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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Influences (Question for Newbies) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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solidoak
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35 years ago I met Damon Steiger, a magician in his late 20's. He ran a local shop and never hesitated to teach a youngster much more than the typical directions contained. Can you imagine a shop owner who actually wouldn't sell you a trick if he didn't think you would like it? Yes, I know there are others like him out there... but not many.

I love to watch the modern magicians, but when I think of real magicians, it's the guys like Damon who not only have the talent, but also the real love for magic and the people they are performing for (and teaching).
Rick
LeeDillingham
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I would have to say that Eugene Burger and Jeff McBride were the most influential in becoming a full time pro.
Magicnevets
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I'm not sure of his name but I just remember being a young kid and this GREAT Magician made sponge balls multiply in MY hand!!! I wasn't aware that anyone could learn and just put it down to the fact that he must have been born a magician. Then one day (many years later) I stumbled across a magic shop and nearly wet my pants with delight. I've been into magic on and off ever since.
I don't perform illusions... it just looks like I do!
DaddyDoodle
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You know, I'm not a real fan of their stunts, but lately I've been enjoying the impromptu stuff by David Blaine and Criss Angel. While I realize that they enjoy the luxury of having a camera that can adjust angles, it is good viewing to see their interactions with people.

And while, as I said, I'm no fan of their stunts, but you have to give those 2 credit for doing things basically after the same pattern as Houdini. His escapes were largely PR boosts to his name and allowed him to be recognized for the more traditional magic.
Smile Tally-ho! And Tuscarora too! Smile
tropicalpenguin
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Oh, man.
There was (originally) a magi who always performed at my mom's company picnics. Then, when I got older (to around 3rd or 4th grade), I actually go to help him unload his truck before his set. As I grabbed a case, I looked up and noticed a bird cage, holding doves for the Dove Pan that he always used (and always floored me). That realization got me interested. Then, there were the "World's Greatest Magician" specials on TV with Mac Brown as the MC. There I saw the Pendragons.....

Oh man, the Pendragons. Their Metamorphosis and their person through a person thing... It was never enough for me to just say "oh, man I wish I knew how they did that?" I had to find out. I've been hooked ever since.

PS I'm still trying to figure out that person through a person thing..........
-The penguin has spoken Smile

-How could 52 pieces of cardboard ever bring so much joy?
Adam Teece
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David Copperfield was the first magician I saw that really got me interested in Magic. I tried learning a couple things when I was young but quickly lost interest and got into computers instead because I could learn it faster. I got somewhat interested again when David Blaine started making his shows, but I thought he was a little too weird for me, especially how "physically exhausted" he was after each effect. Then I started watching Mindfreak, and that is what really got me into learning magic again. I know there are people out there that don't like him, and I definitely don't agree with everything he does, but he got me more focused on getting the amazed/astonished reaction from people than the tricks themselves. And the more I learn, the more I find out about other amazing magicians and how amazing the whole magic community is.
Ananda
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I was at a neopagan event and attended a dramatic show by Magnus (Jeff McBride). It left a great impression on me. Recently the film "The Illusionist" and a few other events conspired to send me in the direction of learning more about magic. It's quite an interesting subculture!

Best,
-Ananda.
"All phenomena are like a magically conjured illusion, like a mirage, like the moon reflected in water, like empty space, like an echo, like a dream, like a shadow, like an image in a mirror." - Nagarjuna
Banester
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My Grandfather. He used to do shows for us everytime we visited him in New Jersey. He put on some great performances and I remember the "Zombie" in paticular, he did it with a spooky theme and it was great! I went to a couple of magic conventions with him at an early age which sparked my interest even more and emptied my piggy bank. Unfortunately where I live there were no magic shops even remotely close (Upstate NY) and the internet wasn't around back then. My Grandfather gave me a custom magic set for Christmas one year, so I tinkered with what I had at the time. As I got older I put magic on the back of my mind only pulling it out every now and then. Then came college, marriage and now kids and I have found my love for magic again. I do so small shows for my kids and hope to expand to friends and family and eventually I would love to do kids shows, birthdays and other special events.
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Banester
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My Grandfather. He used to do shows for us everytime we visited him in New Jersey. He put on some great performances and I remember the "Zombie" in paticular, he did it with a spooky theme and it was great! I went to a couple of magic conventions with him at an early age which sparked my interest even more and emptied my piggy bank. Unfortunately where I live there were no magic shops even remotely close (Upstate NY) and the internet wasn't around back then. My Grandfather gave me a custom magic set for Christmas one year, so I tinkered with what I had at the time. As I got older I put magic on the back of my mind only pulling it out every now and then. Then came college, marriage and now kids and I have found my love for magic again. I do so small shows for my kids and hope to expand to friends and family and eventually I would love to do kids shows, birthdays and other special events.
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
MagiClyde
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My early childhood influences were a magician that did a show at my local church and a friend of the family that worked part-time as a clown. Saw 'The Magician' on TV and several specials with Doug Henning and Blackstone Jr. Even the Ed Sullivan show peaked my interest. I can still remember Topo Gigio and Lambchop. To me, all of it was pure magic.

Later, I did get 'The Amateur Magician's Handbook' while in high school and tried to learn some tricks from it, but had problems handling the cards (Still do, due to my palm size). I also read quite about about the magicians of the past and found their lives fascinating.

It wasn't until the late 90's that a friend of mine, who now goes by the stage name of 'Dave Carl' did some tricks when we both worked for Lucent Technologies. He was impressed with my knowledge of magic and many of the historical figures that made the gendre possible. He told me all about the big magic convention held in Columbus every year called Magifest. It has been a major love affair ever since.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
ChristopherM
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One of my friends who is a member of the Young Magicians Club (based here in London) says his favourite magician and greatest influence is Jay Sankey. Jay and his releases are very popular amongst the YMC and young magicians at large. It's good that Jay responds to many beginners' FAQs on his website as well, helping with their learning and so on.

Thanks

Chris
James Alan
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My first inspiration to learn magic myself came from Teller. In one of their books (I gave it away and I can't remember the title) he talks about practicing the cups and balls late into the night with old cups and balls made from tin foil.

I decided that would be something cool to learn, and it was the start of a great adventure.

(On a side note, I wish I'd kept the book because I've forgotten who magician was that Teller was staying with and which famous magician the beat up old cups had belonged to. If anybody has the book and could help me out, I'd like to know. Thanks)
James Alan

Magic & Martini | Blog | Facebook
epsilon97
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My first taste of magic was from a tourist magic shop in New Orleans. The guy was performing with Ricky the Raccoon and did Scotch & Soda for me. From that point on, my interest was piqued. But that was twenty some years ago. Now I am rekindling that passion.
Theodore Lawton
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Like Epsilon97, my passion is rekindled after many years. Past influences? Doug Henning, Harry Blackstone Jr., David Copperfield and although he was a lousy magician; Houdini. I still remember the report I did on Erich Weiss way back in grade school.

I used to get a magic catalog as a kid called Holiday of Magic that my friend and I loved. There was a trick in there called the Lollapalooza- that word cracked us up. After fumbling around with cheap magic junk as a kid I drifted away from magic until recently; when I realized that magic can be fun, entertaining, challenging, fun, rewarding, fun and fun. And as a Christian it is another way for me to share the gospel or teach kids bible lessons.
The Amazing Pog
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I've always enjoyed watching TV magic, and the biggest TV magician of my generation for the UK is undoubtedly Paul Daniels. However, what got me into trying to learn magic just a couple of months ago was Julian Mathers website. I can't recall how I stumbled across it, or what I was searching for, but it struck a chord and I was hooked! Smile
'One of the safest ways to make a good performance is to have tricks which work so easily, that mechanics can be forgotten and every attention devoted to presentation' - Corinda
DiabolusMagic
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I think like a lot of magicians my age one of my big influences was watching the huge David Copperfield specials on TV as a kid. I was also, as a child, picked from the audience once at a state fair to help with a cut and restored rope routine, so I've known from an early age how entertaining a live magic show can be.
Satanas vobiscum et cum spiritu tuo
Theodore Lawton
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Andre- thanks for mentioning Tommy Wonder. Now that I'm back into doing magic I actually saw some of his stuff for the very first time only a couple years ago. What an amazing performer! His ambitious card plus ring box is fantastic- well; really, everything I've seen of his looks great. The way he uses misdirection in the cups and balls is incredible. Love Tommy Wonder.
JamieUK
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I am a beginner - when I was a kiddie I used to watch Paul Daniels (he was the biggest magician here back then), and used to love it. My dear parents bought me a magic set, but unfortunately it was a bit rubbish, and that essentially was the end of it until last year (nearly 30 yrs later...). A combination of being floored at a wedding by what I now know is the Inv****** D*** (still love it), and watching "fool us" on TV - said to the Mrs "I always wanted to learn magic", and she (very cleverly) said, "well why don't you". You can't argue with that. So Paul Daniels, an unnamed wedding magician in Chester, and Teller doing Misers Dream.
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