Close-up magicians in NYC haunt the Monday Night Magic after-dinner show, despite the rotten pay, to land lucrative Bar Mitzvah and private party gigs. This NYPress story about Monday Night Magic is a great look into the camaraderie and rivalry in close up magic.
"Todd's pick-up line is, 'Hey darling, pick a lamp'," Swiss explains. "Then he walks over to the lamp, unscrews a lightbulb and eats it. No magic. He just eats it. And, man, nobody's gonna be amazed that you produced their card after that."
"And he's married," complains Chaut. "Why not me?"
"Well, the ladies just love carnies," says the sword-swallowing, fire-eating Doc Swan. "You wanna know what the secret is?" Everyone leans closer. "It's the freak thing," he explains, in a hushed, satisfied southern drawl. "They know you're different, but they all wanna know if it, you know, is normal too." He glances down at his crotch. "And, I tell them, 'Sure, the middle one is…'"