How Many Magicians?

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Hijinx » 04/28/08 12:36 PM

How many consumer-magicians are there in the world today? What is a consumer-magician? An individual who purchases magic related merchandise at least once a year.
Genii boasts 7,000 readers ... this forum logs 10,000.
Any estimates?
Any resources?
Thanks.
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Postby 000 » 04/29/08 03:18 AM

Just a guess.....IBM memebers another 7000? Magic Magazine the same?( no doubt many read both) Street Magic...the same? SAM the same? Say call it 30 000 in in the USA?
Possibly double that for the rest of the world. What would also be interesting is how many professionals there are today.( 15 %of these?) Also interesting is reading in Linking Ring that over half their members NEVER attend a convention.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/29/08 07:43 AM

so many lotto players - tithe givers and penny wishers...

but it's tough to market to them via flash - when what they seek is acknowledgment of their clever.

Though these days the following seems to work nicely:

The other kids at school won't be so eager to beat you up when you can show them this latest marvel - and they may even start asking you "hows tricks?"

and

The hot babes at the bar won't cringe and run away so quickly when you hover over to them and let them know who's got what it takes with this item. Hey, they may even stop their boyfriend from beating you to a pulp if you impress them with the sheer elegance and class of our deluxe edition.

and

Now as you sit alone in your comfy chair pondering the latest in media you can also know just how up to date you are as we reveal the very latest in closely guarded secrets from folks who actually have the nerve to show tricks to people and some of them not only get well paid but even get asked back to do more magic for their satisfied customers. Now you too can bask in that reflected glory from the comfort of your recliner as you thumb through this typeset masterpiece with enough photos that you can imagine your hands mastering the material and getting the reactions this wizardry had accumulated over years of exclusive engagements.

* okay I'm no ad copy writer but the basic pitch angles are there.

But wait, there's more- Why feel left out at the meetings when the kids get all the attention showing off "mad skillz" when you can produce from your case the latest masterwork from our workshop? Now instead of being caught by surprise by the reset of them you can take center stage at the meeting and show off the latest in conjuring from ...
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Postby Hijinx » 04/29/08 01:40 PM

Thanks ... for your help.
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Postby AJM » 04/29/08 05:30 PM

Jonathan

What colour is the sky in your world?

Andrew
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/30/08 07:28 AM

Andrew, at night it's the color of broadcast television, tuned to a dead channel.

Do you think there'd be a market for an actual beginner's grimoir where the reader is expected to follow instruction and do some guided explorations?
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Postby MaxNY » 04/30/08 07:42 AM

2! Me and you...
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Postby AJM » 05/01/08 04:25 PM

Do you think there'd be a market for an actual beginner's grimoir where the reader is expected to follow instruction and do some guided explorations?


It all depends on the style of grimoire you have in mind?

Something along the lines of the 'Simon Necronomicon' as envisioned by HP Lovecraft himself?

or

The Bammo Dekronomicon so lovingly created by one R A Farmer of this parish?

I know which one I'd prefer!

Cheers

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/01/08 05:03 PM

I'm thinking along the lines of a workbook designed to help the student collect and organize some aspects of who they want to present themselves as a character and what sorts of things that character does - and also how they interact with people - and the things they notice about their potential audiences which can be used as far as props, behaviors etc.

If I had the resources to have this constructed as a flip book with some pages of amusing arcane stuff and blank pages - well that would be nice too. As to the writings of our dearly departed H. P. - sorry I probably don't have the imagination to offer such a work of dark inspiration.
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Postby Dave V » 05/02/08 12:27 PM

Sounds like McBride's Mystery School without the chanting and drum circles. I am about the least creative person you'll ever meet. But I follow directions well. I'd go for it.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/02/08 12:57 PM

I have been told that some of the "hot" street type magic sells roughly 30,000 units. (Now i gotta tap THAT market)!
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Postby 000 » 05/19/08 11:17 AM

30 000 thats incredible.
And the most( units) sold trick ever goes to?

The Long and short cards?
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Postby The Magic Apple » 05/19/08 06:53 PM

30,000 units of a single effect...hmmm

svengali is definetly up there, invisible deck is a hot one too

and surprisingly the quarter thru soda can that has Criss Angel on the cover has been a CONSTANT seller since it was released

oh and Loops too
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Postby 000 » 05/30/08 01:32 AM

Am still interested in the opinion ( guestimate) of others of how many magicians there may be...
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Postby David Alexander » 05/30/08 09:21 AM

For clarity, would you please give your definition of "magician."
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Postby 000 » 05/30/08 12:10 PM

Ok....club member, magzine reader , occasional performer, pro, the whole lot.
Basically people who BUY something magic related on occasion.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/30/08 12:28 PM

Lotto player - Pascal's wager maker - 13 avoider - horoscope reader... Oh look a magic kit - make a nice present for young a for Xday. In short it depends on what you are trying to sell and to who.

Taking a larger view: Why settle for a wand* when Milgram showed how a lab coat can get you much further and faster too.

Hey look it's a pocket version of the DSM4 - now plastic coated so you can make those on-the-spot pronouncements in even more awkward situations. Call now and we'll include a hotline to our pharmacy so you can prescribe from the field for those fast action situations.

Magic - Will in action. Because you can.

*Is there a product out that gives the impression that a magic wand can be recharged in the field?
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Postby David Alexander » 05/31/08 01:10 AM

000 wrote:Ok....club member, magzine reader , occasional performer, pro, the whole lot.
Basically people who BUY something magic related on occasion.


Well, without a careful definition with a specific purpose in mind, the number could be all over the place.

People who buy something magic related:

Well, for that category I think there is a huge number of people who buy novelties/toys such as the Adams blister pack stuff. Certainly, the ubiquity and longevity of the Adams stuff proves that point.

The late Herb Morrissey once told me that he shipped gross after gross of inexpensive metal cups into the United States and always wondered where they went, who bought them, and who sold them. Another guy I knew told me that hed made and sold almost 10,000 Devano decks and there were at least five other people making and selling them when he was.

Then there are the people who buy sets for kids at Christmas or birthdays, which is yet another market segment. That must be in the hundreds of thousands.

The more serious in magic, the people who actually follow it as a hobby in one of the subsets, make up another segment that probably tops out at 20,000, but that's only a guess. Then there's the difficulty of who to include in the count?

My old dentist grew up doing magic and retained an interest in it, but he was not a performer and only retained a passing interest, doing an occasional card trick for friends. The same for a friend who worked his way through college doing shows. Should we count either of them, even though they only retain a peripheral interest and dont perform?
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Postby 000 » 05/31/08 11:56 AM

Youre right David...its a tricky and difficult task...
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Postby David Alexander » 05/31/08 12:57 PM

Yes, I think the product determines the market. A magic book for "the trade," (us) will probably sell 2,000 or so, with a name selling considerably more. I understand Ammar's big book is up around 20,000, but that took years to reach that figure. Most books have a sort of "life" that is their initial print run and that's it. Some come back into print, but it takes years, if ever, for that to happen.

By contrast, my wife did the illustrations for Randi's book for the public some time back. It sold 50,000 copies in relatively short order. It was not marketed to the trade.

So, there's a market for people who buy "magic" (for whatever reason) and a market for "magicians." The former being far larger than the latter.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/31/08 02:07 PM

You're behind the times, David. Many magic books never sell more than 1,000.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 05/31/08 03:41 PM

When it comes to magic books it depends on the book and magicians that might buy the book. Each year that goes by more people are attracted to learning magic - and some drop out.

The new people are the best customers in my opinion.

As far as pro magicians - they don't buy that much in my opinion. The reason is that they have an act - or they have the props they use. They do not buy as much as the new kids on the block so to speak.

A lot of the stage magic I use I made. A lot of props and routines I do I scrounged together. Yesterday I was at the dollar store looking for stuff and found something that I think is very cool.

A bunch of small rubber grapes - the use - for a small set of cups and balls. I cut off a grape and use it as a small ball. Most of the top pro magicians like Don Alan used to go to toy stores to scrounge and try to get ideas and things to use as sight gags and little bits of business.

I think that there is a market for magicians but that does not include the pro magicians - the pro will put an act together themselves (or have props built) magicians like Del Ray, Johnny Thompson, Mr. Electric and so on - they seem to buy magic only on rare occasions.

Just my opinion.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/01/08 01:56 PM

I would imagine the "most sold" trick is probably the Svengali Deck, as it was a pitch item for decades at county and state fairs all over the country. Marshall Brodien took the pitch to TV and sold hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of decks.

I think Adams sells it as a blister pack item as well.

The last time I was at a fair I saw a pitchman selling Svengalis and doing well with them. It seems the market is far from saturated.

The "Magic Mouse" is probably tied or a close second...also a pitch item seen at fairs. There used to be a guy who hit the LA County Fair every year. He did the mouse pitch...25 cents each, three for 50 cents. He'd put an empty wash tub under his stand and at the end of the day it would be filled with quarters.

I knew a few pitchmen. It was not unusual to hit a fair 30 years ago and make $500 a day selling Svengalis. That's quite a bit of money back then. Pitching is a specialized field and you have to have the stamina for it. The money can be good, but it is a grind to make it.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/01/08 02:31 PM

I don't consider the mouse to be a magic trick.
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Postby Paul Q » 06/01/08 06:48 PM

How much is that "DOG DOO" in the window?
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Postby Bill Palmer » 06/06/08 06:10 PM

There are 99 magicians.

I won't tell you which ones they are.

You must figure that out for yourself.
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Postby 000 » 06/19/08 11:47 AM

Says the assistant to the magician
"Oops I forgot to lock the warehouse safe."
"Dont worry, were both here" says the magician.

The magician, after a lengthy illusion tour, hasnt been paid so he goes to see a lawyer. I will take your case on a contingency fee basis, says the lawyer. If I loose, you pay nothing. Great stuff thinks the magician. But if I win, says the lawyer, you get nothing!
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Postby mai-ling » 06/19/08 12:35 PM

and in return the magician said to the lawyer...
if you win, i'll make you disappear.
you will remember my name
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Postby 000 » 06/19/08 12:58 PM

The magician was already lucky...he had avoided the lawyers sliding fee...you know the one designed never to allow you back on your feet.
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Postby 000 » 06/21/08 12:27 AM

The magician had actually wanted to be a lawyer himself after Uncle Joe, an old timer vaudeville artist had told him in his youth how his lawyer had GIVEN him $1000. He explained that after loosing his leg when the Buzz Saw Illusion had gone horribly wrong the lawyer had sued for damages. The court had awarded him $78000, the lawyers costs had been $79000 so the lawyer 'gave' him $1000 by calling it quits!
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Postby castawaydave » 06/21/08 01:42 AM

I believe the Harper's magazine article discussed in another thread says that all told, there are 50,000 members in the clubs/societies recognized by F.I.S.M. (of course there's also an unknown number of non-club magi)...

--The article's not in front of me now, so someone else should verify, but I think it said 50,000...

[Memory's not the steel trap it used to be...what should I do Mr. Lorayne?]
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Postby David Alexander » 06/21/08 08:12 PM

The correct answer to the question is: "Never enough good ones."
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Postby Larry Barnowsky » 06/22/08 04:33 PM

The formula for the number of magicians in the world is as follows:

(# of 4 Ace tricks) X (# of double lift techniques) X (# of versions of the Pass) X (# thumb tips bought per magcian)/((# 3 Ace Tricks) + (# of Marlo Effects)
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Postby Andy Moore » 06/24/08 06:24 PM

I think that takes us back to 99. Also, David - I agree. There are never enough good ones. There are the ones who admire good magicians and hang around the periphery of magic. There are the ones who buy every new "hot" trick and read the instructions, then put the trick in a drawer, never to be seen again. Add the ones who buy the tried-and-true tricks and do magic shows for the family birthday parties. The ones who do magic on a regular basis, but aren't really good at it. The ones who know everything about magic, but just can't seem to master that one technique that eludes them, so they never do shows. And, lastly, the Magicians (note the capitol letter) who are talented, work hard to perfect their act, just buy refills for effects they have found out work well, and work professionally on a regular basis. Then there's me. I work all the time, but I do magic as an adjunct to a comedy set, so I don't really consider myself a "Magician",, even though I once owned a Magic store. Oh, wait that brings the total of good Magicians down to .... You tell me. What category do you fit into?
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Postby 000 » 07/01/08 05:45 AM

Let me try. Magic Mag had a fine story on Andre Kole, who in 1986 whent on an international tour with SPELLBOUND commencing at the Wild Coast Sun Casino in South Africa. I too performed there dozens of times, often twice a day. Spot the difference... Andre performs illusions in a fancy theatre....myself, outside, next to the childrens games and playrooms which casinos love to have,in order to keep punters at the tables for longer. Was i ever good enough to be a slick illusionist or cabaret performer? Probably not. Am i a good kiddies and family entertainer? Many magicians have said so.I for one admire each and every pro ( which happily Im not), even though you are correct in saying they largely buy only 'refills'. As for the hacks, be glad they are around...without them 'the business of magic' would collapse.To end here is my category then
NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO HAVE A TRULY SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN MAGIC AS A PERFORMER( with no disrespect to the kiddies and family entertainers)
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/01/08 08:25 AM

Probably easier to shift from "category" to "market demographic" - and pitch to the group in their own terms, be it for the rice crispies audio decode files so you can hear what they're really saying or the full version of "Erdnase" with the extra pages and figures which the real underground in magic has kept quiet for over a century.

Marketing 101
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Postby 000 » 07/02/08 03:22 AM

Who, in your view would constitute the 'real underworld'?
Care to give an example?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/02/08 08:03 AM

The first rule of Fight Club is... ?
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Postby 000 » 07/02/08 08:50 AM

An undercut followed by an uppercut?
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