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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » Svengali question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jon-O the Great
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Had an interesting happening at the flea market yesterday. One of the kids who bought a deck, THEN asked, "I still don't see how you changed that Ace to a 9."

"Just read the instructions," quoth I.

"Can't you just show me?"

"Yes (using Don's answer) but it's $5 for cards, $10 for instructions." (I was too lazy to make DVDs)

"Come on, just show me."

I truly had a hard time getting rid of him. But finally, he left. The prob was that he was the son of one of the other vendors who had already bought a set of strippers. The kid was interested in magic. So in a few minutes here he came with a deck of REAL cards, itching to show me some tricks. Which he did.

Finally, I just said, "I'm really sorry but I have to get back to work. But if you'll just read the instructions, you'll see how it's done." I still did not show him the DL.

This guy was obviously really interested in doing magic. My question is, if there was no one else around, what would have been the harm in showing the DL?

I know this is probably a stupid question for the pros but remember, I'm new....

Jon
DonDriver
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If its slow and a kid is hanging around and has a REAL interest in magic,I'll spend time with him and show him a few things.But as soon as I see a tip I'll run him off.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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Don, the only prob, I don't KNOW a few things. I can do the Svengali cards and the linking paper clips (on the dollar bill) and that's really about it. When I try to use a regular deck, there are a couple of tricks I TRY but I'm just not good at them. I'm a Svengali guy! ;-)

But I guess it wouldn't be terrible if I showed the DL to someone who REALLY wanted to know, like that kid.

Next time....

Jon
sethb
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I don't think you're required to provide magic lessons to any purchaser, that's what the instructions are for, and why they need to be good! I like Don's line about this!

On the other hand, if a kid says he/she read the instructions and still doesn't get it, AND it's not busy, I will take a little time to show them how to handle the deck. If I show them a front and then a back riffle (all cards different, then all the same), then most are satisfied. Sometimes I will throw the DL in as well. After all, when they paid for the deck they also bought the secret, too; it's a legitimate transaction and not as if you are exposing something just for the sake of exposure, like the Masked Magician on Fox TV.

Most often, they have just gotten the cards out of order and it's an easily solved problem. But especially if it's another vendor's child or if a kid comes back with his parents -- you want the parents to know that you didn't sell the kid an unworkable piece of junk, that it's a real magic trick. If a child does have a real interest in magic, I also suggest that he visit his/her local public library for some books about magic (most libraries always have a few good ones for kids). That's free advice and a free resource, and the suggestion usually seems to be appreciated.

I have never been asked to do other magic tricks, and I also don't know any tricks with regular cards, I'm just a Svengali guy! But if I was asked, I'd say that although I DO know other tricks, I only demonstrate what I sell. Again, this isn't a magic show, it's a traveling magic store -- and there's a difference. 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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Good advice and a good post Seth.

Don
mota
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S. David Walker has a good line for this type of situation. He tells the kid, "Show me which instruction you read that you didn't understand and I'll explain it to you".
Fitz
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All good advice here. All I would add is if you were busy you could tell him to come back at the end of the day and you will give him the extra stuff then (DL or whatever). I had this happen years ago and the kid did come back while I was packing up. I told him once I was done loading up I would be ready, and just as I thought he helped me pack up. I knew his parent food vending joint would take a lot longer then my stuff so he would be there for a while anyway. I also knew in a way at one time I was that kid myself. He did a good job and I think I gave him another two card monte as-well.

Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
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