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Profile of gimmick1586
Is it wrong or stupid to "kinda" hide that I practice magic. It's not that I'm ashamed of it, well maybe to a degree.

But it's not magic. I think magic is cool. And magicians are some of the best people to meet. But I don't have confidence in my work.

I know I don't suck but my stuff isn't solid. I don't want to reveal to the whole school that I'm a magi in training. Otherwise I would have people asking me all day to show them something. Then I'll look stupid because I don't have much to show for.

I want to let it get out by people saying
"OMG, did you see what that kid did in third period." Also if I tell everyone it will kill my element of suprise.

Does anyone have anything to say about this? Anyone on the same page as I am?
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Profile of rickmagic1
It's not an issue, in my opinion, of being right or wrong. It's an issue of your ability to back up what you say you can do (I don't mean that harsh by any means). It sounds like you don't feel you're ready yet, and that's ok. One of the best bits of advice I ever got in magic was "don't call yourself a magician when you're just a beginner; you can't back it up".
I'd say spend some time getting mentored and taught by a seasoned magician. He/she should be able to tell you when you have an effect ready for public performance.
In time, you'll be able to tell for yourself, but never do anything until you've shown it to someone who can tell you honestly how it looked (angles, presentation, etc).
Good Luck in your learning..
Richard Green
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Host of the Haunted Magic show at House of Cards Nashville!
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Profile of nums
Gimmick, magic is more than one trick or a couple of them put together, It has been my experience that when you show somone a trick they will want more due to the fact that us humans love to be entertained, with that in mind, do what you know and show somone a trick, with time and practice you will become a magician instead of someone who does tricks. I remember knowing only one or two card tricks but when people wanted more it gave me drive to learn and become the full time performer that I am today... good luck and keep practicing

jeff Smile
Sid Mayer
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Profile of Sid Mayer

It takes time to gain confidence. Be glad that you're intelligent enough to know that you're not a magician ... yet.

The best way to get there, is to practice and PERFORM. Do a few tricks, until you feel that you have them down cold. You don't need to start out by claiming to be "The Great Whatever."

You might try to beat the show me, another problem, by approaching people with something like, "I've learned a couple of pretty cool magic tricks. Would you like to see one?" Then, let them talk you into doing one or two more.

It's always a good idea to leave them wanting more. I've been doing magic for many years and know way too many tricks. Still, when I feel that I've done enough for one session, I'll say, "Those are all of the tricks I know but I'm working on some more. As soon as I've developed the necessary powers, I'll be glad to show them to you."

Be patient, stay interested, and you will reap a lifetime reward.

All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
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Profile of Danno
Find someone you can trust, and perform for them. Maybe some tricks that you think you do just OK, would blow them away. You may be better than you think.
I myself am a magician in training like you. But I'm sure that you don't learn these tricks to entertain yourself, you want to share them. You just need the confidence to do so.
I'm lucky, all my routines are first tested on my 7 year old son. Children are not as analitical as adults. They don't try to figure out 'how it's done' as much as adults. They just take it for what it is. PURELY MAGIC.
Practicing and performing tricks for my son has given me the confidence to perform those same tricks for friends and other family members. You'll find that this will build your confidence and you'll invest more time in practicing to get even better.

Good luck!
Danno - Who WILL be a magician some day! Smile
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Profile of DavidKenney
I agree with everyone, man, I have been doing magic off and on for 20 years and only a handful of people know that I am a magician.

Why advertise until you are ready?
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black wombat
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I'm only a major beginner and I practice on my family and close friends - they won't laugh at me. Once a trick is good enough, and I'm confident, then I'll try it out on someone else.
Just do one trick at a time, and that way the person will only think you know the odd trick and you won't feel that you're a "try-hard" magician. Smile
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Profile of gimmick1586
Thanks a lot for all the replies. But one last question. Do you think it is a bad idea that I practice a bunch of sleights in hope that I can use them later when I start throwing routines together. Or would it just be better to learn routines and the sleights required. Or maybe just learn the basic sleights, and learn the other sleights from doing routines that need them. Here is what I practice.


Double lift
g. count
e. count
Erdnase change
snap change
wink change
window change
Tenkai toss
back palming and pivot (both hands)
one handed fan
Charlier cut (both hands)
thumb fan
C. Pass (people told me to start now and later I would have an unbeatable control)
H. pass
triple false cut in hand
false overhand shuffle
riffle shuffle
"and some new move I don't know the name of"


Classic palm (both hands)
Thumb palm (both hands)
Back thumb palm (both hands)
finger palm (both hands)
Bobo switch (both hands)
click pass (both hands)
utility switch (both hands)
coin roll (both hands)
French drop (both hands)
retention vanish (both hands)
Downs palm (both hands)
muscle pass (both hands)

And I barely have any tricks to show for all those sleights and I haven't found where to use some of them. And I think I'm going about this the wrong way.
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
You do all those sleights and you say you're a beginner!
Hey, I've been doing this for 50 years and I can't do most of them! Smile
That aside, I think the point is that there's nothing wrong with learning a whole bunch of sleights, even if you are never going to use them.
Many, if not most, magicians end up buying a whole bunch of tricks that they are never going to use.
It's important to understand the principle behind the sleight/gimmick and, to do that, sometimes the only way is to buy or learn it.
So I don't think you are going about this the wrong way.
On the contrary, I think you are creating for yourself a solid base on which to build the magic that you will do in the future.
Put the same kind of work into your presentations, and you will be unstoppable!
And then you can call yourself a magician, because then you will be ready (in your mind, which is really the only place that counts.)
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Profile of gimmick1586
Thanks for the encouragement Peter. I'll work hard. I was thinking, if I work extra hard, may-be I could compete in a JR magic contest. But the Florida Convention next year, they are planning on mixing together JR and adults. Which isn't fair to set up that way; you'll have people with two years experience facing against people with 20 years of experience. They say they do that because some of the JR's are really good. So what! Just because their as good as half the adults doesn't mean a thing. Then they'll never have anything to show for competeing. Then there is still the other JR's. who are not near as good as that. Guess I'll have to push harder.
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Profile of Danno
I think you're trying to learn too much at once. I practiced nothing but the French drop for a whole week. Literally HOURS. Now, I know this may seem excessive to devote a total of 20 hours in one week to just ONE sleight move. But, I gotta tell ya, I have a killer French Drop. Smile

This week?
Well I've been classic palming a half dollar since Sunday. (well, not 24 hours, but you get the idea) Smile
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Profile of gimmick1586
Easy moves I give about ten minutes a day. Harder ones I give 20-30.
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Profile of tglund

Sleights are good, but for most beginners, sleights alone are not enough to keep their attention. You might want to consider to start learning some routines that utilize some of the easier sleights you are working on. This way you can learn the sleight and an effect simultaneously. Once you have it down you have a new effect that you can add to your repertoire. By building your repertoire this way you will soon not have to worry that people will ask you to perform a trick and not have anything in hand.

On 2002-09-18 14:33, gimmick1586 wrote:
But the Florida Convention next year, they are planning on mixing together JR's and adults. Which isn't fair to set up that way; you'll have people with two years experience facing against people with 20 years of experience.

This is also true for people who do not take up magic until they are adults Smile Sorry bud, life is not fair, best to get used to it and just do your best. The exeperience will make you a better performer and magician even if you don't win.
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Profile of Neuromancer
I'll agree with you 100%!! Only a few people know, that I do magic. In my opinion it gives you too much pressure, when you're telling too many people (especially the wrong people) Smile because you HAVE to learn a new trick, otherwise people get bored. But by telling only a few people, I can control it a bit, they know, I'll show a trick when I think I want to. And .. hey, it's still my HOBBY!! Not my duty to entertain people Smile Smile

just my 2 or 3 cents

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Profile of gtxby33
Get gimmicked decks first (Svengali [prefereably Bicycle], brainwave, stripper deck) by the way those 3 tricks above are self working, then try out invisible thread reels (ITR's).

Get the $3 floating match at penguinmagic.com, if you practice it well try floating bill at penguinmagic.com.

Learn to double lift, triple and possible even quadruple lift (this is where you pick up more than one card with your thumb at the bottom of the deck and your middle at the top and try to take 2 at first.
If you can do this you can double lift and then put both cards down and then take the top card off and it "changes"...

Then learn card controls and get Michael Ammar's card on ceiling... and I'll tell you more later...
white hats rule.
Steve Friedberg
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Profile of Steve Friedberg
The only advice I can offer is to develop a sense of WHO you are, as a magician. Remember Robert-Houdin's definition, and act accordingly. An actor is an entertainer... a truly entertaining entertainer does more than one shtick after another. Those who you remember and think well of (just saw a Biography TV show of Dick Van Dyke last night) are those whose persona is endearing to spectators.

Sleights are good, effects are better... but work them together as part of a package with you as the centerpiece that will leave your spectators saying, "I just saw magic," not,
"I just saw some guy doing a bunch of magic tricks."

In that way, you'll build the credibility you're seeking... not only among the other kids in third period... but elsewhere.

Also, I would propose that you focus on several moves, and NAIL them. (having said that, looking at your rundown of moves, you're probably far better than I am!)

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
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Profile of BillParky
Hi Gimmick - interesting thread you've started here.
For all your impressive sleight skills I'd say you're missing a few routines which will turn your skills into MAGIC. You'll then want to perform for your circle of family and friends and get a terrific kick from astounding and entertaining them. It gets addictive.
I'd suggest routines like colour monte, NFW, Twisted Sisters, 2 card monte etc as simple card tricks which will make good use of your sleight skills and wow your audience and there are a whole lot of coin routines which will utilise your range of coin skills.
Yes, there is pressure when you're known to be a magician. I'll be at the pub tonight for my weekly night out with a bunch of friends and the first thing I'll be asked is - have you any magic for us? I used to try to have two new tricks every week but that was too difficult so now I just release a new effect every few weeks.
My son's not unlike you - loads of terrific sleights but no routines! It's boring to put in all that work and then not enjoy using your talents IMHO.
Bill Smile
Tolga Ozuygur
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Profile of Tolga Ozuygur
I started magic nearly 5 years ago at a local Magic studio-Shan's magic studio. Then I wanted to do something that was not easy, that can not be copied by the others in a day. So began to work with Tora privately. Now I am not bad in sleights... I can back-palm several cards and can show my hand empty. Some fancy moves such as producing card fans from air, producing front and back production of cards in several different styles and may do some billiard ball manipulation. I have never hesitated to tell people that I do Magic. I am proud of it. And recently I have done three shows a night during the International magic festival-16 days. I have also done a live TV show. I did not keep that I do magic and I will not all my life.
Smile Smile Smile Smile
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Profile of philwalker_wba
Like you, I am not yet confident in declaring I am a magician. I am learning the basic handling skills and then using these in tricks. I show my new skills to family and friends, but unlike a previous post, I find that children, particularly my grandaughter who is also learning magic, will spot what's going on very quickly if it's not perfect. I only show her now if I think it's good enough to show others. If I can get it past her I know it's nearly there.

Do you have any friends who are magicians who can check your skills, presentation, etc, I find that is one of my biggest problems. The people I know who do magic are all about the same level as me and whilst we do work together occasionally, we don't have an experienced person to guide us.
If at First you dont succeed try a little magic.

Regards phil
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Profile of Cyberqat
As everyone else has said, its a wise man who knows his own limits. If you don't have the confidence yet to perform then by definition you aren't ready. Practice will help both readiness AND confidence Smile

Having said that, you do have to take the leap sooner or later, and it WILL be kinda scary the first few times Smile Nothing wrong with that. Even if it flops its all experience.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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