I know it’s been a bit quiet on the blog – but it’s been the exact opposite on this side of the screen. I’ve been on the road so much lately for the Real Magic Roadshow that I must admit it’s left little time for regular posts. Between travel, product production, managing the events, general Elmwood Magic business, and real life – my time has certainly been spread a bit thin lately.
But it’s the good kind of thin – productive and fun.
The response thus far to Real Magic Roadshow has been absolutely stellar, with crowds growing larger at each event. I’ve been posting updates, photos, and videos on the Real Magic Roadshow website – so I won’t duplicate that information here. If you want to know more, just click here and we hope you’ll join us on the road!
Aside from our regular best sellers, there’s no doubt that the hottest items at the shows have been our three “secret” new releases. I say “secret” because since we’ve released our latest Elmwood items at Blackpool in February, we have ONLY made them available at conventions and the Real Magic Roadshow events. They are not on the site and won’t be until May. I’ve been contacted by many people asking why we’re doing this and the answer is twofold and simple...
One, we wanted to have some special items that could ONLY be found by attending the events. A little extra “thank you” for coming out to support us. The second reason? Time. We can barely keep up with the demand for the items at the live events – so trying to satisfy both the real world and the online one would be a little rough. Not to worry, they will be on the site soon.
For now, just remember these names:
Naked, Token, and iBalance
You’ll be hearing a lot about them in the next couple months!
It’s the morning of March 15th – tomorrow is our first Real Magic Roadshow.
The excitement level is high and I’ve done all I can do to make it a successful event.
The rest is up to you.
People have asked me why I’ve decided to do these events. I could give many answers - but the primary motivation was a response to issues I heard from many customers about attending conventions. They wanted to see all the great new magic available but...
- The event was too expensive. The Roadshow is only $10 and if you pre-register we pay YOU to be there.
- The event was too long. The Roadshow is an intense one day experience. You’ll get to see the latest and greatest from some of the industries leading dealers and creators – and you’ll still have most of your day to attend to family, work, or other responsibilities.
- The travel costs were prohibitive. No need to travel a great distance to places like Las Vegas, we’re coming to you! Even if you need to drive a few hours, the day ends early enough that you’ll be home and sleeping in your own bed. That means no hotel or costly travel expenses.
I believe strongly in the live magic experience. Not a YouTube video - but a real, hands-on, face to face experience. Those opportunities seem to be dwindling for magicians. If you've ever lamented that fact - then the Roadshow is for you. I've worked hard to make these events a success, but it's up to you to finish the job.
The Road is calling. Will you answer?
From the beginning of the year until mid may, I’ll have visited over a dozen different cities. In fact, in just a few days I’ll be winging my way to Blackpool, England for the world’s largest magic convention. It’s an amazing time and I always look forward to the trip.
However, you might be surprised to hear I’m even more excited about heading to Detroit next month...
March 16th marks the beginning of the Real Magic Roadshow and our first stop is Detroit, Michigan. I announced the details of this new project last month and the response has been in a word - amazing.
If you love magic, want to see some of the greatest new magic available, and want to be “paid” for the opportunity – then this is well worth your attention. Seriously - this is exciting stuff and if you live anywhere near our first six test cities, we hope you’ll come out an join us.
You can also keep up with the latest new and updates about the Real Magic Roadshow by clicking here.
Hope to see YOU on the road!
I’ve decided to kick off the New Year with some exciting news. For the last several months I’ve been working on a new project that I’m very proud of. I’ve assembled a select group of magic dealers and creators for a series of one day retail magic expos. The event is called The Real Magic Roadshow and you're invited to attend...
You’ll have a chance to see and buy magic from some of the industries leading dealers including Mark Mason of JB Magic, Chris Smith of Magic Smith, Dirk Losander, and of course - Elmwood Magic. Each of our first six cities will also feature at least one local dealer and registration is open now.
Here’s the best part - if you pre-register now, we pay YOU to attend! You read that right. Here's how it works...
The cost to attend the Real Magic Roadshow is only $10. But if you pre-register NOW we’ll issue you a $20 Gift Card for use the day of the event! Spend an hour or spend the day, either way you risk nothing and you’re guaranteed a great time too. But act fast - registration for each city is limited and, with this great deal, space will fill up fast.
Visit The Real Magic Roadshow website for full details on locations and registration. Spread the word, The Real Magic Roadshow is heading your way!
On Thursday July 21st, 2011 - Joseph Malkiewicz passed away. He was a fixture of our shop and the Buffalo magic community. He was one of my best friends, a mentor, ever present cheerleader, and confidant. Joe was a large man in every sense of the word and we have felt his loss deeply. I was honored to speak at Joe’s memorial service. I thought it fitting to share those words here...
Joseph Malkiewicz, has been retired for years but he was a teacher even in the end. I suppose it’s fitting then that he would leave behind - a writing assignment.
I am standing here because I knew Joe best from the world of magic. Although, I assure you his reach into my life - and that of my family - went far deeper than time here permits me to share. People are drawn to magic for different reasons. Some for fun, some to perform, some to learn secrets - but some because they see the deeper metaphors within it. Don’t let the top hats and sequined jackets fool you - sawing a lady in half and bringing her back whole has some serious spiritual implications. We’re talking life and death, big idea kind of stuff and I think that’s one of the things Joe loved about it.
Good magicians seek out ideas from every source imaginable. They will travel, as Joe did with myself and others, to the biggest cities and the smallest towns to hear someone talk about some tiny finesse with a pack of playing cards or an obscure performer from 70 years ago who the world has long forgot. Good magicians do this because they understand that they are part of a rich history and they are obligated to carry it on and make it better.
Joseph Malkiewicz certainly did that. He supported magicians and world of magic more fully and deeply then almost anyone I know. He embraced magic and the people within it - like all things in his life - with love, caring, and an enthusiasm that affected all who met him, even briefly. Back in the days when I had a retail magic shop on Elmwood, Joe would often cover for me when I had to go off and do a show or magic convention. I was always amazed that I would come back to find some item – an item that had sat on our shelves for years - had been sold by Joe. Something I could not sell for love or money. When I asked Joe how he did it - he would always reply, “I just talked to them.” For Joe, “just talking to someone” was like creating a work of art - and he liked his creations to be large and meaningful.
Anyone who knew Joe well, knew the experience of standing and waiting while Joe had a deep and profound conversation – often with a complete stranger. Over time I learned never to rush Joe as this was happening. Once while trying to get back from a convention in Las Vegas, we had a layover in Chicago - when suddenly the skies opened up and oceans of water fell down. O’Hare Airport shut down completely, thousands of people scrambling to find a place to stay and harder still a way to get there. I made calls, looked for taxis, a rental car anything - but none was to be had. It was Joe who saved the day. While everyone else was getting angry with ticket agents, cab companies, and airlines - Joe was having a quite and genuine conversation with a man who turned out to be - a limo driver. The driver, no doubt surprised by Joe’s honest interest in him as a human being - not just a lift - offered to get us anywhere we needed to go. While others stood back, frustrated and yelling in the rain, we were being escorted via limousine to a lovely hotel by the newest friend of Joseph Malkiewicz.
Joe was so good at making these connections that he even began conducting interviews with renowned magicians for my monthly newsletter - and later our web site. These were interviews with performers and creators who traveled the world. Many of which spoke with professional reporters and writers on a regular basis - true stars and celebrities within our field. Almost always they would go out of there way to come back to me and share how much they enjoyed their talk with Joe. Expressing real and genuine gratitude for the chance to talk with him. One of those interviews was with an award winning magician by the name of Michael Ammar. I want to close with a short poem that was made popular in magic by Michael. The author is unknown, but Joe and Michael discussed its profound meaning. I could never match the courage and enthusiasm that Joe showed when he spoke these words, which he did often. But I know Joe was always fond of it, so I’ll do my best.
It’s called The Careful Builder…
I saw them tearing a building down
-a gang of men, in my hometown
With a heave and a 'ho' and a "Yes! Yes!" yell -
they swung a beam, and a sidewall fell
I said to the foreman "Are these men skilled?
Like the ones you'd use if you had to build?"
He laughed and said "Oh no! Indeed! The most
common labor is all I need. Because I can
destroy in a day or two, what it takes a builder
ten years to do."
I thought to myself, as I went my way:
"Which of these roles am I willing to play?
Am I one who's tearing down,
as I carelessly make my way around?
Or am I one who builds with care. So my craft
- my community, are just a little better,
because I was there?"
Joseph Malkiewicz was a careful builder.
I can think of no better way to share and protect his legacy than by being one too.