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djurmann
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This is a post intended to "answer" some of the questions routinely asked in this forum. There are also some proviso's!


Which is better Books or DVD's?

The answer is....it depends!

The case for books:
1) You will get more tricks for your money.

2) You can find older tricks that have been forgotten -books open up a world of magical knowledge.

3) You will have to work harder and therefore learn more and develop your own performance style*

4) If you "don't like books" remember books come in a variety of writing styles. Mark Wilson's Complete Magic Course is a much easier read than either The Royal Road to Card Magic, or Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.


The case for DVD's
1) If you are a visual learner you will probably find the sleights etc. easier to learn than from a book.

2) By giving examples of presentation you can learn the author's presentation and then adapt it when you are ready.*

*There are differing views on whether imitation is OK or not. Take two famous and wonderful magicians. Whit Haydn says that when starting out learning though imitation is valuable and is a good idea. Eugene Burger on the other hand is dead against it.


What is a good You Tube channel?
This one tends to generate some very impassioned responses! The problem with you tube is that often the "tutorials" are simply terrible-given by unskilled hacks who you should not be imitating and who sometimes reveal copyrighted material (i.e. theft). On the other hand amidst the dross there is some good stuff. For cards check out Aaron Fisher. Also try Andy Field Magic.

Everyone agrees that You Tube can be an excellent resource for watching performances by professionals.

Also consider paid for online content. http://www.Reelmagicmagazine.com is cheap and has a heap of good stuff of all types. Aaron Fisher has a pathways to mastery course available from Penguin Magic. There are doubtless others.


What DVD should I get for XYZ?
Before asking this question there are some others you need to ask yourself.

1) What is my skill level?

2) Am I doing stage or close up?

3) Will there be a table?

4) What style of magic do I want to perform (e.g. Bizarre, comedy etc).

These questions will affect the answers you need. For example David Roth has some fine Coin Magic DVD's....mostly using a table. Nathan Kranzo has a DVD of coin magic which is all in the hands. A lot of these questions also apply to buying magic. I (like many others) have loads of tricks which, though wonderful, do not suit my personal style and remain unused. I could have saved myself a ton of money by considering my style and whether or not I was going to use the effect before purchase.


I promised some proviso's.....and here is one. These are my views (www.elegantwow.co.uk). There are many people on the café more experienced than me....and others less so. So listen to all advice but consider from whence it came....and as we saw with Whit Haydn and Eugene Burger earlier - even the experts don't always agree.
heybobby08
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Very good advice! Thank you!
Tenacitiz
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Very helpful. Thanks.
djurmann
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No worries. :o) Thank YOU for your kind words.
djurmann
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MORE FAQ's

I want to learn card magic what should I get?

The Royal Road to Card Magic and Card College are both comprehensive sources that are available as book or DVD.
Harry Lorayne's card magic is highly regarded and his teaching also (www.youtube.com/harrylorayneonvideo).
Also highly regarded are Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights and Michael Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles .

Others to consider are Dani Ortiz, Juan Tamariz, Lennart Green, Aaron Fisher and (for a variety of sleights from easy to oh my goodness)....Jason England.

Consider looking at each person's performance and then buy.
djurmann
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How do I make my magic better/more impactful/get more laughs etc?

Assuming you have practiced and mastered the trick itself, the next best advice would be have a script, and then edit and re-edit it. Include your actions and attitudes.

"hello" *look angry*
"hello" *look happy, palm card*

Also read some books on performing.
e.g.

Ken Weber (Maximum Entertainment)
Eugene Burger (Mastering the Art of Magic)
Jeff McBride (The Show Doctor)
Darwin Ortiz (Strong Magic)
Henning Nelms (Magic and Showmanship)
Fitzkee (Showmanship for Magicians)


Also don't neglect your public library - you don't have to buy every book.

Lastly there is no substitute for getting out there and doing it. Prepare, prepare, prepare - and then get out there and perform.
djurmann
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Another addition to the above is find some friends you can trust to give good advice.

This advice should:-

Be constructive
Be specific
Consider your performing style.

You should avoid trying to follow EVERY piece of advice from EVERY person who has ever held a pack of cards and remember the ultimate decision is yours....so your friends should also be prepared for you to disagree with them (give reasons)....and you must be able to take criticism. Remember that many people do not like to criticise. Constructive criticism is a gift to be treasured and an honour to receive - it shows they care.

Best wishes,

Danny
rklew64
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The trouble is all this (which I agree 110% ) will only be sincerely appreciated by 2% of the very new to the very seasoned magicians. The other 98%, well! they will continue to troll, hack , disregard every work you wrote and never take it seriously the way we do.
I guess the misguided, ignorant and stupid poorly spelled threads has finally gotten to you?
rklew64
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And look at me, jeez. What a noob I turned out to be.
djurmann
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Quote:

I guess the misguided, ignorant and stupid poorly spelled threads has finally gotten to you?


No just genuinely loved up and wanting to help and bear in mind these are just my view points, what has worked for me and for others may not be the route for everyone, and some people (me) like to make their own mistakes from time to time....and some of these "mistakes" (though probably not mine Smile ) may advance magic in ways we cannot foresee.

Also if you have been here a while you see the same questions time and time again....and the "what channel on you tube" one tends to get a fairly hysterical response which ignores the fact that there IS some good stuff out there----if you can find it.

I suppose on a bigger picture I don't like sweeping statements, misrepresentation, intolerance and "I am right therefore you are wrong" attitudes, and while I do care deeply about magic (my wife would say I am obsessed) it's not like we are curing cancer. I do believe that audiences should be treated with respect and affection (steady!) and that EVERY member of the audience should leave feeling happier. But now I will get off my high horse and just say that if 2% find it useful then great. If the thread ends up pinned (which EVERYONE will then ignore - Lol) better still.

Thank you for sharing - shows you care,

Danny
djurmann
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Who am I performing for?

Thinking about performing there are a number of audience types.

1. Your critical friends, knowledgeable and wonderful. We love them!

2. Magicians (even friendly magicians).

Be wary of this group. They are NOT REAL PEOPLE, they behave differently when they see a trick. Their card comes to the top....they do not go *oh my gosh how did you do that*, they go (if you are lucky) nice DL. They may then tell you why their way is better than your way (listen...it might be). Lovely to meet with, have adrink with, chat about magic with, learn from, but their reactions will be different to Joe Public.

3. Family (and friends) but especially family and spouses.

They know you, they know your quirks, they know what you normally do and don't do. It can be hard to convince them that you are not John you are MARVO THE MAGNIFICENT. Getting buy in can be interesting. Misdirection can also be more challenging with this group when you start (assuming you have magicked them to death and they now wish you would leave them alone please). Nevertheless they are closer to real people than magicians.

4. Real People.

Teenagers, often nice but if they feel that smiling would break their "I'm cool" shell, do one trick and move on.

Mr Macho - do the first trick for him, not his girlfriend.

Drunks - Tipsy can be fun. Very drunk I would tend to avoid. Violent drunks...come on, just don't even try.

Kids - Depends on what magic you do - sponge balls work for any age (including adults), card tricks less so.

Everyone else tends to fall somewhere in between.


Approaching a group

There are LOADS of ways people go about this. Some people advocate "don't give them an opportunity to say no". The rationale is they don't want to be pre-judged on the basis of the last magician/ family member who was terrible. Personally I am uncomfortable with this, though I understand their point of view.

I go "Hello, I'm Danny and I have been asked to perform magic for you tonight, would you like to see some magic? If not that's fine too"

I introduce myself, I shake hands, I tell them who I am, that I have been asked to be there and that it is OK to say no. I think this a more sensitive approach when you have no idea what is going on in their lives and whether or not rather than being a way to lighten their burdens, by forcing them into polite acceptance you increase them.

This is one of those areas where what works for you is the right method. This is just what works for me. I hope you find it helpful.

Danny
airztonne
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This thread is very useful for anyone starting in magic.
Should be kept near the top of the sub forum IMHO.
djurmann
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More FAQ:

Help I have dry hands!

Recommendations include:

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula (UK / US)
Chamberlains Golden Touch Lotion (US)
O'Keefe's working hands (US)
Harry Robson's Easy Grip (UK)(http://www.harryrobsonmagicshop.com/easy-grip/)
Vegetable Glycerin
borderjs
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Thank you for all the recommendations in this thread. Very helpful!
Kaneda
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Really great thread. Lots of useful information.
djurmann
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Thank you Smile

This week I saw a lecture by Dani DaOrtiz (card guy).....this man is the dogs (English expression meaning very good). Awesome thinker, awesome effects. The man is a genius!

If you are into cards, definitely worth a look IMHO ;o)

Danny
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