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dannywhit
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Oak Ridge,TN
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I was wondering how many of you had a teacher? How many just self-taught. I learned everything I know the hard way. I made a lot of mistakes at first getting caught up in gimmicks and not books. I feel like if I had a teacher at the time I wouldn't have made as many mistakes. Anyway, what's the success rate of magicians that are self taught and the ones who had a teacher. How many big names do you know that taught their "self". Thanks Smile
Steve Friedberg
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well, Danny...define "teacher." For instance, if you pick up a book or video from someone like Hugard, Giobbi, Ammar, Daryl, etc...you're learning. Books and video are excellent methods of learning.

In person training is also great, because it gives you immediate feedback on your performance, as well as answering any questions you're stumped on...

Teachers are everywhere if you think about what it is you're trying to learn!
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Brian Proctor
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Somewhere
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I just read many books over the last 10 years. I Just now finally last year bought myself some videos to help improve what I already know. So I guess I taught myself. I do have some professional magician friends in the art who do sit down with me from time to time to help me out with a sleight or advise me on something. Is that what you mean? Smile
grieve
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Austin, Texas
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I started learning from books, and often would get stumped. I looked into joining the local IBM, and went to my first meeting. I was amazed at what I learned in 5 minutes. For me the books are good at teaching the lingo and the idea, but I seem to learn better by just watching. I think given enough time a person could learn anything on their own, but a teacher (a good teacher) will always accelerate the learning process.

grieve
Alan Wheeler
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For me even working things out with a peer helps a lot--the personal element.
The things in the books and boxes, even stuff gleaned here at the Cafe or on videos, becomes more real than it does in the mirror.

I think, like Grieve, I learned so much in just five minutes at a convention or club. Of course, because I had bought things in boxes and read things in books, I had something to pin the training on.

I can't imagine a substitute for teachers and fellow learners.

alleycat Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Magique Hands
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Lincoln, NE.
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I started with a magic set (Marshall Brodien's TV Magic Set) when I was six. At about the age of 7, I ordered Mark Wilson's Course (back then, he sent you each part of the course, one part for each month.)

I mostly studied from books and such (The Tarbel Course, The Amatuer Magician's Handbook, Royal Road, etc...) Then in my mid twenties, I studied under Nebraska magician Luis Villamonte, as a student. His teaching, really gave me a good understanding of 'The Things They Don't Teach You In Books.'

Ever since learning from Luis, I've been great friends with two other local magicians, and our group is an 'Inner Circle' type of friendship. Also, being a member of the IBM, and The Lincoln Magical Society, has been a wonderful environment for me to teach others, and to learn many new things myself.

There's something that's so great about belonging to a 'Brotherhood' that words just can't describe. I certainly get that 'Brotherhood' feeling, here at The Cafe! Smile

- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
Peter Marucci
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There must be something to being self-taught; for example, both Bobo and Slydini were.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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dukenotes
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Winchester, KY
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Well I'm either blessed or cursed, but for me it ran in the family. I grew up amazed by my Grandfather. He showed me a few things but I was only about 12 when he died and I actually ended up learning more from my Uncle than my Grandfather. Either way, we were left with an abundance of props/effects/gags to work with.

I never read a magic book until I was an adult. I always felt I had all I needed with the effects I had been shown, and I really didn't learn all of them correctly. Of course, now I'm expanding once again after having completely given it up for most of the last 10 years.

Both methods are valid I suppose, but it takes another performer to show you a better way of doing something, or to point out how you missed some subtlety which was part of the instructions and really adds to the effect.

Duke
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p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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I think that teaching yourself has similar advantages to books over video. Experimentation is finding what works for you in your own style. Yes you learn things that you may not use. I learn to back palm, front palm, transfer, split fans and all sorts of manipulations that I do not use. I think that by teaching yourself you also remember more due to the learning process. This leads to the ability to adapt combine and create idea's that are unique to you.
Phillip
dannywhit
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Oak Ridge,TN
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Thanks for everyones response on the subject and thank you Peter for that info on Bobo and Syldini. I had no idea that two legends like that were self taught...... WOW! Anyways, I feel like I've came along ways teaching myself from books but no matter how much I learn I'm never satisfied. I want to learn magic from every aspect. By books, teachers, and experience, but who knows... If Bobo and Slydini did it on thier own. Maybe I can too.
DarryltheWizard
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Many magicians of the past were self-taught by painstakingly ploughing through magic books mainly from the public library.

The young magicians today have many advantages over the last generation of magicians. There are even more fantastic books out there, not to mention videos on every conceivable effect in magic.

I suggest you join a magic club like the I.B.M. or the S.A.M. There will be someone who will offer to help you if you have the desire.

I've helped several younger magicians, and I'm proud to say that two of them are successful touring professionals, and I still teach for a living, but I still get excited doing those lively birthday parties.

I have my one minute of fame in the grocery store when a little kid jumps up and down, yelling, "Mom, mom, it's the magic man!"

Darryl the Wizard Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
DarryltheWizard
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Paul
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I would consider myself self taught, was always an avid reader, and whilst I did join a small club at age 14, I would think my all around knowledge soon surpassed that of the membership simply because I continued to read and learn. It still amazes me that so many club members don't read or only have one or two books.

One advantage of a magic club (other than the possibility of meeting and making a few like minded friends) is that some have small libraries. It is amazing that when books are readily available to read for free, some still don't take advantage!!

Certainly newcomers to magic have a lot more information readily available, and membership of larger clubs in big cities can have the advantages of possible contacts one wouldn't come across in tiny clubs but magic learnt in isolation can also lead to more original thinking.

Paul Hallas.
thanos4182
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I had a private teacher and I think this is the way to go if you can afford it. He was able to point out my mistakes immediately and help me correct them. He would not only act as the teacher but also act as my audience so he could tell me if I'm flashing or if I'm performing correctly. After I had built a good foundation I was able to teach myself and even start making up my own effects. The beginning foundation though is very important.
Dark
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I'm mostly self taught. Books to start with and then videos. I've noticed that sometimes when I read a book, I'm not entirely sure what the effect is until I actually see someone do it. Videos have the advantage on that. Personally, what would be the greatest would be to see unexposed views of tricks perfomed, then decide if thats what I'd like to learn and go read/watch/whatever the trick in a book or video. Thats why the internet has been so valuable for me. I can visit sites and decide if thats what I want to learn. Smile
MOTO42
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Whitehouse Texas
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My currently meager skills are all self taught, as will be 90% of everything I will learn in the future. I just learn best and most quickly from a good book, occasionally going to a real person when I'm stumped.
"One man's miracle is another man's warm-up"
Geoff Weber
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I taught myself, but I'm currently teaching private lessons.. so I see the value in both... As always, you get the most bang for your buck from a book, in terms of the ammount taught vs the ammount spent. Having a private tutor is probably more engaging.. but theres only so much material you can cover in an hour lesson...
Kathryn Novak
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I'm self-taught, but having a mentor would have been a big plus for me when I was just starting out. However, that's me. My advice to you is to get a mix of both methods and then decide which way is right for you.

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WilliamsCarl
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Sorry for the Newbie question, but what is I.B.M. and S.A.M. I had several prop tricks when I was a kid and am starting to get back into things. Right now I am going through Bobo's book and am shopping for a good card flourish book to get started with, but I would love to have a place to interact with others and get some peer learning/teaching experiences.
Peter Marucci
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Carl,
The I.B.M. is the International Brotherhood of Magicians, right now the largest world-wide organization for magicians.
You can check out their site at:

http://www.magician.org

The S.A.M. is the Society of American Magicians, the oldest magic organization in the world.
You can check out their site at:

http://www.magicsam.com

I belong to both organizations. If, as you say, you want a place to interact with other magicians, then the local clubs of either are ideal.
While some prefer one and others prefer the other, it usually boils down to which one has a club nearest to you. If they both do, then go as a visitor and decide which one you prefer -- or both.
If you need any help in joining, should you decide to do so, feel free to e-mail me and I'll help.
Smile
Magicrma
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I have learned magic by, what came with the trick, what I saw others do, what I could get others to show me and formal classes. I think they all have their place. We all have a learning style.
If you learn best by watching, watch.
If you can read and apply, read.
Every performer needs someone to look at what he does and tell him if it works or doesn't. Local magic groups (IBM,SAM) give you the chance to do your thing for people that can help you improve what they see. Magic is a visual art.
Learn the best way for you. Please make sure that what you show others as magic (your trick) will be worth their effort.

I'll get off the soap box now.
MagicRMA
"The art of Illusion is at least 95% applied psychology" Henning Nelms (Magic & Showmanship)
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<BR>MagicRMA
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