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Profile of JSHEDDY
Hi, I started magic about a year ago and really got into it. I bought alot of books and eventually became overwehlmed with all the material there was for me to learn. I didn't know how to Prioritize my studying of what to study and and when to study (is this normal). Also when I did learn a new trick I really couldn't show it to anyone since no one in my family is really interested in a "stupid" magic trick. I soon became discouraged and have not takin up magic for about five months. Any advice on how to overcome this discouragment maybe to make me enthusiastic about magic. I really love magic and I don't want to give it up but it seems that I am in a slump.

Thanks for you advice.


"Few people realize that even a simple trick in the hands of a capable performer can become a minor miracle."
- Dai Vernon
John Fitzgerald
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Profile of John Fitzgerald
I suggest you read the posts in the Darwin Ortiz forum here, many people asked similar questions and Darwin's advice is excellent to say the least. Look for, "Choice of materials", and "Too much knowledge". There may be others but those two in paticular come to mind.

Don't show magic to people who don't appreciate it.
It's also important that you do magic for strangers, that is the only way you can accurately gauge the strength of a trick. If you do if for people who know you well they'll either tell you that it's wondeful or not very good, and neither may be the exact truth. Do it for strangers, or at least people who don't know you as well (like friends of friends).

Take care,

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Profile of MrCyNic
John makes an excellent point here.

As a writer, one of the first things I learned was that you can't get an accurate judgement about the quality of your work from anyone who cares what you think of them. There are always additional factors involved in their calculations.

I think probably everyone has had that feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information out there at times. When I was starting out, I just wanted to know everything and felt constantly out of my depth as a result. Eventually, I sat down and worked out that close-up was more interesting to me than stage work, and that coins were more interesting to me than cards. That gave me my first foothold. I narrowed down my focus, reasoning that I could always learn card work later (which I did). I taught myself to distinguish between what I wanted to learn right now and what I merely felt I ought to know because other magicians did. Crucially, no decision needs to be permanent. For me, the beauty of magic as an area of study is exactly the fact that it does have so many facets to it. I know I can still learn something new every day, and I really wouldn't want it any other way.


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Profile of irossall
Hello Justin, I think that we are all very lucky that there is much more "information" on Magic (and effects) than one can ever learn in just one lifetime. As you have probably found out by now, once you know how an effect is done it loses its magical impact. But, with that said, watching someone do an effect that you know but doing it in a new way or just doing it better than anyone else, replaces that "lost" magical impact. I know that every time I see someone do something different with an effect that I do regularly, it gets the fire going inside of me and I am all excited again and can't wait to get home and try it myself. There is always something new to learn and that is what makes Magic such a wonderful hobby/proffesion. Also, join a club if you don't belong to one already and take in a Magic convention once in a while, that should rekindle the flame and keep your interest up. Sorry I can't give any more advice than this. Enjoy your Magic and share it with others, you may find that your enthusiasm will pass on to your audience.
-Iven Smile
Give the gift of Life, Be an Organ Donor.
Mark Martinez
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Profile of Mark Martinez

When I got back into magic, the best thing for me was getting involved in one of the magic groups. IBM, SAM, Houdini Club, whatever club you can find or all of them....

The Club did two things for me:
It helped me see a lot of magic, some things that suited me and some things that didn't, but I was relatively quickly able to figure out what kind of magic was for me.

The second thing it did, was give me an outlet for "here let me show you a trick, its burning a whole in my brain to show someone". Other magicians don't mind watching because they will want to show you one too... This show and tell kept me interested long enough to get a good working repartee, so I can do shows which is a whole new outlet and can show and impress everyone, not just magicians.

Good Luck! Smile

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. - Anonymous
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Profile of Frank Tougas
(This is going to be long. I apologize but I think it is well worth the read. - Frank)

It is a case of too much too soon. It really raises the anxiety level until you go into overwhelm.

Partly this is due to the sheer availability of magic in todays fast paced world.

Long ago there were a few books you could find at the library. Often magic shops were in obscure places and unless you knew the existed in the first place you never scanned the yellow pages.

Today there are books released monthly,audio tapes, CD, DVD, Videocassette, the internet! Yikes. It is no wonder people who approach it with a passion go into overdrive.

I am going to give you a hopefully unique way to approach it. Forget learning any tricks for the time being. Concentrate on the rich history of the craft.

Pick up some books old or new, on magic history, famous magicians of the past, etc. Get yourself connected to the whole and it will no longer seem so daunting.

I remember when I first learned about mail order magic. Wow what a concept. Not having much cash, I bought a grab bag of old Genii magazines. What a wealth of material and history. Reading about people who were famous years before I was born. Reading the latest gossip - history by the time I got it. Heck I learned the glide through seeing it first in print in an old magazine. This grab bag was a treasure.

Once you feel a part of this wonderful tradition that can be traced back before history was recorded, you can settle back into it knowing that it isn't just impossible to know all there is to know, but that it is totally unnecessary.

Each of us carries our part of that tradition forward into present time, and that is what can keep your interest alive and you free from overwhelm.

Magic is not just to be studied, practiced and drilled, it is to be enjoyed. First by us and then to transmit that enjoyment to an audience.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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Profile of JSHEDDY
Thank you all for your advice, it has really helped me.

Thank you,
"Few people realize that even a simple trick in the hands of a capable performer can become a minor miracle."
- Dai Vernon
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Profile of Ricahato
My suggestion is that you focus on a few tricks for now. Get the ones that have given you the best responses and try to do them to everyone you possibly can. Just take about five tricks and master them, I got this advice from Eugene Burger in a master class I just took.

He said who is really the magician? One who reads and knows everything about magic or that who may only know a few tricks but he does it every time? Give it a thought. Thank you
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Profile of davidpaul$
Hi Justin,
Don't mean to overwhelm you yet again with additional information. Seems like you already got some great sugestions and advice.

One thing you said in your original post was that your family didn't want to see a "stupid"
magic trick. Well, maybe you could approach magic differently, that would, in turn, spark that Magic BUG to bite you once again.

I recently attended a lecture by Garrett Thomas who when he does a show, plants various
natural looking props around the venue. He walks around picks up a coin for instance that's sitting on a table, asks if it belongs to anyone, then makes it vanish, it reappears from behind his ear, he splits it in two, then three, then back to two, then one and places it back on the table.

What I'm saying here is instead of asking your family, " Do you want to see a magic trick"?
just start to learn some impromptu magic you can do with everyday objects and just do them.
You could for instance just borrow a dollar bill from a family member and turn it into a ten dollar bill then turn it back into a dollar and hand it back to them and walk away.

I guarantee they will run after you asking how in the heck did you do that!!! MAGIC SPARK

There are many sources for impromptu magic. Check out Gregory Wilson's "On The Spot" videos. Martin Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic book. Don't ask people if they want to see a magic trick. YOU DON"T DO TRICKS..You perform MAGIC. You will get addicted to the reactions and you will maintain the Magic Spark that you obviously want. DON"T GIVE UP!!
David Paul
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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Profile of JSHEDDY
Thank you David Paul and Ricahato for the advice. I greatly appreciate you all taking the to time to solve my problem.

Smile Smile Smile
"Few people realize that even a simple trick in the hands of a capable performer can become a minor miracle."
- Dai Vernon
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