Monthly Archives: February 2018

Does Everybody Love Magic?

A lot of people have walked through our doors in the last 40 years. Most of them, of course, love magic. Otherwise why would they come here. In all these years only one was really nasty and grabbed the cards out of my hands. An adult woman. Not a nice one. I can always tell the character of a person on how they react to magic. Those who think they are smarter than anyone else cannot stand to be fooled. Those who laugh and enjoy it are generally well adjusted people who know its a trick but are not hounded by the fact that they can’t figure it out.

Last week, an older couple came in. They never did magic but now that the grandchildren are around 4 years old, the grandfather wanted to learn some tricks for them. The grandmother said, ” This is all him. I want nothing to do with it.”  When I showed him a trick she wouldn’t even watch. “I’m not interested,” was her reply when I asked her to watch.

She wasn’t nasty or negative. She just wasn’t interested. But I couldn’t take it. How could she not be amazed at the miracles I was performing? I called her over and said, “You don’t have to watch, but I need your help for this one.” I did the Magical Block, placing a penny on the back of her hand and without touching her it changed into a dime. I got her. Suddenly she turned from an uninterested party to an interested party. They were both excited to get home and

It’s not that she was a woman. It surprises us how many women are now into magic. I had a grandmother come in a few days prior to this grandmother. She was alone and as enthusiastic as could be. She never did magic before. At one time when a woman came in it was for a gift for a boyfriend. Not so much any more. Now its for them. Last week there was one day that only women came in to buy magic for themselves. So guys, watch out! You have some competition out there.

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What Every Magician Should Know

The other day I got a call from an old customer, a good magician I’m told by those who have seen him perform, and he wanted a certain electronic device. We had it in stock. He took a long drive to get to our shop as he wanted it right away and he’s from out of town.

I got a call from him today asking if we had another one in stock. I said yes. He asked if we would try it out to see if it worked. We did and it did. He said his didn’t.

“Strange,” I said. “Did you put a battery in?”

“Of course,” he replied.

“Did you put it in the right way?”

“It says it doesn’t matter which way but I tried both ways and I tried the battery on something else and it works. Will you exchange it if I go down there now?”

“Of course, and I’m so sorry that you have to drive all that way.”

Phil was working at his computer, as usual, but was also listening to my end of the conversation.

“Wait a minute,” he called out. “What kind of battery are you using?”

He told me the name, which I relayed to Phil.

“Tell him to get a Duracell before he drives all the way out here.”

“But my battery works,” my customer insisted.

“Buy a Duracell,” Phil insisted,

“Okay, I’ll go out and buy a Duracell and then I’ll come over and change the item.”

We have some experience after being in this crazy business for over the 40 years.  At one time we carried an electric bottle from Dirk DeGraeve in Belgium. We had the exact same situation.  A customer came back with a bottle he had bought and said it didn’t work. Phil put in one of his Duracell  batteries and it did work. Then we had another trick whereby you put cards, one at a time, into a box. When you tried to put the selected card in the box, it closed by itself and you couldn’t  put it in. Same thing happened there. So we knew about the batteries by then.

Twenty minutes later I get a phone call from this customer.

“I want you to do me a big favour.”

I said, “So it worked with the Duracell huh?”

“Listen, about the favour. When I’m famous and you’re talking to someone and telling them that you knew me when I was a kid, please don’t tell them about the battery. It’s a little embarrassing.”

The moral of the story is when you’re working professionally, don’t save money by buying cheap batteries, if you’re using something that requires batteries.



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The Things We Take For Granted (In Magic)

It always amazes me when I do a simple trick, that requires absolutely no sleight of hand, what a vast amount of other things go into it, to make it entertaining. Eugene BurgerThe late great Eugene Burger was a master of this.

When we do a trick often enough it becomes a part of us without even thinking about it, but once in a while something happens that shows me its so much more than doing a trick.

This came to light the other day when a kid came in to buy a Svengali Deck. Well, he didn’t actually come in to buy that deck, he came in because his cousin worked in an office down the hall and he passed the shop and wanted to know what it was all about, so I showed him the Svengali Deck, which of course blew him away. He was twelve. He had to have that deck. He never did magic before so after he bought it I explained it to him and he said he understood. He also bought the trick with 3 ropes, you know, small, medium and large. He came back the next day and asked for help with the ropes. So we went over it. I then asked him how he was doing with his Svengali Deck. “Oh, I have that one down great.” I said “Show me.” I nearly fainted when he took the cards out of his pocket, not even protected by a box.

“Where’s the box?”

“Oh, I don’t need a box.”

“Of course you do. Those cards will be spoiled in no time, bent corners, torn, and all messed up. Anyhow show me the trick.”

“It’s simple!” he says.

He puts his fist around the cards, covering most of the backs, just the edges, tops and bottoms visible, and with the other hand he flips the cards, doesn’t even ask me to take one, and he flips through them showing me the tops (as his fist is covering most of the deck) and says “See they’re all different.” And then he shows me that they’re all the same.

I said, ” After you get your box, this is what you do.” And I gave his a 15 minute lesson on the Svengali Deck with all the whys and wherefors. He listened attentively and seemed to understand. He thanked me. I told him to practice.

I’ll see how he does next time he comes around, if I didn’t scare him away forever!




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