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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Buried in Tricks - Help! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

wackyvorlon
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Sarnia, ON, Canada
72 Posts

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I started playing with magic, boy, nearly a year ago I think. It's amazing that time has flown by so fast. I've followed the prevailing advice, and bought books primarily. I've got Mark Wilson's book, Joshua Jay's new book, Royal Road to Card Magic, Bobo, two volumes of Tarbell, Darwin Ortiz' Strong Magic, Magic for Dummies, etc. Piles of books.

This has lead me to an unexpected dilemma. Namely, I'm up to my neck in tricks. Each book has easily a hundred different tricks, many have more. I already have more tricks than I could possibly perfect in decades of practice. But in this plethora of tricks, it's hard to know which I should learn. I feel I should focus on a handful of tricks, and get them nailed down pat... but I just don't know which to choose. I have a strong interest in coin magic. Any thoughts the forum can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
abc
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South African in Taiwan
1081 Posts

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Take three or four tricks that you like (not only card tricks) and put them together in a routine. That means they should flow into each other, there should be some form of a plot, you should try to change the patter to change your style and they should be entertaining in your hands.
It is impossible for another person to say which tricks you should learn because I have seen many magicians look horrible doing a great trick and I have seen that same magician look great doing a trick I thought was stupid when I read it.
Look at the effects you read and try to think why you like them and then use the part of the trick that appeals to you to make it your own.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27145 Posts

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Which ones do your audiences like?
Which ones go together in a way that makes a show?

Which ones are better at home for visitors?
Which ones are better during short meetings with prospective clients?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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I think you ought to focus on your character. Who are you as a performer of magic? How does this character see life and how does magic fit into his life? How would he present a piece of magic? How does he interact with the audience? There are several threads on the Café on character development.

Then let that character take a look at your collection of tricks. Something will jump out and say "I can do somethig with this!" Remember - a trick is just a trick until it grows up into an entertaining routine. There are tricks that I absolutely love, but my character can't conceive of how to make it into an entertaining routine. I have no idea what to do with a floating table. But a mechanical chicken?? Oh yeah, baby!!

Ed
wackyvorlon
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Sarnia, ON, Canada
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That's a very good point. A persona is something I haven't developed yet, and have kicked around. I think, my inclination, is that of a scientist - but in a world slightly to the left of reality. I remember reading some writing by Robert-Houdin, and he often refers to a trick as an experiment.
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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If you have a past then you have a personna that has naturally developed.
What you might try is find tricks that are interesting, entertaining and reflect that personna.

Your heritage, profession, lifestyle, interest can all play a role.
You don't need to create some incredible character, just exagerating your true self and using a couple of white lies work fine. Smile
jtb
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One thing that helped me was to divide my tricks into categories such as "ropes". "silks" "liquids" etc. Then I tried to create a routine for each category that flowed from one trick into another. That helped me choose the tricks that worked and eliminate the ones that did not integrate with the other tricks.

John B.
jocce
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I started with tricks that impressed/baffled me figuring that if I like the trick I would be both motivated to learn it and perform it. I was browsing videos (a lot!)at MVD and the stuff that interested me the most I picked up as learning projects.
pradell
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Alaska
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Rudy Coby lectured about how with three minutes of great material you could travel the world and become a success. Three minutes. So start with what you love, i.e. coins, and develop a three minute routine. Work on it. Make it count. In that three minutes, develop a persona, your own character. Get the act down. You can build on it later. Determine on who you are, what you are trying to accomplish, and how the audience perceives you. See the world in a grain of sand. Focus. Put the other stuff away, clean up the clutter and get organized. Slowly, add more to your routine, little by little, figuring out how your unique character would incorporate the material and routines into the act. The overwhelming swamp of books, boxes, gizmos and gadgets, has drained and vanished: now you finally can clearly create your path to enlightenment.

:magicrabbit:
wackyvorlon
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Sarnia, ON, Canada
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I think I need to start trying more of the tricks, to get a feel for what I really like. I bought scotch and soda, and a Svengali deck. I've fallen in love with the Svengali deck. People are just *floored* by it. I enjoy doing the scotch and soda, but I find people react more strongly to the Svengali deck. Either way, I'm having a grand time with both of them.
Chappo
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Bris Vegas
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Quote:
On 2008-11-29 00:42, wackyvorlon wrote:
... I bought scotch and soda, and a Svengali deck. I've fallen in love with the Svengali deck. People are just *floored* by it. I enjoy doing the scotch and soda, but I find people react more strongly to the Svengali deck. Either way, I'm having a grand time with both of them.


Hi mate! Welcome to the Café!

Just a quick 2 cents from me...

Whilst the Svengali deck is a wondrous tool, don't rely on it too much. That was one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first used my own Svengali. I say this for the following reasons:

1. More people have their own SD's then you think. Where I am, I don't dare utilise it as a stand alone routine because every second kid has bought one from the local discount store.

2. Ultimately, it won't further you skills as a magician. I don't think you have to worry about this, but I hate to see younger magicians bury themselves in gaffed decks and hence their skills regress considerably. Don't get me wrong... Gaffed decks are beautiful little things that are true assets to any routine. After all, they allow you to focus on your persona/stage presence/presentational skills. Professional magicians use them all the time! Smile

All in all, I guess what I am trying to say is this. Enjoy it, but don't rely on it as a stand alone object for long. I would suggest that you (once you have progressed with your magical studies) consider utilising it as a force deck and then continue with a different routine.

Good luck! Smile
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)
wackyvorlon
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Sarnia, ON, Canada
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Good point. I don't think a lot of people around here have them, there isn't a lot of hobby magic in town. The nearest magic store is an hour drive away:) I'll watch it with the SD and have a light touch, as they say.

I find I'm very much of two minds about card tricks. I don't really like the ordinary card trick that involves having them pick a card, and I find it. That plot really doesn't appeal to me. On the other hand, sleights with cards seem easier than sleights with coins:)

I do want to try performing Out of This World, that seems like a neat trick.
Brad Burt
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It's not as hard as you may think. Just select ANY of your books. Read the descriptions until you find a trick that sounds good. STOP! Learn that trick. Just that trick until you can perform it. Try it out on some folks. See what happens.

If you decide it's a keeper then practice it a bit every day.

Repeat above.

Best,
Brad Burt
Colin Mandel
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Some must card tricks for me would be:

The Ambitious Card Routine
The Torn & Restored Card
Card To Pocket
Triumph


Truly, the answer comes from personal study. Take tricks that you like, turn them into your own style, and perform them in a variety of different ways to see which way the audience likes best (do it for a different audience each time of course).

Don't go out of your way to learn 1000's of tricks, you'll end up despising magic. Instead perfect the ones you like the sound of most, and nail audiences with them. There's plenty of time to learn more magic tricks, spend your first few years nailing a few before you move on.

I pretty much agree with Brad Burt.

Colin
Brad Burt
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Yes, what Colin said. The trick early on is to select something that APPEALS to YOU!!!!!! YOU! I have found over the years that in almost every case in which I select a routine that sounds good to 'me', it will be liked by my audience.

This is not ofter spoken of in quite this way, but WE as magicians/performers/entertainers ..... MUST learn to trust OURSELVES! Not a lot of magicians do trust there own ability to select material that is not being performed by a lot of other magicians. In my 20's I used to hang out at the Magic Castle 2-3 nights a week. You would be astounded how ofter performers during the same night would do the same routine. Were there no other routines out there that one or more of the performers could substitute in? As a 21 year old kid I was able to come up with a routine for my membership tryout that was essentially all material they had not seen before...if I could do it....well....

There is so much great material that no one is doing, because ever time someone finds a really cool trick and starts doing it for other magician's they all start doing it to. Look....I do it! We all do it. If if wasn't true I could NOT make a decent living as a dealer! I'm not saying DON'T do the cool new thing out. Buy it and do it. Better yet..buy it from me and do it. What I'm saying is that the amount of just simply KILLER material out there that almost no one is doing is stunning.

A while back I did a little research just for my own amusement. I took a years worth of Magic Magazine. I went through the 'tricks' section to see if I could find enough material for a show. And, it had to be stuff that I REALLY loved.

Not a problem. There was so much great material that I had enough for about 3 shows!

You want a REAL kick? Find a trick that none of your magic friends are doing in some book or magazine. Learn it. Do it for them and FRY THEM!!! Then don't tell them where you found it. Really. Best,
Brad Burt
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