I am not making this up. When Mary and I were still in the mail order business and sending out magic tricks across the country, we had several customers who insisted we not send items to their actual home addresses. Instead they wanted us to send items to the homes of their neighbors. Why? Because they had arrangements with the neighbors to quietly get the packages without their wives finding out about it (that is the wives of the magicians). This meant the magicians would not have to hear their wives say, “What? Are you buying more magic tricks you do not need?”
What do we think about this? Did the wives have reason to be concerned? Is it possible for a magician to own too much magic?
If we are just messing around with magic, if magic is nothing more than toys to be enjoyed by those who are supposedly grown up, maybe we can have too much. On the other hand, if we are serious about doing magic shows, if we truly want to use magic to bring smiles, cheer and even a positive/spiritual message to the public, maybe we cannot have too much of it.
Consider a parallel question: “Can a mechanic have too many tools?” Vehicle repair shops typically are filled with tools. Those who fix cars and trucks require a large amount and variety of equipment.
I think most mechanics would agree that, although they do not use all the tools they possess on every job, or even on most jobs, they are happy to have the right tool for the right purpose and grateful for the many tools they have.
Mary and I view our props and illusions in a similar way.
Recently I was asked to do four different forty-minute programs for the same audience over the course of two days. That is one-hundred-sixty minutes of magic with no duplication of effects or routines.
It was a blessing to be able to put together the programs without problem. Plenty of work was involved in designing and writing out the shows, but it was not difficult to pick out the necessary tools. Because of the many magic effects we have acquired over the years, the needed tools were on hand.
Since we view magic props as tools, we continually seek to add to the “tricks of our trade” to ensure the ability to do what clients and show opportunities call for us to do. We have already made several investments in preparation for the new year (2019).
I suppose a point could be reached where we do have too much equipment, but it has not yet arrived. At the moment we are able to say, “Over the years, we have used almost every bit of magic we have.” Much of it has been used many times.
My conclusion is: If motivation in acquiring magic paraphernalia is just It looks cool, so I want it, or I would be fun to play around with this, a person probably will spend money on things not needed and not likely to be used. That person can have “too much magic.”
On the other hand; the person who thinks in terms of How will I use it or Does it give me means of doing something magical that I may need to do is not so likely to waste his or her resources.
It is wise to sensibly build a collection of great tools and add to the collection as one is able. In contrast, it is also wise to resist the urge to buy something simply because it is new, or I don’t know how it is done.
Next time you check out a website that sells magic, or ponder an ad found on Facebook, or walk into a dealer room at a magic convention, think tools rather than toys! It may not be wise to buy more tools, but additional tools could be a good choice.
Bottom line: It isn’t smart to spend money we don’t have. It isn’t smart to spend money on things we probably will rarely use. It is smart to equip ourselves well to do something worthwhile!