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Question? How badly, do you want it?
We so often want the latest/greatest item to come out. We think that the new stuff will somehow put us above our peers, if we have and can use it. Or maybe we just want to be the first to have something, like the lay public treats the new iPhones. Truth be told there is very little new in magic. Most things are variations on older items and even technology items still work around things like forces, multiple outs, misdirection. palming and many other standards in our craft. So what does this all have to do with buying magic? We need to consider the professional aspect of buying magic, the collector, the amateur and the simply curious. Professionals - for the most part, we take great care in the development of our acts. We work out every detail and practice to perfection. After so much time and energy we tend to not want to change the show on a whim. Here is an example of what I'm talking about, 3 Standards of magic Rice Bowls, a Foo Can and a Niffen Tube. But I'm not trying to point out the tricks as much as to illustrate that no matter how many times I saw Richiardi, he always did this routine in his show. Here is another example of a professional act, that to my knowledge never changed, Whether it was at the "Weirdest Show on Earth" at the Felt Forum in NYC or on the many television programs I saw him on, he never changed his act. So while the professional will always by things they need, It's not often that they change their act if they want perfection in it's execution. The Collector - will buy that which he/she believes are unique or of high quality. We tend to buy from a specific g enre or company like P&L ,Merv Taylor, Sherms and others. Many magicians regardless of their performing structure will also collect magic. We will also collect things related to magic but not necessarily tricks. (more on that in a future post) The Amateur or Hobbyist - These are the people most drawn to the latest/greatest not because of any deficiency in their ability to be frugal but because, whats new is just cool, tight or whatever verbiage you want to use. Last but not least is the Curious _ They want to know and that's the motivation behind them buying, something new to the magic community. UNDERSTAND these are admittedly overs simplifications and gross generalizations but at the core they do explain our buying habits, to some degree concerning magic. So how do we satisfy all these personality types and still get our fix, so to speak? First ask yourself the original question, how badly do I want it? Answering this question alone will save you countless of dollars if you think it through. Additional considerations relating to the question are, Can I use it in my act? Do I already have something similar? Do I need the prop or is it possible to accomplish the same effect by slight of hand? Can I make a good looking prop myself? These are just some of what you might ask yourself before buying something. So that may all be fine and wonderful but what if your really want something? Ask yourself why? Is it because your were fooled and want to know how it's done? Is it something you think you will use. Regardless of why, here are some tips on what else you can do before e buying magic. Read the reviews. There are reviews for magic all over the internet. Some online stores like Penguin magic, post reviews for effect right underneath the description. Watch the demo videos. I can't tell you how many times I could figure a trick out and if it would work for me, by just watching a video demo. Also, consider if you have to have it now? Waiting to buy magic can be very cost effective, considering that many online magic shops run sales. Here are a couple I know of the top of my head, https://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/index.cfm?cat_choice=0448 https://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/browse.pl?c=t&p=sale Some stores also run sales at various times of the year like Christmas. Understand that the items you find on sale will often be older and not the latest/greatest but if you have been waiting, will save you big bucks. You won't have the satisfaction of having it, before everybody else but your bank account, will be better satisfied. Lastly consider eBay and other online auction sites. Some good buys can be had sometimes. As someone who has spent literally 10s of thousands of dollars on magic, I've learned these lessons the hard way. Hopefully this post will save you tons of money, that you can apply to other things? Life can throw all kinds of things your way and without the ability to take care of things, life gets real hard. But "the only thing constant in life is change" so regardless of circumstances KNOW that things change and being prepared for those changes, will just make your self actualization more comfortable. Thank you. __________________ "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." ( A lesson from childhood often missed or ignored.) Your opinion, may be met with one of equal disdain?