Friday, April 07, 2006

Hey, Rocky. Watch Me Pull A Rabbit.....

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee's Magic Factory. I love this crazy magic business. Why? Because I get to play with all the toys. This week, some amazing new items came in the door. And, I get to play with them before anyone else. My waste bin is filled with broken glass from playing with the Devil's Bottle, one of the coolest items we have ever carried. And, that's just one item. It's a wonder I can get any work done. Sometimes I don't.

In other excitement this week, we toyed with the idea of changing the place into a petting zoo. Not quite true. What happened was, over the weekend a squirrel got trapped in the building. We discovered traces of his/her presence in a couple of the shipping bins. And, we found telltale holes in the trash bags. At first, we thought that the SYM kids had been around over the weekend. But, no, it was a squirrel. So, we called an exterminator. He came, saw it was a squirrel, told us they don’t do squirrels because it's not legal to kill them and left. This morning, I looked into my office and saw the little feller sitting on the top shelf of my bookcase. Quiet as a mouse. Not moving a muscle. Stephen, the zoological elf, got a broom, went onto the office (with no body armor of any kind) and chased the squirrel out. He's not sure if he chased the squirrel out the door or not, but we are hopeful.

Now, let's take a look at all the great magic in this week's Hotlist.

Devil's Bottle - Kevin - Curtin - Hand a spectator a real glass bottle and ask her to bang the bottle against the floor or a table to prove the bottle solid. Next ask her to hold the bottle at her fingertips, at the top of the bottle.
Concentrate, concentrate. As you do, the bottle shatters into a million pieces! While the spectator is holding it.
The bottle is absolutely real; you can even drink from it before performing. There are no switches, no chemicals and no stooges. There are no electronics or mechanical devices.
If you're looking for a reputation maker, this is it.
Read what other pros are saying:
"The religion starts here" - Gordon Bean.
"You concentrate, the bottle shatters... incredible!" - Lee Earle
"One of the best pieces of magic I've ever seen" - Andy Nyman
"I guarantee that this is one of the strongest psychokinetic stunts that any ordinary human being can perform. It is all self-working, self-contained, and happens in the spectator's own hands! Truly a miracle" - Banacheck
Here's what you get:
* Videotape performance instructions, including a video clip of Penn and Teller performing the effect on TV.
* 12 Devil's Bottles to get you started immediately.
* Performance Rights Certificate (including television rights).
* Manuscript explaining how to prepare any glass bottle for this effect (Kevin Curtin reserves all commercial rights with patent pending)
* Exclusive rights to prepare additional bottles on your own or purchase bottles from Kevin Curtin for your own use. $1000.00

Porper Locking Card Box - You have never, ever, seen a Card Box like Joe Porper’s Locking Card Box. It is truly a craftsman’s dream.
The basic box is machined from special alloys and has two compartments. Each will hold one or more playing cards, billets, small silks, etc.
The locking mechanism is nothing short of brilliant. Easy to unlock once you know the secret. Yet, once locked, it is impossible to discover how to release it. Not only that, but even the most diligent inspection will reveal absolutely nothing. It looks like a totally normal box. No one would ever suspect that it was anything else.
In addition to the beautifully machined Card Box you get a copy of 50 Tricks With A Card Box and a special velvet carrying bag.
Destined to become a collector’s item. $380.00

Nailed - Jay Sankey - Introduce a very unusual prediction: a color photograph of the Four of Diamonds nailed to a wooden table.
Explain that, "in a moment - when you freely select a card - it will in fact be the card in the photo." The spectator is asked to hold onto the photo, but when she selects a card it is found to be the King of Clubs, not the card in the photo.
To right matters, you do the truly impossible by causing the King of Clubs to change places with the Four of Diamonds inside the photo! And get this: Everything can be immediately examined
Angle-proof, resets in a second and super easy to do! And you can perform this effect with almost any poker or bridge sized cards. Bicycle, Tally-Ho, Aviator, Bee, you name it! Whatever cards you like to perform with, the extremely clever gimmicks do all the work for you.
"No trick is that perfect," right? Wrong! Nailed is the perfect trick!
Includes super-cool gimmicks, illustrated instructions, and an amazing 50-minute instructional DVD with Jay personally teaching you all the nitty gritty details featuring: The Complete Presentation, Jay's Favorite Handling, Several Card Forces, A Variety of Revelations, The White Sticker Handling and the double-climax Two Card Handling! $20.00

My Magic Husband - Howard Thurston Unmasked - Grace Thurston - A rare, behind-the-scenes look at a magical legend!
Based on the diary of his 15 year old wife Grace, this book presents the factual and heretofore unknown side of one of America's greatest magicians – Howard Thurston
The early years that shaped Thurston The Great are recounted in vivid detail as Grace Thurston (the first of Howard's four wives) writes about their poverty, Howard's bouts with the law and subsequent jailing, the origin and story of Thurston's famous "Rising Cards," the Herrmann encounter, their covered wagon tour of the early West, the sleazy saloons and honky-tonks, their trip to Europe, success on the Continent, the building of the "big show," and the mental and physical abuse that spanned their years of marriage.
Now, 20 years after its original paperback publication as the "Thurston Scrapbook - Grace Thurston Manuscript," a new, hard bound, 190 page edition of the fascinating, revealing and human story of Howard Thurston's early years has been typeset and photo enhanced - with an additional 20 pages of the 1953 transcribed taped interviews with Charles Holzmueller, Thurston's mechanic from his 1905-07 World Tour. Limited Edition of 500 copies. $40.00

Houdini Periodical Bibliography - Arthur Moses - Covering a time period from 1898 to 2005, this bibliography includes 541 individual title listings which chronicle all significant articles by or about Houdini in magazines, periodicals, journals, etc.
A must for any collector or historian.
Pages 96
B/W and Full Color images. $40.00

Dick Ryan DVD - Greater Magic Video Library Volume 42 -
Learn the real “tricks” of trade show magic. Dick Ryan, a pioneer in the field, shares his wealth of knowledge and experience with you. You can earn more than six figures a year if you apply what’s on this video. And you’ll learn it so you’ll benefit yourself, the corporation and the art of magic. Ideal for jugglers, ventriloquists, mentalists and magicians.
Interview 1 — Learn how performers find trade and association bookings. Understand the different opportunities that await.
Interview 2 — Dick discusses how to work with an agent, organize brochures and enhance your marketing skills.
Trade Show Demonstrations — Learn by example from seven demos. Dick demonstrates magic and relates it to a company's product. Watch how he handles a crowd and involves them in his magic.
Lecture/Questions & Answers — Dick unselfishly reveals the nuts and bolts of how to exhibit at trade shows, demonstrate difficult products, generate traffic, negotiate fees, request testimonials and much more.
Role Playing — Dick shows you how to use the telephone to obtain lists of contacts, close a sale, work a charity event and much more. $30.00

Ed Marlo: It's All In The Cards DVD Set - A one-of-a-kind two-volume DVD set like no other. See Ed Marlo in his prime!
Featuring commentary by Marlo’s closest students The two-DVD set includes:
Part 1: The History
• Documentary of Ed Marlo’s life in card magic
• Historic footage of Ed Marlo performing a collection of his original card effects and sleight of hand (including Devilish Miracle, Unbelievable Aces and Cards To Pocket, Open Prediction and 8 perfect riffle Faro Shuffles)
• First-hand stories highlighting Marlo’s unique personality
• Bonus historic footage of Ed Marlo, Charlie Miller and Dai Vernon at SEAM Convention 1982 filmed by James Lewis
Part 2: The Card Effects
• Marlo’s students perform and explain card effects inspired by their mentor. Featured performers include Bill Malone, Simon Aronson, David Solomon, Don England, Allan Ackerman, Kevin Kelly, Jon Racherbaumer and more! $49.95

Scripted Insanity DVD, Vol. 1 - Larry Davidson - Larry Davidson has been refining his performances for over 30 years. These new DVDs document his approach to professional performance. Larry is a true type “A” personality. He has spent thousands of hours developing his material to a very high level of perfection. Larry covers in detail the three major tools every performer needs to refine their material to a true professional performance level. Scripting. Motivation. Rehearsal.
Both Volume 1 & 2 are shot before a live audience that roars their approval. The routines are not pipe dreams but polished performance pieces that use practical methods combined with outstanding presentations.
While the performances are truly outstanding, Larry’s explanations go into incredible detail. It’s obvious that he’s spent zillions of hours ironing out the tiniest details in his working repertoire. You’ll also be astonished to see why Larry has chosen to say not only what he says but why he says it. Combine this with his touches, body motions and in general all the little things that are normally left out and you’ll soon see why this DVD set is really a master class.
Half & Hole-This eye-popping transposition of a half dollar and a Chinese coin with a hole through it is a real worker's dream.
Big Mystery - This is Larry’s handling of John Kennedy’s superb marketed effect “The Mystery Box”.
Money In their Hand- This is Larry’s handling of Derek Dingles “Silver Quick”. It’s a real workhorse for table-hoppers.
808-Why is it called “808”? Because it’s Larry’s favorite card routine and the classic Bike decks have “808” on the Joker. The routine has three phases that just keep getting stronger.
Square Dance-This has been in Larry’s repertoire for more than 30 years. It’s an anytime, anywhere production of four coins.
Translocation- A longtime John Kennedy classic, Translocation should be in every close up magician's arsenal.
Blown Away- This is actually the third part of the coin trilogy. It’s very fast paced and is the perfect complement to finish off what’s left of the spectator’s minds after witnessing “Square Dance” and “Translocation”.
Sponge Larry Roundpants- We all have a sponge routine, either the bunnies or the balls. We all know they play great. Larry’s routine is just a bit risqué but it leaves them with cramped stomach muscles from laughing so hard.
Bonus Essays- Both Volumes 1 & 2 contain essays on Scripting, Motivation and Rehearsal. Larry’s insights are based on performing for thousands of people in his career. He shares his thoughts in extreme detail. This is extremely valuable information that’s usually glossed over! $ 34.95

Scripted Insanity DVD, Vol. 2 - Larry Davidson - The second volume in this outstanding DVD set.
Dad’s Deck- A brilliant presentation for the classic “Haunted Deck”. But it’s much more, as Larry has developed without question the most practical version ever! Yes, there’s thread involved. But, it’s the easiest handling ever. It resets instantly after each performance. And if that’s not enough, the thread’s not hooked up to you, but it’s in your pocket always ready to go! You you do the diabolical dirty work right in front of them! Simply one of the best thread ever!
Kitchen Sink - This takes Larry’s work from “Dad’s Deck” and expands the effect to even greater heights. It’s a top shelf fooler!
Cut Above The Rest-Imagine the Color Changing Knives vs. Knife Through Coat giving birth to Baby Knives. Need I say more? Laughs abound, applause deafens, eyes blink. What more could you ask for?
Relaxation Principle-Finally a presentation for the classic “Card To Pocket” that makes sense and at the same time provides a comedy vehicle that cracks up the crowd with a jolt!
Vapor-Manipulation maniacs will love this one. It’s a vanish/reproduction sequence with a surprise ending.
Pearl The Poodle - If you’re looking for a way to increase tips at your shows or meet that special someone at the bar, Pearl is the answer. She’ll open the doors to their hearts and wallets fooling them along the way. You’d have to be crazy to pass this routine up!
High Rise -Give credit to Jeff McBride for creating his masterpiece “Kundalini Rising.” It’s a rising card while the spectator holds the deck. Larry has improved the handling with a different gimmick and the added mystery of not having the card selected but just named. It can be done totally surrounded!
Nice Butt -If Slydini had to do a torn and restored cigarette standing, this would be the version he’d use. A classic quickie, visually stunning with a couple of big laughs!
Bonus Essays -Both Volumes 1 & 2 contain essays on Scripting, Motivation and Rehearsal. Larry’s insights are based on performing for thousands of people in his career. He shares his thoughts in extreme detail. This is extremely valuable information that’s usually glossed over! $34.95

And that's all the great new goodies for this week. Cool stuff for all! I hope you will find some time to spend with us at
And, I really hope you will sign up for the Conclave in two weeks. We'd love to see you there!
Hank Lee