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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Buying Magic (A how-to Guide) (33 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Seung
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Hello! I've been looking for a magic book I've forgotten the title of. I remember it was in middle school I perused through the book and the book was honestly, one of the best I've read (on par with Mark Wilson's complete course!). However, I returned the book and never saw it again and my middle school shut down and threw away all the books. From what I remember the book was medium to large sized with a spiral binding. There were two effects I remember, one was the aces traveling to pocket achieved by a st**l during the display of the aces. The other was an effect where cards travel from deck to deck held by rubber bands. The card travel effect used the patter of aliens and used a flashlight. I know this is a long shot but this book has been on my mind for eons, any lead will be appreciated. Feel free to PM me if this vague description rings any bells.! Thanks!
Hakaput
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Where are some good places to buy magic resources online?
I am primarily interesting in finding books, the classics and must haves. In my area there does not seem to be any real magic shops to which I can go.
So what are some reliable and trustworthy websites I can go to?
Aus
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Quote:
On Nov 10, 2016, Hakaput wrote:
Where are some good places to buy magic resources online?
I am primarily interesting in finding books, the classics and must haves. In my area there does not seem to be any real magic shops to which I can go.
So what are some reliable and trustworthy websites I can go to?


Penguin Magic is a website that I've purchased from as have many from the magic Café, and I find them trust worthy and customer service good.


www.penguinmagic.com

Magically

Aus
SevenSigma
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Quote:
On Nov 11, 2016, Hakaput wrote:
Where are some good places to buy magic resources online?
I am primarily interesting in finding books, the classics and must haves. In my area there does not seem to be any real magic shops to which I can go.
So what are some reliable and trustworthy websites I can go to?


For real classics, chances are good you get them at lybrary.com or genii. Amazon is actually not bad as well. As long as I know the title I first search the net where to find it and if the shop is not known to me I do a short background check.

Besides that, I have burned my fingers repeatedly by buying from US because shipping is expensive and I had to drive to the customs office. So the country of the shop should be considered as well.
It takes a baby in the belly six months to learn how to put the thumb in the mouth.

The rest of life is essentially the same problem.

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Dick Oslund
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I wrote the third post in this thread. Much of the post was to give some credentials to myself. (a diplomat without portfolio, isn't "worth much".)

Then, I clarified and defined many of the terms used by Mr. Aus, so that a beginner would be able to understand. I invested an hour of my time, in the "project".

The NEXT DAY, after I had explained that one cannot BUY "MAGIC", AZHEIM asked about '"buying magic". AZHEIM obviously had NOT READ MY POST MADE THE PREVIOUS DAY.

Later that SAME DAY, CELLEBOO asked about "BUYING TRICKS". CELLEBOO obviously had not read my post either.

Reading down the thread, IT WAS (AND, IS) OBVIOUS THAT NO ONE READ MY POST. They "all" talked about how wonderful, and helpful that Aus' post had been. It is now fairly obvious that most, if not all, of the posters on this thread have fallen into their own black art wells, as they are "conspicuous" by their absence. Well, I, for one, won't miss them.

On October 9, DOUG TROUTEN posted that HE had read what I had written, and thanked me for it. (I had posted to Aus that I would not bother to visit this thread again, due to the fact that nobody had bothered to read my post.)

I did return to comment on Colton's post. I am now actively mentoring him. He is courteous, curious, and asks intelligent questions. I have mentored almost two dozen young men like Colton, over the past 50 years. Many of them are now full time successful professionals. Three have died: Bob McAllister (WONDERAMA, & KIDS ARE PEOPLE TOO) DOUG HENNING (THE MAGIC SHOW, etc.) and Jeff Helding, (many seasons touring schools for SOUTHERN SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES, DAKOTA ASSEMBLIES, and NATIONAL SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES.)

It will be a cold day in the nether regions, before I visit this thread again.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
SilverMagician
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This is some great advice here. thank you all for sharing
Aus
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Quote:
On Nov 11, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
I wrote the third post in this thread. Much of the post was to give some credentials to myself. (a diplomat without portfolio, isn't "worth much".)

Then, I clarified and defined many of the terms used by Mr. Aus, so that a beginner would be able to understand. I invested an hour of my time, in the "project".

The NEXT DAY, after I had explained that one cannot BUY "MAGIC", AZHEIM asked about '"buying magic". AZHEIM obviously had NOT READ MY POST MADE THE PREVIOUS DAY.

Later that SAME DAY, CELLEBOO asked about "BUYING TRICKS". CELLEBOO obviously had not read my post either.

Reading down the thread, IT WAS (AND, IS) OBVIOUS THAT NO ONE READ MY POST. They "all" talked about how wonderful, and helpful that Aus' post had been. It is now fairly obvious that most, if not all, of the posters on this thread have fallen into their own black art wells, as they are "conspicuous" by their absence. Well, I, for one, won't miss them.

On October 9, DOUG TROUTEN posted that HE had read what I had written, and thanked me for it. (I had posted to Aus that I would not bother to visit this thread again, due to the fact that nobody had bothered to read my post.)

I did return to comment on Colton's post. I am now actively mentoring him. He is courteous, curious, and asks intelligent questions. I have mentored almost two dozen young men like Colton, over the past 50 years. Many of them are now full time successful professionals. Three have died: Bob McAllister (WONDERAMA, & KIDS ARE PEOPLE TOO) DOUG HENNING (THE MAGIC SHOW, etc.) and Jeff Helding, (many seasons touring schools for SOUTHERN SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES, DAKOTA ASSEMBLIES, and NATIONAL SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES.)

It will be a cold day in the nether regions, before I visit this thread again.


Dick don't mistake temperance for apathy, I have responded to your initial post and ironically you have not acknowledged my post ether. May I suggest that well others may see and agree with you (which I am one) others may be able to see past that indiscretion and see the value of what I and others have written.

Now it maybe a cold day in the nether regions before you visit this thread again,and that's fine. No one forced you to be here in the first place.

Magically

Aus
Matti Kaki
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I had 40 yrs break in doing magic and when I started to do it again, my first book was Nick Einhorns "The Illustrated Compendium of Magic Tricks: The Complete Step-by-step Guide to Magic, with More Than 320 Fun and Fully Accessible Tricks" which is colorful and nicely made book where you can easily and cheaply check if the magic is for you. The book is for beginners but there are some tricks and gags you can use in more advanced routines too. If you still like doing magic after reading this (or similar) book and testing several tricks in it, you can happily go ahead.

I have many old magic books because I collect them and some of those are still today very useable. "13 Steps to Mentalism" and "The Royal Road to Card Magic" are really good and reasonable priced old books having a lot of information. Also Bobo's "Modern Coin Magic" is a must if you're interested in coin magic. Lybrary is a good place to buy old mags in pdf-format.

1. Do not buy cheap copy tricks as they very seldom are any good. They may look nice in pictures but usually you don't enjoy doing the magic with those because they are made of cheap materials, may be wrong sized and usually break easily. Many professional gimmicks are very fine constructions, even if they look and are simple. Their material thickness and measures may be critical. The cheapos are usually made of the cheapest possible plastic and their behaviour may be erratic because of too stiff or too indolent material.

2. Do not buy tricks from market but only from a real Magic Shop because those sellers usually are magicians and they know what they sell because they usually have tested them in practise. Their prices also are usually quite friedly as they sell to other magicians.

3. Buy used professional tricks, which are well made and if you then find that it wasn't for you, you can sell or swap it. You can search internet beforehand to see if the trick is any good. Penguin has buyer's feedback scores. Not all tricks have those but most popular usually have masses of comments which you should check before buying an expensive trick.

4. Read, read and read. Watching videos help to understand how to perform the trick and good ones show much more, but reading books give you the basics and books are usually written with much more accuracy and care than videos, which usually are home videos. There are good videos too but don't base your skills just on videos. Read and discuss with other magicians and sign up clubs where you can buy, sell or swap the tricks too. Most clubs have their own Facebook group and often regional Magicians flea market group too.
Wizard of Oz
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Matti Kaki, you are making some great suggestions. No. 4 is the most important as there is so much incredible magic that one can do without even purchasing a prop. Just read a book.

But also, we should remember that the sale section right here on The Magic Café (which one needs 50 legitimate posts to access) is one of the best places to purchase magic. I've bought and sold so much here and have reaped great rewards from both transactions. There are a lot of wonderful sellers whom you'll get to know and trust. Please use this resource...it is one of the best magic shops on the internet!
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Aus
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On the topic of books another little known gem in the beginners arena is a book called the "A Book Of Magic For Young Magicians" sold by Dover Publications:

http://store.doverpublications.com/048627134x.html

What I like about this book that makes it different then the multitude of beginner books out there is it attempts to teach core magic ideas and principles in each chapter with a trick that is taught to highlight the idea or principle presented. There is only one trick per chapter and there are 12 chapters in total with each topic ranging from misdirection, handling, patter, handling secrets, repetition and so on. I have read elsewhere on this forum Scott F Guinn uses this book as the study text and curriculum to set his person magic lessons for those he teaches. All the tricks don't require any special magicians props just easy obtainable everyday items found around the house or easily purchasable from your local supermarket or hardware store.

Magically

Aus
MAV
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I too find great pleasure in reading books on magic and illusion. It is important to have that understanding from the masters to truly appreciate the responsibility any magician has to further the art. I was influenced as a child of 6 years old by my grandfather who did simple card tricks. Therefore I cannot take for granted that any other small child will also be influenced negatively or positively by my performance and behavior.
Lloyddagdag
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Learning from both books and videos has its pros and cons.

A book engages the mind since not evwrything described can be illustrated by still pictures.
A video obviously covers various angles and is very visual.

With regard to buying tricks, try buying multiple trick videos (easy to master card miracles, malone meets marlo, etc) and books (card college, paper engine, etc) rather than buying single effect dvds.

My basic parameter for buying videos is this, I want to see a full video performance and decide if its workable material or just another 1hr dvd explaining a 1 minute trick
HenryleTregetour
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As a relative beginner I am interested in this thread. Fortunately I am beyond the kid in a candy store phase and am much more circumspect in what I buy. However, one thing I am not seeing a lot of (yes, there is some) is a discussion of why a beginner should purchase something. By that I mean, what is the beginner trying to achieve when buying something? Yes, the beginner now owns a "trick" that they can amaze others with--providing they ever gain a proficiency in presenting the "trick." But does the beginner actually learn something from the purchase?

I can give no guarantee that I will finish the path on which I've started. But by my way of thinking the most important thing for the beginner is to master the basics. That can be done with a purchase of a minimal group of things--cards, balls (especially a cups and ball set), and rope. And don't forget about a handful of coins! These are all very inexpensive items, and what one learns from working with them will lay the foundation for almost everything one might want to do.

Bill Palmer wrote: "Sometimes we buy things with only the goal in mind of finding out how a trick works. That is the WORST reason to purchase a trick. The best reason is because it fits your act."

Though I don't know him, I have read plenty and respect Bill and all of the experienced professionals at the Café. However, I do have reservations about his statement. What I mean is I have bought some items to see how they work (notably a Sucker/Dice Box and the egg-shaped cup with a ball in it). But in buying them and examining them I think I have learned a lot. This is especially true of the egg-shaped cup--my path leads towards a proficiency in medieval/Renaissance magic, and this little cup is described in Scot's The Discoverie of Witchcraft. It is also seen in contemporary illustrations in matched pairs. Hence, this item does fit my act. And by purchasing it I have learned its secret, which I file away in my mind for future application. Maybe he was referring to expensive, new-on-the-market, one-trick props, and there I would agree with him.

The stuff I have purchased was "cheap" (inexpensive and not great workmanship) and I probably need to buy (or make) better quality items if I expect to use them long term. But I have gotten out of them what I wanted to know.

But to return to the new magician and purchasing--of course Aus's post is full of good advice. But one should also read Dick Oslund's post, which tells one HOW to think about these things. I am currently reading Tarbell and it is incredible. And one of Tarbell's suggestions is that one LEARN how to make props. This is easier said than done, of course. But there are many props that require a minimum amount of skill and which are very inexpensive. And many of these props are not just one-trick things. So maybe investing in raw materials is a better use of funds than buying a "finished" prop.

In conclusion, I would say that the beginner should ask the following questions (yes, I am redundant):

(1) What will I achieve by buying this prop?

(2) What will I learn from it?

HLT
HenryleTregetour
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Quote:
On Jan 24, 2016, JonathanMage wrote:
As a beginning magician, one of my most important discoveries was this forum, and this thread has helped crystallize in my mind some truths that I was already beginning to experience the hard way. I am finding that more education (books/DVD's) and practice on the fundamentals and classics is far superior to impulsively spending money on over-hyped products. I have made a few errors in this regard early in, but thankfully recognized the error of my ways quickly. Thank you to all of the contributors in this thread for your insight and advice.


That sounds like the right approach to me!

HLT
Aus
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HenryleTregetour I have written extensively in other threads in answering the question of what a beginner should study.

Probably the most important place to start would be my How to get started in magic (A How-to Guide) which can be found here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

Starting from the lowest denominator which is the idea that people who don't know better cant do better I set out the different paths that people can take on their magic journey . Even for the indecisive I recommend books and some dvds that offer a wide exposure of magic of various types in order that they can make a more decisive decision.

Once we have defined our focus we can start to talk more seriously about fundamentals. I have also posted threads in this regard with the Opie Hustions Study Guides (How-To Guilds) which deals with cards and coins using Royal Road to Card Magic and Bobos Coin Magic as foundational texts for their respective topics:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

As for "How we should think about about these things" I have written a Presentation (A How-to Guide) and Routining (A How-to Guide) respectively that details what needs to happen after the practicalities of the fundamentals have been learned.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

The beginner actually learning something from the purchase is just as much to do with mindset as it is for the instructional quality of the product purchased.

How was the creative presentation derived at?

What creative considerations did they take into account?

What refinements did they make over time and why?

What theatrical elements do they employ and how and for what reason?

Why did they use that slight in that instance and not the easier and obvious one?

It’s details such as these and the inclination to ask them that enables a person to learn from a book or DVD, and if the answer can't be found in the DVD or book then the magic Café is a better place then any to find the answer.

As for prop and trick construction the "Howie Diddits" thread in the secret sessions area of the magic Café would be a great place to start.

Magically

Aus
HenryleTregetour
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Aus,

Thank you answering my post. As I indicated above, I am a beginner at magic, and I thank you for the links you suggest. I will definitely read them.

I certainly did not intend to make superfluous or off topic comments. As anyone who participates in online discussions knows, such discussions have a tendency to morph and branch out, and after awhile rarely retain a strict adherence to the original post.

However, I nevertheless believe I had relevant comments with regards to the subject. The subject as I understand it has to do with beginners buying magic props. My comment relates to what kind of props the beginner should buy. And my answer is they should concentrate on inexpensive props that allow them to learn how to "do magic."

Yes, the beginner is free to buy anything they want. I do not think "guidance" with regards to discerning what they should buy is off topic. And of course, this is my own opinion, and we know what opinions are worth.

Finally, I want to add that yes, people have said things in past posts, and often things that newer people say are often, maybe more often than not, simply a regurgitation of previous discussions. I am sure that it is sometimes irritating to read stuff that one feels is simply rehashing. However, I would like to point out that given the voluminous, and indeed almost infinitely large archives at the Café, that it takes months and even years to come close to reading half its contents. Things will be said once or even a hundred times again.

Perhaps we are talking past each other.

HLT
Doug Trouten
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Aus -- Thanks for pulling together the links to these various discussions. Very helpful.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
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hitlab
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Thanks for this it is very useful

Rule 3 is interesting. Thinking back I definitely bought my fair share of cheap low quality products which I instantly regretted
Habanero
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Hm.... I wonder if making purchase "mistakes" is actually part of the learning process?

I know I have seen the demo of a trick, and I thought "yeah, that looks way cool" only to realize once I purchased it that it might not really work for me, or I might not currently be in a place to incorporate it into what I am doing right now.

I have one trick that basically includes the gimmick, then the video explores "moves" with the gimmick, but no routine. I actually got good enough with the moves, but I struggle to perform it because I have a hard time setting it up, and having a routine, or finishing clean, or having a purpose for what I am doing. No doubt it is visual, but I feel the product description should have disclosed that you will receive the gimmick and 7 "moves" on the DVD with no real setup, patter, routine, or finish. Maybe having descriptions like that on products could help buyers make choices. I am sure for others a product like this would be all they need because they can figure out the rest, it just wasn't comprehensive enough for me in my magic development.

I learn with each purchase what to look for, and what to pay attention to. I have pulled the trigger on items that have been really good for me, and that I really like and can use, while I have backed out of interesting items because I realized that the product wasn't for me, or wasn't for my level of development.
zachwyman
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Definitely check out www.dennymagic.com to support a small magic business. Denny is a great guy and the physical shop is simply amazing!
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