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New York, NY
389 Posts

Profile of TeddyBoy
Do you remember how much time lapsed between opening up Royal Road, Card College, Mark Wilson, etc and your first routine in front of friends or family? How did it go?
So many little time.

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You can tell I work on the net from my
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Profile of Cyberqat
Well I performed my first purely-mechanical trick a few hours after I bought it.

My first real illusion, however, well that took a lot of time, practice, and reading. Magical mechanics are easy. Performance and stage presence, those are the real arts.

A deep secret of the art is that magic is much less about what you do, then it is about how you do it.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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Profile of jimhlou
It took a long time. And then after I had everything down, I was ready to perform. Guess what? It's not the same with an audience. I screwed up moves I thought I could do in my sleep. I'm still practicing.

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Profile of konjurer
I was performing for friends after a couple weeks of practicing my first tricks. The mainly self working tricks were awesome. I started with the Haunted Deck and it absolutely amazed my friends. Then I tried a few card tricks that involved skill and some hit and some missed. Nevertheless, it was good to get out there and get some experience. You're going to make mistakes when you first start out.

I would start building up a collection of self working tricks such as the Scotch and Soda. Then work on presentation of the effect. Script out exactly what you are going to say. Research how other magicians present the trick. The polish the routine.

Then start sliding in the harder stuff a trick at a time. Perhaps some simple packet tricks. I think the one mistake I make when trying out new material is the tendency to rush through the routine or rushing through a difficult sleight. Take your time.

Just rattling off tricks in no predetermined fashion is not smart. I learned to have a predefined set of magic routines. I have 3 or 4 sets of tricks - each set having just 3 tricks. I practice the set as a unit. This makes a world of difference in being prepared and smoothly moving from one trick to another.
Clever stuff goes here!
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Beverley, UK
1130 Posts

Profile of wulfiesmith
Pursue your goal at your own speed my friend ...
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I haven't changed anyone's opinion in
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Profile of Mr. Mystoffelees
The urge to "do" magic is almost irresistible when starting out. So, I would advise finding a few things that are more or less self working. In Mark Wilson, for example, there are effects in all areas, cards, rope, etc. that you can learn to do well in a short time. Use those to feed that urge. Meanwhile, work on the harder things until you get them down pat before you show them...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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Chattanooga, TN
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Profile of DWRackley
Those things (RR, CC, et al) didn't exist (or I didn't know about them) oh so long ago. A borrowed Tarbell was pretty much the only thing I had available, and it was MAJORLY intimidating!!!

I do remember that a DL was the easiest thing on earth, and triples weren't much harder.

But I also remember working on Elmsley for HOURS (literally) at a time until I could get it from any direction with any number of fingers, including just the tips of the thumb and index finger.

The one thing I remember with great agony is that NOTHING ever worked when I showed it to my mother. I amazed friends, even did a stage show at my college, used it to make a point in Psych class, had people asking if I was “in league with the devil”…but every single time I tried to show my mom what I was doing, it screwed up somehow.

Different effects take different amounts of time. With my first str****r deck, I was working within five minutes of picking it up. But the Erdnase color change still gives me trouble. I just found my old Gypsy’s Curse cards after 30 years, and doing the little one finger crimp/flex thing just doesn’t work like it used to. I’ll let you know.

Like others have said here, don’t get in a hurry. Do what you can do well, and keep working on the rest.


Mandarin, nice pic!
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

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You can tell I work on the net from my
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Profile of Cyberqat
By the way... I STILL screw up moves in little ways.

I just know now that it doesn't really matter. Sometimes mistakes can even work in your favor. Remember you ARE the magician, and anything that happens is because you intended it... whether you did or not.

Remember the motto of the cat: "I MEANT to do that!"

(Some people call this "fronting". Learning to do it well will pay off in life. I'm a CTO and not just an engineer in part because, IMHO, I learned to "front" as a teenage street magician.)
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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New Zealand
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Profile of Yellowcustard
I just want to say yes it is important to practice, practice, and practice. But there is nothing like doing it for real. I like to try stuff out as I learn it on people I know. At this stage I am confidant but need to get some air time and just see how the effect works. Then from that I build it get the patter right and timing and think were is it going. I have a test set which is a quick eye catcher followed buy a good strong effect with an volunteer then the new test trick which is then followed buy a trick I can do really well. This helps me to gage how its all going. Then it time to work out is it going to fit in to a set I already do if so how dose it effect the other tricks around it do they need to be altered.

From the stage of having a trick ready to show a friend then on to and audience in a test set this can take a couple of weeks. The test set to it being in a proper routine can take a mouth or so. Its hard to put a time on it as its getting the opptunity to trail new stuff. As for reading a trick or watch a trick and having it ready to perform that can take moments or years. Also the fact that I am out with the new trick all up and running it still take a while for it to stick in.

To put this in to context and hope this helps. It took me a year to be confidant in doing a basic Ambitious Card Routine so I could do it any were any time. This made me leave the gaffed decks at home. I then read card trough silk in the mark Wilson book. That night I added it as the end to my ACR. I also learnt the mercury card fold and how to do signed card to end up folded in a mint tin over a weekend. Showed close friends they loved it tried it in a test set and worked. But it was a year or so before I actually came up with a place to put it that I felt fine with.

I have the line on my profile ‘enjoy your magic and let others enjoy it as well’

You will make mistakes, sometime you get away with other time not. Laugh and learn.

Hope this all helps it’s a bit of a ramble but answering your post has helped me think other a few things so thank you.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
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Profile of Ade2010
For me it was a minimum of a year from opening CC Vol 1/2 to performing some of the material.

I like to take my time to really polish my rotines until they shine, before actually performing. The main reason for this is to ensure that I don't accidentally tip the method via poor execution of technique (I'm mainly thinking of DL's and false-counts here).

Even after performing a routine, it still takes a year or two more before one can fully understand how to deliver a piece of magic effectively. One has to 'live' with a routine for a significant amount of time before the real lessons can be learned (e.g where and when to perform a given effect). Kinda like breaking in a new pair of walking boots.
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