The Things Magicians Take For Granted

I’ve been in this business of selling magic for over 40 years. Some things never change. When we speak of tricks as classics, we’re talking about things that have been popular in the past, way back when; they are popular now and they will be popular in the future.

Nickels to Dimes, Colour Changing  Hank, Cups and Balls, Linking Rings, Sponge Balls, just to name a few. As I dealer, I can do them all, not as well as you perhaps, but well enough to make the sale.

Today a grandfather came in, who also happens to be a friend, but not a magician. His granddaughter was having a birthday and he wanted to so some tricks at her party. Nothing difficult, nothing expensive. Before I continue, I would like to add that I can always tell what a person is really like by the way they react to magic. I will never forget how some person was so angry that she had been fooled by a card trick that she actually reached over the counter and pulled the cards out of my hand. That was the last trick I ever showed her.

I showed this grandfather 3 tricks, Hank Moorehouse’s Magic Coloring Book, which you are all familiar with, I’m sure, Double Color Changing Hank and Growing Ball Outdone. He took the three of them.

The thing that impressed me so much was his sheer delight when he saw each trick. It energized me. However, the party is tomorrow so I offered to show him how they worked. Now any one who does the Coloring Book knows just how simple it is to perform, so when I taught it to him and he performed it for me, I realized how much more there is to it than flipping pages. To me its second nature, how to hold the book, what moves to make when you’re changing positions, and the patter, yes the patter is so important. Of course after 40 years I should know what I’m doing, but my point is that we take it for granted that it should be obvious that all those things have to be considered. We considered it when we learned how to do it properly and now who even thinks about it. We just do it. When he flipped the pages you couldn’t see the pictures. I took the book and tried it to see why not. What wasn’t he doing that I was doing? You have to turn your wrist over while flipping the pages. Just flipping the pages doesn’t cut it.  I’m sure he’ll figure it all out, I just hope he does it in time for the party.



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3 responses to “The Things Magicians Take For Granted

  1. Dave Harvey

    I must admit it, I am guilty too. When I had my boutique (a few years ago) I had a finger chopper for the ones who wanted to scared the hell out of their girlfriend. One day, two guys enter and wanted something impressive and, if possible, “gore”!! I thought immediately: FINGER CHOPPER. So, I made my demo and the guys were reeeeally excited (to say the least!). I made my sell and proceed to explain the secret. Then, both of them exited the boutique dreaming of how they will make mom, dad, Lucy, etc… scream in horror.

    About 30-40 minutes later, one of the guys came back with one of his index finger almost totally blue and with a red mark visible near one of a joint. He was almost in tears. Apologetically he looked at me and said: “Would you be nice enough to tell him how to make the blade go through my finger without breaking it for real please?” He was holding his wounded hand with the other, his blue index pointing toward the ceiling. Then I realized that my two DODO birds didn’t saw THE ONLY MOVE of the entire trick (you know the one when you retract the guillotine up!), and since they were out of my boutique they tried to make the miracle happen no matter how painful it could be. I can assure you that I had cover this QUITE IMPORTANT PART OF THE TRICK slowly and more than once. But since the effect was so clean, it must have been self working in their heads. As magicians, we are accustomed to recorded the myriad of details to accomplish the simplest technique, not laymen!! When I explain (again!) how to proceed, they looked at each other as the secret slowly sinked in their brains and started to laugh. Personnaly, I was just happy they didn’t buy a head chopper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I once had a magician come in with his girlfriend and her finger was all bandaged up. Finger chopper!


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