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Slack23
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Hi All,

Really excited to be a part of this community. Thanks for having me!

I know there is a lot of information regarding books for the beginner on this very forum, which has been fantastic to read and invaluable for me.
I was wondering if somebody could share their experience and some advice regarding the actual learning process.

Bit of background - I have got quite a few of the recommended books but I really just don’t know where to start!
Is there a rough overview or step by step guide on how to make these beginning steps?

Should I be learning the theory and principles, do I start with effects and tricks? I have picked a few of the effects from both MW Complete Course and Tarbell; practiced and performed them with moderate success. What is the ideal process - with limited time I really want to learn and practice as much as possible but I want to make sure I’m not going the wrong way about it. I fully appreciate it will take me years to even gain a knowledge foundation of which to build on.

I suppose what I’m asking is - how do I start my process?

Would really appreciate any and all thoughts and comments.

Thank you very much in advance.

All the best,
Slack23
Russo
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Don't worry about theory, etc. Just have fun - start with ez effects from the Childrens section of the Library- don't be, a "LOOK at ME" - tried writting this 3 times, keep hitting something that erased it - WHY?? -- PM me anytime- maybe I can help with out loosing thought on the p/c., at 82 been in Magic since I was 14. Also -have a new Lap top and still getting used to it with my big fingers ha ha (been off line for several months-the guys know why - or use 'search'--'russo') Best of Luck Ralph (russo)Rousseau
Signet
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Slack 23,
One thing I found to be extremely helpful, if not invaluable, is to find a local magic club. My club meets monthly. Every meeting re-energizes me as to why I got into magic. You can also here about new props and techniques there. This is also a great place to perform the tricks you've been practicing. It helps keep you from getting discouraged at the slow pace of progress. You want to learn everything all at once, but many things take years to truly become proficient. It's more about the journey than the destination.
Slack23
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Thank you both so much for the advice, really appreciate your help.

Russo, I will definitely begin with the tricks and have fun with it - really good point, that’s exactly why I started in the first place - easy to get overwhelmed with all the information! Really grateful for the offer of the PM - I will definitely get in touch!

Signet, really happy you mentioned about the slow pace of practice, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling! I will look into clubs and find one that I join - do I need to be a certain level to join - I feel I wouldn’t have much to offer the club in return! Also - I’ve recently visited my first magic shop who have ‘Jam Nights’ - do you think this would be a similar thing to a club or should I just go to a properly recognised club.

Thanks again, apologies for bombarding with questions - just very keen to get started properly.

All the best,
Slack23
Harry Lorayne
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I wrote THE MAGIC BOOK just FOR YOU. Really!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Slack23
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Harry, I’ve just had a look and will definitely get myself a copy - I have your How to Develop a Super Power Memory - absolutely phenomenal read. Look forward to reading The Magic Book.

Thanks very much for getting in touch.

All the best,
Slack23
Harry Lorayne
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If you buy it from me you can even get it autographed!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
TeddyBoy
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I have been studying card magic for about 3 years and am still overwhelmed, in part because of time limitations and some attention issues. But based on what I've learned here are my suggestions:

1] Start with Card College vols 1-2, and decide later if you want to get deeper into it with vols 3-5. It is a great series. It covers what is in Royal Road and then some, so I would suggest it as a first step. There are also companion DVDs for the first two volumes-makes an excellent beginning package. Harry's Magic Book and Close-up Card Magic are good sources of tricks that mainly avoid the knuckle-busting stuff that turns a beginner's head upside down.
2] Most of the people here are either professionals, semi-professionals or others that have been doing magic since they were children. They are mostly quite civil and helpful. However, if you listen to them you can feel overwhelmed by how little you know. Learn what you can from them, but do not judge yourself or your progress based on these expert discussions because you will feel there is something the matter with yourself. This is a problem I have.
3] Many posts discuss the value of particular books and DVDs, but especially books. Those who like the books will often indicate that the book in question is a "must have." Ergo, I now have (no exaggeration) 17 books on my shelves that I've barely looked at. Almost all are out-of-print and therefore can cost a lot more than currently commercially available books. So if you have an "acquisition disorder" as I do, try to resist buying everything you hear about, at least for now.
4] I suggest that you focus on learning sleights and associated tricks before you tackle magic performance theory. After all, you need at least a couple of tricks that you do well technically before you can study how to perform them. This is about where I am in my practice. There are several books routinely mentioned on the subject of performing that I believe are all out of print. One of the least expensive, highly recommended and easily obtained is Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms (probably get this for about $10-20). This is one of my 17 books I have not read yet but have on my desk.

I hope this helps a bit. At least I found it therapeutic. Good luck in your magical journey.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
Dick Oslund
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Hello Slack! I started magic as a hobby in 1938. In October, 1945, at 13 almost 14, I "made" $24.00 with my 40 minute show. (On that day, I became a part time professional! In the Navy, ('51--'55) I 'got" an agent who booked me in my off duty hours. I had about 3 1/2 years to "go". I never cashed another Navy check. I bought a late model car, rented a place in town. and lived on the show fees.

I did club dates, etc. in college. I turned full time pro, a few years after college.I retired, "officially" in 2008. I was never "at liberty". Them's my credentials!

Read the books, Yes, read about "theory". It aint the tricks, it' your PRESENTATION! In plain language, IT AINT WHAT YA DO, IT'S HOW YA DO IT!

Magic is NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!!!!!!!!!!`

I strongly recommend the TARBELL COURSE IN MAGIC! It was first a correspondence course (in 1927) There is a way to get it quite reasonably. I don[t know how, but ask around, someone will know. The patter and presentation is archaic. but, you will learn PRINCIPLES!!!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Slack23
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Hi TeddyBoy, I really appreciate you taking the time to write that post.

I have been working my way through Royal Road and have loved it, I thought Card College would be my next step and you have just made it so much easier for me with that!

Very open and honest advice, thank you. I can see how it would do the same to me - everything going well over my head.

Haha, "Acquisition Disorder" - what a perfect term. I genuinely felt like an information collector myself - read something online, really excited ordering it, it finally arrives and then I think to myself, I just need to start at the beginning and feel like a fraud with some of the books I have. Very comforting to know I'm not the only. I will work through them, but just need to steady myself and start at the beginning.

I realise I've talked about the acquisition disorder just above, but during writing this reply - ordered myself Magic and Showmanship based purely on your recommendation. Just one more won't hurt! Haha.

Your post really has helped me a lot, honestly thank you for that TeddyBoy. Same to you, good luck!
Slack23
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Hi there Dick!

That's fascinating to me, doing something that you love and being able to make more than a living doing it!

Your credentials are most definitely accepted!

That was partly the reason for the post, I absolutely love reading about magic and what magicians have accomplished, I got so involved in the reading about magic, I found myself all over the place; really not knowing where and how to begin! I felt like I have all this background information but absolutely none of the skills I should have by now!

Thanks very much for the post, I do have the Tarbell course and I am working my way through that - I think I may have too much going on, like TeddyBoy said above, I'm going to pick a book and stick to it, learn as much as I can before flitting from book to book getting myself nowhere fast.

What a great community, I really do appreciate all this help and advice - thank you very much!
Mike.Bonner
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Hi Slack,

I have been in a similar position thinking about where to begin and what is important. I too have many books, but knowing where to start and what is important is a difficult thing to know.

I know Expert Card Technique (Hugard and Braue) has chapters on performance and misdirection (part 6), I recommend giving them a read.

I would reaffirm what Teddyboy has written; adding that I have found sometimes you just need to go out and perform to people. Sometimes it's the way of understanding why things work at certain points - knowing where your offbeats are rather than where you perceive they might be etc.

Also, think about who you are performing to, what is it you want to create in your time with them - what do you like performing? what is your character like? For example, I love Pop Haydn - a truly wonderful performer and magician, skilled, funny and just a sheer joy to watch. I couldn't perform in such a way and 'recreate' what he does. There is only one Pop. There is only one me and there is only one you. Yet, the people your perform to are the focus, they are the ones you practice and consider all these things for. Perhaps choose a few effects and focus on those, don't get lost in all the stuff that's out there.

Just my amateur thoughts - but happy to chat further about it and how I have approached learning - I am now a year in!
Pop Haydn
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I am not nearly so entertaining or interesting as Pop. That is why I created him. As performers, we get to craft the character we present to the audience, even if we are "just playing ourselves."

Follow what interests you. Explore the stuff that turns you on. Learn what you need to learn to get where you want to go. Keep looking for what it is that fascinates you about magic and try to understand that. Do magic for people as much as you can. Study what they are experiencing and thinking.

"You can't study people. You can only get to know them." ~ C.S. Lewis

Magic is like that as well. It is important to study and think about magic, but you really have to get to know it by doing it.
Dick Oslund
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[quote]On Oct 29, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
I am not nearly so entertaining or interesting as Pop. That is why I created him. As performers, we get to craft the character we present to the audience, even if we are "just playing ourselves."

Follow what interests you. Explore the stuff that turns you on. Learn what you need to learn to get where you want to go. Keep looking for what it is that fascinates you about magic and try to understand that. Do magic for people as much as you can. Study what they are experiencing and thinking.

"You can't study people. You can only get to know them." ~ C.S. Lewis

Magic is like that as well. It is important to study and think about magic, but you really have to get to know it by doing it. [/quote

POP KNOWS!

I'll try to PM you soon.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Slack23
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Hi Mike,

Really grateful for your input - I do have that book sat on my shelf waiting for me to get my act together and progress to it! I will have a look at that section and get a feel for the information - thank you!

I will do - I will perform for other people - I've been performing for family and they see straight through me which is baffling as when I perform for strangers, they are stunned. I think this is where the character must come in to it, if I begin to slip into my character, my family and friends immediately know 'magic' is afoot and begin trying to watch for almost anything.

Really interesting and thought provoking stuff that Mike, asking myself questions about what I like doing and truly thinking about the character and what I'm portraying you are spot on.

I am really new to this world - thank you for your recommendation about Pop Haydn - I've been Youtubing all morning and I can safely say, I am most definitely a fan. Really funny, very magical - you can see it on everyone's faces!

Honestly thank you Mike for that, really appreciate your help!

Good luck!
Slack23
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Hi Pop!

That is a really good point, I will have a good think about where I want to go and get a plan together of how to get there. I can't believe I haven't thought along those lines before! Thanks for that!

Great advice to keep looking for what fascinates me about magic and try to understand it, I think because I'm so new to it, the state of child like wonder that some books talk about is genuinely what I feel like every time I read a magic book. Just every aspect that goes into magic, really does fascinate me.

Thanks again Pop, really nice of you to get involved in helping me on my journey. Sincerely appreciate everyone taking the time to help steer me in the right direction.

Thanks very much!

All the best,
Slack23
Mike.Bonner
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Hey Slack,

I think as time goes on, you will learn how to create magic with your family. My partner by proxy knows a lot about what I do, but I still manage to create some good moments for her. Yet, she is also one of my best critics because of what she knows. She helps me consider how to elevate the performance, she even spoke to me about angles as she considers what I could or couldn't be doing and says - "if you are doing x, it feels more authentic for you to do y". She also helps with patter etc. Of course, she isn't my only source of critique but I use what she knows to my advantage.

It is hard being new to this world, I am only a year in and I am a newbie myself. I have attempted to focus on only a few routines (not all cards), and focus on building and improving these routines. In this way, I haven't got lost in all the different moves or slights I need to learn, but can understand that this is only one aspect of performance, we also need to consider the audience, how we engage with them and who they are.

PM me if you would like to talk some more.

All the best,

Mike
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Oct 30, 2019, Mike.Bonner wrote:
Hey Slack,

I think as time goes on, you will learn how to create magic with your family. My partner by proxy knows a lot about what I do, but I still manage to create some good moments for her. Yet, she is also one of my best critics because of what she knows. She helps me consider how to elevate the performance, she even spoke to me about angles as she considers what I could or couldn't be doing and says - "if you are doing x, it feels more authentic for you to do y". She also helps with patter etc. Of course, she isn't my only source of critique but I use what she knows to my advantage.

It is hard being new to this world, I am only a year in and I am a newbie myself. I have attempted to focus on only a few routines (not all cards), and focus on building and improving these routines. In this way, I haven't got lost in all the different moves or slights I need to learn, but can understand that this is only one aspect of performance, we also need to consider the audience, how we engage with them and who they are.

PM me if you would like to talk some more.

All the best,

Mike


I totally agree with the value of an interested partner. My wife has seen a lot of great magic at the Magic Castle and other places, and she and I talk about magic theory all the time. She has excellent taste in magic, and an excellent eye, and is an immense help to me when I am putting things together.
sirbrad
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Welcome to the forums! The "process" is different for everyone but also relatively the same as well. I have been doing magic now for almost 40 years and 30 years professionally, and I started out with a 1962 Adam's Magic Set. From there I went to the library and took out every book that I could find on the subject, and they ended up being a Godsend and became the foundation of my career and I still have those books today and still do material from them today. They were The Amateur Magicians Handbook, Mark Wilson's Complete Course, The Magic Book, (Harry Lorayne) Scarne on Magic, Scarne on Card Tricks, The Stein and Day Handbook of Magic, Several books by Bil Severn, and many more later on.

I then bought other classics from magic shops such as Royal Road to Card Magic, The encyclopedia of Card Tricks, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, Expert at the Card Table, Expert Card Technique, all of Annemann's magic and mental/mentalism magic books, all of Fulves books, all of Bruce Elliott's books. Arthur Buckley's books, Hugard's books, both Encyclopedia of Rope tricks books, (Abbott and Stewart James) Magic For Dummies, Klutz Book of Magic, Now you see it now you don't - Bill Tarr, and many more. I started doing shows at age 7 at birthday parties and family events for tips, and eventually started doing professional shows by age 12 for more money so that I could buy a lot more books and effects, as well as VHS tapes. I did a lot of shows and made a lot of money with those books alone, and I Saved up for the "Tarbell Course In Magic" which is considered the "Bible" of magic as a whole, and touches on every aspect of magic.

It was $400 which was a lot of money back then, but was worth every penny as with the rest of my books I still get use out of them till this day. Plus it is the most complete course on magic that you can get, and provides a sample of each genre so that you can try every one to see what you like best, or just do them all as I did as I wanted to know and be able to do everything. Then later on you can cut down to what works best for or what are your favorites. You could start a career from the lessons in these books alone. I am known for my long essays on magic theory, psychology, and presentation as it has always been something that has intrigued me. I have a lot of books on that subject as well and many can still be found today.

Especially after watching "The Art of Magic" and hearing my friend Jamy Ian Swiss talk about magic, and seeing his stellar sleight of hand with cards and coins, and being in awe of his riffle pass and how invisible it was. I loved how passionate, enthusiastic, and articulate he was about magic and I loved his loud, confident, in-your-face style and that he was going to fool and entertain you and there was nothing you could do about it. I also loved reading his columns on magic theory and later on his Genii reviews, and he became an early inspiration to me. I also enjoyed hearing Eugene Burger talk and perform and got of his books as well, and Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thompson and others.

However I did not start writing about magic theory until I had performed for over 20 years, and it was then that I found the Penguin Magic online forums in 2003, and this forum which was great, as I could not write about my experiences and read about the experiences of others. I also had more time to write back then as I was doing magic seasonally at the time to take a break in the Winters. So I learned a lot more even by reading other's posts and sharing my own which was also a Godsend and a lot of fun. I then started collecting DVDS such as Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights, probably the best overall resource on card sleights on video as well Card College as far as books go. Same goes with "Modern Coin Magic" by my friend Ben Salinas which is the best overall DVD on coin sleights/magic and the book itself which inspired the DVDS.

Also The Royal Road to Card magic DVD set either version, I prefer the Rudy Hunter one. But today you have so many options out there that we didn't have back then, and all we had were black and white magic catalogs with sketchy line drawings and very vague product descriptions, and you had to wait 8-12 weeks for your magic to come in the mail with no tracking. Yet today you get it all in 3 days, and for today's crowd that isn't even fast enough.

I also love the classic sets like Vernon's Revelations, Ammar's ETMCM and his other sets as well as his Magic of Michael Ammar book and DVDS, Close-Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne The Art of Astonishment, Greater Magic Book and DVDS, and of course so many periodicals that I have collected over 40 years Apocalypse, Hugard's Magic Monthly, The Jinx, The Sphinx, Magic Menu, The Magical Arts Journal, Pabular, Ibidem, Best of Friends, Epilogue, Chronicles, Talisman, Collected Almanac, The NY Magic Symposium, The Magigram, and many others in which I have the hardbound copies and CD PDF versions etc.

There is so much out there that it is easy to get overwhelmed, and having the feeling of "wanting it all" which is not necessary to become proficient and successful. Personally though I like to have as much knowledge as possible at my disposal which is why I have so many books, DVDS, VHS tapes, tricks etc as I am also a collector. You will never be able to do it all, but you will learn a lot from all that you read and you can randomly open up books and just work on whatever you want to, or just go through one book at a time. I have done both and still do both.

It is always good to know that new stuff is constantly awaiting you on the shelf, and keeps things exciting and not getting dull from doing just the same stuff all the time, which I also did for many years as I wanted to hone my sleight of hand skills, and build the solid foundation to my magic house before buying too much stuff.

I also started buying single effects and small stage illusions, and incorporating them into my act as well as building my own props. Then started doing a lot of kid's shows, and retirement home shows to start out, until later on I started doing many more types of shows, corporate and restaurants etc. So really you can't go wrong either way, just start with a beginners book(s) and a few DVDS and go from there.

The rest kind of falls into place later on. No two people learned the same exact way you just have to start your own way an later on you find all the right material that is right for you. I would start with some of the books I listed first such as The Amateur Magician Handbook which was probably the most important book in my career as it was my first and most comprehensive book I got, kinda like a poor man's Tarbell or mini version that gives you a taste of the many genres of magic.

Also Mark Wilson's Complete Course, The Magic Book, RRTCM, Bobo's, Annemann's Practical Mental Effects, Scarne on Card Tricks, Scarne on Magic Tricks, Close-Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne, and DVDS Dary's Encyclopedia of Card Magic, Modern Coin Magic, RRTCM, Encyclopedia of Spongeball Magic (also by my buddy Ben Salinas) and start there. Then I would get "the Bible of magic" Tarbell Course and go through each book one by one, as well as the original lessons big book by Magic Makers to go with the 8 volume set. You would even be good to start with that set as well as I said you could make a career out of the material in just those books alone, and I did for years and still use much of it today.

Back in the day we had to "earn our way in" to have access to such books and effects, and it was not an easy road like it is today where everything is basically handed to you on a silver platter via an instant download, which is why so many kids disrespect the art and put YouTube videos up exposing the secrets that they also got for free via a pirated website. So they don't have the same appreciation as my generation did, and the generations before did. That is why kids today think that magic is all about "secrets" and trying to draw attention and views by exposing them. However as Jamy Ian Swiss says "the method is not the trick" nor should it be.

"The people who have to reveal the trick in order to get the gig, we call those lousy magicians" as Jamy also said on his Magic Newswire Podcast interview, another great talk and interview with Jamy. I also recommend his book "Shattering Illusions" as well as his other newer ones, Preserving Mystery, and Devious Standards. Also "The Art of Magic" documentary of course on VHS or YouTube, which as I said had a profound impact on my me and my magic, and "The Story of Magic" is great as well. You can also buy great lectures form Penguin Magic including one from Jamy, which I wrote a long review about on the page.

Lastly, speaking of videos and downloads; years ago I posted on here years ago that they should do a Tarbell video series on all the books which everyone said would be impossible. Well it turned out they finally did it, and Dan Harlan did a great job on them and I still have to go through all of those sometime myself. But it is great that they could bring the Tarbell Course to video for the "visual learners" or for those who have trouble reading or ADD etc. I am curious myself though to see how they compare to how I have been doing the tricks for so long.

But either way they a great companion to books and a great visual reference to be able to see the timing of moves and sleights, misdirection, and see sample presentation styles by other magicians which you cannot get from print alone. You are forced to use your own imagination which can be good or bad, so really having both is formats is the best way to go today although not entirely necessary either if one is a good reader which I a living proof of. But video was indeed a Godsend for me since I did not see many other magicians live in my area as a kid and did not meet them until I was older and traveled more. But not everyone has what it takes to read big, long, confusing, intimating books, which happens to be my favorite types.

Greater Magic, Stanyon's Magic, The James File, Hugard's Magic Monthly, Apocalypse, Mind Myth Magick and all the periodicals some 40,000 pages etc. So video can be a good way for them to learn quicker, but usually are not as thorough as books and you get way more for the price with books, but are still great if you get the right ones and like the material and can use it. There are a lot of hidden gems out there as well as a lot of trash, and you will buy plenty of both over the years through trial and error.

Then once you get your foundation built and all of your sleights down you will then learn how to construct routines, add patter, write scripts and full shows, improvising during shows, use of one-liners and dealing with hecklers, misdirection, psychology, audience management and interaction, and learn all about the different venues you will perform at, as well as sound and lighting requirements, etc. But all of this comes with practice, rehearsal, time, and above all experience. So you have to learn as you go, just like anything else.
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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A review I did back in 2004.

The Amateur Magician's Handbook.

Review:

This is the book that started it all for me. An invaluable resource! Too bad it was not still in print, as it has a plethora of information, and has an unbelievable amount of info on all types of magic. This book gave me the solid foundation I needed to progress to the next level in magic. This needs to go back in print! It is very well illustrated for its time, and very precise in its details. Out of all the magic I have, this is probably my most cherished item, being it was my first real book that taught me most of what I first learned. The tarbell course is a very close second, only because I could not afford this back then, and for the price, this was an amazing deal.

Mine is still in mint shape thankfully, as I kept all my childhood magic books in plastic bags since then. I have always taken care of everything I have had since a young age. Especially my collectibles that are worth a lot of money. Also mark wilson's course is a close 3rd. I still refer back to all these books today, and over two decades later. good books truly are priceless, and you come to appreciate them even more as time goes by. Here is some more info on what is inside....



"Hay, Henry: The Amateur Magician's Handbook, Third Edition
1950, 1972 Henry Hay
382pg, Trade Paperback

Comments: Some B&W photographs. The Amateur Magician's Handbook is a classic text and is recommend for all beginning/amateur magicians. That said, the handbook will certainly not be the last book you will ever need to buy. By reading it, you will have a good overview of the magic arts, and your head will be filled with many of the principles of the trickery. However, many of the descriptions are brief and do little more than "expose" the method. The lack of illustrations (photos are relatively few) make some of the descriptions unclear to the unfamiliar. Many references to more detailed books are provided, however.

Contents:

vii Introduction by Milbourne Christopher
ix A Few Words Before Curtain Time
1 Chapter One: What is Magic? The Magic State of Mind: essay
10 Chapter Two: Hard Easy Tricks and Easy Hard Tricks: essay on practice, learning magic, presentation
19 Part One Hand Magic
19 Chapter Three: Hand Magic With Cards: introduction
20 Hand Magic: Requirements
21 Hand Magic with Cards: cards to use and so forth
22 1a. Breaks: little finger
24 1b. The Glimpse
25 As Easy As Spelling Your Name: Spectator peeks at a card, shuffles the deck, and spells his name to the selected card. Uses glimpse.
27 1c. Permanent Breaks: the crimp or bridge
28 Paul Rosini's Location
29 2. Shifts or Passes
30 2a. The Conventional Two Handed Shift
32 The Stabbed Pack: effect
34 2b. The side Steal or Side Slip
35 You Must be Wrong: effect
36 2c. The Herrmann Pass
37 2d. One Handed Shifts "New-Method" Robert Houdin
30 2e. One Handed Shifts Old Method
40 2f. One Handed Shifts: The Charlier Pass
41 3. Forcing
41 3a. The Fan Force: the Classic Force
42 3b. Thought Forces: similar to classic force
43 3c. Sure-Fire Force: The slip: my personal favorite
44 3d. Sure Fire Force: Stanley Collins Method (knife)
45 Everbody's Card: Four spectators each pick the same card, but end up holding a different card. The selection ends up in performer's pocket
46 3e. The Shift
47 4. Palming
48 4a. The Top Palm
48 Charles Bertram's Four Ace Trick
51 4b. The Bottom Palm (right hand)
51 4c. The Bottom Palm (left hand)
53 5. False Shuffles
53 5a. Overhand: provides definitions fromk Erdnase for Stock, Run, Jogs, etc.
56 Luis Zingone's Table Spread: Cards selected from table spread end up in performer's pocket
58 5b. Dovetail: extensive coverage
64 5c. Hindu Shuffle
64 6. Changes
65 6a. The Double Lift
65 6b. The Top Change
67 Step on It! Magician and spectator cards change places
68 6c. The Bottom Change
69 6d. Palm Change
70 6e. Double Palm Change
71 The Phoney Aces: Three's passed off as Aces turn into the real Aces, then Three's again
72 7. Color Changes
72 7a. The Clip (Felicien Trewey)
73 Wiping Out the Spot and a Production Flourish
74 7b. Sidesteal Color Change
75 Correcting a Mistake: effect
76 7c. Far End Steal Color Change
76 7d. Snap Change
77 8. Trick Deals
77 8a. Second Deal
78 Five Hands: effect
79 8b. Bottom Deal
80 Flourishes
81 9a. The Riffle
81 9b. Springing the Cards
82 9c. Fanning
84 9d. The Back Palm
88 Vanish and Recovery Using the Back Palm
89 9e. Scaling or Throwing Cards
90 Chapter Four: Give Them A Rest (Tricks where no cards are chosen)
90 1. The Four Aces: Aces assemble to one packet; variations
93 Nate Leipzig's Slap Aces: Effect
94 Cardini's Ace Trick: effect
95 2. The Cards Up the Sleeve: includes false count, variations
98 3. The Diminishing Cards
101 4. The Thirty Card Trick: cards pass from spectator to spectator
103 5. Fourishes: Cards from the mouth and Fan Away
104 6. The Ambitious Card: The whole deck becomes Jokers
105 7. The Three Card Trick: Basic Monte explanation with pointers to references and the Mexican Turnover
108 8. Reading the Cards: various methods mentioned
110 Chapter Five: Please Take a Card - Standard Card Tricks
111 1. Locations
111 1a. The Tap (in-jog)
111 1b. The Side Crimp
111 1c. Approximation, with the Optical Fan Location
115 2. Card at Any Number
116 3. Stop Me
117 4. Spelling Trick with Spell Charts
120 4a. The Automatic Speller (chancy!)
121 4b. Mental Selection Speller
122 5. Reversed Cards
123 6. The Card in the Pocket
124 7. The Rising Cards: sleight versions, IT, etc.
129 Chapter Six: Hand Magic with Coins (covers coins to use)
130 1. The Tourniquet or French Drop
131 2. The Finger Palm
131 3. The Flat Thumb Palm
132 4. The Regular Thumb Palm
132 5. The Regular Palm
133 6. The Edge, Oblique, or Downs' Palm
134 7. The Change Over Palm
136 8. The Back Palm
139 9. The Crotch Palm
140 10. Sleeving (Brief Coverage)
140 11. The Downs' Click Pass
142 12. The Downs' Fan Pass
142 13. The Squeeze Pass
143 14. The DeManche Change
144 15. The Handkerchief Fold: for vanish or penetration through handkerchief
145 16. Flourish: Coin Roll or Steeplechase
147 Chapter 7: The Miser's Dream and Other Great Coin Tricks
147 1. Miser's Dream: lengthy discussion of approaches
150 2. Catching Five Coins (Downs' Eureka Pass)
152 3. Manuel's Thumb Gag
153 4. Nate Leipzig's Slow Motion Vanish
156 5. Leipzig's Coin from Hand to Hand
156 6. Coin From Hand to Hand: 3 methods
158 7. Silver and Gold: Three silver join 3 gold coins. Version of Dai Vernon's Winged Silver
160 8. The Sympathetic Coins: Coin Assembly/Matrix. Downs' Version
163 9. Coins Dissolving in a Handkerchief (click pass)
164 10. The Shake Penetration (Senor Mardo)
164 11. Coins to Handkerchief
166 12. Coin from Handkerchief to Handkerchief
167 13. Trouser Leg Vanish
167 14. The Dissolving Coin (no disk version)
168 15. Finding the Chosen Coin: Spectator 2 finds Spectator 1's coin
169 16. Date Detection (Eddie Joseph): similar to above, uses one ahead principle
170 17. Coins Up The Sleeve: Coins travel from left hand to right trouser pocket
172 Heartbreakers: lots of practice, but little reward
173 18. Heads or Tails: always predict coin flip
174 20. Coin Star (One handed)
175 21. Coin Star (Two handed)
178 Chapter 8: Hand Magic With Billiard Balls: Introduction
179 1. The Palm
180 2. The Finger Palm
180 3. Simulation (acting as though the ball is in the palm)
180 4. Standard Passes
181 5. The Trip Pass
182 6. The Kick Pass
182 7. The Change Over Palm
183 8. Color Changes
184 9. Flourish: Cardini's Climbing Billiard Balls
186 Chapter 9: The Multiplying Billiard Balls: Hay's routine, basic
190 Chapter 10: Other Hand Magic With Balls
190 1. Cups and Balls: small ball palm, Bosco little finger palm, loading, tips on routining
194 2. Sponge Balls: basic ideas only
196 Chapter 11: Hand Magic with Thimbles
196 1. The Thumb Palm
196 2. The Steal Pass
197 3. Thimble Changes
197 4. The Multiplying Thimbles
199 Chapter 12: Hand Magic With Cigarettes
199 1. The Thumb Palm
200 2. Tip Tilt Pass
200 3. Poke Through Pass
201 4. King Size Pass
202 5. Tonguing
204 6. Lighted Cigarette Through Handkerchief
205 7. Card in Cigarette
207 Part Two: Applied Art: Head Magic
208 Chapter 13: Head Magic With Cards
208 1. Locations
208 1a. Unprepared Key Cards: With applications. One Way decks, pointer cards, divided deck
212 1b. Prepared Key Cards: Thick, long, short, cornered, rough & Smooth, pop-eyed popper deck
214 2. Mechanical Decks: stripper, Svengali (Mirage), Mene-Tekel, With brief application.
215 3. Setups
215 3a. Systems: Si Stebbins, 8 Kings, Nikola and some brief effects (Behind your back, The Shuffled Setup, The Foolproof Card in Pocket)
220 3b. Special Setups: Sound of the Voice, Spoet Location, Got any Good Phone Numbers? The Royal Marriages (Dai Vernon), The 10 Card Trick
224 4. Card Reading
224 4a. By the One Ahead Method
225 4b. The Whispering Queen: Perfect self working
227 Chapter 14: Varied Head Magic
227 1. Find the Dime (Al Baker): find dime under one of 3 cards
227 2. Who Has Which? Mathematical coin find
228 3. Money Sense: As above, but different method
229 4. Date Reading: 2 methods, read the dates of coins
230 5. Coin Telepathy: cards match the coin date
230 6. Torn and Restored Paper: various methods (brief)
232 7. Pellet Paper Repeat: One is thrown away but comes back
232 8. Rubber Pencil: illusion
233 9. Rising Cigarette from Pack
233 10. Restored Matches: impromptu with pack of matches
233 11. Linking Matches: held between thumb and ring finger
234 12. Ring On Stick (Major Branson, Indian Army)
236 13. The Potsherd Trick: Image transfers from sugar cube to palm
239 Part Three: Apparatus Magic. An essay on logical apparatus
239 Chapter 15 - Silks. Describes what type to use
242 1. Productions: Stillwell ball, Roterberg vanisher, false finger, drumhead tube, Phantom tube described.
245 2. Vanishes: pass, poke through vanish, pulls, lamp chimney pull and its use
247 3. Color Changing: color changing handkerchief, dye tube
250 4. Knots: dissolving knot, appearing knot, Fake square knots, knot that unties itself, sympathetic silks
258 Chapter 16: Small Gimmicks and Fakes
258 Thumb Tips, finger tips, thumb writer, card index, card box, card frame, pulls, hooks, tumblers, mirror glass (described)
265 Chapter 17: Standard Stuff
265 1. Cut and Restored Rope: 3 methods, no graphics though
267 2. The Egg Bag: skeleton routine only
269 3. The Passe Passe Bottle and Glass: description and basic routine
270 4. Liquid Tricks
270 4a. The Lota: inexhuastible vase of water
271 4b. The Rice Bowls: old style
272 4c. The Funnel: comedy water funnel
273 4d. The Ching Ling Foo Water Can
273 5. Productions: what to produce
274 5a. Hat Productions
274 5b. The Tambourine
275 5c. Carpet of Bagdad: servante load
276 5d. The Jap Box: False flip bottom
277 5e. The Organ Pipes: nesting tube production
277 6. The Chinese Wands: strings seem to be connected
278 7. The Linking Rings: Parts of a routine provided with some photos. Link, Crash Link, Crach unlink, simple count, slow unlink, some routine basics. Okay as an intro.
285 Part Four: Mental Magic
285 Chapter 18: Mental Magic - Theo Annemann
285 1. Magician or Mind Reader? Spelling Master from Chapter 5
286 2. Psychic Slate Test: setup deck
287 3. Extrasensory Perception: setup picture cards
287 4. The Stolen Center Ruse: center tear
288 5. Question and Answer: billet switch
289 6. Stuart Robson's Newspaper Test: uses classified ad
290 7. Sid Lorraine's Forty Thousand Words: book test
292 8. One Ahead Reading
293 9. A Day of Your Life: Performer divines items about person's day after he has written them down. One ahead principle.
295 10. More Alive Than Dead: Performer determines "dead" note among 4 papers. Also, Dead or Alive variation.
297 11. A Mentalist With Money: serial number identification
298 12. The Lyons Bill Switch: no TT
298 13. Dr. Daley's Slates: flap style
300 14. The Myster of the Blackboard: blindfold
301 15. Taps: steel ball raps answer (TT)
303 Part Five: Intimate Magic
303 Chapter 19: Close Up Performance. Essay on music, picking your audience, carrying your props.
307 1. Matches
307 1a. The Fire Proof Hand
307 1b. The Extinguisher
307 1c. The Balanced Match
307 1d. The Leaping Flame
307 1e. The X-Ray Cross
308 2. Coin in Roll
308 3. The Torn Cigarette
309 4. Tumblers
309 4a. Balanced Liquid Diet
309 4b. Glass Levitation
310 4c. Coin Through Blass (Bertram)
310 4d. Vanishing Tumbler (glass through table)
311 4e. The Ghost Echo (tuning fork)
311 4f. Singing Glass, Peculiar Pellet
312 5. Stringing 'Em Along:
312 5a. The Spiral: Endless Chain, Chain of Chance move
313 5b. The Snare
313 5c. The Triple Circle Routine (Jack Salvin and Fred Lowe)
315 5d. Jumping Rubber Band on Fingers
315 5e. Wild West: throw knots in a rope equal to numbers thrown on bottom of dice
317 6. Knocking the Spots Off: paddle dice trick
318 7. Coin Boxes
318 7a. German Box: Ganson routine (summarized)
319 7b. The Okito Box: Tea for Okito from Lewis Ganson's Close Up Vol II
320 7c. Boston Box: Fred Lowe's Boston Three Step from Ganson's Close Up Vol 1
323 Part Six: Platform Magic
323 Chapter 20: Platform Magic. Essay on routining, being prepared, etc.
328 The Servante
329 Black Art Wells
332 Chapter 21: How to Stage a Magic Show: Some Professional Advice
332 1. Comedy
334 2. Pantomime (Louise Gifford)
338 3. Music (Henry Blanchard, Boyd C. Roche)
339 4. Children's Shows (Doris E. Robbins)
342 5. Night Club Shows
343 6. Business Methods
345 7. Publicity
347 Appendix: Further Tricks and Illusions Glossary: defines and describes many effects and terms from Afghan Bands to Change Bag to Jumping Peg to Shell Game to You Do As I Do.
361 Biography and Bibliography: Index of magicians and publications
371 Index"

As I stated, this book is a treasure. It is a must have for anyone interested in starting magic, or even as a reference for a veteran performer. I never grow tired of it. I just recently bought "Learn Magic" from the same author, and it has a lot of the same material. I knew that though, but I wanted something fresh to go through again, and go through the whole reinvention process again, as well as continue to work on perfecting the required sleights of any serious magi. The book comes in small paper back, as well as a big hard back edition. The paper back is much easier to come across I think. Even though this book was first written so long ago, all its contents are completely applicable, and even considered must know material for all magicians today.

This book will get you started correctly working on learning sleights, and in the proper order. The card sleights, and effects alone are worth the price of the book! A great read, and is a definite must have for any magic enthusiast. I give it a 10/10
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
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