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Topic: It's about time I did this!
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 18, 2021 10:49AM)
I have finally got round to posting an "introduction" to myself...

When I was little my dad sometimes did amateur magic shows for the family at birthday parties etc. Looking back I see that he used very basic methods (eg Svengali deck to force) - but he had good presentation. My brother and I begged him to tell us the secrets - then we would shout them out when he performed!!! Obviously we were just over-excited kids, but we must have been very annoying. I learnt a valuable lesson from that - don't tell, especially children!

As a teenager I went through a phase of doing a few tricks with my friends. I think one of my pals had a magic book. Or maybe a relative who taught her a few tricks, which she showed us. (Yes it was a she).

Many years later (about 20 years ago) I became interested again. I wanted to do a few simple tricks for my daughter. To be honest, I became quite obsessed for a while. The internet was relatively new, so it was a novelty to be able to watch videos online. AND buy books and DVD's. I spent a LOT of money. I think I had the idea that I could "buy" knowledge (and skills). I guess I was looking for some sort of Holy Grail. This lasted about a year. Then I forced myself to stop completely, because it was consuming too much of my time. I was on the Café back then - but I think all my old posts must have been archived at some point.

Fast fwd 20 years... during the lockdown, I had to stop work, and all my other hobbies, and nearly all social contact. One day I was clearing out old boxes, and stumbled across all my magic stuff. I started reading a few books, and - hey presto - was quickly obsessed again! But actually I think reading, watching and practicing magic helped keep me sane during the last 18 months.

I still buy more books, DVDs & downloads than I will ever be able to work through, but not quite as compulsively as before. (And as before, most are too advanced!)

I have now forced myself to concentrate on learning a few simple skills and tricks to create a small repertoire to act as a "foundation" to build on.
I tend to look for effects that pack a real punch, but are within my limited abilities (still pursuing the Holy Grail in other words).
The best decision I have made so far was to learn a memorised stack (Joyal in my case). This has catapulted me forward to be able to do miracles, with only simple sleights (or none at all). Learning a stack was actually much easier than I expected. And of course I had plenty of time on my hands during the lockdown.

I have always been a "problem solver", so I enjoy spending time working out variations of tricks I like. Typically I will see an effect I like, but the sleights are too hard for me; so I try to figure out my own solutions.
Maybe one day I might even publish some. Who knows?