Friday, April 24, 2009

Got Shows?

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. I hope you were there. Because if you weren’t, you missed one of the best Conclaves in our 21 year history. People will be talking about the Friday night show for years to come. It was one of those “were you there?” shows. If you were not there, ask someone who was to tell you about it. In fact, in the next week, I will be writing about the Conclave and will include the Friday night madness! I just need a few days to digest it all. Watch for the review.

I have a topic this week. I hope you will find it interesting. “Does anyone do magic shows anymore?” I know this may sound like a foolish question, and it is not aimed at the over thirty (forty?) group, who are very active doing magic shows. It is aimed at the new generation of magicians, the Online Generation, who seem to have forgotten about doing shows. I look back on my early years in magic, and I did a ton of shows. Everyone I knew in magic did shows. Birthday party shows. Club dates. Fraternal organization shows. Cub Scout and Boy Scout shows. Tons of shows, really. We used classic props: Temple Screens, 20th Century Silks, Milk Pitcher, Chen Lee Water Suspension, Linking Rings and more. The rich kids owned a Botania or a Flying Carpet. U.F. Grant and Percy Abbott and Louis Tannen were our heroes. We saved up and bought whatever we could afford to make our little shows bigger and better. And we made money doing our little shows. Not a ton, but certainly enough to keep us in snacks and new magic. Saturdays and Sundays were show days. And, we were always busy.

So, what happened? The new kids don’t seem to be doing shows like us old kids did. We are selling far less of the classic stage and kidshow props and far more DVDs with really dark covers and one card trick inside. Tricks that are perfect to fool your friend, but absolutely not to perform before a “large” audience. Is the future of magic on the street and in the barroom, but not in the living room full of kids or the hall full of families? I hope not, because I honestly believe that it is the wrong direction for magic’s future. Please understand that this is my opinion, and yours might be different. Let me know your thoughts.

If you think you might want to get started doing “real shows” (I am sure I will hear about that) you have come to the right place at the right time. This week’s excitement is the one you have been waiting for!

STAGE MAGIC SALES EVENT: What could be better than to save a whole bunch of money on some great new stage magic? Nothing, sez me!
Starting right now and ending on Wednesday, the 29th of April at midnight, you can save 25% on almost every Stage Magic item that we carry. Items that are not included in the sale are so marked. These are the items listed in the Stage Magic section of our catalog. All you need to do is enter the special code SAVEONSTAGE in the Discount Coupon Box at the bottom of the first page of the online checkout at and we will automatically deduct the 25%. If you place your order by phone, toll free at 800 874 7400, just mention the special code, SAVEONSTAGE, and we will deduct the 25%. You can also place your order by FAX at 781 395 2034 or by email at No matter how you place your order, just mention the special code and save 25%!

And, now let's take a look at this week's Hotlist!

Andthensome DVD – Dan & Dave Buck:Just a few years ago, Dan & Dave Buck set the magic world ablaze with release of their collection of tricks, flourishes, and everything else. It was entitled the Trilogy. Today, we prepare for the release of the fourth Trilogy DVD - andthensome.
andthensome is a DVD collection of over 2.5 hours of all new tricks, all new flourishes, and all new "everythingelse." The disc is jam packed with goods shot, edited, and produced over the past year by Dan & Dave.
Following in the footsteps of the Trilogy, andthensome takes you even further from the norm - directly into the minds of Dan and Dave as they offer their most out of the box thinking yet. With over 50 brand new creations and countless bonus features.
Whether beginner or professional, this DVD contains something for everyone. Each item is broken down step-by-step, with expert multi-camera instruction for a seamless learning experience.
Armed and loaded with countless tips, improvements, and subtleties, andthensome is an essential component in your library of tricks, flourishes, and of course - everythingelse. Another fine product from our friends at theory11. $34.95 (DVD01000)

Showmanship For Magicians – Dariel Fitzkee: Back in print! In 199 hardbound pages, Showmanship for Magicians takes up the subject of presenting magic to gain the greatest audience response, including a detailed analysis of spectator appeals and how to incorporate them into the presentation of magic. Step by step, you will learn how to create a favorable reception through choice of material, style of performance, character of work, timing, pointing, pacing, building up to climaxes, emphasis, routining, arrangement of material, and in many other ways. This is the classic tome of stagecraft written by a showman ahead of his time.
Some of the subjects covered in the 25 important chapters are:
* Music
* Rhythm
* Youth
* Sex Appeal
* Personality
* Selling Yourself
* Color
* Harmony
* Sentiment
* Romance
* Surprise
* Unity
* Character
* Situation
* Costuming
* Grooming
* Make-Up
* Personal Behavior
* Confidence
* Rehearsal
* Physical Action
* Group Coordination
* Precise Attack
* Economy
* Brevity
* Punch
* Instinct
* Grace
* Effortless Skill
* Music
* Spectacle
* Contrast
* Comedy
* Getting and Holding Attention
* Types of Audiences
$22.00 (BK00497)

"When I read Showmanship for Magicians, it was the first time I had read a book where someone said you have to take a trick and make it yours; you have to make it fit your personality. That was fantastic! My magic life changed with the reading of that book.” – Mike Caveney

Zag – Mike Gallo: Looking for something unique in the world of coins gaffs? This new little gem from legendary coin man Mike Gallo is sure to fit the bill!
A new, dramatic, and surprising effect with a borrowed coin!
A quarter is displayed openly at the fingertips.
Grab the center of the coin and “slide” the center to one side! The coin is clearly displayed in the impossible condition without any cover of any kind.
A moment later, the center is slid back into alignment with the rest of the coin and instantly given back to its owner.
This shocking effect is sure to surprise and amaze any audience!
Comes complete with precision crafted gimmick and a detailed instructional DVD, with bonus presentations and handlings! $34.95 (20.412)

Perfect Blank Deck: The long awaited trick from Shimpei is finally here!
The entire deck is shown completely blank.
Begin to conjure the cards into a regular deck. With the slide of your hand, the image of the faces on the cards begins to show and disappear.
With a few more passes you reveals the entire deck as a regular deck. It is no longer blank!
Perfect Blank Deck is the ultimate blank deck trick. A masterpiece that overcomes the shortcomings of its predecessors.
Beautiful handling; can be performed surrounded 360 degrees.
As a bonus trick, 'Six Wild Cards' is included.
Comes with instructional DVD and gimmick. Regular deck of cards is needed to perform the trick. $30.00 (30.1422)

Magic By Misdirection – Dariel Fitzkee: The second book in the famous Fitzkee Trilogy. Applies the psychology of deception to the art of magic. The finest minds of magic have recognized it as an important and monumental work on the subject. It makes clear the psychological devices and methods you can use to deceive your audience:
* Disguise
* Attention Control
* Simulation
* Dissimulation
* Interpretation
* Maneuver
* Pretense
* Ruse
* Anticipation
* Diversion
* Monotony
* Premature Consummation
* Confusion
* Suggestion
Fitzkee supplies practical examples in the form of tricks incorporating and utilizing these principles. $22.00 (BK00345)

"My card on forehead would not be what it has become today if not for Magic By Misdirection."
- Michael Finney

Fan2c – R. Paul Wilson: Imagine you're holding a lousy poker hand. The cards are spread at your fingertips. Now, in a subtle action of riffling the edges of the cards, they seem to magically morph into a Royal Flush. The cards are visible the whole time and can immediately be handed out for examination.
Includes 20 minutes of expert instruction on DVD.
Also included on the disc are digital video files in QuickTime format of Paul's performance and explanation. Load these on your iPod for an on-the-go learning experience.
Of course, a gimmick is required for this effect. However, Paul goes into great detail on how to make this gimmick using common household materials. It is not difficult and can be put together in only few minutes. Once made, it can be used over and over again. $20.00 (30.1421)

Modeling Perform’Air DVD– Monsier Sigrid: Finally a DVD to learn how to make luminous balloons, and to become the attraction of the evening and the parties.
Combine twisting techniques, luminous technology, and optical flowers to create a new dimension in your act. With his background in interior design and his experience on stage, Mister Sigrid open the doors of "Modeling Perform'air."
You will never see ballooning the same way again.
Simple and easy, it's magical, it's beautiful, it's fabulous!
This DVD is dedicated to give a new dimension to your ballooning performance. $35.00 (DVD01001)

Darwin Ortiz Collection: 10 DVDs – Over 15 hours - It’s A Darwin Ortiz-A-Thon! 67 full-featured card routines performed and explained!
The superb, elegant card magic of Darwin Ortiz, encompassing impromptu miracles, presentational showpieces and gambling routines Includes:
Three classic Darwin Ortiz Sets combined into one ten DVD set!
• At the Card Table, Volumes 1-3
• CardShark, Volumes 1-3
• Scams & Fantasies with Cards, Volumes 1-4
$149.95 (DVD00999)
To see the Full Contents of this amazing 10 DVD Set, go to this URL: (

The Trick Brain – Dariel Fitzkee: The third and final book in the Fitzkee Trilogy. Created as a tool to help magicians develop new tricks. It teaches you how to create the mechanics of an effect with the understanding that how an effect is accomplished is not as important as the effect itself.
Not a mere book of tricks. It incorporates one of the most amazing ideas ever developed in magic. Dariel Fitzkee reduces all magic tricks to only 19 general, basic effects. Then he examines all the possible ways of combining any of these effects. He shows how to develop new tricks from old and how to evolve new plots and methods.
Then, you are introduced to The Trick Brain--an ingenious system, devised by Fitzkee, that actually
* Creates new effects.
* Tells you what you will need to develop.
* Tells the actual things to use.
* Teaches how to do the trick, even suggesting alternate methods!
Use this astounding system to create original tricks and original shows, or use it to revise old tricks. Reclaim magic props you no longer use. All of this is contained in a beautifully printed, 316 page hardbound volume. $30.00 (BK00574)

"The Trick Brain was definitely ahead of its time. It formalized a way of brainstorming, teaching the process... Whether you use Fitzkee's actual steps or just use them as inspiration, The Trick Brain lets you appreciate the way magic is created and definitely starts you thinking in new ways."
- Jim Steinmeyer

And that’s this week’s Hotlist. Very exciting because the Fitzkee Trilogy is back in print. And, very exciting because of this week’s Stage Magic Sales Event. So, take your time checking out both the Hotlist and the Online Catalog. You will be amazed what you find!
As always, we thank you for finding time in your busy schedules to come and play with us, either online at or in person at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way, we love the company!
Hank Lee