Monthly Archives: March 2016

Who Comes To The Magic Shop?

Who comes to a Magic Shop? The answer seems obvious;  magicians and those who want to become magicians or the curious. But there are others that come. And that’s what is not so obvious. And it is those people who make me feel happy that I have a magic shop, even more than the magicians.

Two young girls came in yesterday, not at the same time, but strangely, on the same day. They may have been in their early twenties. To me that’s young. They had both been here before. The first one was vague about what she wanted. At first I didn’t remember her. I showed her a few things and then it hit me. She was so shy she could hardly talk to people. She had told me that the last time she was here. I told her she was in good company. I told her about Romaine, who was so shy as a teenager, he couldn’t talk to people. I showed her a photo of him with his Spanish feathered friend, José. I said that’s why he learned ventriloquism, so he could talk through his dummy. From there he went on to magic. Now he is a world famous magician and is not afraid to speak to anyone!Romaine and José

This time I asked her how she did with the tricks she bought last time. She said she shakes a little still when she does them but she is getting better. She is determined to get over her shyness and she is doing it with magic!

The next person that came in was a teacher. She wanted something that would get the attention of her pupils, and also be part of the lesson. She tried to picture herself as a child and thought of what would grab her attention at a young age. She did not want a magic trick per say, to confuse or dazzle the children. She ended up with the Paper Hat Tears. She liked the idea of tearing something apart and coming up with something entirely different. She felt there was a lessson in that. I told here I wish I had had a teacher that cared so much about me as she did for her pupils.

Then there’s a man who comes in to buy gifts for very sick kids in the hospital, to lift their  spirits. These are some of the people, wonderful people, who come to the magic shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Magic or Mentalism

Luckily, its not an either or situation. Many in our field do both. Sometimes one , sometimes the other and you can do both in the same show. Some even throw a little pickpocketing into the mix.

At times, as a magician, you may be asked, “How did you do that?” If I’m asked that question I usually smile and say “I thought I did it very well.” Of course it’s not the answer they want, but just because someone asks a question, does not mean you have to answer it. At the same time, you don’t want to be rude or dismiss anyone. It’s better to get a laugh out of them. You all know the lines, “I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you.” or “Can you keep a secret?  Yes? So can I.” and I’m sure there are other lines like that.

The thing I don’t say is that I have special powers, even though I do. The power I have that they don’t have is knowledge on that subject. I know how the trick is done and I learnt how to do it. I learnt what lines to say to distract them so they don’t have time to think and figure it out. That’s the special power I have. I don’t tell them that of course. But they too could have that power, if they took the trouble to buy the trick and learn all the ins and outs, especially the outs, if you get my meaning! Some do. Some don’t. We perform for those who don’t or won’t learn. If we’re great at it, those who have learned will appreciate us, perhaps even more that those who have not.

Just something to think about!

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It’s Not A Magic Shop

Yesterday a young lady and her adorable five year old son came into our shop. She introduced herself as a high school friend of my daughter and was thrilled that she recognized us immediately. As we were chatting, her son shouted “This is NOT a magic shop!” and stomped out of the shop. His mother went after him and dragged him back in insisting it was a magic shop over his protests.

When he came back in I tried to show him a trick. “I don’t want to see that!” He was defiant and could not be convinced that this was a magic shop.

Then his mom asked if I had a magic hat. I took a Folding Top Hat out of the box. Of course it was flat and he gave me instructions to pop it open. I put it on his head. It was a tad too big but it was fine with him. He calmed down a little.

“What else do you want?” I asked him.

“Gloves, a cape and a wand,” he replied.

I pulled a wand off the shelf and asked, “Like this?”

“Yes.”

Then I continued.”You know, most magicians have wands something like this. Black with white tips. I prefer red with white tips.” and watched as his jaw dropped to the floor and his eyes widened as the wand turned red.

“How did that happen?”

“Magic!”

“But how?”

“I can’t tell you, but if you buy the trick it comes with instructions.” (You have to teach them early).

“I want it.”

So after a few more purchases I prepared the invoice and chatted with his mom. He sat in a chair and his mother said, “Okay, get ready to go.” He didn’t want to leave.He was staying here. His mother coaxed him out with the bag of tricks.

I said to him, “One thing you have to know. If your friends ask you how….” “I know, I know! A magician never reveals the secret!” was his reply.” “One more question before you leave. Is this a magic shop?”

“Yes, this is a magic shop!”

“Thank you, you made me very happy!” I smile every time I think of him.

 

 

 

 

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Magic Nostalgia

We needed a picture frame and I knew we had some in the locker of our condo so we brought up a box marked “Photos, frames, etc.” We haven’t looked at in in ten years. So of course I got involved with the photos. I came across one of Magic Tom at Piazza  Tomasso where he was the house magician for children’s parties for many years. Robbie & Michael with Magic Tom at Piassa TommassoThe taller of the two boys is my nephew, whose party it was, and he is well into his fifties now, and the smaller child is my son Michael, also in his fifties. This was before we even thought about going into the magic business.

It got me thinking about Tom and what he did for magic and for us. He donated a large Trophy to Magic Montreal, and a smaller one for the winner of the Magie Montreal Trophy which was awarded every year at our Magic Convention. Richard Sanders was the first one to win it. Every winner has a place  with his name engraved on it on the big Trophy which can be seen in our shop. We gave out other awards too. This should bring back a few memories if you were there.

 

 

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March and Magic

March is a great month. Kids have March break and what could be better to an eager budding magician than spending time in a magic shop, especially if they’ve never been to one before.

Ours is not a sleek or elegant shop. We did away with glass counters 10 years ago, as a matter of fact there are no counters at all. Everything is up close and personal! And its an old building, and we have old furniture, so it sort of fits in with us!

So I have to smile to myself when I hear kids and sometimes adults say, “Wow! This is the best store ever!

This is a little warning to you guys and gals who have grown up with us. Watch your backs! There’s a whole new generation of magicians coming up, they’re cute, they’re savvy and some of them are serious, but I mean serious.

I was telling one of them that everyone who ever worked for us did well in the magic or entertainment business, like David Acer, Ted Outerbridge, Spidey, and Barry Julien, all worked for us as demonstrators when they were young. David started at 14. The kid wanted to know if he could work for us when he gets to be 14. I smiled. Who knows. Why not? We just have to live long enough!

 

 

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