Part 2: Twelve assembly shows make up the roster of Scheer Genius Productions

John Abrams: 

You have trailer shows, and you have one-man shows. Now are all of those educational school assemblies?

Doug Scheer:

Yeah. All but one. My one show that I do, it’s called the Laugh Factory. You know what, this kind of takes me back to your introduction. I don’t like being called a magician. I don’t call myself a magician. It’s not that I hate it and despise it, but there’s kind of a big back story to that. So, my magic show I actually call the Laugh Factory. It’s a comedy magic show for kids, but I don’t call it a magic show. That is the only show that I do that is not educational.

It’s 100 percent fun and silly, and it’s a family night show or it’s a cub scout blue and gold banquet show or it’s a fair or festival show. Everything else is learning based and fun but also completely educational. To go back to the introduction, the reason I’m not calling myself a magician is because when you call yourself a magician, I think you pigeonhole yourself. I learned that a long time ago. And back when I started doing shows for money, doing birthday parties when I was 15, 16 years old, there was a magic club in town, and it was run by a guy named Milt Kort. Milt Kort was a famous close-up magician, wrote a lot of books. Also there was a guy named Clare Cummings. Clare was one of our local celebrities. He was one of the Twin Pines, Milky the Clowns. And Karrell Fox, who is also a big name in the magician community. These guys are all my mentors. 

And they used to get together with us in a mall once a month and teach us magic and tell us it wasn’t magic they were teaching. They were teaching us presentation. But, I started looking at the guys around me. They all called themselves magicians, and I’m like, oh, man, and out of complete and total arrogance, I didn’t want to be associated with some of these guys because they weren’t very good. At least in my know-it-all 16-year-old mind I figured, these guys are horrible, and I’m ten times better.

As a 16-year-old, you’re better than everybody, you know everything. When you’re looking back on it, you’re an arrogant jerk. But, I didn’t call myself a magician. I started calling myself a children’s entertainer or children’s performer. And I kept on doing that, and then as I got older and more mature and probably in the past 20 years of my life, I kept not calling myself a magician, not out of arrogance and thinking I was better than everybody else, but because I was not anywhere near the quality of what a real magician was.

When you look at these guys now that are out there doing stuff, you look at the guys that have got their own shows in New York, and you look at the guys that are on TV, and you look at these sleight of hand guys, oh my gosh, these guys deserve the title of magician. I do not deserve the title of magician because I’m a terrible sleight of hand artist. I don’t know any card tricks. There’s so much I don’t know that I no longer call myself a magician. Not because out of arrogance but out of simple respect for the guys that do. It’s almost like being knighted. I think it’s a title you can’t bestow upon yourself. I think it has to be earned. 

John Abrams: 

There’s a couple of great lessons in that. I’m kind of the same way. I have my school assembly shows that I do, and I have a number of magic tricks that I do. But, overall, I’m an entertainer, and I bill, and I sell, and I market the school shows as entertainment shows. I don’t call them a magic show. I call it the Bully Game, Random Acts of Character, et cetera, et cetera. They seem to sell better there too. Because like you’re saying, I’m not pigeonholed in that magic market.