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SeasideShowman
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Jon & Don,

You got to give the kid 'props' though for trying to get it for $4.00 ... way to go, kid !!

In the end though, Don, you are correct, sir. And nice work sticking to your pitch, Jon.

I love this stuff ...

Cap'n Mike
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"I didn't care if they were laughing at me or laughing with me ... as long as they were laughing" - Unknown
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Jon-O the Great
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Well, obviously I took the bux. But sometimes these kids really get to me...they want the cards SOOOO bad but the parents just walk away--"Oh, you don't need those, etc..."

I'm SORELY tempted to GIVE it to 'em and tell 'em, "Hey, next time you come back, you show me that 2-card Monte..."

But, being the greedy son-of-a-gun that I am, I don't! ;-)

Jon
Jon-O the Great
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Had two interesting things happen yesterday. One: I sold out of Svengali cards. Well, figuratively. I had taken less than 2 boxes into the show and sold ‘em all—45 sets. I guess that would be comparable to not taking an umbrella to a rain dance. But that was the most sets I’d ever sold in one day. I was very proud of myself for that.

But the funny thing….one kid, about 10, came back, asking lots of questions. He said he could do the 2-card Monte pretty well but still didn’t understand a couple of things with the deck. I said, “Did you read the instructions? BOTH SIDES?”

“Yep, but I still don’t understand how to make the card go thru the box!”

Frankly, I have never read the instructions so I don’t know what was in ‘em. About that time, some more kids came up so he watched me very intently, actually getting down with his eyes level to the table top—thru TWO demos. When the other kids had left, he said, “I’m sorry, sir, but I just don’t get it.”

I used Don’s retort, “We charge $5 for the cards, $10 for instructions.” He just stood there, waiting for who-knows-what? After about a half minute of this, I finally said, “Do you remember in the demo where I do the 1st trick?”

“Yes”

“How many cards to I pick up?”

“Two.” At least he got THAT part.

“And then I put them BACK on the deck?”

“Yes”

And then how many do I put on the table?”

“Ooooooooh!! So it never actually GOES thru the box!” You can believe this or not but his eyes got very big and he actually GALLOPED away, happy as a lark.

I guess he finally got it!

KIDS!!

John
TKD27
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It's funny - as magicians I think we (at least I do) sometimes forget that kids (and adults) don't really know that everything is a simple explanation. Many really assume there's some secret, complicated, mechanical (and even almost magical) way our tricks work.

I went with my friend who owns our local magic store to an illusion show he helped produce. He was given a table in the lobby to sell tricks. I demo'ed and sold a Hot Rod to someone. This was just as we were wrapping up and had had a terrible night. Almost no sales. So I decided before the kid left I'd take it out and teach him how it worked. Once I did, he looked at me unbelievably - even a little disappointed. He really expected a secret method for making it work. I'll never forget that. It really all goes back to why we (as magicians, not pitchmen) aren't supposed to reveal out secrets. It's because they will just be disappointed at how easy it is.

Your situation went a little differently, as he seemed a little more happy to learn it. Maybe he'll really be a future great magician, now, instead of someone who just throws his worthless toy in a junk drawer next week Smile Congrats,

Matt
Jon-O the Great
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You think THAT one was funny…

Two brothers, one about 7 and one about 5, who bought a set yesterday came by about noon today and just kinda stood there. I finally asked, “How do you like the cards?” The older one pulled the 2-card Monte out of his pocket and said, “Well, OK—I already won $5 with these!”

“Hey—you already paid for the cards, right?”

“Yep” And they left.

Near closing, they came back. The older one pulled out the deck and said, “Can you show me some other tricks?”

I used Don’s comeback—“The cards are $5, instruction is $10” and went on with my work. He seemed a little disappointed but they left. I still have a hard time believing it but in a couple of minutes they came back, the older one with $10 in his hand. Frankly, I was flabbergasted!

OK, Don, I DIDN’T take the money!

I told him, “I’ll tell you what. You keep it and after I show you what you want, if you think it’s worth $10, THEN you can give it to me.”

It was getting very near closing and there was NO ONE in the aisles, so I said, “OK, gimme the cards. You have them in the correct order, right?”

“Yeah.”

Well, of course they weren’t, so I put them in order and did the larceny trick, (Hey, I ONLY know those 3 tricks!) telling them, “You really gotta read the instructions. And if they aren’t in the correct order, the deck won’t work.”

“How’d you know where to put them?” I went into the details of why and how.

“And remember what I said about READING the instructions on BOTH sides of the paper? You REALLY gotta do it.”

“Well, I can’t do the DL.” Of course he didn’t call it that.

“Look, here’s a trick I learned when I first started. Bow the top 2 cards either out or in and when you do it, they will almost jump into your hand.” He did it and was REALLY surprised—because they DID jump into his hand.

“Wow! That’s neat.” The whole time his little brother was taking all this in, eyes wide. “Can I try?”

Now this kid had REALLY small hands-after all, 5 is not exactly a ripe old age.

“Can you hold them in your hands without dropping them?”

“No…” (At least he was honest.)

“Well, look, when you get as old as your brother, you come back and I’ll show you, OK?”

“OK”, very dejected. I had a couple of 2-card Monte sets in my cash box and said, “OK, here’s a set like your brother’s. Go steal….er WIN 5 bux!”

Man!! His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree!!

The older one said, “Well, here’s your $10.”

“Nope…you go buy some books on magic. Then NEXT show YOU can show ME something new!”

OK, Don, I know, I know…I’m a pitchman not a philanthropist. Oh well….

John
Jon-O the Great
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Am I the only one who has these "wierd" things happen or am I the only one who writes about 'em? Maybe after a few years, things like these will seem ordinary. But for now, each day I work with the cards, it seems there is at least one thing that either amazes me or grabs my heart. Or both.

John
sethb
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John, you are right on the money, it seems like there is almost always something out of the ordinary at each show, that has been my experience as well.

I guess the answer is we are dealing with people and human nature, which is by definition pretty unpredictable. Add to that the fact that we are also selling something unusual, and there you have it. But that's probably one of the reasons we were all attracted to magic in the first place! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Don't ya just love it all!
Jon-O the Great
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Yep. I'd LOVE to learn how to do a DL!! ;-)

John
sethb
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Quote:
On 2008-01-24 13:10, DonDriver wrote: Don't ya just love it all!


Great post, Don, that really says it all, and it's true. There is nothing like going out on a Saturday, performing and pitching all day, drawing nice crowds and puzzled looks from other vendors, seeing the smiles of the specs and hearing the compliments, and then coming home with a pocketful of money to boot!

And thanks again for making your Svengali Pitch DVD available. I remember seeing a wonderful Svengali pitchman on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City in the 1960's (and bought two Svengali Decks and a Money Maker as a result). But I could never have remembered enough details to recreate the pitch myself 40 years later. Your DVD gives the inside scoop and the real work, and makes it easy to learn, for someone who is willing to put in the time and effort. I thing it's a great contribution to the magic literature.

OK, now who wants one, just raise your hand and we'll get to you as soon as we can . . . . SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Thanks for that Seth...

Don
EndersGame
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Jon, I'm not asking for you to post exposure in this thread, but your reference to the boy wondering if the card went through the box makes me wonder if the handling of 2 Card Monte taught by Don is different than the traditional 2 Card Monte, where the double-facer is put behind the back and the spectator is asked to guess which card it is? (eg page 116-117 in Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic).

By the way, I've enjoyed browsing through these threads and reading your personal accounts of some of your experiences, especially the ones with the kids described above!
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TKD27
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That's more or less Don's handling for two card monte, but I think Jon was referring to the Svengali Deck with the part about cards going through the boxes.
EndersGame
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Thanks for clarifying that, that makes sense, and the misunderstanding was mine.

Keep those firsthand stories coming Jon, they're great!
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Jon-O the Great
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Gregory,

You REALLY need Don's DVD! I think all your questions about the cards AND the worms would be answered if you had it. Even if you never use it to pitch, YOU NEED IT!

Jon
Scott Compton
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I got Don's DVD, practiced (over and over) and hit the flea market a couple of weeks ago. I did pretty well, but I noticed that I was loosing sales that I should have got. I went back home that night and, sure enough, there on the DVD was Don telling me what I was doing wrong. I thought I had it all down, but I wasn't doing it exactly as Don told me. I corrected my mistake, and the next week, sales were much better.

I can't stress enough the need to do it exactly like he says. I spoke with Don today and he always has great information and is more than willing to help.

Thanks for everything, Don!
Magic is an art. I am merely a tour guide.
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Big Jeff
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What were you doing wrong?
Scott Compton
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I was looking up, when I shouldn't. I wasn't always showing the card to the whole tip each time. The psychology is so fine tuned, if you think you can do it better, or omit the important tips that Don gives, sales will go down.
Magic is an art. I am merely a tour guide.
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"You are the magic" Jay Ose to Albert Goshman
sethb
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It is amazing how one little thing can make a big difference. But it's true, "the devil is in the details," and fortunately, Don provides all the little tips that anyone needs.

Congrats, Scott, on joining the "Svengali Pitch Club," and best of luck to you. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Scott Compton
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Thanks Seth!
Magic is an art. I am merely a tour guide.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Compton-Magician/160270640674735

"You are the magic" Jay Ose to Albert Goshman
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