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Profile of KingStardog
I have decided to put forth some observations of mine that may help the newer folks see the road ahead them.

It would seem, from the types of questions new magi ask that the entry process is almost the same for most that are getting started.

Here are the average stages that I have detected from observation, although there may be many more or less depending on the individual.

1. Attraction to astonishment beyond the end of a show or act that others have already dismissed: (You keep thinking about it, over and over. It tends to occupy much of your time.)

2. You have the compulsion to act. (This stage involves buying the first books and several self-working effects. Many of these will be left behind or form the basis of collections)

3.The dead spot: (Self doubts or possibly a poor performance or even fear of standing up in front of others causes you to stop performing or lose interest
for a while. This also happens when life is just too busy to devote the time)

4.The rekindling: (Something has sparked the interest you had and you get the bug once again. At this point you probably decide to begin to gather more professional props and routines as well as learn some more advanced prestidigitation) (This is the time you may go overboard on props and equipment)

5.The Direction crisis: (After the rekindling there comes a point where you make the decision of which branch or branches of magic has an interest to you
and you begin to focus your attention to those areas. Close-up, Stage, Busking, Illusion, Escapes, Children’s shows, Mentalism etc.)

6.The first “real” performances: (These are the ones you may do for charity or the first few paying gigs that come your way. You may not even have an act that matches the show venue.)

7.The Identity crisis: (This one can pop in at any stage of the game and may come for most folks before number 5 or 6 above. Who are you? Who are you to the spectator? How do you present your show, and how does it connect to your identity. Do you even have an identity? How do you promote yourself and your show? Is this the most successful way?)

8.The “polished” performer. (Once you have answered all of the above, and have a bit of experience under your belt, you begin to polish and perfect everything you do. You will be casting aside old material, actions and routines. You will be assessing every motion action and expression, to reach you goal of perfection.

9. Reinvention: (This stage has no number because it is the wild card that can come at any time. You may decide to scrap everything and start over. You may decide to reinvent your identity. Or the “big one”.... You may change branches of magic altogether.)

This is all for the new folks to read and digest, so that they will know if they are having issues with any of the points above that they are completely normal in their progression, and all is right in the world. They are merely entry stages and will pass as time goes on.

These also are all merely observations that I have made. My point of view or perspective may be flawed, or I may have left out a couple of important items.

I welcome input from some of the folks here that have many years, or even lifetimes invested in the art, and have the experience needed to comment, either good or bad. (I won't be offended no matter what the comment.)
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
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Profile of rcad
Very, very interesting post! Thank you!

Being a beginer, I consider being at stage 5 right now. If I may venture another stage although I do not know if this applies to all or just a few, there is a "desillusion period". I'm right in the middle of it. Not that my interest in magic has diminished but I realize just how difficult it is to present magic to a group when there are always those who will try to figure out how you've done it rather than simply being entertained.

The strangest thing is that those same people are the ones that come to me after the show to tell me just how much they enjoyed it, especially since they usually don't like magic. Others remember how funny I was... But this is not the kind of show I want to give. I want to present a MAGIC show where everyone can laugh, yes, but also get little stars in their eyes as well. It happens during my shows for part of the audience, but I want them all to feel that way. Maybe I am expecting too much? Maybe I'm not good enough? I have no idea but it saddens me...

Oh well... I'll get up from the shrink couch now... Smile

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein
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Profile of Aperazor
Great post,
I'm going through stage 4 again and I'm enjoying as much as the first time around, maybe more.
I've noticed several audience types:

1 Those who no matter what you do just keep saying that you didn't do what you did!

2. Those that are just content to be entertained and rather than try to figure it out, are content to just say that you really are MAGIC!

3. The ones who don't even know where they are and just happen to catch the part where everybody was applauding, so they join in and sometime say Wow, do that again.

4. And then there is us...the ones who are both entertained but also have that burning desire to understand or figure it out "how the heck did he do that?"

Thanks for the great post
Nick Zender
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