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Magic Oli
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Hey guys,

I'm doing a little show for my old primary school teachers class soon and I am thinking about maybe teaching a little simple trick because you never know when you'll inspire someone to learn magic and become a performer as they grow-up.

The Tricks in my Show:

Sponge Balls
Prof's Nightmare
Chicago Opener
Coins Across
4 Ace Self working card trick
Cups and Balls
Mentalism Piece
The 3 Card Trick (David Williamson)



Any Ideas?

Thanks,

Oli
Theodore Lawton
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A simple trick involving a key card principle is always a good one to teach.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dick Oslund
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I was 7 when I saw Stanley the Magician present his magic show. He did not teach us any tricks. He presented a fine show. I dedcided to forget the cowboys and firemen! I decidedd to be a magician. I learned magic one trick at a time.

Your performance will do more to create interest than teaching them a trick!!!

I would never tell a child: "There aint no Santa Claus".

Let them enjoy childhood fantasy!

You will cheapen yourself --and all magicians-- if you "give away the store"!

If you motivate a youngster to want to be what you hopefully, are, he/she will, find a way.

There are books in the library. (Much better than those when I was seven!) If they are really interested, they will search and find.

Bob Csrver would turn over in his grave, if he knew that you even THINK of EXPOSING his Nightmare!!!!!!!

"Thoses who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." --S. H. Sharpe
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Theodore Lawton
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Great post Dick. Magic by Misdirection, so far as I've read, echos the sentiments of the last line.

But I'm a sucker and would still teach the kids a simple trick IF THEY SHOWED INTEREST in learning. Do kids even know what the library is anymore?

Smile
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dick Oslund
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Hi Theo!

You mean you are reading that old stuff! (Fitzkee) --Tom Stone (Sweden) read it a half dozen times and found nothing of value in it! (his recent post). I found it exceedingly dry (somewhat like "Our Magic" --Maskelynne & Devant) but, I read it, and, BENEFITED! Those books "forced" me to THINK, and become CURIOUS!

Too many "magicians" are only interested in "tricks", and not how to perform them so that they entertain! (Sharpe said it!) About 30 years ago, I had just finished performing for a high school full of fine young people. They had been an excellent audience, and showed their appreciation with applause and laughter. It was the last period of the day, They left the gym in a great mood. A young adult, a teacher, walked up and said, "I do magic!" I thought, "Well, I would enjoy a cup of coffee with a fellow "lover of the art". But, his next remark, "But, I only do BIG tricks." killed my interest. I replied, "Oh! You haven't learned how to do little tricks, yet!" I closed my prop case and walked out, leaving him with his mouth open.

If a youngster comes to me (and they have, over the years) and demonstrates that he/she had a serious interest, by showing me that he/she has made an effort to learn, and needed a bit of mentoring, I would foster their interest, BUT, I would do so by helping them with the trick they were trying to learn. I would not teach them the Professor's Nightmare, or the Chicago Opener!!!

One must learn to walk, before trying to run! There aint no shallow end in this pool! One does not need to be an Olympic swimmer, BUT, one should at least be able to "dog paddle"!

True1 Some kids aren't being taught to read anymore! I did a research paper in college, in the '50s, about "Why Johnie can't read" (Dr. Flesch wrote a BOOK about that!) How better to encourage reading, than to point out that the information they seek, is available, FREE, at the library?

A teacher's task is not so much to INSTRUCT, as to EDUCATE. (There IS a difference!!!) Education is not "filling a pail", it is "lighting a fire"!

As a mentor, I will guide, coach and, encourage, but, I do not just EXPOSE! I stress to the learner that "I cannot TEACH you anything! Learning is an active "process", I can only help you learn! Whether you succeed, depends on your native talent, plus PREPARATION, PRACTICE, AND PERSISTENCE."

Sophocles said it a few millenia ago: "One learns by DOING the thing."

Last year, the father of a 17 year old young man, here in town, learned that I was a retired professional magician. HE wanted his son to learn magic. We met for lunch. The son was not interested. We had a nice lunch.

I could tell you of several dozen young men whom I have mentored. A half dozen are now full time successful professonals. Another dozen are part time pro's. Others are avid amateurs. One of them toured the western states (all the way to Alaska) with a semi truck full of illusions! I tell that story in the book. Another, who only SAW my show, was motivated enough to study, and learn. He now is a full timer with a half dozen educational programs for schools. He has a barn full of anvil cases (full of illusions). He was motivated!

On the road, over 45 years, I was regularly approached by kids, Primary school age, and high school adolescents). They were CURIOUS! (here comes the "but":) But, they only wanted to know the secret. They had no real desire to me a magician.

Why are "magicians" so eager to give away their hard earned knowledge to curious people who, in the OP's case, haven't even expressed an interest?

I remember a quote: "Each man kills the thing he loves..."

Dick
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Magic Oli
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Very wise as always Dick, I've scrubbed that off my plans Smile

Thanks,

Oli
Dick Oslund
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Thanks Oli!

I've been called a "wise guy" before! --but, never so nicely! hee hee I'm happy to hear that you've had a change of heart.

Next week (if I live that long!)I'll turn 83. That means that I've been "into" magic for 76 years. I've made a living performing magic for almost 50 years. The 20 years before that, I was a part time pro. I have too much respect for the craft to do anything that would hurt it.

Be a good role model for those kids. Always do your best! When you least expect it, one of them will approach and you will know how serious he/she is. Then, you might be mentoring the next Greatest Magician!

My first magician, the late Stanley Susan, by doing a great program, unknowingly
motivated me. Years later, he autographed a poster to me: "To Dick, who seized his first opportunity."

Best wishes, from northern Michigan.

Dick
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Magic Oli
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Happy Birthday for next week Dick, 76 years in magic and still counting Smile Hope you have a great day

Oli
Theodore Lawton
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So far I LOVE the book Dick. It's definitely making me think!

Thank you for your posts sir, I always learn something or am forced to think, or rethink, about my views.

Happy Early Birthday!

Smile Smile Smile
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
MVoss
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I don't think showing them something simple is a bad idea, cause then they will show their friends, and that's what inspires people, seeing the reaction and feeling it for themselves. I would do jumping rubber band, its simple, explained everywhere so its no big secret, and you can get a bag of rubber bands and let everyone try it together.
Dick Oslund
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A GOOD trick IS SIMPLE. Assuming that you only do GOOD tricks,in your show, they must be SIMPLE.

Why not just expose everything in your show? Wouldn't that inspire them?
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MVoss
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You can teach something like Jumping Rubber Band without it being any loss to the magic community. To put the power of magic into a kids hands with something simple and easy will get them more interested then just the show itself. Besides, think of each of these kids will go to a friend, and show them, and their parents, it will create awesome word of mouth.
Ray Bertrand
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Happy Birthday Dick. Thanks again for your excellent posts, wisdom, and advice.

Ray
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
MVoss
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Oh, good point, happy birthday Dick. Smile Smile
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2014, MVoss wrote:
You can teach something like Jumping Rubber Band without it being any loss to the magic community. To put the power of magic into a kids hands with something simple and easy will get them more interested then just the show itself. Besides, think of each of these kids will go to a friend, and show them, and their parents, it will create awesome word of mouth.


First...thank you for the highly decorative birthday greeting.

Second...You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

(Here comes the "but":) After you have been "around" a few years, you will probably change that opinion.

IMO! If you "give it away", it has little or no lasting value!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Ray!!! Thank you for your thoughts, --and the birthday greeting, too!

I asked a lady friend, "How many birthdays have you had?" She gave me a "funny look". I said, "You've had ONE BIRTHDAY! The rest are just ANNIVERSARYS!")

O
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Anatole
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I would tend to disagree--respectfully--with Dick's comment that "There are books in the library. (Much better than those when I was seven!)"

I think back on the magic books on the children's 793.8 shelf and have fond memories of books like Joseph Leeming's _Fun with Magic_ (copyright 1943) and its sequel _More Fun with Magic_. The Leeming book was not as profusely illustrated as the (mainly) photo-illustrated books of today. But the tricks are outstanding. I've seen Jay Ose and even Del Ray do tricks that were described in the Leeming books--and they fooled roomfuls of magicians with them! Dai Vernon showed a "Do As I Do" trick in a lecture I saw him do back in the 1970's--and it pretty much came directly from the Leeming book--and again fooled a roomful of magicians!

Other books from the 60's that I remember fondly are:
_The Amateur Magician's Handbook_ (of course, and with great photographs!)
_Illustrated Magic_ by Ottokar Fischer
_100 Houdini Tricks You Can Do_ by Dunninger
_For Magicians Only_ and _The Magician's Handbook_ by Robert Parrish

Later--after I was already an established magician--I enjoyed the many books by Bill Severn. In one of his books Bill explained a version of "Flash Cash" where strips of magazine cut to the size of dollar bills instantly changed to real bills--an effect that Fred Kaps was famous for.

I'm sure that Dick would agree with me that the books I mentioned above are classics.

As I wrote in the introduction to my unpublished magnum opus--The education that I received at the Hay/Edwards/Ganson School of Magic is as good as any education I got at accredited institutions of higher learning.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
drmagico
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Another approach would be to perform something easy like the jumping rubberband but not explain it. Give them one or two book titles that have the explanation in there. The kids who are motivated to find out will do so on their own and then they have the opportunity to learn other tricks in the book. This may foster their desire to start to learn magic but without the initial exposure to the whole class.
Gill
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I recently showed a flipstick vanish to some third graders, and they absolutely loved it.
As this move is quite difficult to master for kids, it would take a considerable amount of practise to get right, but those really interested in magic will eventually master the move.
MRSharpe
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I don't see anything wrong with helping kids get started in magic, but teaching one trick or principle--rather attempting to teach--in conjunction with a full program is probably a tall order to fill. Like Dick said, just give them the sense of wonder and one or two of them may be bitten by the bug and take up magic themselves. And please don't tip something like the Locator Card Principle to an entire classroom of kids. You'll do more damage than you realize.
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