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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Some Help Please --- I need Some Direction (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

BaryBazz
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United Kingdom
199 Posts

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Hi Everyone,

I was a very keen magi in my teens and twenties and although never a pro I reached a pretty good standard both on stage and close-up.I always had a preference for close-up but earnt money while at uni doing childrens shows every weekend.I then took a break and never touched a trick for over 20years this was to build both a family and a business which left no time for magic and everything was then packed away in the loft to gather vast amounts of dust.

About 15 months ago the spark was rekindled and my interest in magic took off again.I had forgotten a lot of what I had learnt but my appetite to learn again was great.I only had a few books from before and to see so much magic on the internet and on DVD was unbelievable.I started to spend vast amounts of money on building a large library of quality books, DVD's and tricks.

I started to perform again for family and friends but I am now receiving requests for paid events and parties.The problem is I am now rudderless without any purpose or direction.My quest to learn new material all the time to show people has consumed me and I have been sucked in by the marketing boys.I have accumulated so much material I don't know which way to turn and I cannot possibly hope to absorb it all.Once I learn something and show it I move on to the next.A few weeks latter I cant remember the effects I learnt previously which is so frustrating.I am in a nutshell a magic zombie.

What should I do to solve my problem.Do I cull my collection and just learn a few standard tricks.How many tricks should I be able to do well.Do I need to develop a routine.I would be very gratefull for some sound advice from those who recognise my situation and can help me get focussed.

BARRY
Billgussen
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Central Japan
498 Posts

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I've found that routining for volunteer shows has narrowed my magical focus greatly. I'm in much the same boat as you (although I was never successful as a kid), and now I am in my 40s doing magic as my hobby. I also have a huge jumble of magic sitting in bins unused, and to stop adding to that I concentrated on building a specific show. I still buy stuff, but now it's all targeted toward whatever routine I'm developing -- and unless I buy a blind item and find it doesn't work, nearly everything I buy now, I use.

Setting yourself up with a show and having a deadline does wonders for your focus.

Bill
Jaz
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Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6112 Posts

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First, stop accumulating new stuff. You likely have enough.
If requested by friend to do magic, just say that you have nothing new at the moment.
Focus on the type of magic that you want to do.
Select tricks that stay with a theme or work together well.
Pick an opener that establishes you as a magi, a strong closer and some middle tricks. If you need a formal act then shoot for a 20 to 30 minute act to start.

If it's strolling then then start with two sets of three short tricks that are modular and last about 10 minutes or less.

Good luck.
Vick
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Inner circle
It's taken me 10+ years to make
1120 Posts

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Jaz is spot on

It has been said that a amateur magician does many different tricks for few people and a professional magician does a few illusions for many different people


In our development many of us went through the "tricky ricky" stage. Take the time to read the books, re-read them, learn theory, take acting lessons, take voice lessons. You will get more out of acting lessons than any new tricks.

Get a show or decent set together. Focus on making your set the best possible, There should be a flow, a thread. Unless there is a reason for it you have no throwaway illusions. Create a story for every effect you do!!! Tie your show together.
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Hearttau
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New Jersey: Exit 15 E
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Just to add to the good advice already given, along with the "story" you're telling with your magic be sure to be an interesting "character" as well.

My wife tells me that me doing a few tricks is not half as interesting as when my "Magi" character offers to "...share a fleeting mystical moment..." with her. My stage persona has as much to do with making what I perform "magic" as the hours of practice that I put in. Hope this helps.

Dave
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BaryBazz
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United Kingdom
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Thanks guys for your time and help which is much appreciated.

I am now going to stop buying new stuff and concentrate on developing a very strong close up routine.

BARRY
Chappo
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Bris Vegas
754 Posts

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Quote:
On 2009-01-11 21:10, Vick wrote:
Jaz is spot on

It has been said that a amateur magician does many different tricks for few people and a professional magician does a few illusions for many different people


Very true, and I'd like to add:

"...few illusions for many different people. Also, the amateur performs his 120 tricks with mediocre skill. Whilst the professional executes his 10 with flawless dexterity."
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
BaryBazz
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United Kingdom
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Thanks Chappo,

Words of wisdom indeed.

BARRY
DanielCoyne
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Western Massachussetts
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Thanks everyone for reinforcing these ideas. This is a very timely thread for me as well. : )
-Daniel
Dave V
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Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

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I've come to realize I'm a magic collector, not a performer. When I do perform, I do it for "me" not the money. I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as I don't get sucked into taking a gig I'm not prepared for. When asked, I will thank them and recommend a professional performer for them.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
hypermagician
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Hi, Barry

I was in the very similar situation as yours. I love magic when I was a kid, then the life of growing from a teen to an adult, and now a responsible father has dragged me out. But a few years ago, I got a chance to experience some magic and a spark had now turned into fire. As you did, I started to gather information and channels to picking up magic, and thanks to the inventors of internet, this was not hard to do. However, here came the problem. Getting information was the easy part with the help of internet, and the hard part is to make the information useful.

I started to collect as much new tricks I can get, and start spending crazy amount of money to build my collections on books, props, VHS, and now DVDs, up to a point my wife had to hold a knife on my neck to tell me to stop. But new tricks come out so fast and my reading and practice weren't able to keep up. At one point, I have a full closet of books, props and videos, but I was not able to do any one of them smoothly enough to perform in front of people. I got so depress and was thinking to give up. It did take a while for me to cool down and try to collect my mind up.

So what I did was, I stopped to accumulate new stuff, focus on what I have on hand, and try to build a base set of tricks I can use in different occasions. I don't perform a lot so I know I have already enough stuff to cover my performances. I will limited on purchasing magic related stuff, unless something I really need for my shows. I set a fixed budget, which is managed by my lovely wife, every year for any kind of magical purchasing. Keep working on the stuff I have, pick out those one that I really like, sort them out into different groups: tricks can perform anytime anywhere (in case people say "show me a trick"); tricks than I can perform in some casual situations with minimum setup (tricks for parties); and tricks for shows. Practice them, then use them in real life situation, and filter out stuff that you don't like/work, go back to my library and see if anything else could fit the situation better. It is a lot of work, but in time, you will start to develop your own style of performance, and you will have a few good set of base tricks in your bag. Once you have a solid base of tricks, then you can to back to see what's in the market, and pick only those you believe that will fit your style and your show.

Hope this will help you a little. Just like a sleight of hand, it takes time and experience to find your way and your path, but once you found it, it for sure will be a fun and enjoyable one.
BaryBazz
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United Kingdom
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Thanks hypermagician,

that's very interesting, our paths have been almost identical.I am now trying to sort out what tricks to include in my routine but am not sure how many I can absorb or learn.

BARRY
hypermagician
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Right now I have about 4 to 5 tricks, which I know very well and can do almost impromptu, with me so in case someone asked me to show them a trick. For special events requests, I require people to give me enough time to plan, research and practice since I don't do show often and may not have enough resources. Because all the shows I did right now is for church events which I did for charity, so people usually have no problem for my requests.

So, I will say start something small and easy to remember, then once have a base set of routines, use them to get "reputation" while building the skills for other routines. Whenever there is a formal performance request, spend a lot of time to plan and practice them.

I am no expert, just trying to share my experience my thoughts, hope they help.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
2290 Posts

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Quote:
On 2009-01-15 17:47, BaryBazz wrote:
I am now trying to sort out what tricks to include in my routine but am not sure how many I can absorb or learn.


Only one at a time. And remember that learning the mechanics of how to make the trick work is not the same as learning how to perform the trick for someone else.

While you work on a trick, don't forget to work on your character. Who are you and why are you doing these things? I've put myself through the work of learning a routine, only to find that it doesn't fit my character and I'll probably never use it! Then again, I often get stuck in a routine because I don't know why I should be doing something, or how my character would do it.

This approach allows you to actually be working on several things at once: developing your character as a magician, the actual mechanics of the trick, how your character would do those moves, the patter and presentation for this trick that fits your character, and so forth - all of which may help define or even re-define your character, alter how you do the mechanics, which can change your presentation, and around we go again!

So when you get stuck on a hard-to-master move and you need to take a breather, sit back and reflect on your character. When you've taken your character as far as you can go at this moment, look at how your character presents this particular routine. By then, your head aches so much you're ready to get your hands back in action working on the moves! 8>)

And when you've got it about as far you can, throw it out there in front of some live people. That will give you a whole new collection of things to work on! But there is no way to finish off a public presentation without presenting to the public.

Ed
BaryBazz
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United Kingdom
199 Posts

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Thanks Ed food for thought.


BARRY
CMMAGIC
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Myrtle Beach , S.C.
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Always ask others in your area for a review , and build a relationship with a shop and a shop owner that can guide you in the best direction. stay away from "unknown" material !
- Carl Michael - www.CarlMichaelMagic.com
Frequent performer at top night clubs such as Mansion Miami , PURE Las Vegas , Marquee Vegas , and Veranda NYC . 2012 and 2013 Reader's Choice Magician of the Year. Currently headlining in my own stage show in Myrtle Beach . Follow on twitter , Instagram and ViNe @CMMAGIC
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