Marshall Part 3


Even when I was a child in the 50’s and 60’s Jay would always give you attention, which was unusual then – even more so now. He would just as soon answer a question posed to him by a stranger as by a Vegas Headliner – and the great thing was “both” got equal attention and respect. – Mark Burger (Buma Jr.)

First Memories: Jay Marshall
By Mark Stevens
Jay Marshall and Mark Stevens – Sushi Partners!

I’ll never forget the time Jay Marshall came to Wichita about five years ago for a DMS meeting at our magic shop. Although I knew his reputations, I never had the chance to spend time with him. I kept a watchful eye on Jay, as most people do when they meet someone they have heard so much about.

After several hours the meetings adjourned and Jay, Joe and others emerged from the back office. Jay was walking around and eventually took a stool chair next to the telephone counters. As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before one of the lines started to ring. Without hesitation, and with wonderful charm, Jay picked up the phone, "Stevens Magic," he clearly stated.

Mark Burger aka Buma Jr. and Jay Marshall at Jay’s shop.

At this point Jay had my undivided attention. Answering the phones in a magic shop can be a treacherous job. While we are grateful to have the phones ringing, this appreciation is tempered with a justified fear the person on the line is going to ask questions you have no answers to. Our clients have often reduced us to nothingness with only a few questions and this is a humbling experience when you work in a magic shop. To our defense, it’s hard to remember where goods are stored, if they are available and the routines to all of them. Knowing whether or not the "flavor of the month magician" that just released 20 vol. DVD has a particular effect on it – forget about it! Even if you work here day in and out for many years, your batting average is damn good if it’s above 60 percent.

Yet Jay walked in the shop a few hours ago and picked up the phone to help without the slightest hesitation. Jay wasn’t performing "Lefty" mind you, but he was performing a great impromptu.

Having Jay Marshall in your store is one thing, having him work your clients is magic nirvana. Many magic stores would love to have Jay serving as celebrity phone greeter, not to mention the pure prestige of the event. In addition, what magician wouldn’t feel an obligation to purchase something after speaking with Jay Marshall?

John Carney, Jay and Bill Malone

Some of the people actually picked up on his voice – talk about a mind game. They started to second-guess their dialing fingers and asked, "Is that you Jay – what number did I call?"

Being this was the first time I had gotten to know Jay Marshall, I was very impressed. Jay’s actions were clean and logical; the phone is ringing, so pick it up! And Jay did exactly that several times giving our clients a surprise treat they will remember for a long time – I know I will.

There was a certain amount of gossip that followed this spontaneous occasion. We got a few calls from people wondering if we had merged with Magic Inc., or hired Jay away from his own store. Some called a few days later asking to speak with Jay Marshall. It was a great event.

The Marshalls – another great photo at his shop.