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Topic: Advice For a Total Newbie
Message: Posted by: Emily Belleranti (Nov 24, 2002 11:18PM)
Over the weekend I went on a sleepover trip with some of the members of my church. I did a few of my routines (all cards; I had to do them in a van with no table or pockets and cards were the only magic-related thing I had on me).

One of the kids I performed for was very interested in it. He told me that he had tried magic for a few weeks when he was younger, but he gave it up.

Turns out this kid (his name is Colin) went home and asked his parents for a few books on magic for Christmas. His father emailed my father asking for advice on what to get him. My father wants to know my opinion.

Problem is, I've been doing magic on and off with my father since I was about five or six. I became seriously interested in the October of 2001. The point is, I can barely even remember what it is like to be completely new to the scene (and I can barely remember what my life was like before I started magic seriously; it has become such a big part of me). I can't remember what it's like to come in and know NOTHING about anything (although I still consider myself a newbie). I suppose I could recommend a few things to him, but I'd still like your help.

So my question is this: What would you guys and gals recommend for a total newbie to magic? I mean anything: books, videos, connections with people involved in magic, websites, etc.

Colin is primarily interested in learning "the real stuff" (sleight of hand) with cards. Then again, he was extremely interested in the cups and balls set he saw in my suitcase (unfortunately, I didn't get to do my routine for him)...

Sorry for the long post, I just felt I should explain things as much as I could.

Thanks in advance for any replies!
Message: Posted by: tla (Nov 24, 2002 11:31PM)
For a beginner, Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles would be a wonderful gift. Michael has simplified several of the routines using easier sleights. With this series, Colin would not only be learning great sleights but also excellent effects with cards.

When he's ready for Cup and Balls, again, Ammar's work with them is excellent.
Message: Posted by: r4bid (Nov 25, 2002 05:29AM)
Royal Road for cards and Bobo for coins.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Nov 25, 2002 05:32AM)
Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book was originally written for laymen who had absolutely no background in magic.
"Total newbies", in other words.
It starts with how to shuffle a deck of cards; not false shuffles, just real shuffles, because many people don't know how to do that, even though we tend to take it for granted.
There is nothing in the book that requires specially bought magic props, or anything that looks like a magic prop!
It is a "must have" and ideal for the real beginner.
Message: Posted by: MrX (Nov 25, 2002 05:48AM)
I'm with Peter - Harry Lorayne's book started me in magic 24 years ago and I STILL use some of the routines!
Message: Posted by: Jeff Chesnut (Nov 25, 2002 07:29AM)
Mark Wilson's Complete Course of Magic is very good for beginners. He explains all kinds of effects, from coins to cards to spongeballs to large stage illusions. I highly recommend it.
Message: Posted by: dsnowmon (Nov 25, 2002 08:25AM)
I agree with Jeff Chesnut. Mark Wilson's book is great for beginners. It is full of useful information that he'll always be able to refer back on.


Message: Posted by: what (Nov 25, 2002 09:48AM)
I forget who wrote it, but there is a great book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic." I loaned it to my brother a couple years ago, thus can't remember the author.
I also have to second the Mark Wilson "Complete Course in Magic."
In any event, I would recommend that the newbie start out with a single book.
Message: Posted by: redlinewes (Nov 25, 2002 10:04AM)
I also agree. Mark Wilson's [i]Complete Course in Magic[/i] is where I started.
Message: Posted by: Vinnie Anderson (Nov 25, 2002 12:33PM)
Mark Wilson's book is what got me started in magic. It's a great book and Mark very clearly explains things with a great deal of illustrations.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Nov 25, 2002 12:44PM)
All the above books are excellent. Royal Road and Modern Coin Magic are particularly good for beginners as there are relatively inexpensive editions of each available. But of course, for a broader range of knowledge, Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic should be looked at.

You mention that your friend was interested in cups and balls. If you're looking for an affordable video, 25 Amazing Tricks with Cups and Balls might fit the bill. It may not be the best video on the subject (and the production value is low), but it provides you with a basic routine and additional maneuvers that you can incorporate into your own routine.
Message: Posted by: Emily Belleranti (Nov 25, 2002 06:50PM)
Once again, there has been a lot of responses in less than a day! I love this place! :)

I'm going to take MrX and Mr. Marucci's advice; I will recommend The Magic Book to Colin's dad. I own the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic, and I think it would be a good book for him a little later, when he is more serious. It will hopefully help develop his skill further.

After I posted, I looked through my books on magic to see what I remember getting started with. I came across a book entitled A Book of Magic for Young Magicians written by Allan Zola Kronzek. I remember using this
book when I was seriously getting into magic. It helped me learn some of the basic principles, and I think this would a good book for him as well.

So I'm going to recommend those two books to Colin's father, as well as a beginner's guide to magic I found on a website.

Thanks to everyone who gave advice and suggestions!

Oh, and one more thing: it feels great knowing that I am partly responsible for a new member (hopefully) to the magic community!
Message: Posted by: Vinnie Anderson (Dec 2, 2002 08:36AM)
I would say Mark Wilson or Harry Lorayne. I started with Mark Wilson and it has been invaluable to me for years. I still use it and refer to it often.

:bikes: :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: Callin (Dec 2, 2002 11:09AM)
Unfortunately, Mark Wilson's book is currently hard to find. It is a great beginner's book, but it is being revised and won't be in print until next year at this time.

The sad news is that I gave my copy away figuring I would just order myself a replacement copy. :whatthe:

Richard Green
Message: Posted by: Victor Brisbin (Dec 2, 2002 12:04PM)
On 2002-11-25 10:48, what wrote:
I forget who wrote it, but there is a great book, "The Complete Idiots Guide to Magic." I loaned it to my brother a couple of years ago, thus can't remember the author.
I also have to second the Mark Wilson "Complete Course in Magic".
In any event, I would recommend that the newbie start out with a single book.

The author of the "Complete Idiot's Guide To Magic" is Tom Ogden. Solid information, and more good advice on the business side of things than many advanced books have.
Message: Posted by: amshake (Dec 2, 2002 03:38PM)
I would say Mark Wilsons's [i]Complete Course in Magic[/i] and the Cyclopedia are GREAT, and honestly, [i]Magic for Dummies[/i] is done in a way that would really help a layperson have fun right away!!! And if he wants to jump into sleights, try [i]Now You See It, Now You Don't[/i]. Great book. I don't remember right off the author, but pm me if you want it!!
Message: Posted by: The Londoner (Dec 3, 2002 01:53AM)
Emily B,

I'm just curious what card routines you did.


Message: Posted by: Micro-BIOS (Dec 3, 2002 11:40AM)
Please don't forget Roberto Giobbi's Card College. It's an excellent and complete course on cards.
Message: Posted by: Alan Jackson (Dec 3, 2002 12:25PM)
I agree with the recommedation of Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book". It's excellent. Be warned though, most of his others are advanced.
Message: Posted by: Emily Belleranti (Dec 3, 2002 12:48PM)
John, I did a simple reversed card revelation, an Ambitious Card Routine (ending with the pop-up card), and Vernon's "The Trick that Cannot Be Explained" from Vernon's Inner Card Trilogy.

I did not know that MWCCIM is currently hard to find! I got mine last January from amazon.com and then it seemed it was available almost everywhere.

I will definitely keep Card College in the back of my mind for Colin. Actually, I have yet to buy it, but I'm planning to soon (when I can get enough money saved up; I'm always broke after Christmas shopping).

I understand that most of Lorayne's other material is quite advanced; I'm looking forward to the day I'm ready for it!

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!

Emily B.
Message: Posted by: RayBanks (Dec 3, 2002 12:50PM)
I see copies of Mark Wilson in a lot of places. A used book store near me has two copies and I have seen them recently in Barnes & Noble.

It should not be too hard to find.

There are Half Price Books stores (that's the name) in Tempe, Superstition Springs and Paradise Valley. I don't know if any of these are near you but...