Whenever I'm back in Seattle for any period of time there are certain places I have to eat at, Alfy's Pizza, Dick's Hamburgers and Scott's Bar and Grill, but there's only one shoppe that I must visit. Located on the second floor of historic Pike Place Market, you know the place where they play catch with fish, is the shoppe that makes me feel like Charlie walking into the chocolate factory. Market Magic and Novelty is where, as a small child, I was introduced to the world of magic and my first tricks, sponge balls and cups and balls. Since then I have purchased ninety percent of my magic from them that ranges from Scotch and Soda to Hopping Half and Three Card Monty to Harry Anderson's Needle Through The Arm.
My most recent pilgrimage reminded me why I take up magic six months out of every three years (it's even in my profile!) and that's because the proprietors are warm, welcoming and amazing people who love magic and want to inspire you to do the same. I promise you there's no place like it this side of the Mississippi and I've visited them all (slight exaggeration). I walked in and Shelia Lyon, one of the owners, lit up when I explained how this was my must stop when I visited the Emerald City. We talked about the tricks I've purchased over the years and what magic shops I visited in L.A. as well as our mutual love of the Magic Castle in Hollywood. When I explained that only wanted to start my magic back up after visiting her shoppe Sheila smiled and whipped out some magic tricks that will soon be gracing my trick chest.
Since I love this place, and I want you to check it out I e-mailed Sheila and her partner Darryl Beckmann some questions about Market Magic and Novelty and they were more than kind enough to tell us about them and their shoppe.
A brief history of Market Magic and Novelty: The Magic shop is owned by Sheila Lyon and Darryl Beckmann. Darryl started the shop as a class project while attending Evergreen State College. He started performing about 7 years old and was on all the local TV shows as a young magician. He then performed in Europe and when the army came back to Seattle to go to college. www.marketmagicshop.com
How Sheila got started: Sheila Lyon ran a private school for children and when she met Darryl she figured she had already been doing magic at the school just without props. She went on to be Seattle's number one children's performer. Latter she became interested in the history of magic and mentalism. Sheila now does a mind reading fortune telling act called Palms UP! www.SheilaLyon.com
Darryl and Sheila's specialties: Darryl and Sheila wrote and published a book on Alexander the Man Who Knows. Their passion is turn of the century posters of variety artists. Sheila has also written a book called Palms Up and several other books for the working mentalist
Market Magic and Novelty Experiences: Their best experiences at the magic shop are the customers. One time the Chinese Acrobatics and Flying Karamatsa Brothers were all in the shop doing cool things. Harry Anderson from night court, Doug Henning, Penn Teller, Cris Katan (SNL) and many others have frequented the shop
Advice for beginners: For those just starting out they would say it is the performance not the prop. Do it, do it and do it some more. Take acting and movement classes and have fun!
I'm in Seattle for awhile and I'll definitely be visiting Market Magic & Novelty again soon, they have a mental trick that'll be great at parties! Sigh... I guess my six months start now.