Dealers in magic have far more responsibility and influence than many of them would think. For many magicians, the dealer is the first instance to call upon in their search for the “newest one” or “the best”. Because a lot of hobbyists don’t have the time or capabilities to build their own stuff, it is natural they prefer to resort to the ready-made solutions offered by dealers.
People these times tend to shy away from getting into the trouble of building their own props. And, sometimes, this is simply not possible. Who wants to install a leather workshop, just to sew his own trick wallets?
For me, the responsibility of a magic dealer is vast. Not only do they help their customers in the decision of what trick or routine to perform, but they are also actively engaged in the look and feel of the performances resulting thereof. It is the props people are using that partly shape the look and feel of magic for the public.
I wonder why there is so much crap sold. Sometimes, these props don’t even function properly. The effects are weak, or flawed method-wise. Or they are cheap, sub-level solutions. Made just to be sold to an unsuspecting and unknowing soul.
A development in the wrong direction is that we have more and more “dealers” that are not magicians, and they lack practical performance experience. They are there just to sell some crap and make some money. The rest is not of interest to them. A sad development.
Ken Brooke was the epitome of the perfect magic dealer. A man with huge performing experience, a keen insight into magic and the underlying principles, and a lover of magic. Ken Brooke knew when he saw something good, and he knew what to do with it. His selection of tricks was outstanding, and when you bought something from him, you could rest assured you bought a worker (well, at least in the majority of cases).
A dealer should possess a few qualities:
He should know magic thoroughly.
He should have some performing years under his belt.
He should have a taste.
He should be able to tell what fits the customer and what not.
He should be aware of his responsibility to shape magic.