Advise:What Do I Do Then?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.
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artificekardz
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Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby artificekardz » June 15th, 2013, 9:41 am

Hello,
I'm a first time poster to the forum. I've been studying close up magic for about a year and a half now and I'm quite frustrated. To be honest I'm not sure which direction to go, so who better to ask then fellow illusionists. Let me explain, I've been attempting to perform illusions/tricks that I have discovered fit my personality and feel will draw a strong emotional response from my spectators. Since I work a day job its hard for me to make it to a local shop, so I spend my time searching and studying on the web. Some of the illusions I have become fond of and have used on my "test" subjects (friends and family) have created amazing moments and good times. That's why I fell in love with magic so quickly, it brings you closer to the people you're performing for. I've been noticing another MAJOR online magician forum (you may know which one I'm talking about if you search magician forum on google), that every illusion I research, every up and coming performer I see gets heavily bashed and hazed upon by the posters there. I really thought there was a little more heart in magic, not bitterness. Almost all of these illusions are from online companies, which is my only means of discovery and inspiration are knocked down as "When I saw this I could see how it was done, so sloppy, not very clean". I personally have found a few little gems that I have made my own from the likes of Ellusionist and Theory11. Although, I do a lot of my researching through Penguin or Fantasma. My BURNING question is, if every thing I'm interested is so negatively viewed by the magic community, then what should I be focusing on? Instead of performing Pressure by Daniel Garcia and Dan White, should I be performing sponge balls? Instead of Branded by Tim Trono, should I be focusing on Aces routines? I really need some help deciphering which illusions are a "waste of time" and which are the ones that will be more sufficient. I really would like to be the best that I can be and with the online communities as my only help, where do I turn?

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby Bob Cunningham » June 15th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Hi Artifice,

Your first post on this forum is very densely packed with questions and observations. Let me try to address a few of them.

First, welcome to the best magic form on the Internet (IMHO - where adults go to talk about magic). People here are very friendly and helpful unless you are acting like a jackass. In that event a member named "Mr. Goat" appears to be in charge of verbally disciplining jackass behavior :-)

You didn't ask about this but Richard has a very mature (I would say journalistic) view about information here. When you want to refer to "The Magic Cafe" you don't need to be around the bush. The same is true for magical terms i.e. you don't need to write "DL" for double lift etc.

Addressing the main body of your post: The main thing in magic (as a hobby) is that you are enjoying yourself. If you and your audience are enjoying magical effects that others do not appreciate, my advice is to ignore the opinion off other magicians. In spite of the time that we spend on discussion boards like this, the truth is that the opinions of people that you have never met (and may never meet) are of far less value the opinions of the people that you are performing for!

Having said that, Magic classics like the sponge balls and four ace effects are classics because they have such a profound impact on audiences. If you are PERFORMING magic then you should be concerned with the experience of your audience. It is often the case that many of today's "hottest tricks" do not have the same impact on an audience as some of the time-tested classics.

You will also find that the classics are less expensive than whatever the hottest trick is from the latest Magic shop. A book (or quality DVD) Is much less expensive than the latest effect that you will find a magic shop. Also, I have noticed that the "trick du jour" is likely to be in my junk drawer five years from now. But my ambitious card routine is something I perform a couple of times every week.

That's my two cents, I am sure others here will have more insights for you.

Good luck to you,

Bob

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artificekardz
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby artificekardz » June 15th, 2013, 2:31 pm

Thank you Bob for your sincere kindness and advice. I'm already getting the feeling I'm going to like it here at Genii. I highly agree with the ambitious routine comment you made. Although I like some of the new tricks, that and Do As I Do are among my favorites. I have been slowly working my way through the Royal Road to Card Magic and also the Ernase. I have recently discovered a love of coin sleights and as I don't see many "modern" magicians perform these classics, what do you recommend to start with? I'm also interested in a pack small torn and restored card routine, any advise on that? Again thank you so much for your help!
Cheers!
-Chad

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 15th, 2013, 2:47 pm

Hi Chad, welcome.
Simple advice: do what you like and practice.
A good torn and restored card can be found in LePaul's book on card magic. No gimmicks and you can do it surrounded.
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artificekardz
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby artificekardz » June 15th, 2013, 6:06 pm

Thanks Richard. Do you know if there is a PDF of the book from any of the retailers? Also, what do you think about the needle and thread swallow illusion? I saw an old black and white video of a stage act do it once and I've been thinking of learning the technique.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 15th, 2013, 8:13 pm

No pdf: just buy "The Card Magic of LePaul." There are inexpensive paperback versions out there, but the photos are poorly printed. Try to find a hardcover printed by Tannens.

I don't know squat about needles and thread, sorry. You might consult Bruce Elliott's book "Classic Secrets of Magic."
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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby Bob Cunningham » June 15th, 2013, 9:09 pm

Just to add to Richard's thoughts: "Classic Secrets" does have a great write up on the razor blades and thread trick (chapter 10.) This is available as an e-book from Amazon (Kindle.)

The Hindu Needles by Rodger Crosthwaite is written up in "The Art of Close up Magic" by Lewis Ganson. Available as an e-book here: http://www.lybrary.com/art-of-closeup-m ... 98665.html

Also, the "Tarbell Course Magic" has a good write up on the needle and thread trick. The original mail order version of the "Tarbell Course" is in the public domain. If you send me a PM with your email address, I will be happy to send you Tarbell's write up on the needles and thread trick.

/Bob

Bill Mullins
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby Bill Mullins » June 15th, 2013, 11:37 pm

artificekardz wrote: . . . every illusion I research, every up and coming performer I see gets heavily bashed and hazed upon by the posters there. I really thought there was a little more heart in magic, not bitterness.



Artifice (may I call you Art?) --

One of magic's most profound thinkers, Max Maven, was profiled in Genii in Nov 2007, and as part of that profile he said something that has stuck with me ever since, and might be worth your consideration when you get disheartened by the online commenters:

"Magicians let me down all the time. But magic has never let me down."

Pay no attention to them. Do a trick instead. You'll feel better, and if you do a good trick, you'll make someone else feel better too.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby erdnasephile » June 16th, 2013, 7:21 am

Chad:

Welcome to the Genii Forum--I find your enthusiasm refreshing!

My best advice is to remember that this is just a hobby for you--explore and do what you like with it. There are no right or wrong choices here--it's supposed to be fun, and only you can determine what is or what isn't for you.

That said, for someone who is 1.5 years into this, you could do no better than to acquire The Tarbell Course in Magic because it will give you such a foundation in the art that will serve you for the rest of your life. (Better yet, if you can, drive the 250 miles to Baltimore and go to Denny & Lee's in Baltimore and buy Tarbell 1 from him--you won't regret it!)

Edward Pungot
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby Edward Pungot » June 16th, 2013, 9:50 am

I never had a father growing up as a child. Magic became sort of a way to fill that void.

Part of the allure of learning magic through the printed page is very much like reading a novel that eventually gets turned into a movie. I think we can all safely agree that our imaginations greatly trump what even today’s most advanced “movie magic” technology can dish out. Why?

Because of what is left out, of what you bring into the gaps.

My recommendation to you is to search out your surrogate fathers in magic, most of them are still alive today waiting to be a foster father to you in the form of the magic book. They will teach you a lifetime of magical knowledge and make you wise beyond your years.

Finally, remember that with or without a deck of cards or coins or any props in your hands, you can always practice magic. That knowledge is still there inside you. Let it express itself in everything you do.

And to reiterate what has already been said: Have fun!

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artificekardz
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Favorite Magician: David Copperfield
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Re: Advise:What Do I Do Then?

Postby artificekardz » February 20th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Hey guys,
It has been some time since I posted that original post on this and I will say you all have inspired me to great lengths. I love the feeling of camaraderie within the circle of magi here and I have taken every word to heart. I have recently made some new friends here close to my SAM and they have been just as helpful. I still get that childlike feeling I got when I saw Copperfield on my 16th birthday every time I perform for someone and see that gaze of amazement. I have just started reading Paul Harris's first volume of The Art of Astonishment and I can honestly say that this is the best art there is for expression and for just pure enjoyment.
I just wanted to take this moment and thank all of you who replied and provided such kind and inspiring words to a starter like me.
Best Wishes-Chad


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