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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Method: what's your approach? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

danaruns
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When I was first learning magic (I'm still learning, and will continue to, always), I found that the tricks most available to me were predominantly self-working card tricks. This kept me satisfied for about two months, but I quickly found that I was bored by them, and shifted to sleight-of-hand magic that was much more difficult. As I continued, I found that the vast majority of my peers were content with tricks that were mostly self-working or had only simple sleights. I was kind of the oddball of the group. My approach to learning magic was out of step with others.

What is your approach? What makes you happiest? What works best for you? What kind of tricks do you enjoy most?

I doubt there's a right answer to this. For me, I found it much more enjoyable to rely on sleight skills, even when I could do it more easily with a gimmick. And even when I could use a gimmick, such as in a performance where the audience never has the chance to examine anything, I didn't. Still don't. One fairly well-known master magician told me that I should embrace gimmicks whenever possible, saying that the method was not important, only the effect was, and that I was "working too hard."

As someone posting in the "New to Magic" sub forum, what are your thoughts on method, and learning magic?
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
gomerel
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I'm not exactly new. In fact I am old and have too much arthritis in my hands to do difficult slights. So, yes, I mostly do self-working tricks. The look on spectators' eyes, especially kids', makes me happy.
WitchDocChris
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The stuff I enjoy the most is created through suggestion/hypnosis. No sleight of hand at all.

That being said, though, I have no problem with employing sleight of hand or gimmicks. Mostly it depends on the venue for that. I don't like having full pockets, so I don't like carrying around a bunch of gimmicks. If it's a parlor/stage show, I can put stuff into a case on a table on stage, so I will use more props in general in that environment. For strolling I stick to a few solid routines that "pack small" - no more than one prop in any given pocket, and at least one pocket empty for ditching if necessary.

I do enjoy practicing tricky sleight of hand for my own enjoyment. I just really like fine motor skills. It's just that none of the sleight of hand I know really suits my character on stage, so it doesn't make it into my shows.
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Signet
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I have been trying as hard as I can to learn sleight of hand with coins. It's very difficult and a slow process. This is compounded by the fact that I have no teacher. I learn through books and DVDs. But I have nobody who understands the way the sleights should be performed t show what I'm doing. Therefore, I could be learning them wrong. So, until I get more proficient, I rely heavily on gaffs. If I use a few gaffs and then do a sleight, I think it goes over better. If they've seen you do something really cool, done. With a gaff, they're more apt to buy it when you do a sleight.
danaruns
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Quote:
On Nov 23, 2017, Signet wrote:
I have been trying as hard as I can to learn sleight of hand with coins. It's very difficult and a slow process. This is compounded by the fact that I have no teacher. I learn through books and DVDs. But I have nobody who understands the way the sleights should be performed t show what I'm doing. Therefore, I could be learning them wrong.


So, I just want to point out that master magician and teacher, Jeff McBride, now has a thing where he's teaching people privately through Skype sessions. If you want someone who can teach you how to do sleights, and how to do them right, contact Jeff. I'm not sure what the details are, but I know he does them and folks say it's amazing. PM me and I'll give you his contact info, or you can contact him through McBride's Magic & Mystery School. Do that, and you'll have a mentor second to none, and who can get you through the process as quickly as it can be done, doing it right, with no wasted effort. If you don't know Jeff, google him or ask around about what people think of him as a teacher. It's transformational.

I imagine other magic teachers teach via Skype, too, but I don't know of any. You can't do any better than Jeff, though. Even pros say it's transformational and the best thing they did.

This ended up being a commercial for Jeff. I didn't mean it that way, but I believe very strongly in his teaching, and he's offering something that would be perfect for you.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Similar to gomeral above, hand disability issues preclude about 80% of what I 'ustacould." This does not stop me from exploring, creating and refining magic effects
to meet various conflicting standards, e.g. more entertaining or more "must be magic." In fact, I find it difficult to observe a performance without thinking on how to improve it in some way.
My inability to perform it in public makes no difference. It is the challenge and caress of creativity that excites me.

I have no problem with using gaffs, but immediately explore how to switch it in and out.
I can appreciate seeing a new version of Coin Across, but immediately ask, "How did you get there?" "Who do you segue to the next effect?"
"Why the repeated pass when other, better ones are available?" etc.

Experience has shown that very few other magicians are interested in such refinements, or relate to my passion.
When I send such new treatments/methods to others I get, "Don't you have a video?" or "My audience would never notice the difference."

On a recent thread I was accused of lying because the described effect seemed "too impossible."

My point is that "best method" or "what works best in the real world" has little to do with "what one enjoys."

I am very interested in what others have to say here, though.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Ado
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I used to love the technical stuff. I still do, in fact. But most of the magic I know that uses it is just bad. Bad because the construction is not logical. Bad because the construction doesn't make sense. I had an epiphany went I attended Dani daOrtiz' lecture. Now, that's what I like to do. Techniques? Classic force, top change, a glimpse and a DL. That's all I need. Simple things. Is it easy? No. Now, I get all my kicks from (mis)leading my audience. When they think they shuffled a deck but in fact did nothing that makes my life harder, I exult.

I think those tricks are classified as automatic or semi automatic. Yet, I wouldn't put them in the same category as most tricks that you're thinking of when you hear automatic or semi-automatic. DaOrtiz's magic come with something else that so few magicians only even develop awareness of. I actually regularly go through Hugard's encyclopedia of card tricks, to find tricks to turn into miracles using his approach.

P!
foobar
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When it comes to card magic, I prefer impromptu tricks. It's great if you're out with friends and somebody (i.e. not you) happens to have a deck of cards which they know hasn't been set up in any way and can later examine.

That being said, I usually perform for small groups of people. If I were to do something for a larger audience, I'd probably rely on gaffs or props.
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