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Topic: Magic question, my age?
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Jul 21, 2005 07:23AM)
I have a question, but first I want to say some things first....
This is my first time ever on these forums. In fact, it's my first time ever on any MAGIC forums. Anyways, Off and on, through out my life time, as a kid, a teenager, and now as an adult, I have found my self interested (fasinated) with magic. Not just stage magic, but street magic, and impromtu magic as well. I found and still find it very interesting and amazing. I look at the magician, not as someone who can do "MIRACULOUS FEATS AND WONDERS", but as an incredible and captivating entertainer and performer. I am sorry, I am rambling on. On to my question.................

I am 39 years old, and I want to know if I am too old to start studying magic. Now I don't want to become the next Criss Angel, David Blaine, or David Copperfield. I would just like to be able to a few simple tricks and/or illusions for my family, friends, and associates. Things that can be done anywhere and at anytime, with little or no preperation.

I realize that all magic tricks and illusions must be practiced and practiced and must be entertaining, I am willing to put in the work involved. I would like to tell you some stuff about me, that may help in answering my question I asked. I am in bad health as I can't stand for no more then 10 minutes at a time and I can only hold about 40 lbs for about 15 minutes at a time. I don't have any extra money to go out and buy tricks or illusions, and I only have a computer because it was a present, and I have internet because I pay all my bills online. So anything that I would need to learn would have to be free, but I am willing to work at it.

So anyways, with everything you know about me now, am I too old, too much in bad health, or too poor to study magic? If not, how would I get started? Is it possible to get started on the internet? Any and all recommendations would be appreciated?

Thank you for your time?
Message: Posted by: jcards01 (Jul 21, 2005 07:36AM)
There is always close-up magic. Coins, cards, etc. Cards being the cheapest road to getting started. With cards, I would invest in a couple of books first if you don't already have them. Royal Road to Card Magic by Hugard & Braue is a great start. The book is still readily available and relatively inexpensive.
Message: Posted by: rgranville (Jul 21, 2005 08:09AM)
Well, I started at 38, so if you're too old, it's only by a year...

As for getting started via the internet, you already have. You're here, and you're posting.

Before you can practice, practice, practice, you have to [i]learn[/i] what to practice. You have to get your hands on some books and/or instructional videos. [i]Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic[/i] is a good starting place. It costs $20, but you can find it for $13.57 on Amazon, and used copies for less than $10 on ebay. You can probably find it in your local library - my local library has a copy. This book will give you a good introduction to cards, coins, ropes, mentalism, and even some stage illusions. If a particular area of magic catches your fancy, come back here and people will point you to more advanced material in that area.

Come back here - often - with questions. Questions of the type, "I'm trying to learn the flapdoodle move from the [i]Joe Blow Book of Magic,[/i] but my thumbs get in the way. What am I doing wrong?" will get you advice, hints, and tips, the help you're looking for. Questions that merely look for the exposure of secrets, "How did David Blaine make that monument disappear on television last night?" will get you unkind responses at best.

So [b]DO[/b] pursue your dream and begin your journey on the road of magic. Keep us posted on your progress, come back with questions, and later with comments and advice to people about to begin [i]their[/i] journeys.

Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 21, 2005 08:54AM)
Welcome to the Café'! You are NEVER too old, or too YOUNG to start studying magic. I believe that magic is for all ages!
Message: Posted by: VBall (Jul 21, 2005 09:01AM)
Never too old to start... I think cards is probably best for you for two reasons:

1) cheap to learn
2) not difficult to learn effects that have high impact (if you learn one sleight, you can do hundreds of tricks).

Royal road is a good start for you(very inexpensive). if I remember correctly, I thought there was a pdf of "Expert at the card Table" for free.... That book is a bit more difficult but is loaded with enough information for a life time. I see if I can find out about the pdf file.

Message: Posted by: Chris Miller (Jul 21, 2005 11:12AM)
Hi. I think magic is a great hobby for any age. Check your local library for books on magic. It has been a long time since I've done this, but years ago, several of the local libraries near me had books on all kinds of magic from self-working card tricks (to help you work on your performance and presentation), to card techniques, to impromptu routines with matches, dice, coins, silks, and ropes. If you can find such books at the library, then supplementing with the Café, I think you can start the hobby inexpensively. Some libraries even have programs to deliver books to those who have trouble getting out, and most have searchable online card catalogues. Good luck.

Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Jul 21, 2005 12:25PM)

Those in my magic ring (club) range in ages from 15 - 92. That's the great thing about magic it can involve people of all ages and walks of life. You're never too young or too old and you'll meet some wonderful people along the way.

Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 21, 2005 02:49PM)
Started at age 49, myself. Inexpensive ways to get started include:

Amateur Magician's Handbook - out of print, but available at many libraries for free, and used book shops (such as ebay) for about $5

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic - $19.95 new; frequently found used for cheap. Also available in many libraries.

Tarbell Course in Magic Volume 1 - $20 new; I knew of one library which carried it in Florida.

These are the best introductions to magic in print, with LOTS more than just tricks. If you go through any of them as methodically as you should, it will be months before you need another book. Plus which, you'll be doing much more than just card magic. Nothing wrong with card magic, but I doubt you want to limit yourself.

Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jul 21, 2005 02:55PM)
Unless you are very creative and already know a lot about magic, some instruction for doing tricks is essential.

Many beginning magicians have made props from household items.
For impromptu you can use coins, dollar bills, napkins, toothpicks, string, paper, finger rings, elastic bands, pencils and on and on.

It's not about the objects but how you make a trick a magical experience.

A Google search for 'magic tricks' and 'impromptu magic tricks' should turn up some freebies.
Message: Posted by: Alan Morgan (Jul 21, 2005 04:45PM)
A visit to your local library will give you a lot of material, some of it VERY good.

Enjoy! :)
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Jul 21, 2005 06:16PM)
I agree. Try the library. Many tricks can be done with items you already possess.
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jul 21, 2005 06:33PM)
I'd suggest you find a friend or two that you can talk about magic to discuss various effects. Another helpful thing that works for me is to find a mentor perhaps via your local magic ring. Since you have internet connection, there are a few sites that have free card tricks that you can download or learn from. Books are great so are used dvds that you can find on eBay or here at the Café. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: funny_gecko (Jul 21, 2005 09:19PM)
Yha never too late... you could also do your own tricks! cardsa are good to start of with cause for millions of tricks that's all you need!
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jul 22, 2005 05:43PM)
You are NEVER too old to have a second childhood! I can't remember who said that, but it is certainly true! Age is generally not a factor in learning magic and there are lots of resources, both here in the Café' and through many of our advertisers. Take some time to browse through the threads on street magic, table-hopping, magic at any time and the rest for some insights into the ins and outs of our Art.

Some of the top pros and most creative thinkers in magic post here on a regular basis and are more than willing to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences as performers and inventors. Discussions run from friendly to pretty warm and points of view vary widely - which makes it all the more interesting and useful, because you will find more ways of looking at magic than someone who will espouse their view as the "One True Way" to do magic - which may not be right for you!

So welcome, take a look around and enjoy! Ask questions, browse the archives (the "search" function is great for that!) and don't take any comments too personally. We're all reasonably civilized people here.


Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: calexa (Jul 25, 2005 10:14AM)
On 2005-07-21 09:54, KyletheGreat wrote:
Welcome to the Café'! You are NEVER too old, or too YOUNG to start studying magic. I believe that magic is for all ages!

Nothing more to say, maybe just one thing: you can perform for friends perfectly while sitting at a table, doing coin or card magic....

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jul 25, 2005 01:36PM)
No, you're not too old. In fact, you may be in a better position than many younger magicians who are just starting out. You see, you may have a greater confidence in who you are. As a result, it may be easier for your performing personality to emerge.

The only part about your post that trouble me is when you say, "Now I don't want to become the next Criss Angel, David Blaine, or David Copperfield". Why not? Who says that you cannot aspire to greatness just because of your age?

Someone once gave me a very wise adage: "If you shoot for the stars, you might land on the roof. If you shoot for the roof, you'll never leave the ground."

Message: Posted by: Ricahato (Jul 25, 2005 03:11PM)
Eugene Burger started his magic career when he was 50 or so. it's never too late
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Jul 25, 2005 03:34PM)
You words of encouragement have inspired me.

Thank you all!
Message: Posted by: kookyjane1 (Jul 25, 2005 08:29PM)
I can't believe Eugene started so late, that is very impressive!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jul 26, 2005 01:54PM)
First of all I agree with everyone else who stated that you are never to old or young. I'll add that in some ways you probably have some advantages over those such as myself who started young. That is the fact that you've lived some of your life and know who you are already. Where younger people tend to try and be like someone else. So you'll more likely be inspired by those who younger people often try to clone.

On your physical condition. Magic might even help you with that. I'm not say it'll be some cure but it's already been used as a form of therapy for those who have conditions such as you described. Not just magic but any kind of hobby or interest. Especially ones like magic that require you to focus and master things. Then you get the satisfaction of finally achieving what you aim to master. Next you get feed back from the people you perform for and that can lift spirits.

I know first hand about how a condition can effect a person (Such as my deafness). I've even shown a few tears from it because it can sometimes make me feel out of place or that I don't belong in a group. But all I have to do is perform a trick or two for someone and I feel better. It doesn't matter if it's a group of strangers, friends or just pulling a coin out of a kids ear (Properly. :) ). It can be a real confidence booster for anyone.

So I also give my welcome and please don't hesitate to ask for help. If things get frustrating then it's no longer fun. So keep it fun.

Ron Jaxon