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Topic: Starting over from scratch
Message: Posted by: Kaneda (Nov 22, 2014 10:00PM)
I have decided to start over fresh and begin again (I know again...). I haven't really posted here that much because I've been out of magic for a little while now. I made the decision to really spend the time magic deserves and devote a lot of time and effort into it. I am making this post mainly for myself and to let other know what I am doing. There a lot of reasons for this. The main reason being that I know I can't do this by myself. Another is a place where I can ask for help on something I am having trouble with (without exposing of course) and/or where I can post videos (deciding on, only have my webcam atm) of the effects that I am working on. So hopefully with you everyone help here I can acheve something that I wouldn't be able to do by myself.

That being said. I decided on one book that I will be working through and that is Card College. Cards have always been my love. I have tried many other things like coins, spongeballs, ect. Yet I always come back to cards. I am planning on no less then 2 week per chapter, unless its something I just need to refesh on which is kinda how the first few chapters might be. So should take my about a half a year to go through the book (if not more depending) then I will pick another (might not be the next volume might be a book on coins).

I just started yesterday and working on the effects from the first chapter now which is more of a refresher but I am also picking up things that I missed before. I am also considering recording the effects and posting them up to get comments and critique. So hope you guys follow my journey I am very excited just like I was when I first David Copperfield special that started my love of my magic (even though it was years later when I decided to start learning but I watched them every year). So here is to new beginnings~ and let the fun begin.
Message: Posted by: Mike Gilbert (Nov 22, 2014 11:59PM)

Welcome back! I am new to the forums altogether, but I, too, am starting over! I know how you feel my friend! I finally have the time to devote to solid practice and routining; the time this vast art deserves! I am excited to be getting back into the swing of things! I will also be putting short videos together for both my personal use, as well as public (forum) critique. I look forward to seeing your performances! Please keep in touch and let us know how it is going!!!

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Nov 23, 2014 01:28AM)
Cool beans. Just stick with it a little at a time. Even a few minutes a day and you will improve. Have fun!

Message: Posted by: Otto D (Nov 23, 2014 07:21AM)
I'm not really starting over, but I'm starting from scratch. Any tips from previous experience?
Message: Posted by: george1953 (Nov 23, 2014 07:33AM)
If starting from scratch I would try and find a mentor or magic club. I know that's not always possible but it would stop you from picking up bad habits which you then have to unlearn. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Nov 23, 2014 08:23AM)
Hi Otto,

I'm no expert, probably best described as late-stage or developing beginner, but this is what I wished someone told me when I first began:

A) it's important to have the best practice space you can get. I suggest a table, chair, close-up mat, big mirror(s), camcorder with tripod. You don't have to get it all at once, or rely on always using a mat or table (best if don't rely on these), but a good practice space and the ability to see yourself is worth it's weight in gold - and will save headaches later.

B) the chances are you will begin by performing to family and friends and colleagues. This means you will need to be working mostly on close-up magic, and you will have to bear in mind that these audiences will have a hard time buying you as a great magician or having a new skill. Indeed, they may even be very poor audiences that try to scupper your tricks or make life hard for you. Depending upon how you judge your family etc you may want to hang back from performing for them until you've become really solid in your skills, and maybe try the outer fringes of your circle of acquaintances first. Maybe even trying stuff on strangers might be better at first.

C) develop the easier sleight of hand skills before the harder ones. Personally I have found paddle and sponges easier than cards, and rope easier than coins. I find coins the hardest. I would start, then, with paddle and sponges; then cards and rope; then other stuff - rings, cups and balls, coins etc. There is no rush here, and I have not gone beyond rope. I hope to start with rings next year sometime.

D) focus on just two things at. A time, no more. I favour two rather one because different things can be practised in different environments. It also helps prevent boredom. I wish I'd started with paddle and cards, then added sponges when I'd got a paddle trick sorted (cards are never ending and can always be worked upon).

E) beware that cards and/or mentalism don't suck you in to the detriment of everything else. They are the black-holes of magic - they can become obsessive and are so huge they can eat up all your time and money and energy.. Nothing wrong with specialising in these fields, just probably best not to make that choice so early. Such specialisms can wait until you're more experienced.

F) to avoid boredom, and to avoid always rushing onto the next trick in order to feed the magic bug (your new passion), I suggest supplementing your practice/learning with head knowledge: history, performance skills, theory etc. There are many good places to find this stuff.

G) there are loads of good, affordable resources or all types of magic out there. Many recommendations will come your way on this forum. You don't have to get them all!

My personal recommendations, based on my very limited experience, would be something like:

Richard Sanders turbostick DVD for paddle
Daryl's Essentials Spongeball DVD for sponges (though I've also heard that Steve Dacri's Toolbox is great for beginners - I'm going to get this myself)

Gerry Griffin Complete Card Magic DVD set for cards
Royal Road to Card Magic book for cards
Encyclopaedia of card tricks for cards

Richard Sanders Fibre Optics for rope

All round resource: Mark Wilson's Complete Magic .course book

Theory and history:
Maximum Entertainment
Hiding the elephant

Have fun! :)
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Nov 23, 2014 08:43AM)
Additional points to the above:

H) watch out for poor online exposure videos. They aren't worth it. Use good resources produced by the pros only. The only potential exception to this is ytubes about shuffling as a poker skill, not magic stuff.

I) don't get distracted by all the shiny, shiny new stuff all the time. Impossible, I know! But aim for tried, tested and true tricks. They're classics (or modern classics) for a reason. I consider new re workings of old effects/items fair game (in case you're wondering about turbostick and fibre optics).

J) the special guest section of the Café has loads of great people in it, and tonnes of great info. Well worth reading through them all!
Message: Posted by: Otto D (Nov 23, 2014 08:54AM)
Thank you Terrible Wizard, I will keep that in mind.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Nov 23, 2014 12:52PM)
See the real shuffle thread for some free material on getting started with card magic.

Also when you want some serious reading in theory for free sign up at vanishing in for their enormous free PDF on magic theory.

All the best! :)
Message: Posted by: Kaneda (Nov 23, 2014 05:45PM)
Wow so much information thanks Terrible Wizard. I want to thank you guys for the support. Today I performed The spectator cuts to the aces for a friend at work and she loved it. I love how something so simple can hit hard. I don't plan on wearing myself out and gonna take it as slow as I can and not rush it. Only really move on when I understand what is taught in the chapter.