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New user
4 Posts

Profile of arp
Hey guys!

I first want to say thanks for all the advice any of you gave me a while ago.

So I went out and bought Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. Have been reading that pretty thoroughly and now want to further my knowledge and skill. I particularly enjoy all sleight of hand magic, card magic and only decent floating magic. I also enjoyed the sponge ball routine from it.

My question is, what next? What are some really helpful books/dvds that I should look into purchasing for these types of areas? If it wouldn't be any trouble id like examples for any or all the areas I mentioned.

Any advice is much appreciated! And thanks, the magic Café is a really supportive community.
Look forward to your replies!
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Inner circle
Charleston, SC
3717 Posts

Profile of mrunge
Welcome to the Café. Great start with the Mark Wilson book. You'll refer back to it often.

I'd suggest next getting "The Royal Road To Card Magic" by Jean Hugard (considered by many to be the "bible" of card magic) and J.B. Bobo's "Modern Coin Magic" (also considered the "bible" to most coin workers). Below are links to help you out.

With both of these, you'll have a solid foundation for your magical library to work with both cards and coins. There's enough in each to keep you busy for a really LONG time.

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Eternal Order
11208 Posts

Profile of JamesTong
Mark has some great recommendations there. I would suggest you try out the routines from Mark Wilson's materials with lay audiences. The audiences' responses will steer your direction, especially in areas where you need to improve on.
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Eternal Order
24098 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
"Showmanship For Magicians" will be a good book to purchase.
Andy the cardician
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Inner circle
A street named after my dad
3370 Posts

Profile of Andy the cardician
I second that - the Ostrich Factor is a great book on how to practice magic
Cards never lie
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Veteran user
319 Posts

Profile of Gerald
Photius and Andy,
Thank you for recommending The Ostrich Factor. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the book! Reviews by Mike Close in MAGIC, David Regal in GENII, MUM, THE LINKING RING and others can be found at:

Thanks again!
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Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

Profile of sethb
All of the above recommendations are good. I think sleight of hand is a bit easier to learn from DVD's, because you can actually see what to do and replay it in slow motion if needed. For coins, I'd recommend David Roth's "Expert Coin Magic," Volume 1, click HERE to view. For cards, I understand that Paul Wilson's "Royal Road to Card Magic" DVD is excellent, click HERE to view.

I want to add another book recommendation: the first two volumes of the Tarbell Course, click HERE for more info.

The Tarbell books will give you a very good grounding in magic, and a good base in all sorts of different types of magic: cards, coins, balls, silks, rope, etc. The Tarbell Course is a larger and more professional type of magic course than Mark Wilson's, although Wilson's is certainly very good. But Tarbell will take you to the next level. There are plenty of magicians who keep a Tarbell set on hand for research and reference; it is a classic that never grows old.

Although the patter is a little dated, that won't matter, because you should be working on your own patter anyway. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the illustrations are very good. At $20 or so per volume, it also won't break your wallet either, if you buy one or two volumes at a time. And you can consider and experiment with many different types of magic to see where you might want to specialize. Both Tarbell and the other DVD's should be available from almost any magic shop or online dealer.

A little less expensive but still pretty comprehensive book is "Hugard's Magic Manual," a Dover reprint of "Modern Magic Manual", written by the vaudeville magician Jean Hugard in 1939. This is another oldie but a goodie, and it's just $12.95 and available from Amazon or directly from Dover, click HERE for more info.

Congrats on looking for books & DVD's in addition to tricks, it's a good habit that will serve you well. And welcome to the Café'! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6112 Posts

Profile of Jaz
James Tong has it right.
Pick a couple of routines from the Course that appeal to you.
Practice and rehearse them until you know them well.
Then give them a test run on some folks.

Note thier reactions, your weaknesses and strengths.

The above mentioned books are very good but moving forward too fast is not always the best thing.
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Loyal user
202 Posts

Profile of Lumas
If you really enjoy card magic, then get Card College. It is expensive if you buy all five volumes at once, but you can just buy one at a time. Start with volume one, when you feel you have learned enough from it, then move on and buy volume two. You really cannot beat the detailed level of description that is in this book. It makes sure that you fully understand where every finger should be and how every move should look.
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Loyal user
Los Angeles, CA
244 Posts

Profile of shek
I'm going through Card College right now, and I can say it is very thorough in teaching you everything you need to know about card magic. I would recommend Roth's "Expert Coin Magic" DVD's as well. He's an excellent teacher, and you get instruction from a great coin guy Smile

Deviating from straight sleight of hand for a bit, I would take the time to learn a bit about theory and practice. I haven't picked up Ostrich Factor, but it sounds like a good book from what I've heard of it. For theory, I would definitely, definitely recommend Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic after you have a basic grounding in magic. It offers great, practical advice on presentation and designing routines for maximum impact.
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