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PhotobucketDuring  Inner Magic Club’s meeting of the Board of Directors last Wednesday, some members rued the proliferation of cheap magic from China.  Previously expensive props like multi-colored appearing canes and vanishing bird cages now sell in Divisoria for dirt cheap prices.

The discussion turned into lamentations when someone brought up the news that some party shops buy magic props in bulk.  They then train people as  magicians and book them at birthday parties.

There was a hush in the room when I spoke.  I told them they should not be threatened by instant magicians or dime-a-dozen magic performers. These clones work in a cheap market, which IMC members should not target or work in.

PhotobucketWhen I suggested that henceforth IMC members should remove from their programs their appearing canes and bird cages, they looked at me as if I had leprosy.

I was serious, though. If one is concerned everybody is doing the magic he is doing, then he ought to stop doing it.  He had better find magic that others are not doing.

But, someone interjected, the copycats will also copy the new magic.

Then find another one.  Be a trailblazer. Be an innovator.  Let the copycat catch up with your creativity.

I was, of course, talking to the wind.  IMC members will not shelve their appearing canes and bird cages.  Their canes are the expensive ones made by Mahkatendo.  They have invested good money on it. Dropping them from their programs before they get their return on investment is a bad idea.

I agree.  And I understand the dilemma.  But think about it. What good are your expensive props in the company of cheap imitations? The audience of lay people wouldn’t know the difference.  All they see is that the canes look the same and perform the same effect.

PhotobucketSo herein lies the unfairness of the free market enterprise. It allows cheap knock-offs from China to flood the market. These dirt-cheap magic props are changing the game.

PhotobucketIn the beginning, the deluge of cheapo magic through the Divisoria portal seems to be the boon of magic in the Philippines.  Now it has dawned on many professional performers that cheap magic props cheapens the profession.  It is hurting the market, because  cheap magic products have spawned overnight magicians who are willing to perform at parties and events for rock-bottom prices.

Still, I don’t see how these cheap magicians can threaten in a big way professional magic in the Philippines.  On the contrary, their lack of talent and skills will only teach clients to be more discriminating in their choice of magic performers for their events.

Stay magical,