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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How fast do you learn? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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WitchDocChris
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York, PA
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To directly answer your question - in the past 12 months I've learned 2 routines that weren't just variations of previous material of mine, to performance level.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
TeddyBoy
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New York, NY
299 Posts

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Thanks Christopher.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
Mike.Bonner
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Gloucester, England
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Quote:
On Aug 30, 2019, TeddyBoy wrote:
I am curious if new or "newish" members could approximate how many new tricks/effects they learn in a 12 month period? I mean really learn so that when you go out for a beer you won't embarrass yourself in front of the lady sitting next to you.

I am asking b/c my learning rate is so darn slow it is becoming a burden that I am tired trying to overcome. I would like to know how I compare.


Hi Teddyboy,

I am a new learner and have only been practicing for 10 months so far.

I have a table that I complete for each trick I am learning. In this table I have different columns: Origins and history of the effect, sleights/moves to learn, patter, angles, ending clean, crowd reactions and other. I do this to consider what I need to work on, the strength of the trick.

- I can't give you a direct number of how many I have learnt, as there are some I consider I have, but wouldn't use as they don't suite my style / I haven't figured out how to make them fit with my style.
- I would say that as a new learner, I am always reflecting on how to improve e.g. I didn't like the Hindu force for the 'Chicago opener', so I am considering ways of doing this differently and found an alternative method based upon my research into the effect and other performances (thank you Whit 'pop' Haydn). This is a reason I am uncertain how many I consider knowing, but I guess there needs to be a cut off of being good enough but still having room for improvement.
- I would advise to focus on a few tricks and do them well, rather than get overwhelmed by how many you know. This was advice that was given to me and I can say that it has improved the strength of the limited number of tricks I perform.

Keep working hard, it may feel like a burden but I am sure there will be a time that your magic improves at a faster rate, the more you practice and become familiar with different sleights and methods.

All the best,

Mike
Pop Haydn
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Los Angeles
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It takes me a year to three or more years to develop a routine for performance. I usually have two or three things I am working on at any given time. Some things, like the Six Card Repeat or Color Changing Hank only take a year or so, other more complicated routines like Miser's Dream, Phoenix Aces, or Multiple Peaked Cards to Pocket might take six or more years to get to performance level.

It takes much less time to develop routines that are created by others and don't have complicated or difficult new sleights.
magicwiia
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In response to the OP's question about being a fast learner I would say it depends on several things. The complexity of the routines, the materials you are learning from, and the time spent practicing certain fundamentals.

I'm new in 2019 myself and only interested in card work. I spent the lion's share of my "magic time" this year learning two types of a Double Lift...ad nauseum. I know the DL is a move that will find its way into many card tricks I hope to do. So for me, this first year would not be representative.

I'm hopeful to be working on only one new routine/trick at a time. Work it hard and try to become proficient with it knowing I'll be practicing concurrently with the few other routines. That way I will stay proficient on the ones know. Use it or lose it.

At the beginner's stage (aka greenhorn), which is where I am, there are fundamentals you have to learn in addition to the routine/trick. At this stage, my gameplan is to be able to do 10-20 card routines/tricks proficiently. I would call that a success. I'm not looking to do stand up work...just imprompto entertainment at family and friend gatherings. Make people laugh.
Dick Oslund
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Very well said, Pop!

I was 16, when Senor Charles MARDO, very kindly tipped me the "work" on the dye tube. I learned the moves.quickly. but, several years of experimentation were needed to achieve the presentation that I have now!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Ravenspur
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Granby, MA
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I've been at magic about a year.

I feel like I'm finally about to move up a level. I'm nowhere near performing for hire, but I've sort of mapped out the branches of magic. For me, learning starts by mapping out the subject. After I've built up a general understanding, I can get down to more productive work.

I have a general understanding of how card magic works and have studied a decent amount about mental magic. I've got a few things up to amateur performing level.

I've been working with coins for a few months and have started to practice a routine that may be ready to try out in a couple of weeks.
Josh Riel
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of hell
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I've been playing a magician for 21 years.
My magic is old enough to drink.

I feel pretty good about 7 effects.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
TheMetalMagician
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For whatever it contributes to this discussion, I would suggest that you make sure you're not losing sight of HAVING FUN.

A hobby is supposed to be FUN. Even hobbies that require work should be FUN. If you're having fun learning, even at a slower rate than you wish you were learning, the rate doesn't even really matter.

The converse is equally true - if you're learning magic particularly or even impressively fast but you're not enjoying what you do, you're not going to last long.

I'm still a rookie at all this magic stuff and have plenty of experienced people around me to keep me humble. And I love every second of it.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2019, TheMetalMagician wrote:
A hobby is supposed to be FUN. Even hobbies that require work should be FUN.


That is assuming that one only is approaching magic as a hobby. Others may have different intentions or aspirations. Several longtime pros have chimed in here with stellar advice so just being a hobby is not necessarily what everyone may be seeking or where they may be coming from.
Bob G
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Nevertheless, at least for hobbyists, TMM is absolutely right. And suppose you want to be a pro, but hate every minute of magic practice. Maybe it isn't such a good idea to go pro? Being an artist of any kind isn't an easy life. If you don't enjoy the practice, there must be plenty of jobs other than "magician" that pay at least as well and are more secure. Perhaps the aspiring magic pro would be better off looking into such a job -- and one that s/he enjoys. II say this as a magic hobbyist -- and as a professor who has seen many students prepare for jobs that they had misgivings about.


Bob
daffydoug
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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
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Quote:
On Nov 21, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
Very well said, Pop!

I was 16, when Senor Charles MARDO, very kindly tipped me the "work" on the dye tube. I learned the moves.quickly. but, several years of experimentation were needed to achieve the presentation that I have now!


Sadly, this was Dick’s last post.

We are all going to miss him sorely!

Dick was always helpful and so generous. On several occasions he generously helped me when I had a need. Just a genuinely wonderful guy.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
walidosama
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algeria
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I can say it's about the person and the trick

someone who was doing magic for so long most likely to learn the same trick faster than someone new

there is some trick you learn it in 5 min and there is some trick you need 5 years

also some tricks may require you learn certain moves before if you know them before the trick will be easier
if you don't you may spend 3 month learning basic moves

some tricks are self working so it's need no training

there is no specific answer to that question

but you will know when you are ready to go and empresse that girl next to you
sirbrad
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PA
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Quote:
On Aug 30, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
A magician does not perform EFFECTS! EFFECTS ARE WHAT THE SPECTATOR PERCEIVES!

A magician performs TRICKS. The TRICKS may APPEAR to be MAGIC, depending on the PRESENTATION AND SHOWMANSHIP OF THE PERFORMER.


Well dogs perform tricks too, as well as prostitutes so what? This is a magic forum and people call them both it is not that big of a deal, nor does it even matter. Tricks, effects, who cares what people call them? It has no effect on an audience either way what magicians call them on a magic forum or even in front of an audience. I heard magicians call them both in front of laymen even myself over 40 years, and there was no difference and no one ever jumped up to correct me or any other magician.

In fact growing up in magic I found that most older magicians said the opposite, and scorned youngsters for calling them "tricks" saying the proper term was "effect" as dogs do tricks magicians perform magic. But in reality you can say either term, and to make a debate out of it is trivial and stupid wich I even though as a little kid. Magicians tend to say "effect" more, as in "let me show this cool new effect I just learned" whereas laymen say "trick" more often as in "show me a trick". So regardless either one is correct.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
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In regards to the original topic, when I started magic 40 years ago my learning rate was quite fast, as I was very determined to become a full-time pro at a young age which I did, and at age 16 I was doing a lot of shows part-time and then full-time at age 18 when I moved out on my own. But I started doing shows at age 7, and paid shows around age 11 or 12 mostly for friends, family, and birthday parties and a number of other party types.

Although I did get paid "tips" even at age 7 and on as they insisted that I take them since they loved my magic, and knew that I would be buying more magic for the next event later on, so it worked out pretty well as a kid since I had no other bills yet. But I ate, slept, and breathed magic and did not care about much else back then. I wanted to study and learn all the hardest stuff, every card sleight, every coin sleight, and develop a solid foundation for my magic house so that way when I read new effects/tricks I would be ready and already know every sleight needed.

Now that is not to say that much of it came easy, especially the knuckle-busting/finger-flicking sleights which sometimes took many months to get down, and many years to do smoothly all the time. But I was very determined and practiced/rehearsed very long hours sometimes 24 plus as I was obsessed, and overdid it at times to the point of burn-out which can have the opposite effect. Sometimes you learn better taking breaks and allowing the material to be absorbed in a more relaxed state as opposed to forcing it and getting more frustrated.

But everyone is different and has different skills, manual dexterity, intelligence, free time, etc. So the learning curve varies. But becoming a full-time pro actually helped me get better really fast as I was able to practice all day and in the trenches while performing, which will make you get good really fast—or for some may break and expose them as not being ready.

But the more you practice the more proficient you become, and the more natural it feels over time thus allowing for more time to focus on presentation and showmanship. Some have great skill but poor presentation skills, some have great presentation skills but are not that good at sleights. So for me it was important to excel at both.

Sometimes a great card technician can put a crowd to sleep if he has no presentation skills and is just showing off his "juggling" or "manipulation" skills. Sometimes a magician with limited sleight of hand skills can get a standing ovation doing a basic almost self-working trick with a great presentation and storyline. So it can go many different ways. The key is to just practice as much as possible and make your magic memorable and as magical, and entertaining as possible—and you can do that by putting all of the work in first.

Some magicians start out with self-working tricks as well, others start out with sleights like I did, or both. I had both, and I had plenty of self-working books and tricks as well which later on I added sleights and gimmicks to make them even stronger and more deceptive. So there are an infinite amount of options available which is what makes magic such a great art.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Bob G
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Teddy, I think you and I are both doing magic as a hobby. I couldn't agree more with The Metal Magician. After nearly four years of studying magic, I can feel a sudden acceleration in my progress. My DL is starting to come in, and my EC is pretty decent. I've learned a simple version of Dr. Daley's Last Trick -- not performance-ready, but it's getting there. I have a list of tricks I love and which I believe will be in my range in the not too distant future. I'm learning to distinguish between my dreams of what tricks will look like and what I can actually do right now. (The goal is to get the latter closer to the former, of course.) But here's the thing: I love practicing, just like I love practicing piano. I'm progressing very slowly in both, but it's okay because both are just so much fun to practice, *and* I'm progressing in both. Slowly, but that's okay. I know this is easy for me to say, but: don't compare yourself to others. You are YOU, and you get to decide what you want to work on, how much time to put in, whether it's worth continuing....
kcmagic1
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Don't feel intimidated. The truth is, everyone learns at different rates. That is just how the brain works. The longer that you are around magic and get used to learning magic, the easier it will become to learn new effects. That being said, there is no right answer to your question. My advice is to take your time and learn the effects correctly no matter how long it takes.
Designer of the 1000-G cups - the most durable cups in magic www.kristiancharles.com/1000-g
Harry Lorayne
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Somewhat according to the teacher, no?
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
kcmagic1
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2020, Harry Lorayne wrote:
Somewhat according to the teacher, no?


Harry, I agree that sometimes it depends on the teacher, if you have a teacher. Personally, I read a lot of books and watched a lot of videos when I initially started learning magic. Personally, if I was trying to learn from a book, it took me a lot longer to learn an effect than if I watched a video or was able to see an effect being performed. Learning would have been a lot easier if a had a teacher!! I commented the way I did because TeddyBoy doesn't specify how he is trying to learn.
Designer of the 1000-G cups - the most durable cups in magic www.kristiancharles.com/1000-g
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