Sunday, January 31, 2010

Summer of 1991... Unlock the Magic.

This was one crazy promotion. The auditions were done in East Hartford. As I got there I was waiting to audition with hundreds of other magicians. When my turn came, I was allowed 10 minutes to perform and wow them. I must have because I got the gig. I developed my own set of tricks including the 3 shell game using a cookie with a surprise ending where there were a stack of 3 cookies under each cup; no loser there when everyone got the cookies. My second trick was a coupon I printed up for a case of Oreos locked away in a lucite holder. There were 3 keys and 2 of the auditioners chould chose one key each and I get the remaining key. They could then try and open the lock with their key or switch with my key before trying. They could not open the lock but my key did but as a consolation prize they each recieve a dollar off coupon good for a package of Oreos. My final trick was Miser's dream using cookies plucked from the air.

I was assigned the area of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. On each Saturday and Sunday during the promotion I was to go to 2 different grocery stores where I met up with the other member of my team. She worked for the promotion company and was responsible for setting up a table at the end of the cookie aisle. She also dressed as a big Oreo Cookie. The costume was big and round and was huge and blocked the aisle from people shopping. I was given music to play as I performed the magic and handed out Oreo cookies. Lots of Oreo cookies. Thousands of Oreo cookies. (As a side note, you can guess that I ate my fair share but didn't eat another Oreo for a couple years after the promotion).

I do have fond memories of that summer. I handed out lots of personal business cards which got me lots of birthday party magic shows. But my big memory was coming home each day with a big black garbage bag of open cases of cookies. We had to open at least 2 cases of cookies at each store and could not return the unused packs to the shelves. So I brought them home and handed them out to all the kids in the neighborhood.
Next post... How I got into magic
Until then...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why a Magic Show?

Being this is my first blog about my long career as a magician, I wanted to rewrite something I wrote in 1982 and used as a mailer to Connecticut Libraries. I have been very fortunate that these libraries had supported me for many years. Now that my desire to perform magic has returned, I hope I have the pleasure to entertain Connecticut's children again.

"1982: Why a magic show?"

"Magic in itself is educational, in that it stirs the mind to solve problemsbeing posed by the tricks. It stimultaes curiosity and quickens the mind. It's a form of entertainment in which it takes two minds to bring an effect to its conclusion- that of the performer and of its observer. Few intelligent people let a magic show just drift bfore their eyes. If the magician is any good at all he stirs the audience to take part in the show. "How did he do that?" is the common remark after the show."

"Magic exposes the child to a live visual performance, not a movie or television, but an art he can relate to. Steve Wronker's Funny Business has lots of audience participation, so children can come on stage and enjoy an experience new to them and of benefit to them. There is no room in the world today for the extreme shyness some kids have. Being on stage, doing something with the performer could be the first step to build self confidence for such a child."

"Further, a magic show introduces the child toa wonderful hobby that could stand in good stead all his life. Many young people have worked their way through college performing magic. many have found that magic is an ideal way of illustrating what they have to say in education, business and religion. Unlike other hobbies, as coin or stamp collecting or model building, magic makes it necessary to speak in fromt of a group, develope poise, self-esteem and above all, confidence in themselves. This, then, cannot help but make a better perosn of him."

This ends my first magic blog but there will be many more to come. I miss performing magic for family audiences and I miss the laughter and fun associated with my comedy shows. So I end by saying...

"With Steve Wronker's Funny Business comedy magic shows, it's fun you won't forget!"