Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Why, When, and What of Magic

I got a phone call the other day from a grandmother who wanted to get a magic kit for her granddaughter’s birthday. The 8 year old saw a particular kit and wanted it. Did we have it? No, but we used to carry it and could have it if she really wanted it. However being a grandmother myself and a little experienced in the field of magic, I suggested something else. We do have other kits, but it’s never my first choice, even though I know that many magicians started their life in magic with a magic kit.

This is my thinking. I find the quality of the magic in the kits are not always as good as the quality of the magic we sell individually. The items in the kits are usually a little smaller and not that sturdy.302

Then there’s the promise of 150, 250 tricks or more. Great expectations. You open the box and if there are 10 props you’re lucky. Then there’s a book or a DVD showing you all the things you can do with those props. And yes, some of them are great. But are you really going to learn 150 or more tricks? I don’t think so.

The person who receives the kit will open it, examine all the props, and discover the secret before knowing what the effect is. Take the Ball and Vase. It’s a wonderful classic, but if you know the secret before seeing it performed, you’ll never get that “awe” feeling,  that “how is that possible?” feeling.

What I always did and what I suggested to the grandmother, was to buy a few individual tricks, learn them and do them for her granddaughter. That way the child gets that feeling of wonder. After that she can be exposed to the secret and learn it herself. She will never forget that feeling she had when she first saw it, and when she performs it for others she will know what they feel and that is the true reward of magic.

But there’s even more to it than that. A special bond occurs between the grandparent and the child that the child will never forget and that’s important to the grandparent as well as the child. What child doesn’t remember his favourite uncle that pulled quarters out of his ear?

So these grandparents came up to the shop and bought a bunch of stuff for their grandchild and a Svengali Deck with a book for themselves,  they who had never done a magic trick in their lives. They were completely captivated by the magic and assured me they would be back and were excited about going home and learning the magic!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Magic of Magic

When we moved into our condo, over 10 years ago, we had a little chat with the administrator about things we should know about, never having lived in a condo before. One of things we discussed was what to give the superintendent for Christmas. He said everyone gives cash and the same amount. Fair enough.

But now the super has grandchildren of about 3 and 4 years old. I said to Phil. “This year we’re giving magic instead of money.” Phil said, “Give him the cash. Everyone wants cash.”  Our super has never done magic and I said to Phil, “No, I know he would love magic more. He is so crazy about those kids. I could just see him showing them the tricks.” Phil gave up. “Do what you want.” was his unenthusiastic reply.

So I put five tricks in one of those gift bags with tissue paper and a card, etc and in another bag I put my demonstrators of those tricks. I went home and phoned him and asked if he could come up to our place for about 10 minutes. He asked “What tools do I bring? Is anything wrong.?”

“No, no tools, nothing is wrong. Just come up if you can spare 10 minutes.”

He came to the door confused.

“Come in. Take off your coat.” He had just come in from outside. He came in, and took off his coat. I asked him to come into the living room and asked him to sit down, which he did, still confused. I presented him with the fancy bag and said, “This is your Christmas present, but I don’t want you to open it now. I’m going to show you what it is and how to work it.”

I proceeded to show him one trick at a time and showed images (1).jpeghim how they were done. His eyes were popping out of his head. He was as excited as a kid. If I gave him a million dollars I don’t think he could have been more excited.

He thanked me (and the reluctant Phil) over and over.

About 10 minutes later the phone rings. It’s his wife. She said, “I don’t understand. There’s a gift bag here and a card from you, but there’s nothing in the bag except tissue paper and I can’t find my husband.”

It seems he had gone off to practice the tricks privately. Nor could he wait until Christmas. This was a week before Christmas. He came up to see us the next day with a smile from ear to ear. He had done the tricks for his grandkids and was a hit! He taught them how to do it and they were just enthralled inserting the abra-ca-dabra in the appropriate places and all that jazz!

I’m sure if I gave him cash next year he would surely be disappointed. There’s nothing like the magic of magic!

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