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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
No matter how advanced you get in magic. No matter how far you go with it. You'll find that you'll have a big advantage if you remember what it was like in the beginning when you first started learning magic.

The first couple of years I started in magic my best tricks where vanishing a silk in a t-tip, a hot rod type effect, wonder blocks (royal magic) and a pull vanisher. I use to blow people away with these simple tricks and people who saw me do them thought of me as a professional magician. We magicians who are a little more advanced see these kinds of tricks as "beginner tricks." We sometimes even feel we shouldn't do them anymore because we'd feel like we're not doing our best material. Those old tricks we learned when we first started are so boring to us now that we start to feel that people will see us as beginners or unprofessional if we do them.

The truth is these old simple tricks will blow peoples minds now just like it did when we first started. They are new and original to those who aren't magicians. That's why I still carry those old tricks in my case and I still perform them from time to time.

It's easy to get caught up in the latest and hottest tricks that are available. Our spectators wouldn't know an old trick from a new one unless it's one of the few that are commonly known such as pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

In this section of the board there are a lot of people who are new to magic. I'm sure you feel that thrill when you see a trick you've never seen before and find out you can learn to do it yourself by simply purchasing it. After you pick it up and learn it you'll go out and perform it for people. I'm sure you'll get a great reaction from it if you present it well and have truly mastered it. But I'd bet you can get the same reaction from a simple trick too.

My point is that when you see something new you get excited. You want to be able to do it and give other people that feeling. After a while that trick that you where so successful with ends up collecting dust because you feel you've moved past that trick. Try not to think like that though. If it works and gets a great reaction then keep it. Go back to it from time to time. With this you'll learn that the tricks you perform aren't as important as how well you perform it. If you keep perform a trick for a long time you'll only get better at that trick.

So hang on to those things that work. You may not use them all the time but keep them in mind. Go back to them and remember what it was like when everything was new to you. After all, it's all new to your spectators too.

Ron Jaxon

After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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Loyal user
Upstate New York
278 Posts

Profile of LDM
Thanks for the insightful words, Ron! I agree wholeheartedly.
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New user
vienna - austria - europe
87 Posts

Profile of martink65
Let me thank you too, jaxon. I browsed the archives for hours and hours the last couple days and I appreciate these encouraging words coming from such a well respected café-member.

you know, even if the novice *knows* that it takes talent and years of practice and experience and true passion to master this art, seeing true masters perform may be a bit intimidating at times Smile
you see: I downloaded some videos, two of which showing mr. mike skinner performing at the 'tonight show' in the mid '70s. he does the 'three card monte' and a 'card to wallet'. I watched the videos over and over again, I slowly started to 'guess' a sleight here and a sleight there, but after enjoying these stunning performances, I think to myself: "well, I will *never* become this good"...on the other hand: maybe I will get close, who knows Smile

for the beginner it's good to know that people can be entertained with well polished simple tricks - great!

martin kurzmann
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Inner circle
1635 Posts

Profile of calexa
Nice thoughts Ron!

Optimists have more fun.....
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New user
73 Posts

Profile of pasharabbit
This was a great post. Most people really don't know how old a magic trick is, the point you made was obvious but well worth stating. Thanks
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Inner circle
Ontario, Canada
2957 Posts

Profile of magicalaurie
Magic is timeless. Smile
sinnead zenun
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Elite user
Mt. Makiling
408 Posts

Profile of sinnead zenun
Words of wisdom from ron jaxon... Smile
hey guys if you have time...
try to search the Café for other topics jaxon has posted...
I'm sure you'll learn a lot from him... I did Smile
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Elite user
New Jersey, USA
424 Posts

Profile of Foucault
Wise words, Mr Jaxon! It's refreshing hearing this come from an experienced magician such as yourself. Often I see these so-called "simple" tricks being poo-poohed by people who should know better, because they don't use the trickiest sleights. I've seen wonderful books such as "Magic for Dummies" and "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic" being described as being "OK for beginners, but too basic for REAL magicians".
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24306 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
If you took the information in the Mark Wilson course and combined it with the ideas in Showmanship for Magicians (brought up to date, of course) you could have an act that was as good as almost anything you will see anywhere. You would just need to know what fits you and how to sell it.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
Magical Lady
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Loyal user
275 Posts

Profile of Magical Lady
Excellent threads to read - thank you.
Martin - could I ask for the link to the videos you mentioned pelase?
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Veteran user
356 Posts

Profile of ChristianR
Begginers tricks aren't beginner because the effect is weak though that is sometimes the case, its becuase they are easy to get the effect to work. You just have to know which ones fall under the easy to acomplish catorgory.
The Magician
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Loyal user
267 Posts

Profile of The Magician
Excellent advice again Mr Jaxon
The Magician

Expect the Unexpected
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New user
vienna - austria - europe
87 Posts

Profile of martink65
Hi magical lady,
I didn't bookmark the site where I found the skinner-videos, but you - and anyone else interested - may download it right here:
there are two zip-files, each one is about 10MB big - videoquality is pretty low, but ok.

Magical Lady
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Loyal user
275 Posts

Profile of Magical Lady
Much appreciated Martin - Many thanks! ML x
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lahn-dahn, yoo-kay
34 Posts

Profile of coleman
Some great thoughts there ron, thank-you.

I think this subject has parallels in many other performance arts.

just because you learn tricks/pieces early on in your performnce career does not mean that those pieces lose value as time goes on - in fact, they become more and more valuable as your experience with presenting them increases and is improved.

I think something quite unique to magic however is the old tenet that you should never perform the same trick to the same audience twice.
as a newbie, most of my tricks are performed to friends and family (a very limited sized audience) so the 'beginner' tricks get used very quickly and it creates the non-stop want/need for new tricks early on.

so I guess what I learnt from this is not to be scared to keep expanding my base or test audience and as I get more new people to show tricks to, not to forget to perform the tricks I learnt first.

professional performers have the 'advantage' of performing in various locations, often to many different audiences and I guess this is where bringing the old tricks out of the bag can truly become invaluable.

cole. x
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