Monthly Archives: January 2015

Magic With Everyday Objects.

Sounds like a good title for a book or a DVD. The fact is we get people who come in and ask what is new and good and we show them something and they although they may be impressed with the item, they say, no not that. Why? Because its a gimmick. They don’t want gimmicks. They want something that can be done with “everyday objects.” Fair enough.

Its a long list and I know I’m leaving out stuff, so if you think of anything I left out you can let me know in the comment section at the end. So what is more everyday than a wallet. I counted about 75 different wallets, DVD’s, and downloads when I put wallet in our search box and I’m sure there are many more if I put it in our Google search.

Depending on what you want, you can have fire jump out of them when you go to pay the bill at a restaurant; you can find a chosen and signed card in a zippered compartment of the wallet, and some can let you read another’s thoughts like Thought Transmitter Pro by John Cornelius( which has always been a favorite of mine) and now there is a new and improved version., etc.  A must for every mentalist! The KAPS fire wallet does s few things and I have had rave feedbacks on the Mesika Wallet.

Wallets come in all different shapes and sizes.

Sharpies.  There are about 20 items that iclude a sharpie, one of them is called Sharpen, which has a color changing cap, black green and red.

There are coin tricks, galore . I Googled coin tricks  and had over 400 results in .27 seconds. Good old Google. There are DVDs, Books, Tricks for beginners to pros in every price range.

Then there are everyday objects that float, there are elastic bands that do miracles. Its actually the magicians that do the miracles. There are salt shakers, dollar bills, book tests, dice , napkins, keys, forks , business cards, playing cards, etc. Too numerous to name. So if you are looking for magic with everyday objects, look no further. They are all here.

 

 

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It’s Not Just The Magic World

In this day and age with live performances, street performances, TV, the internet, parties, etc, who hasn’t seen a magician. It wasn’t always like this. And it wasn’t that long ago, either.

At one time it was called Witchcraft. And you might be burned at the stake for practicing it. The first known performance supposedly goes back to 2700 BCE by Dedi in Egypt.  This is disputed however, and is deduced from a drawing in the tomb of Baqet 11 at Beni Hansen depicting cups and balls. We won’t even talk about Moses.

In the Dark Ages magic was associated with the occult, not entertainment. In the Middle Ages street magicians appeared along with circus performers and that goes back to the 1500’s. In 1805 Jean Eugene Robert Houdin brought magic from the street to the stage and drawing rooms. In 1877 Martinka & Co. opened  and is the oldest magic shop in the U.S.A., but 65 years prior to that Mayette Magie Moderne opened its doors in Paris and is still there. If you do the math its 204 years ago. Dominique Duvivier is running the place today and Martinka is still operating. It has relocated to Midland Park, N.J. not long ago.

So from roughly 200 years ago until now  many magic shops have sprung up all over the world, as well as magic clubs, societies, conventions, etc. As you may well know, many have closed up since the advent of online magic shops but there are tons of those, which presents a problem in itself. Most of them have no one to speak to. You can’t ask questions or get advice.  You often don’t know who you are dealing with or how long it will take to get your order, if ever! But they are out there.

So now with all the shows and sites, etc., it came as a surprise to me when I was at the Comedy Nest on a Magic night and was chatting with the people at the next table and I mentioned in the course of conversation that we had a magic shop.

A what?

A Magic shop.

You mean there’s a shop that sells magic?

Yes.

People can go in and buy magic?

She was dumbfounded. She asked for a business card, which I gave her. She was thrilled.

So I got to thinking about it. In the Middle Ages there were street magicians. They are back in full force. Once there were no magic shops. A lot of them have closed up in recent recent years. Are we going backwards. Will the day come when there are no more magic shops. Who knows? The day may come when there are no more shops, period. Groceries online, clothes online, everything online. Glad I’m here now!

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The Magic Marketplace

When I was a kid living on Clark St.  which is now in Le Plateau, I used to walk with my mother or aunt to the Rachel Street Market, no longer in existence. They weren’t selling art,  clothing, or gimmicks, they were selling food. It was a farmer’s market. You could buy live chickens, rabbits, fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. That was before supermarkets.  There were lots of farmers and you went to the ones you knew and who knew you. They might have even put aside a special product for you because they knew how you liked it. What degree of ripeness, and so on.

When we opened Perfect Magic, before the internet, we bought what we thought was good from suppliers we trusted. There was not this smorgasbord of magic that there is today. Every single day we receive new items to consider. At one time there was Mak Magic, Morrissey Magic, Abbott’s, Fun and a few others that manufactured products here in Canada or the U.S.A and Supreme in England. Now very little is made here. It’s hard to compete with China or India. Some of the stuff is good, some is not. But when you read the write-ups, everything is the greatest ever. So how do you know what is good.

Mike Close

Mike Close

Art DeckiFor instance, we recently got a book in, Art Decko, by Simon Aronson. I didn’t read it, but I knew the name and reputation of Simon Aronson. Phil immediately said, “Get a couple, its got to be good.” We did and we sold some to people who also knew the name and were excited to see the book. In the

December 2014 issue of MUM I happened to turn to the section of reviews, “Informed Opinion” and Michael Close reviewed the book. It just so happened that Michael recently lectured here in Montreal and Phil went, even though he usually doesn’t go to lectures any more, but he wanted to see Michael. Phil said it was one of the best lectures he ever saw. Michael has been in magic a long time and he knows what’s what.  Michael in part had this to say in MUM, and I quote “….Art Decko was a joy and a refreshing change from the products currently flooding the marketplace; it was like being offered a steak dinner after having to surive on junk food…”

My point is, don’t believe all the hype. Ask someone who has been around. Maybe someone who knows you. When I see something that I think is great, I know just who would be interested in that particular item and tell them about it,  and they know I know and they always buy it. And they come back and thank me. A little research may save you disappointment and dollars.

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The Sound of Magic

PhilFirst, I wish all my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. We just left Kitchener after spending 9 days with Joan and Roman and Dennis. Its cold and windy outside, but so far still no snow. We had a great time, as usual, a terrific Christmas dinner, a cozy celebration of the New Year and Phil had 4 shows, originally 5 but one was cancelled due to “Health Outbreak”.

About 2 hours into our drive to Kitchener Phil said, “Oh, I forgot to pack my Happie Amp.” Phil loves his Happie Amp, never goes to a show without it. We had 5 shows in the Kitchener area and Phil plays ragtime piano and sings and encourages everyone to join in, and many do. They all know the songs from their youth.

Then he remembered that Roman had a system he could use. We borrowed it. Roman charged it up overnight and everything went well. When the show was over I told Phil to bring it in to charge up for the next show. “No, my Amp does 4 or 5 one hour shows without needing to recharge it. Okay. Except in the second show, after 10 minutes the mic died. I turned the switch on and off and the green light went on and as soon as Phil started to play, it died again. The person in charge was wonderful, one two, three we had a mic and a boom to reach over the piano and it saved the day.

The person in charge warned us in advance that this was a “faith based” organization and asked us not to have any off coloured jokes. Phil said, “I’m a piano player, not a comedian.” In any case, I squirmed a little when he played “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” in ragtime. The concert took place in a chapel and she said she prepared the audience and warned them that his is not the usual type of music they are used to, but she wanted them to hear something different. And they did! When it was over she said to Phil, “That piano has never had its keys tickled like that before.” We’ll see if they invite us back. I did see a lot of feet tapping during the performance so I think they enjoyed it.

When we got back he immediately charged the Amp to be set for the next show. Next day we got to the place he was playing and they had a mic all set up for him which he used. I think that was his best show. We have been going there for 7 years now. One man in the front row who was completely blind, stood up and applauded with all his heart after every tune. It was heartwarming. Lots of standing ovations.

When we got back Roman asked if everything went okay, Phil told him he no trouble at all with the sound. And then told him he never took it out ouf the carrying case. We had a good laugh.

The last place he played he used the amp again and it worked perfectly. 

The point is to make sure to remember all your equipment. The Happie Amp is great, light weight, easy to manage and Phil loves it and the fact that he doesn’t have to depend on someone else’s equipment, which with he is not familiar.

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