Monthly Archives: January 2014

Magic Sets (Kits) – To Buy or Not To Buy

Telepathic PowerFor most of Perfect Magic’s existence we stayed away from Magic Kits. We found for the most part that they were overpriced, the props were inferior to the props we carried in the shop and the claims made on the box were a little misleading. Over 100 tricks, over 200 tricks, over 300 tricks. Easy to do! Wow!

When you opened the box you did not find 300 or 200 or even 100 tricks. You found maybe 15 tricks and a book or a DVD, with different ways of performing those particular tricks or maybe they would include tricks using everyday objects which were not included. Rip off? Not entirely. Many  great magicians started out by getting a Magic Kit as a birthday gift or as a Christmas present. Many cities, believe it or not, do not have magic shops so the only option was to get a set in a toy store or department store.

While its true that nowadays we have the internet, if you wanted to buy magic for a kid, how would you know what to get? At least you can be pretty sure that most of the effects in a kit are geared to beginners.

I sometimes get calls from people who do not want sets but want to get magic for their kids and ask what I would recommend. I always ask the age of course and how much they want to  spend. I’ll make a list of the possibilities for them and let them choose. Some have been calling back for years, adding to the collection, so I guess that system works.

Sometimes people come into the shop and ask for a kit. Even if I try to discourage them, they don’t care. Its for a gift and it looks nicer in a colourful box. So I started carrying Magic Kits. Some were actually good, but I was never excited about them, no matter how beautiful the box. I will use the famous magic advertising phrase “Until Now”.

We were introduced to a Magic Set called Telepathic Power. It is a mental magic set for 8 years and up. It does not say how many tricks there are.  It looked interesting and we took a chance on it. We went home and watched the DVD. That alone was worth the price of the kit. We loved it. The tricks themselves are made mostly of cardboard and plastic and some you have to assemble yourself although everything is there and its easy with full instructions. the ideas are brilliant. My grandson is getting one for his birthday present in February. Some of the effects involve math and numbers and he is a math wizard so he will appreciate it. I have no qualms about recommending it to an adult who is starting out in mentalism. There are 20 tricks that are taught and the DVD is in both English and French and the price is right!

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Magic And The Fine Art Of Manipulation

It is ironic that  I write this blog on manipulation as I sit before the roaring fireplace  (on TV, even though they do have a  real working fireplace)) of Romaine, known as the Monarch Of Manipulators, world renown for his manipulation of cards and billiard balls. But this is  not about that kind of manipulation. I am talking about Mental Manipulation, like the  3 card monte guys on the streets of New York, who “accidentally” rip the corner of the Ace of Spades so you always know exactly where it is and of course it turns out that you are wrong, but they manage to get you to choose the card they want you too. Mental Manipulation.

Which brings me to a special Friday night. Friday night is when the family usually comes over for dinner, but one Friday just my two youngest grandchildren, age 5 and 7, came as they were to sleep over as their parents were packing to go to Florida the next day.

A few weeks prior to this my daughter borrowed my kitchen chairs  as she needed them for my grandaughter’s birthday party, leaving me two, one for me and one for Phil. Normally we would eat in the dining room on Friday night, but with just the two kids we decided to eat in the kitchen, but we had only 2 chairs and I did not want to drag over the dining room chairs into the kitchen. Now I did have one folding  chair that I could use. I still needed one chair, which brings me to the crux of the problem.

The chair I speak of is not really a chair, but a foot stool, which the children always fought over as they each wanted to be the one to sit on it. I solved the problem by folding it and hiding it behind my bedroom door when they came over. Out of sight, out of mind. But last Friday night, it was the only seat available. I knew they would fight over it. If  Jacob got to sit in it, my granddaughter  would pout and be miserable and make sure everyone else was miserable with her. If she got it Jacob would say she always got her way and he would be unhappy. I had to avoid this if we were to have an enjoyable meal.

Then I heard these words tumble out of my mouth. “Hey kids, did you know that besides being a magician, I am also a fortune teller?” Their mouths dropped and Jacob said, ” What do you mean by a fortune teller?” I said ” I can predict the future, I can tell when something is going to happen , even before it happens.”

“Like what?”

“I predict that there is going to be fight in this room in a couple of minutes.”

“Who is going to fight?”

“You and your sister?”

They both looked at me strangely, as they were getting along so well.

“What are we going to fight about?”

” Who is going to sit on the step stool.” I answered.

In a heartbeat the 5 year old said, “Oh, I don’t care about that. Jacob can have it.” And Jacob said, “She can have it. I don’t care either.” And so it was settled without a fight, as I knew it would be.

Had I been a true mentalist, I would have shown them a sealed envelope and told them the prediction was sealed inside and they could see it after supper.  They would have read,  “The children will not fight over the step stool” They would have been been blown away, but all I really wanted to do was evade an inevitable fight which I managed  with some mental manipulation.

The strange thing is they still believe I’m a fortune teller, but they delight in telling everyone I’m a fortune teller and I got it wrong!

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Magic And The Fine Art Of Manipulation

It is ironic that  I write this blog on manipulation as I sit before the roaring fireplace  (on TV, even though they do have a  real working fireplace)) of Romaine, known as the Monarch Of Manipulators, world renown for his manipulation of cards and billiard balls. But this is  not about that kind of manipulation. I am talking about Mental Manipulation, like the  3 card monte guys on the streets of New York, who “accidentally” rip the corner of the Ace of Spades so you always know exactly where it is and of course it turns out that you are wrong, but they manage to get you to choose the card they want you too. Mental Manipulation.

Which brings me to a special Friday night. Friday night is when the family usually comes over for dinner, but one Friday just my two youngest grandchildren, age 5 and 7, came as they were to sleep over as their parents were packing to go to Florida the next day.

A few weeks prior to this my daughter borrowed my kitchen chairs  as she needed them for my grandaughter’s birthday party, leaving me two, one for me and one for Phil. Normally we would eat in the dining room on Friday night, but with just the two kids we decided to eat in the kitchen, but we had only 2 chairs and I did not want to drag over the dining room chairs into the kitchen. Now I did have one folding  chair that I could use. I still needed one chair, which brings me to the crux of the problem.

The chair I speak of is not really a chair, but a foot stool, which the children always fought over as they each wanted to be the one to sit on it. I solved the problem by folding it and hiding it behind my bedroom door when they came over. Out of sight, out of mind. But last Friday night, it was the only seat available. I knew they would fight over it. If  Jacob got to sit in it, my granddaughter  would pout and be miserable and make sure everyone else was miserable with her. If she got it Jacob would say she always got her way and he would be unhappy. I had to avoid this if we were to have an enjoyable meal.

Then I heard these words tumble out of my mouth. “Hey kids, did you know that besides being a magician, I am also a fortune teller?” Their mouths dropped and Jacob said, ” What do you mean by a fortune teller?” I said ” I can predict the future, I can tell when something is going to happen , even before it happens.”

“Like what?”

“I predict that there is going to be fight in this room in a couple of minutes.”

“Who is going to fight?”

“You and your sister?”

They both looked at me strangely, as they were getting along so well.

“What are we going to fight about?”

” Who is going to sit on the step stool.” I answered.

In a heartbeat the 5 year old said, “Oh, I don’t care about that. Jacob can have it.” And Jacob said, “She can have it. I don’t care either.” And so it was settled without a fight, as I knew it would be.

Had I been a true mentalist, I would have shown them a sealed envelope and told them the prediction was sealed inside and they could see it after supper.  They would have read,  “The children will not fight over the step stool” They would have been been blown away, but all I really wanted to do was evade an inevitable fight which I managed  with some mental manipulation.

The strange thing is they still believe I’m a fortune teller, but they delight in telling everyone I’m a fortune teller and I got it wrong!

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Filed under Uncategorized

Magic And The Fine Art Of Manipulation

It is ironic that  I write this blog on manipulation as I sit before the roaring fireplace  (on TV, even though they do have a  real working fireplace)) of Romaine, known as the Monarch Of Manipulators, world renown for his manipulation of cards and billiard balls. But this is  not about that kind of manipulation. I am talking about Mental Manipulation, like the  3 card monte guys on the streets of New York, who “accidentally” rip the corner of the Ace of Spades so you always know exactly where it is and of course it turns out that you are wrong, but they manage to get you to choose the card they want you too. Mental Manipulation.

Which brings me to a special Friday night. Friday night is when the family usually comes over for dinner, but one Friday just my two youngest grandchildren, age 5 and 7, came as they were to sleep over as their parents were packing to go to Florida the next day.

A few weeks prior to this my daughter borrowed my kitchen chairs  as she needed them for my grandaughter’s birthday party, leaving me two, one for me and one for Phil. Normally we would eat in the dining room on Friday night, but with just the two kids we decided to eat in the kitchen, but we had only 2 chairs and I did not want to drag over the dining room chairs into the kitchen. Now I did have one folding  chair that I could use. I still needed one chair, which brings me to the crux of the problem.

The chair I speak of is not really a chair, but a foot stool, which the children always fought over as they each wanted to be the one to sit on it. I solved the problem by folding it and hiding it behind my bedroom door when they came over. Out of sight, out of mind. But last Friday night, it was the only seat available. I knew they would fight over it. If  Jacob got to sit in it, my granddaughter  would pout and be miserable and make sure everyone else was miserable with her. If she got it Jacob would say she always got her way and he would be unhappy. I had to avoid this if we were to have an enjoyable meal.

Then I heard these words tumble out of my mouth. “Hey kids, did you know that besides being a magician, I am also a fortune teller?” Their mouths dropped and Jacob said, ” What do you mean by a fortune teller?” I said ” I can predict the future, I can tell when something is going to happen , even before it happens.”

“Like what?”

“I predict that there is going to be fight in this room in a couple of minutes.”

“Who is going to fight?”

“You and your sister?”

They both looked at me strangely, as they were getting along so well.

“What are we going to fight about?”

” Who is going to sit on the step stool.” I answered.

In a heartbeat the 5 year old said, “Oh, I don’t care about that. Jacob can have it.” And Jacob said, “She can have it. I don’t care either.” And so it was settled without a fight, as I knew it would be.

Had I been a true mentalist, I would have shown them a sealed envelope and told them the prediction was sealed inside and they could see it after supper.  They would have read,  “The children will not fight over the step stool” They would have been been blown away, but all I really wanted to do was evade an inevitable fight which I managed  with some mental manipulation.

The strange thing is they still believe I’m a fortune teller, but they delight in telling everyone I’m a fortune teller and I got it wrong!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Magic And The Fine Art Of Manipulation

It is ironic that  I write this blog on manipulation as I sit before the roaring fireplace  (on TV, even though they do have a  real working fireplace)) of Romaine, known as the Monarch Of Manipulators, world renown for his manipulation of cards and billiard balls. But this is  not about that kind of manipulation. I am talking about Mental Manipulation, like the  3 card monte guys on the streets of New York, who “accidentally” rip the corner of the Ace of Spades so you always know exactly where it is and of course it turns out that you are wrong, but they manage to get you to choose the card they want you too. Mental Manipulation.

Which brings me to a special Friday night. Friday night is when the family usually comes over for dinner, but one Friday just my two youngest grandchildren, age 5 and 7, came as they were to sleep over as their parents were packing to go to Florida the next day.

A few weeks prior to this my daughter borrowed my kitchen chairs  as she needed them for my grandaughter’s birthday party, leaving me two, one for me and one for Phil. Normally we would eat in the dining room on Friday night, but with just the two kids we decided to eat in the kitchen, but we had only 2 chairs and I did not want to drag over the dining room chairs into the kitchen. Now I did have one folding  chair that I could use. I still needed one chair, which brings me to the crux of the problem.

The chair I speak of is not really a chair, but a foot stool, which the children always fought over as they each wanted to be the one to sit on it. I solved the problem by folding it and hiding it behind my bedroom door when they came over. Out of sight, out of mind. But last Friday night, it was the only seat available. I knew they would fight over it. If  Jacob got to sit in it, my granddaughter  would pout and be miserable and make sure everyone else was miserable with her. If she got it Jacob would say she always got her way and he would be unhappy. I had to avoid this if we were to have an enjoyable meal.

Then I heard these words tumble out of my mouth. “Hey kids, did you know that besides being a magician, I am also a fortune teller?” Their mouths dropped and Jacob said, ” What do you mean by a fortune teller?” I said ” I can predict the future, I can tell when something is going to happen , even before it happens.”

“Like what?”

“I predict that there is going to be fight in this room in a couple of minutes.”

“Who is going to fight?”

“You and your sister?”

They both looked at me strangely, as they were getting along so well.

“What are we going to fight about?”

” Who is going to sit on the step stool.” I answered.

In a heartbeat the 5 year old said, “Oh, I don’t care about that. Jacob can have it.” And Jacob said, “She can have it. I don’t care either.” And so it was settled without a fight, as I knew it would be.

Had I been a true mentalist, I would have shown them a sealed envelope and told them the prediction was sealed inside and they could see it after supper.  They would have read,  “The children will not fight over the step stool” They would have been been blown away, but all I really wanted to do was evade an inevitable fight which I managed  with some mental manipulation.

The strange thing is they still believe I’m a fortune teller, but they delight in telling everyone I’m a fortune teller and I got it wrong!

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