Posts Tagged ‘tricks’

Life Savers

As I said on a previous post the magic shop in Vancouver was located on the second floor in a strip mall, on the other end of the mall was a large drug store.

One sunny afternoon Shawn Farquhar walks into the shop.  For those of you not into the magic scene, Shawn is a huge player in the magic field in fact in 2009 he was named the Grand Prix World Champion Of Magic, The International Brotherhood of Magicians named him the Stage Magician and Close up magician of the year, making him a two time champion in the same year.  He has also worked on the X-files, Highlander, The Fly II, he as performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show.   More importantly he is a friend and a really nice guy.  

Shawn comes into the shop one day and as usual we spent a good deal of time shooting the breeze and talking some business, we were making plans to bring in a lecturer (Daryl) to give a lecture for the local magic club.  Just before he leaves Shawn mentions that he is going to stop in the drugstore and probably perform the effect ‘lifesavers’ when he goes to pay.  I didn’t think anything of it at the time because Shawn is always performing.

‘Lifesavers’ is an effect that was designed to be totally impromptu. The magician walks into a store getting ready to pay for his purchase, checks his pockets only to find that he can’t find his wallet.  Magician looks around and spots the lifesavers, picks out one package and opens it in front of the cashier, after the first few are pulled out something can be seen protruding from the center, a few more lifesavers are removed and it becomes clear that the object in the lifesavers is a five dollar bill.  Which the magician uses to pay for his purchase” For you magicians I believe the effect can be found in Michael Weber’s ‘Life Saver’ book.

Approximately twenty minutes later a few of the employees from the drug store come into the shop carrying 4 boxes of lifesavers.  They explain to me that this guy walked into the store bought a few things but couldn’t pay.  They go on to explain, that this guy then looks at a few rolls of lifesavers picks one opens it and there is five dollar bill inside.  This ‘guy’ proceeds to explain to them that Lifesavers is having a secret promotion and they put a five dollar bill in certain rolls of lifesavers.  Not only that, this ‘guy’ told them that the rolls are marked and the guy in the magic store knows what the mark look like.

The employees, hesitant to ask me about it opened about a dozen rolls before they summed up the courage to come to me with lifesavers in hand and ask me which ones contained the five dollar bills!

 Thanks Shawn!

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The more I write about the trials and tribulation about life in the magic store, the more I like it, and slowly the memories are coming back. Not all are about the magic and probably every retailer has such stories. I claim no exclusivity of the strange retail experiences.  I do have to be careful as not to take stories away from my mother’s blog, However I am more than willing to share.

For the end of this post to make sense you also have to understand that I am Jewish.  Keep reading it should make sense.

The shop in Vancouver was located in a strip mall, up a flight of stairs.  Really if you were not looking for it, you would never find it.  I had Bobbie Looney one of the most talented people I’ve ever met paint up a sandwich board which was placed on the walkway so people could find me.  

So, I am minding my own business when this old lady, complete with bonnet and cane walks into the shop.  And she really had to work to get up the few steps she probably should have been in a wheelchair.  In any case she came in with a purpose!

“So” she makes the statement, “This is a magic store?”

“Why yes it is. Are you interested in magic, or perhaps know somebody who is?”

“What sort of magic do you sell here?”

“Oh quite the variety…(getting that feeling that something isn’t kosher) all for entertainment, like David Copperfield, you know, card tricks, coin tricks, tricks with rope all kinds really. Here let me show you something you might find amusing”

“OH NO YOU DON”T!  Magic is the hand of the DEVIL!”


“Not this kind, there is no ‘higher power’ doing the tricks we just make things happen by sleight of hand, by showing and telling you one thing, but secretly doing another, here I can show you its…”

“No, it is the hand of the devil. THE DEVIL I’m telling you”

Okay I know its best not to argue just nod and smile and grin stupidly but sometimes, I’m just not programmed that way.

“No, no it is not, it is just sleight of han…”

“That’s what he would have you believe…(she nods knowingly) but you can repent, and I will pray for you”

“Thank you very much, but really it is not necessary, after all I am one of the chosen ones”

And with that she was gone.  Best trick ever! I vanished the closed minded. Top that Mr. Copperfield!

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