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Topic: Should All New Magicians Seek a Teacher?
Message: Posted by: krist0pher (Apr 4, 2005 07:20PM)
I'm only a year into Magic now, and I've been wondering whether or not to seriously look into seeking out a local Magician for lessons.

At first, both my ego and wallet took over and decided that anything learned in person could be learned through video and books. But I'm starting to think that I was way off.

I'd like to think that what I'm learning from both sources is good, but could be improved tenfold if taught in person with someone who could point out my mistakes.

Any advice or 2 cents would be much appreciated.:)
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Apr 4, 2005 10:19PM)
One of the hardest things to do as a magician is to judge your own performance. It is one thing to learn mechanics and quite another to learn how to present it well. The latter, in my opinion, is far more important. With a good presentation you can get people to scream with delight.... or fear. That is pretty cool stuff! So yes, seek out a mentor from a magician whose magic impresses you, not just anyone. A good mentor can recommend not only mechanics, but how to structure your words, presentation, routine and show. This isn't about doing elmsley counts, that you can learn from a DVD, this is about creating a magical experience. And a mentor is worth their weight in gold. One idea can change everything for you.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 4, 2005 10:25PM)
In person is MUCH better! I have hundreds of dollars in videos, books, DVDs, and none of them helped nearly as much as a one hour "session" I had recently.

But you do have to do some homework first. If I had this session first without some background knowledge on the "what" and "how," I'd still be lost. He taught me the "why" and things became much clearer.

A good example is our own Steven Pillay. He's working hard on a Cups and Balls routine, and I think I've seen about five or six video attempts and dozens of messages on the Café in the past few months. If he had a magician close to him, the past four months could have been trimmed to a few weeks or even days.
Message: Posted by: alson (Apr 4, 2005 10:53PM)
It really good to have a mentor ,in my case I had many .But on the other hand ,
I had no videos or dvd just books and a mirror . I think you need to know the basics of what you are into in magic and then go to the your mentor and ask how you can inprove.I was real lucky even after my show was going to have a director
who did some plays and movies to look at the way I presented my act and taught about timing and stage pesents.If you can take some kind of acting class , I feel you will benfit by that.But I will tell you I do like the dvds and videos and would have griven anything to have them when I started.
Message: Posted by: ClouDsss (Apr 4, 2005 11:31PM)
Yes if you can find one at a reasonable price. Helps to have someone who can watch you like a spectator and point out the mistakes to you and advise you.

Message: Posted by: muzicman (Apr 4, 2005 11:58PM)
I attend the lectures that come to my area. Besides supporting my local magic shop, I get to meet and learn from true masters of the art. I have also met many local magicians while attending these lectures. I have formed some really good friendships from these gatherings as well. Honestly, their is nothing better than working 1 on 1 with someone that knows and understands all the business of performing magic. Not just the slights, but audience management skills, and making props and gimmicks. For me, my "teacher" is a variety of people. They all have something that makes me become better at what I do.
Message: Posted by: kihei kid (Apr 5, 2005 12:19AM)
I concur. If your lucky enough to have a brick and mortar, this is the place to be. Not only can you buy your books and videos off them and help keep a good thing going, but, they can help you along the way.

Together with “the gang” that hangs out you can watch each other grow and bounce ideas (good and bad) off of each other.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Apr 5, 2005 01:33PM)
Mentors are great, and that is a lot of what magic clubs are all about. Joining one gives you a good number of mentors and peers to help you learn and assist your development. It is worth joining one even if you have to drive a couple of hours to get to meetings. IBM, SAM, or any other organization can give you list of their rings , assemblies, etc. which might be in your area
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Apr 5, 2005 06:55PM)
Having someone to teach you things is one of the best things possible. There are things that books might not teach, like a better way to tell the stroy of a trick. Or simpler ways of forcing, false cutting, shuffling ect. I have learns a lot from once a week meetings with a few guys at my local magic shop. I would have never gotten the perfect production prefect if it wasn't for one guy I know lol. They provide good feedback and aren't intimidating to show tricks to. Great for practice.
Message: Posted by: comic1 (Apr 7, 2005 12:27AM)
A mentor is a god send not only for advice but also for motivation, the most amazing thing I am discovering with magic is the wilingness of performers to share the gift,to share thoughts and idea's.
Education is only knowledge until it is experienced.
Cheers Tony Roberts
Message: Posted by: Gary Barnard (Apr 7, 2005 12:56AM)
Yeah man, I think you should definately get a mentor. When I first started I had the same attitude as you about books and movies, but, when I finally found someone who could teach me, I picked up on the stuff way faster. Another good thing about a mentor is, if you have a question about an effect, you can ask him. That's something you can't do with a book or a movie. Hope this helps man.

Message: Posted by: Metius (Apr 7, 2005 05:52PM)
Don't know if what someone would need should be a "teacher", but live practicing is something unbeatable to reach higher level.In magic, as in music, practicing by yourself could be good and lead you to high level. Studying with a teacher (or maybe sessioning with other magicians) or live gigs can take you to a higher level in half of the time.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Apr 7, 2005 07:43PM)
If you can find a mentor/teacher, tht is the way to go.
Message: Posted by: jack_is_dead (Apr 8, 2005 12:06AM)
I cant find a mentor so I just always go to a local magic shop and bug the magicians life to show me some tricks..i learn from just seeing him perform
Message: Posted by: Gary Barnard (Apr 8, 2005 01:08AM)
Well. I got my mentor by going to the magic shop. I simply asked him one day if he could give me a lesson. And, from then on, he became my teacher. I've learned a lot from him and we've became friends, and now I go to the magic shop and hang out and talk about magic. Maybe you could find your teacher that way.
Message: Posted by: boynextdoor (Apr 11, 2005 03:03PM)
Is there any other way to find a mentor? We don't have a magic shop in my town (Nowheresville, Ca). I've been talking to a very nice magician, but from what I gather, he doesn't exactly live within walking distance if you catch my drift...
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 11, 2005 03:12PM)
Do a Google search for:
International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM).
Society of American Magicians (SAM).

They should have some info on local magic clubs.
Message: Posted by: Gary Barnard (Apr 11, 2005 03:58PM)
Yes, IBM and SAM are also a good way to find a mentor. I have been thinking about joining IBM for sometime now, the only problem is, the nearest ring is about an hour drive away.
Message: Posted by: Roland Henning (Apr 11, 2005 04:03PM)
Seeking a Teacher: NO
Message: Posted by: irishguy (Apr 11, 2005 04:09PM)
Learning magic under someone else is the same as having a teacher for anything: it depends upon the teacher. A good teacher should help you find your own way along in magic; a bad teacher will just try to make you a clone of himself.
Message: Posted by: boynextdoor (Apr 11, 2005 05:08PM)
Good stuf, good stuff. I e-mailed the nearest SAM dude that was suggested by a friend, waiting on pins and needles for a response. Actually my cousin's hubby is a member, hoping he's a member that goes to THAT particular assembly... That way it won't be so awkward...

Must look into IBM...

Hey, um, what exactly would be the benefit of joining IBM?

The SAM people have their groups, and stuff... Is it the same way with The Brotherhood?

(HA! It's just like in X-Men! Only they're not The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants... Or ARE they?...)
Message: Posted by: irishguy (Apr 11, 2005 05:17PM)
On 2005-04-11 18:12, boynextdoor wrote:
Hey, um, what exactly would be the benefit of joining IBM?

The SAM people have their groups, and stuff... Is it the same way with The Brotherhood?

(HA! It's just like in X-Men! Only they're not The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants... Or ARE they?...)

IBM has groups called "rings".
Message: Posted by: Gede Nibo (Apr 11, 2005 09:31PM)
Let experience be your teacher...that is the highest of Guru...and repetition is the Mother of revelation...the more you do magic, the more you can do magic...
and when the student is ready, the Master appears.
Message: Posted by: boynextdoor (Apr 12, 2005 03:16PM)
Oh..... Must look in to that.

Wow, that was certainly deep...
Message: Posted by: colibrimagic (Apr 13, 2005 12:42AM)
Great advice there babakali
Message: Posted by: Gary Kruse (Apr 15, 2005 11:44PM)
Yes, Yes, Yes, everyone should seek a teacher. I think that we are all too often distracted by things that take us off a solid road to good magic. We do well when held accountable to things that don't seem important but really make the difference between success and failure. Your teacher can focus you on routining, efficient practice, how to reduce the fear of failure, and many more important items. Left alone, we seek glitz and perform before we, or our tricks, are ready.

Learning from Steve Youell has been the most important part of my magic life.

Message: Posted by: Lynne Kelly (Apr 17, 2005 12:01AM)
A good mentor is wonderful. I spent a long time getting almost nowhere except in one area. Once I had a mentor who understood exactly what I was doing and who I was as a performer, the advice meant much faster progress. I have a number of magicians helping now, but my mentor understood exactly what I needed as a beginner and kept stopping me going after everything which attracted my attention. He also sets specific goals which are challenging but realistic.

The local magic store and the magic club (Australian Society of Magicians) are also invaluable. I held back for years on asking for help other than when I bought something, thinking I needed to get a lot further before I dare show my face and claim to be a magician. I regret that.

The big risk is finding a mentor who has a style and strong beliefs and wants to impose that style on you. A good mentor has to enhance your individual style and teach you how to find the right material rather than telling you what you should be doing. He needs to help you develop your own style not train you in his. That takes a lot of experience and insight.

Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Apr 25, 2005 02:12PM)
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Message: Posted by: DanielTyler (Apr 25, 2005 06:19PM)
Napolean Hill talks about the Mastery Group, and the idea that if you hang around people that are better than you, the only direction you can possibly go in is toward their status. If you don't hang around these people or learn independently, it's gonna be tougher and that just makes sense.

So I'm not sure its necessary to have a single mentor or have formal sessions with a teacher, but I do know that finding a Mastery Group is one of the best things you can possibly do when you're trying to learn anything.

The discussion forums on the internet, especially one with the kind of massiveness of Magic Café, is awesome because it can be tough to find good magicians in an everyday environment. With the technology of the internet, there's more help available to you than ever before, so whether you find a mentor or not, really open your ears to the advice given here.
Message: Posted by: okito25 (Apr 26, 2005 03:49AM)
If joining a "ring" is tough .. but it should not be .. an hour away is nothing once a month to get into meetings plus the mini conventions etc ... keep a look out for the major conventions , a lot do not require membership into an assembly, or ring .. I make sure I hit at least one con a year , while I am at it .. I try and buddy up a "Tyro" with a "mentor" or at least help the new guys get some intros to some of the seasoned guys . being a member at large with my ring has made me out going and friendly , in general I have never been to a convention where people have been or felt left out , we are indeed a brotherhood , and there is always a a couple of hours after last call to jam , and learn , and share , even the pros enjoy watching magic , and helping out on moves and stuff . We have many guys in our ring who are out of town members .. but the 40 bucks a year Is worth it for the IBM benefits and the Linking ring mag . and the Open opp to join in on the lectures and mabey half the meetings a year , for instance this year we have had .. Michael Ammar, Danny Cole, Banachek, Bob Sheets, Greg Frewin , Mini lectures include Eric Bedard ( watch out for that guy :) ) FFFF Afficiando and west coast TVP for the IBM Tony Eng , award winning stage competitor Shayne King , and Ron Bell teaching only the way he can with Style grace and originality . I know it sounds like I am really plugging the club thing .. But it is a solidary art , and only another magician will really understand your passion , the camiraderie is soo important , with that I will quit rambling On ..
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 26, 2005 05:43AM)
If you can find a real, live, breathing magician to study with, all to the good.

And, after being in magic for about a year, you have some grounding that you and a more experienced magician can build on.

As for magic clubs, though, that may be another story. The I.B.M. and the SAM, internatinally, are both great. But the local clubs are often filled with old farts who forget the chosen card, fall asleep during lectures, etc., or they are filled with young know-it-alls who won't do anything unless it involves a dozen near-impossible sleights.

If you can find a magician at a magic shop, good. Or the owner or an employee of the shop.

If not, these forums are almost as good, as you have the benefit of all us old geezers (I'm 65) without having to actually be in contact with us (and I agree with that attitude!)
Message: Posted by: Zac Vee (Apr 26, 2005 06:13AM)
I never had mentor and not sure if will ever have one. whether for good or bad. We all know that mentor will not teach you how to do a trick , effect etc, but its all about building the image of a magician, presentation, motivation and confident , well I only have one thing to say , we don't need to master the PASS & THE DL, to go out and start performing to build confident and learn to be great presenters, with the most easy self working trick you can go out and do it time and time again to gain all the stuff that you would be getting from a mentor and more .

Note that I am not against having mentor, but I do not agree that mentor is the answer, because what works for the mentor might not work for you or for me .

Message: Posted by: boynextdoor (Apr 26, 2005 05:45PM)
That's a very good point.
Message: Posted by: Will Gordon (May 16, 2005 01:14AM)
[quote]when the student is ready, the Master appears[/quote]

True! I was going to my local magic club for about six months. One night the gentleman I hung out with referred to me as his student. This is my first teacher along with thirty of so mentors. ;-)