Getting the Most From Yours
by Kip Pascal
As a previous magic-store owner, let me tell you, a lot of what’s out there is utter crap. I am not sure even the inventors or the writers could ever have performed the intended effect in the first place, let alone expect you to be able to perfect the magic trick.
So, how do you avoid the dogs — the awful magic that abounds?
Note: The method does not always determine the value of a trick, or lack thereof. I was disappointed when I found out how the cups and balls was performed — until I remembered that moments before I had been completely fooled. When I sold tricks like linking rings, vanishing handkerchiefs and other classics of magic, many young magi are at first disappointed. As I said, the method doesn’t matter … it’s if the trick has been used as a practical fooler.
Before you ever step foot in the magic shop, do a little research
First, what in general are you looking for? How will you use what you buy? Are you looking for stand-up, stage, or close-up magic?Will you be performing it professionally, or do you need a quick little baffler for your friends?
It’s nice to have a goal in mind, when going in search of magic.
Next, does the shop have a catalog — either printed or an on-line version?
Make an initial list of possibilities.
While scanning the catalog, be sure to look for books. Many younger magicians are “impatient learners.” They want the magic spoon-fed to them on DVD. They won’t take the time to read.
This is to your benefit.
Yoiur magic will be more unique, and you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the art of magic.
Now, prioritize your list.
You want a game plan, based on what you can afford to spend and whether a given trick on your list turns out to be garbage.
With list in hand, you are ready to visit the magic store.
My advice is that you call first, and find out the quiet times of the day, if there are some.
Visit, when the demonstrator won’t be distracted and can devote more time to you. Also call to make sure the magician who knows the stock and how to demonstrate the magic tricks will be worlking.
You don’t want to show up when Mom is babysitting the magic store.
Magic Store Gameplan
Once you have the vendor’s attention and have gone through the ritual greetings and small talk, pull out your list.Unless you need some presentation tips for your basic supplies, get those out of the way first, without requesting any to be performed. Do ask about quality differences in thumb tips or gimmicked coins, but don’t have the magician present any of it.
He (or she) doesn’t know it, but you’ll be making use of his skills in a minute.
You have just proved that you aren’t a feeloader by filling out the basics on your list. You are actually buying stuff.
Now, it’s time to start asking about the magic on your list.
I start by reading off or showing the list to the magician behind the counter. I ask if there are any favorites or any of them that could be demonstrated. I listen for the comments and also watch the magus’ facial expressions.
Then I get ready for a little magic show.
The traditional way is for the magicvian to demonstrate the trick and then you decide whether or not that one will be added to the pile by the cash register of the magic store.
I prefer to make my decision at the end.
The Final Group
After the little performance, I note which tricks listed weren’t performed. I begin asking about those.Many a time, those untested tricks have found their way into the charity magic auction, that raises money for the local magic club.
Nowadays, I temper the chances I take with passing on them, at the time. Then I go home and do a little more Internet research, looking for reviews and discussion fora that mention the trick that the magician avoided performimng.
With books, I am more likely to take a chance. I really do feel that if I get even one trick that I’ll perform from the book, then the entire price of the book was worth it.
End note to magic demonstrators: Be able to demonstrate one or two tricks from each book that you sell. You’ll sell a lot more books that way. And you’ll be able to recommend a wide variety of books to anyone who comes into the magic store.
Kip Pascal is the author of Coin Snatching: The Reputation Builder.
Not only do you get a book filled with the strongest coin snatches and switches around, but you get detailed instructions on how to let others build your reputation as a magician for you. No kidding.
Yes, this book has great coin tricks … all around the theme of coin snatcihng and switching.
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