Saturday, August 05, 2006

Selling Magic Part 2

A lot of magic and just as many customers...

Eleven years,
50 weeks a year, 4 days a week, 10 hours a day,
Roughly a total of 22,000 hours.

I estimate I have performed many of the tricks I sell well over that 22,000. Some as many as 40,000 times.

Magicians all experience the same kinds of situations, no matter what venue you work. Working in a high traffic magic shop geared to the public, I run into those situations with a much higher frequency.

I went through phases. I tried to find the right line to answer the situation. Then, I tried to ignore it. Now, these things just annoy me.

First, if you are a non-magician, please know that while your friends my laugh at you occasionally; you are not a comedian. The first thing that comes into your head, that you think is funny, somebody has thought of it first. I've heard it before. So, keep it to yourself. It's not that funny anyhow.

Here is a list of things I’ve heard over 22,000 times and want never to hear again.

This first line has a few variations:
“Can you make my wife disappear?”
Pal, it sounds like you’re doing a good enough job already.

“Can you make my husband disappear?”
Lady, it’s Chicago, 5,000 dollars can make anything happen.

“Can you make my kids disappear?”
You won’t be saying that when they’re gone.
There should be a special place in hell for the jerks that ask this.

The second line has a few variations, but essentially all the same:
“Can you turn my one into a hundred? Can you make money appear in my pocket? Can you make my bills disappear?”
If I could do that, I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you. I'd be at home in my underware, makin' hundreds.

Next up, the ever popular:
“You’re a magician, make me skinny.”
I’m a magician, not a miracle worker.

The increasingly popular:
“Can you do magic?”
Well, of course I can, I work in a magic store. Do these people go into McDonalds and ask if they know how to make burgers?

On occasion, I am alone at the store and have to eat my lunch where the public could see it:
“Look, he’s making his burger/water/soda/lunch/food disappear.”
Wow, I've never heard that before. “Really?” No.

“Don’t do anything funny with my credit card.”
That would hurt repeat business.

Last and very similar:
"I better be careful giving a magician my money." or "I had better watch my wallet.”
Fuck you, if I wanted to steal your money I would have hit you over the head and ran.

After hundreds of years as just performers, magicians are still thought of as thieves.

I need a long vacation...


Andrew Wilson said...

Comment: "Hey, you guys look like Penn & Teller."

Muttered Response: "Yeah, my tall friend here's gonna pen your wife while I tell 'er she's a dirty whore."

Bill, I think your blog is great. Workiing with you during my time in Chicago was one of the most fun times of my life. Take that vacation, buddy.

chgomagic said...

Thanks Andrew, I miss you too.
Yes, When I had a pony tail every other person thought I looked like Penn. When I cut my hair and lost weight it happened less. Now it happens only after they are on TV. The thing is I never thought I looked like Penn.

When I met him at the Jay Marshall Roast, I told him the story and he said, "you don't look like me." And then we took a picture.

Later, when I saw the picture. Holy Shit, I may be close to a foot shorter, but I do look like him.

Damn it all.