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Topic: Studying Magic
Message: Posted by: JSHEDDY (Nov 16, 2002 08:56PM)
I have recently started to really study magic books and I was wondering is there a good way to study them? Is it better to go through only one book until it's finished or should I go through multiple books? Any sugestions will be greatly appreciated. :bikes:

Message: Posted by: Steve Friedberg (Nov 16, 2002 09:23PM)
There will be many differing opinions here...some will say you should treat books like Royal Road to Card Magic as a textbook...going through it chapter by chapter to gain a greater understanding.

Others will say once you have a mastery of the basics, you should hop and skip about....to get the greater appreciation of many of the great minds out there.

I say...yes. Definitely learn the basics...and for that, a book like RRTCM is superb, as are others like Card College. But understand the kinds of effects that really excite you as a spectator...see who's teaching them...and learn them, bringing your own sense of wonder to the presentation.

That will do two things: first, it'll motivate you to learn how to do them to the best of your ability. Secondly, it will introduce you to other effects from those same magi, and you'll probably find stuff you didn't even think of that will get your creative juices flowing.

Have fun, and happy hunting!
Message: Posted by: eric2104 (Nov 17, 2002 09:03AM)
Hi Justin,

Here's my little piece of advice, for what it's worth...

Remember that most magic books tend to concentrate on technique, meaning moves necessary to achieve a certain effect. Now, in the eyes of the audience, the move is (supposedly) invisible, and the effect is ALL they see.

I would therefore recommend the following:

1. Read, from the first to the last page, a book such as "Stong Magic", by Darwin Ortiz, which concentrates on the PRESENTATION, not the technical moves.
2. Get a few different books on various subjects you are interested in (such as cards, coins, ropes, ...), learn some basic sleights going back and forth between books.
3. Go back to "Strong Magic" and see how you can perform the sleights you've learned in a MAGICAL way (as opposed to a TRICK way).

Hope this helps.
Good luck in your study, and best regards,
Message: Posted by: David Fletcher (Nov 17, 2002 10:16AM)
Easy does it.
First off, if you purchased all the books currently published on magic by Dover Publications you would save a fortune.
Secondly, don't worry about it. They are your books - read them any which way that feels good.
Third, and most important, enjoy them and have fun.
Remember, there are many of us here to help as you magish your way along.
Message: Posted by: Ray Edwards (Nov 17, 2002 10:42AM)
Hi... interesting thread. My interest in magic started with Bill Bixby's TV show (I was a kid - it SEEMED like a good show THEN...). My parents bought me lessons. And then... I discovered magic books.

I think the one thing to be careful of is becoming a collector of "the next great book" and never mastering any magic at all.

I know I found myself knowing the mechanics of a great number of "tricks" or "techniques", but being the master of none. I eventually drifted away from magic altogether.

I suspect that had I mastered a few effects and studied a little more deeply (rather than "dabbling" so much), I might not have waited 20 years to start thinking about magic again.

I'll also echo an earlier post and say you should probably just do what works for you.

Maybe I was just looking for an excuse to make my first post here!
Message: Posted by: Callin (Nov 17, 2002 10:57AM)
I would also add:

When you are just starting out, don't get too caught up in mastering difficult sleights. Keep your goal of performing magic in mind. Learn a few "self-working" effects and and start showing them to your friends. You will learn a huge amount this way about how to interact with people that can never be learned from a book or video. This will also help you find your own style and help you choose new material that is best suited for the magic you like to perform.

And, most of all, have fun! Not only will you feel better about doing magic, but your audiences will pick up on your fun and enjoy themselves more also.

Good Luck,
Richard Green
Message: Posted by: Kathryn Novak (Nov 17, 2002 11:09AM)
Do what works best for you. I would suggest taking things one step at a time though, trying to master 3 chapters a night (unless they're very short!) won't work. If there is a specific effect you're looking for, search around. Happy learning. :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Alan Jackson (Nov 17, 2002 12:41PM)
To answer a slightly different question first, it is important to learn a few sleights well: obvious, I know, but there is a temptation to try and learn everything initially. This is the approach Harry Lorayne takes and I highly recommend his publication "The Magic Book".
Message: Posted by: JSHEDDY (Nov 17, 2002 05:53PM)
Thank-you all for your help. I have learned much from reading your suggestions and will put it to good use. :bikes:

Thank-you again,
Message: Posted by: DarkArts (Nov 24, 2002 07:00PM)
For me... I really read till the end of the book. Complete one then go to another.
Message: Posted by: tla (Nov 24, 2002 10:20PM)
I would suggest finding a friend whose interested in magic and reading a text concurrently with him/her. That way you could discuss, practice and perform each sleight/move/effect for each other and help one another improve.