The Problem With Magic Instructions

The problem with magic instructions is that people , especially magicians, don’t read them. Especially if they are written in Chinese or Japanese and you don’t speak either language.  I stand guilty as well. When something comes in from Tenyo, instructions  used to be in English. Now they send an instruction sheet in English along with the item or give you the code for  instructions on line. The item  does come to you with instructions with Asian writing and are extremely well illustrated, so one may be tempted to try to figure it out without actually reading the English instructions. Mistake!

I got a call the other day from a customer who had purchased a Tenyo item from us. He was furious, as he paid a lofty price (some Tenyo items are expensive) and he said it didn’t work. One thing I know about Tenyo is that their magic works. Most of it is excellent. I couldn’t believe it didn’t work. It’s not like this person was a beginner. He’s a pro.

“Did you read the instructions?” I asked.

“Of course. And the first time I showed it to someone, he caught on right away.” was the reply.

He was really upset.

“Calm down. It’s only a magic trick. If it doesn’t work or is so obvious that it can be detected, send it back. But let me check it out  here.” I said.

Of course I gave that job to Phil. So Phil looked at the illustrations and tried to follow them and low and behold he saw that it didn’t work. Then he got the English instructions and read them carefully and followed them step by step. “Aha, now it works.”

I phoned my customer and asked if he was sure he read the instructions. It turns out he didn’t. He thought looking at the illustrations would be sufficient. He called back later, after reading the instructions and apologized. “It works perfectly.” he said.

Phil always said, “When you buy a trick, read the instructions first. See how the trick works and then forget about the instructions and make it your own!” I think that’s pretty good advice!

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