Learning magic

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby swamy » 06/06/08 11:31 AM

In earliear days beginners get trained in magic under the guidance of experienced performers and the environment was also conducive.

Today beginners find it really difficult to get a grip over the subject or even plan their learning process. First, it is difficult to get an experienced performer, and secondly the knowledge of magic is scattered.
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Postby Dynamike » 11/22/09 01:52 PM

I only had books to rely on during my early days. I was already gifted with the talent.

Nowadays website forums are a lot of help.
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Postby Dynamike » 11/22/09 01:55 PM

I only had books to rely on during my early days. I was already gifted with the talent.

Nowadays website forums are a lot of help.
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Postby Dynamike » 11/22/09 02:49 PM

I only had books to rely on during my early days. I was already gifted with the talent.

Nowadays website forums are a lot of help.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 11/22/09 07:23 PM

But possibly not quite so gifted with using fora? :)

The problem these days, with the proliferation of internet based teaching, is that of credibility. If you take any teaching qualification aimed at the business world, the first thing is always an introduction to establish credibilty - an opening remark that will show your students that you have the authority and knowledge to be at the front of the class (if you don't believe this, have a look at the instructor notes for any Microsoft Certified Teacher course). Many of the instructors on the interwebs have neither the field experience nor the teacher training to be effective, yet new 'instructional aids' - be they DVDs, books or online videos - crop up daily.

It is still possible to find a mentor and learn the old way, but because so much information is available at the click of a mouse, few people will make the effort to go beyond that and seek out someone from whom they will learn. For many it is the continuation of the 'no skill required, learn today' mentality that they assume that magic is something that can be learned in an evening and no extra work need be done.

One advantage of learning online is that geographical boundries are rendered obsolete - I can be sitting in Scotland and learn from someone in California or Sydney, which ten or fifteen years ago would have been prohibitavely expensive and time consuming.

If you do want to learn online, and it is possible, try to find someone with experience in both performing and teaching, and ideally recommended by someone you know and trust. Not every student can learn from every teacher - with one person you may 'click' and the learning process becomes a joy, with another you may get frustrated and make very little progress.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/23/09 04:38 PM

Nobody taught me a thing. I taught myself purely from books.In fact I didn't meet a single magicians for the first two years of my study and I thank the Lord every day for that even though I don't believe in him. I learned how to be good on my own. If I had met magicians before I was ready I would have been influenced by them and been just as bad as they were. I was amazed to find that when I eventually came across magicians 90 per cent of them were nowhere as good as I was.
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Postby Paul Gordon » 11/23/09 09:45 PM

I learnt from books (there were no videos/pdfs etc in the late 60's/early 70's) and at the age of 16, my dear old departed dad said, "If you want to do this thing properly, get off your arse, find a rough pub and do it for real people. Stop fiddle-arsing about at home...go and DO it! You wont learn how to perform in your bedroom (ooh-err) or doing it for the old aunts...do it for real folks!!!" Good advice...in at the deep end! It made me want to learn card magic performing skills from the "performers" - Lorayne, Fechter, Schulian and later, Mullica, Paul Daniels, Rovi and others.

Paul Gordon
Secure Online Magic Shop: http://www.paulgordon.net/shop.html
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Postby johnsonbynight » 11/24/09 09:00 PM

If you find yourself in atlanta georgia, there is a magic store in the Dicover mills mall that will teach anyone any trick that they buy. The store also has a theatre in the back where they have magic classes. Check it out. It' the El Drusso Magic shop. They're just getting started, so the website is pretty threadbare but it will get you to the store. It's a great bunch of people. Check it out http://eldrussomagichouse.com/
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Postby thementalist » 12/18/09 05:26 PM

I agree with the guys above that theres nothing wrong with learning and teaching yourself. There are obviously countless books around on magic and some are very good, but I personally believe today that the internet is the way to go to learn magic. There is simply loads of free information and videos to learn from these days, and if you are willing to spend some money you can get detailed information on just about any trick or technique you can think of simply by typing it in. However whilst you can learn an awful lot on your own, you will still need to practice your performance and for this you will need others.
learn more on mentalism http://www.magic-mentalism.com
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Postby Jager » 12/18/09 08:10 PM

thementalist wrote:I personally believe today that the internet is the way to go to learn magic.

I have to disagree with you there. Have you taken a look at all the crappy magic performances on You Tube? You can learn the secrets to the tricks on the internet but you cannot learn all the performance bits that make the secrets into real magic. You can learn all the secrets about open heart surgery on the internet also but only a seasoned professional heart surgeon can teach you how to do real heart surgery without killing the patient.
I agree with Ian about the credibility issue. Most of the junk you find on the internet is possibly some 16 year old kids interpretation of what he ripped off from some other 16 year old kid who heard it from some other kid.
I will take a book or video or better yet; one on one instruction from a proven name in magic over the internet any day.
I am actually waiting for the [censored] video magic course to become available.
Kelly Smith
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/18/09 10:12 PM

IMHO the student seeking to be a performer can learn more from his audience than from most extant books or videos.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Ted M » 12/19/09 01:26 PM

> In earliear days beginners get trained in magic under the guidance of experienced performers

How true is the premise here?

Tarbell was a very popular mail-order course. Widespread remote/solitary learning of magic has a long history.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 12/19/09 05:13 PM

Jager wrote:
thementalist wrote:I personally believe today that the internet is the way to go to learn magic.

I am actually waiting for the [censored] video magic course to become available.


Alas I think you will have to wait a long time. Even though I know I would make more money out of some kind of video course I don't like to teach that way. Instead I shall write books galore on the subject in the future. There are things you can put in a book that somehow you can't communicate on a video or DVD.

I do have a stage hypnosis course available on DVD if anyone is interested in that particular art. Of course, that wasn't produced by me. Since it was first produced I eliminated a lot of the chaff and now include a study plan. Many people have told me that they have now learned to stage hypnosis shows because of what they learned from my 3 DVDs plus the audiotape. And yet when I eventually write a book about stage hypnosis I just know it will be better to learn from. Books really are the way to go if they are well written. In fact I actually learned stage hypnosis from a book.
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