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Topic: Getting started with no money
Message: Posted by: scooter magic (Jul 11, 2006 03:56PM)
I'm just getting started in magic. I don't know of any good books and videos other than bobo's and where I can get them for a good price. Any suggestions

Message: Posted by: wildarr (Jul 11, 2006 04:05PM)
Try your local library to start. I'd bet you can find Henry Hay's [i]The Amateur Magician's Handbook[/i] and Bill Tarr's [i]Now You See it, Now Your Don't[/i] there, and they are both exellent books to start with. Also, at the library, you can see if you like the book and then think about purchasing your own copy.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Jul 11, 2006 04:07PM)
Read this site. Just read as much as you can. There is a ton of good advice and good recommendations. There is so much out there, and it's hard to make recommendations when we don't know what you enjoy learning/doing.

But this is the best place in the world to search through the posts and get great advice. You will find some common ground on what is universally accepted as excellent learning materials such as the Tarbell series, Stars of Magic and many many more. As well as dealers who have a good reputation for price and service. The more homework you do, the better spending choices you can make.

I would advise to use this resource and just read posts and use the search function to find additional info when something strikes your fancy.

Good luck and have fun!
Message: Posted by: Mike T (Jul 11, 2006 04:15PM)
The above post says it all! :)

:hot coffee:
Message: Posted by: Mike T (Jul 11, 2006 04:16PM)
Ooops I mean :hotcoffee:
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jul 11, 2006 07:16PM)
The first thing that I would recommend is to look into your heart. What is it that you love? What is the show that you wanted to see when you were a kid? Build that show. Your love of the material will come across to the audience. For basic magic, there's Tarbell and Mark Wilson; for mentalism, Anneman and Corinda.

For me, the biggest inspiration has been basic books on technique (Tarbell, Anneman, Corinda), books on theming and creating acts (Fitzkee Trilogy, Henning Nelms), books on history ([i]The Glorious Deception[/i], [i]Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women[/i]) and books on what it all means (Eugene Burger, especially [i]Magic and Meaning[/i]). Mine the Café for all that it's worth (it's free).

So many ways up the mountain. Your results may vary.


Message: Posted by: scooter magic (Jul 11, 2006 08:09PM)
Thanks I'll keep my eyes open for posts and books.
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jul 11, 2006 11:05PM)
You really don't need a big budget in magic. Yes it is easy to spend a lot in magic but it's not necessary. If you’re getting started in magic, you can go to your local library and check out some books.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Jul 11, 2006 11:06PM)
Hi Ashley,

I would suggest you check with your local bookstore and pickup Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic book.

It is a LARGE book, has a lot of different types of magic in it to give you a taste of the various material you can work with (cards, coins, silks, mentalism, stage, rope, etc...), and has been released in paperback for under $20 (US).

It is a fantastic place to start and is highly regarded as a wonderful reference book in many magic library's, including my own.

Enjoy your journey into the Art of Magic! :)
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jul 11, 2006 11:18PM)
I second "Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic". It's about 1 1/4 inches! That doesn't sound like much but pull out a ruler.
Over 500 pages
About 28 sections
From cards to illusions (and everything in-between)
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jul 11, 2006 11:59PM)
Nicholas Einhorn has published some great, cost-effective resources for beginners, available on Amazon. They are: Close-Up Magic, The Art of Magic and Sleight of Hand, and The Practical Encyclopedia of Magic. Hope this helps.


Message: Posted by: Sherman Malachi (Jul 12, 2006 01:14AM)
Yes you can slowly get information with little or no money but that's not going to get you anywhere far. I second drwilson, to "look into your heart". Tommy (wonder) said this to before, "your magic is only limited by your imagination."

I think even as a tyro you should think as far as you can. And in the beginning it is best to let wholesome classics and other good magic literature devour you. You would surely have the temptation to want to know how things are done for the sake of knowing....Please...don't....But rather, learn for the sake of learning - I re-learn the stuff I do in my repetoire (for over 10 years) every now and then. You can always seek improvement as you strive for the perfect. This sense of seeking is what keeps one's awe of the art continuous. I must say that the satisfaction and experience of learning is truly divine.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jul 12, 2006 07:21AM)
I second everything that has been said about getting books and visiting your local public library, but would add one suggestion.

You mentioned Bobo's book, "Modern Coin Magic." This is certainly the 'bible' for coin workers, but especially for beginners, it can be confusing and tough to absorb.

If you are interested in coin magic, I would also suggest getting a DVD, Michael Ammar's "Complete Introduction to Coin Magic" (click [url=http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/product.php?productid=5131] HERE [/url] to view). This will show and teach you the basic coin sleights in an organized way, which Bobo does not do; it also contains a few good tricks and routines to get you started. Especially for coin magic, it's very helpful to be able to see exactly what you're supposed to be doing and what the sleight should look like.

If for some reason you can't get the Ammar DVD, Volume 1 of David Roth's "Expert Coin Magic" DVD (click [url=http://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/findit.pl?x_item=DV9093] HERE [/url] to view) is equally good and should keep you busy for quite a while.

If you want to explore coin magic, this $30 purchase is well worth the money. Good Luck!! SETH
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 12, 2006 10:25AM)
One of the worst things I have done as a beginner is to spend money. You just can't buy good magic. There is more good magic in vanishing and producing ordinary objects than there is in using the latest prepackaged trick you bought. I found that every time I bought something new, I neglected whatever it was that I was just working on. Purchases generally made me a worse magician rather than a better one.

Of course this does not go on indefinitely. Eventually you will need to buy some stuff, but you don't need much at the start. As several others mentioned above, Mark Wilson's book, a couple of decks of cards, some cotton rope and some rehearsal time, and you will suddenly have a solid half-hour set.

If you are at all like me, the more you buy, the harder it will be for you to put together a proper set.

Message: Posted by: airship (Jul 12, 2006 10:36AM)
Karl Fulves' 'Self-Working Magic' series, published by Dover Books, is only about $8 a volume. You can pick up a book (on coins, or cards, or whatever else is your main interest) and do some tricks right away. Learn to string them together and build your own 'magical' presentations. There are plenty of tips here on the Café on how to do that. Then you'll be ready for more difficult magic with sleights and fancy moves. Magic is about the presentation, not the tricks.
Message: Posted by: Noel M (Jul 12, 2006 12:55PM)
I'd invest in a deck of cards and six half dollars. See if you can get The Amature Magicians' Handbook, from the library. If you must buy it, you'll find it's very inexpensive and worth every penny. Work with that for a few months then start using things you find anround the house. (Golf balls, paper napkins etc.)

After you're somewhat accomplished you can start thinking about making purchses with a better idea of what is suited for you.
Message: Posted by: scooter magic (Jul 13, 2006 11:26PM)
Thanks all. (I've been taking notes) From what I have read Every thing I need to know I already know because I can make it all up on my own. the books and videos and the multipul silks that my dad lets me use are only tools to help me find what I'm truly looking for, Magic.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Jul 14, 2006 11:12PM)
Search the net! It is very depressing, but learning Magic nowadays is somehow FREE!

E-books, videos, secrets to illusions and a lot more can be obtained from Exposure websites and peer to peer (whatever that means), which were not available during my time.

But please try to find a magician mentor, who will teach you on the rules and ethics of Magic.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Jul 15, 2006 07:14PM)
Learn as much as you can from whatever resources are available to you. I agree the library is a great place to start.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Jul 15, 2006 10:44PM)
I, too, agree that the library is the place to start.
Cheap starting places are Wilson's book and The Magic Book by Lorayne.
If your library does not have these, you might ask about interlibrary loans.
But, these two books could keep you busy until you are proficient in whatever area you wish to persue.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Jul 16, 2006 01:05AM)
I second the idea of finding a mentor. I wouldn't have the appreciation for magic that I do, were it not for my mentor, the great Rajah (Tom Kepler.) We spent hours together going over basic details like mis-direction, ethics, theory, psychology, performance, etc. He was a very patient teacher and was able to help me by critiquing me every step of the way. He helped guide my attitude toward magic, performing and style. He also warned me of the junk on the market and advised me to resist the temptation to buy all the latest things I saw. If he were alive today, I'm sure we would be hangin' out in his 'magic room'... and I'm sure I'd still be learning more and more. If you can find someone like Rajah... you'll learn a great deal about yourself and which direction to take. Meanwhile, take the advice that the others have suggested, and read all you can. Good luck on your journey!

Message: Posted by: Piper1973 (Jul 16, 2006 05:13AM)
I recently got started again and decided not to spend money on tricks- books yeah- but not tricks.

Look at http://www.abebooks.com. You can find a lot of books at inexpensive prices. I posted elsewhere that I got Mark Wilson's book in hardcover for $4.00. I searched the database and found many of Fulves's books for $1.00. With shipping it would be abot $5.00 (still less than Borders) and if you purchased several from the same store it would be less. His table magic book is loaded with effects that use common household things.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Jul 16, 2006 10:06AM)
Checked the site.

Used books at affordable prices. Very helpful. Thanks Piper!
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Jul 16, 2006 11:23AM)
The second post is the best: The Local Library or *aries. You can get a lot of learnin' for no bucks. Best,
Message: Posted by: airship (Jul 16, 2006 12:23PM)
Hey! Don't tell everybody about abebooks! Now there will be people buying all the good books out from under me! :)

And don't forget lybrary.com for some very cheap ebooks, and the Learned Pig for many free ones: http://www.thelearnedpig.com.pa/magos/index.php
Message: Posted by: scooter magic (Jul 27, 2006 05:52PM)
The site should be big enuff for everybuddy:)
Message: Posted by: tglund (Jul 28, 2006 05:42PM)
I agree with others that have previously stated to find a mentor. A good place to look for one is by joining a magic club if there is one in your area. Look for the International Brotherhood of Magicains, Society of American Magicains, Fellowship of Christian Magicians, etc. Most members are willing to help others along, and many chapters have libraries where members can checkout books or videos.

Good Luck
Message: Posted by: sunnydolan (Jul 28, 2006 10:35PM)
I agree with the people who said get Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic, its what I started out with, and its amazing. Once you figure out which gerenes of magic you'd like to persue further, ask an expirenced magician which book's, DVD's, lecture notes, or websites to look at next.
Message: Posted by: big Tom (Jul 29, 2006 01:41PM)
Hi ashley,
sorry if this is repeditive, I did not take the time to read all the posts. I started like a year ago with no money, and I did not even know about the Café, so you are one step ahead of me. I saw a freind do magic and was very intreged, he would not teach me so one day I took my wife to the book store barns and nobels. While she was looking for her book I came acrossed a magic book it was only ten dollas and it has all the fundometals for card. So if you are looking to do cards I recomend The Big Book of Card Magic by Bob Longe. Then I would say start saveing up if you plan on staying in magic the rest can get very exspenceive.
Message: Posted by: LeeDillingham (Jul 31, 2006 12:04PM)
Many years ago when I was just starting, I got a job at a part time job at a local magic shop. During my down time, I read nearly every magic book that was in print at the time. It was also an easy way to get gigs. Mothers would come in trying to book their kids birthday party. I would say I was available. It was good practice. I was also able to borrow props for use in my small shows that I was doing at the time. All of this experience did not cost anything.
Message: Posted by: Cory Gallupe (Jul 31, 2006 02:01PM)
On 2006-07-11 16:56, scooter magic wrote:
I'm just getting started in magic. I don't know of any good books and videos other than bobo's and where I can get them for a good price. Any suggestions


Hi Ashley, and welcome to the world of magic! You have certainly came to the right place for advise. I wouldn't hesitate to say that this is the best place for advise in all magic.

I recommend these books:
-Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic.
-JB Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.
-Royal Road to Card Magic.
-Expert Card Techneique.
-Henry Hay's Amature Magicians Handbook.
And if you have lots of money to spend, Tarbel Course in Magic. (9 Volumes)
And Card College. (5 Volumes.)

For DVD's:
-Oz Pearlmans "Born to Perform Card Magic." (Great for beginners in Card Magic, teaches some great routines, and very useful sleights.)
-Michael Ammar's "Easy to Master Card Miracles" (9 Volumes.)
-Michael Ammar's "Easy to Master Money Miracles" (3 Volumes.)
-Michael Ammar's "Easy to master Thread Miracles" (3 Volumes.)

Just SOME ideas of stuff to start out on.

But when you are looking for more, check out Jeff McBride, Jay Sankey, Greg Wilson, and many more. (Those are a few of my favorites.)
I am currently going through Michael Close's Very very Close video's, and Jeff McBride's "Magic on Stage" video's.

Best of luck with magic!
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Aug 1, 2006 04:03PM)
Join a local Magic Club, if you can.
Message: Posted by: Cory Gallupe (Aug 2, 2006 11:46AM)
Yes, definatley join a club. And perform for as many people as you can. Practice in front of a mirror or by yourself is good for learning sleights, but people practice is by far the best for experience and ideas.
Message: Posted by: Cheety (Aug 2, 2006 12:46PM)
I found a magician and asked him bout the club, and then he asked me to come along for some of his shows, then he told me he would help me and teach me if I assist him in sum of his shows and I agreed. get to know some good magicians and ask them if you could come along and watch them perform or some thing like that. they will help if you seem interested. there are some who don't like it so don't do it too often
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Aug 3, 2006 07:14PM)

In addition to the above excellent ideas, also tell you're parents, close friends, and relatives about your interest. Have them buy you "magic" for birthday gifts, etc. You might get some junk, but you'll probably also get some nice books and tricks.

Message: Posted by: Tennispro (Dec 2, 2009 09:33AM)
Without doubt buy Joshua JaY's new book on Magic with the DVD and for only 19.95 its one of the best buys in magic.