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rjsmith608
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I was wondering what is considered the top 5 classics of magic that would be good to start with practicing?
chiartguy
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Rjsmith608 -- might I humbly suggest that we'd first need to know a bit more specifically what kinds of magic you're most interested in practicing.

You'll get vastly different advice depending on whether you're asking about close-up magic, platform, stage illusions, etc.

Are you particularly interested in cards, coins, magic with everyday objects...?

All of the above categories have their own "classics" so it will help if we can narrow the focus more.

Do you already have one of the great all-around magic books that are frequently recommended here on the Café, like Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic? That book is not hard to find, not expensive, and contains lots of great "classics."
Doug Trouten
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Rjsmith608 -- It may also be worth considering that the "classics" are not necessarily where you want to start. For instance, when I hear "classic effects" I think of things like linking rings, square circle, sawing a person in half, 20th century silks, appearing canes, and even pulling a rabbit out of a hat. But it's very possible that none of those effects would fit your performance setting, style or goals.

Chiartguy provided good advice about beginning with an all-around book. Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book" is one that's frequently recommended.

If you're interested in coins or cards, you might start by learning some of the basic moves that form the building blocks of most coin or card routines.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Zephury
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The above posts are absolutely correct. More information is necessary in order to direct you to classics that you might personally enjoy. However, just to possibly peak your interest, I'll name a few of my favorites.

The Chicago Opener. - Personally, I believe the standard handlings are quite poor as Pop Haydn's "Chicago Surprise" is quite excellent. I personally perform my own variation, but his is quite similar and if you enjoy Pop's magic, I HIGHLY recommend his Peguin live Lecture. He goes over SO many routines that if you were to buy each effect taught on that lecture individually from him, you'd probably pay close to $200. For $30 you get an overview on all of his most popular effects. It's one of the best lectures I've seen and you truly get your money's worth. Here's a link of a perform of the Chicago Opener. Keep note that in the lecture, he also teaches his wonderful cards to pocket, and many more of his world-class routines. I HIGHLY recommend his lecture.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XoblsrV5kM

Triumph - Personally I aim for all of my effects to be "in the hands" Not all of them are, but it's a good criteria to aim for so that you can perform your magic at any time. I personally use J.C Wagner's upstanding Triumph which is thoroughly taught as the first effect on his International Magic Lecture. I couldn't find a good performance from him or anyone else on YouTube so I'll result to a rather poor one unfortunately, the handling is rather accurate to J.C Wagner's excluding the display at the end. He didn't properly spread the cards to show them face up and face down. J.C Wagner's original teaching far surpasses this. After that, I have my own personal subtlety that I believe greatly improves the display of cards being face up and face down. If you decide to do this effect, PM me. I'll share my subtlety with you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A6friLw8as

Miser's Dream - What is commonly a stage trick, I have adapted for walk around scenarios using my pockets as appose to a pale. If you're on stage, I highly recommend learning a classic Miser's Dream, if you table hop and you're willing to put in a HECK of a lot of practice to accomplis this sort of effect very convincingly close up, purchase Sylvester the Jester's "Sylvester Pitch" DVD for a truly deceptive way of producing coins from an absolutely empty hand. Be warned, it is extremely difficult and would take many hours of practice though. Heres Sylvester's original routine:
https://youtu.be/AZXVJd-mnOs?t=3m3s
Keep in mind that I have used this technique to develop a unique approach to the classic Miser's Dream. If you purchase Sylvester's DVD and are interesting hearing my personal thinking as to how I've begun to use this in a close-up scenario, you can PM me for that reason as well. Otherise, here's a classic handling of Miser's Dream if you decide to do a much easier version on stage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTyYJInSRWQ
The endless production of coins is truly great magic and I strongly suggest you either explore the classical method for stage, or look in to a close-up method using the Sylvester Pitch. However, a third option would be to just perform the original Miser's Dream up close without using the Sylvester Pitch. However, a loud coin pale isn't exactly always suitable for restaurants and other more intimate scenarios alike so you can explore that as much as you like.

Anniversary Waltz.
There are are MANY anniversary waltz type effects, all of which involve a setup but is WELL worth the effort. Here's one of my favorite versions, masterfully performed by Jason Ladanye, and created by one of his teachers, Darwin Ortiz.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NrnCQVU_gs
The source for learning this is in Darwin Ortiz's book "Card Shark" which isn't exactly easy to get. However, many other versions are readily available and you can take inspirations from an easy to get source and this video. However, for the sake of ethics, I advise against copying the video itself, perhaps it might be best to come up with your own handling if you decided to pursue the Anniversary Waltz effect without the purchase of Darwin's book. I imagine there are other very powerful versions of this effect as well but I wouldn't quite know-- My search for the perfect Anniversary Waltz ended with the discovery of Darwin's version. If you put in the effort, I think that too will be the end of your search.

The Ambitious Card
A plot I'm sure you've heard of... This is an extremely easy-to-follow plot that is rather easy to provide MAXIMUM impact with. There's just about no excuse as to why you shouldn't at least try performing this effect. I'm not saying that every magician MUST do the ambitious card but if you're looking for powerful material and you're having trouble looking for good plots to explore, this could easily be your answer. There are SO many excellent versions of the Ambitious card and I highly advise you to NOT copy youtube magicians such as Asad at 52kards, or Jarek120, or any other magician for that matter. It's important for you to have your own version that you can be proud of and that you can match with your personality. Here's another performance from Jason Ladanye who incorporated his gambling/conman focused character in to the ambitious card.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuGRA4nBV2Q
Also, here is one of the most famous ambitious cards effects ever by Tommy Wonder. This illustrates the "Card to impossible location" ending and I highly recommend exploring these sort of options. I personally end mine with a card to wallet via the "Real man's wallet" by Steve Draun.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfWI9_RVCWs


Now, I could link you countless classics and wonderful effects but the most important thing for you to focus on is your presentation and personality/character while performing. The tricks are important and of course it isn't magic unless you're fooling them BUT if you don't perform these amazing feats with clarity and precise timing with masterful execution and proper timing, your practicing and efforts will go to waste. Good magic requires flawless, clear, invisible methods, as well as excellent presentation... For a LONG time, I disregarded books on theory thinking I knew how to present magic already. Boy was I WRONG. The best book I've read so far is Darwin Ortiz's "Strong Magic." Infact if I could go back to when I FIRST started magic and could give myself only ONE book to start with, I would choose "Strong Magic." Reading that book has FOREVER changed my outlook on magic and has GREATLY increased the power of my magic. If you explore one thing I've mentioned on this post, if you choose to explore ONE thing to listen to or follow from the Magic Café this MONTH, I highly advise you pick Darwin Ortiz's "Strong Magic."

Good luck! Let me know what you decide to do and share your progress with us!
Yellowcustard
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Personality,
Guts,
determination,
Patience,
Appeal,
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Doug Trouten
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Zephury -- I agree completely on "Strong Magic." I'm reading it now for the first time, and it's clear that Ortiz is helping people move from "person who does tricks" to "person who makes magic happen."
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Professor Marvel
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For close up, the Okito Box is my favorite. Totally examinable and you can put together some great routines.
Jacob3
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Good Ambitious Card routine
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2015, rjsmith608 wrote:
I was wondering what is considered the top 5 classics of magic that would be good to start with practicing?



Naah! >>> I <<< am a "classic of magic". As of December 11, I will be >>>84<<<. HEE HEE HEE --(that's THREE HEES!)!

And, I've booked a Christmas party for December 9.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
HarryB
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The OP hasn't posted in the last 30 days but I will put my .02 in anyway since It's a good topic. You cant go wrong with the cups and balls for one of the first five to practice. Ammar and others say that even if you don't ever perform the trick, it is a good one to learn. It has sleights, routine, patter, and the misdirection is built into the routines. It is also somthing that you can make your own over time. You don't have to go crazy with $300.00 cups, but I highly recommend getting Ammar's videos on the subject if it is something that might interest you.

Dick,
Congratulations on your upcoming birthday. I hope to be going strong like you are at that age. God willing.
Bill Thompson
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I would suggest Cups and Balls. There is so much to learn from this. Sleight of hand, prop managment, misdirection... Even you never actually add it to your act it is wonderful practice.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
Theodore Lawton
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What makes a classic a classic?

It's funny, after I was interested in magic for some time I was finally drawn to some of the "classics" that I hadn't looked into while I was trying out "the next best thing" as a newbie and I found out that these "classics" are classics for good reason; things that have a simple plot, are easy to carry, and have a magical impact. They're time tested; some have been done for many years, sometimes hundreds, because they "work" when performed in the right hands.

They are reliable magic tricks if you do them well. The list of potential tricks could be huge.

Maybe not even specific tricks, but a classic avenue, an area of magic prop, like ropes.

Just add personality and presentation to the practice and you have a classic with some of these:

Cups and balls, as Bill and Harry mentioned.

But...

Here's my personal list of 5 classics or classic areas to explore, though I'm sure I'll think of more later. I also mainly perform close up magic:

1. Chop Cup- I prefer this to cups and balls. To each their own. Many sizes, styles and loads to choose from.

2. Routines with ropes- they may be cut and restored or feature knots or loops or rings or pass through your neck, but rope is a good classic avenue to explore. Professor's Nightmare is a good "classic," as is cut and restored.

3. Ambitious Card- Great for learning sleights in context if you're just learning a DL, Side Steal, Palm, MCF, etc. Also great for learning misdirection, timing, audience management and even audience participation.

4. Sponge magic- fun, easy, commercial, mind blowing "in their hands" magic.

5. Invisible Deck- fun, easy, commercial, mind blowing "in your hands" magic. Smile

I could also mention silks, coins, TTs, paddle tricks... Smile

But I'll leave it at that! Hope you come back and check some of these responses out!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

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

God bless you and have a magical day
MorrisCH
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Just watch Michael Vincent perform
The answer shows up by itself
HarryB
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Morris,
Can you provide a link or elaborate? I must say I'm a little lost on this one. Maybe I'm alone. Maybe not.

thanks

harry
pcrpttc
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1. Invisible Deck = Easiest and most effective to do
2. Out of this world Eugen burger version in his penguin live lecture
3. French Kiss
I would start with these 3 card tricks because I love playing cards ! get more confidence and then move on from there Smile. However, theses tricks are not classic but it is very good trick for beginner (in my opinion) Smile
1KJ
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Quote:
On Dec 5, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 28, 2015, rjsmith608 wrote:
I was wondering what is considered the top 5 classics of magic that would be good to start with practicing?



Naah! >>> I <<< am a "classic of magic". As of December 11, I will be >>>84<<<. HEE HEE HEE --(that's THREE HEES!)!

And, I've booked a Christmas party for December 9.


Dick,
You are a classic! I wish I could have been there at your show. How did it go? What did you do?

... a little dance?

KJ
Dick Oslund
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Hi!
Over the years, I've been a member of JayCees, Lions, Exchange Club, Rotary, and now Kiwanis. The "Golden Kiwanis" to which I belong is all men and women who are senior citizens. A few years ago, we started having a Christmas Luncheon. We invite the widows of deceased members. I was "invited" to be the entertainment for the party, for the past several years. It's a "pro bono" booking (a freebie, but pro bono "sounds better"'!!!

I usually do about 15 minutes. (I don't want to do a "Chinese act". ("Onn Tu Long"!) I'm not breaking in any new material!!!

I did my color changing silk, my "Knotomatic", my ball routine, my egg bag, and, my Tip-Cee (hydrostatic bottle). All material that's written up in my book. Knotomatic is my presentation for an old trick. A four foot long piece of rope is passed through a 10" long by two inch diameter, clear "simple celluloid cylinder" (plastic tube). As it comes out, knots "appear" in the rope. It's an "infomercial pitch" presentation.

The only set up is shoving an 18" silk into a dye tube.

I didn't get a "SO". (Most of the group are in their seventies and eighties.) They did laugh a lot, and even applauded with arthritic hands. Maybe, next year, I'll just do a little dance. hee hee
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MagieByAntony
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Once you get used to handling a deck of cards elegantly:

1: Triumph

2: Ambitious Card

3: Spectator cuts the aces

4: Reset

5: Out of this World

(Just a top five of MY favorite classics)
".... He has become a past master in his profession. He can laugh at luck and defy the law of chance. His fortune is literally at his finger ends....."
~S.W. Erdnase
RogerTheShrubber
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Quote:
On Dec 17, 2015, MagieByAntony wrote:
Once you get used to handling a deck of cards elegantly:

1: Triumph

2: Ambitious Card

3: Spectator cuts the aces

4: Reset

5: Out of this World

(Just a top five of MY favorite classics)



This is a great list, and to it I'd add You Do as I Do. The trick is a time-honored classic, and I don't know of too many tricks where you can get such stunned reactions from so little effort. (I recommend that you then follow it up with Quadruple Coincidence, which is equally easy to do and is a perfect response to "Do it again!"). When looking for classics, it's worth noting that not all of them take weeks and weeks of practice to do like a pro. Some of the easiest tricks are right up there with the best.

If you've never done You Do as I Do because two decks turn you off, cast aside your stance and try it on a few spectators. You'll see what I mean.
1KJ
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Quote:
On Dec 12, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
Hi!
Over the years, I've been a member of JayCees, Lions, Exchange Club, Rotary, and now Kiwanis. The "Golden Kiwanis" to which I belong is all men and women who are senior citizens. A few years ago, we started having a Christmas Luncheon. We invite the widows of deceased members. I was "invited" to be the entertainment for the party, for the past several years. It's a "pro bono" booking (a freebie, but pro bono "sounds better"'!!!

I usually do about 15 minutes. (I don't want to do a "Chinese act". ("Onn Tu Long"!) I'm not breaking in any new material!!!

I did my color changing silk, my "Knotomatic", my ball routine, my egg bag, and, my Tip-Cee (hydrostatic bottle). All material that's written up in my book. Knotomatic is my presentation for an old trick. A four foot long piece of rope is passed through a 10" long by two inch diameter, clear "simple celluloid cylinder" (plastic tube). As it comes out, knots "appear" in the rope. It's an "infomercial pitch" presentation.

The only set up is shoving an 18" silk into a dye tube.

I didn't get a "SO". (Most of the group are in their seventies and eighties.) They did laugh a lot, and even applauded with arthritic hands. Maybe, next year, I'll just do a little dance. hee hee


I wish I could have been there. Cheers from one fellow Kiwanian to another.

KJ
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