The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » It's OK to be a beginner (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
Ivan Kiddlars
View Profile
New user
18 Posts

Profile of Ivan Kiddlars
What is wrong with being new to this art? This may seem like an odd question, but I have seen quite a few folks – mostly teenagers or younger, but some young adults as well – who get involved in magic and immediately think of themselves as a professional magician. After they spend $100 at the magic shop, and practice in silence in front of the mirror for an hour, they want to book their first party or restaurant gig. They think that just because they have been into magic for a year and practice everyday it qualifies them for 'veteran' status. If you have only been doing magic for one or two years, then you ARE still new to it. In fact, an interest in magic for one year is the minimum requirement to be able to join the IBM for youth members – two years is the minimum for adult applicants.

Just because you own $500 worth of the latest props and gimmicks does not make you a magician. Practicing 6 hours a day doesn't make you a professional. Learning from the experience of others, getting honest feedback, and working on the RIGHT things for 1 hour a day will get you a lot closer to the goal of being a pro than 6 hours of watching ellusionist DVD's ever will.

It's sad that these folks can't muster the humility to say "I'm still new at this – I've only been doing it about a year, so I have a lot to learn, and I'm just a beginner". This lack of appreciation for being a beginner is not helped by the fact that one can create for themselves an essentially fictitious online identity. It seems that on a forum such as this or on facebook or myspace one can say anything they want to about themselves and no one may be the wiser. I know that I may come across like an old fuddy duddy by saying "you've got to pay your dues before you can call yourself a magician", but all I am really saying is not to be so quick to dismiss the title of 'amateur', 'hobbyist', 'beginner', or 'newbie'. Letting someone think that you are new to magic lowers their expectations and will allow you to really blow them away with a polished effect. On the other hand, telling someone that you are a pro with lots of paying gigs raises their expectations to the point that you'd better be vanishing their house if you want to impress them.

In short, newbies should embrace their beginner status. They will find much more rewarding relationships in the magic community by doing this than by falsely passing themselves off as something that they are not, but one day hope to be.
Justin Style
View Profile
Inner circle
2010 Posts

Profile of Justin Style
People will always be able to tell the difference.


Just because you own a medical book and watched every episode of ER does not make you a doctor...
Loopback
View Profile
Veteran user
Lincoln, Nebraska
356 Posts

Profile of Loopback
Im not a magician, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
Tina I
View Profile
Regular user
Oslo/ Norway
194 Posts

Profile of Tina I
I'm a beginner. I've been a beginner for some 30 years now. Maybe 'amateur' is the correct term but if you talk about hours spent on magic compared to most professionals I'm a beginner and I'll probably stay a beginner for the rest of my life.

I never introduce my self as a beginner though (nor do I book really big gigs.. not that I get the opportunity. My 'advertising' is mainly word of mouth). I introduce my self as a magician but I try my best to stay humble both towards the art and towards my audience. So I do stuff I know by heart and that I'm sure I do well.

A lay audience don't know what's 'easy' and what's 'hard'. A well performed TT vanish can floor a spectator just as well as a superadvanced C&B routine.
Ivan Kiddlars
View Profile
New user
18 Posts

Profile of Ivan Kiddlars
Exactly right Tina I. You don't have to introduce yourself as a beginner to be humble. I'm not suggesting that folks dimminish themselves, only that they remain humble and truthful with themselves about their abilities.
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3248 Posts

Profile of gaddy
I agree! I would much rather have it said of me- "not bad for a newbie" than "you've been doing this how long"?

I feel that magic is an "exclusive club". It's also a merit based club. If you do the work and have the chops- you're in! if not, well....

Everyone wants to be in the club, but how many of us are actually willing to do the hard, sometimes thankless, work?

I think it's mostly an ego problem. So much that is wrong with magic is wrong because some magicians cannot separate from their enormous EGO's-

  • long enough to stop hating the successful TV magician
  • long enough to realize that buying another trick is not the road to success
  • long enough to shut their stupid mouths on an online forum
  • long enough to realize they are in a unique position to bring wonder and amazement to a society that is starving for just that ability, and they'd rather make themselves look "cool" for a moment or two...

I've been guilty of this type of nonsense too!

But, mostly, I am a street performer, where there's little debate on the matter.
Even the best of people see me as merely one or two steps above a beggar- my ego is checked on a regular basis, and I try to take it with a HUGE grain of salt!

Good topic, BTW!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
fxdude
View Profile
Loyal user
Hollywood
241 Posts

Profile of fxdude
Quote:
On 2008-03-19 14:01, Loopback wrote:
Im not a magician, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.


Haha, took me a minute.

Allen
Enjoying being an amateur
Andy the cardician
View Profile
Inner circle
A street named after my dad
3370 Posts

Profile of Andy the cardician
Great post. thanks for putting this out
Cards never lie
Tablic
View Profile
New user
100 Posts

Profile of Tablic
I just feel like contributing two cents to this conversation-

I think part of the reason why people hate to refer to themselves as a 'beginner' are for a couple reasons-

For one, there's the possible mindset that people don't want to see a beginning magician. There are those who would probably go 'oh, you're not as good as this other magician I saw, so I don't want to see your magic'. So, for someone who needs performances to get better, there goes an opportunity. Another possibility is that if others do know you're a beginner, they might look to see how they can screw you up/ catch the performer at something. In other words, they have no respect from their audience other than to be made into a laughingstock.

And of course, there's one other deadly option- it would lose respect from some senior magicians. With Youtube often seen as a gateway to put out performances, and dealers like Ellusionist and Theory11, saying you're a beginner might have other magicians going 'oh no, here's someone who's probably learned all their stuff from those sites and might be badly exposing so many effects on Youtube'. This is another form of losing respect.

Now, I can't say how much of this is actually true, but it is my thought on the matter.
abc
View Profile
Inner circle
South African in Taiwan
1081 Posts

Profile of abc
Interesting thread. Will add my two cents with a smile.
I don't refer to myself as a beginner or a pro. I just refer to myself as a magician.
I also think the orginal poster referred to mindset rather than the actual words. I think a more appropriate way to phraze this would be "are you willing to learn" or "Do you have a teachable attitude"
Many pros have but there are some who don't. Most newbies should but there are many who son't have this attitude. If you are not teachable then how do you expect to learn anything.
I think I have a teachable attitude. Heck I have been doing this for almost 20 years and I still learn new things. I have read (as an example) Royal Road at least 10 times and I am going over it again. If you want to get really good you have to keep doing this.
I can also say thatthere are some excellent clips on youtube. Kammagic recently put one on that I really enjoyed watching. Now exposing just plain good magic. It is really all about your mindset. Do you think you have learned everything important or do you think you still have something to learn?
Hansel
View Profile
Inner circle
Puerto Rico
2492 Posts

Profile of Hansel
I think the ORDER is the base of anything.I know cases in wath a "Pro" magician with 1 year seeing Eilussionist DVDS want to do the Interlude Illusion...BUT don't KNOW WHO IS Slydini OR VERNON...that is a Bad point...Learn how to walk for run later...
Thanks,
Hansel!
Follow Me...
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Hansels-Comedy-and-Magic-Show-929625643774678/
Youtube: HanselSP
Twitter: @HanselSP
Instagram: HanselSP
Yola Sol
View Profile
New user
Netherlands
51 Posts

Profile of Yola Sol
Maybe it's just me, but in my opinion 'amateur' or 'pro' has not that much to do with how good or bad you perform your magic. A professional has to be quite good, because those are the magicians who use there magic to earn (part of) a living. Amateurs can be much better, but as long as they only perform in front of the mirror, they're still amateurs. (Yes, I'll probably be an amateur my entire life and there's nothing wrong with that Smile)

As for being a beginner, I totally agree -great topic! Nothing wrong with being a beginner. Lower expectations can be quite nice. And the less you know, the more you can still be amazed, right? But as to when you're not a beginner anymore.... Haven't got a clue.
On the road of life, don't forget to stop and eat the roses
Solitaire
View Profile
New user
Germany
83 Posts

Profile of Solitaire
I don't have a problem in stating that I am a beginner in this art and my high respects and thanks go to all of you out in this forum for your support and advice.

Doing magic is truly an art because it demands not only skills of hands or creativity but also a lot of time and practice and I feel honored to be here.
The Amazing Noobini
View Profile
Inner circle
Oslo, Norway
1658 Posts

Profile of The Amazing Noobini
... on the other hand I do wish I had just a little of the Kevlar confidence some of these kids have.

At least here in Norway there has been a great cultural change during my lifetime. When I grew up we were taught to have more of a rugged small town strong silent front. You weren't supposed to try to be something more than anyone else. The poor kids who were forced by their parents to take singing or dancing lessons were likely to get beaten up. Nobody ever said anything positive about other people. The only interest or talent you could have that would be accepted would be sport skills or the ability to fight or drink more than the rest. The big goal was to be an ordinary working man. Just one of the guys.

Now we have a more open multi-cultural society where the kids pat each other on the back and stand up for each other. They are told that "you can do it". We weren't. They shake hands and even hug. We didn't. If I had hugged another guy in Oslo in 1985 I would have lost all my teeth. And they all want to be pop stars or some sort of performers. Everybody is encouraged to show what they can do.

Even though it produces a few completely shameless characters, this change is not a bad one. People are more honest about their ambitions and more supportive of each other, whereas in my day they would only look at the differences in appearance and try to find a weak spot.

I'm sorry, this post is a bit corny perhaps. I don't mean that we should all sit in a big circle and sing folk songs about rainbows. What I mean is that they are probably happier and more free to express themselves now. The little ***s.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Andy the cardician
View Profile
Inner circle
A street named after my dad
3370 Posts

Profile of Andy the cardician
At least you still have your teeth - jokes aside. I think it is difficult to compare the nordic character to that of an american
Cards never lie
Solitaire
View Profile
New user
Germany
83 Posts

Profile of Solitaire
Still I think it is not too bad to know were one's limits are.

Today I saw in the German morning TV news a 15-year-old whose unemployed parents try to make him a rap star. That kid really can't sing and his rap is even worse but his parents constantly tell him that he is great and they push him to go on stage even when the micro will be switched off by the event managers. The boy is the laughing stock of the small town he lives in. It's pathetic.
0045
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of 0045
I too have been a beginner, on and off, for some thirty years now. I have never professed to be an expert and never will do. I simply do not perform enough to be classed as an expert, I tend not to give a great deal of advice on the Café for that reason alone.

When I do give advice though it is because I have genuine experience with the subject concerned, and I give it freely.

Just because I occasionally offer advice does not mean that I consider myself to be any sort of expert or pro.

The greatest compliment I have recieved recently was in a pub when a friend introduced me to a colleague of his after the subject of magic shows (Derren Browns I think) had previously arisen between themselves. He introduced me as a magician and mindreader. A somewhat humbling and embarrassing experience, after all I am just a bloke who occasionally does mind reading and card tricks.

Just thought I would share that with you all.

Regards 0045
Andy the cardician
View Profile
Inner circle
A street named after my dad
3370 Posts

Profile of Andy the cardician
Agree, our quest for mastery is never over.
Cards never lie
Dave McFarland
View Profile
Regular user
Portland, OR
184 Posts

Profile of Dave McFarland
Quote:
On 2008-03-19 16:14, gaddy wrote:

But, mostly, I am a street performer, where there's little debate on the matter.
Even the best of people see me as merely one or two steps above a beggar-


LOL
Michaels
View Profile
Elite user
412 Posts

Profile of Michaels
Quote:
On 2008-03-19 16:14, gaddy wrote:


I think it's mostly an ego problem. So much that is wrong with magic is wrong because some magicians cannot separate from their enormous EGO's-



Amen!

I've often said....
"The ego is a terrible thing to waste. Support your united magician's college fund".
After 35 years performing, I'm still a "newbie". I am still learning and will always be learning from each day forward. One of the most creative magicians I've ever known was Jack Birnman, an amateur magician......He never had an ego large enough to weight him down. Many of the top pro's in DC would consult Jack Birnman for his opinion.
Michaels
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » It's OK to be a beginner (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.14 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL