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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How'd you know...advice needed. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Vynos
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Well, I'm 52 years old, and just starting to get interested in "magic" as something I might enjoy in my old age. I'm also a "Jack of all Trades", and jump from hobby to hobby. I have numerous musical instruments I don't play, and books on hundreds of different subjects that I just think are pretty interesting; though I've only read about 1/3 of them. The only interest that has been constant in my life has been computer gaming.

That said, I was interested in magic for a while in my 20's, and never lost my fascination for it. I'm hoping that it will be something to keep me entertained through my twilight years, though my fairly small hands are making some of the slights a problem.

I'd say "go for it", and have fun.

By the way, "Hi" to all you folks on the forum. I really enjoy reading all the posts here.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Sulla placed heads on
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Do learn a few tricks. And don't make the mistake many young hobbiests make. Don't spend lots of money to learn magic. Most of the really good stuff comes from using your hands, your voice and your ability to tell a good tale. If you want lots of tricks, people will sell them to you, but you won't be good at magic, you won't have fun learning it, and you'll wonder why it's such an expensive hobby.

Books, cards, a few odd little props, and practice are what you need. And they are what will bring you pleasure.

John

A hobbiest who started in his 40s.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
2113 Posts

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The term "self working tricks" is kind of misleading. Yes, there are many tricks that do not take difficult sleight of hand, or expensive equipment, but magic is a performing art and learning to be a good performer is what leads to success.

However, it is a wonderful hobby even if you don't perform. You will find magical hobbyists in many magic clubs that collect books or props, read about magic, watch magic shows, etc., but don't actually perform. And, there's nothing wrong with that.

But if you elect to actually do tricks, then you will need to spend at least some time learning a decent presentation. You're not going to become the life of the party if your tricks do not entertain. And that has more to do with the performance than the actual trick.

But, it is a wonderful hobby, and like most, will reward those that put something into it. One thing to recommend it as a hobby is the fraternity of magicians. They are, by and large, fun loving, gregarious, friendly and helpful. Time spent with them is almost inevitably enjoyable.

Denny Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
mightyred75
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Ant1382, it is simple if you love magic and you want to learn it, do it. It doesn't matter what anyone says and I say you are never to old to learn. I have just started learning myself and I am a 30 year old businessman with a wife and hectic social life. I love seeing card magic but decided to learn coin magic first. Now I go into meetings with a coin and pratice palms and sleights in meetings plus it is also a great stress buster. I hope this helps.
Roldero
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Central Florida
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Ant1382,

If you are still looking for a quick "test of the water", check out "Color Monte" on Penguin magic http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=185

I'm an "older beginner" and this packet trick took me about an hour to get down to where I was comfortable with it. I have performed it four times now, and have recieved great reactions every time. The online instructional video you get with the purchase has a very good patter line to go with it, so you have everything you need for a good effect.

I also suggest that you search on "Color Monte" to see how well it is recommended by others.

I will warn you though, not all magic comes this easy and a lot of other sleights take many hours of practice.

Mike
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
1317 Posts

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The only problem that I see is the "Can't keep a secret". Adults don't have enough magic in their lives now and for someone to give away the secret the magic is stolen. I get people asking all the time. My response is simple and maybe illustrative.

If I show a magic trick and I do it well then the spectator is amuzed, amazed, and delighted. Hours later the performance will return to them and bring another smile. Days later even. They may be enjoying the performance even years from now. I've met spectators that have told me about 'this magician in Podunck, Nowhere" that just astounded them 10 years ago.

That is magic.

Once you give away the secret - it's not magic - it's a trick. You have stolen something that might have brought them a smile for years. That is a shame.

What if you aren't able to perform it at that level? Of course you shouldn't, but what if you do? You could expose the secret then next year they attend one of my performances where I WILL do it well, but it's still a trick for them. You've stolen the magic that I'm trying to give them.

My advice is to decide to keep the secrets or to try another hobby. There are lots of very good ones. How about acting in your community theatre? There are hundreds of things that you could do that would make you feel great.

I strongly suggest though, that you decide to keep secrets and then try this hobby out. You don't have to spend a lot of time on it. There's no need to dedicate so many hours to learn to do a 15 minute show or so.

By the way, there are a few tricks that you can learn almost immediately. How fast you learn to put in the performance is then up to you.
acmp
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Elite user
Nottinghamshire
466 Posts

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I was going to suggest colour monty too!

I've been 'in to' magic for about a year now, I've brought around 5 tricks and read some books. I love it.

If you get ccolour monte, lean the 2 or 3 moves it requires, learn the story then show your wife, she'll love it to. just about everyone does.

Yes you need to keep secrets, there are plenty of discussions on the forum as to how to keep them and fend off the persistant questions though. have a search.

I do magic for my family and work mates and I really love it, they can tell when I've leared something new and they ask me to show them, it feels good.

I'd say get CM and a Svengali deck and learn some magic. I really don't think this will kill magic or ruin anyone's livelyhood, just keep your feet on the ground and have fun.
acmp<><

"Well if I had one wish in this god forsaken world, kids
It'd be that your mistakes would be your own"
IT Magic
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Regular user
Australia
113 Posts

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Father of 2, own business, bugger all time, but I perform and learn.

Don't worry about practice, find tricks you like and the practice comes, a couple of hours a day practice sounds like more than it is, I always have cards and coins on me, so I can practice where ever. Watching TV, Driving (coin palming practice only Smile ) my coins are also the fiddle thing I use when I lean back from my work to think or read. You will be surprised where practice time can be found, you don't need much or any space and time to practice a Goshen pitch.

As for secrets, my wife and few closest friends know most of my stuff and they are an invaluablesource of feedback and great "crash test dummies". I don't spend time gazing in the mirror practicing but these friends and I get together atleast once a week anyway so now every week includes Brendan's latest trick.

If you are not part of a magic community friends to chat to about tricks are essential.

Don't restrict yourself to cards, there are some great gimmicks and mentalism stuff that is easy to start with too.

with 3 kids you will soon be the coolest dad in the area, I certainly am Smile

Good luck and HAVE FUN

Brendan
Magic, Illusion and Data Management
www.stardockmagi.blogspot.com

I picture a world of love and peace, a world without war where people live together in harmony.
I also picture us attacking that world 'cause they just wouldn't expect it
Foucault
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Elite user
New Jersey, USA
424 Posts

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You've received some good advice here. Since it hasn't been mentioned, I'm going to mention another great book for you to look out for. I would say it's the only book you need, to start with:

Magic for Dummies, by David Pogue

I think it will present just the right amount of information for you, in just the right way - and please note, I'm not accusing you of being a Dummy! Smile

Firstly, there are some powerful, but easy to perform tricks, many contributed by famous magicians.

More importantly, to my mind, this book gives you the part many other beginners' magic books fail to give you: how to entertain.

It explains why the secrets are important to keep (the truth is that the secrets to so many magic tricks are so darned mundane, that if you know, you're likely to have the reaction "is that it?" You'll learn what to do if someone pressurizes you to tell them the secret.

The author has a great sense of fun, and that's infectious. He doesn't assume that everyone reading the book wants to become a professional; he's there to tell you what a fun and fulfilling hobby magic is.

Have fun with magic, and please stick around to let us know how you're getting on!
MattWayne
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Manhattan, NY | Studio City, CA
624 Posts

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My two cents:

Magic for me is both a great icebreaker, hobby, lifestyle, and occupation. It's both enjoyable and entertaining (even for me.) Every day differs. No one day is the same. You meet so many people daily/weekly/monthly/and yearly. You also make a lot of good friends in the business.

All of my friends are entertainers. As of now- no other person in my cell phone is a laymen. And I have nearly 60 contacts. I just like to talk and socialize with people who know magic. I could sit for hours at a luncheon or dinner with performers and just talk. The greatest entertainer friends I have are the ones that can talk about something other than magic- and make it just as interesting.

It just shows either how addictive/dedicated I've gotten to magic, or just shows how big of a dork I am. Ha; either way I'm happy that I chose the magic route.

As far as getting into it too late. I don't think that's a big deal. The saying, "Can't teach a dog new tricks"- doesn't apply to magic. Anyone from any age, from any background, FROM ANY area of the world can grasp the art of magic. Just think back to magic history 101. Egyptians (cups and balls), India (street performers/ the famous rope trick), Japan and the Kabuki theatre/magic principles. Every part of the world is affected by it, or it has made an artistic impact in some way.

I think this post of mine could be considered a rambling, but alas I'm finished.

Best regards,

Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
The Celebrity Magician™
www.CelebrityMagician.com / youtube.com/celebritymagician / twitter.com/RealMattWayne /
Facebook.com/CelebrityMagician

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
Spokesperson behind, TouchTricks
Parson Smith
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Inner circle
1939 Posts

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Ant1832,
Welcome to the Café and to the world of magic.
I believe that there is room for you in the magic world.
While you may never be a world class performer, you can spend as much time as you have reading magic, history of magic, types of magic and more.
You will learn things that you never thought of.
There is a gentleman named Martin Gardner who has written tons of wonderful stuff.
You could spend years reading and learning about him.
Mark Wilson has a wonderful and inexpensive course in magic that you can find in many book stores. There are thousands of books, lecture notes and manuscripts that can keep you busy for years. As you read and study, you will find what you are drawn to. You WILL keep the secrets and you WILL have fun.
Come on. Jump in. The water is fine.
Peace,
Parson
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
+++a posse ad esse+++
abc
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South African in Taiwan
1081 Posts

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Amazing!
Are you telling me there are magicians in this world who spend 4 hours a day reading magic forums and books and then they spend 4 hours practising and then they still perform full time.
No wonder there are so many posts about picking up girls with magic. It seems like your whole life revolves around it.
I will go on record as saying that there is no magician in the world - unless he is a dedicated full time magic professional - who practises more than 2 hours a day structured. If you practise correctly for 4 hours a day every day you should be the world magic champion.
Ant1832,
There are really many effects where you will grasp the working and whatever is required to do it in a few minutes. Then the time really required is to make that an entertaining effect. Note that I say entertaining not presentable. Besides you don't need to sit in your room for 4 hours and practise to become a good magician. You can walk around and practise a coin roll while you are at work or at home. You can practise card shuffles and flourishes at the same time. You can learn good presentation skills by watching other magicians perform and that in itself is a lot of fun. Studying magic as a hobby is not like taking up Kung Fu. It does not require set gradings or set practise times and it is a lot more useful. I hope you do it and I hope you have a lot of fun.
My last statement will get a lot of other magicians boiling under the collar. But here goes. Try to keep the secrets but if you don't the only person you are ruining it for is yourself. lay audiences will only consider the real secret revealed if it is revealed by someone they consider a real magician. If David Copperfield reveals a secret everyone will know about it in a few days. If you reveal a secret your friends will probably smile a say he is not a real magician besides I have seen a trick that looks the same and that magician didn't do it like that - even if the method was exactly the same. When you study magic the first person who will experince the magic is you. What you do with what you learn is up to you. If you are walking in the street and a little kid is crying and you produce candy from behind there ear and give it to them are you going to say "hey little boy, I can't keep a secret. Let me show you how I did that" Obviously no. So if your friends also learn how to that I hope they go around giving screaming kids candy rather than telling everyone how it is done which most probably they won't.
Good luck and welcome to the magic Café.
Parson Smith
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I have been doing Slydini's vanishing ball bit for 30 years.
Every one who has ever seen it knows the secret and yet I have entertained thousands of people with it.(It is an effect that has a great message.)
It took a very short while to learn it and it has stayed with me and been my friend.
I have done it impromptu and on stage with over 500 audience members.
I think that it is important for new magicians to know that they don't need to do "everything" in order to be a good entertainer.
And, knowing "everything" does not make one a magi.
Peace,
Parson

BTW: It is only when we learn how little we really know that the magic begins.
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
+++a posse ad esse+++
Fescue
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I am 53 and started studying conjuring a year ago. I try to practice @ 2 hours a day with coins, cards, ropes, and/or balls and I'm having a great time of it. I read literature on the subject daily as well. I also just learned how to juggle -'never thought I would do that in my lifetime. Enjoy the path if you choose to walk it!
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