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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » It's OK to be a beginner (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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rxwookie
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Tennessee
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Interesting thought... Gene Anderson defines a professional in interesting terms:

Will a venue hire you? Yes --> After your performance, do they hire you AGAIN?
Yes --> Professional
No --> Amateur

By the way, there are no rules in magic that say you ever have to be "professional". There are several magicians I know who have never had a paying gig because they just aren't interested in that side of it. I know of one in my local group who could easily make a living at it, he would rather just keep it as a hobby. I think magic is wonderful at any stage.

I wish I could go back and be a beginner again, I'd certainly do a lot of things differently. Enjoy each step, if you move too fast you might just burn out and lose a great hobby.

As for having a learning attitude or teachable attitude, the moment you stop learning is the moment you have reached the peak and started down the other side of the mountain.

Wook
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a sucess unexpected in common hours.
~Henry David Thoreau
KurtK
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Ok heh I guess I'm kinda a beginner. Whats bad about that? I had been dabbling on and off for 1 year and this past year I gained a passion for the art. Ive been genuinely interested for 1 year now. I love magic and don't plan on stopping.
Ivan Kiddlars
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KurtK,

Nothing wrong with that at all - that was the point of the topic. Enjoy being at the early stages of a hobby or potential career. The point is for 'beginners' not to go on forums like this and youtube and myspace and make themselves out to be something that they're not.
Bob Sanders
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I hope there is nothing wrong with being a beginner. I've been one for forty-six years!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Chappo
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Bris Vegas
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Quote:
On 2008-03-24 15:43, Bob Sanders wrote:
I hope there is nothing wrong with being a beginner. I've been one for forty-six years!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander


I find that statement exceptionally worthy of note. I have only been involved in magic for 1- 1.5 years (or maybe it closer to 1.36625 years) but either way I love being a beginner. Making your own discoveries about magic as a whole and creating logical conclusions whilst watching other peoples performances. Sure, we're only human so we will inevitably get envious/jealous at some point.

The only temptation that has ever been there (for me anyway) is the genuine love I have of entertaining people. I have been involved in corporate work in both music and acting for 4 years and I really do enjoy the kick I get out of it.

Magic though is a whole different ball game and I don't plan to give in after a spate of crappy performances. I really love studying it and accomplishing it.
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
abc
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Regardless of what we tell ourselves, magic is not much different than many other things in life. A person who has read a few books on card magic may think they know a lot or maybe even all there is to know about about magic. I have been performing magic for a long time and when it comes to big illusions I am an absolute beginner. Even now I still learn some really cool things about cards. I had a friend who posts on this forum (Mouliu) show me a really cool self working card effect that I loved and have actually used. Considering I have been doing this for 18 odd years I still have a lot to learn.
I don't think we should confuse amateur with beginner though. Two different concepts.
caligari
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I also have no problems admitting I'm really pretty new at this.Smile It's amazing at how being honest about what you know helps you improve because you just keep working on things! Also, I find that it also allows me the opportunity to learn a lot more from more experienced magicians because many are willing to share and they've all been through this phase also.Smile

And as many of you have said, I definitely believe that the learning process will never stop.Smile
Cyar
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Quote:
On 2008-03-24 15:43, Bob Sanders wrote:
I hope there is nothing wrong with being a beginner. I've been one for forty-six years!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

I think when you reach one hundred years of beginner status, you're officially recognized by all governing bodies as "Advanced Beginner" with all bragging rights accompanying this lofty position. Only fifty-four more years to go!
I told those f***s down at the league office a thousand times that I don't roll on Shabbos!
marty.sasaki
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I think that part of the reason that some folks claim to be pro's is just youthful enthusiasm. They see someone like Cris Angel or David Blaine do something truly amazing, they are amazed by it, so they try to learn how to do those things. They run into a magic shop, or see something online, order a few tricks and "Wow" they can do some of those things. They don't know enough to see that there is more than just the mechanics of doing a trick. They are told by the magic world that this stuff is easy, that all they need to do is buy an effect to become a magician.

Young folks often believe that they can do anything. After doing the hot rod it isn't unusual for a kid to grab it and flip it over and expect things to just work. I did it, so why can't they?

How many times have you had to suffer through a child musician who was just a little bit better than tone deaf, play an instrument or sing a song? The adoring relatives urge the kid on, and the kid gets the impression that they are pretty good. Why would you think that the same thing doesn't happen with magic?

As you get older, I think sometimes fall into the opposite side of things, you never think you are very good. Recently, at the local IBM ring meeting a fellow did a really nice routine using a number of bill switches. The premise was enjoyable and he did a really good job with the sleights. However, when someone tried to complement him, he genuinely put himself down a little bit commenting on the unnaturalness of his moves.

I'll always be an amateur, and a beginner, but that doesn't bother me much. Yeah, I would like to be really good, but I know that I don't put in enough effort to be really good, but I do have a good time, and often entertain others around me.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
Tablic
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I'm still young (at a mere 19), and despite the fact that there's a long road still to go, I'm already of the opinion that I'll never be all that great. I still have trouble accepting complements sometimes, though that has greatly improved. Then again, I do end up comparing myself to a few professional/near-professional magicians that are really good friends of mine, so that might have something to do with it...

Otherwise, I have thought about one day becoming professional, but the whole idea of doing magic for a living is both what draws and keeps me away from it. Doing what you love for a living is always great, but I feel that if you're doing it for a living it suddenly loses its fun, as now you have a thousand things depending on how your performance goes, and if goes badly money problems can arise; whereas staying at amateur level means that it's all pure fun (if you ask me, at least)

... sorry if I went off topic, but I wanted to get that out and this seemed like the appropriate place
abc
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Quote:
On 2008-03-29 01:34, Tablic wrote:

Otherwise, I have thought about one day becoming professional, but the whole idea of doing magic for a living is both what draws and keeps me away from it. Doing what you love for a living is always great, but I feel that if you're doing it for a living it suddenly loses its fun, as now you have a thousand things depending on how your performance goes, and if goes badly money problems can arise; whereas staying at amateur level means that it's all pure fun (if you ask me, at least)




Don't confuse fun with not having problems. If you do something you hate you are going to have problems. If you do something you love you are going to have problems. I have always been of the opinion that if you do something you hate the money better be *** good. at least then there is some value to it. Staying away from doing something you love purely because you are afraid of the problems you are going to face has nothing to do with whether something is a good or bad idea.
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2008-03-29 01:34, Tablic wrote:
I'm still young (at a mere 19), and despite the fact that there's a long road still to go, I'm already of the opinion that I'll never be all that great. I still have trouble accepting complements sometimes, though that has greatly improved. Then again, I do end up comparing myself to a few professional/near-professional magicians that are really good friends of mine, so that might have something to do with it...

Otherwise, I have thought about one day becoming professional, but the whole idea of doing magic for a living is both what draws and keeps me away from it. Doing what you love for a living is always great, but I feel that if you're doing it for a living it suddenly loses its fun, as now you have a thousand things depending on how your performance goes, and if goes badly money problems can arise; whereas staying at amateur level means that it's all pure fun (if you ask me, at least)

... sorry if I went off topic, but I wanted to get that out and this seemed like the appropriate place


Friend, don't sell yourself short.

I ask you to ask yourself, WHY do you think you'll never be great? Answer that question honestly and completely, and you'll be well on your way to *actually** BEING great (If that even IS your goal! PS -it's OK if it's not, it's OK to enjoy magic on any level you want to...)

Don't ever be shy about accepting compliments- Be gracious and accepting of them. This is how your audience "pays you back" for entertaining them, if you do not graciously accept their compliments, you are doing THEM a disservice, not yourself. So learn to accept compliments for yourself, and you'll learn a little about respecting your audience as well!

Comparing one's self to "the greats" is a slippery slope... Consider the time and the effort, the shear willpower and the sacrifices the pros have made to be where they are today. This path is not for everyone. The tile of the book I always carry around with me when I perform on the street or professionally is "It's Not How Great You ARE, It's How Great You WANT TO Be" by: Paul Arden.

The name says it all.

I understand your sentiment about "doing it for a living" and "taking the fun out of it", but I ask you to remember, there are many ways of doing magic, you could volunteer at hospitals or hospices, you could only do magic on weekends for kid's parties, you could street perform or you could make magic props to sell online... All these things are certainly a supplemental way to make money with your magic, but probably not sole means of support.

The main thing is to have a show that people will want to see!

The same argument about "magic losing it's fun" can be made about the process of learning the secrets of magic, ultimately, one's joy from magic must come from other places within your mind.

Good luck, you're asking the right questions about yourself and your magic, so I'm sure you're on the right track!

Best,
Gaddy
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
KurtK
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Oft times I find self thinking about a career in magic but then I think of my family who I think "looks down" upon performers like they aren't professional business people therefore they aren't "normal". That's the feeling I get from them. Im really confused about this
gaddy
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"Normal" is a peculiar quality... Normal is that which is everyone else is, and YOU are not...

You can do what you want in life, or you can do what others expect of you- either are good choices. But don't forget to make yourself happy, too.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
fxdude
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Performers are like Actors, they are usually a little strange. You have to be a little strange to "pretend" for a living. But you have to think about how boring it would be without actors or performers. I grew up on a family owned farm and now work in Hollywood (land of strange people). It's definitely hard to be a normal person and a performer. You can however be a little of both.
MagiClyde
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This post reminds me of an article I saw in a magazine on starting your own business.

One of the suggestions in the article was to buy/learn a few tricks and then start doing gigs for money. Smile Can't remember the exact wording, but that was the basic idea of the article. I read this and cringed! Smile It was apparent to me that this person had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. A few tricks does NOT a professional make.

In many ways, nearly all magicians are new or amateurs at SOME aspect of this craft. As an example, Darwin Ortiz may be a professional at close-up card magic, but a complete newby or amateur at stage work if he doesn't know much about it.

The fact is that nearly all of us are learning and honing our craft at some point. If one goes on to make money at it, GREAT! That's an added bonus for getting paid for doing something you love.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
MikeOB
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Thanks Bob, That makes me feel better. I have been a beginner for 39 years lol. I still do not know why I love magic, I know I love gimmicks and am amazed at how someone can come up with an effect. I probably do not perform enough to get some amazing reactions like I read about on here. I think once I perform more and get those reactions that will take me to a new level. I wish I could start again from the beginning and just practise the basics.
abc
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Quote:
On 2008-03-29 22:20, KurtK wrote:
Oft times I find self thinking about a career in magic but then I think of my family who I think "looks down" upon performers like they aren't professional business people therefore they aren't "normal". That's the feeling I get from them. Im really confused about this

I am assuming you are still fairly young. Why don't you consider this. Get yourself into a business college or Uni and study business. Try to do every assignment you can about being a pro magician if you want to. That way everything you do will get crit for free.
If you then decide to become a full time pro you at least have some background in business while if you decide to stay an amateur and do a few shows a month that would also be cool because you can do another job.
You can do a few shows while attending class and get some much needed experience. There is nothing like a solid combination of good business skills and some real life experience.
In the meantime get you routines up to par with what is necesary to be a pro even if you don't go that route. There are some excellent amateur magicians.
Review King
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I'm still a beginner.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2008-03-31 18:30, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
I'm still a beginner.


I'm an old salt.

No, seriously, I've been doing the salt pour since I was a kid Smile
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
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