I’ve always enjoyed the process of cultivating ideas and growing them until they were ready to stand on their own - but it felt like it was time to rethink the model.
Typically, before new magic is released it is preceded by relentless hype, pre-sales, and chatter. By the time the product becomes a reality, you’ve experienced so many teasers, trailers, graphics, ads, and commentary, it already feels a little old. This is not necessarily bad, but it is exhausting - and frankly it’s virtually impossible for ANY product to live up to that kind of relentless wheel of hype.
I stepped off the wheel.
It started with the realization that perception is not reality.
In my time producing magic I have had effects that sold tens of thousands of units but were seldom mentioned on any what’s “hot” lists. They were good tricks that people liked and although they didn’t explode on the scene they kept selling, year in and year out. More interestingly, they sold best at conventions and lectures when I could perform the items in person.
I then realized that reality is not all it’s been hyped as.
Many times I would go to a convention and hear a creator speaking about some well known product they sell...
“This is one of my go to routines. It’s a real world worker that I use EVERY time I perform.”
Can I see it?
At which point, they direct me to an iPad - to watch a video of them performing their creation. Sometimes it’s a video comprised of just “moments” in a routine – not even a full performance. I always wonder why, since we are both standing next to each other in three dimensions, that they simply don’t show me the trick they use “EVERY time they perform”.
It felt like the time was right to take a new path.
I stopped selling to distributors.
I stopped selling to shops.
I even stopped selling on my own website.
I focused only on the live experience.
I’m not blocking these other avenues because I dislike them. I simply wanted to nurture the singular experience that happens when the creator shares his ideas directly with an audience.
Since 2014, I’ve produced over a dozen effects that I only make available at live events. I don’t advertise them. I don’t promote them in any other way. I just show them and let the people decide. It’s brought back an element of fun and mystery that I felt was lacking in recent years. It reminds me of what it was like for a much younger me to show up at a magic convention and see all those miraculous wonders – most of which I had never heard of, let alone seen.
It has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in magic and honestly, I think I’ve created some of my best effects in the process.
Of course, this does require that I keep a pretty full travel schedule which you can check out here. I don’t know if I can do it forever – but I’m going to keep trying. If our paths cross, please stop by and say hello. I’m hoping I can show you something you’ll enjoy – at the very least you’ll get to experience something rare in magic these days...
A little mystery.