Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Big Changes in Magic

Phil and I started Perfect Magic almost 40 years ago. I posted my first blog 6 years ago. I’ve written almost 300 posts. I went to see what I wrote the first time. All I can say is that there were big changes from 40 years ago to 6 years ago, but from 6 years ago to now, there are no big changes. What changed is who is hot in magic! Many magicians today don’t know who Frank Garcia is although they are familiar with Daniel Garcia. They don’t know who Albert Goshman is but when they buy sponge balls they want Magic by Gosh brand. They never heard of Fantasio but they know about vanishing and appearing candles and canes. Now the names asked for are Shin Lim, Greg Wilson, Jon Allen, Dan and Dave to name a few. Most of the oldtimers are gone, unfortunately.

At one time a legend remained a legend, but now new kids come on the block quickly and often the star today is forgotten tomorrow. We have the internet to thank for that. It’s good and bad. Everyday there is tons of new stuff. We try to weed out the bad.

The other big change is the arrival of Downloads which I have written about. Many people haven’t tried it yet, but those who have really like it as it is much less costly. There are downloads of DVD’s and Books. We have over 1900 downloads to choose from.

Another thing has happened. DVDs that were so popular, sell less than they did as they are often copied and sent to friends etc. Now to combat that, most DVD’s also contain a gimmick so the DVD alone is useless unless you have the gimmick.

If I missed any changes, please comment and add it on. I’d appreciate that and so might the other readers. Thanks!

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Where Magic Takes You

Perhaps you got a Magic Kit as a kid. Maybe that’s what got you started. Maybe you saw a magician at a party and you got the bug there. It doesn’t matter how it started, it’s like falling in love. The attraction becomes stronger. Some people lose interest, but for those who don’t, its magic. You may not make it your career. Probably that’s a good choice because it isn’t easy. No matter how good you are, it’s a hard business to break into. But that doesn’t mean it can’t take you places. It can make you a hero to your grandchildren or even your boss!

Someone came in the other day looking to buy magic. He said he used to come here often as a kid with his father and he had a list and would buy the stuff on his list. It was a great time for him. Then he grew up and had other things on his mind, but he never gave up the magic. He fooled around with cards and coins and other close up stuff that he had. One day his boss came into his office and saw a deck of cards on his desk. He works for a big company.

“What are the cards for?” he asked.

“Oh, let me show you.”

He did a trick for him and blew him away.

“I didn’t know you did magic!

“Well, now you know.”

“We’re having a conference in a few weeks, maybe you’ll do some magic there.”

“Sure.”

So this fellow goes about practicing up on his walk around magic and one day his boss comes up to him and says, “By the way, just let me know what kind of lighting you need or tables, etc. Whatever you need.

” Just a minute. What kind of magic do you expect me to do?”

” Oh, you’ll be on stage for about 30 or 40 minutes. They’ll be over 100 people.”

“I thought I would just walk around and do magic for small groups at a time.”

“Oh no. We want a magic show.”

I guess it’s hard to say no to your boss.  This customer has the personality for it. He pleasant, outgoing, and a great sense of humour. All we have to do now is put a show together for him. We’ll try to steer him in the right direction.

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Magic

When we started our business almost 40 years ago, people were not learning magic over the internet. There was no internet. There weren’t even magic videos. They read books. There’s an idea for you. New books were highly anticipated.

Now many people  learn magic on the internet. You may learn a trick or several tricks and even do them well, but unless you read books, which you can get on the internet, (perfectmagic.com) you won’t understand  what is involved in the art of magic. There are many kinds of magic books, how to do magic, history of magic, card magic, money magic, close-up magic, street magic, trade show magic, stage magic,  mentalism, illusion building, magic biographies, party magic, you name it, there’s a book on it. What you also get in many books is the back story of the trick, who invented it, who improved upon it, who made it famous, different ways of performing it, in what setting it works best, what you can use to make it easier for you.

At some point the internet learners decide they want to go to a real magic shop. The other day a young man came in. There are many things he didn’t know existed and and was happy to learn about them like Fanning Powder, Fingertip Lotion, Wax ( soft and hard) Coin holders, Roughing sticks, Reels, Octopalm, etc . These are not tricks in and of themselves but you can do do real magic with them or make tricks possible or easier to accomplish. They would go under the heading of  accessories. Most of them come with instructions on how to use them and some come with effects as well.

Magic goes back thousands of years. The first mention of magic that I am aware of goes back to  the Bible, Exodus 7:10-13. It tells how Moses threw his staff to the ground and it turned into a snake. If you don’t read books on magic you are probably not aware of whose shoulders you are standing on and of the valuable information they passed on, and if you are not aware of the importance or use of accessories, you’re missing a lot.

 

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Understanding Magic

We’ve been in the magic business almost 40 years. Besides that I have a knack for figuring out how most tricks could be done, even if it’s not the way they are done.

I have a customer who is into mentalism. I have many customers who are into mentalism but this particular one buys a lot of good magic. He was ready to make another purchase so I decided to look through a lot of mentalist  effects so I could make a recommendation to him. I looked at a lot of stuff, from inexpensive to very expensive and I did like a lot of them. One that I liked was in the $30.00 range. I liked it because I was sure it worked on the hot rod principle but it didn’t. I could not figure out how it could be done, but Phil had an idea, and said it was the only way, but to me it sounded too complicated. If you have it please don’t reveal it, but if you don’t have it, see what you think. the effect is called Symbol.What do you think?

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Teaching Your Brain To Do Magic

The brain is a wondrous thing! It is under used. Many years ago I was walking along the street with a friend and a chill came over me. I said to her, “I just got a chill. That happens sometimes and the next morning I always get a cold and sore throat. It’s like a forewarning.” And she said, “You expect to be sick and you will be. Why not tell yourself over and over that you are not getting sick.” I went to bed that night saying to myself I am not getting a cold. I am not getting a sore throat.” Guess what. I was fine the next morning. I haven’t had a cold in years. What does that have to do with magic?

We had a customer that was trying to teach himself how to do the one handed cut. He said he was working on it for weeks. I told him to keep on going. He would get it eventually if he kept at it.  Then a couple of weeks later he came in and told me he got it, but said he realized he could have saved himself a lot of trouble and learned it a lot faster. How? I asked him. He said he should have tried with his left hand first. Once he learned it with his right hand he thought it would be cool if he could do it with his left hand and to his amazement he could do it almost immediately. I had a good laugh. I explained to him that he had established the pathways in his brain when he had learnt it with his right hand and the switch to his left was a minor change.

The point is if you are trying to do a move that seems impossible, and give up, of course you will never do it. But if you keep at it, you’ll get it.

Which brings me to my granddaughter. When she was 6 or 7 she saw a juggler doing the Devil Sticks at a street festival and everyone was encouraged to try out the props. She was determined to learn how to do it. I gave her a set from the shop and she practiced and practiced all year. She finally learned how to do it and could do flips in the air and all kinds of stuff with it. The following year I went to the festival with her. She picked up a set of the sticks and started performing. Two guys were standing beside me watching her and one said, Hey, let’s try that. It looks easy enough. That little kid is doing it. So they both tried and could not for the life of them understand why she could do it and they couldn’t. Practicing teaches your brain. You just have to keep going until your brain gets it. If you give up learning a move because you think it takes too long to learn or that it’s too hard, that’s what separates you from the greats!

 

 

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