Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New age in magic

WOW, I have been performing magic full time for 17 years now. It really is hard to believe, time just flies. When I first got started in magic I felt as though I was alone on my magical journey. Yeah there were some magic books in my local library, but learning from a real magician or attending a magic lecture or visiting a magic shop all of these things were out of the question. You see I lived in a suburb of Charlottesville, Va and as a kid I thumbed through catalogs drooling over the newest magic items for sale. Also in these catalogs were ads for magic conventions or magic camps & even the Magic Castle.  The closest magic shop was over 100 miles from me when I was growing up, but it didn’t matter my parents weren’t going to drive that far to buy tricks anyway. Once I got into high school I stumbled upon a magic shop that had just opened up in Waynesboro, Va called Shenandoah Magic. The owner was a little different but he was nice to me and encouraged me with my magic and I remember just sitting in there for hours looking at all those shelves loaded with apparatus and books and cards and feeling more at home than I ever had before. I used to drive over to that magic shop on weekends when I could and spend every penny I had wanting to know everything about magic. Just a little while after finding the magic shop in Waynesboro a new magic shop opened in Charlottesville called Magic Tricks. It was 30 minutes closer to my house and had even more inventory than the other location. This became my hang out during high school. While other kids were going to parties, I was practicing my magic. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I spent in this shop, I even started getting my hair cut at the salon next door to it so I could just be close to it. After high school, while attending college, I started working at the magic shop and practically the only time I was not in the shop was when I was at school or at a gig performing. I learned a lot there not only about magic, but about business and dealing with all types of people. I met scam artists, carnies, professional magicians, jugglers, comedians, super talented sideshow performers and more. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. Well this was all going on about the same time the new world wide web thing was starting to become more and more popular. Each month in the magic magazines you would read stories about “brick and mortar magic shops” (that’s what magic shops were being called now) closing due to the fact that people were buying online instead of at their favorite magic shop.  That is exactly what happened to the two magic shops near me, both closed due to fewer magicians buying from them and rent going higher each time they would sign a lease. Since then the internet has grown at a rate I don’t even think anyone could have imagined and just last year I attended a magic convention in my magic room in my home via an iPad were I got to see approx 37 of the best magicians in the world perform, then teach their magic and I could ask questions live as if I was in the room with them. It was an amazing experience! Things change. When I was a kid New York or LA seemed like they may as well have been on the other side of the earth, but nowadays we can talk to someone anywhere in the world via email, facebook, skype and more with just a click of a button. I know you kids are reading this thinking I am old, but it really is amazing how far we have come along.