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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Becoming a Master (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Emjeyem
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Hi Everyone,

Just a quick question, I am currently reading the Tarbell Course in Magic and I just wanted to know, do I need to master absolutely everything in the book in order to become a master magician?

Does this also apply for other magic books too?

Many thanks,

Emjeyem
Mitchell John Melody
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I'm only a hobbyist, but as far as I know, there's no such thing as a master magician. So no. Smile
Boomer
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Lance Burton is the current Master Magician. There is only one.

https://ariannblack.com/master-magician/......ician-2/


Dave
Tim Snyder
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No one has ever mastered everything in Tarbell. The key is to find the area or areas of magic that interest you and master tricks in those areas. There are many flavors of magic and even more flavors of magicians. Find your specialty and perfect it.

There are master magicians. I don't know if he officially held the title; but the first person that comes to mind when I think of master magician is Tommy Wonder. There have been and are others who deserve the title. It is a very small percentage of those who practice the art. I strive for the best and hope that I can at least be a competent magician.
Andy Young
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This is what really matters --- how you interact with your audience. Are they entertained? I have found it doesn't matter how technically great you are if you can't hold an audiences attention. . . . It also doesn't help with the CHECK either. So find out what you are good at and go from there. Don't be afraid to have the goal of mastering something, but sometimes the big goals aren't really able to reach.

I always suggest making small goals that lead up to a bigger goal. Start off with getting a type of effect such as billiard balls (just an example) pick a routine, which would be a beginner routine first. Then once that is learned -- then learn how to actually perform it so people will enjoy it (that's the hard part). After that you have a couple options learn a new routine or learn skills. Skills would be the techniques like multiple ball rolls or harder moves then in your beginner routine. After that each person has their own journey. Some do it for fun. Some are move junkies. Some will never preform.

The ending is open to what you want to do. Just remember if you see a magician that kills with an effect it has to do with presentation. Skills help, but in the end it is how it is preformed.

If you have any questions ask around here or pm me as I am always willing to chat.

Andy
danaruns
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In 30 years, you will find the answer to your question.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Stanyon
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Jay Marshall (you may or may not know who he was) said it best; "Just learn 1/10th of the Tarbell course and you would be the greatest magician extant." I think that that would probably take care of the "Master" thing.

JMHO
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
Nickoli Sharpe
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Do what Andy wrote.
Real good advice.
The only thing I'll suggest is find a few maybe 4 or 5
Effects and get really good at them.
Then move on to another.
Presenting the effect is key.
Anatole
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"Mastering everything in the book" will not make you a Master Magician. Taking what you learned, adapting it to your style, and then _performing in front of live audiences_ is a critical step toward becoming a master magician. Also, reading one great set of books (e.g. The Tarbell Course_) is only one step on the road to mastering magic. You should also learn from other books (including books on showmanship and presentation like _Maximum Entertainment_ by Ken Weber, _Magic and Showmanship_ by Henning Nelms, and a few others) and even magic videos. But be selective in what you purchase.

One more critical step would be finding mentors and peers to guide you. Magic shops and magic clubs will also help you in this step. Mentors, peers and friends in magic clubs will help you make informed decisions as to what to spend your time, money, effort, and heart on to become a well-educated/knowledgeable magical performer. You've made one step in the right direction by becoming a member of The Magic Café. As your experience in magic grows, you will learn which members of the Café contribute posts that are worth your study.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2017, Stanyon wrote:
Jay Marshall (you may or may not know who he was) said it best; "Just learn 1/10th of the Tarbell course and you would be the greatest magician extant." I think that that would probably take care of the "Master" thing.

JMHO


I knew Jay for almost 40 years. We did shows together. We both knew Tarbell. and, I thank Steve for reminding us all about Jay's statement!!!

And, I also agree with Steve about the master thing!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Anatole
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One more suggestion:
Look for the Forum on The Magic Café called
CHEF SPECIAL

It is an archive of the MAGIC Café GUESTS OF HONOR--pros, part-time pros, and creative amateurs who participated in a Q&A with Café members. That Forum provided an opportunity to ask questions of and advice from the movers and shakers of our Art. The CHEFS SPECIAL Forum has been dormant for a few years, but in the archive is a lot of great, worthwhile information from people like:
Denny Haney
John Bannon
Danny Orleans
Jason England
Paul Romhany
Martin Lewis
David Kaye
Tom Gagnon
Pete Biro
Aldo Colombini
Tom Stone
Jeff McBride
Paul Gertner
Losander
... and many more

As I said above, the forum has been dormant with no GUESTS OF HONOR since February 2016, but there's a wealth of priceless knowledge in the archives.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2017, Emjeyem wrote:
Hi Everyone,

Just a quick question, I am currently reading the Tarbell Course in Magic and I just wanted to know, do I need to master absolutely everything in the book in order to become a master magician?

Does this also apply for other magic books too?

Many thanks,

Emjeyem


Hello Emjeyem!

I was forunate to have access to Tarbell's course, in my mid teens. Doc's patter and presentation themes, are now almost a hundred years old. They are a bit archaic, BUT, if you read carefully, you will learn PRINCIPLES!

Most of my show came directly or indirectly from Doc. I certainly don't consider myself a master magician, BUT, Doc helped me make a good living for 50+ years.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Anatole
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Dick is being too modest. When it comes to doing school shows and kid shows, he is definitely a master.

Which brings up a few important questions to ask Emjeyem:
1. What experiences in magic have you already had? What tricks have you already learned?
2. What sources (books other than Tarbell; videos) do you currently have access to?
3. Do you have an area of magic that you wish to focus on (such as card magic; coin magic; close-up magic; living room/parlor magic; kid show magic)?

Oh, and in answer to your questions "do I need to master absolutely everything in the book" and "Does this also apply for other magic books too?" The short answer is a very qualified "No."

Volume 1 of The Tarbell Course has lessons on:
Coin Magic (three chapters devoted to this specialty alone)
Tricks with a Thumb Tip
Impromptu Tricks (with rubber bands; string; etc)
Ball Tricks (such as "Cups and Balls," Sponge Balls; paper balls)
Mathematical Mysteries
Card Mysteries/Tricks (five chapters)
Rope and Tape Principle (what we call "The Grandmother's Necklace" principle)
Handkerchief Tricks
Eggs and Silks

If you have no interest in some of those specialized topics--such as "Mathematial Mysteries"-- you might not want to study them as intensely as other areas that you have a special interest in--such as "Coin Tricks."

To a certain extent the Tarbell books are like an encyclopedia. There's a lot in the "A" volume of an encyclopedia that you might have no real interest in (maybe things like Aardvark or Abacus) that you can skim over or ignore so you can get to the stuff that you're really interested in (maybe something like Animation or Astronomy).

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
RobertlewisIR
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As the others have said, I don't think it's even possible to master everything in Tarbell. You should read it all anyway, because knowledge is always power, and you never know when you might be inspired to combine different principles.

As for what makes a master, I think it's the combination of knowledge and experience. A master isn't someone with a huge repertoire of tricks necessarily (though some masters do have large repertoires). A master is someone who can consistently entertain his or her audience. There are some (not many) whose entire act is one trick mastered to the point of near-perfection. These people are masters. There are others who can pick up almost any item from around the house and do miracles with it. These people are also masters, though of a very different type.

While you're learning--hopefully none of us ever stop learning, but this is especially true when you're *first* learning--the best thing to do is to READ EVERYTHING. Soak up all of the knowledge, and eventually you'll find yourself drawn in certain directions. You'll find tricks and styles that you like and don't like. Once you reach that point, it's a fairly clear (though by no means easy) path toward mastery of the kinds of things you'd actually like to master.
~Bob



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Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
natmagic
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Unfortunately many use 'Master Magician' on their marketing. Most of these guys do not deserve even the magician title.
A Master magician is an artist that not only has immaculate technique, they can misdirect with ease, charm/fool an audience & most importantly Entertain!
Props are not the answer as so many think. A true master can take anything and make it great.
Perfect example would be a floating table...owned by so many and a fumbled time filler for most.
A master would perform this with Grace, thought and beauty. The audience believing in the moment.
ThSecret
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Ask Blaine, he says he has never quite mastered ANYTHING. It is always a work in progress. You can be good, or you can be better - choose the latter... be better, and Better, and BETTER! I like that way of thinking because then even your failures are not failures but lessons to learn from and improve on - a work in progress.

IMO. those who you would truly call a master magician don't walk around saying they are master magicians, and those who say the former are just talking themselves up.

Great advice above, Presentation Over Effect.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
Dick Oslund
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Thank you Sonny, for your very kind words!

I think that Bobo and I, very likely, "hold the record" for work in the Lyceum field! --and, a very close "competitor", C. Thomas Magrum, was not far behind us! (Clem Magrum started out, playing C.C.C. camps, during the Depression.)

I really think that we were successful, because we never became "magic shop magicians". We learned the PRINCIPLES, the FUNDAMENTALS that Tarbell explained, so clearly and completely, and, could present a program, that kids and adults could enjoy.

We chose an area of the "business", and stayed "with it" as the old carnies say. PREPARATION, PRACTICE, AND PERSISTENCE, were always the PASSWORDS!

Along with Tarbell, we studied "with" Maskelynne & Devant, Dariel Fitzkee, J. Barrows Mussey, et al!

Sonny compared the Tarbell Course with an Encyclopedia. I agree! The KNOWLEDGE is there! Of course, one must not confuse KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM! One must learn how to use the knowledge. wisely!!! I think that I did. Of course, as Robert Lewis pointed out, WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH LEARNING, YOU ARE 'THROUGH'!

Neither mathematical tricks, nor card tricks ever fascinated me. I "skimmed" those areas, learning enough for my needs, but, never becoming, for example, a cardician. I have known most of top cardicians of the past fifty years, and, have enjoyed their work. --I still think that the best card trick in Tarbell, is the "card in the orange"! Well, the "ten cards across" are a close second! (IMHO!) I do all the fancy flourishes, but, when I did a card trick (years ago!) it was George McAthy's "Insurance Policy"!

The first magician whom I saw, as a youngster of seven, performed in our school. THAT DAY, I decided that I was going to be a MAGICIAN. And, I did! Stanley performed in schools, to help pay his way as a college student during the Depression. He made about $25.00 that day. About seven years later, I presented my first "real" show in that same school, and, I made $26.00!!! Stanley and I became friends for life. Twenty-six dollars! I was almost fourteen! Grown men were working all week for that money, then.

To succeed in the Lyceum field, I realized that I would need to produce a program that could play almost anywhere, for almost anyone. This may surprise a few, but, I NEVER did a "kid show" (as a "kid show" is "defined"). Those who have performed successfully for Kindergarten through Senior High School students, simultaneously, will understand. I wrote about "school shows", at great length, in my book. For fifty years, I was never out of work.

So, Michael John Melody, scroll up and read Andy Young's, Stanyon's, Anatole's, RobertLewisIR's natmagic's thoughts AGAIN!
Then, continue STUDYING TARBELL, and the other old timers, that I've just mentioned! (Oh! read Ken Weber's "Maxmum Entertainment", too!)

Just remember! Ya don't have to have your name up in lights in Las Vegas, to be a master magician!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
natmagic
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The new generation of tv magicians are ruining magic. Dynamo, Criss Angel, DMC (yawn), Troy etc etc etc Dudes making Miracles by a filming process.
Anyone with some kind of image hook can become a tv 'master' magician now with very minimal experience and performing skills.
The tv method should be the minority not the majority so we can see a magician not an edit
Dick Oslund
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It was at the Abbott Get Together (in the late '70s, I think). Harry Blackstone Jr. had performed the previous evening. He had presented HIS Floating Light Bulb. Harry had learned from a MASTER MAGICIAN/SHOWMAN (his father, Harry Sr.). He had added some "touches" that made the "bulb" a greater masterpiece! He got an ovation! He had far exceeded his father's presentation, which had been, IMO, the "standard" for EFFECTS like the "bulb".

The next morning, I was helping behind the counter in the showroom. A young lad of about 16, walked up. He asked if we had the floating light bulb. I said, "yes". "Great! I would like to buy one!" (I could see "stars in his eyes"! --he had seen a MASTER magician, the previous evening.) I instinctively knew, that, at his age, and, with his obvious inexperience, plus the venues available to him for doing a show, he would never be able to perform it. I explained that it required a stage with appropriate lighting, plus, at least one trained assistant.

I have never knowingly sold a beginner a prop that was beyond his abilities and experience.

I suggested that he buy something like an egg bag, which he would be able to perform, with some practice. I said, "An egg bag is relatively inexpensive. Try it out in a dozen shows, and, if it doesn't "work" for you, you wont have spent a lot of cash on something that you will have no potential of using." He responded, "I haven't done that many shows yet!"

Having seen Harry's MASTERFUL presentation, he had imagined himself performing it, and, getting an ovation. He had done a few birthday parties.

I showed him a routine with an egg bag. He, realizing that I was trying to help, reached for his wallet.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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