Art & Design
Posted by G. Raymond Leavold
05. Oct, 2011
Bernard’s Magic Shop has been a Melbourne fixture for as long as I can remember, and it was with great sadness that I walked past where it used to be on Elizabeth Street a few months ago to find it no longer there.
Thankfully, it hadn’t closed down, but had moved upstairs, its entrance only a little further up the street.
At this point, I must confess: I love magic. I guess it’s both the kid and the show-off in me, for not only do I love watching magic—it’s one of the few things in my life that I can look upon with a complete lack of cynicism—but I also really enjoy learning magic tricks.
Though, like my fondness for yo-yos, I go through bouts of interest with learning magic. Maybe once every year I’ll get back into it for a month or so, sharpening the tricks I already know whilst trying to add a couple more to my repertoire. I felt that urge again recently, so I decided to make my annual trip to Bernard’s.
A lot broader and more expansive than the old store, the new Bernard’s in a huge room full of all things magical. As well as selling magic tricks, ‘How-To’ magic DVDs and other magic-related paraphernalia, Bernard’s sells costumes, masks and memorabilia, including what no magic store should be without: a couple of creepy vintage ventriloquist dolls.
Don’t get too comfortable. They’ve got the keys for the cabinet.
Though you might expect someone like Mario from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure to be working behind the glass-counter, the staff are a little more straight-laced, but what I found great was their enthusiasm about others who want in, particularly younger up-and-coming magicians. Whilst I was there, one of the staff members was helping a young fellow choose a specific magic-set that was at a difficulty-level that he could handle. I thought that was really sweet: that Bernard’s isn’t just out to sell the most expensive product, but a product suited to its magician’s competency. They have tricks and sets for amateurs, intermediates and all the way up to professional working magicians.
Give magic a go, I say. It’s great to pull out a trick or two at parties, and it can be used to impress girls and children… not that impressing children is on my to-do list, nor should it be on yours… God, I’ll stop now. Magic can sometimes be creepy enough without adding more misunderstandings into the mix:
‘See you in your nightmares!’
Bernard’s Magic Shop
L1/187 Elizabeth St
Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sat 10am – 4pm
Renowned Melbourne bars Bimbo Deluxe and Lucky Coq will be pitting their ace pizzas against each other at Pimp My Pizza to see who will reign "supreme".
After hefty renovations, the Terminus Hotel is finally back in action!
Melbourne's Punch Lane celebrates its 20th anniversary. Quite a feat!
The Guerrilla Gameshow is on again, this time with a vintage Halloween theme!
Self-taught artist tohm has dedicated his second exhibition to nothing but the colour black. A dark event indeed.
The MTC's latest challenges the perception of war in modern suburbia through two very different families.