We had the good fortune of connecting with Brent Geris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brent, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are quite a few different factors in why I think (and I hope) my business has been able to stay open for 17 years! I LOVE magic and have since I was a little kid so there is a love of what I do that helps me unlock the doors everyday. I am not just a person that is selling a product but an actual performing magician that TRULY cares about the art and the secrets of magic. There are often times that people come in to my shop that just want to learn a quick trick or two to pick up someone at the bar or just to impress some friends and I know exactly what to sell them. I am not looking to sell these types of customers a book, or a 3 hour DVD or some intense sleight of hand magic, but for about twenty bucks, they will get a few great close-up (and easy) tricks to perform for their friends. It is my hope, that after their first visit, and there first “performance,” that these people come BACK to the shop and continue to buy magic and maybe..JUST MAYBE they take it more seriously down the road. I also have customers that love magic as a hobby, they have been doing it for years and they just want something new to practice and show their magic friends and I know exactly what to sell them. Of course there are professionals that come in that just need “refills” on things or just want to pop in and say hello. There is always a market for magic books and if I can, I’ll sell a book to ANY person that shows an interest in magic! I want people that buy magic at The Magic Apple, actually PERFORM it! I will never sell a kid his/her first magic trick that is too hard! Magic can be (and often is) very discouraging because IT IS HARD! A lot of people think after they buy the initial beginner close up things, they are a magician and want to buy products that are simply too hard for them, and I try to steer them to a more appropriate product that makes them happy, something they can actually perform and, get them to come back. I like to give the example “If you wanted to be a high-diver, you must first learn to swim. Or if you want to learn Mozart, you must first learn Baa Baa Black Sheep. The same goes with magic, start with the beginner stuff and then SLOWLY, you’ll be able to understand the more advanced magic. I am a truthful magic dealer as well! There are THOUSANDS of new magic products a year that come out, but if the ad copy, the video demo or there are lies in the content, I’ll send it back to my supplier. There is nothing worse than a new person in magic watching a video demo that looks INCREDIBLE with fast cuts, upbeat music and incredible reactions but the product itself is terrible! I try my best to be truthful in what I sell, I demo magic that is the right type of magic for that customer. The Magic Apple – The Magic Store on the Second Floor has been around because I do carry more magic than any other shop in Southern California, plus I teach one on one (and group) magic lessons AND consult for TV and film. The magic community is a pretty tight group, and yes there are idiots and jerks in this group, but I’d like to think we all have a similar common goal, we all want to be better magicians and performers. If I can help someone create a routine, or ‘clean up a move’ or simply rent an illusion, as long as I feel I am bettering the art of magic, I’ll try my best. I’ve seen some kids come in to The Magic Apple as their FIRST EVER magic shop and some are now professional magicians, or ‘influencers’ on social media. Yup, it makes me feel old but it also makes me feel good to help someone grow and become successful in the art!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think I may be the only magic shop owner that not only performs in the shop, but works full-time as a professional magician. I perform at private parties, corporate events, schools, The Magic Castle and everything in between. I get to see all the hottest and newest magic as it gets released and can test it out (if I have time) and give HONEST recommendations to my customers. I am just a small business owner that is trying to keep my doors open with honest sales, good magic, helping advance the art of magic and keep people that don’t deserve it away from my shop. Magic is one of the OLDEST art forms ever and there are A LOT OF PEOPLE that should not be performing magic, or don’t respect the artform but I try and give honest opinions as much as I can and offer help where I can. We also (when times were different) offer magic lectures in our shop! I have had magicians from all over the world fly in to give lectures to my customers, friends and fellow magicians. The Magic Apple not only sells, performs and teaches magic but I have my own line of magic products! I feel like I know what sells well, what people want and the skill level of most individuals. I have produced a few magic DVDs, and have over a dozen magic tricks on the market including 2 hard bound books (Best of All Worlds and The Magic Apple LIVE). I have also teamed up and released 5 decks of cards (with 2 more coming soon). I work ALL DAY in the shop even when customers are not in the shop. Whether I’m learning a new trick to demo, or to add to my performance, or making a social media post, or creating new products, my days are BUSY from the minute I open to the minute I close!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d of course head to The Magic Castle in Hollywood for some drinks and awesome street tacos – oh and of course great magic (usually). Then maybe I’d head out to Dodger Stadium to watch a game and then if there are still more days left in our week, I’d show them Staples Center in my season seats at the Clippers game! Of course the beaches are fun too. I am from Canada and I have a lot of a family still there so when they visit, of course we do all of the above plus maybe a theme park or two! I love nothing more than to support small businesses like myself so I’ll head downstairs from my shop to the Sushi House or Reno’s Pizza for a bite. There are some great small coffee shops that I’d like to visit too! And of course the legendary Henry’s Tacos in Studio City!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife, who is possibly the greatest kindergarten teacher ever!! Especially now, during these ‘virtual” and distance learning situations.
Yelp: The Magic Apple
Other: email: MagicAppleStore@gmail.com