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Be Part of the Magic

Author Archive

postheadericon Orange Tree II

Apparently, my obsession with life forces me to acquire Orange Tree Illusions! The latest piece is pictured here. I haven’t had time to really play with this one as the holiday season is keeping me quite busy at The Trickery office. As time permits, I’ll shoot the video and give all the details about this incredible piece of magic!

For now, I hope you enjoy the pictures. And yes…it’s complete with flying butterflies!

postheadericon Just Added

Victorian Balloon to Dove Chest

Victorian Balloon to Dove Chest

Preorder Now !      Available December 5, 2011

Limited Edition of 50 Signed and Numbered !

The Remote Control Victorian Balloon to Dove Chest is as beautiful to look at as it is to perform. Completely Electronic and Handcrafted out of solid walnut with gold trim and solid brass accents it looks more like something you would find in a museum.

Get the full details!

postheadericon FREE $10 Gift Certificate from The Trickery

The Trickery Gift Certificate

We’re giving you a $10.00 gift certificate to help us promote The Trickery on Facebook.
“How?”, you ask. Simple! Two simple steps!

1. Go to TheTrickery.com and click the “Like” buttom at the top of the page.
2. Link thetrickery.com on your Facebook Wall. Create a catchy status update to go with it. An example might be,”Check out one of the coolest magic shops on the Internet!” Another example might be, “Visit one of the first magic shops on the Internet for some amazing magic tricks!” We’ll leave the creavtive part up to you. You can also link directly to a product.
* A minimum of 500 fb friends is necessary.

Once done, send me a PM through Facebook and be sure to include your email address.
We’ll quickly peak at your work and create an instant gift certificate for $10.00 that you can use @ thetrickery.com without restrictions.

$10 for all of 3 minutes worth of work!

postheadericon A Moment in Time

The Trickery - 1 Second 'til Launch!

Last night at midnight, the new Trickery website was officially launched! Rose and I spent Thanksgiving evening with family in Philadelphia. At 9:30 we cut out to make the mad two hour dash back to the New York Metro area to be there for the launch. We somehow made it with 40 minutes to spare.

When preparing for the countdown my original plans were to man the helm and manually change the coming soon page go to the live site. Fear that we wouldn’t make it in time had me create an automated script that would redirect the visitors to the new site once the countdown timer reach 0 seconds. It was exciting to watch this happen!

Many people were on hand for the virtual launch party. One of my Facebook friends, magician, Matthew Miller, was one of the spectators on hand for the midnight launch. A few minutes after blast-off, the screen capture you see here was posted to my wall. I didn’t even think to capture this myself. This for me, was one of those magical moments that topped the actual redirect.

For years I’ve always said it’s not about the magic tricks, it’s about the magic of people and friends!

Thank you, Matthew, for making The Trickery’s Launch Party more magical than I imagined!

postheadericon It’s The Trickery’s Relaunch Party!

We have a new website and we invite you to join The Trickery’s Launch Party!
Throughout the weekend we will run specials and promotions through our network of magic sites. Join us at Facebook and Twitter as well.

The TrickeryIf you do not know us, The Trickery was one of the first magic shops on the Internet 18 years ago. We were the first magic site to offer video demonstrations of the tricks we sell. If  you dig higher end collectible magic tricks, we’ve developed a small of props sold around the world.

Spend some time on our new site and tell us what you think. We look forward to serving your magical needs!

Best,
Howard

postheadericon I Want Your Help

========================================================
IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW I HAVE BLOOD CANCER!
Life expectancy was 5 years from diagnosis. I was diagnosed 3.5 years ago.
It’s a lot longer now thanks to people like you contributing to the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!
=======================================================
 This weekend is our Light the Night Walk! Looking  forward to seeing some family
and some very great friends!  If you can’t make it there to walk with us,
then throw some money our way through the link below:
http://pages.lightthenight.org/nj/Morris11/TeamBaltus
***********************************************************
EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!
Skip a meal out or a night at the bar!
And it’s not just for me. You know other people with blood cancer.
They just aren’t public about it.
***********************************************************
Special thanks to all of our friends and customers who helped to raise more than
100% of our goal! You guys rock!!!

Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising walk
to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer.
Hundreds of thousands of participants raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services.

WALK WITH US OR DONATE!

postheadericon Real Magic

I often close my shows with the following patter…

“What you’ve seen me do is nothing more than tricks and illusions, but I assure you magic is real!  There’s the magic of a first kiss. The magic of a child being born. The magic of the seasons changing. That’s the real magic you want to keep alive in your hearts.”

The Trickery Magic ShopI was reminded that there’s magic in words and feelings no matter one’s age. Rose and I attended our friend’s magic convention this past weekend, Metro-Magic. Rose asked permission to sell paper balloons at the registration desk for $5.00 each. All of the procedes go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. With a donation, Rose enetered the names into a drawing for a carry bag, shirt and over $100 in magic tricks donated by Bob Solari Magic, Tony Clark Productions and The Trickery. Response was great.

The first hour of the convention is the Dealer Demo where magic dealers go on stage for 3-5 minutes to hawk their wares and promote their booth at the show. I just didn’t want to do that so I offered my spot to Rose for her to pitch the donation thing. She did a great job! Just before the Dealer Demo, three young magicians approached my booth. They were good kids about 14 or 15 years old. The father of one of them dropped them off early in the morning to spend the day enjoying non-stop magic.  I demoed some of my wares as they made their way from one dealer to the next.

It was a little while after Rose made her speech that she was approached by one of these kids. He wanted to donate $40.00 and wanted to know if she would accept a credit card. He explained that he lost his grandpa to Leukemia in 2009 and that his grandfathers name was also Howard. He told Rose that she could call his father to verify he was an authorized user on the credit card.  She didn’t do that. Instead she was about to enter him for the raffle when he said, “I don’t want anything. I just want Howard to be well!”

Most adults don’t have the heart-felt generosity that this kid showed to us. He never met us before and somehow he made several people cry that day with his compassion.  Truly a magical moment! Oh! While he didn’t enter the drawing, he did leave with another bag of goddies, hand-selected by me!

postheadericon Creation

The Trickery Magic ShopOne of my favorite performing venues is what I call Formal Close-up Magic. It’s a combination of close-up and parlor magic worked in front of a small to medium sized audience. Much of the close-up magic is performed on a table. The inherent problem is vision. Most of your audience will not be able to see the table-side miracles. If money was no object I would have an incredible amount of fun with this problem. As it is, life keeps most of us on a budget which forces us to be creative.

After a few days of tossing the concept about in my head I gathered the electronics that I own and began to piece together what you see pictured here. A concept that I often live by is, “If you’re going to do something worth doing, do it right, do it big!”  The art of presentation is what make things appear on a grander scale. Like a master chef who prepares the most elegant of meals that makes your mouth water just by looking at the dish, a magician and his setting are no different. One element of putting together a great show is to create an  atmosphere which sets the mood for and exciting and wonderful performance. I like to use a backdrop, an array of tables and of course some type of PA system depending on the type of venue. Even as a child, my kid shows were put together in this way. Building a mini theater sets you apart from the low-rent entertainer who works off a TV table and out of his suitcase  with little regard to his “stage”.  It lacks professionalism. Creating the ambiance sets the mood right from the start.

While I’m still working on the set-up concept, this is what I have so far. Many years ago, I purchased a projection system for the dealer demos and lectures. It’s an Optima and went for about $2000. Many years since, you can find more portable and affordable projection systems starting at about $300. I also have a Sony HD camera. While you certainly don’t need to spend that kind of money, a good digital video camera can be had for under $300.  An inexpensive backdrop system can be purchased from a camera dealer for between $250-$400. A projection screen can range from $50-$400+.  The point here is that you can easily do this for a lot less monies than I spent!

The projection system can be switched between two devices. Using the remote control I can toggle between a computer and video camera. I have my 60 minute show mapped out to music. Sometimes, it’s background music; other times it’s music for a performance piece. I run the music through Microsoft’s Windows Media Player. This player has a great visual display that emulates a light show while the music is playing. The screen, as pictured, is filled with a very nice light display when performing the parlor tricks that do not involve being stationed at a table. These are effects that will play very well and be seen in a larger room without the use of projection. When I work the close-up effects, I simply toggle to the camera view and as if by magic, the screen instantly switches to an incredible view of the close-up arena.

I found that in a darkened room, a lighting fixture was needed. The result was a tripod stand that holds a lamp that illuminates a white bulb like a small spotlight. It lights the center of the close-up pad and allows for a clear crisp view on the big screen. While I’m still experimenting with the final result, I thought you can at the very least take what I’ve done so far and run with it. Have fun!

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postheadericon Goodbye to an Old Friend

Bye GeorgeHe was an old friend for many years. He was the reason I sell and create high-end collectible magic tricks. He inspired me to create two  performance pieces that I am most proud of producing. His name and mine are forever linked through the Internet to a collaboration of a magic routine we brought to market. His name was Al Lagomarsino.

I met Al better than 15 years ago at the first magic convention I attended as a dealer. Our tables were next to each other; the only two tables in the back room….the room right next to the bathrooms. This is where the ‘new kids on the block’ were placed. It wasn’t so bad as everybody had to make it past our booths at some point!

Al’s table was filled with tiny little boxes made from Walnut. As I walked by his table on the way to have a cigarette I stopped for a moment and watched him demonstrate what we now call The Mysterious Mini Card Boxes. I remember being taken back to a time of child-like innocence where awe and wonder aroused the senses and there seemed to be no possible explanation in what I just witnessed. I had to see everything else on the table.

I asked if he would wholesale his items to me.  All through the day the answer was no. I got to know him though partaking in the occasional smoke throughout the day. We formed a bond that would last many years.

Al’s persona, if you didn’t know him, was like a charactor that could have easily been cast in The Sopranos. He was in his 60’s when we met, very straight-faced and a man of little words, most them 4-letter words! He really could have been type-cast if he acted. If Al let you into his world, you saw the caring and loving side of him. He shared what he learned with me and became a very good friend.

I got the phone call that Al died Friday night. His last few years were rough with heart disease and cancer. Several months ago I had a very long conversation with Al. I always smiled when talking with him and will forever smile when I think of him.

Journey well old friend. We’ll meet again.

postheadericon Protected: Jack Hughes – Private Estate Sale

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