Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Own your magic 09.22.10

In the grand scheme of things, making an effect entertaining is more important than how many moves it takes to get to the end. For example, a classic of magic, the “Invisible Deck” can be more magical and more mysterious than simply having a card named and found face up in the deck. Draw out the suspense, or, have a short story to tell that creates interest in either you or the journey you take your audience on to get to the end of the effect.

Just doing a magic trick may get your aunt Tillie to think that you are “amazing” or grandma to believe that you are the next David Copperfield, but it will not get you the scores of admiring fans that will boost not only your ego, but your career as well. You need to own ever effect you perform. By own, I do not mean you go out and buy an effect from the “Magic Shop”. What I am saying here is that you first, learn the effect inside out. You need to know, not only the handling of the effect, but, what makes it a good effect. Once you have a mastery of the effect, change it! Yep, I said change it. Most magic guys buy and effect or learn an effect from a book (the best way) or from a DVD. They do it the exact way it was presented. In other words, they do, verbatim; the exact effect without ever attempting to learn what makes it work. They learn the secret move, but not why the effect is so entertaining.

Creating a magical event is much more than doing tricks. It is about giving the audience an experience that will last in their memory for years after. Every time they see a magician, they will remember you and that one effect where they were lost in the magical moment you created.

Challenge yourself every day to take an effect or routine that you do, which may in actuality someone else’s, and make it yours.

Keep the magic real!

Jake Mann

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to increase magic sales 09.23.10

If you are not using the internet to sell or at the very least generate sales leads, you are missing a huge opportunity to build your magic shop business! Retailers who say, “I don’t use the internet”, or “I don’t know the first thing about the internet” cannot hope to compete in today's market. The internet is a tool and can be used to attract customers to your business.

Back before the Internet, shops relied on walk in business. Get a good street location with high traffic and great visibility. This gave you a pretty good chance for getting business. Join the local magic club and offer the members a discount for supporting your shop also increased business and still does.

That was then, this is now. With the advent of e-sales, online shopping, Facebook, Twitter and all the other new advances in the internet such as iphone, ipads, itouch and social connectivity technology magic shop owners need to be internet savvy.

Magic shops must have a website. This should be a given. You may ask why, you might say, every magician in town knows where your shop is located and they all buy from you. Yeah, maybe. But, what about the new magician in town or someone visiting your town or that thirteen year-old kid that just discovered magic? These people will search the internet for the local magic shop. Will they find you? Oh, by the way, no one looks at the yellow pages any more, not really, they Google!

So, how do you use the internet? You become an expert in Social Marketing. If you don’t know what Social Marketing is, you probably still wear leisure suits and think the Bee Gees are groovy. The internet and social marketing is the best thing ever, to happen to small businesses. Because of the internet, mom and pop shops can now sell worldwide or at least across the country.

To get up to speed in the art of Social Market properly, you need the email address of every customer that enters your shop or visits your web site. You will need a Facebook account in the name of your shop and it wouldn’t hurt to have a Twitter account and a blog.

As a magic shop owner, you spend hours perfecting your demo skills, so that when a customer walks into the shop and asks about the newest effect, you can present it flawlessly and thereby make a sale. You, as the owner of a magic shop, need to spend an equal amount of time learning how to market in the internet age as you do practicing your Elmsley count.

Look for more on Social Marketing on future Blog posts.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Mikame - We lost a Legend!

We just received some sad news...Yonezo Mikame of Mikame Craft passed away on Thursday. Mr. Mikame was one of the finest crafters of the best-bulit magic effects of the last century.

The magic community has lost a legend. He had many friends in magic, and if you were lucky enough to know him, then you knew the gentle man and truly how special in the magic industry he was!

Rest in peace Mr. Mikame...Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Mikame's family.

from the desk of Steve Branham

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bands that are Magical not silly

The magician’s bread, butter and bane, magic for kid.

You have a gig at a family style restaurant and it’s “Kids Eat Free” night. What a nightmare. Hundreds of kids running amuck and you have to entertain them. So, you think to yourself, what shall I do? Sponge balls, nah. Hot Rod, nah. The disappearing little square silk into the hand thing, nah. Dang, you’re stuck.

Here’s the really funny, but true reality, “What is old is new again”. Kids from six to twenty-six are into Silly Bands. You know the elastic bands shaped like animals, cars, rockets and every other conceivable image. Oddly enough, I have seen them on some adults. This fad is a golden opportunity for magicians to add Star Gazer to their kid’s magic! Put out ten years ago, this effect uses Silly Band like elastics that look like stars.

So, place two Star Gazer bands on your wrist the same way you would standard rubber bands (gum bands for those in PA.) Once at the table, notice the kids have on their silly bands. Comment on how cool they are and that you have had yours for a very long time. Go on the say that they are magical and that they can pass right through each other. Yep, I am thinking, the classic “Crazy Man’s Handcuffs”. Create patter that tells a story about two star-crossed lovers that when together are stronger than when they are apart. Or, something to that affect. Use your imagination and don’t simply use the patter that has been floating around for years or is from someone else’s act.

To finish off your routine, borrow a band from one of the kids at the table. Be careful as this can be a bit risky. If the band is extremely fragile or is one that is extra large, you might not be able to use it. Either repeat the routine using different patter or save one of the penetration from your routine for this and make it the finale.

Wow! Okay, now you are the coolest magic person in the world because you do magic with Silly Bands!!