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Wandering Man
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I have a 12 year old granddaughter who wants to learn magic. She may even think she wants to become a magician.

I confess, it is my fault. I bought a cheap "magic kit" at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago. It has taken her while, but she is getting interested. The kit is in shambles, and I think she learned a couple of things from it before deciding the manual was too complicated for her.

So, armed with an hand-me-down cell phone she has been searching You Tube and has learned a few card tricks. When she found out I had bought a gimmicked deck, she accused me of cheating. Of course, once I shared the Svengali deck with her, she loved it. I guess I've redeemed myself.

She is not allowed to have an email address, so she cannot join you kind folks on this forum. I've started browsing the books for beginners thread, but at 153 posts, and the first recommendation being an 8 volume set, I decided to ask for assistance and throw myself on your mercy for not having read the thread beyond the first page.

The Penguin conference is coming to her town in October, and I've already bought tickets for her and I, and her sister, and my wife.

I am not a magician, although I love playing with the few gimmicks that I have.

For now, what I'm asking for is what would be appropriately simple for a 12 year old girl who loves to perform (theater, dance, choir) and who thinks she wants to do magic. Not the whole magician for life training. Just the I want to put my foot in the water and see how it feels training. The "I want to do well in school and don't have a lot of time or money" training.

Thanks.

(Whew! I think I got this off before the Midnight Deadline for what not to do)
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
jimgerrish
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I would wait until after the October Penguin Live Expo event and see the kinds of magic she tends to latch onto from that experience. It might still be card magic, or it could include other types of magic as well (rope, silks, coins, mentalism, etc.). Your job will then be to put together a list of what she has already learned and performs well that members of this forum can use as a starting point for offering suggestions. She is not allowed to use the Internet (good for you!) but you could have her sit with you while you read and write the answers she receives.
Boomer
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My first book was Magic Digest, by George Anderson.
After that, it was Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic.

If she would like a video recommendation, how about a free one by Gary Darwin. (Choose instant download, not DVD)
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/3134

Or another freebie from Oz Pearlman (as long as you choose download, and not DVD).
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/1910


Good luck,


Dave
Dick Oslund
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George Anderson was my friend. I keep a hardbound copy of his "Magic Digest" on my book shelf. At one time,I had 5 copies of his soft bound Digest, to lend to young lads whom I was mentoring. There are now, a number of books for young folks, with fancier covers and more color pictures, but, I think George's book, did a better job!

Walter Gibson, who "ghost wrote" the "Complete Course In Magic" was a VERY EXPERIENCED WRITER, and, also a friend. (I believe that he wrote more books on magic, than any other author.) I don't quite consider it a "complete course", but, it is an excellent book for a serious beginner. As a 70 year performer (about 20 as a part time professional, and, 50 as a full time professional, touring coast to coast and border to border, mostly presenting school assemblies for most of the school assembly agencies, I have mentored many young lads. About ten are now full time successful professionals.

I understand your caution. Your daughter's interest may be a temporary one. I understand your parental concerns.

Magic has been mainly a masculine career, BUT, there have been some very successful ladies, too! Dell O'Dell was just one, but, there have been others, including, Talma, of "Leroy Talma and Bosco", and Adelaide Hermann. My almost 86 years old mind,can't remember the name of two ladies, (mother and daughter) who were "headliners" in Europe, before the war.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Wandering Man
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On Sep 27, 2017, jimgerrish wrote:
I would wait until after the October Penguin Live Expo event and see the kinds of magic she tends to latch onto from that experience. It might still be card magic, or it could include other types of magic as well (rope, silks, coins, mentalism, etc.). Your job will then be to put together a list of what she has already learned and performs well that members of this forum can use as a starting point for offering suggestions. She is not allowed to use the Internet (good for you!) but you could have her sit with you while you read and write the answers she receives.

My granddaughter lives a bit too far away for us to spend time together on the web, and I suspect her parents will relax those rules as she enters her teen years. I like the idea of waiting until after October to see where she lands.

While she enjoys performing, she is like most 12 year olds, in that she immediately wants to show off her newest tricks. I'm trying to get her to practice first, not to give in when her parents ask how the trick is done, etc.

While I want her to learn the basics of magic, I think she could stand some guidance in showmanship, as well. I think that would help her in other areas of her life, too.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
Wandering Man
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On Sep 28, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
George Anderson was my friend. I keep a hardbound copy of his "Magic Digest" on my book shelf. At one time,I had 5 copies of his soft bound Digest, to lend to young lads whom I was mentoring. There are now, a number of books for young folks, with fancier covers and more color pictures, but, I think George's book, did a better job!

Walter Gibson, who "ghost wrote" the "Complete Course In Magic" was a VERY EXPERIENCED WRITER, and, also a friend. (I believe that he wrote more books on magic, than any other author.) I don't quite consider it a "complete course", but, it is an excellent book for a serious beginner. As a 70 year performer (about 20 as a part time professional, and, 50 as a full time professional, touring coast to coast and border to border, mostly presenting school assemblies for most of the school assembly agencies, I have mentored many young lads. About ten are now full time successful professionals.

I understand your caution. Your daughter's interest may be a temporary one. I understand your parental concerns.

Magic has been mainly a masculine career, BUT, there have been some very successful ladies, too! Dell O'Dell was just one, but, there have been others, including, Talma, of "Leroy Talma and Bosco", and Adelaide Hermann. My almost 86 years old mind,can't remember the name of two ladies, (mother and daughter) who were "headliners" in Europe, before the war.


That is an impressive resume. I've had a fondness for magic ever since my dad took me into a magic shop in Tucson AZ when I was nine, and bought me my first gimmick. I think he quit taking me back because I bought cigarette loads, in addition to a deck of marked and stripped cards.

I regret waiting 56 years to start learning. It took a granddaughter for me to give myself permission to start exploring magic.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
Dick Oslund
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THAT must have been a Theodore Deland "Dollar Deck"! hee hee (Well, it might have been a 'daisy" deck, or a "League deck", or, I can't remember the other one.....)

If she is seriously interested, she must understand that tricks are kept secret (even from parents).

The late S.H. Sharpe said it well: "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Trick are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

Magic "consists" of 5% sensory illusion, 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% esoteric principles of science, PLUS 85% PSYCHOLOGY. Until she can understand those two statements, she will just be a young girl who "knows" a few tricks!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Wandering Man
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On Sep 28, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
THAT must have been a Theodore Deland "Dollar Deck"! hee hee (Well, it might have been a 'daisy" deck, or a "League deck", or, I can't remember the other one.....)

If she is seriously interested, she must understand that tricks are kept secret (even from parents).

The late S.H. Sharpe said it well: "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Trick are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

Magic "consists" of 5% sensory illusion, 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% esoteric principles of science, PLUS 85% PSYCHOLOGY. Until she can understand those two statements, she will just be a young girl who "knows" a few tricks!


I don't recall the brand. I remember that it was not Bicycle. I remember having to count open dots vs closed dots embedded in the design on the back of the cards in order to tell what the card was. Whatever it was, I couldn't find them online anywhere when I decided to start buying. The other thing I bought was a little plastic paddle with a disappearing rabbit. Looks like the new version of that is four colored dots turning into a single color on a stick.

My dad had a metal thumb, folding 1/2 dollar, and silk square. I think he used these to entertain jobbers as he traveled around the state selling AC Spark Plugs and AC Triple Trapper filters.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
jimgerrish
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Something you could make for her (and then teach her how to make it herself) combines card magic with that plastic paddle trick you learned. It's called "Hot Pips Paddles" and is in The Wizards' Journal #34.
Harry Lorayne
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She may just love THE MAGIC BOOK.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
pmarzionna
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You might want to take a look at Joshua Jay's books, mainly Magic: the Complete Guide. I've given this as a gift to some young cousins and they have definitely enjoyed it. I took a quick look at the content and it seems pretty good - it also comes with a DVD with some of the effects being performed by Joshua Jay, which might be useful for her...
DaveGripenwaldt
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A couple of thoughts...

I second pmarziona's suggestion. Joshua Jay's book and DVD are very good for a couple of reason's. It cover's a broad spectrum of magic so she could get a taste of different types, And more than many beginning books, it spends some time on some performance basics and theatrical principles as opposed to being just a bunch or tricks. Jay is a full-time professional, with a wide knowledge base so it really is a curated selection.

Another, much older collection in a similar vein is the Mark Wilson Course In Magic. Mark's name in on the cover but collecting and writing up of the material was jobbed out to two very knowledgeable "Inner Circle" magicians so the material is first class for a beginner's book. It also gives a selection of material across different genres of magic and is very accessible to a bright 12 year old. Both are widely available and bargain-priced (I'd check Barnes and Noble first - I have seen both on sale there).

Finally, in the Special Interests section of the Café' is a room called The Feminine Mystique, focused on women in magic. I'd post your question there as well. I'm sure you will get the practical advice of where to go with the interest, but you would also get the perspective of people who have moved ahead in magic without a lot of role models as well as insight on whatever special challenges there are to a woman who is interested in performing magic.

Good luck to her. She is fortunate to have a dad who is taking the time to give her the opportunity to explore this.
Julie
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Mark Wilson's COMPLETE COURSE IN MAGIC will give her a broad range of magic principles over a broad range of topics (cards, coins, apparatus etc.). Highly recommended and readily available online at Amazon and others.

All of the others mentioned in earlier posts are wonderful, too. Magic Digest, The Magic Book etc. should eventually find their way into her Magic Library. However, I would suggest not overwhelming her with too much information. Initially choose one source and work through it.

Have FUN!

Julie
danaruns
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I agree with those who suggested Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic (which was not "ghost written" by Walter Gibson, though Gibson was a significant contributor and he and Mark would often stay up late into the night working on the book together). You can get the book for about $15 on Amazon by clicking here.

Mark and Nani also have instructional DVDs of a lot of the material in the Complete Course, if your granddaughter is more of a visual learner. And the DVDs are inexpensive, and they can give you DVDs tailored to your granddaughter's preferences and level. PM me if interested, and I will give you Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell Wilson's contact info. They are very dear friends of mine.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
ThSecret
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Youtube should have most of the basics if you know how to search through/ know what you are looking for. It sounds like her feet are already in the water. Might I suggest Tarbell (not exactly sure what it costs these days, but it has everything she will need.)

Even facebook an Instagram have this whole trend going, where certain people are "exposing" a lot of tricks that have not be shown before, because they claim it is not the trick but the performance that creates the magic. Now that can be a whole debate on it's own - but it's something to think about and another possible resource to use.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
Wandering Man
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On Sep 30, 2017, ThSecret wrote:
Youtube should have most of the basics if you know how to search through/ know what you are looking for. It sounds like her feet are already in the water. Might I suggest Tarbell (not exactly sure what it costs these days, but it has everything she will need.)

Even facebook an Instagram have this whole trend going, where certain people are "exposing" a lot of tricks that have not be shown before, because they claim it is not the trick but the performance that creates the magic. Now that can be a whole debate on it's own - but it's something to think about and another possible resource to use.


I have been surprised about the amount of stuff that is revealed on YouTube and elsewhere. My feelings are mixed. I am happy that "I" have access to it, I've learned a little from watching the videos. And I am distressed that "Others" have access to it, because I don't think that a magician's tools and techniques should be so readily revealed.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
jimgerrish
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I used to feel the same way about magic books being readily available in the public library until I gradually realized that only those possessed by the "magic itch" have the tenacity and perseverance to go after those secrets. True, it's a big difference between having to go digging through a public library and doing a quick search on a smart phone, but not everyone cares to go that extra mile. So I just stopped worrying about it and started worrying more about making my presentations so entertaining that most people don't really want to know the "secret" and the one or two who do are probably on the way to becoming magicians themselves.
Wizard of Oz
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Like pretty much every child, our son had so many interests growing up, we never knew which one may become his profession or occupation, verses his vocation. Magic is my vocation. It bit me when I saw Marshal Brodien's TV Magic Card commercial, and has only made me more obsessed since then. But I am a Graphic Designer as an occupation. That allows me to pay for my vocation. When I was growing up, my parents gave me the opportunity to explore both interests, and they helped me become me...loving and enjoying by occupation and vocation.

It sounds like your granddaughter may have an interest in magic as an occupation or vocation. Both are good. She may be the first female magician who breaks all of the records in magic performance viewings of ANY magician. Something to aspire to. Or, she may always find magic a comforting vocation to find solace in after a hectic day pursuing her occupation.

Give them the tools. They'll build their future. (I just coined that right now...so, it's mine. Well, I guess it's technically Steve Brooks,' but hopefully he'll give me credit). Anyway, one of my favorite birthday gifts growing up, was a gift certificate from my God Parents to our local magic shop. I still think about the moment I opened that package.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Wandering Man
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Nice. I like your username. I had a private practice and for many years my professional staff referred to me as Oz. My magic was always about the work we did with people. I need to go back and visit them now that I have some actual magic to show. I wish I'd indulged myself throughout my adulthood. I am having so much fun playing with these magician's tools and showing off to my friends!

This is for my granddaughter, but it is also for her grandfather.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
Dick Oslund
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On Sep 28, 2017, danaruns wrote:
I agree with those who suggested Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic (which was not "ghost written" by Walter Gibson, though Gibson was a significant contributor and he and Mark would often stay up late into the night working on the book together). You can get the book for about $15 on Amazon by clicking here.

Mark and Nani also have instructional DVDs of a lot of the material in the Complete Course, if your granddaughter is more of a visual learner. And the DVDs are inexpensive, and they can give you DVDs tailored to your granddaughter's preferences and level. PM me if interested, and I will give you Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell Wilson's contact info. They are very dear friends of mine.


Dana...Please go back and read my post again. --

I put "ghost wrote" in "......".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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