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Topic: Essentials?
Message: Posted by: LDM (May 15, 2006 11:00AM)
Although I've been into magic for a year and a half or so, I've mainly been studying the Complete Course in Magic, the Royal Road to Card Magic, and Modern Coin Magic. Obviously, these are three books that almost everyone recommends for starting out. Now, one can argue that these books last a lifetime and one will never learn everything in them - I agree. However, when is the time right to add other books, in addition to the ones I have? Are there specific books? (in a specific order?)

Also, what other "essential" books/videos should I be getting on things other than technique, such as business, showmanship, practice, misdirection, etc. I've looked through the stickies and some searches, but I can't conclude which are actually good. I know Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz seems to be a good one on showmanship - I may be picking up that soon.

Thanks for your replies!
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (May 15, 2006 12:24PM)
You should devote all of your effort to the perfection of your performance. Very little time and effort (relativly speaking) should be spent learning "tricks" or "effects". That is not to say that perfectiong of the ones you do learn is not important. It is in fact crucial, however you will be far better served with few effects and a great performance than you will be served with many effects and a poor performance.

Likewise, the "quality" of the effects you choose, should be based entirly on their smooth intigration into your overall character and performance, than on any arbitrary qualities you or anyone else feel gives a particular effect "strength". While it may be true that some effects stand better, completely in the absence of any performance at all. I believe you will find that a good performance makes any effect, a good effect.

You may look into certain research materials on the subjects I have suggested, they are certainly out there and people will certainly point you towards them. I believe strongly, however, that a careful, diligent search of this, and a few other magic forums will yield all the information on performance, scripting, rehearsal, editing, blocking, and writing, that you could ever possibly need.
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (May 15, 2006 12:31PM)

What are the essentials? That depends on the type of magic you are drawn to.

Magic is a big category taking on many specialties, just like Construction is a big category. But the essential tools for a wood worker are not the same as those for a metal worker.

The specific types of magic that have caught your interest should lead you down a more directed path of what are the essentials you need.

Some of the other books you are looking for are good basics as well, but unless you just want to build a library, I would suggest that you focus in on one area before you determine what the essentials would be.

An example: If you are drawn to card work then you most likely will not be doing stage work and therefore you really don't need information about how to manage, store and transport stage props.

I'm sure your replies will be much more helpful if you share a little more of what you are focusing on.

Till we appear again,
Kipp Sherry
Message: Posted by: AJ82 (May 15, 2006 01:27PM)
I have two DVDs I like called Born To Perform with Oz Perlman and On The Spot by Gregory Wilson. I think these DVDs have some good tricks on them and I would say they are worth a look (maybe not to buy - depends on what magic you like)
Message: Posted by: LDM (May 15, 2006 01:27PM)
Thanks for the replies.

I'm aware of most of what JackScratch posted. I read through the books at first, getting a basic technique. Then, I picked out some that I liked and customized them to fit my style. I will continue to search around, though, for resources as to improve doing what I am.

Kipp, you bring up a good point. First of all, I'm not interested in building a lirbrary - in fact, I only have around five books.

The "essentials" that I am talking about are meant to be fairly general. I'll state now that I'm not interested in stage; I mainly practice with close-up effects with coins and cards. I want to be general, because I want to be able to adapt to different situations. Mainly, I'm looking for books to improve my overall knowledge of the psychological aspect of magic.

I know this post probably hasn't helped much; I have trouble articulating what I mean.

Edit: AJ, I'm not looking for more tricks. I'd rather perfect what I already have. I have On the Spot, though, and it does offer some good tips on misdirection.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (May 15, 2006 02:12PM)
No, I think you wrote quite well. I'm actualy considering starting a thread about FAQs or at least thing that should be asked often. I'll give you one piece of advice, and may repost it seperately.

SLOW - Perform magic like you are in molassus. Move slowly. Speak slowly. The only fast movment should be inherently fast slights, where the speed is required to prevent detection. This is the single number one problem I see with magicians performing. The talk too fast, they move too fast, they hurry through their routines. If you thing you are going the right speed, it's too fast. If you think you are going too slow, you're getting closer.
Message: Posted by: LDM (May 15, 2006 07:40PM)
I did a bit more research, and in addition to "Strong Magic", I have added the Fitzkee Trilogy to the list and "Magic and Showmanship".
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (May 15, 2006 08:03PM)
May I suggest the Art Of Astonishment Set (1-3) by Paul Harris? Sooner or later you will want to get this set!
Message: Posted by: xububba (May 19, 2006 09:41PM)
Jack, I like what you are saying about speed, I feel like sometimes I go to fast and the audience actually missed the magical moment because I knew it was coming and moved on too quickly, thanks for eloquently putting into words something that I have felt on some occasions...
Message: Posted by: Katterfel22 (May 19, 2006 11:17PM)
If you haven't read the tarbell series you should check that out. Not only does it cover several different styles of magic over all, but late in the series( if I remember correctly) it also has advice on choosing what type of magic you want to do. If you have the capital to invest I still think it is the best starting series for the serious magician.
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (May 19, 2006 11:27PM)
The Michael Ammar Easy To Master...DVD series is an excellent follow up to the books mentioned.But before going into his Easy to Master Money series I recommend you have a look at David Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy vol1-3.Also if you're into books :Impossibilia , Smoke and Mirrors(by John Bannon),Stars of Magic,The Dai Vernon Book of Magic and as mentioned above AOA(Paul Harris).
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (May 20, 2006 11:48AM)
After you read and digest the above recommedations, other essentials, IMHO, are Bicycles One Way Force Deck, Double Face Deck, Double Blank/Backed Deck that you can start applying your knowledge and skills.