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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Feeling overwhelmed (30 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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OzJosh
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Australia
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I am really feeling lost all all the magic, the gimmicks, slights and shuffles.

I feel I may have got my hands on to much to soon.
(awaiting my fake arm cutting knife...... I feel like such a kid in a candy store)

what should I really get myself down pat with?

I love cards, always have.
coin tricks, I'm just starting to get the feel for.
yet to do anything with ropes and rings etc etc.

now, I'm new and the names of stuff I am not sure on, I would ask that if you say a name of something, if you could please send me a you tube link so I can view it and get a better understanding. Smile

I'm in this for the love and passion, I've really become addicted to it and I don't want to put Magic down.
it's better than drugs and drinking and I feel so joyful in seeing others laugh and smile.

blowing peoples minds is nuts and love the reactions I get.

thanks for any advice and help.
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
Terrible Wizard
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I totally sympathise with you. There really is too much magic too easily available and it's very easy for beginners to feel swamped. It's taken me a long time to get myself into a position where I am now happy to be working on a core set of tricks - some cards, some not cards. Even now, my set of tricks is probably too wide - but amateurs have to have a larger range because we get less change of audience. I quite like having a fair sized repertoire, too Smile

If you interested in cards, can I assume that you already have a range of instructional books and DVDs? My card tricks virtually all come from Gerry Griffin's Complete Card Magic Course DVD set, with supplementary material from RRTCM, Mark Wilson's Course and The Encyclopaedia of Card Tricks. All these materials were cheap, and there's more in them than I will ever master. I looked through them and found the strongest material I was comfortable being able to perform and focused just on those tricks - just five to start with, strung together into a routine where one flowed easily into the next.

From here I was able to focus on five solid tricks, and work on scripting and rehearsal and practice and experience, editing and re-working as I needed to. I also did the same with a non-card set of tricks, giving me both a card and non-card set to master.

However, this takes time, and it's easy to get distracted from the goal - especially with so much material out there. So to help me feed the magic bug without getting side-tracked I decided to supplement this time working on a core set with time and resources focused on other aspects of magic: theory, history, performance and knowledge. Rather than buying more tricks I got books like Maximum Entertainment, Showmanship for Magicians, Hiding the Elephant, Carter Beats the Devil. I even got books on the history of playing cards and poker strategy, and decided to learn a memorised stack. All things that fuelled my magic hobby without overwhelming me with yet more and more tricks I'd never master.

When I felt that I really had my initial chosen sets down, and read a fair bit about history etc, I started to repeat the process with another set. Same resources, but this time I'd found that I was more comfortable with more difficult tricks. My skills had grown. I am now working on my second card and non-card sets - once again seeking non-trick reading material to help me maintain focus. At the end of this process I should have a very solid collection of short sets, both card and non-card, and a breadth of other magical knowledge. Then I will concentrate on maximising experience - and fine-tuning what I do, and my scripts etc.

At some point I might reach the stage of buying more material and repeating the process a third time Smile. But one stage at a time. There is no rush!
Invisticone
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As a beginner I am focusing on learning teqnique and tricks with no gimmicks, or very basic gimmicks, using cards, coins and rings. I emphasise learning of sleight of hand no gimmick tricks with the logic that I can always later work on tricks with gimmicks and will have the basics down. You have plenty of stuff to practice with cards and coins. If this way of thinking is in line with yours and you want something different from cards and coins you could do worse than the "Ringja" dvd.
BeThePlunk
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West of Boston, East of Eden
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The first two replies you've already gotten are really great, OzJosh. Pay attention to them.

I can sympathize with your dilemma. After a couple of years of following every paths drew my interest and purchasing way too much stuff, I'm just now focussing on a handful of tricks that I believe in and make a nice variety of effects together. I feel like I'm ready now to go before audiences of strangers with a limited group of tricks that make a nice presentation. I divide my practice time into three parts: (1) staying sharp with the tricks I have ready, (2) practicing tricks I want to add to my repertoire, and (3) cups and balls. My real love is cups and balls, but it's so demanding that I stopped practicing while I learned enough other effects so that I could go public. Now that I've reached that stage, I'm taking up cups and balls again so that one day it'll be killer.
GreenKnight33
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Hey OzJosh,

First off, welcome! Second, I sympathize with the overwhelmed feeling. I got into magic later in life and I am still regretting not getting involved earlier as there is so much to explore. Be that as it may, here is what has helped me pace things out.

First off, you need to have some guidelines for what you will and won’t buy. Since there’s SO many tricks etc. coming out every week, if you’re not focused on what you want to accomplish, you end up not making any progress.

For me (as someone in magic 1.5 years and treating it as a hobby), I’ve done the following:

I made a spreadsheet where for EACH year I list:

1. What I want to buy (could be books on theory, tricks, DVDs)
2. What THREE effects/tricks (maximum!) I want to work on.
3. What 4-5 slights I want to start working on (since you’ll never really ever finish and achieve ‘perfection'.

The benefits of this are:

1. Forces me to ask what effect do I really love and want to share with others? Per Terrible Wizards great write up, there’s SO much more than just learning the trick (like patter, blocking etc.), that even learning one trick to perform can be enough for one year.

2. Makes it easy to reference and then say ‘NO’ to the tons of deals, specials etc. send on email or on ads that I see every week. Just recently I saw a great book on the Magic of Larry Jennings. I’ve heard great things about it, BUT it’s NOT on my list. SO, I don’t buy it.

3. Having the years planned out gives me PLENTY to look forward to. So while I’m practicing the DL for the 1,000 time, I can look ahead and think, “In two months I’m getting the Gary Plant Zarrow shuffle DVD and I get to work on that!”

The toughest thing I’ve noticed in the short time I’ve practiced magic is the challenge of focusing.

One last thing. Each year I purposefully limit my spending to $100. That’s it. As Terrible Wizard mentioned, there’s lots of books, ebooks, public domain stuff that’s really inexpensive so $100 can be MORE than enough to tide one over for an entire year.

I appreciate your openness and honesty about the struggles you face, and know that you are not alone. Just sit down though for an afternoon and really figure out what you’d like to work on. I am focused on cards (with a smidgeon on coins but not much), and always going for gaffless, non-gimmicked effects. Slight of hand only or self working.

Happy to send you my spreadsheet if you’d like a sense of how I’m going about it, or want a template. Just PM me.

Take care,
Green Knight
55Hudson
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Minneapolis
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OzJosh - I beleive that Roberto Giobbi's Card College Vol 1 and 2 (the books) are an excellent intro to card magic. The there are many excellent card magic books and DVDs, but the nice thing about Giobbi's work is that it starts from an assumption of zero knowledge - how to open a deck, how to hold it, how to shuffle. And all of the work builds - that is, you don't have to unlearn bad habits since the course (there are 5 volumes) builds on previously learned skills. If you buy those two books and a few standard decks of cards, you will have enough to work on for the next year or so.

After learning the basics, I would recommend Harry Lorayne's material. I think all of Harry's material is done with a regular deck and he has 100's of routines.

Honestly, if you wanted to just do card magic, a combination of Giobbi's two books and the vol 1&2 DVD set, combined with Lorayne's Best Ever Collection (4 DVDs) would give you a lifetime of magic.
GreenKnight33
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Hudson gave some solid recommends for cards. I bought Royal Road to Card Magic as an ebook on Amazon for $3. Best $3 bucks spent!
OzJosh
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I am now forcing myself to step back from all the gimmicks and flashing lights.

card and coin magic is what seems to have become my default.

I am wanting to branch into close up magic, so much so I really have a strong desire to try and be the best I can with it.

I find myself day dreaming magic and illusions.
kinda like this was always in my DNA but has just started to come out of me.

this is the best drug in the world.

:)
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
Terrible Wizard
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Cool Smile

Nothing wrong with gimmicks - but it's all about having a clear focus and plan. Cards and coins sounds a great start! Smile Plenty of good advice about those specific areas in the relevant sub-forums here at the café.

Have you got some good starting resources, like Royal Road to Card Magic (or the more expensive Card College?) or Bobo? If you are a visual learner do you have decent DVDs to accompany those seminal texts?

Have fun! Smile
Invisticone
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When I have the time, which fortunately is most days, I spend some time working on sleights I already have the basics on (shuffles, DL's, colour changes, palms, shuttle passes, etc.). I have a list on paper so I don't leave any out. I perform the tricks I already know. I do this in a varied manner. This can take from 10 min to hours depending on the completeness of the session. Then I might try some new or newish things.

Unless a new thing has really gripped my attention. Then I forgo the basic practice.
Invisticone
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Oh, and as all the experts recomend, I develp coin palms by practising them all the time, which can be done at the same time as many other activities (such as typing forum messages Smile)
Harry Lorayne
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Listen to 55Hudson - good advice. What nobody has mentioned to you is my book, THE MAGIC BOOK - which I originally wrote for the general public and would be one heck of a "start" for you. Go to harryloraynemagic.com and click on Magic Books to learn more about that and other "things." Best - HL.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Newsround
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I would definitely endorse Harry's "The Magic Book" as a great starting point.
OzJosh
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I'll def look into your Book Harry.

I have so much stuff as it is and I guess that's the part I am feeling swamped in.

a lot of good advice from you guys and summing up would be, draw your self back into the basics and get that part right before moving on.
I'm here because I have a love and a strong passion that daily grows for magic and what we do.
I'm addicted to the laughter and smiles and reactions from others.

I will be following up on what has been said and be messaging a few of you to seek your wisdom so I can grow.


Mr Wizzard, I am a visual person and I have some great dvd's.
I wanted a monte and ended up with outlaw card trick.
only because it blew my mind each time I saw it.
even after learning how it's done it kept blowing my mind.

I wanted a powerful start or end to a performance.

I have some stuff from Joshua Jay, Bill Malone (who inspired me to do a monte type trick) Jay Sankey, Daniel Garcia (who I find to be entertaining as well as great at explaining he explains the history of his trick to the best he knows, like card through glass. one of my first real card tricks) a book by Harry Houdini (for historical reference, it's great to keep a link to the past open)

I have some courses on DVD from card tricks to cups and balls, and some rope magic stuff, (I have 6 meters of rope brought for when I start playing with it)

truth be told, I will never stop learning but I need to stop and focus before learning more.

I aspire to be the best that I can be in what I do and will remain as humble as I can, so I may always learn from new people.
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
SDMoore1
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Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, Harry Lorayne wrote:
Listen to 55Hudson - good advice. What nobody has mentioned to you is my book, THE MAGIC BOOK - which I originally wrote for the general public and would be one heck of a "start" for you. Go to harryloraynemagic.com and click on Magic Books to learn more about that and other "things." Best - HL.


I offer my endorsement of THE MAGIC BOOK. Lorayne's writing style is enjoyable to read. The content is top-shelf stuff. I'm new to this, too, in the sense that I'm only now coming back to the hobby after a 30 year hiatus. You mentioned liking cards...this book is perfect for you, OzJosh.
OzJosh
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I am over honoured by the level of mentorship that you all have given me to help.
I love what we do
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
Mike Gilbert
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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I'm with you OzJosh! I'm starting anew with all of this, and it can definitely be overwhelming! I think scaling it back and looking at it all from the 30,000 ft view is a good practice. Even as a professional it is sometimes smart to take things back to basics. I would say start with what you love and own it. If it's cards, your goal is to be known as the card guy. Work on other things that interest you, but entertain everybody. If you feel you have too much stuff...take a break and stop buying it (I know this is the HARDEST part)! Focus on what you have, and decide on what your ultimate goal is. From there you can backward plan. Best of luck to you, my friend, and please keep us all updated!
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
metaljohn
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Montreal, QC
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The Magic Book
Mark Wilson's Course in Magic
Royal Road To Card Magic
Card College volumes 1 and 2
Lorayne: The Classic Collection
OzJosh
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Australia
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I like Jay sankey as well, great teacher.
he lays it out and reminds you to not think like a magician, because a Magician is and actor playing the role of a magician.
he quoted a guy I can't remember the name of.

that it's easy to get caught up in our thinking and forget how the person who is watching us is thinking.
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
Mike Gilbert
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Las Vegas, Nevada
376 Posts

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Good point OzJosh. Also, Jay has often said he isn't a magician, but a comedian who does magic. At least from his standpoint, I can see his view of the audience a bit different than the average magician. It's sound advice at any rate Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
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