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PhotobucketOkay, your drawer overflows with magic props you do not use or can’t use.

For some reasons, you can’t find a good presentation for them, or the tricks they do seem lame. You are not confident they can entertain audiences. And so you store them in a cabinet, promising yourself to use them in your shows someday.

PhotobucketThat day never comes. The props lie unproductive in your storage bins.

If you treat your magic as a business, then these idle props are also idle money. They earn nothing and don’t contribute toward recouping your capital.

Most props that thrill us look nice in the catalog. They promise usefulness. The copy conjures their potentials to amaze and entertain audiences. That’s why you whipped out the credit card from your wallet and ordered those stuff.

When they arrived, they got an excited but cursory treatment from you. Once you discovered the secrets and gauged the extent of work to do to make them perform as described in the catalog, the excitement melted away.

How to stem the urge to splurge on newer and newer props?

It’s useless to tell you to discipline yourself. You have no discipline, just like me and most magicians. That’s the reason that your cabinet is overflowing with junk. You just can’t rein in yourselves when it comes to buying new magic.

So you need other ways to control the buying binge other than discipline.

Here are some steps:

Buy only what you need, not what you like or think you may need. Easily said than done. The catalogs and copy are so enticing they are difficult to ignore. The temptation not to buy stuff you may not need is hard to resist.

If you are a birthday party magician, don’t buy a Ding Dong. That’s a smart and logical admonition but still difficult to heed. I perform for children’s party, yet I ordered for a set of Ding Dong. It’s lying in my drawer. It has been there for ages now. It’s one of my worst investments.

Buy only what you can perform often in your chosen venue. If you are performing at a theater, don’t order for those fire tricks. You will be hard put finding a venue to perform it at. Most theaters prohibit the use of fire.

PhotobucketAlso, don’t buy an illusion if you get only one gig a year that requires one. Borrow or rent it, instead.

Compute your ROI. The money you get back from the earning of your props to cover its cost is called Return on Investment (ROI). The faster you can cover your capital expense the better it is for your business.

Don’t be tempted to buy the Vanishing Jet Plane illusion for P1,000,000 if you are a P10,000-per-gig magician. It will take you years to recoup your investment. You are better off not buying the illusion.

That’s the logical thing to do…

Sadly, most magicians don’t use logic when buying magic tricks and props.

I am Exhibit One of that claim.

Stay magical,