Monthly Archives: February 2017

Give Me Those Old Time Magicians!

I have been going through our catalog trying to get rid of mistakes because we’re supposed to be Perfect as in Perfect Magic. I’ve been doing this for weeks in alphabetical order and am now on the letter M. I was corresponding with Patrik Kuffs and he was kind enough to point out an error in spelling in one of the R tricks, but I haven’t gotten to the R’s yet. So if anyone sees mistakes in spelling or prices, don’t be shy, I really appreciate it. But I digress.

As I go through the catalog I come across magicians that I would bet the new magicians  coming up never heard of. These are people that really had an impact on magic as we know it today. David Roth, Michael Ammar, Jeff McBride, George Schindler, Eugene Burger, Dai Vernon, Doug Henning, Frank Garcia,  Al Goshman just to name a few. And we happen to know these guys personally. Unfortunately some have passed away, but not their magic. None of the above, in their heyday, had the advantage of todays’s technology and yet they could perform miracles.

I’m not knocking today’s performers. But be aware, when you see something on a video, are you seeing what’s really happening? The people I mentioned above were around before videos. Yes there once was a time….As a matter of fact when videos came out, they were the stars.

You can add your favourites to the list if you like.

 

 

 

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Family Friendly Shows (Magic and Related Arts)

evy1There aren’t many shows you can take your kids to without it costing you a fortune. A few months ago one of my customers came to the shop and told me he was putting on 4 shows, one a month, at the Decarie Square Dollar Theatre in Montreal and would we be interested in supporting him in some way. Of course we would. I offered to donate door prizes and Perfect Magic Gift Cards.

This was the first time he did anything like this. I had no idea what the show would be like. I did not expect a David Copperfield or Shim Lim type of show, nor did I get one.

We brought our 2 young grandchildren age 11 and 9  with us. I missed quite a bit of the show as I was having so much pleasure just watching my grandchildren who were literally rolling out of their seats with laughter. (Any grandparent would understand this.) My granddaughter, age 9, volunteered when Marc Trudel was performing. He asked her to come up.  Marc was terrific and funny and she had a ball. When we brought her home, her she went dashing up the stairs to tell her parents she was on stage.

The comedian was hilarious, having trouble keeping blue material out of the show, and making comments about how difficult is was, and that was in itself funny. My kids were laughing away as were we.

The juggler was funny as well. It was more comedy than juggling, although he was a great juggler but it was more for laughs than to show off his skills.

The show opened with two big illusions that my grandson questioned us about intensely as there was “absolutely no place for that girl to be with all those swords and boxes in place.”

We were truly entertained. The kids loved it. All the kids in the audience begged to be volunteers when asked. If the second show is as good as the first we are in for a treat again.

I urge you to go to the show and support them. You’ll enjoy it and so will your family and it won’t break the bank. This could grow into something really big. If you have a special skill like magic, juggling, etc., you should see the show to get an idea of what its about. They are looking for performers as they get different talent each time. Get in on the ground floor as they say. Hope to see you there.

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Getting Audiences for Magic Shows

So you have a magic show coming up. Chances are you were hired by someone either for a company, a birthday party, a school show, a dinner party, a walk around at a wedding or Bar Mitzvah. You probably worked hard to get it. Maybe you have an agent or did the work yourself, but one way or another you managed to get the show. One thing is sure with all of the above, you have a captive audience. You know there will be people there.

There are some brave souls who may be great magicians and have a terrific show and want to rent a hall or theatre and sell tickets and want people to come. That is a whole different ball game. The competition is stiff. Big time. No, not there are another dozen people doing the same thing. You’re competing with cell phones and computers. People are reluctant to leave the comfort of home to see an unknown magician do some tricks. Then the weather may be bad and there may be plays and other things going on in the city. So how do you get an audience? That is the question. I assure you, it takes more work to get the audience than to learn the magic. I don’t care how many years it took you.Audience

Ted Outerbridge and his wife Marion after years of struggling, managed to finally make it. You have to want it really bad and you have to work hard. Ted came to Perfect Magic, like anyone else interested in the art. Now he has a travelling road show, like the performers of years gone by.  He wrote  about it in his his lecture notes. You have to have a strategy. Once you make it, of course it becomes easier. You are known and instead of renting a theatre and taking a chance, you’re hired by the theatre and at least you get paid, whether an audience comes or not.

Phil usually has the captive audiences for his piano gigs. Last week his did his first of four shows at the Cote St. Luc Library. I must tell you that I was worried about attendance. Although the library had flyers and posters but up, I couldn’t help but think, “Who wants to drag themselves out on a cold winter day?” My family and friends were tied up with other things so no one we knew personally was there, although they would normally be there to fill up a few seats, so I did worry. When people started coming in I must say I was relieved.

The theatre was 3/4 filled. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and hopefully will be back with friends. As they say “There’s no business like show business.”

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