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Magic supply store: a lot of curious customers but few are buying

2010-03-11 15:50 BJT

The magic shows performed by Liu Qian on two consecutive CCTV Spring Festival Galas have brought many curious customers to the ever-bleak magic supply stores. In one of these stores, located on Wangfujing Street, not only are there props used by Liu Qian but the storeowner can also perform the magic that Liu Qian has done, and has attracted many onlookers. After investigating, reporters found that despite the many curious onlookers in the store, business remains bleak.

The magic shows performed by Liu Qian on two consecutive CCTV Spring Festival Galas have brought many curious customers to the ever-bleak magic supply stores. In one of these stores, located on Wangfujing Street, not only are there props used by Liu Qian but the storeowner can also perform the magic that Liu Qian has done, and has attracted many onlookers. After investigating, reporters found that despite the many curious onlookers in the store, business remains bleak.
Although he performs seriously, Luo Zhongqiu has not had
good business.

On the afternoon of March 9 on the second floor of Danyao Mansion on Wangfujing Street, 24-year-old Luo Zhongqiu was performing "close-up magic." A one-meter long and two-meter wide counter was his stage, and he was surrounded by many curious onlookers speaking in many different tongues. Despite photos being taken of him from many different directions, Luo seemed very calm. Using the playing cards, he was performing magic similar to that Liu Qian had done on the CCTV Spring Festival Galas.

"Can you perform the magic tricks Liu Qian has done?" is the question that Luo has heard over and over recently. Every time a person shows a little curiosity, Luo will chat with him. After several dialogs, Luo will be asked to do the magic tricks performed by Liu Qian. "Indeed, Liu Qian has increased the popularity of magic," said Luo. Then, he repeatedly imitated Liu Qian and chatted with the audience while pulling coins and playing cards and out of his pockets.

Because Luo's store is located beside the elevator on the mansion's second floor, every customer going upstairs can see his counter right away. Although it is in a good position, Luo has to keep beckoning and shouting to potential customers. "Few people really want to buy the magic supplies." These magic supplies are priced at just tens of yuan, from the ordinary magic playing cards and magic iron hoops to complicated props, they are all not very expensive, compared with the other toys sold in the market. "There are many people who enjoy my magic show." When Luo vividly performs the close-up magic, there are always many audiences around him. But once the game is over, the audiences will leave while talking with each other in high spirits. There are few people who stay and ask about the prices.

A mother and her daughter were watching his magic show and the daughter really enjoyed it. But the mother wanted to leave with her child. In order to keep the potential client, Luo performed another magic trick in which he made a handkerchief disappear. This time, the mother also was interested. She asked Luo to perform it once again because she could not figure out how he did it. But Luo said to her, "Sorry, I can't." Luo told reporters that the close-up magic can only be done once because if he performs it many times, the mystery will be discovered and the audience will lose interest. Therefore, the mother left with her child.

"The magic seems not fit for modern day China," said Luo, who only completed a primary school education. He can tell this feeling but has no way to explain it so he gave an example: when the 2010 CCTV Spring Festival Gala came to an end, various kinds of articles uncovering the mystery of Liu Qian's magic began to spread on the Internet like mad. Uncovering the mystery of Liu Qian is a major factor that contributed to the increase in popularity of magic. "But it's not like that in foreign countries," said Luo. What the foreigners enjoy is the fun of the magic itself. Actually, the magic really is the game played by a few people, after all, only the rich people can afford it," said Luo.

Editor: Shi Taoyang | Source: