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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » This beginner is all set. To work! (long post) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Lord Anacho
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Hi all,

Returning to the art after 25 years, this 48-year old beginner has been lurking around everywhere in this Café. I hearkened carefully the advice of the wise and the sage. Then, I went out and spent an indecent amount of hard-earned Euros.

This is what I can work with:

* Books (Newly Acquired)
The Complete Course in Magic / Mark Wilson
The Tarbell Course / Harlan Tarbell (all eight volumes)
The Royal Road to Card Magic / Hugard & Braue
Card College / Roberto Giobbi (only volumes 1 and 2, but I'll get the others as well)
Modern Coin Magic / Bobo (in the mail this very morning)
The Magic Book / Harry Lorayne (2nd hand copy)
The Amateur Magician's Handbook / Henry Hay (2nd hand copy)
Now You See It, Now You Don't / Bill Tarr
The Ostrich Factor / Gerald Edmundson
The Expert at the Card Table / S.W. Erdnase

* Books (already in my possession)
Magic and Showmanship / Henning Nelms (the bible)
The Complete Magician / Marvin Kaye
Routined Manipulation / Lewis Ganson (3 volumes in one)
13 Steps to Mentalism / Corinda
Card Tricks Without Skill / Paul Clive (got that twice, actually)
The Art of Close Up Magic / Lewis Ganson (only volume 1)
Card Manipulations / Hugard (all 5 volumes in one)
Billy McComb: 25 Years Wiser / Lewis Ganson
The Leipzig Book / Lewis Ganson
... and some "lesser" books.

* DVDs
The Royal Road to Card Magic 5-DVD set / R. Paul Wilson
Modern Coin Magic by Bobo 4-DVD set / MagicMakers (Don't shoot me, I got this from eBay. What did I know?)
The Complete Cups and Balls / Michael Ammar (both volumes)
Easy to Master Card Miracles / Michael Ammar (volume 1)

* Several odd pamphlets explaining tricks and routines lying around
Some Maurice Fogel Effects (Headline Prediction; Houdini Seance, ...)
Symphony of the Rings / Dai Vernon
Rainbow Ball Production
...

* Props (newly acquired)
12 decks of Bicycles (6 red, 6 black)
One set of gaffed cards
One Way forcing deck
Close Up Mat
One Chop Cups and Balls set (with two sets of crocheted balls; one unfaked and one faked set)
Magic Wand

* Props (from the old days)
Some silks, some rope, some sponge balls
An Okito Coin Box
Svengali Deck, Stripper Deck, Reader Deck (but not in Bicycle version)

* Some small packet tricks and puzzles
A Coin Tube
A Bill Tube
Supreme's Magic Nut
A Card Box
Some Packet Card tricks (Twisting faces...)
Some lesser Tenyo Tricks (Card through glass; pencils through coins...)

* A Computer, a webcam, and a loving wife

SO WHAT TO DO NEXT?

The shopping spree must stop. Practicing and rehearsing must start.

* Practice
For cards, I'll follow Card College and refer to RRTCM and the 5-DVD set by Paul Wilson to check myself.
For Coins, I'll follow Bobo, referring to the DVD-set.
I'll study, practice, and rehearse the Cups and Balls using Ammar's DVD.

* Rehearse
I'll build a small act, six card effects only to be used as an entrance exam for a magic club. I have three clubs to choose from and will probably apply to two of them. There is one in my own town, but in the old days, they were a bit amateurish in the bad sense of the word. Shoddy magic and shabby organization. But that was 25 years ago, so I'll give them a try. They meet once a month. There is another club; a 30 minute drive from where I live. They meet every fortnight, and I am a bit more interested in joining there, as one of their members is a guy I consider one of the best and most accomplished and experienced magicians of Belgium.

* Last word
I haven't really made up my mind where I want to go with magic. I had my days of glory on the stage as an amateur actor, so there isn't really a big ambition to perform. I want to be busy with the art again, practice, meet and talk with the like minded, and then I'll see where all this takes me.

Anyone care to comment?

Ciao for now,

Erik
"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything" (Alfred Borden in The Prestige)
Andy the cardician
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Sounds like a good plan. Best of luck.
Cards never lie
professorwhut
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Hello Erik,

I, too, started over in magic about 2 years ago, after a 10 year gap, at the age of 45. My primary focus in the beginning was parlor magic. Now, my focus is on close up magic with mainly cards and cups & balls. You seem to be a lot more focused than I was (am), I tend to get overly anxious and try to learn too much at once. I still need to work on that.

I do regret, however, waiting so long to study the cups and balls. This has now become my favorite effect.

Good luck to you.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
Father Photius
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You have enough material to keep you studying for several years. The problem might be too much magic. When you have so much facing you, it can be very overwhelming. Take either the Mark Wilson course and start working through it, or the Tarbell course and start working through it. (I'd advise the Mark Wilson course, as it is shorter and more doable in the short term.) That course gives you a pretty wide exposure to the various areas of magic. Once you have gone through it, you will have a better idea of what areas interest you for further study. Use Gerald Edmunson's book, The Ostrich Factor, to plan your study and practice. Don't try to tackle it all at once, you have way too much on that plate.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
mmreed
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Sounds like you have the classics. That will keep you moving far beyond the plunge into the earthly grave!
Mark Reed
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matt kemp
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Once you start practicing with your cups, you will neglect your other props/books/DVDs.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Erik:

If you see typos, it's because I am laughing so hard it's difficult to see the keys. I am sitting here surrounded by magical paraphernalia, which has been mounding up since I reached 50 posts and discovered the sale section.

Perhaps we should form a support group. I am distressingly close to 60, was very interested in magic in the early years, and am now back into it. Fortunately, I have an iron-clad excuse - somehow my grandson became infatuated with magic, and I am his enabler.

It sounds like your wife is supportive, or at least patient. Perhaps she would like to join a group my significant other has formed called "Victims Of Magicians In Training" (VOMIT). They meet as needed to share the anguish.

Let's keep in touch - we have things in common. For now, I must attend to the four boxes that came in today's mail...

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Jaz
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You have enough material to work with, so future buying should now be minimal.

By this time, you must have studied a few tricks and plots that appeal to you more than others.
I suggest that you focus on those few. Build a short act and learn it well.

It's been said that it's about the journey, not the destination.
There is joy in exploring as an amateur and/or hobbyist.
Hopefully, your journey will take you to a nice place.
Enjoy it.

Luck to ya,
molsen
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I second what other people have said, especially photius. You have obviously bought too much and risk getting distracted and scattered, trying to master everything at once.

You have one great thing going for you, though. You seem to realize this (by asking here what to do next). I am not familiar with all the books you've purchased, but I recommend starting with RRTCM (Royal Road...) to get your application act together, and then cracking on with Card College 1&2.

You seem to have invested primarily in cards (I do nothing else, so that is fine by me), so if I were you I'd probably go through Mark Wilson's book to get a deeper sense of the magic, and then revisit RRTCM. When you do, look for tricks where the EFFECT appeals to you and try to work what you have learned about yourself, the principles of magic, and then the technique, into the routine.

Paul's DVDs are excellent, but you really learn so much about THINKING magically by reading some of RRTCM before watching the video. If you first work seriously with the book, you will get ten times more out of the little hints and tips that the DVD is so full of. Don't stay in the book too long, though. If you learn a sleight incorrectly, you can waste a long time unlearning it. I think it will be clear to you when you need to turn on the telly.

This will give you a several year head start, compared to the people that focus on learning impressive sleights of hand but present them with little regard for effect or presentation. I am sure you will thank yourself later if at first you proceed slowly.

Hope this contributes to a successful (re)start in this beautiful art, and WELCOME amongst us! Soon you'll be giving me advice. Smile


EDIT: Corrected misspelling of photius' name, my sincerest apologies!
professorwhut
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Erik,

Are you having fun with your magic?
I bet you are. Good luck, man!
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
Lord Anacho
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Quote:
On 2008-01-30 17:16, molsen wrote:
I second what other people have said, especially photius. You have obviously bought too much and risk getting distracted and scattered, trying to master everything at once.

You have one great thing going for you, though. You seem to realize this (by asking here what to do next).


As you all can see in my original post, I do have a plan and am certainly not trying to "master everything at once."

About buying too much. Well, as I stated, I am not directly interested in getting ready to perform. If I was, then it would make sense to severely limit myself and focus on a few things. But as it is, I am also interested in magic in a theoretical way. Take the Tarbell Course. I look upon this more as a (huge) reference work, rather than a course to be followed. Yet, theory without practice does not really result in understanding. Only experience really gives one a full grip on any subject.

The advice Photius gave was something I already planned to do.
So apart from the study of Card College (in parallel with with RRTCM and the Paul Wilson DVD), Bobo (together with the DVD), and the Cups and Balls, I indeed have a plan to work my way through the Mark Wilson course to get a taste of things. If I find that something appeals to me, say knotting silks for instance, then I would dig into Tarbell to examine various silk effects.

I only say this because some posters echo the idea that I overstretched in acquiring things. Hey, I am not rich, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I could afford all those things. I always (as in all walks of life) like to have a good reference base.

And perhaps some people missed the part in the OP of me preparing a small act as an entrance exam to a club.
Hence, I like to think of myself as focused.

All this being said, I am very pleased with all responses to my post. This place is heaven for any lover of the art. I just hope that one day I can bring something of value to the Café.

Ciao for now,

Erik
"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything" (Alfred Borden in The Prestige)
Lord Anacho
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Quote:
On 2008-01-29 20:22, mandarin wrote:
Erik:

[...]
Fortunately, I have an iron-clad excuse - somehow my grandson became infatuated with magic, and I am his enabler.

[...]

Let's keep in touch - we have things in common. For now, I must attend to the four boxes that came in today's mail...

Jim


My grandson has just seen the change of 3 years. A trifle too young, but who knows what the future will bring? Just to be on the safe side, I'll get ready to be an enabler to him. (Grandson no. 2 is on the way, so if the first one has no interest, I'll go for the other one...)

Ciao for now,

Erik
"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything" (Alfred Borden in The Prestige)
TKE
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You have 3 life times of material. Have fun.
professorwhut
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I also have several lifetimes worth of material and, like Erik, I have a couple of grandkids to enjoy magic with.

BTW, the grandchildren make a great excuse to buy more magic. My wife would NEVER SAY NO to anything that has to do with the little ones!
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
calexa
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I don't think you have "too much" material. You have a lot of reference material, which contains "doublets", and that is the "problem" in my opinion.

For example, you have the Card College books and the Wilson-DVDs. So why do you need Royal Road to Card Magic? Don´t get me wrong, Royal Road to Card Magic is a good book. But in my opinion, you should look for more diversity regarding your next purchases. The same goes, for example, with the Tarbell Course and Mark Wilson's book.

What I want to say is that you need to know where you want to go. You are at the beginning, and that means you don't need a lot of beginners books (but you have a lot on your list). So I see the problem is that you might get distracted because of the lot of sources which cover a lot of similar material.

I suggest - what you have already started with - to get into one specific area and try to get a certain level of knowledge. Then move to another area, but don't forget what you have already learned.

Enjoy the journey!

Carsten
Optimists have more fun.....
TheWhiteye
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I like being surrounded by props. Magicians are the only ones who can make sense of that paraphernalia. The more props you buy, the more you fuel the magic economy. Nevermind becoming scatterbrained, BUY ON!!

And as for mandarin's partner establishing VOMIT. I haven't laughed out loud in front of my computer for quite some time.
Loopback
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I think as long as you are enjoying magic then you should do what makes you happy.

I like most people when they get into/back into magic dropped some serious paycheck on tricks, books, and dvd's. Now ten months later I am glad I tried things out and got a feel for what kind of magic I like.

I currenty spend most of my time with my nose buried in Card College. It's nice to have different resources when it comes time to learn new sleights or techniques.
Aus
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As one has said previously, your collection seems top heavy with card books. Having such a wealth of information it helps to have distinct guidelines so you can focus on the material that you want.

I know from my own experience routining a set of tricks in a prescribed fashion requires a focus ie: the first trick of a act needs something that gains attention and are generally sharp and quick to the point. It also sets the tone of your show, so we have already two requirements that bring an element of focus. This is where theory books such as “Magic & Showmanship by Henning Nelms” hold such value to you as a magician as they offer perspectives that can only improve your magic and distinguishes you from uncle John who does the odd magic trick or two.

Well you might say, I only won’t to perform a few tricks for friends and family so why so much effort. Because it shows to your audience, weather it be family, friends or the queen’s corgi.

I will simply give a link to a essay that outlined my basic routining approach which you may like to supplement your focus of your resources with. Well I say this, don’t spread your focus to much as the old saying goes “The man you tries to catch two rabbits at the same time usually catches nether”.


Routining Magic : http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

Magically

Aus
bik0z
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Quote:
On 2008-02-01 06:14, calexa wrote:
I don't think you have "too much" material. You have a lot of reference material, which contains "doublets", and that is the "problem" in my opinion.


I'm new to card magic and this is only my 5th post here. Smile

I've read somewhere in the Café that someone else mainly reads Card College but often takes a look at Royal Road and Daryl's Encyclopedia DVD, too.

As long as I'm concerned, I think I'll go for Card College (one volume at a time, they are expensive but I like books so much...) in combination with an electronic version (eBook from Lybrary.com) of Royal Road, because it's only $5 and it's searchable.

And I won't buy Royal Road's DVD set, but Double Take instead. And I may purchase Born to Perform at some point because I like Oz very much as a teacher.

Is there a problem with this method? What do you think?

-- Vincent

PS : In addition, I must mention that English is not my native language: Card College seems to be a bit easier to follow in this case. Again, I find both Oz and Daryl are easy to follow in English as a foreign language.

(EDIT: with 5 posts, I do not have access to the sales section of course, so if you know someone who doesn't need Double Take anymore, please send me a PM. Thanks.)
My English sucks, I know it. It's probably better than your French anyway...
atucci
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Erik - not to worry, you're 'preaching to the choir' here.

I got back into the game in 2004 after being out almost 30 years and faced the same problem. The first thing I did was to take my time to decide which area I wanted to focus on. I chose close-up card magic. Specifically looking to study under the Spanish influence like Ascanio, Tamariz and the like. I felt Giobbi represented that best.

That didn't limit my studies to only Giobbi however since what would happen if I disagreed with his approach on something (gasp!) or if for some reason I couldn't execute just like he teaches.

So I decided to suppliment my text books with RRTCM, ECT, EATCT, some of Lorrayne's stuff and others. I also am a big believer in supplimenting my reading materials with practical advice from a mentor or another student who is more advanced than I and from DVD's.

So Giobbi's CD-ROM's for vol 1&2 are in my collection as well as Wilson's RRTCM.

What does this all mean? Well for one I started my studies formally in 2006 and have about five presentations completed (I can perform the moves, I have it scripted and rehearse it on a regular basis)that I have performed for others but am not yet satisfied with yet.

It gets down to why am I in magic? For me it's the pleasure of the study, the practice, the rehearsal of this craft of ours. I enjoy bringing a question or roadblock to my friends either in person or online and hashing out a solution. Then going back to the practice table and trying it again.

If/when I decide that I want to perform for lay audiences on a regular basis then I'll come up with a different approach. And there have been times where I've considered whether I want to bring my magic up to the next level.

If you're inclined head over to my blog to read about my studies. The entries are titled: The Beginner's Diary and is posted to my blog or another magic forum named Connoisseur Conjuring.

Good luck to you!
Tony Tuccillo

Middleburg, Florida
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