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New user
Rome, GA
5 Posts

Profile of JWB81
How do you get into the business of stage magic, and illusions when you have no money, small props, like cards, coins, etc?

I currently am set up to do a show about 6 hours away from where I live, and I will be buying small propls for this. My goal is to make it in the major leagues.
Don't state the obvious.
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Regular user
United Kingdom
142 Posts

Profile of Dabek
It all depends on what sort of stage show you want to do.
Things like terry seabrools card in wallet or paper balls of the head are all good for comedy magic.
If you are doing silent or illusions be prepared to spend some money.
I too was in this situation some years ago.
PM or e-mail me to chat further.

Magical Regards
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935 Posts

Profile of R2
If you do not know how to market yourself..YOu will wind up with a storage area or garage full of expensive furniture....YOu must have a market or a means to reach the market....

IF you do not have an advertising budget there is no way to get your message out...

It is okay to be enthused and have dreams but, slow down and to use an old phrase."Do not put the horse before the cart!"

Buy yourself Mark Wilson's Encylopedia of Magic to learn some simple inexpensive "Illusions" this is how Mark himself started out in Stage Work oh yeah, me too!
Pablo Tejero
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Inner circle
Zaragoza, SPAIN
1201 Posts

Profile of Pablo Tejero
Well i do not know a lot about grand illusions. I love them, but i don´t have any experience in this kind of magic world. But i could tell you the experience of a friend of mine Pedro III (user of magiccafe as Tercero, his surname, i remember). He was 1º Prize of General Magic (stage, you know) in the Spanish National Congress en 1999, and a year after, he was in FISM Lisboa 2000. By now, he is on National TV programs, and have a great spectacle with a lot of great illusions. How does he become there?

I think as everybody has done before, working working and more working. You begin doing cardtricks to your family, you continue playing here and there, you win money, and you dodn´t spend it in music or beers or whatever you like... you spend it in magic. You buy or you make yourself great illusions cheap. You spend your time learning in a Dance Academy, how to move well in the stage.

I mean, to be a great magician, in great illusions specially, all you have to do is work, work a lot. The magic must be what moves your life. You have to love magic so much, to sacrifize other things. The money you win with magic... you spend in magic. And then, if you do the things well... you will have a reward.

It is not so difficult, but you need working, as in all life if you want to be a great person.

All the best magic,

Pablo Tejero Smile
"The Magic is in the air, you just have to... breathe it!"
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New user
Rome, GA
5 Posts

Profile of JWB81
Thanks for the replies guys. They really helped.

Also, Dabek, I sent you a personal message.
Don't state the obvious.
Marshall Thornside
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Inner circle
2016 Posts

Profile of Marshall Thornside
you should look into building some of the simple illusions yourself. custom illusions are not cheap to make.
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Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
When I was young, I was in the same boat, as the expression goes. With no money the above is good advise regarding making or doing small prop magic.

Miser's Dream, Professor's Nightmare, 20th Century Silks, Cut and Restored Rope, Rope through the Middle, Anderson Paper Tear, are excellent examples of effects which cost little to make or do.

Since you're on the Café you have a computer system. That system can be used to make business cards and flyers. Two of the top marketing tools. When you're ready, post the flyer in the shopping center (Acme, Walmart, etc. Any local place where Moms' Shop) Give the card to all the kids in the party when you get a job.

Denny Haney gave me a great piece of advice regarding illusions, most are done to music and by themself without the breakup in the show of small props and verbally connecting to/with an audience your illusion show will be boring.

Spend your earnings wisely. If your going to buy an illusion or make one, make sure it is a "good one", one that is well received with and audience. And, there is a lot of extra thoughts to this statementsuch as assistants, packability, music selection, lighting, limited use, etc.

One last thing, to get some practice and experience, do some charity work. Let your fingers do some walking in the Yellow Pages.
Dennis Michael
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Veteran user
310 Posts

Profile of JAEIII

Magic books are great when it comes to stage magic. You can fine a lot of great pieces that you can make yourself.

If you are interested in larger illusions, then along side with Mark Wilsons Encyclopedia, I would also purchase Mark Wilson's Illusions Videos. These videos show you some really good illusions, all of which can be made fairly cheap.
Believe In Magic....I do!
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Loyal user
224 Posts

Profile of Kendrix
Dendowhy: Those are great words of advice. If I had known just what you said 15 years ago, I could have wasted a lot less time and money. You hit the nail on the head.
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New user
76 Posts

Profile of victorkent
Martin Nash once told me at a convention in Japan that a person should first have some kind of a working idea of his/her own personality and stage presence. Then that person should watch other prformers and make notes (not on the tricks they do) but how they do what they do. What charcteristics do they have that stand out to me and why. Then take those characteristics and see if you can work them into your presentation. Then find a line of tricks you would like to get into. If you have an assistant to help then go for some of the cheap or easy to build illusions mentioned in the books already mentioned.
At the same convention Goldfinger after I asked him the similar question that started this thread asked me what trick I wanted to do. i told him the floating ball. He asked me what I would do that would make the trick unique to me. Everyone makes balls floats according to the directions. What would I do that was different (ie.Lance Burton uses a birdcage instead of a ball). So I brain stromed with him and we came up with wild ideas like the ball being a fire ball or the ball would burst into flames at the climax. My vinished product ball changed into a girl.
Fianlly as you embark into the world of the illusionist find your market, find your personality, find a trick that fits both the market and your personality get great costumes (gotta make sure your infastructure is good: sound, costume, sets, fx, etc.) then practice it until you can do it a blind-folded during a fire. Then have someone who won't lie to you check out the routine and LISTEN.
Good Luck.
John 3:16
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Eternal Order
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Watch Jeff McBride's tapes on stage magic. The parlour size illusions aren't too expensive to start with.
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