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Profile of Jeff5333
I have not made a single purchase of any book, DVD, or trick because I don't know where to begin. My goal is to learn useful illusions to use as illustrations when teaching both to teens and adults. This means that I am uncertain if I should purchase just any gadget and contextualize it as I will, or if there are truly beginner skills I need to learn first before I get to the "good stuff". If you were me (not having any former knowledge or background but a desire to learn and do magic both now and in the years to come) how would you start this pilgrimage? Smile
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Profile of landmark
Hi Jeff,


Look at the thread at the top of the list entitled "Magic books & Videos for beginners." It will give you an idea of how to get started. I personally recommend books over videos, in order to get an overview of the art, rather than just to learn a few good tricks. You'll find magic can be a wonderful tool to teach both teenagers and adults.

Jack Shalom
Paul Menzel
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Boise, Idaho
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Profile of Paul Menzel
You must pass a grueling initiation ritual before getting to "the good stuff." Okay, maybe not. When you look at the thread Jack directed you towards, you will see many recommendations for Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. That's a great starting point as is joining us here at the Magic Café. We won't give you secrets here, but there is an abundance of information on various resources and advice for applications. So pick up a copy of Wilson's book and make yourself at home here.
Uli Weigel
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Berlin, Germany
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Another good start would be "Magic for Dummies". The title may sound silly but the book is actually a very good beginners book.
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Profile of Chrystal
Although a bit costly for someone starting out I would recommend the Tarbell novels. There are considered the encylopedia of Magic by some. It could take you years to get through them so in the long well spent.

Good Luck!

Chrystal Smile
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Lehi, UT, USA
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Profile of what
The original Tarbell course is also available as a computer CD e-book at for under $50. I don't have it yet, but will soon.

I can absolutely second the recommendation for Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. That is where I started. I use this book all the time and probably always will.

Welcome and enjoy!!
Magic is fun!!!
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Southern California
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Profile of Jeff5333
Most excellent advice! Thank you!! I'll take a look at Mark Wilson's book as well as Magic For Dummies today. This web site is chock full of experimental insight...glad I found it. Not looking for revealed secrets, that would take away the fun of learning them myself. But if I have problems understanding elements of magic, I assume I can ask for direction(?). The Tarbell magic course sounds intimidating especially if it takes years to read. So I'll probably hold off from getting it for a while.

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Lumberton, NC
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Profile of Tspall
I'd like to add an important piece of advice, besides the great recommendations you've already received...

Be sure to practice an effect thoroughly before you show it to someone. Be totally comfortable and familiar with it and you will have your best success. Don't bounce around between several effects, just stay focused on one until it's perfected.
Good luck to you! Smile
"It's showtime!!"
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Profile of r4bid
Jeff5333: Yes, if you have questions or need guidance there are plenty of people on this board who would be willing to help. If you think that your question would be considered "exposure" of a secret then be sure to private message somebody instead of posting in the forums themselves.

The Wilson book is a great resource. Cheap and available at some Barnes and Noble in addition to actual magic stores.
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Profile of blindbo
On 2003-10-24 12:18, Jeff5333 wrote:
I'll take a look at Mark Wilson's book as well as Magic For Dummies today....

The absolute best advice I can muster is buy one book. Drain that book of its value and then decide a direction of further interest, before buying the next book.

If you are like any one of us, the process should take about six hours and time between books, two days... Smile
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Southern California
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Profile of Jeff5333
Thanks for the insight. I got on E-Bay and won a bid for Mark Wilson's book for only $3.99. What a deal! I should be getting it within a week's time. Looking forward to saturating its contents. I really appreciate your insightfulness shared.
Steven Leung
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It is not easy to get Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic in Hong Kong. In the past two years I only saw three available in bookstores for native English speakers. Luckily, I own one of them. I have asked question whether I should own it or not when it cost $25 US here, however, I do not regret to the money I spent. The question is, whether you will invest your time and effort to learn everything inside.

The book is also nickname as "magic bible" in my city's magic circle. I think this is quite true. I felt that I really start my journey to magic after I bought this book.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag
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