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Nathan Hastings
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Minneapolis, MN
78 Posts

Profile of Nathan Hastings
This is for all the grown-ups, the now professional magicians who have achieved what they view as success, whatever that is for them. I am myself an aspiring magician, I'm 14 years old, I've been seriously into magic for about 6 months.

What my question is is this: Looking back on your beginnings in magic, when you first started out, what is the one thing that you wish that you had done, that you didn't? In other words, what do you think, coming from I wiser perspective, is the most important thing for young magicians to never forget to do?

"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
17197 Posts

Profile of Father Photius
Spent more time studying with Uncle Harry. In otherwords, take advantage of every opportunity to learn from more experienced magicians you can possibly get.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Profile of Aus
Don’t get court in a magic buying frenzy that most new comers get into, just buy the classics or the necessary things to gain that magic foundation and that you learn something solid before you venture into the forest of tricks, books, DVD and trends which magic is a litany of.

Learn from your mistakes and let experience as well as careful study be your guide.


Hideo Kato
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Profile of Hideo Kato
I think having good habits is important in youth.

Habit to read.
Habit to practice.
Habit to have good relation with people.
Habit to think.
Habit to being careful.

If you got bad habits, for example, learning magic only from visual media, it is very difficult to recover.

Hideo Kato
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Manhattan, NY | Studio City, CA
624 Posts

Profile of MattWayne

To start this off- firstly; great topic!

I personally don't regret many things. I do wish that I had more time with certain people. I surely wish I could've hung around more great magicians. I've been very fortunate to have learned directly from some of the top 'old guys' in magic. Denny Haney, John Calvert, etc. Denny mentored me since I was young,and John totally encouraged me to persue my show overseas. Many of them I've gotten to know on such a great friendship level. Those that I regret not knowing, meeting, and befriending- Tommy Wonder for one! I'm a huge ''fan'' of his work and life. I so wish I could've spent time with him. According to Denny- he was one of the finest close up showmans ever!! Billy McComb is another guy I totally wish I would've had time to talk to. Talk magic, but more importantly tell jokes to one another. More recently- Jerry Andrus.

My list of those that I wish I could've met- extends so far.

On a personal performing level; I wish I had been more eager to get onstage. It took me till the age of 14 to develop the basis for my act that I have as a working guy now. At 14 though; I was working close up magic. I really regret not starting onstage before then. It's not a huge loss in my life, but I think if I had to do it over again--- I would just start with stand up magic, and not have even delved into close up magic. There's perks to it though, but personally- my strength is in my comedy act.

I wish I was more open to seeing lectures- as I am now. I used to take them for granted; growing up in magic; I used to see it all. After I saw a bunch of guys- I figured, 'ah well- another cup and ball routine!' BAH! Nowadays- I find myself watching everything and anything. I should've done that long ago!!! You learn so much from seeing others work.

I also worked as a stage apprentice for a local illusion duo, Mike Snyder & Donna for a good part of my teen years. They were the first magicians I ever saw- when I was five. I sort of regret not helping them out more. I learned so much from having that backstage view. Tearing down the show, loading back on the touring truck, etc. It was a good experience.

Other than those listed above- that's about all I can think of for now. Keep working hard!!

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
The Celebrity Magician™ / / /

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
Spokesperson behind, TouchTricks
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Eternal Order
11208 Posts

Profile of JamesTong
Be proficient in sleight of hands
Be ethical and respectful to magic
Earn the respect of the great magicians from around the world
Associate yourself with more experienced magicians
Learn up all the basics - then be creative and unique in your own performances

Great thread, Nathan.
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Profile of jimhlou

#1 At your age the most important thing for you is to get an education. I couldn't afford to spend what I do on magic if I didn't have my degree.

#2 Join any local magic clubs. I recently joined my local club and SAM - I should have done this years ago. It's amazing what you can learn (and how much fun you can have) in a magic club.

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Profile of kosmoshiva
Read some good books.
Listen to your audience.
Try to progress from skill to craft and from craft to art.
Don't forget to breathe.
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Eternal Order
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Profile of JamesTong
On 2007-10-07 14:25, kosmoshiva wrote:
Try to progress from skill to craft and from craft to art.

This is really excellent advice from kosmoshiva.
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NJ, U.S.
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Profile of Jaz
I have no regrets and enjoyed the exploring in the beginning.

To me it's important for new magi should remember what magic was to them as laypersons prior to thier learning the workings.

Remember that no product or sleight is the holy grail that will make a great magician. Be selective in your buying. Resist the hype and ask yourself, "Will I really use this?" and "Do I really need this?"
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Eternal Order
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Profile of JamesTong
Jaz said it right. The ability to have self control over what you buy is important. And to see through the marketing hype too.
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Profile of BrianMillerMagic
Although I really have no regrets, I wish I had listened to the advice of so many pros in the beginning. Others have said it: try to resist the hype around marketed products! Still perhaps this is just a part of being a beginner in magic. You buy a ton of gimmicks, marketed tricks, nonsense dvds etc and waste a ton of money until you figure out just exactly what you want from magic. Maybe you have to waste a lot of money on all this junk just to figure out what you're looking for. Still I cringe when I realize how much (literally thousands of dollars) I had spent on stuff I'll never use.

Oh, and never EVER perform an effect until you can walk through the sleights in your sleep. You'll make a fool of yourself many times before this really sinks in.

Oh! One more thing Smile - don't pidgeonhole yourself into one style of magic. I have beginners tell me constantly, just like I did back then, that they are "card specialists." To each of these kids I respond, "why?" Learn as many different genres of magic as you can in order to, again, figure out exactly what you're looking for. Once you've done this, then you can decide to specialize in one particular thing if you so choose and can develop a performing styles that suits that decision.

Great topic Nathan!
Philip Hilton
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Scarborough UK
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Profile of Philip Hilton
Hi Nathan
Great topic idea. I have to agree with what's been said. In my opinion there are three really important things to consider. One is learn to act, whether its drama class, or even from a book on acting. Because it is very important to be aware that the better the magician, the more convincing the performance, it all comes from the publics belief and all can be traced back to the quality of acting ability of the entertainer. Number two is try not to believe descriptions of effects/tricks such as self working and simple. Because its not the effect/trick that is as important as the way you put it across. And the number three has to be practice, practice and practice.

Read instructions, make all the moves in your mind, think through your routines and don't show anyone a thing until you can do it everytime without making a mistake. On that last subject, always look at anywhere in your routine where something could go wrong and work out what you will do in that situation. This will give you a safety net and add to your confidence. I know when I started I felt because I knew the secrets, then others would, and you can't think like that because people don't work like that. A lot of the "Magic" in magic is the way a thing is put across, the misdirection used. Above all else have fun. These are just my thoughts.
Cheers Phil
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Profile of mtpascoe
Been more ambitious. I should have taken business classes as well the acting I took in college. If I would have gone the route of Mark Wilson, I might have taken advantage of my creativity. Instead, I write, but can’t seem to use it to find work. I miss performing and it is because I am not a good businessman is why I don’t work.
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