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New user
Bristol, Uk
13 Posts

Profile of samcat
Hey there, the names Sam and I have just started learning magic Smile I can already juggle very well (5 balls indefinatly, 3/4 ball mills mess Smile ) which I learnt though hours and hours and months and months and years and years of practice. Fancied learning a new skill so got the Royal Road to card magic book and two sets of bicycle cards (one red, one blue)...

Only started last night, learnt the basic shuffle and how to hold the cards, how to keep the bottom card on the bottom and the top card on the top, then spent about 4 hours shuffling cards keeping both the top and bottom card's in their respective locations (whilst watching tv, not my hands)... Found that I was gradually getting faster at doing the shuffle, but with it feeling more relaxed and less forced.
Havent even looked at the first trick in the book yet, want to get the shuffle's and card controls I have learnt so far totally natural first.

So, any tips for an absolute beginner?
Does what I am doing so far sound about right?
Any bad habits that I should be aware of so I can avoid picking them up?

Cheers for now,
Sam C

Oh yeah,
I am a 23 year old male, living near Bristol in the UK. Into old vw beetles, drag racing, juggling and now card magic Smile
There is nothing more conformist than mass non-conformancy.
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New user
33 Posts

Profile of carla
What you are doing sounds just right. In learning to juggle you've clearly mastered the art of tedious and frustrating practice so you probably have the right mindset for learning card magic. Smile

If you know of a bar or club in your area where you can go see close-up magic, you should get out there. You can learn a great deal by watching magicians at work.
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Special user
Snohomish, Washington
529 Posts

Profile of irossall
I somewhat agree with Carla, except that a big big part of Magic is presentation and showmanship. I think it would be good to learn a few self working effects so you can start working on your skills as a performer of Magic and not just a performer of tricks. The basic formula for really good Magic is 5% technical skill and 95% Psychology (not my numbers, just what I learned in school). Your showmanship skills may be excellent but why not treat yourself and have the fun of showing some Magic to Family & Friends? Just a thought from a long time student of Magic.
Welcome to the Wonderful world of Magic and to the Magic Café'.
Iven Smile
Give the gift of Life, Be an Organ Donor.
Emily Belleranti
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Veteran user
Tucson, Arizona
349 Posts

Profile of Emily Belleranti
Welcome to magic and the Magic Café, samcat!

It does sound like you already have the discipline to practice and the proper dedication, what with your experience in juggling.

I do agree with Iven that showmanship and presentation is an important part of magic. Those are basic skills that you will develop through experience. Royal Road does have a good selection of self-working magic that will help you learn to concentrate on presentation and how your audience is reacting. And, of course there are plenty of sleight of hand effects that will put your technical skill to practice.

You should go through Royal Road slowly, chapter by chapter, in the order that things are presented to you. Just about everything that is taught in there is very useful. Each lesson builds on the preceding one, so it is important to go through the chapters in order and not skip around. There are some great effects in that book that play very strongly and will give you great pleasure in performing. Congrats on choosing such a great book to begin with; this is the book I started with when I got serious about card magic.

If you need any help don't hesitate to ask here. The Café has plenty of talented magicians that are happy to offer their help.

And be sure to have fun!


Emily B.
"If you achieve success, you will get applause, and if you get applause, you will hear it. My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it."

-Robert Montgomery
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Inner circle
2949 Posts

Profile of ALEXANDRE
I just finished writing this on a nother post ... pick up the art of performance EARLY! Whether you're performing for hundreds or just one, this is the most important aspect of our art. Read all you can on it.

Jonatan B
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Veteran user
Gothenburg, Sweden
342 Posts

Profile of Jonatan B
I feel that I want to mention that even that you think you have practiced enough on a sleight or trick, you probably haven't. To find out, simulate a performance or simply perform a trick for someoneto really see what you need to improve in.
Jonatan Bank
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Special user
Bucks County, PA
790 Posts

Profile of blindbo
I wouldn't trade everything, but I'd trade an awful lot to be 23 and start my card journey as you have.

My opinion, is you've done more right in one day than most have ever done. Go through that book, just as you've started. I wouldn't change a thing, right now.
You will get a wonderful education in just that book, including tricks and presentation.

You have plenty of time to specialize your studies, afterwards....perhaps day 2. Smile

<<Any bad habits that I should be aware of so I can avoid picking them up? >>
1. Don't create a new effect and name it "Gone".
2. Don't mention the new search engine.
3. Don't ever criticize Chrystal in front of Vinny.

Best of luck to you, Sam I am.
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New user
Bristol, Uk
13 Posts

Profile of samcat
Excellent, sounds like I've started off the right way Smile
I plan on working my way through the book at a nice slow pace, from front to back, taking 1-2 months per chapter (or as long as I need to get it right and smooth), learning the mechanisms behind the tricks so it happens smoothly/fluidly without me thinking about it, then I will move onto learning the tricks/performing them for a few friends (as I learn them). Once I have performed them to friends a good few times I will move onto performing them to strangers Smile
I also have a webcam which will be coming along with me when I perform to friends, so I can look at my own performance afterwards and see if there were any giveaway moments with the hands/body language. This was reccomended to me by a good friend who is a master with coins. Smile

And thanks to you all for your welcoming words Smile
Cheers for now,
Sam Catchesides
There is nothing more conformist than mass non-conformancy.
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