going here:

So that about wraps it up for this week. Maybe Mike will grace us with his presence next Friday on the blog. In the meantime, wish Max good luck as he tries his luck trying to win his next treasure at the Fair. I can smell the cinnamon rolls already...

Until next time,