EP 32 - The 3 Magic Books that Changed Us

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

In this episode, Ryan Joyce and Graeme Reed talk about the 3 Magic Books That Changed our Careers.


3 tips for Booking More Shows

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  3. Define your target audience

3 Books That Changed our Magic Careers

Ryan’s Books

  1. Illustrated Magic - Ottokar Fischer

  2. Penn & Teller: How to Play in Traffic - Penn Jillette & Teller

  3. Foundations - Eberhard Riese

Graeme's Books

  1. The Art of Astonishment Vol 1 - Paul Harris

  2. Show Doctor - Jeff McBride

  3. Vortex - Tom Stone

Thanks for listening to the Magicians Talking Magic Podcast

Audio Transcript (Books that Changed Us)

Our Three Books

three books that changed our magic careers. This just so happened to work out that we decided that it was at three separate phases, sort of three pivotal moments in our careers. Three random books. We don't know what books each other of us have chosen. This will be surprising and unique for all of us are selections. I don't know about your selections, but I know my selections or many people would know some or most, but they might not be as mainstream as you expected. I don't know.

Oh, my books are popular choices. Minor people would know these books. People know the bucks I've chosen. Well, let's go start from the early career point them right. It is a, yeah, or from even before then. Before it was of a career or a hobby level almost beyond me to start hobby. Yes, sure. So this was the first magic book that I ever got. This is from browsers done and magic. It doesn't have the dust jacket. On a hearsay. You don't even know what this, I don't, but this right here, this is Paul Harris, the art of astonishment book one. Oh wow. This was the tall I start. Well I had done VHS tapes with Jay Sankey and I'd heard Jay talk about this guy Paul Harris a lot and I wanted to get one of the books. So they guided me towards this. I also have close-ups deductions but of course the, the um, the bucket of SA, the artist's Donna Fishman book of astonishment sends more max Maven. The art of astonishment has so much more card tricks, uh, silly poems and things. It's one of the best card magic books to read and mine actually still has all the Oh posted notes on the edges. That's fun. All the post, its for all the tricks that I probably still do or know and ideas that I have, but they all still live there from, I remember reading this in my bed all the time as a kid.

I was great choice but this is a huge, it was one volume number one. And actually this is legit. The only one I own. I only own hook one of art of astonishment. I show. There you go. Listeners send grew mazing present. They sure

my book is nowhere near as luscious and magically delicious as yours is as for sure. But this without a doubt, when I was a kid where now you've got to understand this is me in like grade six, grade four or five maybe. Um, this case was the illustrated magic. They know. It's like, like really shouldn't maybe have been classified as a magic book in many regards because some of the stuff that's illustrated in here, there's just no possible way it could happen really. But it's it and it's the, it's gone black and white photographs, illustrations, um, and ms printed pages, there's pages in here that are, are messed up and things. Oh my God, I did it upside down and backwards. Like it's, is that on purpose for a journal? No, it really isn't. Um, but there's, yeah, but it's got everything from escapes and levitations and sawing in half illusion to like Pepper's ghosts and escapes, just puzzles and anything from that. No, no, no Coles. It's the price tags still on it. Kohl's, 50 cents. Beautiful. Yeah, and so this thing, I just, I devoured every part of this. The whole like locks and the Pepper's ghosts and the tr like just none of this makes any sense. Now there's a guy with like the seance cloth and like there's mentalism and here too as well. How to signal communication. Do your partner and words, you know,

I remember in one of those old books there was like a vanishing card where you would pin it to your thigh. Oh wow. And a lot of weird chemistry things. Things that you probably shouldn't do. Yeah, that's a PR. Yeah. There's probably all lot of the, there's Bhutan use in here who doesn't have a feather voting. Your flower Bhutan, someone's got, everyone has some feather flowers out there. If you don't, you're not a real magician. Yeah.

Video Clip of Week: Greg Frewin

It's always fun when you pull them out of the tube. It's been maybe 12 years and just like feather fluff, soul over the room. I just did that recently. I was sorting through some old stuff and I was like, I wonder if this jumbled,

you know the yup. Yup. Or even when you laid old flash paper, it's just like that.

I have a bag of like mildew East as not mildewy but you know we're, I don't know whether it's going to flame or if it's going to,

I heard if you, if you put a little bit of that flash paper in your coffee with some butter in the morning, you will actually turn into criss angel, be a Mindfreak. Bye.

You all can headline black folk black pool. Just put a little note. Don't do that. Listeners everywhere. Tone too.

Don't do that. Donate your old flash paper book number two. Number two. Okay, number two. So book number two is a book that happened maybe in the middle of our careers, something that has influenced us because now we are a magicians and something that came across our way further along to inspire and influence us. And I actually got this book a couple of years ago. It's, it's new ish to me, but it's one of my favorite books and I've always known about it and I'm so happy that I finally own it. Did get a couple of years ago, but this one is uh, Jeff McBride's show doctor.

Oh great.

I have not read that. This is a fantastic book filled with great routines. I don't do any of the routines. However he talks about magic malpractice, basically ailments that it's a very funny Reed ailments that you might have as a magician and ways that you can try to overcome them. And then he supplies a routine. So say you have a a weird performance struggle blocking issue or suddenly he'll give you a performance routine on how to practice that. If you're a fan of Jeff McBride and if you are into stage craft and structuring your show and things like the scripting even show doctor by Jeff McBride is an incredible book. I say it's one of those ones that you almost like a lot of people say maximum entertainment of course. I feel like show doctor should be right behind it. It's a very important Reed for us. A performer, especially if we're new into going up on the stage and doing platform and standing water.

It's a great, great, great book. That's a good call. Great call. My second book is middle career, so this is probably just about to do full time magic I suppose. And it is Penn and teller's how to play in traffic. Oh, you ever read this? No. Oh, I love this book because it's AIDS to fund Reed. I've always loved like pens, craftmanship in his idea. So he's a great writer. This is got one bid in here that I just love. That is a tem Mullica bit. This is really it. Uh, let me share it with you. It's worth, just get the book. It's such a fun read if, I don't even know if it's in print anymore, but they would out. So the gag is Tom Mullica would put on his license a red dot over his nose. And so if he ever got pulled over, he were at the airport.

When they ask for your ID or had to express it. Yeah, show his ID. He would hand them my ID and then grab a red sponge, knows out of his pocket and slip it on while they were distracted. And so when they looked at the ID and saw the red nose, they would be confused. And by the time they look back up, they would see that we're in the red noses. And so that was outlined in this and it was kind of the first time a C uh, how, I don't know, there's something clever about that pit that was on a very human level, grabbed me. And so this book stood out probably just for that, not just for that one reason. This book is incredible. There's so much fun.

So is that all magic and fun that you can have just as you're and yeah, the cup is in here that we were talking about from the sound thing last week called the Cracker, but there's a series of really create pieces of magic and Oh wow. It's fun. That's a cool book. It really is a cool book. Did you know that Penn is current leaders? Again, I though I'm going to put it, I'm going to read through that again. It's probably been 20 years. My God. Did you know that Penn has been writing a mystery? No. Yeah, that's what he's working on now and he's been talking about it as podcast and how much fun he has. Non magic related a non magic or late. However there's care. He's Johnny Thompson and will be in the book because it's his book and Johnny Thompson can still be alive.

That's what he said. So he says he loves writing a book because it's just him. He doesn't have to bounce off teller or other people cause when you're in a writer's room, thing gets bounced around or rejected or maybe disappear. It's just all his crazy ideas and whenever he gets two and wants to do, that's going to be a great Reed. I love mystery. I love mystery novels. Yeah, that's fun. When I was a kid, I was like an Agatha Christie junkie, which is weird. Where are you? I was a magic book junkie for sure. By that point I magic bucks Christie and now it's magic books and cookbooks. Yeah, yeah. Mine's always been tech books. I always read, well magic books and like marketing and branding and all that I think is fun stuff. But rarely thing, it's not so fun. Well we deliver it in podcast form. So throw away those books. Yes. Your knowledge is here. We'll send it to you. Tell Oh pathetically blah.

What is your third book? My book number three? Yes. This is actually a new one that I got recently and I read it. I could not put it down. I read it cover to cover the night. I got it and I got it, uh, as a gift from a friend. Um, like a mutual friend Barry. Oh, you know, Barrio from Paris area, Paris, France, Paris, France. He does it Barrio. He does the kid show and he's, Oh yes, yes. Specially quiz them. Yeah. So he got this book for one method that he wanted for his show. The rest of the book he didn't care about. And when we were together I was talking about this magicians so much. And then he just brought the book and gave it to me is unbelievable. So that's great. I read that thing cover to cover and amazing methods. Fascinating ideas. I want to give it, I'm already excited to give another Reed cause it's so creative. But the book is Tom Stone's vortex. Oh wow. And I dunno if you've ever really looked into Tom stone stuff before, but just his methods and thinking is very unique and different. I had to stop for me cause I always get Tom stone and David Stone mixed up. I know you do. We don't have any idea

if I have seen stones stuff.

So I'm pretty sure it's from Norway, I think Tom stone or Sweden. But he is very clever, um, amazing work. And this book vortex has so many cool ideas and it honestly makes me want to get forward. Tom stone bucks. Just just for the thinking, just for the thinking. Like I want to share some ideas with you from this. After this, after we record this prompt, I'd love to

the this book, we should do a book swap. We should do a book swap.

We should do a book swap. You should read that. You would like this a lot actually. You'd be fascinated by this whole thing. This is a good one.

I'm pretty sure of all the books. I'm going to read your mind, but I'm pretty sure that this is the one that Penn and teller how to

yeah, yeah, absolutely. You don't know my third book. I don't know the third book.

Yeah. Um, well these, okay, this is really great. I'm really enjoying this, this conversation. Hopefully you all up back wherever you are at home and the drive and your things, whatever. We wanted to know what your three are. So to round it off here, I'll tell you my last one, and this is really great book. I highly recommend this. Everybody here arteries as foundations. This is like, um, or part Riza is the gentleman that's responsible for producing more FISM award-winning magicians and I think anybody in history, and this is like his everything. Wow. This is his master plan. This, it's the art of staging magic so everything from just everything, staging, costumes. Oh wow. Everything. It's in here. It's just a, it's an incredible book. I hope it's still available. I hope I'm,

when did you pick that up? That that's

a couple of you. Oh, many years ago. But um, in fact I remember being introduced to it. I knew someone that was proofing it, so, Oh wow. I got to hear about it in advance before it was even published. So yeah. Incredible. Reed I know it's out there or should it be out there and around urban heart. Riza uh, we will leave our book listings are complete. This is six total books that changed our life. Uh, we'll leave those in the show notes for you to peruse and to make sure to share yours with us. Do that. It's easier if you did that through voicemail.

Yeah. Do that. Your voicemail drop a voicemail of your three books. Yeah, we'll feature you on next week's episode. Absolutely. And make and try to do the same thing. Maybe choose one from your beginnings, one from the middle of your career and then maybe a new one, one that's really started to adjust your thinking in ways. I have so many more books that I can think about too that I'd love to share and we'll probably do another book club here on the podcast. If you guys really like this.

Defining your Target Market

You Target Demographic

I think we've talked with us on the podcast before, but I said, I mentioned to Kingston magic theater that we would talk about it here on the episode just for Kingston magic theater and I think when it comes to targeting your demographic first, once you figure out what your demo is and you're targeting the best way, I guess if your advertising is through Facebook ads is one way. That is one way where you can select your specific demographic, this location, this age group, the interests, they have. Another unique way that you can advertise. Where would those people shop and buy things from? Go to those places, see if you can do a magic show for those places or leave your business cards there or somehow just get involved with them. Another great way to target these people are Facebook groups.

What your client, what kind of Facebook group are they involved in? Just be a part of the Facebook group and be friendly. You don't have to share and hustle yourself that you're doing magic shows, but just be friendly. However, the flip side of that is you want to make sure that your profile page is public so someone's like, Hey, this guy or this girl is really nice and gives all this like helpful information. Who is this person? They click on your name and if your regular Facebook profile has call to action and links to your website or your business Facebook page, huge win, huge win. And those are just really three simple ways to that you can target your demographic that you figured out and really when you're thinking about your, your demographic to figure that out, who is your ideal customer? And if you can't figure that out, who hires you the most? Put those people up on the wall and then look at them. What kind of vehicle do they drive? Do they have kids? What kind of food might they eat? What kind of music might they listen to you? Where do they live? Basic thing, I guess it sounds easy. It is pretty easy in is pretty easy but maybe some people just don't know how to guide themselves to that path.

Those are really great tips. All I had to it on a technical side in that is if I have a website that uh, has my service is laid out to them, the pages would be written for that client. That's how you would do that. That's how you separate it. So the cause many people listening, like how is that, how can I apply that if I do birthday shows, a corporate shows and how do I make that work? It's, it's tough in the about page is the most read page on your website it, so that one is tough to manipulate and change to each specific client. But, um, that's the page you really want to sell them on you and really think of if you had one message to tell them, put that in your about page. Um, and so specific custom pages I would build for each one with individual messages in each one that advertises just that cause people like don't be afraid to tailor the content for people are not flipping through your website looking at every page.

They're just going to the stuff that they need. So I would create one that's specific. Those there I went through the tips as well. The from the video and the, the three solid solid tips. Number one was that your branding is what sets you apart. I mean without a doubt look of the most successful magicians. So branding, uh, base your success on a solid brand and performance. You have to have those two things. Uh, tip number two was, sorry, um, decide where to put your focus. A lot of us, myself included so many different social platforms to promote yourself and maybe it would just wear themselves too thin. So focus on one to three and focus on doing them well. Most of the works that you apply for one sort of does apply for the rest of them, but it just spreads herself then. And the last tip was define your target audience, which is what we just chatted about. All those little helpful tips to help you speak directly to those potential clients. Get you more gigs, get you more. One

more thing just last talking about, cause we were talking a lot about target demo and things like that. Uh, this was a case study that I had an a business workshop recently. Even when you were looking at your brand and your colors and the way you present yourself, does that fit with your client and who you're advertising to? For instance, corporate gig, who is most likely to book you at that corporate gig? Is that the male CEO or is it someone in human resources that's going to book you and what does that person that's profile look like? This case study that I had in this business workshop list for a dental office and they really wanted to make their logo black and gold, which when you think dental hygiene, those are the two most disgusting colors. Let me me golden light, not goal, but yellow, black and yellow are the two most disgusting colors associated with dental hygiene. Why would you want that? So that's very gross. So think even thinking of that, you're called the colors that you choose, the fonts and the way are you coming off very like maybe too aggressive to alpha dog mail? Is that fit with your clientele?

Right. Especially if you're booking birthday shows,

right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Are you coming off two schlubby or things like that? So just look at the whole package as a whole, right? You're an entire product.

Yeah. It's hard to detect sometimes or ego from what we like what sells, what's marketable versus what we think is the product. Yeah. So, and there's not any, yeah, it's a tough thing for magicians to market themselves in a cool magical way without it being super cheese or like dark and

Gothic ye or whatever. I don't know. I personally feel more, most corporate people don't want a book, David Blaine, they want to book a good clean right entertainer. Right. I don't know. That's just my thought overall as a perspective. Like watching David Blaine. Yeah. But they don't want to bring them in for this for their clients. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um,

cool. That was good. Uh, that was, uh, very good in depth explanation. There's lots of helpful. Yeah. Triple snaps. Amazing. That was great.

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