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Cyberqat
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See? If you spend little to no money some day you can be as great a magician as Harry Lorayne!

The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that, with a few exceptions, a prop will be good for one basic effect. With cleverness you'll put your own spin on it, but in the end a color changing CD will always be a color changing CD.

If you learn sleight of hand with real everyday object though, like cards and coins and cups, the way you can combine those sleights to produce new and different miracles is limited only by your imagination and the principles you wil learn can lead you in whole new directions.

These are the things that open the doors of magic possibility wide open.

Right Harry?
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Wizard of Oz
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Right!
Oh crap, I'm not Harry.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
DWRackley
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Some props can be "utility items" with a little thought. For a long time I used a Chop Cup to vanish a cheap necklace which then reappeared inside an English walnut. Not one time did anyone ask (what to us is) the obvious question.

If you're careful, Glorpy (or Hiram or whatever iteration we're on now) can be used to cover small items as a regular silk. This acclimates the audience to seeing it only as a silk.

A silk cabbie will hold a gerbil, and half of Scotch & Soda is a usable s***l.

But the best value is always going to be books. The library is ok, but you're going to want to own the best ones. Don't forget to check out any high-quality used book stores in your area. We're fortunate here locally to have one of the best. Last time I was in, they had the Mark Wilson Course marked at $10.

Also, join the Learned Pig. This is an online collection of old (public domain?) magic books, including the original Tarbell mailings and The Jinx. (You'd be amazed how much "modern" stuff came from Jinx!) There is a "test" to join, but someone who's really "into" magic shouldn't have a problem. Very worthwhile!
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Cyberqat
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You can get a new softcover Mark Wilson right now VERY cheap at Amazon. I paid less then $15.00.

that's a hell of a deal for a thick classic book chock full of good magic!
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Magicus
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Quote:
On 2010-10-01 20:38, Wizard of Oz wrote:
... Books. Start at the library.


I just want to throw in that your local public library can get many, many books via Interlibrary Loan. ILL is an awesome resource for all magicians and 99% of libraries offer this service for free!

Here is what I recommend:

1. Go to your public library and get signed up for ILL. Oftentimes it's automatically set up on your library account but you just need an online pin to make requests.

2. Decide which books you want to get. Check your local library system first to make sure they don't already carry it.

3. If it's not available locally, then go to http://www.worldcat.org and put in whatever info necessary to find the item.

4. Go to the particular page on Worldcat and browse through the listing of libraries that carry the item. Sometimes it may be only at 5-6 places (like NY Public Library). In those cases you won't be able to get it via ILL. BUT - if there are several libraries listed, especially if any are a state or two away or you see a lot of public libraries, you are in luck. Chances are very good that you'll get it.

5. Enter your request for the book with your local library. I do this online with my library account. You'll need the title, author, ISBN #, OCLC #, publisher info, pub date, etc. Note that all this can be found on the particular Worldcat page for your item. So just copy the info over to your ILL request page.

6. If you can't request ILL items online, bring the info to your librarian and they can place the ILL request for you.

7. If the library is able to request the item (they can usually see if they can get it after a few days), they just be patient. Most of my requests take 1-5 weeks.

ILL is a super resource. It lets me get a lot of books to review before I decide whether to buy them or not. There are many books that are great magic books but just duplicate info in other books I want. With the ILL service I can rank my decisions by actually reviewing items at home rather than in a store or by guessing about content online.

Hope this helps somebody.
Harry Lorayne
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Unfortunately "cheap is cheap," and you won't find any of my magic books that I wrote just for the magic fraternity in libraries. Sorry. HL.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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Magicus
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Unless you're a student at Brown U! They seem to have way too much... gift from private collection?

Anyhow, back to lurking.
Wizard of Oz
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Quote:
On 2010-10-05 13:25, Harry Lorayne wrote:
Unfortunately "cheap is cheap," and you won't find any of my magic books that I wrote just for the magic fraternity in libraries. Sorry. HL.


Well, I first discovered magic books at our local library... perhaps you've heard of them... Greater Magic, Our Magic, Modern Magic, all of the Tarbell series, and a couple by a gentleman by the name of Frank Garcia to name a small few.

While I have nothing but respect for you Mr. Lorayne, (and own most of your publications), I have to disagree with you on this comment. Just because yours, or other magicians' books aren't to be found in a library, does not mean they are necessarily better than those that are. Accessible and "free," does not necessarily mean cheap.
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AGMagic
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StephenP, again lots of good info in the postings above, but they are all from the poster's point of view and therefore includes some bias. Perhaps if you would give everyone an idea of the type of magic you are most interested in they could be more specific in their answers to your questions.

I remember a sign in the local butcher shop when I was in High School. It said "We don't argue with those who sell for less...They know what their product is worth."

As for magic, $600 - $800 for a set of linking rings may seem insane to some and quite reasonable to others. A lot depends on how often you are performing and for whom.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Harry Lorayne
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Hey, Wizard, you are entitled to disagree, just as I am entitled to my opinion that - cheap is cheap. That has been my experience in magic and in life. And, you can read anything you like into my simple, straight-on, factual remark ("you won't find any of my magic books that I wrote just for the magic fraternity in libraries.") Because you won't. And, please, don't put words into my mouth or into my posts. I never said that books that are not in libraries are better than those that are; please don't make it appear as if I did. If that's your call on it, fine; as I said you're entitled to a) disagree and b) to your opinion. But, let's let our friends, magicians, decide for themselves. Again, you're reading things into my simple and factual remark. Please don't. (You kinda' said it above - "Oh crap, I'm not Harry." You're right, you're not.) Best - HARRY L.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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Harry Lorayne
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PS: Incidentally, Wizard, I never saw ANY of the books you mention above in any of the libraries I've checked. Now, again, a simple, factual statement. I'm not saying those are not in other libraries - just that I've never seen them in any of the libraries I've visited. When I first became interested in magic, of course I ran to the local library; I had no money at all to buy books, not that, at that time (a loooong time ago) there were good ones in the area I was interested in - impromptu card magic. The books I found at first had to do with wires and rings and clocks and strings and what-not. HL.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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Wizard of Oz
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Fair enough. I guess I felt defensive and the need/urge to respond according to how I read your remark - which you must admit, was pretty broad, and therefor open to interpretation.

I don't want to pick a fight or argue, since I am well-aware of, and respect your influential contributions to magic. But I will also passionately defend the contributions that libraries have made to the art, and I'm sure many a magician out there have benefited from the source as well. If you feel differently, please... elaborate on what you mean by "Cheap is cheap." Until then, my sincere apologies if I put words in your mouth.

I was lucky. Our nearest library was a larger, regional library that was part of our county-wide system. It was 3 floors, with a courtyard garden in the middle. I remember the magic book collection well, as I spent many a magic convention later in life, hunting them down when I was finally able to afford them. Paging through them again was like visiting old friends.

The irony with my library story is, it also had a recreation room for presentations and meetings. I ended up putting on a couple of shows there as a teen. Not big shows. Not mind-blowing shows. But I remember the audiences leaving happy with the performances they saw... much of which contained effects I built from the books found in that very building.
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jeffdell
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Hi StephenP,

One of the interesting things about Magic is that it can cost as much or as little as you wish to spend. I'm going to assume that you are just starting out and are looking for a little direction. As other posters have mentioned there are some excellent books available at very reasonable prices that will get you started with a handful of coins and a deck of cards. Books like the "Mark Wilson Course in Magic" offers an overview about different types of magic and is a good jumping off point into other areas of magic.

Also books like Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book" and Henry Hay's "Amateur Magicians Handbook" are all excellent starting points for getting into magic.

Thanks,

Jeff
Harry Lorayne
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The Magic Book is the only one of my books that you may find in a library because it is the only one of my magic books that I did for a regular publisher.

Wizard: Do you really think I "need to elaborate on what I mean by cheap is cheap"? There really are no hidden meanings, no inuendos there. Let's see, how about this - in most cases, "you gets what you pay for". HL.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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PenEnpitsu
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If we're talking about books we can find at the library, I could only find Tarr's Now You See It, Now You Don't
StephenP
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Thank you so much to everybody for your comments and input. I will definitely check out many of the books and tricks mentioned here. I am certainly more interested in working on handwork than collecting a bunch one-shot tricks, but I'll probably end up having a few of those as well. I'm getting into this as a serious hobby in my 40s, but I plan to still be working on it when I'm 80. If I do perform it may be as a volunteer or for small groups of friends.

My local library actually has quite a selection of mainstream magic books, including Hay's book for amateurs, some of Karl Fulves stuff, Mark Wilson, Bill Tarr. But so far I've just been having fun leafing through old PDF issues of The Jinx and Stanyon's Magic magazine.

I agree with both Harry and the Wizard. The library is the best repository of knowledge for every subject, and the benefit of "free" in that sense is immeasurable. But I respect Harry for keeping material within the realm of the fraternity and the inherent value of that.

I think I'd benefit from in-person sessions too. There's a full-day seminar here with Allan Ackerman and Doc Eason in November that I'm thinking about, and maybe classes at the Magic Castle.
Cyberqat
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Oh if your in LA and you have the time and interest, you have a WONDERFUL and unique resource in The Magic Castle. **eyes green with envy**

I was going to also suggest you join one of the two big magic clubs and go to local meetings: the IBM or the SAM. The nice thing about the SAM for a beginner is just having an interest is enough to qualify (you can in fact join over the internet.) The IBM requires you actually audition for full membership and do a decent little routine. that's not a bad thing for you, but it might be too much pressure at this stage...
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
55Hudson
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Stephen,

If you can afford lessons at the Magic Castle, then go for it! I've not had the opportunity to visit the Castle, but have found that the best money I've ever spent on magic is on lessons. Joining a magic club was also something I did that was a great move. I'm a member of both SAM and IBM, attend local meeting when I can, and read every word of MUM and Linking Ring. Spending time with other magicians, either in social, club, or classes is a great help.

Good luck!
Hudson
StephenP
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Thanks 55, I am going to a seminar put on by the local magic shop (The Magic Apple) in November and may take the Magic Castle classes with David Thorsen. Cyberqat's comment reminds me of how wrong it would be to not take advantage of living so close! Plus my wife is insisting on it. She's loving these first few tricks I've been working on.
Cyberqat
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She's encouraging your magic? if you hadn't already married her I'd tell you to do so!

(My wife loves my magic too.)
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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