The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Book OR Video? How to study.. (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
MatrixAddict
View Profile
New user
50 Posts

Profile of MatrixAddict
I'm one of the few who prefer DVD. I never had trouble learning from books in college, but when it comes to magic I seem to have a mental block when it comes to books.
Harry Lorayne
View Profile
V.I.P.
New York City
7536 Posts

Profile of Harry Lorayne
You're probably not reading the "good" ones!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
theocreswell
View Profile
New user
Surrey, UK
54 Posts

Profile of theocreswell
Both have their merits. The general consensus is that books are better, but a healthy balance of the two?

-T
sirbrad
View Profile
Inner circle
1879 Posts

Profile of sirbrad
I talked about this a lot in the past, and on other forums; so this may turn into another LONG post which I am known for lol. Ironically, one of the best authors of one of the best magic magazines/books to ever be printed (The Magic Menu) states: “DVD is really the best choice for magic instructional media” -Jim Sisti. Granted I am also from the old-school of “book learners,” but I see DVDs as a great learning tool for those who choose to supplement them in with their reading, as opposed to replacing books entirely. After about 20 some years in the art back when I first got my first magic VHS tape I was ecstatic, and even more so with DVDS later on so that I could see other magicians perform more often. It was also very beneficial to see the timing of a move or sleight, misdirection, sample patter, routines etc. I did not have to mimic anyone as I already had my style well established after so many years already into the art, however most beginners do mimic other performers at first and that is OK. This helps them later on find their own style. I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have watched, and actually was able to grasp the information a lot quicker by actually seeing it done live by a performer.

With books, some may miss key elements as far as timing and misdirection goes. I was already well grounded in magic long before I even seen a VHS or DVD. So my prior knowledge helped me to learn much more quickly. I think DVDS are a great learning tool as long as they are used for the right reasons. Not simply because one is "too lazy" to read, or is just looking for instant gratification. DVDS should be used to “fill in the gaps” so to speak, not replace books completely. They provide a great visual reference and allow another magician to come into your home for personal instruction. Books also teach you to be creative, and think for yourself how a move should look and not be overly-influenced by another magician's performance. They teach you to use your own imagination and make you a better learner overall. So when you do get DVDS things come easier.

Some older magicians and those that have been in the art for a long time such as myself, sometimes think why should everyone else just be able to “jump in” and freely access all the knowledge and information, that us long-time practitioners of the art ascertained after many years of book study? Back then access was very limited, and only us most dedicated and well-read magicians got access, and it took many years of reading big books or sets that no one else was willing to spend the time doing. So that should be rewarded, not made easier over time for those just looking for "quick secrets" as many do. We earned those secrets the hard way, and sometimes had to wait 10-12 weeks for a book or a VHS tape in the mail. Then all the time spent reading and watching them. No "instant downloads" of one trick back then. There was nothing "instant" about magic and even today there isn't except for instant access to the secrets.

I believe beginners should go the book route for starters, as books cover a lot more material than DVDS. If you only watch DVDS you are cheating yourself out of a lot of knowledge and in depth tips that are usually not found on DVDS, or far less in quantity and quality as far as in depth instruction as DVDS are much shorter. Today however you got much bigger sets and many more DVDS based on books, like the "Tarbell" videos now, (which I was the one who recommended that someone make it or a DVD set years ago) which is great. But you should still use it with the books. The videos will also be A LOT more costly once you get all the lessons at $19.95 per lesson. Or slightly less if you subscribe or get them right away. But still a lot more expensive in the end than the $200 books. So really books just give you more bang for your buck and teach so much more for so much less. But DVDS are a great supplement tool.

One should build their foundation with books, and supplement it with DVDS from time to time. Just make smart and wise decisions. Beware of high priced “individual effects” DVDs as well, and only buy what gives you the most bang for your buck. There are a TON of great resources out there, and far more cost-efficient alternatives as opposed to just DVDS. Books are much more plentiful in their offerings. There are many very inexpensive books that are actually priceless in their offerings of magic knowledge, and they should provide you with a solid foundation to your magic house. Not to say that some DVDS are not great, they are. They simply just do not provide the plethora of information books do at a much more affordable price.

Daryl’s Encyclopedia of Card Sleights (DVD) is great for learning the tools (sleights) you will need later on. As I said previously I am from the old-school of book learners, but I found Daryl’s EOCS to be invaluable—and very useful as a visual reference guide, and for learning the timing of a sleight. There is no right or wrong way to learn, only the way that is best for you. One of my first books ever, and one of my favorite books of all time, "The Amateur Magician’s Handbook" set the standard for all of my magic.

Mark Wilson’s Complete Course is another classic that gives you a taste of all the various genres to get your feet wet in, and help you decide what kind of magic you want to do. I am always sure to research well before buying any magic book, or magic effect. I do the same with magic DVDS. Thankfully today we have the internet to aid us in our research, and makes the entire process a lot easier. Videos are fine as a “supplement” once in awhile, but they should never be a "replacement" of books entirely. Beginners just starting out are more likely to go the DVD route as many fear they will not be able to understand text, or sketch drawings. It just takes some getting used to. As I stated previously, many are also too lazy to read, and seek “instant gratification” and only look for shortcuts. However “shortcuts will ultimately lead to shortcomings.”

Today I have quite a few DVDS but nowhere near as many as I do books. I have been so deeply entrenched in my readings though that I have still not even come close to watching all these DVDS yet, not even ONCE. Most beginners today tend to move far too fast in their quest for knowledge. My advice is move slow and master EVERYTHING that you learn—and do not move on to ANYTHING else until what you have already learned has literally become a part of you—and is second nature. You will be a far better performer for it, and not a “fly-by-night Blainiac.”

The bottom line is, if you plan to be in this art for the long haul you need to be serious…REAL serious. Study magic’s history, magic theory, the psychological, philosophical, and the sociological aspects of its presentation. I always loved writing and reading books on "magic theory" which make you think and evaluate every aspect of your performance. I also love the old magic magazines/periodicals which many are now huge books or PDFs which most will never find or wade through, and have some of the best hidden gems and secrets in magic hidden in them deep in their pages. As a collector I love having tons of old, giant, magic books on all of my shelves. I know that any time I can just grab one out and open one randomly and start gem mining or read the entire book. Again, before you build your “magic house” make sure you first build the proper foundation first, otherwise later on down the road it will inevitably collapse as will your own magic ego.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
View Profile
Inner circle
1879 Posts

Profile of sirbrad
The short answer is both lol. They complement each other well. I also love sets like EMC which are about 18 hours long each, lots of great material and theory on them and they were not cheap. But they are packed full of great information. So I love DVD sets as well but I love magic books as well as they are what started it all for me and are fun to collect and get more valuable and harder to find over time. The only thing I do not like is when they go OOP, as then they get REALLY expensive and I had to pay a lot to get old books back that I sold long ago. But it is a double-edged sword as you do not mind so much if you still have them lol. But technically the information should always be available to those who seriously seek it out. So the OOP thing is a big problem in the art and always has been.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Doc Willie
View Profile
New user
84 Posts

Profile of Doc Willie
In Eugene Burger's last book he states the DVDs are best for learning slights, books for learning effects. The problem with DVDs for learning effects, especially for beginners, is the tendency just to ape everything in the DVD performance, rather than developing one's own, which what happens from reading books where one fills in the spaces with one's own creativity.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Book OR Video? How to study.. (7 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2017 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.19 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL