Blog

Magic is A Sweet Deception

This is the audio introduction to my Sharpo!® Stage Magic act:
Magic is a sweet deception. Comedy is the ugly truth. I offer both. I use cons and deceptions to illustrate the truth. That there is always more than meets the eye. Sure I am deceiving you… but I am honest about it!

The greatest effect in all of magic is in how it transforms adults into kids again. It reminds us of the joy, mystery and wonder that is everywhere around us and that anything is possible.

The human mind contains the most powerful magic in all of creation. We conceive, believe and achieve whatever we fix our mind to manifest.

Transformation begins with Imagination.

Open your mind to the possibilities.
And remind yourself that “what I speak -I create!”

Pencil Shrine
Sharpo!® Onstage at the Shrine Auditorium 
Then the announcer says:  “Put your hands together for…Sharpo!®” and then we begin.   I love magic and I love to share my magic with everyone.

Onward and Upward in 2020

ace bet business card

It was Plato who said:  “Necessity is the mother of invention.”   It was H. G. Wells who said “Adapt or perish.” Me?  C. S. Lewis said  “Onward and upward!”  Here’s how Sharpo!® plans to survive and thrive with the changes to the gig economy in 2020.

California AB 5 (Gig Economy Bill)  has been signed into law.  In the 30 plus years  that I have been entertaining at parties and events, performers in California have been treated as independent contractors.   Most event and party performers I know loved this arrangement. BUT this new law changes everything for freelancers who just  want a “gig”.    Me?   I am a business owner so it remains super easy for clients to contract with my company.   I pass the ABC test with flying colors.    What I am not is  a “hiring entity.”  I don’t employ “workers. ”  The costs would be pohibitive.

My solution?   Sharpo.com

I have created a fantastic one person mystery and magic show  for parties and  it  is a smash hit!  I have developed it over the course of many years and countless performances.   I know that  you may picture in your mind  a troupe for your murder mystery party.  Let me tell you why I believe my Sharpo!® One Person Murder Mystery & Magic Show is the best choice for your event.

In addition to  the  commitment and personal attention  I give to  making my clients’ events the best they can be, and my proven thirty year track record, and my rave reviews…

1. My Murder Mystery & Magic Show includes my incredible close up and parlor magic!  The perfect ice breaker during cocktails and mingling. I don’t think that my ‘ competitors’  can say the same.

2.  My Murder Mystery & Magic Show is super interactive.  Over the years I discovered I can give most of the “bit parts” to audience members and party guests which makes the program so much more interactive and so much more fun for everyone – and – there are no scripts to learn or lines to memorize…I utilize audience members for memorable moments improvisationally through the course of the program.

3.  My events are  priced much more reasonably and affordably.    Less performers means lower production costs!

4. You get me personally at the show! Since I can only book one event per time frame my appearance is more rare, more special and more valuable. I don’t think my competitors can say the same. Those  generic murder mystery companies book as many events as they can for the same time frame and staff the events with far less experienced players.

5.  My show reduces risk and liability!  Those very talented but far  less experienced players who are working for my competitors are likely being paid very little for their time and performances and may in fact  be in violation of the new California labor laws . Sure – their business model frees up the time for marketing and many of these companies are very very good at that.  But “Sell the sizzle and not the steak?” I think you deserve better than that.  You deserve the best and that is why I’m here.

6  Big casts are superfluous!  People have long associated  murder mystery shows with theater troupes.   I always get a chuckle when I hear that other companies promise to send four, five, six or even more players for a murder mystery event.  Fact:  In my many years of experience, I have discovered that most of these other players, no matter how talented, are severely underutilized in these situations.  Most events actually only need one really great head-liner  -the life of the party guy, who can raise the roof and make your party the event of the year!

7. No Shlock!   The cliched  “Murder Mystery Acting Troupe” with several costumed characters doing over the top performances with phony Brittish accents or New York Gangster dialects  is thankfully a thing of the past. I can tell you with certainty: Most audiences today don’t want that shlock. They want to be actively engaged and participate in an exciting and rare  shared experience that will invoke cherished memories for years to come.   Likewise the idea of hiring several actors to come to your party with some of them “blending in” to the audience is a strange notion.  Some of my competitors in the mystery business actually boast that they do this.  For the life of me I can’t understand why you would want to hire professional actors to come and essentially do… nothing?  Your party is chock full of suspects.  You don’t need audience “ringers” if you have Sharpo!®

HERE’S MY BUSINESS CHECKLIST:

I am a sole proprietor, operating a small business in Los Angeles, California.  Current FBN?  Check.  I am DBA “Sharpo Entertainment Productions.”  Business Checking Account ?  Check.   EIN?  Check.  City of L.A. Tax Registration Certificate? Check. General Liability Insurance? Check.    Brand Trademark?  Check.  “Sharpo!®” is a registrered Trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Registration #  3900527.  Check, Check, Check.     All my ducks are in a row.

When you make your buying decision on what entertainment to choose for your party I hope you will consider these important factors and then remember that CSI Means “Call Sharpo In.”

Creating Original Magic Routines:

I didn’t go to “Magic University”.  I started my journey in magic many years ago by going in to the Hollywood Toy and Magic shop and buying tricks. Then to the Magic Apple on Ventura Blvd which was closer to my house.  

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Photo by Leo Cardelli on Pexels.com

Then online at the various shops. The tricks came with instructions plus the shop keeper would give a quick demonstration and some plug and play patter and…voila! Suddenly I was a magician!  (Or so I thought). Over the course of a few years I filled shelves and drawers with tricks. Some I did only once or twice for audience members and others I never did at all. Some tricks I did all the time.  The workers. The convincers. The “wow” effects.

Even though some purchases languished on the shelves, all of this was a big part of my education as a magician.  After a while I started to recognize some principles

 at work that were employed for many tricks. I learned the utility moves to achieve the effects.  Over time and in front of many audiences I started to adapt the routines and make them my own. A spontaneous comment here and there in front of audiences that got good laughs and responses became part of the routines.  A substitute sleight used here or there because conditions warranted the change continued to improve my presentations…

Then as my passion for the craft grew I bought  video courses online by many of the greats. I started reading volumes of instruction.  Some made perfect sense, others made my eyes glaze over. Still I persisted.  

I then had the audacity to not only adapt routines and patter to make my presentations unique to my act, but to create entirely new routines of my own!  This I did with cards and coins and then bits and pieces and props from all the purchased tricks I had lying about. I also developed a magician’s eye and when shopping in dollar stores, and department stores I would find items that could be used for tricks.  

It is important to learn and grow and never stop trying to improve our craft.  Many GOOD magicians never move beyond performing their store-bought tricks exactly the way the instructions tell them.  They know it works and are content with the results. GREAT magicians, however, adapt routines and create brand new routines using the lessons contained in these tricks to make truly unique presentations that really wow audiences and elevate the performer and the craft to a whole new level.

A client recently asked me to make the guest of honor appear at her event in a magical way but the performance locations had unique challenges so I reverse engineered a tremendous stage effect that made the event a smash hit.  

When Master Magician, Micah Cover, invited me to perform in the 13th annual Night of the Raven at the world famous Magic Castle, I created an original routine using a well known method BUT I disguised the method in the presentation. I went back and performed again last year in the same program and again adapted a fairly famous routine but married it to the theme of the program and made it new again for that audience.

Micah has asked me back again this year for  the 15th annual Night of the Raven at the Magic Castle.  His production team asked for a short description of the act for the program…I wrote something very generic as to keep the element of surprise – and also because I had no idea what I was going to do.  This did not go over well with the planners who wanted to know what I planned to do. I thought about it and then I saw lying on the shelf a particular prop that I had paid $65 for three years earlier.  I used it once and it went over well but not amazing. I thought about it. How could I use this incredible magic prop to tell a story worthy of my magic castle audience. I thought about Edgar Allen Poe – since the Night of the Raven is an homage to his genius.  I thought about what a tortured soul he was – I knew this because I have seen my dear friend, Duffy Hudson perform his award winning one man Poe show many many times over the years. I thought about the madness of Poe, the loneliness, the mystery of the character and then…inspiration struck like lightning!  I wrote out a script and I shot it over to Micah. He loved it. I then tried it out for several audiences – they flipped their wigs! It was huge. It is now a regular part of my parlor act.

I was driving to a show two nights ago and inspiration came again.  I could think of nothing but a new method for an old routine. I worked on it feverishly and then this morning tried it out on the  hardest audience I know: My pre-teen kids and their grandpa. Eureka! It worked like a charm.

Such it the process.  Such is the adventure.  Such is the passion, the fever, the obsession that my art has become for me.  I guess when I sum up this post I can say that the key – the secret – the real trick- is to dare to make the magic your own.  Let your magical self shine through and never stop learning and growing.  

You say Abracadabra.  I will say “LIMUTA!” (Let Inspiration Move Us To Action).

Sharpo Magic!