A couple of weeks ago I was travelling from Nebraska to Arizona and drove a few hours out of my way to visit Steven’s Magic Emporium in Wichita, KS. I’ve gotten their catalog since I was a teenager and attended several of their Desert Magic Seminar conventions in Las Vegas as a teenager.
I think with my visit to Steven’s Magic Emporium I’ve hit all the major magic shops in the USA. I guess the only one that I haven’t been to is Daytona Magic, but I’ve worked their convention, so I feel like that counts.
Unfortunately when I was there, there weren’t any “magicians” working, so I had to tell them what I was looking for. That’s fine, however chatting and then having the person working the counter say, “have you seen…” is very helpful!
I did pick up Craig Petty’s Apparition. When I was in Grand Island, NE, Nate Myers showed it to me and it was similar to something I was working on. I also picked up a couple of other things, like some Hypno Heat for an idea I have.
This is a pretty cool coin transposition using a silver dollar and a Chinese coin. There’s a lot that can be done with the coin set, and I’m excited to start playing with it!
It’s a great shop, it’s mostly geared as a “pitch” shop, which makes sense as there’s not really a magic population. That said, he still has things of interest to a more experienced magician and Seth is very knowledgeable. He and also order things in for you to pick up if you know you’ll be in town.
It turns out I was familiar with Seth’s trick Howard’s Hustle and was recently thinking about it, so it was good to chat with him about it. Howard’s Hustle is a two card monte routine that has an ending and begins and ends with showing both sides of the cards. It’s really clever and I have an idea for using the general idea for what Seth’s doing in the trick for a very different routine.
If you’re passing through Astoria, OR you should swing by and say hi. His shop is in the tourist area, so you’ll probably walk by anyway.
Last week I while I was in the Bay Area, I went up to San Francisco with a bunch of other acts that were performing at a fair. We walked by a Houdini’s Magic Shop and one of my friends asked if I could help him find a good bar trick. I knew exactly what would be good for him.
When we got in the guy working the counter never looked up at us. He was doing trick for someone at the counter and despite us standing right there he never even glanced at us. He was soo focused on one person he lost out on a sale.
I ran a magic shop for a long time when I was a younger and the thing is whenever anyone walks in you greet them. You don’t need to do anything fancy, or stop in the middle of a demo. A simple “hi” really goes a long way.
Is the lack of the $20 sale going to hurt the shop in a high tourist area?
Over time it does add up, and pausing between demos to sell me something wouldn’t affect the sale he was working on with the customer in front of him.
You can get them from Hocus-Pocus.com. People frequently ask me if I would prefer they ordered from me or them. The nice thing when you order from a magic shop is you are supporting a magic shop, and helping to pay their employees. Sure, I make more in my pocket when you buy direct, but when I agree to sell them a product to a magic shop I’m happy with the terms. The advantage is that they normally have them in stock and can ship quickly. If you order direct sometimes there will be a delay due to me travelling, or whatever.
I’m not saying “do not order from me“, but more trying to show you the advantages and disadvantages of ordering from a magic shop. You can’t complain about them disappearing, if you don’t support them.