Saturday, October 8, 2011

Living Magic History

One of the most influential people in my life magic wise is Denny Haney of Denny's Magic Studio in Baltimore. I'll be the first to tell you, I used to spend hours and hours there, but that was years ago. In fact, it's been several years since I've been there (the problem with being a full time magician, you're always on the go). Anyway, I received the following email from Denny as part of his email/newsletters that he sent out. Pretty much every word out of his mouth is gold and this letter really says it all. There is so much wisdom layered throughout this letter its amazing. I didn't ask his permission to post this, but I have a feeling he won't mind. Below is ALL DENNY.


Actually, I do it all the time.

If may have noticed that every invoice sent along with your orders has a personal “Thank You” written across the bottom and signed by myself. Yes, I do it almost automatically BUT, I do mean it.
When I decided to leave the road twenty years ago and open a REAL magic shop, many of you have been supporters of this magic studio right from the beginning. I know who you are.

A few months ago, I was awarded the “Milbourne Christopher Foundation MASTERS Award” at the S.A.M. Convention in Pittsburgh. This was quite a thrill for me as it is NOT a competition award. When your peers make a decision that you have made a significant contribution to the art of magic and to fellow magicians and you have become a “master” of your craft, then this award is presented.

The photo shows my good friend William Rauscher presenting the award to me at the S.A.M. Banquet.
It was truly and honor and my acceptance speech was cut a bit short by my emotion that swelled up in me and caused me to break up a bit.

I love this art of magic and just go through my life entertaining and trying to help those who want to entertain. It was nice to have someone notice. You MUST love your art first. Any rewards that come your way, either financially or spiritually, come from the love of the art. The art is ALWAYS first.

It just reminded me that the true art of magic has taken a bit of a downward spiral during the past years. It's not that there is less interest in magic. I really believe that there are more people interested in magic today than ever before in history. I should rephrase that….there are more people interested in DOING TRICKS than ever before. There is a lack of interest in things like the history of magic or the theory of presenting it correctly and yet I find these two subjects the most fascinating of the art. I continue to study these even today.

With the invention of the internet, there are literally thousands of on line sites where you can order magic tricks. Most of these sites exist ONLY on the internet. They are not real shops, nor are they owned or operated by a professional performer. They are just a place to buy things. They are warehouses, drop shippers or, even worse, the bedroom or basement of someone who owns a computer. Of course, this is true in almost any business today. I can only say this…”Get to know your dealer.”

Personally, long before I opened a magic shop, I always went to the most “experienced” to buy the things I needed or wanted. I went to old hardware stores, real clothiers, sound and lights companies, etc. To me, the most important thing was to buy from the guy who KNEW his trade. I would never buy tools or hardware from a man who cannot build. I would never buy a camera from someone who was not a photographer. I would never buy a suit from someone who does not know how to make them. The list goes on and on.

Today we go to the internet and buy from people we don't even know. We know nothing about them. We only know that they sell cheap. In most cases, they know very little about the things they sell. There is no “guidance” given, no “experience” in their past, and no love of the art in their hearts. It is only a way to make extra money.

If money were the only driving force, I would be selling tires or some other thing besides magic. I chose to sell magic because of my love of the art and my lifetime of performing. It is what I KNOW.

There are so few real magic shops left. The magic shop used to be the place everyone went to hang out, talk magic, and show others what they are working on. It was where you met more experienced performers and learned just by listening. Today it is difficult to get anyone away from their computer screen so they never leave their house. Even lecture attendance has fallen off drastically. It is an interent world and although the internet is full of information, it is not full of knowledge. They are two different things. Knowledge comes from personal interaction and experience. It really is a “social” thing.

Let's get out and socialize a bit more. Stop by a REAL magic shop for a day of fun and interaction. If you have one of these shops in your area, you are very fortunate. I repeat, KNOW YOUR DEALER. Read a bit more about the history of magic. It is very colorful and exciting. There is a “way” to learn to be a good magician. Let someone guide you along that “way.”

Just some thoughts. Just a way of saying thank you.

Remember, this is a REAL magic studio.  We are open 7 days a week from 10:00AM til 9:00PM.  Human beings answer the phone and it is usually me...personally.  There are no menu buttons to push and no recorded messages to listen to.  We actually answer the phone and can help you make GOOD decisions.
Denny & Lee Magic Studio
9004 Yellow Brick Road, Suite H
Rosedale, MD 21237
PHONE 410-686-3914

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