So What Makes Magic Magic?

In all the posts I’ve written so far, I’ve been writing about people. Magicians. The people who do the magic. What about the magic itself?

So many people have come into our shop and asked. “What is your best trick?” I have to laugh. There is no best trick. There is only a best magician. It’s not what you’ve got. It’s what you do with what you’ve got. With a piece of rope, a set a sponge balls, a few coins, the unmentionable T.T, a tongue and a smile and you’re in business!

This takes me back many years ago. Someone came into the shop and asked how much a really good magician would cost? He wanted someone for a Bar Mitzvah.  We gave him a name and a price but he had never heard of him.  The fellow wasn’t a magician and wasn’t familiar with any of he local magicians. He wanted a big name. It just so happened at that particular time there was a very popular movie playing about a magician.   I asked if he saw it.  He said yes.  Perhaps that’s why he wanted a magician.

Would you like that magician?

You could get him?


How much?

We called the magician.

“I  don’t do Bar Mitzvahs” he replied. Name your price. He named it and got it.

When he got to Montreal from New York on the week-end of the event, he came to the shop and it just so happened that the guy who hired him came into the shop at the same time. We introduced them. The guy says, “For what I’m paying you I want boxes! He didn’t have boxes. We said we would lend him some boxes. Phil and the magician drove down to the place where the Bar Mitzvah was being held. This was no place to set up boxes. It was not conducive to a stage show.  The performer called the guy over and explained the situation to him. “Let me do some walk around magic instead. If your guests aren’t satisfied, I’ll do boxes.” He then  walked around  armed with a set of sponge balls in his pocket and mingled with the guests. He blew them away and made sure that every guest saw him.

After he asked the guy if he  still wanted boxes. “Oh, no. Everyone  is so thrilled. Thank you so much…”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you not to buy magic. There are two sides to this coin. I also always say, ” When you do magic, you need either new friends or new tricks.” Usually its easier to get new tricks. My point of course is to make the most out of those tricks that you get. Get a trick, read the instructions. Try it the way its supposed to be done and then, think about it. How can you make that trick your own? There are books  and DVD’s on the subject to help you. George  Schindler has lecture notes and a DVD Both are entitled “Entertainment First.” As my son Brian used to say when he managed our Vancouver shop, a sponge ball is only a sponge ball. It does nothing but lie on the counter. YOU make the magic!

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Filed under George Schindler, Magic

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