A lady came in to the shop today looking for a gift for her son. Her English was not good. I went to French. That didn’t help much. I don’t think she was French. But she started looking at the DVD’s. I asked if she knew what he wanted. She said something about patter. I said “Patter?” You’re looking for something on patter? How coincidental I thought to myself, as I had not long ago written a blog on patter.
“I don’t have a DVD on patter, but I may have a book.”
“Yes, that’s it. Patter.”
So I start looking in the book section and she said, “You know, you go like this and make magic,” as she waived her arm up on in the air, making magic gestures, “suddenly, something appears.”
Hmmm. Not a book. I showed her the Appearing Bouquet. She was flabbergasted. But something about waving a magic wand. And suddenly I understood. “Did you mean Potter, Harry Potter?” “Yes! That’s it.”
So I showed her the Wizard Wand and then D’Lite and it was exactly what she wanted.
That’s why you have to bother with a Magic Shop>
How did they do that? Simple. It’s all smoke and mirrors. So they say. And some of it is. From the Mirror Glass to Mikame’s Mirror-A-Cle. You can have things appear, disappear, come out of boxes, disappear in boxes, and sometimes, yes, a mirror is involved.
Smoke is a little harder. The other day someone called and wanted smoke. They were looking at Mystic Smoke and Hell’s Smoke but it never would have done for what they wanted it. Vapr is a whole other story, but it’s quite a hike from Mystic Smoke to Vapr, which by the way is a wonderful and safe product if your budget permits. We came up with a solution. Remember Jay Scott Berry’s Micromist? He was here once for a lecture and he used it when producing silks. It looked like a miracle. It has its drawbacks, in that dry ice may not be that easy to find, but it you can, it should not be overlooked.
I hope it works well for my customer. I’m sure I’ll hear about it one way or the other. Remember there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Speaking of Halloween, don’t wait for the last minute to get your supplies.
Watching the kids at summer camp (Sorcerer’s Safari) handle a deck of cards I couldn’t help but wonder if they had natural dexterity that drew them to the cards or if they practiced until they got so good. Young kids, I would say some as young as 9 or 10 were springing the cards from hand to hand, doing fancy shuffles, and all the kids were walking around with a deck all the time. As Lee Asher said at lunch one day that cards to these kids are like cigarettes to a convict.
I had never tried to spring cards from one hand to another in my over 35 years in magic, but watching these kids inspired me. If they could do it why couldn’t I. So it happened that the last evening at camp, there was a big party for all the campers and adults with a DJ and people dancing inside the lounge and outside there was a camp fire, and Loran was doing a fire eating show, I happened to be sitting beside Steve Valentine and Asi Wind, who happened to be discussing pressure card fans and springing cards. What a coincidence. Asi is a top New York magician, Steve, a Scottish actor, magician, musician… I had the best teachers in the world. All I had to do was do as they said. My perfect opportunity to learn how to do it. I was all ears, but didn’t have a deck to practice on.
As soon as I got home to Montreal I got an old deck of cards and followed their directions meticulously. The cards went flying, as expected, but failed to reach my receptive hand. Actually they did reach my other hand but neglected to stay there. Ever hear of 52 Pick Up? Well, I never expected to do it the first time. After several attempts of holding my hand in different configurations to trap the cards I remembered that there was something in Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic on the subject. I looked it up, followed the instructions on how to hold my left hand and lo and behold, I caught all the cards. Not bad for a 73 year old lady.
So it just goes to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Now if I could only get those cards to fan properly.
For roughly 37 years people of all ages have been coming to our shop, Perfect Magic, to buy magic. Some know exactly what they want, whether its good for them or not, and others have no idea of what they want.
That’s where I step in. There is a list of questions I ask. Who is your audience? Are you a beginner? What’s your budget for today? and so on. Today I had someone come in that had been here before, wanting new stuff but didn’t know what. He was performing for family and fellow workers and they were a rough bunch. He loved the Svengali, but they would pull it out of his hands. Of course I told him he had to maintain control. But there are always wise guys who want to spoil it for you. He ended up taking about 6 or 7 things but his favorite was Color Changing Knife. He didn’t tell me it was his favourite. He didn’t have to. When I saw his eyes bulge out of his head when I did the demo for him, that was it. How many of you have Colour Changing Knife hidden away with your stuff. Sometimes you get tired of a trick and want something new but to those who haven’t seen it, it’s new. It’s not how you react, its how they react.
Years ago Phil and I went to the Sheraton Center in Montreal with George Schindler who had a gig in Montreal the previous night and he had never met Magic Tom Auburn. Tom was doing walk-around magic there every week for the Brunch crowd and we went to see him. I can still see him doing the Colour Changing Knife and he was so cool. As far as I’m concerned, its the perfect trick. Its done with an ordinary object that would be natural to have in your pocket. There are stunning presentations that can be done with it. My son Brian had a few great moves. I do it in its simplest form and get such a great reaction. If you want to elaborate on it, there are many choices as it a classic.
There’s Chameleon Knives DVD by Joe Mogar, Color Changing Knives DVD by World’s Greatest Magic (WGM), Color Changing Knife (the prop), The Ultimate Color Changing Knife (Prop) by Lovins, Transformed Knives by Lovins, Color Changing Knife by Ronjo and if you like books there’s Ascanio’s World of Knives.
Magic Tom Auburn – Montreal’s favorite magician for decades.
Dean George Schindler