Where do i go from here?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 08/18/05 11:27 AM

Hello everyone, im am very new to magic. I really want to pursue this art, but need some help. I have learned a few basic card tricks (2 card monte and some forces, also got a pack of Svengali cards) I have looked into getting some books but they just really confuse me with the wording. I want to learn all kinds of tricks and illusions, but have no idea of where to start. Does anyone have any great begginer movies, books, or tricks that will help me get started. Thanks in advance.

Spaeth
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/18/05 11:35 AM

Originally posted by Spaeth:
...I have looked into getting some books but they just really confuse me with the wording. I want to learn all kinds of tricks and illusions, but have no idea of where to start. ...
Magic is a big field. Perhaps you would be best served by spending some time around a magic shop or local SAM/IBM to get a feeling for what you want to learn.

Videos; there are many about different fields of magic. Any kind of magic in particular catch your eye?

About the reading... that is a tough one. Reading skills have their own value. And yes there are lots of things in the older books which leave a bit to the imagination. On the good side, recent books like those by Richard Kaufman have LOTS of very clear illustrations and well written text. Stephen Minch is another good author. The Hilliard books (Greater Magic and The Art of Magic) are well written and may offer you a good start.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 08/18/05 11:48 AM

Thanks for the info, as a more specific field, i like sleights, cards tricks, and close up stuff. My local magic shop is great its just so far for me to drive. Also I dont really know what to tell him, do i ask him to teach me, help me, mentor me, i have only been there once and told him my story of just getting into the art and he suggested more gimmicks and cards which was ok. But i just didnt want to buy something that i wasnt to sure about especially for the price. And the books i looked at there were hard for a novice to understand. I will check out those book you requested and see how they pan out for me.
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Postby Guest » 08/18/05 12:46 PM

I think that many people who develop an interest in performing magic (myself included) overwhelm themselves with hundreds of tricks learned from books and DVD's. A little knowledge about a lot of tricks means that one will not really polish any one of those tricks. It sounds like you're still at a point where you can avoid this common pitfall.

I suggest buying a solid book that explains a classic of magic -- there are many to choose from and your dealer should be glad to help -- and focussing in on a single routine. Pick something that doesn't require a ton of technical skill -- (1) because you don't yet have a ton of skill, and perhaps more importantly (2) because that will allow you to really develop the performance of the effect without getting bogged down in sleights.

Linking rings is one possibility. Another is a rope routine, like Professor's Nightmare.

I understand what your saying about books being a bit confusing at times, but forcing yourself to figure out what the author is explaining will enhance your eventual understanding of the effect. I believe that is one of the benefits of books over video. You're really forced to learn the details.

Learn the effect. Practice the effect. Practice it some more. Once you're ready, try performing it for family and/or friends. If you can, perform it for some more family and/or friends. By focussing in on one routine and performing it for different folks you'll really get to know it and learn a lot about performing that will come in handy later.

This approach can be difficult for the hobbyist, because you will run out of people to perform for, and you'll want to learn more and more tricks to satisfy your audience. Finding new audiences is the only solution to that problem that I can think of (eventually you'll be good enough to go into nursing homes, churches, schools, etc.).

After having learned about and performed magic as a hobbyist/amateur for many years now, I wish I had taken the approach I've descibed above. I am now trying to forget 99% of the tricks I've learned about and polish a few good routines.

Whit Haydn's thoughts on the subject have been inspirational to me (e.g. his Chicago Surprise book).

Good luck and have fun.

-David L.
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Postby Guest » 08/18/05 06:18 PM

Thanks for the advice David, That is so true about over-whelming myself with tricks. As far as audience goes, My family has 6 in it and my wifes family has 11, and my work is another place i perform and call center. Right now my routine consists of *cup and balls, a hot rod, 2 card monte, a force with cutting the deck, and i have the Svengali deck. That is pretty much all i know as of now. After i posted this i went and grabbed what i think is a great book, it is called "The Practical Encyclopedia of Magic By Nicholas Einhorn." It shows step by step with photos for every step for cards, matches, rope, silk, thimbles and money. I will defintley take your advice David and try to find a good routine a polish it up. Thanks again fellas.
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Postby Lee » 08/20/05 11:20 AM

it seems to me that a beginner needs a mentor. Find one. There is a local magic club near you. Find it and attend the meetings.

If you were interested in, say, the Cello, you would hire a teacher. Why not hire a Magic teacher?

For may people, their hobby is learning new cool magic stuff and hanging out with other amateurs. For others, their hobby is studying the history of magic and magicians. For others, their hobby is performing magic.

Which are you? if you want to perform magic, here's an idea. Learn three tricks. Then, go out and perform them over and over again until you get really good at them.

good luck,
lee
-- yikes!
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Postby Gord » 08/20/05 12:52 PM

I know I'm going to get a lot of people going "Why that old thing?" when I say what I'm going to say, but here it is anyway.
If you are looking for a great resource for magic, you can't do better than the "Tarbell Course in Magic."
Yes, I know, it's old, but it is also filled with wisdom and effects in most area's of magic. Close up with cards and coins. Illusions and parlor. Mentalism and impromptu. Plus real world advice which, believe it or not, is not as dated as you may think.
there are also two other very good reasons to try Tarbell. First, there are effects in there that no one, I mean no one is doing. Let's take card trick number one from Tarbell number one. A unique card rise that could be very magically presented and no one is doing it. No one, none at all.
Secondly, (and this may be more important) the books (8 volumes so far. There was a rumered ninth book but it hasn't materialized yet) are dirt cheap. Denny & Lee has the first volume at $20.00 and all other volumes at $25.00. Which means you could buy the first three volumes, filled with great effects and timeless admice, for a little more than the latest flash in the pan book.
You cannot go wrong.
That's just my two cents.

Gord
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Postby Ryan Matney » 08/20/05 04:56 PM

I strongly suggest getting 'Magic For Dummies' and 'The Complete Idiots Guide to magic' Both are fantastic books on general magic with many great, fun, tricks. But there's lots of card stuff in both that you can do right away and practice your performing skills. Both books can be purchased at most booksellers including Amazon.

After that a good buy would be 'Royal Road to Card Magic' by Jean Hugard and Fred Braue. This has sleights and tricks using those sleights. It's a good idea to practice learning from books if it's not a skill that you already have. Again, this book is cheap and on Amazon and if you read it well, you will find great magic.

To see some of the moves in action, Richard Kaufman's dvd "Basic Card Technique' is a good buy. Can be purchased here: http://www.mymagic.com/kaufman.htm There is a multi-volume sets that demonstrate moves by Daryl but this is the best single volume for the money.

This will all take you awhile to digest but after that you will probably want to get the CARD COLLEGE books. But after reading Royal Road and watching the Kaufman dvd you should be able to tackle a pretty broad range of material including people like Peter Duffie, Aldo Colombini, Al Leech.

And that's just for cards!
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Postby Guest » 08/22/05 05:59 PM

My advice to the young man just starting in magic

is go to thje library and borrow wharever they

have on magic. I don't know if there is a Magic

Shop where you live but there was one in Phoenix.

What you need is a mentor, someone who knows more

thn you to lead the way. Lots of luck.....Mike
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Postby Guest » 08/23/05 11:26 PM

thanks fellas for the advice, ive been to my local library and check out almost every book on magic and the history. Ive also got a really good book with step by step photos on how to do some different things. Ill keep you posted on my progress.
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Postby Guest » 08/23/05 11:59 PM

Get the Card College books or the Royal Road to Card magic Book. These books teach only card magic but are the best for beginners and go into very good detail. They also are very easy to read (not too wordy)
Highly recommended

PAN DAEMON AEON
(sic)
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Postby Bill Duncan » 08/24/05 07:51 PM

A second to Mike Walsh's very good advise. The local library may have some good books. I've seen the Henry Hay books in public libraries.

That said, The Dummies book is excellent, inexpensive and fun to read. But most importantly it's VARIED.

If you are new to magic it's helpful to get a taste of a variety of things and the Dummies book and the Mark Wilson Course in Magic are two easy to obtain, inexpensive and accessible books.

And, if you are lucky enough to find a copy of George Andersons The Magic Digest buy it.

Welcome, and good luck finding your way.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 08/25/05 01:41 AM

There are a lot of great books. There are even a few great videos.

But nothing will help you more than finding a sensible magician you can meet with in person. Ask them for help picking out tricks to learn. Ask them to help you with the moves you need. Ask them to watch your tricks before you show them to other people.

This is not easy. Even at a large local club, there are very few sensible magicians who are able to help you with what you need, and are willing to spend the time to help a beginner.

But if you're really serious about magic, do what Vernon did: move to Los Angeles and start going to the Magic Castle.
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Postby Richard Perrin » 08/25/05 05:26 AM

Mark Wilson on magic course was my first "sleigh of hand" and it IS worth to explores. It is very high recomment <sp?>. I move upward to hardest part of sleigh of hands by buying more books and dvds. Heh heh it is a long road for me to catch up the expert but I enjoy them a lot. Now I am a member of IBM and will join SAM near future.
The hardest part for me is to understand the "hearing world" because I am deaf. There are few deaf magicians around the world. In United States, english language is our second language. That is not the main reason in this tread. The main reason is to enjoy while reading book once you finally understood the writers was trying to show you how. I am telling you it IS worth the $!
Oh yeah... This is Richard Perrin of Augusta, GA. (Actually it is near that city)

Go for books and dvds!
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Postby Eric Rose » 08/25/05 12:21 PM

Spaeth,

Check out William's Magic in Tucson. They should be able to hook you up with the local magic club. Tucson has more than its share of good magicians.

Disclaimer - I haven't been in Tucson in more than a year, so its entirely possible that the magic scene there has changed.


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Postby Jim Morton » 08/25/05 03:57 PM

Williams Magic is one of the best magic stores in the country. I'd recommend anyone visiting Tucson to check it out.

Jim
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 10/24/05 08:46 AM

Harry Lorayne wrote a book called "The Magic Book" which discusses all forms of basic close up magic including cards, coins, etc.

Here's the web site on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... s&n=507846
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Postby Guest » 10/24/05 03:17 PM

Spaeth,

Look in the GENERAL section of this forum, and scroll down the topics until you see BEGINNER as a topic. This is more of what your are seeking, so read it as well.

I'll try to post the link here to that place. Try clicking on the line below:

http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 1;t=002120

Jon
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Postby David Alexander » 10/28/05 01:04 PM

Read, "How To Win Friends and Influence People" which uses Thurston as an example in the narrative. Being well-socialized and fun to be around is extremely important. You don't want to be the bore who pushes his tricks on everyone.

Learn a short routine that is fun and entertaining. Learn to do it perfectly and do it when requested and then stop. Ten minutes of entertaining magic is better than a half hour of boring, poorly done tricks.

Add to your repetoire slowly, don't jump from trick to trick before you know what you're doing...don't buy something and then attempt to perform it that night....don't believe dealers' ads when they say "No practice necessary." There is no such trick. Everything requires practice and familiarity with the prop or gimmick.

Books are better than DVDs because they make you think, analyze and understand what you're doing better than simply copying someone you see on a TV screen. Understanding the "why" of what you're doing is as important as the "how."

It is important to leave your audiences always wanting more. That way, you'll always be welcome instead of being seen as a pest who is pushing his tricks on people.

If you're confident in what you're doing, you can have fun with it. Confidence comes out of knowing your material thoroughly.
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Postby Guest » 10/29/05 02:47 PM

You have heared of -- or you shall hear of -- Al Goshman. He was one of the greats. When he first established a reputation for being highly skilled he did ONE trick. At a convention in the fifties the word was out to everyone to see that baker who does the wonderful coin trick.

Probably the best advice you are going to get is what David Alexander gave you immediatley above. He has encapsulated in that short message a lifetime of good advice and counsel. Pay heed. Avoid like the plague the idea of doing lots of tricks. When you can do one better than anyone else then move on to an additional one.
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Postby Guest » 11/02/05 03:42 PM

Get yourself a copy of Mark Wilsons complete course in magic
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