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PhotobucketTed Orlando, an international magician from Denmark, sent his thoughts after reading my post Leodini’s Disciplined Buying Program:

Dear Leo.

Regarding your blog’s issue this morning, as usual, Leodini hits the nail on its head!

I would not know the time it would take ME to perform in a row “all” the effects I own. I only realize I have drawers of different props. Read: over 150 tricks. The collection INCLUDES the unnecessarily owned “tricks” you are talking about. “Owned” means I have wasted my money to buy those.

PhotobucketSometime in the past, however, I found that in order to “fill” regular sequences of a once-a-week TV appearance during a period of two years, I had to do different effects every week. The requirement of the show prompted the need for me to buy more and more additional gimmicks than normally needed for a 30-40 minute “standard” sequence.

My TV gigs “permitted” me, to a certain extent, to store more than the usual stock of tricks. However, in the ordinary scheme of things, a magician’s buying mania, as cited in your post, need to be tamed. I discovered belatedly the “solution” to tame such mania.

I had resolved no longer to be tempted to buy a “new” effect or “ultimate” version of a known effect. I will give in to the urge to buy only when I feel I can use a prop as an ACCESSORY to an effect I AM already performing.

In other words, I’ll buy a gimmick that ENHANCES an effect by way of humor or one that can turn an effect into a reputation maker. Example: I don’t just produce the chosen card in a cigarette or egg, but I let the volunteer vanish the cigarette “himself”.

PhotobucketOne example of humorous enhancement TO the “main” effect is choosing an audience volunteer. I can use the New Spirit Bell or Cesaral Pro Bulb to do it.

I would not have bought the bulb only on its merit to self-light, but as an accessory/enhancement to my routine. I don’t ask for a volunteer but let a Cesaral Pro Bulb “find” a person.

Having purchased props/effects that (often immediately after receipt) turn
out to be unsuitable for YOUR act must not mean they are useless for other magicians.

So in another way, a solution is to dispose of such effects by offering it to colleagues, beginners, amateurs and pros, whose present presentations will allow, if not need such props.

That should not mean to offer it to an official magic auction, but at
meetings of colleagues in magic circles, say, at routine meetings of Inner Magic Club. The stuff one does not need may be offered at 40% or 50% off their retail price.

Bids could rise to match an arrangement with the “meeting organizer” for them to  obtain either a percentage of the proceeds, or even half the amount obtained above the initial bid.

IMC officers may not fancy the idea of auctioning props/tricks to fellow members at general meetings. It may sound too “commercial”, but I think, doing so will have a positive effect on members (not to mention the “royalty” fee the Club will gain from every sale).

I believe members AND GUESTS will welcome a 30-minute “auction-opportunity” during the weekly meeting. They may even look forward to that, curious what will be available for the night.

Further, you have emphasized the fact that buying props that turn out to be “not suitable” will merely end up in the drawer for good. If this is so, you may consider selling them and get half the satisfaction of letting go of them. It is/was a “solution” I applied to my own collection of unused props, and I found it better than looking at idle props in the drawer!

I have just experienced such sales decision myself. My good friend Mark Stevens (you will know him from Stevens Magic Emporium) bought from me two props, one that I had  bought from a reputable inventor, and the other from the genius Spanish inventor Cesar Alonso. Both were mentalism props, a pleasure to perform, but they wound up in the drawer. They were simply taking too much time to present in my “mixed-effects” parlor act, which allows only partial time for “mentalism”.

PhotobucketSo “with tears in my eyes”, having no more chance to ever include them in my program, I sold them.  I reduced my stock, (never mind the monetary loss), and that dried the tears in my eyes.

All the best, Leo!