Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Big Thanks

I want to say a big thank you to all of you who participated in our recent private collection/estate event. To say it was a success is an understatement; so many of you took advantage of some of the great bargains and rare finds we had to offer. It was really a lot of fun going through all these items, some new, some old, some rare, and some I've never seen before. Over 80% of the first list sold out in 48 hours! Even after the banner was removed from the front page, calls still kept coming in with inquiries about the listed items. Some items were still available, but many I'm sorry to say were already sold. So, thank you to everyone who participated, and we're in active preparation for list #2! As we get close to its release, I'll announce it here. Remember, you must be an online member to receive advanced notice. If you are not already a member, you can sign up for free HERE!


Class is almost in session

We're just a couple of days away now from the official launch of Mark Wilson's Magic University! I'm very pleased with the response over this exciting new concept. And by the amount of pre-registered founding members, so are you! If you've not yet signed up, you still have a few hours left to become a founding member as today is the last day. This will entitle you to an extra bonus free gift, founding member bonuses, as well as considerable savings on a year-long tuition. To sign up and for more information, click HERE.

I'm leaving early this afternoon to get ready for my trip to Hollywood for the Magic Castle Swap Meet this weekend. Saturday, the Magic Castle will open its doors and hundreds of vendors will be there selling, swapping, trading, and wheeling and dealing with all who attend. As always, I will be looking for rare, unusual, and hard-to-find items to bring back especially for you. I understand that they anticipate an unusually high attendance this time, which is exciting to hear! Watch the web site early next week as these items will magically appear. Even if I don't find anything (which is extremely rare), it's always a lot of fun and a great afternoon of meeting new and old friends. If you plan on attending and see me, please stop me and say hello.


Every Dollar Counts

Just a teaser, next Monday evening, there will be a brand new product category listed called BARGAIN BASEMENT, and for 4 days only, we will list numerous DVDs, books, and effects at wholesale or below prices! For four days only and limited to stock on-hand, you'll have to hurry to get in on all the action! I guarantee you'll be glad you did!

So thanks again for all your support. We appreciate it more than you know. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and we'll see you here again next week!

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

It's a short blog today; Mike and I have been feverishly working over the last couple of months, along with our good friend, Steve Dick, to compile the biggest private estate and collectible event we've ever offered! There are over 1000 items, from small pocket tricks to large scale illusions (some item's I've never even seen in the 40 years I've been into magic) that will be featured in this list. The first list contains nearly 250 items and will be sent out via email tomorrow, Saturday afternoon, April 25th, but only Hocus Pocus online members will receive the email and get first dibs on these items. If you are not yet an online member, you can sign up for free HERE in order to get in on this huge event. Here are a few pictures to give you a taste of what's in store. What's that? Need a larger view? Simply click on the pictures to open a larger view.


It's like a maze of magic everywhere you look!


From vanishing radios to vintage ventriloquist figures


Some of the larger scale illusions and props


Smaller items adorn the shelves and more shelves


Another view


There really is something for everyone!


Barely room to walk


Rare, one of a kind, radio-controlled talking skull

So there's just a small sampling of what's in store. It's taken what seems like forever just to inventory and prepare this first list. I'm very excited to be able to offer such a wide variety of items for you. If you want a sneak peak of a small sampling of some of these products being offered, make sure you check out the Private/Estate category inside the online store! Until then, be on the lookout for the email tomorrow afternoon. But remember, there's only one of each item listed, and it's first come, first serve.

Get on your mark. Get set. And...

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Never Judge A Book

How many times have we heard the old saying "Never judge a book by its cover?" It's an old saying, but it's one that constantly rings true. We are all guilty of it. There is not a person alive who isn't guilty of it. Whether it be about a person, a place, etc., we make snap judgments without truly giving them a chance.

This week, every major news channel, radio station, and almost every newspaper carried the story of Susan Boyle who tried out for Britain's Got Talent. Even before she stepped out onstage, this 48 year-old, single woman, who had never been married or even kissed, as she admitted, began to receive snickers, dirty looks, rolling eyes, and giggles from the audience and her fellow competitors. Stepping onstage, the judges' reactions were obviously preconceived as well. They halfheartedly interviewed her and, as the cameras panned the audience before Boyle began to sing, the laughs and looks continued. Ah, but wait; the music started and what followed was completely unexpected and angelic. What an inspiration this woman is, and more importantly, what a message she has sent across the globe. Hooray for you, Susan Boyle, for teaching us all a very important message and one that won't soon be forgotten. We can all learn to be a little more tolerant, and a little less judgmental in the way we treat one another.

In the rare case you've not gotten a chance to witness this incredible performance viewed over 20 million times in the past 3 days, I've included a video clip below for you to watch again and again and again.

video

Even though the final results have not been revealed for Britain's Got Talent, you've got our vote, Susan Boyle!

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fond Memories of an Afternoon of Allakazam

They came, they saw, and they learned magic. That pretty much sums up what happened here last Saturday here at Hocus Pocus during our Afternoon of Allakazam event! Mark, Nani, and good friend, Mark Nelson arrived last Friday evening, and we had an amazing barbecue and a great time reminiscing and sharing stories about magic, magicians, and their travels. Saturday morning, I picked up Nani at the hotel and brought her to Hocus Pocus where she set up for the day's activities. Around 12:00, our guests began to arrive, and there was a real buzz in the air in anticipation for what was about to happen! At 1:00 sharp, to an audience of 105 people, I introduced Mark Wilson. For the first hour, the afternoon began with a video presentation of Mark and Nani's career and some of their accomplishments in magic. Mark shared stories and his experiences about how it all began, how he met Nani Darnell, and getting their television show on the air. Before you knew it, the first hour was finished and it was time for a short break.

After the break, it was time to begin Magic University! For the next 2 hours, Mark performed and then expertly taught each trick in detail, supplying all the necessary props to do so for each student in attendance. There were tricks with corks, ropes, napkins, playing cards, money, and a special bonus effect where a borrowed bill with a torn corner ended up inside a Chapstick tube held by another spectator across the room! As an added bonus, Mark and Nani performed the Allakazam Egg and for the finale, Nani even coaxed him into performing his famous Color Changing Knife routine!


The audience in preparation, minutes before the event begins


My introduction




Introducing Mark Wilson


The Afternoon of Allakazam begins


A packed house of eager students


Mark and Nani speaking about their vast career in magic


Magic University begins with the 2 Cork trick


Mark demonstrating solid through solid


Impossible? Not for Mark Wilson


Next was tricks with rope


Check out everybody learning the routine




Even Renee and Nani got into the act


Mark's famous Torn & Restored Napkin trick




Mark performs his Borrowed Bill to Chapstick routine


Mark and Nani perform their famous Allakazam Egg effect


To perform the Allakazam Egg, you need your magic coin


Presto! The silk turns into an egg! Or does it?


Peeling the spot off the egg


Cracking open the egg into a glass


Mark and Nani perform Mark's version of Paul Curry's Out of This World




Heartfelt tribute to Nani had everyone feeling the emotions


Mark and Nani thank everyone for coming to An Afternoon of Allakazam


A very happy Mark Wilson


Nani and Renee manning the Allakazam merchandise tables

I've had so many positive emails and phone calls about this event. The most incredible part is the mix of people who attended; there were men, women, grandparents with grandchildren, teenagers, and every single person in the room was spellbound throughout the day. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, walked away with special memories and the new found abilities to perform every single magic trick they were taught that day. It was truly magical to bring a bunch of strangers together for several hours in an afternoon and and watch them become part of a small family together as they learned and watched together. And I must mention that Mark is still the grandmaster of magic, performing each effect flawlessly and teaching in great detail, so that no one felt left out.



This afternoon's event is proof that Mark and Nani's creation of the new Magic University program is an important and significant contribution to the art of magic! Young or old, male or female, imagine getting 3 personal magic lessons delivered to your email inbox per week from none other than Mark Wilson. I think that it's a pretty incredible deal, and I urge you to read more about it HERE!

I said it before, and I'll say it again until I'm blue in the face: No one has contributed to and done more for the art of magic than Mark and Nani Wilson. Their long and exciting career has spanned the globe and touched countless lives, and they continue to do so to this day! And speaking of special accomplishments, tomorrow, Saturday, April 11th is Mark's 80th birthday! So why not drop him a line and wish him a happy birthday at mark@markwilsonmagic.com.

For me personally, Mark and Nani: you both know how special you are to me. I'm honored to call you my friends and Mark, I wish you the happiest of birthdays for tomorrow and for many years to come!

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, April 03, 2009

Ready for Allakazam


105 chairs all set up!



The stage is set, the chairs are in place, and we're just 24 hours away from our Afternoon of Allakazam. Mark and Nani Wilson, along with the Magic Castle's own Mark Nelson will be here later this afternoon, and we will all head over to my house this evening for barbecue and prepare for tomorrow's event. Then, tomorrow, 105 lucky people will be able to spend 3 unforgettable hours with the legends of magic, Mark and Nani! The first hour will be a retrospect of their glorious career. The final two hours will be spent with a performance my Mark and Nani and then a teach-in session. We're very excited about this event (I think I'm more excited than anybody) and hope that you are lucky enough to be able to attend.

Last week's call to recycle your old magic, also known as Trade-In Days, was a huge success! Many of you took advantage of our offer and traded in your old or unwanted magic for instant in-store credit to use for future purchases. Thank you to all who participated.



Speaking of special events, we're just a little over a week away from our lecture with Wayne Houchin! This promises to be one of the biggest lecture events we've ever held as the response so far has been tremendous. We anticipate a huge turnout! Throughout this 3 hour event, Wayne will perform and teach a selection of his favorite pieces of powerful magic, including unpublished material. Character development, goal setting, and the art of success including Why Magicians Fail will also be discussed.

WHEN: Monday, April 13 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Hocus Pocus 1492 N. Clark #104 Fresno, CA. 93703
COST: $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door

To make reservations by credit card or for further information call toll-free (800) 407-4040 or 559-266-5150. For more information click HERE!

As if all this isn't keeping us busy enough, check out the web site; a record amount of products have hit the site this week, including Deep 3 by Bro Gilbert and Paul Harris! This one's received tons of action and acclaim on all the boards and blogs, and for good reason!

Well, there is still a little more work to do in preparation for tomorrow's Afternoon of Allakazam, so it's back to work we go. Once again, I hope to see you here tomorrow if possible, and I'll have photos and a follow-up next week.

Until next time,

Paul