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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What books to read if you want to do magic for a living? (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Luke Jonas
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Regular user
Yorkshire UK
110 Posts

Profile of Luke Jonas
Any book that is going to increase your knowledge of magic. even the books that some may regard to be for beginners can hold some hidden gems. what works for one may not work for another.
sirbrad
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Inner circle
1921 Posts

Profile of sirbrad
Back when I started magic 37 years ago there were no books dedicated to making a living with magic, you were expected to just learn magic yourself and kinda figure it out yourself which I did. But some books did provide tips or chapters on the subject. I started out with "The Amateur Magician's Handbook" by Henry Hay, which gave a great overall study of every genre of magic. Then I got The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne, Mark Wilson's Complete Course, and many others by Bill Severn, John Scarne etc. I made a living from those books for a few years until I was able to save up $400 for the "Tarbell Magic Course" which was and still is the best overall course on magic as a whole that you can get, and also has some business info in it. It covers every genre of magic and gives you a taste of everything so that you can decide which genres you like best or want to learn and perform. It is a MASSIVE Course and all most actually will ever need. At least for a long time, or they can add some other stuff as they go.

Then after that I started getting a lot more books to fill in the gaps, and magic magazines and periodicals for my restaurant shows, The Magic Menu, Apocalypse, Best of Friends, Hugard's Magic Monthly, The Phoenix, Imbidem, The Jinx, The Sphinx, the MagiGram, The Magical Arts Journal, etc. "The Magic of Michael Ammar" has a lot of great tips as well and from the excerpts from the "Inner Circle Audio Series." I also made a living with material just from the Tarbell Course for many years, "The Bible of Magic" and then just added more stuff as I went. Today there are many books out there on how to start a career in magic. I even bought one after already performing magic full-time for about 25 years several years ago, just to see if I was missing anything or about other venues. The course is called "The Success In Magic Course" by Jim Snack, also a member on here. I still learned some stuff from it and enjoyed all of the content.

But I pretty much figured it all out myself back when I was a teen, and knew that magic was going to be my full-time job. So I did it my way, trial and error and luckily not a lot of error. But some of the books did have some chapters and tips in them as I said that helped. It really was not that hard or complicated to get started. I just did magic for free at my friend's birthday parties and family events, and actually even got tips and then started getting paid for them so that I could buy new magic for the next shows. This then led to more and more paid shows and eventually shows for businesses and strangers.

I got started in Retirement and Nursing Homes as I had friends who worked in them that referred me to other facilities, and then did shows for the employees' parties. Then of course started doing many other venues, especially kids shows, birthday parties, corporate shows, fairs, festivals, and later on restaurants. So really you don't necessarily need a book on the subject but if you are totally lost they may help. Some resources such as "The Magic Menu" are dedicated to venues like restaurants, many books such as "The Restaurant Worker's Handbook," DVDS as well such as "Live at The Jailhouse," etc. You can find books and DVDS dedicated to Corporate Magic, Trade Shows, Kids Shows, School Shows, Stage Shows, Parlor etc.

But what I found out was if you just get started and work hard, it all kind of falls into place. It just depends on what your goals are and how bad you want it, and if you want to just do shows part-time or full-time. So there is lots options out there. But usually when the magic hobbyist is ready the professional jobs will appear...
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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