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Topic: Becoming a professional magician? What books/dvds to get?
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Mar 25, 2014 10:34AM)
Hello all!

My name is D.J. Ayur and I'm very new to these forums, yet alone magic. I would love to become a full-time professional magician. Down the line, il like to add some mentalism, hypnosis and a sprinkle of psychic entertainment, but that's not for a while from now! Kind of like a Richard Webster if you will. If it helps, I have no knowledge/experience of magic, so I know have a lot to learn. But I'm very motivated to do whatever it takes! I just need some guidance and I'll do the rest!

With that typed, what books/dvds should I buy to get me started? I have ALOT of time on my hands so I would love to get the ball rolling ASAP. Thank you in advanced!

D.J. Ayur
Message: Posted by: airztonne (Mar 25, 2014 10:46AM)
Well, first of all, you need to give a bit more info on yourself. Since you said mentalism is a bit down the road, what do you want to do now? Cards coins ropes or were you asking on the beginner/introductory materials to mentalism?
Message: Posted by: mlippo (Mar 25, 2014 10:49AM)
[quote]
On Mar 25, 2014, D.J. Ayur wrote:
Hello all!

[snip]
I would love to become a full-time professional magician.
[snip]
what books/dvds should I buy to get me started? I have ALOT of time on my hands so I would love to get the ball rolling ASAP.
[/quote]

You're kidding, aren't ya?
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Mar 25, 2014 11:05AM)
[quote]
On Mar 25, 2014, airztonne wrote:
Well, first of all, you need to give a bit more info on yourself. Since you said mentalism is a bit down the road, what do you want to do now? Cards coins ropes or were you asking on the beginner/introductory materials to mentalism?
[/quote]

I'll be more than happy to share some info on my behalf. To begin my path, I definately want to do magic now. I would like to start off with cards and coins.

I don't want to start off on a bad foot and simply get "stuck" because I'm trying to do too much by learning both magic + mentalism at the same time. I was just stating that sooner or later when I feel comfortable with magic, I would move on to mentalism, buts that for another time.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Mar 25, 2014 11:06AM)
[quote]
On Mar 25, 2014, mlippo wrote:
[quote]
On Mar 25, 2014, D.J. Ayur wrote:
Hello all!

[snip]
I would love to become a full-time professional magician.
[snip]
what books/dvds should I buy to get me started? I have ALOT of time on my hands so I would love to get the ball rolling ASAP.
[/quote]

You're kidding, aren't ya?
[/quote]

I'm sorry, what do you mean?
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Mar 25, 2014 11:49AM)
DJ,
Most magicians start as hobbyists, then part-time work, then a few make it to full-time. The journey is measured in years, not weeks or months.

You should explore local magic clubs and shops to get started. There are many references, depending on what path you take. Look at the stickie at the top of this section and you will see many references you should consider. You may also want to subscribe to magic journals - Genie for one. Also, both IBM and SAM membership come with monthly journals.

Hudson
Message: Posted by: Bulla (Mar 25, 2014 12:08PM)
For cards you can start off with the Card College Series by Roberto Giobbi or Close Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Mar 25, 2014 01:09PM)
55Hudson, I'm located in Rhode Island and there happens to be a SAM club so I'll definitly look into that. I'll also look into the other resources you stated so thanks for the tips!

Bulla, will do on the Card College series! Appreciate it!

Thanks a ton guys, means alot! I'll gradully post how my progress comes as times moves on.
Message: Posted by: Tree (Mar 25, 2014 07:03PM)
Hi DJ,
Not the shopping store SAM's club.
He means the Society of American Magicians.
http://magicsam.com/

International Brotherhood Magicians
http://www.magician.org/

You should get the Tarbell Books on Magic to start off with, this will give you a good overview on Magic
there is even a pdf version you can get.

and, Welcome to the Café!
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Mar 25, 2014 09:06PM)
[quote]
On Mar 25, 2014, 55Hudson wrote:
DJ,
Most magicians start as hobbyists, then part-time work, then a few make it to full-time. The journey is measured in years, not weeks or months.

You should explore local magic clubs and shops to get started. There are many references, depending on what path you take. Look at the stickie at the top of this section and you will see many references you should consider. You may also want to subscribe to magic journals - Genie for one. Also, both IBM and SAM membership come with monthly journals.

Hudson
[/quote]

Well said by Hudson....It's a journey and it does take years.... First and foremost you must (IMO) be a likeable people person. People won't care about your magic if they don't like you. I would also explore the history of magic and learn about those who made magic great. Like Vernon, Slydini and even earlier like Robert Houdin http://www.biography.com/people/robert-houdin-9344559
just to name a few..... there are so many facets of magic from close-up to stage, manipulation etc.

Studying sleight of hand techniques such as, naturalness of action, in-transit action, tension/relaxation phases, retention of vision techniques and the list goes on....You must look natural in everything you do.......Not to overwhelm you but like others have stated, find you niche, experiment, get a Michael Ammar DVD. (great place to start)

Once you realize how much you have to practice you might just can the whole idea....Many get excited, few stick with it for the long haul. You got to love it with a passion to succeed.
Enjoy the journey!!!
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Mar 26, 2014 01:04PM)
Thanks guys! Appreciate the support! I'm excited to get my journey started!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 26, 2014 01:29PM)
D.J.>>>
I've been a professional performer since 1945 (The first 20 years as a part time pro'. The rest as full time.

Start off with Tarbell, books if you can afford them. pdf is available, free I believe. (I'm too old to know much about pdf!!!!!

ASAP, buy KENNETH WEBER'S "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT". Ken will be most helpful. Ken is/was a very successful performer.

Don't worry too much about all the "specialty" card and coin books. There's time for them, later. Tarbell will have more than enough to keep you busy for some time. Tarbell will introduce you to PRINCIPLES!!! ("Doc" Tarbell wrote the original course as a "correspondence course" in the late '20s.) It really helped me get started.

You'll be getting lots of advice from people on the Café. Just remember: 'NEMO DAT QUOD NOT HABET' (No one can give what he does not have.) Be sure of the experience, and expertise of the adviser!!!
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Mar 26, 2014 02:41PM)
[quote]
On Mar 26, 2014, Dick Oslund wrote:
D.J.>>>
I've been a professional performer since 1945 (The first 20 years as a part time pro'. The rest as full time.

Start off with Tarbell, books if you can afford them. pdf is available, free I believe. (I'm too old to know much about pdf!!!!!

ASAP, buy KENNETH WEBER'S "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT". Ken will be most helpful. Ken is/was a very successful performer.

Don't worry too much about all the "specialty" card and coin books. There's time for them, later. Tarbell will have more than enough to keep you busy for some time. Tarbell will introduce you to PRINCIPLES!!! ("Doc" Tarbell wrote the original course as a "correspondence course" in the late '20s.) It really helped me get started.

You'll be getting lots of advice from people on the Café. Just remember: 'NEMO DAT QUOD NOT HABET' (No one can give what he does not have.) Be sure of the experience, and expertise of the adviser!!!
[/quote]

You got it Mr. Oslund, thanks for the advice!

I'm coming to a understanding that's there is/will be a lot to learn, but it will naturally come as you move forward with experience in performing and such. Really helpful resources! You guys are gearing me on the right path!
Message: Posted by: Moncle (Apr 1, 2014 06:28AM)
I agree with the comments above, "it takes years". My advice is you need to find yourself as a performer first. I joined a couple of societies and got out doing charity events, you don't get paid, but you get something far more valuable and that is experience.

Find a mentor, dead or alive use their material, not mimick them but use the thinking behind their work. I am a big fan of Tommy Wonder (my mentor), lots of good pointers in his books on the "performance of magic".

This art form isn't easy, not easy to do well, don't follow the crowd, find yourself, I have been through this and it does come over time.

Hope this helps.

Good luck fella.

Michael
Message: Posted by: SDMoore1 (Apr 1, 2014 07:50AM)
Becoming a pro implies being so good at the craft that people are willing to pay to see it. Not meaning to be a wet blanket, but such a thing is less about books purchased than it is about skill honed over time. I've been enjoying the "book" thread found elsewhere in the "new to magic" section. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=89&forum=41

I have to admit... The thread got me so charged up, I've just purchased 4 books that will likely contain enough meat to keep me busy for several years, full time. LOL.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Apr 1, 2014 10:42AM)
Books and DVDs can teach you tricks. But anyone can do tricks! The real question is: what will set you apart from anyone else who is also doing tricks?

If you don't mind me asking - what inspired you to push everything else aside to work on being a professional magician? Honestly, most pros are not Copperfield or Angel - they are relatively unknown outside their immediate area, and work way more than 40 hours for often less pay and more headaches than most other jobs.

Ed
Message: Posted by: motown (Apr 1, 2014 07:08PM)
Audience Management by Gay Ljungberg is a terrific book to read from the stand point of performing.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 2, 2014 01:00PM)
Good advice Moncle, will take note of this!

Mr. Ed Millis,

I just love the joy magic can bring to people. Letting people be entertained and bringing happiness to people is something I love to see for myself in others. I want to inspire people with magic. I feel as I can do this. Growing up, I wasn't a real happy kid. I'm sure most people can relate, but it's no excuse for any of us. So that's what I want to accomplish with magic. Your right Ed; it's not about the tricks, it's about the performance! It's about motivating others to be what they want to be and going to achieve their dreams. that's what I'm going to do.

Thanks for the book motown, I'm going to research it up!
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 2, 2014 01:01PM)
SDMoore, I'm glad that thread is getting you geared up, it's the doing the same to me!
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Apr 2, 2014 04:52PM)
[quote]I just love the joy magic can bring to people. Letting people be entertained and bringing happiness to people is something I love to see for myself in others. I want to inspire people with magic.[/quote]
If you can keep this in mind as you slog through the long hours of practice and rehearsal, and the frustrations of performances that just weren't quite ready, then you will reach that place where you can forget what you're doing and lose yourself in the joy of _why_ you're doing it!

Good luck on the journey!
Ed
Message: Posted by: Moncle (Apr 3, 2014 06:28AM)
It's so refreshing to hear all of this from others, I think where I reside magicians haven't quite worked this out. I feel like a lone voice.

Thanks Motown for the book tip, will search that one out.

Ed... youre the man... spot on!
Message: Posted by: HerbS (Apr 4, 2014 01:38PM)
There are many good sources, like the book thread mentioned, to discover resources for learning magic. However, I would also strongly suggest making sure to expose yourself to other influences like photography, art, theatre, history etc. You would be surprised how directly inspiring some of these things can be. For example, David Copperfield has often spoken about how he was inspired by old movies and Jeff McBride's act is heavily influenced by Japanese theatre. Anything that you're interested in outside of magic can help give texture and more meaning to your act. While you're working on learning tricks there is time to let some of this other stuff seep in.
Message: Posted by: pradell (Apr 4, 2014 06:31PM)
In our modern age, everyone wants everything now. It is debated that it takes 10,000 hours to master something and become an expert. See, e.g. article, Why The 10,000 Hour Rule Is A Myth, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/success-book_n_4059506.html

Don't expect to be a "professional" or an expert immediately. Take the time to hone your craft.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Apr 5, 2014 01:14PM)
Pradell,
Nice article. Unfortunately the title is a little misleading. Seems like the adage, Practice makes Pemanent, not Perfect, applies here. That is, 10,000 hours of crappy practice won't make you a great magician. It didn't really address whether 10,000 hours of focused, good, practice would make you an excellent magicain.

I subscribe to the belief that whether it is 10,000 hours or 1,000 hours, it isn't buying the latest trick that makes one a magician. But rather, dedicated effort over a long period of time where improvement is the goal and practice is suplemented by research from past masters and coaching from contemporary masters.

I think we agree that the journey to becoming a skilled magician is measured in years and not months or weeks.

Thanks for the link to the article!

Hudson
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Apr 8, 2014 08:25PM)
Yo DJ Ayur, please tell us the time frame you had in mind on becoming a paid professional magician with mentalism down the road.
The saving grace is if you have a pleasant charming personality and can engage people of ALL ages - you have a tremendous head start - if you don't, the train wreck will be a higher possibility. Since obviously no one on this board knows your aptitude for learning. I'm always amused at how folks jump right into advice without screening the person.
As you practice, keep in mind the experience you want to leave with spectators - As a matter of fact I would venture to say read about magic theory and performance first for a month concurrently with very light study of card and coin magic- realize that what you learn trick wise is basically mechanics training, you are establishing new muscle memory and coordination, etc - magic conditioning if you will - your may be doing the trick, but you're not performing magic, we haven't even addressed timing (tension and relaxation), audience management, outs, improvisation, routining, marketing, booking, scripting, character building, misdirection/re-direction whatever they call today etc.
Yes, do watch you tube and it is very obvious who are the hacks and who are the Pros. Besides, who doesn't learn magic from a 10 year old. Seriously I'd rather point out that the bus is headed for us than throw you under it , because support through a forum is not enough and generally misguided although well intentioned.
If you can, breakdown your magic goals, be your own project manager or you'll just be lost and overwhelmed with sleights, moves, articulating sensible patter, being aware when you flash and correct/adjust.

this is just my opinion, I'm sure there are many who will say everything I just wrote has nothing to do with learning magic. That is why I hope you educate yourself to make the best choices that fit you and your inner being.
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Apr 8, 2014 10:43PM)
Http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=546115&forum=115&start=60
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 9, 2014 08:29PM)
Rklew64 - Given the recommendated sources of books/dvds with a considerable amount of practice, I don't see why I couldn't achieve this within a couple of years from now, 2-3 years roughly.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 11, 2014 08:33AM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, D.J. Ayur wrote:
Rklew64 - Given the recommendated sources of books/dvds with a considerable amount of practice, I don't see why I couldn't achieve this within a couple of years from now, 2-3 years roughly.
[/quote]

Everyone is different regarding ability, aptitude, natural talent etc.,like rklew64 mentions. (2-3 years) ?, I hope you do it.
You can practice for hours on end, think that you are getting pretty good and when you start performing in the real world in front of real people with different personalities, that's when you'll find out you've got ALLOT to learn.

I've been enjoying paid performances several times every week for the last 12 years in restaurants, corporate functions, parties etc. I started my journey 19 years ago. Re-Read what rklew64 posted above. (timing, relaxation, tension, audience management) I'm still honing those attributes. Just learning a Classic Pass correctly and smoothly will take years.....We are not trying to be discouraging rather realistic and if you stick with your goal you will find out and more importantly your real world audience will in no uncertain terms tell you how good you are.

I'm glad you have a goal and are enthusiastic. I really hope you develop a passion and love/respect for the art. There is just so much more than (as was stated above by rklew64))learning the mechanics of an effect. You are going to be dealing with PEOPLE with different backgrounds, personalities, demeanors, intelligence levels and those who won't think twice to tell you they saw through everything you did. To be "good" and most important "entertaining" focus as much time learning theory, people skills, body language ad infinitum as you do learning effects. Your audience will be your best teacher provided you are sensitive to the messages they are sending to you.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 11, 2014 11:06AM)
Thanks davidpaul$, I appreciate the feedback.

It sounds like audience management + people skills are a must. Do you have any recommendations on certain books, videos, etc. that specializes in such departments? Or is it one of those "things" you learn as time goes by with experience, life journies and such?
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 11, 2014 11:44AM)
Nevermind on the audience management! Thanks motown!
Message: Posted by: DallasFrank (Apr 11, 2014 10:09PM)
I would like to make a suggestion on a book that I believe is invaluable to any magician and especially beginners.You should start with the Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay.Don't let the title fool you...there is enough material there to keep you busy for quite a while and will lay a strong foundation in most every aspect of the magical arts.It also includes a section on performance skills. Good Luck and don't get discouraged when you find out what you are up against.
A Journey of Miles starts with a single step.
Frank
Message: Posted by: adrianbent (Apr 12, 2014 09:42PM)
DJ, how old are you or rather what stage of life are you at? Are you living at home with your parents, or retired and looking to start a new career?
What is your source of income right now? If you are anything other than independently wealthy, then as they say "don't quit your day job".
You have to have a source of income for right now. Being a pro doesn't necessarily even mean being a great magician. It could mean being a shrewd businessman. WHAT IT DOES mean is being able to feed yourself with your act. Pay your bills. If you want to choose magic as a career, the best books you might need to read, and training you need to get, may not be about magic.... but about business. So many performers think the money will just "happen". These same people also have their head in the clouds. "Show. Business. " Its two words, consider both carefully.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 15, 2014 09:30PM)
The study of the cups and balls will help in many areas of sleight of hand. Such as timing, retention of vision vanishes, in-transit-action, direction of attention, tension vs. relaxation, spectator management etc. etc. etc.

It would be worth your time and investment to pick up Rafael Benatar's Elegant Cups and Balls DVD. He goes over many of the concepts that you can and should incorporate into all of your magic. http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S6140

I hope you are studying right now...
Message: Posted by: kekoa1 (Apr 20, 2014 05:39AM)
A lot of great advice from the members here on the Café. It's hard to pin point exactly what advice to give you as far as exactly what books or DVD's you could read/watch in order to become a professional magician. A lot of us...(hopefully, I'm not wrong in saying this...nor do I wish to put words in the mouths of other Café members)...have had to find our paths on our own. Meaning, we bought tons of effects...books...DVD's...lecture notes...etc...that we found interesting and thought it might be that one trick, book or DVD that would propel us into the status of professional magician when we first got the magic bug. It hardly ever works out that way...at least not for me...and many other professional magicians that I know personally.
Anything we want to learn or do in our lives will take time, effort and patients in order to learn, grow and have a greater understanding of what it is that we are doing...whether it be with learning magic or learning how to drive a car.
A good question to ask yourself is why? Why do you want to become a "Professional"? And what does being a so called Professional provide for you? Is it because you want to make a living performing magic? Do you want people to look up to you and worship the ground you walk on...or levitate over? Are you stroking your own ego and just want to be famous? It might be one of these scenarios...or all of them...there might be a reason that only you can provide to yourself. Just saying you want to make people happy isn't enough...I think we all strive to make people feel "something" before...during and after our magic performance. Sometimes it isn't a feeling of happiness. Sometimes it's a feeling of bewilderment...perplexity...or maybe even sadness to some extent.
I guess what I'm trying to get at is this...the best advice I can offer you is to stop asking other magicians for their own magic formula or what their idea of what a magic formula is for YOU. Nobody will be able to give you a recipe to becoming a better magician. Lower your bar my friend. You gotta learn to crawl before you can run. Start out with simple effects that are within your level as a beginner.
Having said that...I do not want you to think that I don't have faith in you. I believe that If I can become a professional magician...heck, anybody can. Wait...I take that back. I've known several people over the years that really should stick to their day jobs. Magic isn't for everyone.
Sorry..got off track...having said that...here are some crumbs from my vast vault of knowledge. If you see someone perform an effect that interests you...learn it. Once you learn it...practice it exactly as you saw that other person perform it. Move for move...word for word. You should be able to perform it exactly as you saw it being performed by that other magician. I truly do not see anything wrong with imitating someone we look up to WHEN WE ARE FIRST STARTING OUT...after all...how many of us have done this? Raise your hand if you have...my point exactly. If you have to fake it in order to make it...so be it. Once you are able to fake it...then think about how you can make it your own. You first have to have a complete understanding of the effect...and the only way you can do that is by copying someone first. This method of learning is not for everyone...I'm just suggesting it as a mode to learning new effects in order to help give you somewhat of a foundation to build upon.
Once you've mastered the art of mimicking...then go out and perform that effect for a real person or people in general. Do not perform for your web-cam and post the video on YouTube. Perform it for an audience. Get your feet wet. Take the plunge. When you get home...take notes as to what went great about your performance...and what didn't go so well. Learn from every performance. Then go out the next day and perform that same effect again. Perform it 500 times. Literally...perform it 500 times (OK...maybe just a couple hundred times). You might think I'm joking...I'm not. I've performed the same trick over a thousand times. I would not suggest you do something that I have not. The only way you will get better at any particular effect/trick is to perform it. The effect I've performed over a thousand times is my rope routine...and I can tell you that the way I perform it now for crowds of over 500...is not the same way that I learned it in the beginning. Our effects will evolve as we evolve as people...entertainers and magicians in general.
Once you've gotten to the point where you can perform that effect in your sleep...and have worked out all the bugs..tightened it up...and made it your own...find another effect to work on. I know for myself...I'm at the point where I can work on a couple different tricks at the same time...but for you...just stick with one at a time. Trust me...otherwise you will end up like most of us magicians...with a house full of unused magic...or magic that we thought was perfect and it ended up in that infamous magic drawer. And no...you cannot have any of my old magic effects/props. Why....?
Because you have to earn my respect as a magician. I truly feel that kids today have it really easy in regards to learning magic. I can say this because I'm one of them. I'm not a kid...but I appreciate the fact that I can learn pretty much anything I want with the click of my mouse. I hear stories from old timers like Allen Okawa say things like, "If you want to learn magic...read a book on magic." Personally, I feel he is right to some degree. Books are a great source of learning magic...and it forces you to use your own imagination and ideas on what the effect should be for yourself...but, books are not the only source in this day and age. Kids today think that if they just learn a bunch of tricks poorly...and then go out and perform them poorly for strangers...all the while videotaping themselves...praying for that ginormous reaction where the lady starts screaming, "Oh my god...how'd you do that!!?? You're the devil!" and then faints...falls to the floor...and the last thing we see on screen is you springing the cards all over her lifeless body. Oh wait...the last thing we see is the palm of your hand as it reaches for the camera lens...fade out. Kids today think that they are now professional magicians and start making their own business cards. I say please listen to somebody other than yourself...get a mentor.
Lastly...join a magic club in your area. Whether it be the S.A.M...or the I.B.M...or the F.B.I...it doesn't matter...just join a local assembly...and the National while your at it. You can find a mentor there. If that person doesn't work out..find a new magic buddy or mentor. If that doesn't work out...

You can always sit alone in your room and make videos of yourself performing your perfect pass and then upload it to YouTube.

Seriously, best of luck on your journey....hope something I said made some kind of sense for you. Just be yourself and find people who you can learn and grow from.

Aloha,

Kekoa
Message: Posted by: hdejong (Apr 21, 2014 07:32PM)
The 2 most useful resources for me when I was starting out by far was Mark Wilson's complete course in magic and penguin's born to perform card magic.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 22, 2014 01:40AM)
Kekoa1, that was very helpful indeed and it made plenty of sense, thank you for taking the time to write that essay!
Message: Posted by: kekoa1 (Apr 22, 2014 05:13AM)
@D.J. Ayur ...I'm glad that you were able to see through my sarcasm and hopefully, you understand that I do wish you all the best on your magical journey! We all have to start somewhere and learn not only from our success but our set-backs as well. Never give up...

Good luck and aloha!
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Apr 22, 2014 09:00AM)
I'm not a pro, and only a beginner. But from my research into hundreds of reviews and 'best' threads etc, my personal 5 year plan for magic development is based around:

a) Mark James Supercharged Classics - chop cup routine (with Morrisey Chop cup)& cards
b) Richard Sanders Fibre Optics - rope routine (with BTC 1)
c) 'Pop' Hadyn Mongolian Pop Knot - rope routine
d) Messado rings - close-up linking rings routine
e) Baxt, Boy and Bucket - Miser's Dream routine
f) Bob White Mailini Egg Bag - egg-bag routine (with Malini egg bag)
g) Tony Clark Paper Balls OTH2000 - PBOTH routine

Cards - Selected material from: Royal Road to Card Magic; Gerry Griffin's Complete Card Magic DVD; Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles DVD series; Scarne on Card Tricks; Mark James Supercharged Classics; Lovell's Packet Killer DVD; Schultz's Miracles without Moves DVD; BBM's Ultimate Self-Working Card Tricks series; Lorayne's Close-Up Card Magic.

Extras: Jamie Grant's Industrial Revelation; Hecklau's Newsflash 2.0; Scotch and Soda coin trick; CMH rubber band trick; Joshua Jay's Hand-Picked Astonishments: TT

Theory: Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment; Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic; Fitzgee's The Trick Brain; Jamie Grant's The Approach

That's enough to keep me going for a lifetime I reckon, and at least 5 years of practice and performance development.

Maybe you might benefit from my research too. :)
Message: Posted by: Kbuck54 (Apr 22, 2014 09:06PM)
The best success is gained by learning to perform just two or three effects, and do these three better then anyone else. Then add material as you deem worthy. If you are really new, then as mentioned earlier, the Tarbell books and the Mark Wilson complete course in magic will give you principle knowledge. Just my two cents worth. Good luck and welcome.
Keith
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Apr 23, 2014 12:20AM)
I often see Wilson's course recommended, and I agree it's a good general magic book.

But how many of Wilson's effects (straight from the book) do professionals perform?
Message: Posted by: kekoa1 (Apr 23, 2014 07:26AM)
Terrible Wizard...The Mark Wilson book is a good start for beginners. And some might perform the effects exactly as described in his book. As for how many pro's perform those same effects straight out of the book...my guess is not many. That's kind of like asking how many professional piano musicians play "chopsticks" in their sets? The way I see it...the tricks in that book are designed for the beginner...to get them started. Eventually, I'm sure they move on to more advanced effects as they grow as magicians. It is a good book though.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Apr 23, 2014 09:22AM)
Fair enough kekoa.

But couldn't a case be made for offering beginners 'working' magic at a suitable level? The Wilson book is quite overwhelming in its scope for the beginner, and yet even after going through much of it you'd still not have much professional level magic.

A number of general purpose magic courses seem to fall into the same trap. I'm beginning to think that a better course might be accessible, yet specific, texts for specific items/props. For example, maybe a beginner who was interested in cards would be better served by the RRTCM and Griffin's Complete Card Magic DVD rather than Wilson's or Johsua Jay's Introduction Courses? Or if someone was interested in rope magic then Fiber Optics might be a better place to start than Wilson.

That said, though, I'm glad that Wilson is on my shelf as it really does offer a comprehensive overview and is good value for money in that sense. However, if someone wanted to know the shortest route from A to B, beginner to pro, I'm not sure that Wilson would be more than a reference tool.

Then again, I'm no pro - so this is all hot air, really. :)
Message: Posted by: kekoa1 (Apr 24, 2014 08:20PM)
Terrible Wizard...I totally agree with you. The Wilson book is a bit overwhelming for someone just starting out...although a lot of information and diverse effects...there should be something in there the beginner can digest and learn from.

As far as someone just wanting to learn cards...you are on the right track...RRTCM is a great resource for the beginner. As would someone that wishes to learn just coins would fair a great deal from let's say David Roth's material. I think it all depends on what that person starting out is drawn to and their skill level. Even though the Wilson book isn't all glitz and glitter...kind of boring in my mind...it's still a good place to test the waters. If I wasn't familiar with basic rope magic...and dove straight into Fiber Optics for the first time...not knowing how to add patter...or angle issues...or how to routine an effect...then I'm not sure the true beginner would be able to easily get through that particular routine...although it is a whole lot cooler to watch then "here's a long length of rope...watch as I find the middle and bring it up to the top...now watch as I take this pair of scissors and cut the rope...and now it is restored!".
I really feel that every magician has to find their own road...go through a lot of different material and references before they can narrow down what truly makes them excited to learn. It's just a learning process that most magicians will have to go through in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 25, 2014 02:02AM)
It's important to look through everyone's opinion, as we all have our own preferences and what not. All the info you guys are posting are very helpful!
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Apr 25, 2014 07:58AM)
You might even want to check out Harry Lorayne books.
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (Apr 25, 2014 01:02PM)
Mhm! Indeed, I was glady informed your Close-up magic books were insightful to say the least!
Message: Posted by: hashtagmagic (Dec 25, 2014 06:14PM)
Dj Ayur, your name brings me great joy.
Message: Posted by: Big Sam (Dec 30, 2014 07:56PM)
DJ

The best advice I ever got was to get out there and perform. Find a place to bomb (we all do) and go for it. You'll make mistakes and these can be the best learning experiences of all time.

Many of the resources listed in this thread have simple, easy-to-master tricks. Practice these until you've got them down cold and then get in front of an audience. Nothing can teach you how to perform better than experience. And, as soon as the performance is done, find a quiet area to take notes on how it went and how you'll do it differently next time. And then get out there and do it again (and again, and again . . .)

Good Luck!
Sam
Message: Posted by: ymumagic (Dec 31, 2014 07:53PM)
Hey DJ,

Someone mentioned it before, I just wanted to add that Michael Ammar's "easy to master card miracles" DVD set is what changed me from the little kid with the cheap magic sets to the professional that I am now.
I still perform plenty of his material :)

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: frankvomit (Dec 31, 2014 09:25PM)
And his money miracles set as well! :)
Message: Posted by: dannywu (Jan 1, 2015 08:30PM)
For great mentalism, pick up the Osterlind Mind Mysteries DVDs