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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » If you waited till you were in your 30's to get started in magic... (26 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Race Blakhart
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Selma,CA
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...I'd love to hear where you are now, and how things are going.
I know most folks were lucky enough to get started earlier in their lives, which in turn gives them years and years of experience by the time they reach their 30's.

I don't feel "too old" to get started or anything (34 and still in my freshman year), but I would love to hear from others who started later in life.

If you started your dedicated path in magic before your late 20's/early 30's, then this thread isn't for you. I just want to hear from the other "late bloomers", as it were.

I guess I am looking to see if I get more than a few replies as this question interests me quite a bit.
davidpaul$
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Pittsburgh, Pa
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I got bit by the magic bug at age 37. Fast forward about 20 years and I perform multiple times weekly. 3 steady restaurant gigs, soon to add a 4th. Performed on Princess Cruise Lines, hundreds of private shows and am now incorporated. Was hired by local universities for functions as well as many corporate clients. I never invisoned that I would ever go down the road of performing magic and to get get paid for it too. The passion remains the same as day one.

Sooo if you truly love and respect the art then one is never to old. It just depends on how you treat it andd what you do with it. Are you willing to put the time and countless hours of practice to invest ? Oh yes money too.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
BeThePlunk
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West of Boston, East of Eden
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I got re-bitten at 65 when I came upon my father's collection of books and his old trunk of tricks. Now at 68, I do occasional tricks for my students (still teaching) and have a show almost ready to present to local assisted living facilities on a volunteer basis. When I feel I have a polished act, I'll look for more opportunities and start charging money. I want magical performance to be something I can enjoy in retirement.
Newsround
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UK
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I'm in much the same boat so to speak. I started getting in to learning magic last year, after always being interested in the art. Not devoted a lot of time to it of late, but recently rekindled my love. Currently browsing sites trying to compile a last minute list for ideas for stocking fillers that I've been being asked to do for a while. I am still a complete beginner, also I don't see myself doing anything with it like trying to earn money from it or anything like that. At the moment just doing it purely for the fun, so wouldn't like to comment on whether it's too late to get into things or not. Suppose it just depends on what you want out of it
Yekrats
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Dayton, Indiana
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I started at about age 39, and I've been at it for about 6 years. I'm getting occasional part-time gigs now from people I don't know, and making some astonishment. I'm also now currently the president of my local IBM Ring. Apparently if you show some enthusiasm and have a pulse...

I know I will never be a spritely young super-finger-flicker, nor a dashing young 20-something tall dark hunk. (Nor was I ever, my wife would say...) That being said, I'm forging my own performance style based on who I am right now.

I'm also still learning, adapting my act, working on solid entertainment. I started out learning one trick well, then added another trick, and so on. The thing is, I worked to find opportunities to get out in front of people. I checked with my city clerk, and found out it was legal for me to do sidewalk performances in my city. Soo... three years ago I started setting up at street festivals and performed "busking" with a passive tip jar, and made about minimum wage the first few times. Then I learned a bit about busking (entertaining, finding and keeping audiences, hat lines) and my tips got better. Now I'm making several times what I made when I first started. The best part about that was performing in front of hundreds of people, and getting my "flight time" or "chops" as a performer. Some times I just went to festivals and said, "Hi, I'm a magician showing people some free magic today. Can I interest any of you in some cool magic?"

Every couple of months, I tried to add a new trick into my act. Some worked, and became permanent additions. Some were failures, but then I kept looking. I kept working that way until I got a solid 30-45 minute show of good material. Now I'm working on a separate mentalism act, to add it as another option to book me.

I wish I would have started much younger! C'est la vie. Play the hand you're dealt.
--
Corporate or event magic & mentalism: http://WizardoftheWabash.com
Dick Oslund
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Starkey~! (that's Yekrats spelled backwards!)

Since you have a pulse (you admitted that)and you apparently have a bit of enthusiasm (at least enough to join the 'I BOTHER MAGICIANS") how come ya haven't read any BOOKS???

You mentioned trying to add a new trick, every couple of months. "Some worked...some were failures"

Dariel Fitzkee said it very well, in his, 'THE TRICK BRAIN" (pp308--309): "I must insist that tricks are but tools. This eagerness to add new tools to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tool we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans."

S. H. Sharpe was even "tougher", when he said, "...Those 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."

May I suggest that, if you are seriously interested in PERFORMING, and, not just collecting props to display on a shelf, you invest in "The Tarbell Course". Tarbell was first printed in 1927, and, it's still in print! You will learn basic PRINCIPLES, that will not only add to your knowledge, they will help you save money, too. Thqt's why I called it an INVESTMENT.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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I actually started very young, but the advantages of starting later is that you are more settled and not in such a rush to find out how every trick in the world is done. You are willing to spend some time learning and practicing instead of wanting instant proficiency and you are at an age where you are not only willing to listen to others, but seek out their instruction and advice. You are at a great age to start magic.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Yellowcustard
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New Zealand
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As kid I was to hyperactive to sit down and learn magic. But I got really in to circus skills. Manipulation and Diablos mainly. It was in my thirties I got in to magic and love it. it been 10 years and one thing I love is street busking. It great fun and fits my full time job. my wife and I go in to schools and do science shows.

Its never to late and you still have options to do and achieve many things. So go for it and most of all enjoy yourself.

If your want more advice speak loud and slow and not after 9pm and this old time will help. Now why did I walk in to the fourm.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Mike Gilbert
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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Eugene Burger didn't get into magic until his late 30's....

Yeeeaaaahhhh...I'm just gonna leave this here... :p
-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
Race Blakhart
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Selma,CA
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Quote:
On Dec 14, 2015, Mike Gilbert wrote:
Eugene Burger didn't get into magic until his late 30's....

Yeeeaaaahhhh...I'm just gonna leave this here... :p



Friggin Mike...hahaha GOOD POINT! (And nice profile pic. It's about time.)
Race Blakhart
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Selma,CA
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THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!! HOLY SHNIKIES, I did NOT expect this many wonderful replies! I already had what I felt was a good amount of confidence in myself as an artist/performer (musician/comedy) over the last 20 years(I quit performing after a bad car crash), but this thread has really helped me focus that confidence on my magic now that I see I'm not in such an uncommon place, being an older beginner.

And for those of you who don't know Dick Oslund, ALWAYS take his advice 100%! The man has forgotten more about magic than we will ever learn(and honestly, he remembers everything haha). So, if he gives you any advice whatsoever, you take it. Thanks for posting, Dick! I am almost halfway into your book and I am LOVING IT!
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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I know plenty of good working magicians who were "empty nest" before they even got started with magic.

Magic and Magic History are entirely different things.

I have been in IBM since the 1960s. However as an old marketing professor with 57 years as a professional entertainer, I find it a very serious mistake that IBM measures "continuous years as a paid member" instead of "AUDIENCES PLEASED". I costs us new members who see us as a museum instead of an ACTIVE organization of entertainers who do magic.

Start and restart often. You are very welcome to the world of magic.

Join us October 7-8, 2016 for Magic Valley Magic our family reunion of entertainers. It is FREE. And 2016 will be our 7th year!
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Yekrats
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Dayton, Indiana
208 Posts

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Quote:
On Dec 14, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
Starkey~! (that's Yekrats spelled backwards!)

Since you have a pulse (you admitted that)and you apparently have a bit of enthusiasm (at least enough to join the 'I BOTHER MAGICIANS") how come ya haven't read any BOOKS???

Come on, man. I read and love me-self plenty of books. Some of my best material comes out of books. Some of my faves that I own:
* Mark Wilson's Complete Course
* Tarbell's course (all-in-one volume)
* Stars of Magic
* Card College (only 1 / 2 / Lighter so far)
* Modern Coin Magic
* Ammar's Cups 'n Balls
* Anderson's Newspaper Magic

To name a few. They are not pretty decorations; I read and re-read them! I'm not sure where you got the idea that I don't like books. I have (and use) a sufficient number of magic books to annoy my wife.

Dick, if you'd like to borrow something from my library, feel free to come on over!
--
Corporate or event magic & mentalism: http://WizardoftheWabash.com
Dick Oslund
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Hey Starkey!

I'm happy to get your comeback. It looks like I misinterpreted your post. When you said you tried to add a couple of new tricks every month, it sounded like you went to the magic shop for them. I'm glad I was wrong! Herewith, my apologies!

That's a respectable library. (Three of those were written by friends of mine (Ammar, Bobo, and Anderson!) Tarbell,and Gibson I only met, but, I have read them. Walter who ghosted the Wilson course, made a couple errors, but, but de mortis nil nisi bonum!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Harry Lorayne
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New York City
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Ya' gotta' start reading some of the really good stuff!!!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Yekrats
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Dayton, Indiana
208 Posts

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Mr. Lorayne - I also added "The Magic Book" to my library early on. I also just picked up "Best of Friends"!
--
Corporate or event magic & mentalism: http://WizardoftheWabash.com
Harry Lorayne
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New York City
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Want some impromptu jaw droppers? Look into JAW DROPPERS!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
chiartguy
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Chicago, IL
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Thanks for starting this thread, Race.

I only dabbled a little with magic as a kid. I rediscovered it in my mid-30s, pretty much starting from scratch, and I haven't looked back.

There are obviously pros and cons with regard to arriving at this artform a little later in the game.

Yes, we don't have the years of experience practicing moves and performing that those who started in their teens or twenties do.

However, many of us have other benefits at this point in our lives -- professional connections, maturity, disposable income, life experience, networking skills, a clearer sense of who we are and where we want to go, etc.

It might be helpful to point out that many famous creative people didn't start their careers or really get serious or gain recognition until their 30s, 40s, or even later -- Mark Twain, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Louise Bourgeois, Thelonious Monk...
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
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I have love magic all of my life.
But only started doing shows for the public
in my late thirtys.And never looked back.
One of the best choices I ever made.I still have a full time job that
I have been with for 37 years.But at 62 I plan on retiring and go fulltime
in magic.I still manage to do two shows a week now even with my hectic schedule.
Todd
JoshRyan
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Kitchener, ON, Canda
123 Posts

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In my twenties, I performed as a clown to pay my way through university. I finished school at 30 yrs old, got a day job, and stopped performing. I started performing again at 35 yrs old but as a magician this time. I left my day job at 37 yrs old to perform full time and now, at 40 yrs old, I'm sooo happy to be a full time magician - even though I spent 6 yrs of my life on a Masters degree that's now gathering dust!
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