Tomorrow night the History Channel will air the premiere of Steve Cohen’s Lost Magic Decoded. In the show, Cohen will track down and resurrect some of magic’s “lost” miracles of the past. It looks like it will make for a great evening and I for one will be tuning in. If you haven’t seen the trailer, here you go:
The premise of the show started me thinking about the idea of “lost magic”. In an age when new magic rolls out faster and faster every day, it’s easy for almost any effect to be “lost”. Twenty years ago a handful of new books and effects would appear over the course of a year. Now, the same amount appears in a week. It boggles the mind.
You don’t need a television special to explore “lost magic”. I’ve often said that you could create an act filled with material almost no one is doing by simply looking at what was popular just one year ago. Your act could even be more special if you looked back ten years - or a hundred! The point is that “good” magic is timeless. They may need a bit of updating - but solid effects are solid effects.
We have a number of great features on the site to help with the exploration. Two of the best are the Magic Time Machine (which allows you to see best sellers from each month since 2005) and Customer Favorites (which allows you to search the most reviewed items in each department). It’s fascinating what you’ll turn up and it can be just plain fun to go on the quest. We can’t make the job of finding “lost” magic effortless, but we can make it easier.
Happy hunting my friends...
“Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.” Francis C. Farley
I admit it...I’m a sentimental guy. I love that the holidays give me the opportunity to let that shine through a bit more without need for explanation. This is the season when you can be as sappy as you please without fear of raising any eyebrows.
This is also a time when we reflect on the year that was - and set our sites on the year that will be. We’ve all heard the relentless news of our troubled economy and uncertain future. But during the holidays I see people changing that picture, literally working and willing the world around them to change. Perhaps its short lived holiday thinking - but I don’t think it needs to be.
Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." It’s time dust off our minds and hearts and work toward a future that we can be proud of. I’m not suggesting you must the change THE world...you just need to change YOUR world.
I was inspired recently by a video from an organization called Skip1, and it encouraged me to issue this challenge:
Pick out one trick you planned on buying at Elmwood Magic - and skip it.
Use the money towards doing some good for someone else.
Do what you can from where you are with what you have.
It’s that simple.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year from Elmwood Magic!
A post short on words but big on content. I saw this documentary on the History Channel and it should prove most interesting to anyone who handles a deck of cards. It's about 45 minutes long and filled with great ideas for presentations. Enjoy:
It’s the Saturday before the 4th and I’m in the office finishing some work. I thought I would put up a short post wishing you an enjoyable holiday weekend. But then I read this from Adam Savage on Twitter:
On THIS, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, read it: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/
He’s right. We should.
So enjoy the holiday, but take a few minutes to understand why we have it.
"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh
This post is a coming in a few days late. I had so many convention stops last month that I’ve been playing catch up all week long and I’ve finally found a few moments to mention this Elmwood Magic milestone...
May 1st marked our 17th year in business.
I worked for many years in the world of magic prior to that date in 1993 - but when I made the move to open my own place, it was a whole new ballgame. With the help of my good friends Rob & Carol Allen, I opened the doors to our first location: a six hundred square foot shop jam packed with magic on the popular and eclectic Elmwood Avenue in downtown Buffalo, NY. I was 22 years old.
I spent most days pitching Svengali Decks, Nickels to Dimes, Ball & Vases, and the like to curiosity seekers wandering inside. Most opened the door because they had no idea what we sold...some just needed change for the parking meters! But I’d like to think that if you spent just a few minutes inside - if you soaked in the surroundings for a moment or two - you could not help but realize that you were somewhere special. Or at the very least, someplace very different than any other store along the Elmwood Strip.
In seventeen years we grew from that little shop on Elmwood Avenue into one of the largest magic dealers and producers in the world. I seldom made giant decisions to bring us to that place. It was primarily a long list of small tweaks...a gradual transformation. What will happen in the next seventeen years? I didn’t know back then, so I won’t claim to know now but I will say this...
I hear lots of magic dealers saying the sky is falling.
I say - we’re still tweaking. Frankly, we’re just getting warmed up.