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Topic: Too old to learn magic?
Message: Posted by: JohnIJ (Oct 9, 2013 01:17PM)
I'm 50 years and have been a collector of magic books for a couple of years, loving card magic. In the past I never give myself the opportunity or time to start practising magic.

My son (16 years) joined a magic club several years ago and everytime I see him performing card magic it looks so easy.

When I try myself it feels so unnatural taking the deck of cards into dealers grip an trying to permform eg a DL dealers.

Does it just takes a lot of practice, or am I just to old to learn magic :)?
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Oct 9, 2013 01:24PM)
One is never to old. It is natural for new things to feel unnatural when learning and practicing. Perhaps this will open up a new communication avenue with you and your son, sharing a common interest with him teaching his ol'man some things.
Message: Posted by: Magic Pierre (Oct 9, 2013 02:17PM)
I picked it up again last summer at age 54. It'll come. Spend some time every day with a deck in your hands, or a coin, practicing sleights until they become second nature. It's also a really good way to build new neural connections in your brain, which can have a positive effect preventing dementia.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 9, 2013 03:01PM)
Too old?? I sure hope not!! I'm older than you and there's still so much more to learn!

Ed
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Oct 9, 2013 04:00PM)
Although I have been toying with magic since I was 25, I knew very few close up or card tricks until I was 45.
Message: Posted by: george1953 (Oct 9, 2013 04:08PM)
You are never too old, and, magic will open up new avenues for you. don't be put off just go for it.
Message: Posted by: TheRaven (Oct 9, 2013 05:29PM)
Great opportunity to encourage your son and form a bond based on a shared passion that will help span those difficult years.
Message: Posted by: JustCraig (Oct 9, 2013 08:21PM)
Too old? Never!! - Magic is a great hobby that anyone can get involved in. There are so many genres of magic too that there is bound to be some form of the art you will become obsessed with. It becomes so easy to get lost in a world of wonder, regardless of age!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 9, 2013 08:48PM)
Someone much older than I am, once told me: "WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH LEARNING, YOU ARE THROUGH!"
Message: Posted by: bowers (Oct 9, 2013 09:33PM)
I didn't start performing publicly until
I was in my early forties.
Todd
Message: Posted by: charlie_d (Oct 10, 2013 02:19AM)
You almost certainly have experience, character and confidence that most younger man lack. Also, you're probably a better liar. :)
Although your moves might not be as diamond-cutter perfect, your show will be a lot more fun.
Message: Posted by: Rook (Oct 10, 2013 09:54AM)
Though not magic, I often hear the "I'm too old" rationale from folks all the time with regard to entering graduate school. You may see the parallel here.

My oldest student was beginning her PhD program at 78. Her husband was in a different doctoral program at 80. They were in a race to see who would get theirs first.

She was quite motivated. Though she didn't have *more* struggles than her younger colleagues, she had *different* struggles and challenges to overcome. Yes, she worked harder than her colleagues did also. This wasn't because she had to in order to succeed at all, but to succeed at the level that she desired. I spoke with her once about the loads of extra work she was putting in:

"You know, you could take it easy for a term or two. You'll finish along with the rest of your cohort without cramming so many classes in to a single term."

"Oh...my husband can win that silly race as far as I'm concerned. I'm racing death. That's my true opponent!"

I left for a different university before she graduated, but I hear that she did so just a bit before her husband. As far as I know, she's still alive.

-Tom
Message: Posted by: motown (Oct 10, 2013 11:22AM)
Don't be afraid to try other kinds of magic. You don't just have to do card magic.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Oct 10, 2013 04:52PM)
I'm in my 60's. There are many different ways to do the DL. Research and practice until you find one that works for you.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Oct 10, 2013 08:51PM)
Never too old. There is more to magic than card magic. Even a 16 year old has trouble with grips,lifts, etc. at first. We all need practice.
Message: Posted by: gomerel (Oct 11, 2013 12:19AM)
I am 70. I've puttered for maybe 10 years but only been serious for about 2. I'm sure I could learn card, coin, linking rings and other tricks that require many hours of practice. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Lavand) If I'm lucky, I have 20 years. Spending many, many hours alone, practicing isn't how I spend them. So I mostly do self-working or semi-self-working tricks.
What matters is the performance. I know technically brilliant magicians who are boring to watch because then don't have performance skills.
Message: Posted by: JohnIJ (Oct 11, 2013 11:51AM)
Thanks for your answers and support. I think it indeed take pratice and for some sleights it take some more practice or a lot of practice. So I lets stop only reading about magic and start practicing.

Fore sure the share hobby between my son and me strongers the bond, it's a lot of fun to visit conventions or magic shops.
Message: Posted by: HerbS (Oct 15, 2013 12:40AM)
I think it is never too late. I started music as an adult and also returned to magic just a few years ago and finally got serious about it in the deep way I wish I had as a kid (I'm 52). However if you are into card magic, check out tricks by Nick Trost. He came up with hard-hitting stuff that is not too technically difficult. For example, I think that "intuition" in the book "the Card Magic of Nick Trost, is great.
Message: Posted by: Big Sam (Oct 15, 2013 08:10PM)
People have covered the "you're never too old" angle, so let me add a different twist. Years ago I had medical issues that left me with tremors in my hands and severe arthritis. One of the things prescribed was daily finger exercises. They seemed kinda boring, so I returned to magic. A few years of daily practice shuffling, cutting, and basic flourishing had made a significant difference. Also, the process of focus and problem-solving is an important habit to fight off age-related memory issues.

So, you're never too old for magic and magic can keep you young.

Sam
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Oct 15, 2013 09:13PM)
Why don't you google Rene Lavand and then see if you want to reconsider that question.

Why don't you google John Calvert and then see if you want to reconsider that question.

Why don't you google Juan Tamariz and then see if you want to reconsider that question.

etc.etc.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Oct 20, 2013 11:43PM)
I'm edging closer to 60 and I'm still learning new effects!

So I'd have to say unequivocally NO! You are never to old to learn!
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Oct 21, 2013 07:03PM)
Never too old to learn. I'm retired and after years of collecting and hobbying at magic, at age 63 I performed my first magic show for charity. I kept doing charity shows and enjoyed it. And I learned that I thoroughly enjoy performing for kids in the 4-8 year range. Perhaps that's something to focus on, what do you like to do and who do you like performing for? I did learn however, that at my age I don't wish to do magic for a living (after all I [i]am[/i] retired) or to make money at it. It's hard work when you consider travel, set up, performing, take down, etc. But I'm now going on 66 and still loving it. And it's especially nice that you have your son to work with.
Message: Posted by: Interfector (Oct 22, 2013 02:38PM)
Just practice more never give up
Message: Posted by: JohnIJ (Oct 29, 2013 02:14PM)
Practicing, practicing ...... I'm making progress. Sleights are still difficult but I think I have to develop some muscle memory.
Message: Posted by: liormk (Oct 30, 2013 01:28PM)
Im 31, and my main problem is that I don't have much time to practice, between work and family. So maybe being a bit older helps :)
Message: Posted by: Magic Pierre (Oct 31, 2013 09:20AM)
Nope. I'm 54, and I seem to have less time every week...
Message: Posted by: JohnIJ (Oct 31, 2013 02:02PM)
Time is always a problem even if your older.
Message: Posted by: MikeHolbrook (Oct 31, 2013 04:02PM)
This discussion on persons of a more mature age is a great one for me. I'm 57 and at the present time I'm unemployed. Even though I'm not working for pay, I have so much going on lately that I have not practiced in weeks. Once my daughter gets settled in her new home and I'm not at her house about everyday working, I hope to get back to practicing and be able to start picking up some paid performances. My only performances so far were free ones for my church or the kids at a ministry I'm involved in.

Mike
Message: Posted by: liormk (Nov 1, 2013 10:58AM)
I sometimes think about whether I'll still be into magic when I'm 50+. Then I realize magic will probably lose it's appeal by then, you know, with all the flying cars and time traveling etc..
Message: Posted by: krowboom (Nov 4, 2013 11:18PM)
I started when I was 64 (am 70 now) and know enough moves to do dozens of card tricks. Unless you're a total klutz it's not that hard and you don't need to know that many moves. Learn a double lift, Elmsley count, glide, a few false cuts and shuffles and you're ready to do about a 100 or so tricks. In addition there are many card tricks that require no moves at all and still blow people away. At my age I'm not ready to put in hours of practice and don't have the dexterity anyway. Also, there is lots of magic besides cards you can do that is not difficult to learn. Sponge balls, ropes, coins, and chop cup are all great. I'm talking about basic routines with these items. PM me if you want more specifics. Just remember that you're never too old to do anything. I also learned to do ventriloquism at this age so as long as you have the interest you can do it.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Nov 5, 2013 07:17AM)
You are right, my friend! It's all in the mind and in the attitude. It truly is.

There is enough "self working" effects in magic that are still amazing to keep a person busy for a lifetime.

So even if a person doesn't desire to learn sleights, they can still fool the pants off people.

So really, age is no object.
Message: Posted by: Dallas Robbins (Nov 5, 2013 11:52PM)
One is never too old to start anything new.
Message: Posted by: CraigMcK (Nov 6, 2013 06:08AM)
I've just started learning magic for the benefit of my young kids. I thought if they see me doing tricks then they would be more inclined to take it up too. I admit, at first I thought maybe I was a bit old to start (I'm 40) but then, like the general sentiment of this thread, I came to the conclusion that no I'm not!

I think the problem is that once you start convincing yourself that you're too old to do something (not just magic, but anything in life really) then you kind of create a self full-filling prophecy. Thinking like that succeeds only in denting your self-confidence, self-belief and puts un-necessary, additional pressure on yourself when you stand up and try doing a trick.
Message: Posted by: MarkRochon (Nov 13, 2013 04:26PM)
I'm just now starting to relearn card magic and I'm 54 and I'm loving it and I think in about another 6 months I'll better than I was when I was really in to magic as a teenager. Just keep at it and always have a deck within reach or in your pocket.
Message: Posted by: Kaneda (Nov 13, 2013 04:47PM)
I believe its never too late to learn anything new. If you have the drive to learn it, your age doesn't matter.
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (Nov 17, 2013 12:51PM)
I started when I was 45 (I'm 58 now). Age has not been as issue for me. If anything, it makes it better!
Message: Posted by: wwhokie1 (Nov 17, 2013 02:14PM)
Just keep doing it. A deck of cards will feel uncomfortable, holding, shuffling, different moves, holding two cards. the cards will slide around, you will drop cards, but eventually that will start to change. It will start to feel natural, it just takes some time, regardless of what age you try. One piece of advice. Don't try to do too much at once. Get the basics and practice continually, get good at two or three routines, and then add on.
Message: Posted by: djurmann (Nov 19, 2013 03:40PM)
Just do it!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Danny (Nov 19, 2013 07:02PM)
Started performing at 50, man, all that time wasted! This is FUN!
Message: Posted by: nytaylor21 (Nov 20, 2013 01:17AM)
Yep...the cut off is 50. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you are too old.

Ridiculous!!! As has been written many times already, it is never too old! In fact, recent science supports the notion that an old dog can indeed learn new tricks. It's all about neural plasticity, but I won't bore you with the details. Rest assured your brain can adapt, change, and learn for the entirety of your lifetime!
Message: Posted by: lcwright1964 (Jan 3, 2014 03:00AM)
I am fifty in a few months and haven't dabbled in magic since I was a boy. I never was that good or patient as pre-teen, but I did learn quite a few self-working tricks. The only SOL card trick I dared try before family was Charles Miller's Dunbury Delusion as described in Expert Card Technique. I find today that I am picking up the card stuff again--my hands are bigger and stronger, I am more patient, I am more flexible with myself, and I have the maturity to understand tricks, whereas as a boy I treated my few magic books like cookbooks that didn't allow for deviation. Also, we have today the glories of the internet, a fabulous way to learn magic and interact with other practitioners at all levels. Also, many people of our vintage have something we didn't have as children--a little more disposable income. This makes things like the great (but not cheap) Card College series more accessible, whereas at twelve it was a big deal for me to splurge on another magic book or a few more decks of cards.

Finally, check out Harry Lorayne. Yeah, I know the Maestro started as a boy, but Wikipedia advises us that he is 87 today and still advising, teaching, writing, and performing. If he is not too old for close-up magic, then you and I sure aren't.

Les
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 3, 2014 04:54AM)
Well, I'm 82 and now retired from a lifetime on the road performing in school assemblies. (I did my first show at 13, in 1945.) I AM DEFINITELY NOT A CARDICISN!!!

Most of the routines that I've performed over the years need some sort of manual skills (I'm NOT a "BOX" MAGICIAN!!!). If you can learn to tie your own shoes, you can do most anything that uses ROPE for a prop. CARDS: I learned as a teen to do all the fancy shuffles, fans,etc. --but the card routine runs just TWO minutes in my 45 minute school show. If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you can learn the physical skills to do linking rings! (It aint physical skill, it's PERSONALITY, and PRESENTATION SKILLS ! Hekk, I also do the MUTILATED PARASOL (YES!) --That's the newest trick in the show (it went "in" in '92, and it gets show stop laughs! It runs 2 minutes. I still do all (or mostly) the "classics" because they're practical, and have stood the test of time. Some of the routines that I do "go back" to SCOT'S "DISCOVERY OF WITCHCRAFT" (1500s!!!!!) In the show (for the fancy shuffles) I'm using a deck of deck of AVIATORS (!) that I "broke in" in 1951!--That's THOUSANDS OF SHOWS!
I do rope stuff that I learned in Ralph W. Hull's "Fifteen Minutes With A Piece of Rope" (1946) Color change silk and 20th Century Silks, I've been doing since the late '40s. The so called Slydini Silk Knots, I learned in July of 1941 from a side show magician in the Bud E. Anderson Circus. That principle was written up in SCOT'S!!!

Today, there is a plethora of DVDs, VHS tapes, and books of every description. When I was 15, a friend loaned me TARBELL. Tarbell is still THE book(a) from which a young guy can build an act. The patter (and some of the presentation's are passe, but the PRINCIPLES A I N T!!! (IT AINT THE PROPS OR SLEIGHTS--IT IS THE PERFORMER AND PRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

So, don't worry about double lifts, Ascanios, Elmsleys, buckles!!! They're just some of the tools. Check out some of the KARL Fulves "SELF WORKING" BOOKS. They are cheap, and full of "good stuff"! You will need to learn how to PRESENT the tricks in an ENTERTAINING WAY.

WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN, IS HOW TO P R E S E N T, THE TRICKS. BECAUSE MAGIC IS N O T INHERENTLY E N T E R T A I N I N G! So! forget about DOUBLE LIFTS! INVEST in a copy of Ken Weber's "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT"! and learn about presentation!

KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM are not the same. Hopefully, at your age, you've acquired, through experience: WISDOM!
Message: Posted by: C_Biskit (Jan 3, 2014 06:27AM)
You are never too old to learn magic! Even learning card handling you can do! It is all practice and mind set. If you think you can learn it you will and if you think its too hard or youre too old to do it you are. Learning takes place at all ages (which I'm sure you know, probably still learning new things everyday) and all it takes is time and retention (practice). But even if you can't do card tricks (like others said) there is still other forms of magic (and also mentalism ^.^)

take care and happy learning =]
Andy
Message: Posted by: MAV (Jan 3, 2014 09:38PM)
I turned 66 today (Jan 3rd) and am in the process of taking my passion for magic to the next level. From 1985 to 2000 I was very active in my local magic club, which continues to be a great one. Then, for the past 14 years I put my wand down as my work career was 100% commission so I let making a living get in the way of having fun. But.....I retired last July, have dug out five boxes of magic tricks, books and CD's (we did not have DVD's back then). And I took my cherry wood magic wand out of its velvet case. It's time to start having fun again.

One of the biggest challenges with getting good at magic is having a venue to perform. You can only practice in front of a mirror or in front of family for just so long. So, I am putting together my routine and will be volunteering at my local Vet Hospital and Children's Hospital. As I go room to room and perform the same routines over and over it will build my confidence and allow me to improve and take on the more challenging effects.

I will be 100% better today than I was back in the 80's and 90's. The reason is that I can now focus on my magic, and helping others as my top priorities. So is getting older a hinderance......fat chance!!!
Message: Posted by: TheBruceBeat (Jan 3, 2014 10:10PM)
Good for you MAV!
Message: Posted by: Zephury (Jan 4, 2014 03:43PM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-09 21:48, Dick Oslund wrote:
Someone much older than I am, once told me: "WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH LEARNING, YOU ARE THROUGH!"


[/quote]

I love that! I'll be telling myself that for as long as I live.
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Jul 6, 2014 12:55PM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2014, Dick Oslund wrote:
Well, I'm 82 and now retired from a lifetime on the road performing in school assemblies. (I did my first show at 13, in 1945.) I AM DEFINITELY NOT A CARDICISN!!!

Most of the routines that I've performed over the years need some sort of manual skills (I'm NOT a "BOX" MAGICIAN!!!). If you can learn to tie your own shoes, you can do most anything that uses ROPE for a prop. CARDS: I learned as a teen to do all the fancy shuffles, fans,etc. --but the card routine runs just TWO minutes in my 45 minute school show. If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you can learn the physical skills to do linking rings! (It aint physical skill, it's PERSONALITY, and PRESENTATION SKILLS ! Hekk, I also do the MUTILATED PARASOL (YES!) --That's the newest trick in the show (it went "in" in '92, and it gets show stop laughs! It runs 2 minutes. I still do all (or mostly) the "classics" because they're practical, and have stood the test of time. Some of the routines that I do "go back" to SCOT'S "DISCOVERY OF WITCHCRAFT" (1500s!!!!!) In the show (for the fancy shuffles) I'm using a deck of deck of AVIATORS (!) that I "broke in" in 1951!--That's THOUSANDS OF SHOWS!
I do rope stuff that I learned in Ralph W. Hull's "Fifteen Minutes With A Piece of Rope" (1946) Color change silk and 20th Century Silks, I've been doing since the late '40s. The so called Slydini Silk Knots, I learned in July of 1941 from a side show magician in the Bud E. Anderson Circus. That principle was written up in SCOT'S!!!

Today, there is a plethora of DVDs, VHS tapes, and books of every description. When I was 15, a friend loaned me TARBELL. Tarbell is still THE book(a) from which a young guy can build an act. The patter (and some of the presentation's are passe, but the PRINCIPLES A I N T!!! (IT AINT THE PROPS OR SLEIGHTS--IT IS THE PERFORMER AND PRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

So, don't worry about double lifts, Ascanios, Elmsleys, buckles!!! They're just some of the tools. Check out some of the KARL Fulves "SELF WORKING" BOOKS. They are cheap, and full of "good stuff"! You will need to learn how to PRESENT the tricks in an ENTERTAINING WAY.

WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN, IS HOW TO P R E S E N T, THE TRICKS. BECAUSE MAGIC IS N O T INHERENTLY E N T E R T A I N I N G! So! forget about DOUBLE LIFTS! INVEST in a copy of Ken Weber's "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT"! and learn about presentation!

KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM are not the same. Hopefully, at your age, you've acquired, through experience: WISDOM! [/quote]

ONLY THROUGH experience . . . and guys like you . . . I learn WHAT'S IMPORTANT, increase my knowledge and continuously gain increasing WISDOM! Immense and ongoing thanks to you again Dick Oslund!
Message: Posted by: challengedmichael (Jul 11, 2014 06:23PM)
Never To Old! Just gotta make some time to practice, always keep a deck of cards on yourself and when you have a spare moment, shuffle, elmsley count ect. It will take some time but you will get it, I did and I'm 58.
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Aug 6, 2014 09:19AM)
I'm learning, reading, practicing, etc. more because of health issues. My doctor told me to stop weight training. I'm still allowed to play tennis, but my elbow, hip, knees, big toes, etc. are protesting.

Magic is easy on the body and I can work on it year round.

I'm 51 and I enjoy working on magic. No aches or pains yet.
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Feb 6, 2021 03:19PM)
Hello:
After reading this here is another in the 58 club. What I have found is that there is always room to improve what you already do. I do try new routines once in a while, but I have a lot of successful material already. However, always see if you can improve. Look at your show as if you were in the audience watching. Feedback from spectators and their reactions will tell you what is working or not. Keep practising and have fun! If you do, it will rub off on your audience! Cheers!
Message: Posted by: thegreatscungilli (Feb 18, 2021 09:27AM)
Patience and practice and it will come... videos are a big help if they are done well. You can see how things work and go over them in slow motion if need be.