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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Magician needs advice (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Peter Goldfield
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Universe
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Hello,

I'm a young magician who needs some guidance from the more experienced here. As a kid I would make my own props, put on garage shows and spent time reading magic books. I never really had any training or guidance from an older magician on sleight of hand, misdirection etc. I've always felt this to be a weakness of mine. I still remember as an 8 year old being called out for flashing during a burnt money routine.. my little hands just couldn't hide that fiver!

I would like to build a stronger foundation and would really appreciate any advice on the best way to go about it.

Thank you for your time.
Peter
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
davidpaul$
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The cups and balls are a great place to develop sleight of hand skills. There are so many areas in this routine that will help you overall.
Examples: Retention of vision vanish, put and take, in transit actions, timing, learning many sleights under the guise of natural movements. Rafael Benatar has a fantastic DVD on the Cups and balls where he goes into these movements/sleights in detail.
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S6140

Also learning a sponge ball routine will help tremendously. There is an excellent routine in Mark Wilson's book "Complete Course in Magic"
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S3603

It's all about natural movements. Natural movements are difficult when you are trying to duplicate them on purpose.

Once you spend some "TIME" on the above, IMO, the skills you learn will spread to the other areas of your magic.

BUT you have to "ENJOY" the journey!!!! if not, you'll go nowhere fast.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
motown
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Peter,

There are several great books that will help you build a strong foundation. Not all of these books will contain magic effects, but contain information about how to be a better performer.

-Card College 5 Vol. Set by Roberto Giobbi
-The Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay
-Magic by Design: Study, Practice and Presentation by John Carney
-Audience Management: A Guide for Magical Entertainers by Gay Ljungberg
-Scripting Magic by Pete McMabe
-Transformations: Creating Magic Out of Tricks by Lawrence Hass
-Designing Miracles: Creating the Illusion of Impossibility by Darwin Ortiz
-Strong Magic: Creative Showmanship for the Close-Up Magician by Darwin Ortiz

I would encourage you to research all of these books before buying in order to learn more about each.

E-books
-Roberto Giobbi has an excellent ebook called Introduction to Card Magic. You can get it from him for only $5.

-VanishingInc Magic has an excellent ebook you can download for free called "Magic in Mind: Essential Essays for Magicians. This will be a good introduction to the kind of material you're looking for.

As far as DVDs go, I would suggest Paul Wilson's Royal Road to Card Magic set, Johhny Thompson and Al Schnieder's set's for starters.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
scottds80
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Victoria, Australia
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Master one trick at a time, and make it entertaining with your script. Then you slowly add more material to your show as your confidence builds.
Eventually (it takes years), you will have a complete act. If you stumble along the way, work very hard on the issues with help from us guys, ask lots of questions.
A good tip is to begin learning easy trucks that are still powerful. Then you can focus more on your presentation.
Good luck!
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
Cyberqat
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I learned my first genuine slight of hand in Junior Highschool from Bill Tarr's book "Now you see it, Now you don't".
Its a great intro, written for beginners, with great illustrations. I still use everything I learned from it.

I highly recommend it.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
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Ha Peter
Master your skills with a tt.there are so many
routiens you can develop with this little gem.
Todd
Peter Goldfield
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Thank you gentlemen! I'll be bookmarking this thread as there's more than enough good advice here. I've struggled with sponge balls but, that just might be the one worth building confidence with. Thank you everyone again for your advice
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
RobFromNZ
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And, if I can add a suggestion, consider joining a local magic club - if you have one nearby. Magicians are a great crowd to perform for, as they really want you to succeed, and can often offer tips, improvements, etc. Even if you could only find one or two fellow magicians to meet with, I'm sure that would help.
OSANA79
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Theory can help to widen one's view I recommend Tommy Wonder, Michael Close and a very good free ebook posted above "Magic in Mind", check out Eugene Burger's works as well.
Cyberqat
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I read a book as a kid called something like "Magic and Showmanship" that was really good in that it wasn't just techniques, or even routines, but really a beginner book on stage presence as well as a magic book.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
neemdog
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I'm relatively new to magic, but I've found that the resources I've been using have helped me grow very efficiently. For cards I've been going through the Card College series by Roberto Giobbi. If you'd be into learning some coin magic, I have had a very good time with David Roth's Expert Coin Magic 3 DVD set. For an extremely strong foundation in mentalism, I'd go for 13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda, then Anneman's Practical Mental Effects. With just those three resources, I've been able to grow immensely as a new magician. Also, regarding theory--it's a bit dense, but I really enjoyed a book called The Trick Brain. It has a lot on why certain tricks work, and helps you really decide which tricks are most valuable to you, to put it simply.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On 2013-06-04 18:23, Cyberqat wrote:
I read a book as a kid called something like "Magic and Showmanship" that was really good in that it wasn't just techniques, or even routines, but really a beginner book on stage presence as well as a magic book.


HENNING NELMS! I consider it a "college text book" in theatre. It should be REQUIRED READING for anyone who even THINKS of standing on a platform and presenting a magic performance!

Too many "would be magicians" are only interested in doing tricks!

A magician should perform a trick with only one purpose, NOT for his own entertainment, but for his audience's entertainment. Otherwise, he is just mstrbtng on stage.

I think I saw above on this thread, a note about reading "The Trick Brain". That book is part of a trilogy by Dariel Fitzkee. The other two books are "Magic By Misdirection" and "Showmanship for Magicians". All three are well worth any magician's time.

When I was a teenager, in the '40s, Leonard Patyk, manager of the Mystery Mart in Milwaukee, sold me a booklet by Edward Maurice. "Showmanship and Presentation" was a tremendous help! I'm sure it's out of print, and NELMS may be OP, too. But, it's worth your time to look for a copy. --if you want to be a magician who ENTERTAINS! --{MAGIC IS N O T INTRINSICALLY ENTERTAINING!}
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
ShirtlessKirk
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satellite23
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Peterd,

I was in the same boat as you just a few months ago. Let me tell you of my experiences.

When I started out, I was just the kid down the street who could do some cool card tricks. I loved the attention, I clamored for it. And that love turned into something else, something that went beyond just showing my friends a cool trick.

I started getting out and asking people to perform for events, parties, gigs, etc. I learned how to hold my own, and I thought I was amazing.

Still, I did not have a single mentor/helper at all during those few short years. Where I live, there aren't very many magicians, or entertainers for that matter.

So, I looked for them.

This past December, I joined a local portable circus. It has been one of the funnest experiences I've ever had in my entire life. Suddenly, I found a place to fit in, a place to be myself, and a place to experience real magic.

This magic isn't about doing simple tricks with cards; it's about being a part of something that is so together. It's about having friends who enjoy the same things you do: entertainment. It's about realizing that there is so much more to learn.

Yes, it's been fun. And yes, I suggest that you find a group of people in your area who can help you, or have you help them. There's so much more to learn, and not just about magic either. You can try juggling, and balloon twisting, and stilt walking....the list goes on. It never ends, which is what can make it fun.

And that's what the entertainment business is all about, right?
Father Photius
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Plenty of videos and books out there, but don't let the lack of personal contact with a more experienced magician get you down. Most got started just like you. The best advice above is to find a magic club, even if you can only make it to a meeting once or twice a year, the contact will do you wonders, plus, you may find other magi in your vicinity to get together with. Also conventions. Any magic convention. You get to fellowship with magicians, and more instruction and demos go on in the restaurants, hallways, and bars than in the lectures. Plus at more major conventions you can have contact with top pros, all very approachable even to the newest beginner. After all, magic is what we love to do.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
hp
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Peter,

I agree with the posts here (though I would want to mention Henry Hays' Amateur Magicians Handbook and Magic Digest by George Anderson) but I can say that I never advanced in magic until I started attending SAM and/or IBM meetings. The meetings are great places to watch and discuss magic and a wonderful opportunity to hook up with a mentor. You can readily search for these organizations on the web.

Howard
Dick Oslund
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HELLO "hp"

Unfortunately, George's book is OP. George knew that young fellows just beginning needed more than just "how tricks are DONE"!

His Digest was a godsend for many young lads. The "new" books printed in China in full color with copious photos have takenover!

They're much more visually appealing, but don't come close to George's opus.

Henry Hay's book: I always regarded it as the 'poor man's Tarbell!'

The Mark Wilson COMPLETE COURSE does a fine job too and much better detailed than the COLORFUL KIDS BOOK S FROM CHINA!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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PETER>>>
Where do you reside???

I've been around this business for 68 years. It's possible that I MAY know someone in your area. (No promises, but, who knows?)

PM me if you like.

I'll be on the road for the next ten weeks. I wont always have WIFI. --it may take awhile for me to reply.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
hp
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Dick, Thanks for the info about my post and I am sure Peter appreciates your offer. I should have added that in this day and age the Café is a wonderful place for new magi to be exposed to those who have more experience and are willing to help. I really thinke the Café, despite some issues, is a wonderful place for interaction. I am amazed at the wonderfully talented folks who spend time here helping others.
Peter Goldfield
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I'm so very grateful to everyone for all the reading suggestions and advice posted. Mr Oslund, how perfect that would be ! but alas I'm all the way in Sydney, Australia. Hey, if I make a mill, I'll fly you down Smile

You're 100% right satellite23, it's all about entertainment isn't it? Nothing beats the expressions people have when the impossible becomes possible! I love magic Smile
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
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