After a show one of the most common questions asked of me by audience members is “Do you have any suggestions where to get props for my son or daughter who is interested in magic”? I always answer the same way. Denny & Lee’s. Denny & Lees magic shop is an actual “brick & mortar” magic shop located in Baltimore Maryland with a second location now in Las Vegas Nevada. They call it a “brick and mortar” shop because it is neither only online or a catalog but two actual physical locations. That’s important because Denny is always available from 10am to 10pm to answer calls for orders or to offer advice on a particular effect. Also, if you’re in the area he offers inexpensive lectures in his shop by some of the best working magicians in the business.
If you, your child or spouse or whomever wants to learn magic or get props I suggest Denny & Lee’s. Unlike online magic sites Denny knows his products quite thoroughly and is frank about advice. He doesn’t hesitate to steer you away from a product that is less worthwhile than advertised or point you in the direction of something that is better suited to your level. Many times his candor and helpfulness has ended with “If you can get that book on Amazon for that price snatch it up”! That’s rare in any field and certainly not common in magic.
Denny Haney the owner of Denny & Lee’s is a professional magician respected in the field. In the 80′s and 90′s he was a top college and then corporate entertainer sharing the bill with some of the biggest stars of that time. This is a man who made his living by performing magic and who’s knowledge of the subject came from serious study and working professionally for decades. Anyone who makes magic their vocation understands the elements of – level of material, appropriateness of material, angles and other performing conditions that will make or break an effect. That’s the kind of expertise Denny brings to the shop, an understanding of all of the elements of an effect, and he’s very giving of his knowledge.
We go to magic shops or talk to other magicians not just for “tricks” but advice. I would encourage those who call often and ask advice of Denny to demonstrate loyalty in the best way you can to a store; purchase your effects and books there. It’s one sided and unfair to exhaust someone’s knowledge only to make your purchases elsewhere for the “massive” savings of a dollar or two. That online shop etc won’t be there to ask questions of when your handling of the prop or technique seems awkward, or when you want to compare the quality of two close but different pieces of magic.
So if you’re interested in learning magic or helping someone to learn it please weigh my advice. I still call Denny and ask his thoughts on magic and purchase every prop I can through him. He’s a great guy, a great resource and a great recommendation to anyone interested in learning magic.
Remember, never be disappointed in the “secret” to an effect. No one is disappointed in the secret to a piano or guitar. Those instruments you understand you have to master and practice to learn. Magic and it’s secrets are the same.
Magic effects and illusions aren’t gadgets like an iPad or DVR. They require practice before performing and don’t work themselves “out of the box”. Practice and rehearse a new effect 50 to 100 times by yourself in front of a mirror before showing anyone at all.