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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Recommendations for a magic kit for a beginner? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

HenryH
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Hi guys,
I am just getting started with magic and would like to purchase an all-encompassing magic kit that includes the classic, stand-by magic tricks. What would you recommend? I don't want to spend too much money, but I also don't want some elementary play-kit with photos of kids on the box (LOL).
Hoppini, the Mediocre
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Canada
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Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic (20 bucks or less)
50 foot hank of Magician's Rope (10 bucks)
4 Sponge Balls (5 bucks)
Couple decks of Bicycle cards (5 Bucks)
Seven 50 cent pieces (3.50)
One Thumbtip (3 bucks)
Silk Hankie (3 bucks)
Tinfoil balls and 3 plastic cups from the dollar store.

A years worth of learning for slightly less than 50 bucks.
EndersGame
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Reviewer EndersGame
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One thing that you can't purchase is showmanship and presentation. Read the good advice here and here. Something like Mark Wilson's Complete Course or David Pogue's Magic for Dummies might be a good place to start. Also, see these book recommendations. Hoppini's suggestions are good ones. You can get tremendous mileage of the classic effects with some coins, decks of playing cards, sponge balls, thumb tip, silk handkerchiefs, and cups and balls.
jolly12
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I purchased Mark Wilson's CCinM over 8 months ago, have read it cover to cover once, and have re-read the pages I liked countless times. Well worth the cost!
Hoppini, the Mediocre
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Quote:
On 2008-03-03 16:54, jolly12 wrote:
I purchased Mark Wilson's CCinM over 8 months ago, have read it cover to cover once, and have re-read the pages I liked countless times. Well worth the cost!


Just for the sake of discussion, how far did you get as far as actually learning to do the tricks out of it?
donrodrigo
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U.S.A. and Europe
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Magic and Showmanship, and also How to Win Friends and Influence People.
(My first kit was Marshall Brodien, if spelling serves me right.)
mmreed
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Harrisburg, PA
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I would add in a DVD or two that gives you something more visual to work with. I am a big fan of Jay Sankey. His videos are well done, and his effects are very nice.

Sometimes books, though great in content, can get dry or somewhat confusing in transition from "A" to "B" in effects. Videos help.
Mark Reed
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caligari
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Hi!

I started out with a couple of decks of cards, The Royal Road to Card Magic, a few coins, and lots of practice! Smile

It will also help a lot if you could get together with fellow magi from your area. They'll definitely help make your magic better!
0045
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Hi Henry,

I also started with The Royal Road To Card Magic and one deck of cards.

A few years down the line now, and my "kit" still consists of a pack or two of playing cards and a few other related odds and ends which all fit in my pockets.

I guess I was lucky in that I already knew which direction I wanted to take, although I must admit that I also occasionally do mentalism stuff.

Once you have decided which path you will eventually follow, you will find that your kit list will be considerably shorter than it may appear to be at the moment.

Regards,
0045
Mr. Ree
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Sedona AZ
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Quote:
On 2008-03-03 00:32, HenryH wrote:
Hi guys,
I am just getting started with magic and would like to purchase an all-encompassing magic kit that includes the classic, stand-by magic tricks. What would you recommend? I don't want to spend too much money, but I also don't want some elementary play-kit with photos of kids on the box (LOL).


Hoppini, the Mediocre listed a “make it yourself” magic set.

But I would also be interested in any comments about: “an all-encompassing magic kit that includes the classics”.

I have all the books and DVDs I need for now, maybe too many. Smile
An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.
---- William Bernbach (1911 - 1982) ----

(After 25 years of PCs, everything switched to Macs, June 2008)
konjurer
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Iowa
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I have a web site (http://magic-yeti.blogspot.com) devoted to the amateur or hobbyist magician (like me!). I wrote a little essay on my recommendations for a starting magic kit. Here it the essay in it's entirety...

Quote:
I loved the imagery in the first Harry Potter novel when Harry first learns that he is going off to school to learn magic. Just like when my kids start each school year, Hogwarts students were required to purchase a basic set of magical books and supplies to begin their foray into wizardry; a wand, a cauldron (pewter, standard size 2) and the Standard Book of Spells were among the list. If you're just starting out, like I was not all too long ago, it's hard to know what you should purchase as you're basic set of magical apparatus.

If you ask 10 magicians you'll get ten different answers. After much painstaking research, I'm going to present my starting list of magical supplies. Cards and coins are a great place for a hobbyist or amateur to start because the are very visual, they use common items that people are familiar with and will allow you to build a repertoire of impressive effects however breaking the bank.

I wanted to set an initial budget of $30 so that anyone with a job or a few weeks of allowance will be able to get their foot in the door. My prices reflect the "street price" of the item and not the retail price.

Beginning Cards & Coins Supplies under $30

2-Pack Bicycle Playing Cards $4
Coins (At least 6 Kennedy Half Dollars and a couple English Pennies) $5
Royal Road To Card Magic $10
Modern Coin Magic $10

This modest set of goodies provides enough material to keep a new mage on a budget busy for a year or more. My preference for learning is through DVDs but for $30 you get hundreds of tricks and sleights. Personally, I'm not yet a big fan of Royal Road. But for ten bucks, it is a tremendous value that is chock full of sleights of hand card magic and tricks. The concept is great; start at the beginning and work your way down the "Royal Road to Card Magic." I read it often but it's not an easy read when you've been spoiled by DVDs that provide a more complete learning process. However a single DVD is going to break the budget here. As far as books go, I really like Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.

Cards & Coins under $100

One dozen Bicycles Playing Cards $15 (or as many packs as you can get for $15)
Coins (At least 6 Kennedy Half Dollars and a couple English Pennies) $5
Born to Perform Card Magic DVD $30
In the Beginning There Were Coins DVD $30
Royal Road To Card Magic $10
Modern Coin Magic $10

If you've got a bigger budget, this school shopping list might be the way to go. This fits in with the my theory of learning magic - DVDs provide a superior learning experience with books to provide an incredible reference and trick library. The Born to Perform Card Magic DVD starts out at square one, how to hold the deck and goes through the most basic and useful moves. It sums up the coursework with 4 killer routines. The In the Beginning There Were Coins DVD is similar to Born to Perform Card Magic DVD but with coins. The instruction is outstanding and there is enough material to keep a novice busting their knuckles for months.

Cards, Coins and Cups & Balls under $100

2-Pack Bicycle Playing Cards $4
Coins (At least 6 Kennedy Half Dollars and a couple English Pennies) $5
Royal Road To Card Magic $10
Modern Coin Magic $10
Cups and Balls (copper or brass) $15
Complete Course in Magic with Cups & Balls DVD $38
Wand $15

This back-to-school shopping list breaks out of the cards and coins only routines. The coins and cards are covered in great detail but adds the age-old cups and balls materials. Everyone wants to learn coins and cards but the Cups and Balls exercise a wider variety of skills that can be the foundation of so many other great forms of magic. Cups and Balls cover almost all of the forms of magic; appearances, vanishes, misdirection, transpositions and teleportations. It also teaches you about piecing together routines so that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

I have included the Complete Course in Magic with Cups & Balls DVD. This DVD is taught by Eddy Ray who routinely gets criticized. However this a solid teaching DVD that covers a lot of material for under $40. There may be better DVDs on the subject but this is an outstanding value and fits our budget.

In case you're wondering, the wand is essential in most Cups and Balls routine. The wand is called The Magician's Wand with Brass Tips. It is heavily weighted on the ends which makes it a joy to spin but a pain if you drop it on your foot.

The DVDs mentioned in this blog entry are reviewed elsewhere on this blog.
http://magic-yeti.blogspot.com/2007/12/r......ins.html
http://magic-yeti.blogspot.com/2008/01/r......ith.html
http://magic-yeti.blogspot.com/2007/12/r......ith.html
===========================================
Clever stuff goes here!
Hushai
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Hoppini, the Mediocre, I like your name! When I used to do church basement shows a long time ago, I called myself "Alan the Average, the Modest Magician" and wrote out an introduction for myself that said that they hadn't been able to get any of the GREAT magicians, but they had found at least a mediocre one. Sometimes I would start out a trick by describing in glowing terms some amazing feat of magic that the great magicians had done -- and then say, "But I'm not going to do that for you now. Here's what I CAN do --" and then go into a more modest piece of magic. It was fun.

Also -- and more on topic for this thread -- I agree with your advice about putting together a beginner's magic kit with the items you name. That would be better than any ready-made kit I have ever seen.
Hoppini, the Mediocre
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Well, admittedly, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the Mark Wilson course, and all the stuff you'd need to go through it, would be a great starter kit. It's essentially what I'm working through, right now. I figure it's gonna take me about a year to work through it all...maybe longer if I want to get it all down and performance-ready. So, there's plenty right there.

Problem is, it's easy to get sidetracked and overloaded on info...buying too many books and videos and not actually getting anywhere....especially the way a lot of guys give advice here. For example:

Q: I'm looking for a good way to get rid of the last coin in a Coins Across.

A: 50 different versions of "I like the way Biffo the Amazing does it in Super Duper Coin Trickery, Vol. 32"...a non-answer that basically translates into "buy yet another frigging video".

It's pretty easy to get caught up in that. I say take it a book at a time and let it take as long as it takes.

Of course, I got nothing against throwing in a Svengali deck or a scotch-and-soda for a little instant gratification either. What the heck...it's supposed to be fun, right? Smile
wackyvorlon
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I think it can be great to mix in some self-working tricks with sleights. One trick I do, I use a simple sleight to pocket the gimmick - making it so the end result can be inspected. Smile
natswift
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Colorado
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My 2 cents would agree with Mark Wilson to get started.

Henry Hay's Amateur Magicians Handbook contains a wealth of information and, finally, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic has more coin magic than you'll use in a lifetime!!

Good Luck, and when getting overwhelmed, just back up and concentrate on the material you already own. If you try to keep up with the latest and greatest, that's all you'll ever do; is try to keep up!!
Never forget to dream!

Nathan Smith
nateswift2010@gmail.com
wackyvorlon
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I find the same thing. I have Mark Wilson, David Pogue and Bobo's. There's enough material there for me to spend years learning it.
NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
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I have had the above mentioned 3 must have texts: Bobo's MCM, Royal Road, and Mark Wilsons coffee table CC in M stored away for 8 years or more, I being of course the perpetual nooblet, have never been able to progress past the first few pages before my lack of manual dexterity insisted they get shelved for a more instant gratification hobby. I took up golf instead (no magic for me there either). Well I have recovered them all, dusted them off and am going to take the advice here seriously. I love to watch magic, I've always wanted to be able to perform it, and the older I get the more the kid in me wants to do it for real this time. The newest skill I can apply to this restarted venture is the P-a-t-i-e-n-c-e needed to not give up no matter how many thousands of times I have to retrieve the coin that has rolled under the couch.. to be with the cards I have just shuffled. sigh.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
mmreed
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I support what most have said here...

The Mark Wilson book is a great one.

If you want the definative book set on magic, look at the tarbell series - it is the most widely respected book set on magic.

If you want some mentalism material, check out Corindas 13 steps to mentalism. This is another timeless classic everyone should have.

The royal road to card magic is a great book - there is also a DVD flavor of it if you prefer watching rather than reading. I offer all of these items on my webstore at http://www.magicvault.net, as I am sure most other magic retailers do.

I think a good starter set is:

The Tarbell Books
Sponge Balls
Deck of Cards
Scotch and Soda set

Also - check out http://www.sankeymagic.com Jay puts out some great material.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
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