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Hernan
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Regular user
San Francisco
126 Posts

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Has anyone on this list avoiding buying tricks and props except maybe a thumbtip, book , or deck of cards.
It seems the veterans urge us to avoid the store bought magic and concentrate on acquiring the core skills.

I know I havent.

But now I kinda wish I had.
magicgeorge
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Inner circle
Belfast
4299 Posts

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It depends what you want to achieve.
You will never be a great magician just performing self-working bought tricks but you can still be a good entertainer with them.
I have a soft spot for Tenyo. Lots of magicians don't like them as they are made for the public. I just love the way some of them work.
Also the advantage of learning pure skills i.e. tricks with a normal deck etc is you won't have pocket's full of gizmo's and gadgets clinking around with you.
I'm quite fond of gizmo's and gadgets though.....
cmwalden
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Cedar Park, TX
150 Posts

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I started magic at the library. I didn't get to visit a magic shop until I'd already worked with everyday objects for a few years. You get the most bang for your buck out of developing the core skills. While you develop them, you develop what kind of magician you want to be.

That said, there is merrit in finding a store-bought item which suits you so well, or is better made than you ever could, or which fits a very particular magic goal that you have. However, you'll notice that you can't fill those three spots well, until you know what you're trying to accomplish.

So I would say start with the basics; figure out what you're doing; buy things that fit what you want to do, not just what's trendy; be picky about what you buy.

Now, if you want to have a trick collection, well that's a totally different story.
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our reality."

- William Shakespeare
Hernan
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San Francisco
126 Posts

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I like buying tricks/gizmo's also. It could easily be a hobby all unto it self.
The 'theater' of buying a 'trick' would make good fodder for a routine w/patter.

From where I stand as a beginner, it seems to be a gilded disttraction from actually practicing my "moves".
Dave Egleston
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Ceres, Ca
632 Posts

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Herman,

Most of the folks that will give you advice regarding core skills have already bought all the "stuff" - I know I have - Then you can settle down and "learn the core skills"

It's almost a rite of passage

Dave
dillib
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476 Posts

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Yeah, as long as you make use of whatever gaffs you have to enhance the effect, and cut down on difficult angly sleights, then i guess the money spent is worth it. Just remember to routine it well, then you can finish clean.
MacGyver
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Inner circle
St. Louis, MO
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It all ties in with what routine you want to do, if you want a routine with a bunch of flashy things, then alot of gimicks and books on presentation might be the route to go.

My personal style, is mainly cards and everyday stuff, involving mostly on visual changes and things like AC, nearly all my patter is recounting other times I was doing card tricks for me, just because I couldn't get away with talking about cheezy things!!!

Personally, I think you should learn as much magic as you can with borrowed items, then introduce gaffs that are barely noticable.
dillib
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Yup, get those utility gaffs where you can insert into almost any routine, especially for coins, there's lots of good gimmicked coins out there. Personally, I don't really like gimmicked card packet tricks, because you cannot end anywhere, neither can you start anywhere with them.
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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You will be asked some variation of, "Well, I hear your a magician, show me a trick".

Well, I just happen to have a deck of cards, nope in other jacket, well how about a coin, nope don't have that either, I can I borrow a

  • Ring
  • Coin
  • Bill
  • Table item
  • Napkin (like a silk)
  • etc.


When it is from them, they become involved and adds to the trick 10 fold. They never need to know you have a pull, or TT or other gimmicks on you. Tarbell Vol 1, as do other books, teach the basic coin sleights which work well when routined so you always have some trick available. Several imprompt-to magic books gives great suggestion on trick with common objects like forks, knifes, salk shakers, napkins.

Now, the hard part is not doing the trick, it is presenting it in an entertaining way with humor, fun, jokes to dress up the "heres a coin, now it's vanished" dull and boring line. "A quarter will do.. it is a solid silver quarter...nope there is a copper sandwich inbetween, not as valuable...it does remind me of a sandwich (Switch coins and take a bite out of the gimmick coin) Hmmm... tastes good..." is a lot better than a vanish with no patter.

Even push it into a bottle is one is available. Simple stuff but can be made to entertain.
Dennis Michael
Hernan
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San Francisco
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Thanks everyone, for the advice (i shoulda given Ben a Magi Muse award while i was passing them out)
To be totally honest I was hoping to hear from the people who don't buy the flavor of the week. I imagined that there were magicians who never spent a Penny on gimmicks.
The reason for this is that I am a sucker for the latest thing but I really want to just spend time practicing.
That and the fact that this is my slow season, and I have zero magic money.
MacGyver
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St. Louis, MO
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I thought for a long time that I would never spend any money on magic, because you can learn so much online!

And its true, you can become a great card magician without spending a dime on anything but cards, by the time I bought my first magic video / book I was passing and palming and zarrowing with the best of them!!!

There definatly comes a point where you have to spend money on things though, there are some effects you REALLY want to learn, and you are going to have to end up buying the video or book, and there are times when nothing but a gimick will suffice.

Then there are some times where I just prefer gimicks to slieght of hand, I HATE COIN MAGIC!!!!!

Sure I can do a nice little coins accross and a dime&penny, but its not all too impressive, so I decided to buy the raven, and full line of steel core stuff and shimmed shell and expanded shim shell coins, and now when someone ask me to do coin tricks or I'm in the mood I can do them very easily and not have to practice =)
dillib
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Just like someone mentioned earlier, it's a rite of passage. Sometimes you just have to spend, in order to progress.
amazingboz
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Where do you want to be in two years down the road magically? Time takes time. When I started out( as in the last century) a profession,full time magician told me,which I have found to be very true the following.
For whatever I do it will requires,for me,
for every hour on stage,100 hours of preparation and practice!
So,there is no instant gratification, nor free lunches,if you want to become your own best asset. Being and participation on this Café site is a womderful investment of time and self help!

AamazingBoz Smile
Jonatan B
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Veteran user
Gothenburg, Sweden
342 Posts

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I must say that I mostly enjoy buying a book or a video instead of a gimmick.

But if a gimmick would suit me, then I would buy it.
Jonatan Bank
magician_carter
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79 Posts

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I would rather buy the book or video than the trick. You can learn a lot from watching a teaching video or reading the book and applying what you learned to every day objects such as cards and coins.

Another magician recommended to me that I buy about 150.00 worth of magic to build a routine that is marketable. I took half of his advice and spent the money on two videos, lecture notes and two books. Now with what is in what I bought, I have great close up magic with coins and cards and one self made gimmick.

It is all about what you really want to do in magic. Decide first what you want to do and then go from there.

I am not saying I haven't bought a gimmick here and there over the years, but why buy one trick when with a book you can get more.

Yours in Magic,

Carter
Without Magic, Life is Boring.
jcmagic
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Indianapolis
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I have to say I agree with the last few comements about buying books and videos. A good book might have a dozen or more good ideas at the same price as one trick, but I'm off track the questions is bout gimmicks over ordinary objects. The answer in my humble opinion Smile is both. Everything has a time and place and better you get at entertaining the better you'll be at figuring out which it is. (notice I said entertaining.)
Like I said I love books when I do spend money, but when I'm looking for a "gimmick" I usually try to think of "bang for the buck" Heres the criteria;
1. do I need it? in other words do I really need another need one more production item...
2. What's the play time. 4 minutes of fun versus a quick bang of 25 seconds.
3. Note on the last point the 25 second bang might have more impact than the 4 minute trick, but there are simply to many variables to discuss here.

Hope this helps

Smile
dillib
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Good analysis there, jcmagic! Obviously, gimmicks are what 'real magic' is about, and if you can weave gimmicks in and out of your routine, you'll find yourself surrounded by 'slaughtered' spectators all over the place! Gimmicks kill, so try to up the effect by getting those gimmicks which do the magic in the spectator's hand.
Donnay
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N. Ireland
49 Posts

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obviously gimmicks work and when you can hand them out for inspection and are undetectable yes you have jawdrop. but still sleight of hand is real. that's practise. that's magic. mix them both but make yourself a magician by exploring and finding out what makes things work how can i change alter recondition this to make magic. you don't have to be famosu to make magic. but you will be if you do!! Smile
Lord Anacho
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Kessel-Lo, Belgium
148 Posts

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Well who doesn't love gimmicks? But then again, one guy I know does a neat Bobo switch and magicians have asked him where they can buy that awesome trick !

Kind of says it all, I guess...

Ciao for now

Erik
"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything" (Alfred Borden in The Prestige)
molsen
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Copenhagen
552 Posts

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Good to know things don't change much in 5 years...
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