If you're into magic in Montreal, then you've probably heard of The Amazing Todsky, aka Todd Shapiro. You may have even stopped by his magic shop (check him out online at MagicStore.ca), and if you haven't, you should! It was my pleasure to speak with Todd on this episode of Illusionary Podcast.
One starry starry night, many many moons ago, Little Todsky woke up from a nap in his crib, and it occurred to him that the Earth upon which he crawled was a planet full of wonder and mystery. Soon afterwards, Little Todsky would embark upon a journey into wonder, magic and discovery; a journey that continues today.
Over time, Little Todsky was able to unearth some of the secrets of the magical arts, and in doing so found a way to share the wonder and mystery with others. Little Todsky soon grew to become the Mediocre Todsky, for his magical abilities were just beginning to form, and, frankly, his tricks were pretty sucky.
But with much perseverance and his nose to the lodestone, Todsky progressed in the magical arts, and soon he would be called The Somewhat Impressive Todsky. It wasn’t long before he became The Pretty Good Todsky and then The Great Todsky. And now, of course, he is known as The Amazing Todsky.
Kray Mitchell: All right. My next guest has been doing magic for over 40 years. He has helped many magicians find their way through the mysterious arts. And he is the owner of Todsky's Magic Shop in Montreal. Please welcome Todd Shapiro a.k.a. the amazing Todsky. Welcome to the show.
Todd Shapiro: Hello. Hello. Very good to be here.
Kray: Thank you so very much. So you've been doing magic for over 40 years. How did you originally get into it. What kind of started you along this magical path.
Todd: There are two main things I can, I can, I can think of as influences. One in Montreal. There was a magician Tom Auburn, magic Tom. He was the magician of Montreal back in the in the 70s and probably 80s as well but mainly in the 70s and he, he had a TV show as well. So I remember going I would see him on TV and I also went to some parties. He was at a local restaurant. He was the magician at a restaurant. And if you have a birthday party and you go there you would. He could and would entertain you. He was wanted like. Now there are quite a few magicians who do parties. But he was the one. There were like there were so few back then and so I would see him at that at the restaurant. Also this TV show The one thing I remember that really influenced me as a young young magician. I'm talking like 8-9 years old was seeing, was seeing him take a glass. He'd put cotton balls inside it and then he'd set it on fire he covered with a can. He would lift up the can and then it would be full of candy. All right. I think this is this this is this is a magic dream for a child who likes candy and sweet things. So for me like that well that's the perfect combination. My head exploded I said OK I have to learn how to make candy like that. So that was one of the early influences.
And then another one maybe, when I was about 10 or so, my mother took me to a show in, a theater in Montreal, in a really nice theater a traveling magic show. And I didn't know what it was until a couple of years ago. I thought you know who. Who was this I did some research I found that it was The Great Richiardi. Who was doing his touring show with other magicians. And I still have the memory, because I'd never seen anything like that before of somebody...
One of the magicians doing a silent Misers Dream routine. He was dressed in some kind of a you know Memphis staff billion type of a costume and pulling coins from the air and I was fascinated by that. There was also a mind reader. There was a blindfold that I remember that fascinated by that as well. And at the end Richiardi himself did the buzzsaw illusion where you actually you know cuts the woman into it but it's blood everywhere and everything. And then at the end he this is his signature thing he would say you would like to come up and see for some reason I went up even though I don't like Gore and all that kind of stuff. I went up because I was curious to see and indeed she was seemingly cut in half. But it was that whole show it really had a huge influence and it was like Wow it's amazing. So those are two large influences.
Kray: Absolutely. I never got to see a magic show on that scale in person. I think the only thing as a child was local birthday party magicians and stuff like that.
Like you said no there really weren't many. I think Montreal's quite a bit bigger than Kelowna is. Yes we still have had a few back then so it wasn't really too bad. Do you remember when you first got into doing your performances and you started doing performances for other people.
Todd: Yes, yes quite well. So I was. From around like eight nine years old. I would go to the magic shop in town. There was Henry Gordon's there was Kramer's downtown. There was some, Morrissey's as well. And I would buy like little tricks and even sometimes from a toy store I'd find a good set and I practice them and then I'd have my collection, my collection was small and then it started to grow and I remember keeping my first collection of magic tricks in a in a Star Trek Enterprise model box that was I remember that and and my collection grew and I used to bother my mother and my brothers with magic tricks. Okay you're watching this, watch this, watch this. And eventually my mother suggested to me and this is when I was about. 13. 13 or 14. She suggests why don't you take a look at a little classified ad in the local paper. Saying you know "Magic shows or Magician for birthday parties" and I'm not sure if you just want me to stop bothering her with the magic. No she actually likes it. But she she she did she encouraged me to do that and I put a little ad in it and I remember my my first show.
I got called to do a magic show for, for one. And. I was nervous of course. So I brought my. Little box of props and things. I remember doing the show and afterwards the mother paid me ten dollars I felt so guilty, taking ten dollars get paid for doing these tricks because I'd never, ever charged before of course and you know it was a whole psychological thing to do that and I ran out of there with the money and. But since then I've raised my price to twelve dollars because you know in a long time the, inflation exactly. So that's my first memory of my first show. And then it just kind of you know I liked it and escalated, I got better I was I was pretty bad at first actually with audiences like I made so many mistakes. I mean as you know the best way to learn and make mistakes. But yeah it just built from there.
Kray: Yeah. If you don't have failure in your life you're never going to go further because of that failure point. People either walk away or they try harder and figure out how to do it.
Todd: You got you. That's natural and that's where the learning comes from. I have to admit I'm a great success when it comes to failure.
Kray: Yes I have to agree with that myself and it took me many years to realize that there were successes and not failures but once once my mindset changed on that things really did start to change and turn around on me for that kind of stuff. So that was awesome.
Todd: Now there was a progression I have to say. And when I first started out I was I was like the the because I call myself the amazing Todsky but I began and I called myself The Mediocre Todsky because I was pretty mediocre. Then I became you know you know possible amazing Passable Todsky and then I became the Good and the Great Todsky until I became the Amazing Todsky. I don't know what's next. What's better than amazing maybe incredible. I'm not sure we'll find out. I'm looking forward to it.
Kray: You might run into some issues with Mr. Incredible on that one he might want to take you up on that one.
Todd: Well I took the copyright on the word incredible so what.
Kray: Oh you got it. Excellent. I honestly wish I could have been performing at 13. Unfortunately I was still in my beginner stages back then and ended up getting out of it now for many years and recently getting back into it. But when you were doing magic at that age outside of the shows that you were performing that you from those as you were running how did how did your friends take it you know having having magician as a friend.
Todd: It was it was there was there wasn't any special cachet I don't think about it from my friends. Oh yeah I had one friend. He's very, analytical you know. Nothing gets by him. And of course I would show him something and then he'd say "Well let me see that." And you know and I couldn't show it to him so he wasn't satisfied, he was like my worst worst critic and worst audience I knew if I could pull something over on him that I've got a great trick. But among my friends. Well you know I had hoped that it would make me cool with the girls you know and I was like wow suggestion and everything but I made a mistake it wasn't the magicians who will get the girls it's the musicians. So I think I thought there was a typographical error in my in my attempt to be to be really cool with the girls. It should have changed to musician.
Kray: I think all of us kind of had that same thought and then we learned quickly.
Todd: It's kind of like magic sometimes. Look that's kind of all. Oh he's kind of a neb. You know he's doing magic and everything. You know it's not so cool but you know when I was doing it I didn't care. I was shy. I was like really shy about that. That was dumb. So for me it was a great way to to interact with people and it really helped me actually to to be able to interact with people by having this thing I could do too. Because the great thing about magic is is unlike a lot of other things like art forms that maybe can be done solitary to really do magic. You have to have an audience you have to have somebody do it too otherwise you're standing in front of a mirror all the time and just doing it for yourself to really complete it you have to you have to show it to somebody and so it forces you to be sociable.
Todd: So for me that was great.
Kray: Yes. And I have heard that from a lot of magicians on watching things like Penn and Teller and Wizard Wars and people always talking about how they how they got started and a lot of people were very shy.
And the magic was a way that helped them come out of their shell. And I definitely remember that myself being the shy kid and trying to ways to come out and Magic did help a little bit on that, so.
Todd: I think I think if you took a poll you like you probably find like 75 percent of magicians were really shy as kids. And it's interesting that maybe someone write a book about that.
Kray: That would be a really interesting read actually.
Todd: Yeah yeah yeah yeah. I'll let you write that one.
Kray: Oh no I'm not the best at writing but I could definitely compile some stuff and talk to a writer.
Todd: I'll write it and you'll do a video.
Kray: Excellent, there we go. So when you go and you do shows and stuff now or even when you first started. Do you have any preshow rituals or routines that you like to use to get yourself ready for your show.
Kray: Just going to jump into it hey.
Todd: Yeah. Yeah. I'm like sort of the least organized like magician. I mean it's amazing. I have a very good reputation I do a lot of shows and I get a lot of calls back from from people and people generally really love my show but I'm so disorganized, if I would show you I should have brought my gig case. It's that Leffler Joe or Joe La Fleur table suitcase and opens up and inside I have everything stuffed in. It's not put in an organized way it's just all kind of crammed in so I get ready for here's here's my ritual. I get ready for a show. I said I can't think of okay what's the show with the age of the kids or you know then. And then I just take. I go to my shelf with my magic stuff just toss things in.
You know I have to be careful with the glass objects if there are any but pretty much it's just all stuffing it all in and then going to the show and at the end of the show I want to get out as fast as I can. I just stuff all this stuff back inside and of course my ropes and self and things all kind of little bit wrinkled and you know a bit kind of ratty and everything but it works for me somehow and I usually find all my tricks. And if I don't I have enough extra ones in my case that I can I can still do my show. I don't recommend that for other magicians though it only works for me.
Kray: Yes I have a similar problem to that I used to get bugged a lot at one of my old, well, at a lot of old office jobs about the state of my desk but you know there was always a method to my madness and I could always find stuff.
Yeah. If you need anything I'd have it in five seconds. It may look like a disaster but it's a very well executed disaster. I used to love that.
Todd: That gives me an idea. What about like doing a show where you actually come on stage with it with a desk or something and you sort of sit them behind the desk and it's sort of like office magic. Maybe it has a theme like that and you know you have a computer, and the whole theme is based on on on an on an office match. You take something out of a drawer maybe maybe a chicken flies out of the drawer.
I don't know. These are ideas for you and for people listening you know if someone wants to do it but I do have a copyright on that. I just I just took care of that right now.
Kray: Yeah we've got it recorded.
Todd: Oh that's true.
Kray: Oh that's a I agree that's a great idea. I've never seen anybody come out and sit at a desk that wasn't doing like straight up like coin magic or close up cards and those are generally some of the routines that I like the best when they have little stories. I watched, we were watching Penn and Teller last night and the guy came out and he was doing coin magic on his little table but he did it with a Twilight Zone theme. So from start to finish it was all TWILIGHT ZONE themed. Yet the voice gone and he ahd like this whole script. It just it took the coin magic to a whole other level that I had never seen before because usually it's it's a matt and some coins in here can watch this.
Todd: So there goes the here. There goes there.
Kray: Yeah exactly. So it was really cool to just see that so I would love this. If somebody is listening and does that definitely. Show us the video. Let us take a look at this. Speaking of performances do you have a favorite performance that you've done something in the past or something recent that you've done that you were just like. Yes. This was an awesome show like this is this is why I do this.
Or are you one of those people that get that feeling every time?
Todd: Well I don't get the feeling every time unfortunately. Here's what it taught me that one in particular because I do have quite a few that where I feel like the old expression you know "the audience was in the palm of my hands. I could do no wrong." And I do get quite a few of those where, where, It's just the feeling is there. The vibe is there and I'm.
The connection with the audience is so good and everything I say. You know they respond to and I respond to them. So yeah I do get that a lot fortunately and what's interesting because so that's what I consider like a great show. Then I get, Then I get other shows which are. Which are good to very good. And the good to very good shows to me. I'm disappointed with because they're not at the level of of that great great show right but they're still usually very good and the audience reacts very well and people come up to me afterwards and say I really enjoyed that. But I'm not happy with it because I didn't get that. I didn't get that, the peak peak experience but they can't always be. And I guess if it was always like the great great show. It would be there'd be no difference. You'd be like there's that would be like not never having rain or snow.
You don't know what snow is because you live in B.C. but...
Kray: I know a little bit. But not today. OK.
Todd: Actually now you're in Kelowna. You actually do. But it's like like if you didn't have like the rain you wouldn't appreciate the sun. So it's like you know there. But but yeah I recently I did a show that went very well. And I was a bit nervous about it because I don't do too many like this, It was a corporate gig for a pharmaceutical company that was promoting some of their things and I don't particularly like the pharmaceutical companies, as a matter of fact that I'd like to make them all disappear if I could, but nevertheless I had to do a show and they set up this room in a hotel. And it looked like Disney. It had like this Disney backdrop. It was really bizarre, and they're selling this almost like not infant formula but it's kind of this liquid the strength that goes to replace certain vitamins and minerals for kids who need it, fine.
So I'm at the front of this kind of Disney-esque room performing for the adults. And I didn't know what they're gonna be like if they're going to be really stuffy stuffy corporate types and everything, but they had a great great time and I even like tied in the drink in one of my magic tricks where I turn, I poured it into a glass and then I turned it into a white silk and wipe my mouth with it. And they loved that and I did my professor nightmare version with the rope. I did though the whole the whole shebang and they they they really they loved it. Had a great reaction, so I was very happy because I'm always a bit concerned with adult audiences if they're going to be really going to be fun or if they're going to be really stuffy and they they had a great time. So that was great.
Kray: I really love magic for the ability to turn a stuffy person into a childlike person again like with wouldn't you know it may not be one trick or another trick, but once they see that one trick that really resonates with them and you can kind of see that wonderment in their eyes of "What Just happened.".
That's my favorite part of doing magic is, is getting that reaction from people and then taking them back to that kind of moment in their life where they they had that sense of wonderment where anything was possible so.
Kray: If we can do that, but I think as a performer or as any kind of artist we're always going to be harder on ourselves and then we need to be and definitely harder on ourselves than any audience could ever be.
Todd: Yes it's true but I guess that's how we how we get better by you know whipping ourselves to get better, you know that you better do better you can do better.
Kray: I didn't do that right. Let me do it again. Do you have a favorite trick that you like to perform?
Todd: Oh I think it's it's it's the stuff like Fiber Optics from Richard Sanders like all variations of that where it's basically an extended Professor's Nightmare with the three ropes, the equal unequal ropes, but you know there's so many different chapters to it, different parts it's amazing because I have I have a funny story I tell you about spaghetti you know and I and how I got spaghetti at the restaurant I ordered spaghetti and with the wrong sizes and so I had to make them the right size and then all these crazy things happened right. You know I like it.
They become the same size and two of them turn into one long one and then it becomes a round loop and and it just it's beautiful visually. I love it. It's beautiful it's it's so. It gets the gasps from from the audience. It's. And so it gets great reactors number one.
Number two. What's amazing about it if I could do one trick that would be it because it works well for kids. It works well for adults. It works well close up. It works well staged and it all fits in your pocket. Well what more could you ask for. It's the most incredible thing. And so I give Richard Sanders Fiber Optics. You know a thumbs up, Highly recommended.
And Richard Sanders he's a local magician here, he's from around here as well so. So kudos kudos to you Richard if you're watching but you're probably not because you're a hermit and you're I know you're in your basement now and inventing some more tricks. Yea, that's the one.
Kray: Inventing more awesomeness.
Todd: Yes, yes, yes.
Kray: What more awesome than Packs Small, Plays Big.
Todd: Always like Packs Small, Plays Big. That's my motto.
Todd: I pack small and play big I'm not that that big so like I'm you know five, well five foot ten, but you know I you know I'm fairly slim so I could say I pack small and play big you know.
Kray: I've always played, not always, I used to be of average height and then I had one of those spurts and now I'm 6'5", 240.
Todd: But you can't say you pack small.
Todd: You can you can pack big and play big perhaps.
Kray: Right. And I get amazing results with kids without doing anything at all but standing there.
Todd: Oh yeah. That's true. Yeah. Right away you're this mythic giant.
Kray: Yeah I used to get that a lot of it at one of my old jobs we had a daycare there and it was with kids.
Todd: And you're like 40 times taller than they are.
Kray: Pretty much they loved it. I loved it. It was a lot of fun. So over the years obviously magic has changed quite a bit.
Obviously technology has gotten a lot more involved. Message has gotten a lot of different new ways of doing things. What have you kind of seen change in magic since you've been here? What are some of the things that you've you've enjoyed about the changes in magic over the years and what are some things that you haven't really enjoyed about what's happening with magic?
Todd: Well OK. The changes. OK. Well. OK. What I what I don't enjoy is there's a lot of a lot of kids, they come to my store or I'm teaching magic lessons and I'll say OK. And they say oh I want to learn card magic and I say OK, I've got a great book for you, The Royal Road To Card Magic, which is like the card Bible to start off as really good card magician.
And you know it's it's got the illustrations and everything and they'll look and say not that they won't say what's it too many words. "No it's too much to read" right?And They they and a lot of them say oh you know I just I say What did you learn that trick that they showed me. And they say YouTube. I say OK now...
On the one hand I think it's good to learn from video. You can especially with a certain sleight of hand with coins or cards sometimes you have to hold. You have to hold them pretend it's a card. You have to hold the card like with the finger here.
And explains in the book but right on. On the third phalange of the index fingers and the look right at not here but right here in this tiny it's like two millimeters makes a difference and you're trying to understand this from reading it.
OK. Understandably that can be really hard. OK. It can make the difference between success and failure. If you watch it on video you can see exactly where it goes. But at the same time, just watching the video the kids will tend to imitate what they see. And you won't really, I guess the analogy is watching a movie and reading a book if you watch a movie. The like this happens to me with the Lord of the Rings. OK. Here's some good kind of you know all magicians like Lord Of The Rings with this fantasy magic. I first read it and I had in my mind I imagined what the characters look like, and it was you know it's that much more fascinating because it's your imagination, then I saw the movie and I cannot replace now I only see the characters in the movie.
So to just to make a long story short, I think you can get more out of reading the description in a book much more details and subtle handling of a card trick or coin trick, and the videos can supplement that but I don't think it's good if they're the only thing that that people learn from.
But then again some kids or some people in general do not learn as well from books they are are more visuals. So from that I understand, in a way in a way. I'm not I'm not complaining. I'm just saying that's just you know that's just how it is. But you're talking about big changes. If I can just kind of go on a bit of a. What change from that.
Todd: Because when you first said you like the big changes and as as now an owner of a magic store, this is what I here's the big change.
Thousands of decks of cards. Thousands of different like specialty custom playing cards, and it freaks me out because I opened my store a couple of years ago and when I did I knew about Bicycle, Red and Bicycle Blue. And maybe you know there'd be a black bicycle deck of cards right.
Kray: Or some Tally Ho.
Todd: Yeah maybe some Tally Ho some others might prefer Tally Ho.
And then my supplier says Oh would you like to have some of these specialty decks. And so. What he talked about all these extra. I'm not interested. And then people come to my store and call me and say Do you have this this deck. And that is what. But now what is all this. And excuse me.
So it turns out that this has become the new thing now it's some custom collectible card decks and specialty card decks some are specially made for throwing, for fanning, for this and that. It's incredible. So now I have like hundreds at my store and I can appreciate, they're like works of art and I'm trying to think What's the analogy. It's a bit like like I'm like collecting.
Magic The Gathering Gathering cards, Yugio cards, Pokemon cards and even going back like a collecting hockey cards or baseball card there's something about the collecting and the different kinds of packs of cards. So this to me is the big new thing recently in the past I don't know 10 years with all these decks of cards.
So they're, that being said everyone come to my store order all my cards because I have like hundreds of decks.
Kray: Yes that's, that's one thing that kind of blew me away doing research and looking around when I first got back into magic was Holy crap there's just a lot of cards and everybody's putting out there their own decks and their own types. And like you say.
Todd: There's thousands!
Kray: I'm not sure if a lot of cardistry people are using them for magic or they're just doing the the beautiful fans and shuffles and... I don't know, I have gotten lost in so many YouTube videos watching people do that it's it's so beautiful to watch.
But yeah you know.
Todd: Yeah it's it's like a side branch of magic. It's not it's cardistry, it's it's sort of like in the realm of juggling I would say like it's a it's beautiful. I really enjoy watching it.
But it's not like it's, like instead of hiding the magic it's like you are showing your skills it's like instead of hiding your skills so pure I think pure magic and in a sense is like where where you might seem like a sloppy magician with cards like a Harry Loraine for instance who still doing magic is in his 90s. He's like the card, the card man of the century and he'll he sort of keeps talking you know blah blah blah and he's doing, and It's kind of like seeing any skill with his hands but incredible things happen because he's incredibly skilled but he doesn't show the skill so it makes it more incredible as opposed to showing your skills.
If you're going to start off doing card magic and you're gonna show these, you could cut a deck with one hand you can do these amazing ripples people are gonna think oh this guy's got great card skills he's probably using sleight of hand to do things so it's kind of interesting that you know the different ways of going about it.
Kray: The guys you don't want to play poker with.
Todd: Yeah exactly yeah. If you want to win by cheating at poker don't show them your skills.
Kray: Yeah absolutely. I kind of I love your analogy there. It's it's kind of like juggling.
I kind of think it's like a juggling ballet. It's like juggling but it's very well choreographed and just it's all about the motion and the movement and everything it's yeah it's it's something that I will never personally be able to do I've never been able to handle it.
Todd: Juggling ballet, that's a very nice way of putting it actually.
Kray: Yes. Yes I think so. So let's actually go back to your shop there, you open a couple of years ago what was your kind of motivation to open a retail store.
Todd: Well I was. It's kind of funny because a couple of things looked like I was ordering so much magic for myself. Even even though I should know better than I already have my show pretty much. But there's always a curiosity seeing how there's this new thing. Wow. I mean it. I want I want to do that. I want to show that I want that I want it. I want it even just to find out what the secret is so tempting right. So I was spending a lot on ordering stuff for myself and of course 90 percent sits on the shelf. So I thought to myself.
Well that was one aspect and the other aspect was. I have most of my weekdays are free. I don't have too many shows on weekdays it's mostly weekends. So what am I going to do with my week this. I'll open up a magic shop that way I can surround myself with magic tricks, I can be buying magic tricks. OK, yes at wholesale but by magic tricks and and surrounding myself and and fulfilling that.
And at the same time, I don't have to keep them I can actually try selling them. So I'm not actually losing money by spending all this money or magic tricks. I just I mean really the shorts the short answer is I love magic. I love being surrounded by magic. And of course it's to do, to be able to have a bit of a community with other magicians.
And what's nice about it, is I have all kinds of people coming into the shop. I have from the beginner beginner it's like five six year olds come with their parents and then they say my little Johnny is interested. Of course no one's named Johnny anymore but you know what I mean. So it's always it's interesting magic and you know you introduce I show you know a few easy tricks that they can start with and then you get a lot of amateurs coming in who just like to do it for fun at their at their place of work, and then you know some of the professionals come in but the professionals are the worst because you know they don't buy much. They only say OK just give me one package of flash paper or give me one deck of red bicycle cards you know. OK. So you know they don't spend much good they already have their act. So yeah. But it's fun, it's fun. I meet all kinds, all kinds of magical people from out of town also and people come from out of town in special trip sometimes to go to the magic shop and I really enjoy that. I like the community the magic community.
Kray: I miss it. I'm not going away. I remember when I was a kid and we used to go out to Calgary because my grandparents were out there, and when I was in the magic I would force my dad to take me to the magic shop there.
And it was always just like he would drop me off because he didn't want to spend three hours at the magic while I was looking at everything. So he would drop me off and go go take off and I would stay there and I really miss that because, being there you would you would run into so many other people and learn about other tricks that weren't necessarily on the shelf but you could order or just different techniques and just learning what other people were enjoying. And I really miss that, and unfortunately there's there's not a big magic community out where I am.
So I have been reaching out to locals that I know are here and trying to get together for beers every once in a while, go hang out talk shop and stuff like that. That is the thing that I miss the most about having retail shops everywhere and everything going online is that, community you are talking about. I really miss that. So if I come down to my travels definitely stuff.
Todd: Oh good. That would be fantastic. And I'm like I'm in the western, westernmost part of Montreal. So you won't be quite as far for you.
Kray: Excellent Still have to go across the country to get there.
Todd: It's about 30 kilometers less for you.
Kray: Not so bad then.
Todd: There you go.
Kray: A beautiful, beautiful place that I would like to visit. I think the closest I came was Ottawa. And I got to see the bridge going into Quebec.
Todd: OK so you weren't too far.
Kray: So, across the board. What do you think is one trick that every magician should learn or at least attempts in their career. If somebody is just starting out, what do you think it's something that they should at least try and learn.
Todd: Well I would say the bullet catch because there's a lot of competition out there and I'm trying to eliminate the competition.
No, don't listen to me kids.
Todd: Oh that's, I don't think anybody is going to top that answer! I gotta say, I love that
Todd: What can I say after that. One trick that everyone should try. You know what I I've always loved and I don't even do it on my show for some reason. Coin magic just like doing with a sleight with coin. Just making a coin appear and disappear at your fingertips and rolling it on your knuckles and stuff like that. There's something I find very satisfying about that. It's just the feeling of being, of the fingers being able to manipulate this this heavy metal coin like I like to use silver dollar, American silver dollar and just like that I find very satisfying about it. And it just gets the fingers all warmed up and it's just I don't know, it satisfies me. So maybe it'll satisfy the magicians, there's something fun. But it's hard. It's the hardest. It's the hardest thing. Coin magic is. I think the hardest thing to really do well. But there's something satisfying about just playing around with with a coin.
And you know in the end if you're not very good with it just spend the money and just get a deck of cards.
Kray: You find coins anywhere, grab an old coin from somewhere there. They're cheap that even a Silver Dollar will only cost you two bucks these days.
Todd: Yeah that's right.
Kray: They are fun to play with. One of my favorite things with coins and even not even performing we was watching other people is the sound of coins.
Todd: Yes. Yes.
Kray: The way they manipulate and you can hear certain things and then they don't you hear other things and that's where the magic comes from for me.
Todd: It's at a very nice soundscape to it with the coins. It's true, as opposed to cards which are you know a lot easier to get into. But, yeah there's something about coins that I just I've always loved coin magic and...
Yeah, I think there's you feel good even if you can... Heres something that everyone should learn to be able to make it to to have a coin, make the coin disappear and take it out of someone's ear. I know it's so it's so kind of classical and typical and everything but, but it's something that's very useful to do because you know you may come across some kid and do magic and then you just you can just do a simple thing and they love it. They go crazy over that. You take out of their ear, don't take out of their nose I tried that once it was very messy, but if you can take it out of their ear that's great and all you have to learn from that is a simple palm a classic palm or a finger palm and a false transfer and you get so much mileage out of it. So there you go that and the bullet catch.
Kray: Excellent. What's one thing that you wish somebody had told you early on in your career, like a piece of advice that you could give somebody today, what's something that you wish you knew right up front?
Todd: OK. Here it is. And it's going to sound kind of ironic because I have a magic shop. I would say to them don't buy all kinds of tricks. Just, I know, just get like, get a deck of cards because this is where I'm at now where where ideally if I had the time and perseverance. The deck of cards. Some coins. And maybe six magic books, covering different areas. Bobo's Coin Magic, Royal Road to Card Magic, 13 Steps to Mentalism. Just get the... just like half a dozen of the important books and just work on those things, if you can do magic with ordinary objects, and you can become a master at that, you're good to go. And with one deck of cards. You can do incredible things and you won't need the hippity hop rabbits you know. But then again if you do kids parties you will need to Hippity Hop rabbit or something equivalent to entertain the kids.
But but that what that's like get to the core of things. Yeah. To be able to really do amazing things with just a deck of cards and some coins you know focus on the fundamentals I guess. I wish someone told me that before I spent all my money at the magic stores. And that being said please spend money at Todsky's magic shop because I've got everything.
Kray: That's magicstore.ca Everybody and I will have link in the description later but I do actually.
Todd: But I do have some some stuff there that's that's not extravagant I'm going to have all so much stuff but I've got also Royal Road to Card Magic of course the book which I highly recommend. And I even I just got in some American, U.S. replica silver dollars. So there they're only like about, I don't know what they cost you 7, 8 bucks apiece or something but they're there they're perfect they're like. Almost like perfect replicas of silver dollars. And I was playing around them. They they they handle very nicely and they're slightly lighter than silver Dollar. So yeah. Yeah I recommend that the basic stuff like that, you know get a deck of cards or two.
Kray: Awesome. And one final question for you which is one of my favorite questions if you could spend the day with any magician, living or dead who would it be?
Todd: Hoo hoo hoo. Well. Now my second choice would be Kray Mitchell, but my first my first, I'm sorry you're second, but my first choice. Whoah... Well with any magician dead or alive. Well probably just because not that I cared for his magic so much but just because of who he was. I guess Houdini would be fascinating to speak to him because at the time you know that he was alive and, just, that kind of magic so would be him and also Cardini. I would say it's a toss up because I love Cardini, I love Cardini's work that stuff I've seen of him is his act was he was like, it was perfection, his manipulation of cards and cigarettes and it's his comedy timing, it was brilliant. So those are the two.
Kray: Absolutely. I couldn't agree more with Houdini, like he's got such a place in history and being able to talk to somebody from that era.
Todd: That he is the legend. I mean he's incredible.
Kray: When I was in New York I was there for a work event and on the way back to the airport I'm like Okay I got to stop a Fantasma Magic. I made sure that I had carved out time so I could stop at magic shop and I didn't know that there were also a Houdini museum. I'm like...
Todd: Oh? They have a Houdini museum at Fantasma Magic Shop?
Todd: Oh I didn't know that. But I'll tell you funny story. Just a quick, quick one about Fantasma. I was in New York City 10 years ago, and at the time I was really big on the coin magic and learning the sleights and everything. I'm wandering downtown. I didn't even know Fantasma existed. I'm wandering downtown somewhere just walking around and there's a sign on the street a little sandwich board says that has a magic is it. "Oh well this is meant to be." I go up the stairs and there's one person in the shop behind this counter, and I go up to and he looks like David Roth and I say "You're not David Roth are you?"
He said "Yes I am David Roth." And it freaked me out because there I'm into coin magic and, and here he is, the man himself. So that was that was magical in the true sense.
Kray: That would be super cool. Houdini was there when I was there but it was just a bust
Todd:I can't believe it. Oh, ok, hahaha.
Kray: I had no idea. I knew the Magic Shop was there and then I walk in and it was like 80 percent, like Houdini stuff and pictures and posters and like old costumes and like one of those trunks.
Todd: When were you there.
Kray: October? November? October.
Todd: Oh, recently?
Todd: Because when I went there, it wasn't there they didn't have the display back then. So that must have been one recent OK.
Kray: Sounds like you're going to have to make a trip back. Just to check that out.
Todd: I guess so.
Kray: Oh and the little Mickey Mouse machine. They've got a little Mickey Mouse kind of magic guy, he does come some cups and balls, it's all robotics so you press the button and Mickey goes into his little robotic, moving the ball back and forth.
You can totally see the little holes in the table where the balls pop up but it is so cool to watch anyway. Yes.
Anyway thank you so much for coming on the show Todd. If anybody wants to find you where can they find your online?
Kray: Excellent. And I'm going to put that in the description for everyone as well. Thanks again for coming on, for those listening and watching at home. Thank you so very much, and we will see you next time.
Todd: Thank you. Kray, I'm going to shake your hand, ok?
Kray: Shaking Hands!
Kray: All right thank you very much everybody!