Ian Adair has one of the most creative and prolific minds in magic! He was instrumental in the success of the Supreme Magic Company, being the creative think tank behind amazingly commercial effects. His mind is like the vault at Fort Knox, because it contains precious ideas. He is also an accomplished writer, whom I admire for being candid and Stevens Magic is honored to have him aboard as a Columnist – Joe Stevens
Hi there! I’m back again, after many years. I must thank all magicians who contacted me over the last fifteen years, during which my Columns have appeared on the Stevens Magic web-site. You know, Joe Stevens and I are great friends, and I fondly remember when he came over and stayed with me.
And what’s been happening in the world of magic, here in the UK? It has vastly changed, and I think for the worse. But, then again, I’ve heard it is pretty much the same all over the world. Magic on television here is almost NIL Gone are the variety shows, the magic shows, the reality type shows taking over. Some magicians tell me (and have been for years) that ‘magic will never die.’ Perhaps not!…but like so many other entertainments, magic seems to survive Here in Britain, new young executive controllers at the BBC are responsible for the programs we watch. Our screens are filled with reality shows, antique type shows, cookery shows which have very low budgets. Gone are the days when viewing figures were over twenty million, tuning into Sunday Night at the London Palladium (similar to your Ed Sullivan Show). A well-known magician might get a spot on one of the chat shows, but this doesn’t happen very often. Even entertainment designed for childrens’ television doesn’t seem to feature or promote magic.
When Paul Daniels had his weekly magic shows on BBC television, over those seventeen years most magicians here received more show inquiries and bookings than they are getting now. Paul generated magic to the outside public and his shows brought magic into the fore.
Then there are the magic dealers. Most of the established ones here try to bring out new and exciting at favorable prices. Somehow, there seems to be a ‘new’ magic dealer popping up from nowhere on a weekly basis. Magicians who can no longer obtain show bookings, try their hands at what they think is easy – magic dealing! Many fail and some sadly carry on, not thinking of how to build up an efficient and reliable business. They often work from home without any additional overheads, and treat it as a hobby. Most are never really known to the customer and deal directly via the internet.
Out of six magic dealers displaying at a magic convention here in UK, fifty sold identical magic – and all at different prices.
When I was a young magician and heard that a properly printed book, illustrated with photos and bound in cloth with jacket, containing the effects and routines of the great Dai Vernon was being published by Harry Stanley of Unique Magic Company, it was an event! In those days booklets, pamphlets, and mimeographed publications containing few pages were all that were available. We couldn’t believe it when we held the Vernon book in our hands. Today, big bound books are being published by the thousands. There’s not a week goes by when several large volumes are released. So there’s no reason for us to become excited anymore.
That’s it; perhaps some of the excitement has gone out of magic. On the other hand, I’m a magic nut and always will be, and I chose magic as my love, before the love of my four past wives (my loss). There’s magic in the air… from Ian Adair (M.I.M.C.)