Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Value of Magic Books

evy1Who has time to read these days?  Happily some people still do. Back in the day, so to speak, before videos and DVDs, a new book by a popular magician meant a rush of eager customers. I would wager that some magicians have never even owned a magic book. But I would bet that number is few among my customers. I say that because I encourage every new magician, young and old, as long as they can read, to start with Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic. I love that book and have sold hundreds of them over the years. It’s clear, easy to follow, not too many words and tons of Illustrations. Guy Camirand of the Camirand Academy of Magic used to give courses on Wednesday evenings at Perfect Magic to adults and he recommended that book for all his students.

The diversity of magic books is amazing, and their value increases with time. I know because I have many used books which I sell from time to time on ebay, when I have time. I sold one that was originally $35.00, The 12 Who Died, about the bullet catch. It sold for $350.00. Not all get that kind of price but sometimes it is amazing.

Every subject re magic is discussed in books. There are books on building illusions to building shows, for  close up,  street magic, stage, restaurant, children’s parties, weddings, family, hospitals, schools, day cares, and the list goes on. But it’s more than the tricks. Each author has their own philosophy and approach. In a book you can stop and think about it, reread something you appreciated without having to push buttons. There are books on magicians’ biographies, history, psychology, presentation,  marketing, comedy, how to, etc. Some are specific, dealing only with one subject like cards or coins, balloons,  rope, or cups and balls, etc. while others have a variety of effects. Some are for beginners some, for experts.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all another one comes up which took my breath away even before I read it. The Death Camp Magicians, A True Story of Holocaust  Survivors Werner Reich and Herbert Nivelli written by William V. Rauscher in Collaboration with Werner Reich.  It should be a fascinating, if somewhat dark, read.

Get away from that iphone or computer and read a book, before you forget how!


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The Magic Community

Dean George Schindler

Dean George Schindler

446527_alain-choquette-drolement-magique_154309 Alain Choquette

I love the magic community. I’ve often mentioned how close the magic community is. When 2 magicians meet, its usually love at first sight. I had two magicians in here the other day, one a real pro, the other a hobbyist. I’ve known them both for years but they did not know each other. The hobbyist was having trouble with the handling of a certain deck. The pro spent so much time with him, helping him to get it right. Then he helped Phil who had forgotten how to do a certain move. It was such a great scene to watch them working together to solve their problems. That’s one aspect of it.

That same day I phoned George Schindler, who lives in New York, who sent me regards from Alain Choquette, who is from Quebec, and who I haven’t seen since we met last year at the Comedy Nest at the Montreal Forum when David Acer had one of his his Sunday night comedy magic shows. So where did Alain and George meet? In England. I asked George what he was doing in England. He said he was on vacation. What was Alain doing there? Well, he was really in Paris and came to England for the week-end or something to go to the Magic Circle.

There is a camaraderie amongst magicians that I feel whenever a group of them are together, sharing stories or moves and just having fun. Language, color, age  sex…it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Aren’t you glad to be part of it?


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Montreal’s Spidey Makes It To Penn and Teller’s Fool Us

IMG_0370Spidey must have been around 17 years old when he first came to Perfect Magic. His striking feature was his passion for magic. His enthusiasm was contagious and refreshing. He had plans for himself. Did I think he would succeed? It doesn’t matter much what I thought. He thought he would succeed. That, I believe, has a great deal to do with his success as a magician today. He didn’t just sit back and wait to succeed. He worked at it. Spidey was here the other day and I asked him If he would write a post for my blog.  And he did. I was most impressed with it. I asked him 3 questions to base his post on. How old he was when he started, what was his first trick, and if he had any tips for young magicians starting out. Here is his reply.

“Hey Evelyn,

so here are the answers 🙂

My earliest experience with magic was as a very young child when my father would bring me small magic tricks from his trips to Las Vegas. Cups and Balls and D’lite were my first tricks although i had no idea how to do them correctly. Although magic was always a fun hobby of mine as a child i seriously got bit by the magic bug when I was a teenager and started reading a book on card tricks. My uncle also bought me some invisible thread for my high school graduation which added variety to my performances. One of my smartest decisions early on was to work at Perfect magic for a small commission. Money was not important to me, knowledge was! I would spend hours going through the books and gimmicks in order to learn everything I can.

My professional career began when family and friends asked me to go to their company events and perform table to table and i branched out by giving out business cards at those events. I then went to some booking agencies and party planners and impressed the right people and began getting bookings through those companies.
I have 3 pieces of advice for starting magicians:
1) Don’t make magic your only plan unless you have no choice. I have a bachelors in social psychology, my magic career began long before I finished my bachelors and I finished it none the less. Luckily by the time I graduated I had enough demand to live off magic but the point is, finish school, get that degree, keep that other job until magic can sustain you. Magic became my living because I was so busy with shows that it would have been impossible to keep another job or do anything else with my life and in my opinion that’s when you can quit all other things. Of course once you make that decision to go pro. Stay focused; cut all other things out completely so that it’s make or break.
2) Not knowing is perfectly fine! Not LEARNING is a problem! We don’t have all the answers even if we sometimes think we do. The only thing I know is that I know nothing. Every time I build a new trick or rework my show, I know for a fact that my starting point is definitely not the best version of this effect or presentation, never think you are done learning.  Always remember that your trick is good but it can always be better, if you stop trying to improve, you will never be the best. This applies to specific sleights, specific routines or even entire shows! Not one trick in my show is the same as it was last year or even last week! Keep working at it
3) Don’t spread yourself too thin. There’s a lot of great magic out there but stay focused. Work on strong practical magic that works well for you and your setting. Don’t just do a trick because you saw the guy on television do it and it looked good; do a trick because it means something to YOU and you genuinely enjoy sharing it with people, work on it until it is perfect, then on to the next. Bruce lee said ” I do not fear the man who practiced 10 000 kicks once, I fear the man who practiced one kick 10 000 times” practice makes perfect; now go on and be perfect! “
Thanks for taking the time to do this, Spidey. I appreciate it as I’m sure my readers will.

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Halloween and Magic, Love and Marriage.

cliparts-free-halloween_009_Vector_ClipartHalloween and Magic go together like that old song Love and Marriage… go together like a horse and carriage.

Today was the first sale of the year when people came in and asked for magic specifically for Halloween. Two young ladies in their mid twenties,  who had never done magic before, had seen magic performed at a party, and they thought it would be great if they could do something at their Halloween party. They were as excited as two little girls and it was contagious. They were thrilled with everything I showed them and bought most of it. They passed on Mathematical Genius although they loved it, as they were not sure if they would be able to do it if they were not completely sober nor did they intend to be.

They are going to have fun, and I know they will send a lot of people my way. In retrospect, I forgot to tell them about the Haunted Key, The Voodoo Doll, and the Black and Orange Mouth Coils (not listed, but we have them). What was I thinking?

So while on the subject of spooky and gory and haunted, I will mention other items that might come in handy for the occassion. There are Spirit Slates, now available in pocket size, Knife Thru Arm, which always causes a sensation,  Hyrum Hank, Floating Bills and Floating Matches, smoking things like Vapr or the latest S.S.S. 2015, Ghost Alarm Clock, or if you are into building illusions, there’s still time with Paul Osborne’s Haunted Illusions Book with over 26 illusion plans, ideas and drawings in it . We also have Sponge Balls 2″super soft, black or orange.


So get charged up for Halloween. I gave you plenty of ammunition! If I left stuff out that might be appropriate, let us know. (You are allowed to comment!)

P.S. If you buy any of the above items before Halloween and mention that you saw them in my post you get 10% off while quantities last. Right now I have everything in stock that I mentioned. That’s my treat. You choose the trick!

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