Back in the 80’s Phil and I used to have a booth at the Paul Sauvé Arena in Montreal at Le Salon de Sciences Occultes. The famous hynotist Domineau was the main attraction, in my opinion, apart from our booth, of course. There were seats for the show in the centre and booths all along the walls. It was hectic. There was every kind of fortune teller in the world there.
Way back, I mean way back, magic was considered part of the occult, so why not have a booth there. We were just getting started and we did sell lots of magic there and made many customers. We went back year after year. There were other acts besides Domineau but he is the only one I remember. Phil just remembered that Roy Huston and Susan who were illusionists were also there. We became friends with them through that.
One day, while we were there a man approached us and said he had an Occult Fair at St Cesaire and would we like a booth. Why not? So we went to this fair, set up our booth and started to demo our usual, Svengali, Kurious Kords, etc. and a big crowd gathered and was wowed. There was no internet in those days, no magicians revealing all. No magic shops in St Cesaire. We did our tricks. No one bought a thing. We told them the tricks were easy and that they could do it. No. We were devils. We’re not devils, we insisted. It’s just a trick. We even showed them how the tricks were done. They accused Phil of having 4 hands. He showed them his hands. You are hiding the other set. They were serious. We never went back.
Why do I write about this now. My son reminded me of it the other day. He was telling someone in his office about the incident. She said, what do mean your parents have a magic shop. He explained and thought he would show her one. So he did the the ropes, but started the trick with 3 equal ropes and turned them into 3 unequal ropes and then handed them to here. She examined them and then said, “Those people were right. You are devils!!”
P.S. If anyone is looking for something special for their sceance or mentalist shows click here.
Phil and I have been in the business of selling magic for 37 years and we’ve met people from all over the world, young and old, professional and amateur. You can tell a lot about a person, no matter how old or young or what part of the world they are from, or what their religion is, by how they react to magic.
Today I had a young married couple come in from Ottawa just to come to Perfect Magic. They had a couple of kids but they were not with them. The father had never done magic before but was extremely enthusiastic. The wife was lovely and ecouraged him. He had never done a magic trick before. He left with a big bag of tricks and was as happy as could be. They both thanked me profusely for taking the time I did with them, and I told them that’s my job. That’s what I do. No, they said. They felt I went over and above what I would normally do and I explained that since they had never done magic before I wanted to make sure they bought the right things. What they didn’t know was that I was receiving such pleasure from their reactions that it was fun, not work for me.
I did tell them that I knew they were nice people, not because they bought a lot of magic, but because of how they reacted to the tricks. Some people hate to be fooled. They can get nasty, demand to see the deck or whatever. Others just thoroughly enjoy it and are not afraid to show it. They were those people. They are the people that make it worth while.
Silk and magic go perfectly together. You don’t need an 18 wheeler to carry them around. You can make them appear, disappear, change colour, mulitply, divide, produce doves, relay a message, to name a few of the capablities. There are silks for Christmas for birthdays, for The End of the Show, for clowns, for thumb tips, for national holidays.
Like people, they come in all sizes. Some small, some large. They come in squares, diamonds or streamers, plain or designed. They are indeed a versatitle tool in the magician’s tool box. They are graceful and colourful.
There are books, even encyclopedia’s and DVD’s as well as tons of individual tricks using silk. You can use silks with thumb tips, change bags, production boxes, and the list goes on. To see the variety of effects click here. All different price ranges, and different levels of ability. If you don’t have silks in your act, you are missing out!
When it was grandparent’s week at my Grand daughter’s day care they asked me if I could come and read the children (age 4) a story. I said I would be happy to. I asked if I could also do a magic trick for them. Of course. So I did Thumb Tip Blendo. Ever see 20 four year olds drop their jaws in unison? Well, I did! Works with adults too!
The point is, cards are popular right now; those finger flickin’ moves that take your breath away. But its good to have a variety and silk is so easy to always have with you. Did I mention Levent’s Changing Color Half-Dyed Silk Trick?
When you prepare for a show, much preparation goes into it, or it should. Timing, props, what words to use, what to wear, where to stand, and all that jazz. Then when you are actually presenting it, you are also focused, or should be, no matter how casual you may appear. But what about Post Presentation. You don’t hear too much about that; when the trick is over, when the show s over.
I was invited to a recital of Grade School piano and guitar players. They ranged in age from about 7 to 10 or 11 years old. It was a joy to behold. Of course they were all nervous. For some it was their first time performing. They all did fine but when they had completed their piece they all got up and ran away as if the seat was on fire. Okay, they were in the hot seat, but the audience applauded each one but it was as though there was no audience. Not one child stopped to take a bow or smile. One of the older paricipants played a complicated piece and did it well. I was sure he would stop and acknowledge the audience, but alas, he did not.
I felt they were going through torture. They had to play, they did their task and they were done with it. I explained months later to my grandchildren how much the audience enjoys acknowledgement from the performer and should they ever be on stage and the audience applauds them, even though they are nervous and want to get off the stage as soon as possible, the worst is over. Take the time and smile at your audience. They will appauld more. It will make them feel good and it will make you feel good. My granddaughter asked if she had to cursty. I said it was not necessary, but a smile would be great.
Same thing goes for magicians of course. If the audience is clapping, don’t rush into the next effect. Enjoy the moment. Smile, bow, whatever. They will love you for it, and the more they love you, the better you feel, and the better you feel the more confidence you have and you will perform better and stronger.
I think I made my point.