Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mike Bornstein's death

I found out that Mike Bornstein has passed away at the ripe old age of 83. The New York Times has a wonderful little article about Mike and his magic.

He was a great character in the world of magic. That's quite a feat with all of the other characters in magic. He invented or improved many magic tricks. I never met him personally, but had spoke to him on the phone and enjoyed watching him on video.

He will be missed.

Magically yours,

J.L. Siefers

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Jim Pace Lecture

I recently attended Jim Pace’s lecture at FunTyme Magic in Nashville, Indiana. It raised my hopes about the future of magic.

I get so tired of going to lectures where the magician gives no credit to effect he “invented.” As an aside, there is a one magic empire build from one man’s magic “inventions.” I won’t identify him because I don’t want him to get any more business.

Mr. Pace focused on tried and true magic tricks geared toward the restaurant or walk around magician. Not everything fits with my performing style, but it was one of the more interesting magic lectures that I have seen in a while. Often, the classic effects don’t need to be improved. That’s why they stand the test of time.

Magically yours,

J.L. Siefers

Friday, January 21, 2005

Websites for Magicians

I was approached by a magician at the Jim Pace lecture this week at Funtyme Magic. He asked me about using websites to book magic shows.

Most magicians don’t understand marketing on the web. This is even truer when it comes to selling services over the web.

Ken Envoy has a great course on selling services on the web. His main point is that you need to build a relationship with your potential customers. Content is king. The look and layout of your site is important too. You build trust and get business by providing people the information they are seeking.

Get a copy of Service Sellers Master Course. It’s free and the material is really good. He is selling a web hosting service. It’s really good but it is expensive.

Download and read the book. There is a ton of material that you can use on your own site today.

My upcoming column on marketing on the web for magicians will focus on this topic in more detail. If you want to learn more, sign up for the Funtyme Magic Newsletter.

Magically yours,

J.L. Siefers

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Magic Show Set-up

I was reminded again this week about the importance of planning when setting up a magic show. I decided at the last minute to add an effect to the middle of the show. It looked set up and time was short so I just didn’t check closely. When it was time to do the effect it I realized it was not fully setup. I just skipped the effect and did the show as originally planned. It was fun and I didn’t miss a beat.

I am usually very careful about planning and setting up my show. I learned from my father, a pilot, that you should never get so comfortable with what you are doing that you don’t run through your checklist.

My checklist begins with pulling effects and supplies to a final double check right before show time. I am finishing a detailed article on the process I use when setting up my magic show. If you want to read it, sign up for my newsletter. The article will be in the next issue.

J.L. Siefers


Thursday, January 13, 2005

New Magic Newsletter

Just finished up the final edits on a new magic newsletter. The first issue will go out in February. Every issue will contain a magic trick, magic news, an article or review, and more.

It should come out monthly. My intention is to avoid being like the magic publications of the past: always late but always great. I hope it is just great

To find out more information and to sign up.

J.L Siefers

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Great Magic Video/eBook Set

I just got a really wonderful magic video/eBook set. It is called Anywhere – Anytime Close-up Magic by Dan Turcotte. You get it at YourDoMagic.

The set consists of two DVDs and a CD-ROM. You will get:

* 64 Videos / 29 Routines / 3 Hours
* 27 Companion PDF eBooks 260 Pages

You get to watch Dan perform for real people in a restaurant setting. You even get to see Dan recover when a trick goes south. Dan has a good eye for strong effects. These are classic magic effects that have stood the test of time.

I like the set because the material is presented in both video and eBook form. Dan has taken the advantages of both medium and presented the material so anyone interested in magic can learn it. This is a well produced set of DVDs and eBooks. Dan clearly took the time to do it right.

Dan is very careful to credit where he got his material. It is clear after watching the videos and reading the eBooks that Dan is a true student of magic.

Get this set. You will be glad you did.

You will need to practice most of the magic taught. You will not learn to be a restaurant magician twenty minutes after viewing the videos. Take the time and learn to do some great magic tricks. I recommend this magic video set to anyone interested in magic. Even old pros will learn something.

Magically yours,

J.L. Siefers
Learn Great Magic Tricks