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Profile of wiliby11
I taught myself just about everything that I know. I either read books or watched other people do tricks & then figured them out. Only recently have I started to watch videos & I might join my local magic club or the I.B.M. Smile
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Profile of stevehw
I guess I would say I was self taught by way of magic books from the library, etc.
And I would try to watch magicians perform on videos that I recorded from TV for the college that I worked for in 1975. (before we had home VCRs). I would rewind and play over and over again till I could figure out a way to do it like that.
Then I finally met some other magicians a couple of years later when I left home to join the Air Force.

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Profile of Magicboy41772
I was taught by the guy who influenced me to start magic. Now I teach myself tricks when he isn't around.
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Profile of Perero
I believe that if you are self-taught you learn some tricks better, than if someone shows you how to do it.... His way, not you’re way. I try to learn the trick first, just by watching...then try and try again, if I don't have a clue how the trick is done, THEN start to watch videos, books and so on.

But sometimes, you have to be guided by someone that have experience and can learn you.

Self taught musicians for example, often play better than taught musicians... They have what I call the feeling of the music, and that’s the same with magic.
(Sorry about my bad English)
No the only Magician in Sweden, but the wurst
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Profile of danryb
Find a good magic shop owned by honest and patient people. Try to go there as often as possible so they remember you as a good, returning client. If they are not too busy then ask them to demonstrate a few tricks. Purchase the ones you like best and only then might you ask the dealer to teach you. If he/he's nice enough then they will be happy too.
Be sure to go back again and again and again to buy and learn more and as much as possible to get you started.
Don't worry if at some stage you don't like performing some of the tricks you have bought. The cost of learning is never ever cheap. Just collect as much info as possible without confusing yourself. Any book for beginners will tell you not to try to learn all the tricks at once but rather pick a couple - practice and make perfect and then learn more.
Alan Jackson
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Cardiff, UK
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Profile of Alan Jackson
Almost entirely books. I think the modern books are generally much better produced than the ones from 50 years ago. They tend to go into more detail: some (not all) of the older ones left too much for you to work out for yourself. With some more up-to-date books (particularly those of Harry Lorayne) it is almost like having a private teacher.
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.
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Profile of Aus
I'm self-taught, and never learned anything from a fellow magician, and that's not because I chose to be that way but because I had no other choice. Because were I live, there is next to no magicians and no club or shops, so I often find myself peddling my own direction. But having said that, there are some plus sides to my situation and they are:

1) That you are more well regarded for what you are because of the way you got there was under your own efforts.

2)You become more creative because you have not got the resource open to you as many other magicians have.

There are a number of other aspects that being self-taught brings, but the most interesting that I find that a lot of what magic's lessons can be learned out side magic. A lot of my thoughts I have developed have shot up from much of day to day events. I wrote an article on magic on a budget (which you can find else were on this new to magic section), and a lot of advise gained for that article came from lessons learned in every day life. My Grandmother is one of the biggest savers and bargen hunters I know and a lot of her tips and advice has rubbed off on me. So my best tip for anyone being Self-taught is think out side the box (or in my case out side magic).


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Profile of danny
Anyone know any small magic groups in the UK? I have no magicians as freinds and I would love to hang out with some more advanced magicians than myself. I started out with a deck of cards and a couple of books from the library then studied RRTCM.
Mago Mai
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Profile of Mago Mai
I like to have someone to help me to correct a move that I might think I am doing right.

It helps a lot to get help from a living human alive.Person to person.

Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
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New Jersey
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Profile of Dragona
What I have done is learn from tapes and then have my mentor watch as I perform the tricks live. It helps me to correct anything that will expose the trick. I also learn from what my mentor teaches me and try to do things exactly the way he shows me. If you have a good teacher, it will help a lot. Although, as Peter Marucci stated, you can become great after being self taught.
I have the breath of dragons and the soul of a human.
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A.K.A David Kong
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Profile of redstreak
So far I have taught myself, but I REALLY wish I had someone to teach me. The problem is that I live in Idaho and there isn't a real magician within 2 and a half hours of me. I have never seen a magician perform a routine live. I have seen videos and talked to a few magicians when I am out of town, but have never seen a live routine "sniff" Smile .
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Profile of xicepik
I'm taking lessons and it's REALLY helping. My teacher tells us what some "bad" magicians make (some mistakes that everybody does) and he shows us a lot of impressive stuff with basic methods ! So, if you can, take lessons, it's REALLY worth it.
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Profile of Ricahato
I started with books and videos but I was able to take a class with Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger just last month and it is an experience that I wouldn't change for anything I really recommend if you have a chance take a class with a Magician.
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Profile of magicfan456
So far I have been self-taught, with RRTCM, Bobo's, and some David Roth videos as guides. I was thinking of finding a teacher, so my question is, what are the average rates for a magic teacher?? Thanks Smile
Bill Palmer
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Profile of Bill Palmer
I have been very fortunate. When I started, my father was a musician and one of his booking agents was a magician who owned a magic shop. I worked there on weekends and he taught me some of the things I know now. I also was given some help by Harry Riser, Dai Vernon and Johnny Thompson. I took private instruction from Slydini and a lesson from David Roth. I also had a lesson from Bobby Bernard on the Downs Coin Star. And Roger Klause has given me private instruction on occasion.

Some of this instruction occurred at conventions and some on other occasions. I also have a large library and read voraciously. The main thing is to seek out help when you need it. Most of us realize that we learned from others, either by means of instruction, books or videos and we have to pass the torch to those that come after us.

When you have the occasion to learn from someone who is a world class magician, take advantage of it. You can only benefit.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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Profile of Robert52
What I have learned has all been self taught. I read,read,read and read some more .There are so many times I wish I could have a teacher of someone other than my wife to tell me what I was doing wrong. I live in a small town. an the nearest club or organization is about 90 miles away and the nearest GOOD magic shop is about 160 miles away.(thank God for the internet and The Magic Café) I envy People that can just be around others doing magic .I would love it. Robert52 Smile
Brad Burt
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Profile of Brad Burt

It's an interesting question. I was essentially 'self taught'. I was VERY lucky though in that I found an old used copy of Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook and How To Do Tricks With Cards by Bill Turner. The Hay book is still my favorite all around sleight-of-hand book. I still look back fondly on the 'process' of learning the craft from books. I had not local magic shop, no friends that did magic until I was almost 18. I then found that simply watching other magicians work was an enormous help in moving me to the next level.

On the other hand I am firmly convinced that the HUGE leaps in skill that you see in young magicians today is largely because of the amazing number of videos and books available. In the early process of gaining technique videos are an extraordinary value over books. SEEING a technique properly executed visually is a huge help in the learning process.

In my own case I misread over and over again the explanation for the Side Steal in Hay's book and what I came up with was TOTALLY wrong! It took me years to overcome what amounted to three years of conditioning, etc.

Brad Burt
Brad Burt
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Profile of Vincent

I've been involved with this love of ours for some 43 years and looking back I guess I'd have to say that I am mostly self taught.
I did have a first cousin who was half amateur, half underground legend. His particular bent was Coin Magic and he was truly great!!
So I got a lot of inspiration from him and at the same time realized how much further I had to go.
Of course when you are eight years old you don't realize that it took him quite a bit of time to get as good as he did.
I remember pouring over books morning, noon and night to the point where I would have a flashlight and hold it under the covers so I could read a little more.
I guess I drove my family nuts. But they were all good sports about it.
Take Care,

Vincent Smile Smile Smile
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Profile of JustinDavid
Well I actually started my magic journey when I accidentally discovered the DL on my own. I practiced it for weeks upon weeks. Then I searched all over the Internet for sites about how to do tricks. Little did I know I was contributing to the exposure of our art, but hey... what did I know? I was doing magic!.. Anyways.. after learning a few card sleights and some routines (not very good ones if I may say), I started looking for a magic store in the NYC area. I found two... Of course Tannens, and this superstore for costumes and make up and what not called Abracadabra. It had a little section for magic and at the time was run by a magician who turned out to be my best friend/worst enemy. When I got there the first thing I wanted of course was something that Blaine did.. after all at this time Blaine was new and fresh on the scene. So what did I get?.. yep you guessed it.. the quarter bite. I didn't have enough for it, but the magi cut me some slack. I was amazed, and I still use it to this day. Well needless to say I was at the magic store every weekend, and boy was I getting discounts. After all he was my friend right?.. I paid absolutely no mind to anything except gimmicks, gadgets, and gaffs. Before I knew it I had a suitcase full. I thought I was a magician. WRONG. Let's just say with some bad experiences and self denial I read up on the art of magic. Prepared with the knowledge of what I had to do, I went into the store with a different attitude. Only to my dismay, my good friend had gotten fired. What a blessing in disguise. Without much money left I was forced to go to Tannens. I talked with them for awhile and they recommended me a book. Daryl's Encyclopedia of card sleights. I could only afford vol. 1. After studying that book in and out, I worked up enough money for each and every volume after. After that I read other books, and I purchased my first video. Michael Ammar's card miracles vol. 3.. went home and studied. Went back to the store and bought more videos more books, and stocked up all I could in my brain. I spent all of my paychecks on magic. But I didn't care.

Although still keeping in touch with this "magician" I realize that he just wanted to me to give him business, and never REALLY helped me out. I owe him a big one for getting me interested, but he never really qualified as a "teacher". After all he lead me in the wrong direction.

I thank God for leading my life in the direction of magic. What more can someone ask for? A job they enjoy. Making people happy and being the center of attention. Not to mention the money isn’t that bad

Magic is an art of practice... practice... practice. Just like everything else you NEVER stop learning.

Justin David
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