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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Any great magician that started practicing magic at his/her 40s? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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andrea.corelli
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Just wondering if I am just too old for this. I am 43 and I am seriously starting to work on it now. Although I have read and practiced a bit in the past (and I know some principles) and I am a good stage presentor (I have been hosting events and DJ'ing for over 25 years so I am completely confident in front of a crowd), it is now I am really getting closer and more interested into it. Ofcourse compared to any school kid out there that has a lot more free time to dedicate to the art than I have, I will never ever be able to get to that level of ability. Do I stand any chance to get even close to be able to entertain people? Sorry if the question is that personal, but since everything I do I try to do it at a pro or semi-pro level, I realy want to know if I am wasting my time or it still makes sense.

Thanks,
Andrea
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elgranmago
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Andrea

I got back into magic at exactly your age, 43. I’m now 57. I’m just an amateur yet feel that if I had wanted or needed to go pro, with much practice and determination, I probably could have.

The magic community recently lost one of its giants. Eugene Burger. I LOVE his magic and his persona and regret I didn’t get a chance to meet him personally. (I’ve met Ammar, Williamson and Tamariz). Burger, after studies at Yale, teaching and a career he really didn’t like, became a professional magician, I believe in his 40s. And look at the huge legacy he left to the world of magic!

So, you’re still a young guy and limited only by whatever restrictions you place on yourself.

Go for it!

José
"It´s kind of fun to do the impossible". Walt Disney
kendavis
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Ah heck. You are still young. We have a new club member that has just started and he is 74. He picks and chooses carefully what tricks he want to master. Despite arthritis he is concentrating on some coin magic. He is coming along pretty good. We all enjoy his company and share with him what we know. Its nice to meet a fellow magician that doesn't spend his time bragging and telling half truths about what he can do.
andrea.corelli
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Thanks, it's pretty encouraging Smile
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davidpaul$
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I got bit by the magic bug at age 34 and my very first restaurant gig at age 44. I'm up to 4 restaurant gigs and numerous shows generated from my restaurant work. I am so enjoying the ride and my goal is to just bring a few smiles to the people I encounter.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
rboyd
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Quote:
On Jan 30, 2018, davidpaul$ wrote:
I got bit by the magic bug at age 34 and my very first restaurant gig at age 44. I'm up to 4 restaurant gigs and numerous shows generated from my restaurant work. I am so enjoying the ride and my goal is to just bring a few smiles to the people I encounter.


I'm 32, my ideal would be to make this a part time career. If you don't mind me asking how long did it take you to start earning a decent wage from this?
willtupper
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If anyone ever asks about your age (and if they do, they're probably rude), tell them you're in your "late 20's."

If they ask you to be more specific, tell them the truth.

Then, clarify: to be 43 is to be in your VERY late 20's.

Age is a mindset. And even if no one had ever become a "great" magician in their 40's, so what?

You could be the first!
danaruns
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Quote:
On Jan 30, 2018, willtupper wrote:
If anyone ever asks about your age (and if they do, they're probably rude), tell them you're in your "late 20's."



Lol! Yeah, like if I'm 35 I'll say I'm "twenty-fifteen." Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
andrea.corelli
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Quote:
On Jan 30, 2018, willtupper wrote:
Age is a mindset. And even if no one had ever become a "great" magician in their 40's, so what?

You could be the first!


Ehehe thanks, I have a big ego, but not *THAT* big Smile.
Well, my concern is essentially about not being able to practice enough and/or be able to reach a decent level of sleight of hand in a tiny amount of time, compared to people that started at their young age and then had atleast 20 years more than me to do it.
On top of that obviously with a full time job and a family to take care of I don't really have dozens of hours to dedicate to read, study and practice.
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danaruns
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Quote:
On Jan 29, 2018, andrea.corelli wrote:
Do I stand any chance to get even close to be able to entertain people?


Of course you do. You don't have to be working on your craft from childhood to be a GREAT performer.

Of course, if you want to be the world's greatest sleight of hand artist, perhaps you're starting a bit late. But if you want to be the greatest magician, there is no reason you cannot be. Some of the most successful magicians on the planet have a fairly limited skill set. One of my mentors, Dale Salwak, used to say that "12 routines makes a career." Surely you have enough time left in life to master 12 good routines.

In fact, the hard part of being a great magician can't be mastered until you are older. And that's the perspective, the wisdom, the experience and everything else that aids in connecting with audiences. At 20 with 10 years of experience, someone might be a phenomenal finger flinger and knuckle buster, but s/he won't be a terrific entertainer, and IMHO, can't be a great magician. Magic is 20% effects and 80% how you gift them to the audience. That 80% is much easier learned at 40 than at 20.

Last night I saw Rob Zabrecky perform at the Magic Castle. He didn't start when he was a kid. He cut his teeth in the member performance areas in the bowels of the Magic Castle when he was in his late 30s. Rob then went on to win Stage Magician of the Year twice, and Parlor Magician of the Year twice, defeating the biggest of the big-time magicians. And you know what? He doesn't do a lot of hard stuff. He does tricks like Gypsy Thread, "Hug, Kill, Kill," and shrinking cards, tricks you could probably do right now. It's how he performs them that makes him a wonderful, award-winning magician. This is something that you, at 40, have a "leg up" on over the twenty-somethings who have mad skillz but little else.

Go for it. You CAN do it.

The ONLY hurdle you'll have is overcoming the prejudice of bookers and producers who are always looking for the next, new, young thing. That's only a hurdle to popularity, it's not a hurdle to being great.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
andrea.corelli
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Quote:
On Jan 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
The ONLY hurdle you'll have is overcoming the prejudice of bookers and producers who are always looking for the next, new, young thing. That's only a hurdle to popularity, it's not a hurdle to being great.


Thanks Dana, I will keep these in mind!
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willtupper
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Ha! That works.

So 43 would be the new twenty-twenty-three. Which doesn't sound old. It sounds futuristic, and cool!

Quote:
On Jan 30, 2018, danaruns wrote: Lol! Yeah, like if I'm 35 I'll say I'm "twenty-fifteen." Smile
willtupper
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One more small piece of advice I might offer, is this:

STOP thinking about being a great magician in THE world.

START thinking about being a great magician in YOUR world.

This, for me at least, seems to be a more manageable goal. It's a way of looking at it that's smaller, more local. A little more manageable.

The first truly great magician that I probably ever saw was my father. Now, he was not a great magician according to THE world, at all. He knew maybe all of two effects. A simple k-y c--d find, and the classic "Four Burglars" effect. That was it.

But whenever a deck of cards came out (and he played Cribbage a lot, and we played a ton of games as a family when I was a kid), he would show me these two effects. And he had the showmanship (he had studied Ministry in school, preached when he was young... he could entertain pretty much anymore) that made them work. And had me begging, again and again, to show me. Just one more time.

And when he did, the rest of the world just dissolved. My eyes were on the cards. On his hands. My mind was reeling, racing. It was magic, in it's finest form.

So that would be my gentle suggestion. Don't worry about competing with people who started when they were kids. Think about what your years of life, your history, your stories, could contribute to your magic. You've got a lot more to pull from than some quick-handed kid with his fancy cuts and slick hair (or some such).

The world always, ALWAYS needs more wonder and astonishment. You said you have a family, yes?

Be a great magician to them, first. Then branch your way out. Larger and larger circles.

And see what happens. It's great fun. And don't give up.

Like Winston Churchill said, never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up.

Quote:
On Jan 30, 2018, andrea.corelli wrote: Ehehe thanks, I have a big ego, but not *THAT* big Smile.
Well, my concern is essentially about not being able to practice enough and/or be able to reach a decent level of sleight of hand in a tiny amount of time, compared to people that started at their young age and then had atleast 20 years more than me to do it.
On top of that obviously with a full time job and a family to take care of I don't really have dozens of hours to dedicate to read, study and practice.
seraph127
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Bert Allerton. His material was considered good enough to be included in the Stars of Magic.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Harry Lorayne
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I'm going to say this even though I know that there's someone here who will scream about me "plugging" - which, yes, I do when I feel it is apropos. As I believe it is here.

I have a student who sends a car for me once a month, who is in his sixties. He told me originally that he started to read my books when he was about 49/50 years old - and that's what started his interest. He's pretty darn good, too, if I may say so. Mostly close-up card stuff.

He's a successful business guy, travels quite a bit and is always asked to do "something." And he "does" mostly what he's learned from my books, DVDs and personal lessons. I'm pleased and proud to say so. Just the other day, he came home from a business trip, and told me he did my Card Sharp & The Four Gamblers for a large business group - and "jaws dropped" - they couldn't stop raving.

This is only one example of how my books started people in magic - the book that did it the "most" was/is THE MAGIC BOOK. CLOSE-UP CARD MAGIC runs it a close second. I'm going, of course, according to all the calls, mails, emails, and etc., I've received over the decades.

Now, we can all breathlessly wait until that "someone here" rants how terrible it is that HE-ALWAYS-PLUGS-HIS-BOOKS.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
andrea.corelli
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No worries Harry, your plug is always welcome. I already own "The Magic Book", bought it out of a used books lot (sorry to disappoint you). It's the next in line as soon as I am done with the book I am reading now. I don't own Close-up Card Magic just yet, but I think I have enough card books to read for the next year or so. Still thanks for the tip.
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Harry Lorayne
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Hi andrea.corelli: Thank you; glad to hear that my "plugs" are welcome to most. Thanks for saying so - and it will certainly annoy the person (the "someone here") that I'm referring to above. Also - CLOSE-UP CARD MAGIC is out of print, has been for decades. As is LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, Vol. 1 - in which it was updated.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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willtupper
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Hi Mr. Lorayne,

I've noticed a number of your wonderful books are out of print. I've often wondered, is there any chance in the future that they'll be made available (in print form) again?

(And please pitch me in the pile of people who've long loved THE MAGIC BOOK).
MaxArtifice
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Harry:

"Close-up Card Magic" was one of the first magic books I purchased... about thirty years ago. I have no problem with you plugging your own material because it deserves to be mentioned. Thank you for all of your contributions to magic.
MazingMandy
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Never too old !
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