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Profile of Stoffo
But I want to be good. I know how tricks are done and I can do a lot of them well but I am not a magician. And I don't like the name stoffo. I know it's rubbish but it's the first thing I thought of. Please call me Hazzy. Smile Yes, I know that is rubbish too. Smile I think the most expensive trick I have is a colour changing silks, 8 quid or something so I'm REALLY a beginner. The most magicial thing I've done is watch monkey magic! I'm good with cards though Smile
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Orlando, FL
21 Posts

Profile of Jafo
In an interview with Tom Mullica, he says, "The best magicians out there are the ones who do it every day. No exceptions. None. Period."

When I first started I was pretty bad. All I had was a copy of Bobo's Modern Coin Magic and a handfull of half-dollars.

I work in a restaraunt as a server and had a brilliant idea: If I do tricks for the guests in the restaraunt, I can improve my skills!

Doing it every day will improve not only your skill, but your confidence as well. That's what it sounds like you need the most.

Happy conjuring! Smile
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St. Louis
59 Posts

Profile of espalding
It's a really big help to me to have a wife and daugther that enjoy magic and don't mind me practicing in front of them. I'll first practice for a while myself, then show it to my wife. If she says "I have no idea how you did that" then I know I'm getting close to being able to perform it in front of others. Then I usually tell her how it's done, so she can watch for any moves I have to make and critique me on my performance. Then I usually show it to my daughter (8 years old) to get her reaction, and see it the trick will play well in front of kids.

Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
When we started, every one of us was lousy!

Without exception.

Remember: Nobody is BORN knowing all this stuff.

So don't worry; it will come in time. The important thing is that you have the interest.
Emily Belleranti
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Veteran user
Tucson, Arizona
349 Posts

Profile of Emily Belleranti

The above posters made some great points. Every magician started out as a beginner and had to work from there. But if you work hard and perform often, you will improve.

You should take a look at the three "sticky" threads at the top of this sub-forum here. I'm sure you will find a lot of useful info and advice that will help you.

And you've made a good choice just by joining the Café; you'll learn a lot from here.

Emily Belleranti
"If you achieve success, you will get applause, and if you get applause, you will hear it. My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it."

-Robert Montgomery
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Inner circle
A good lecturer at your service!
4397 Posts

Profile of Paul
Peter said;
When we started, every one of us was lousy!
Without exception.
Remember: Nobody is BORN knowing all this stuff."

That's not true, I was a child prodigy. Smile
But it is correct that no-one is born knowing it all. In fact, one can NEVER know it all. This is why more people tend to specialise these days. However beginners should play around/read all types of magic to find the one that suits them best.

For your £8 colour changing silks, Hazzy, you could have bought Kark Fulves's book "Self Working Handkerchief Magic" and got yourself plenty of handkerchief tricks.

Though that IS a good trick, a visual quickie for a stand up show, not for use close up for friends who will immediately want to look at it.

You say the most magical thing you've done is watch Monkey Magic, but you also say you know how tricks are done and can do a lot of them well. This seems a little contradictory. If you have practiced some enough to do them well, then that in itself is more magical than watching someone else perform.

For those that love magic, practicing the tricks to perfect them should be enjoyable too. Taking this part seriously prevents one being "rubbish" when you perform for others.

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Regular user
Lumberton, NC
147 Posts

Profile of Tspall

Don't worry about it. We've all started as beginners. The important thing is to want to improve and to do the things that will help you get to where you want to be.

Some simple advice:

1. Books are a fantastic investment. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, Royal Road to Card Magic, Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic (amongst others) are great places to get started. You'll get lots of effects, plus advice on how to present them.

2. Work on presentation for your effects. It's not enough to just do an effect, but you want to *entertain* your audience, whether it's one person or a whole room. After you get good with an effect, work on how you're going to entertain them.

3. Talk to other magicians (which you're doing here Smile ) You'll get some ideas, can disucss what's working for you, and generally get good ideas that will help you're presentation.

4. Keep your enthusiasm! If you're having fun, so will your audience.

Keep at it, Hazzy, and you'll see good progress in no time. Great to have you with us! Smile
"It's showtime!!"
My magic blog:
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Loyal user
211 Posts

Profile of rcad

You will love it here! I do and when I joined less than a year ago, I had barely started again in magic after a 25 years of absence from this beautiful art.

Sometimes I too have a hard time considering myself a magician even if people around me do. But that's okay. As someone else told me here, enjoy the journey! And consider yourself lucky, you have so much to learn being a beginner like me, you'll have many, many pleasurable moments that only come once in a lifetime...

For example and just to show you how much of a beginner I am myself even at the age of 39, I have just mastered a simple flourish over the holiday vacations: fanning a deck correctly. Now THIS is basic and yet, I was (and still am) happy like a schoolboy about my new aquired skill. Feels like the first time I rode my bike without any help... Remember that?

Discover the world of magic and discover yourself...

PS: Must be because I'm in communications but I think I just sounded like a travel commercial... Smile

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein
andre combrinck
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Special user
South Africa
953 Posts

Profile of andre combrinck
You're not rubbish. Try Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. This book will teach you the fundementals. If you don't want to spend much money try Henry Hay's Amatuer Magician's Handbook (it's sleight-heavy but it's brilliant). If you think you stink (no RHYME intended), maybe you tried something beyond you reach.
Another word of advice, don't buy tricks, rather try books--books have more tricks/money and they teach you more. For example: buy a Svegali deck and you can do a few tricks off-hand. But buy a book and you will be able to do 100 tricks.
Please, all beginners, buy books, not tricks!!!
Buy the following for money value:

1. Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic-although reasonably expensive this is a brilliant book!
2. Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay-Have you ever wanted to make balls/cards/coins etc. vanish from your bare hands?Then this is the book for you.
3. The Amazing Book of Card/Magic Tricks by Jon Tremaine-although these are hard to find,these books are summed-up by 1 word excellent.
4. The Art of Magic and Sleight of Hand by Nicholas Einhorn-Cheaper than Mark Wilson's book, many less pages and information, but this is still a good book for beginners or intermediate magicians.
5. Royal Road To Card Magic by Hugard & Braue-a classic in card magic in every sense of the word--buy it!
6. Modern Coin Magic by J.B.Bobo-Brilliant, buy it; think about it later. The greatest coin book ever (save David Roth's book-but this is more advanced and assumes that you know all the sleights).
7.Practical Mental Magic by Theodore Annemann-I own Mind, Myth and Magic, but still think that this is the 1 defining book on mentalism, period,again.
8.Tarbell's Course in Magic vol 1-8-It's all in here. Don't know how it's done,it (or a version of it is in here). Michael Ammar, a few decades ago!
If you buy only these books and master them (impossible, too little time), you would astound everyone including Copperfield,etc.
Mike Walton
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Special user
984 Posts

Profile of Mike Walton
I've learned over the months from my own experience and from the good advice from those that know here at the Café, to focus on 4 or 5 effects and know them well.

Knowing them well means, hitting them every time in regards to the sleights, having the confidence to perform so you look the spectator in the eyes with poise and create a sense of confidence among your spectators so they believe your creation, creating and acting out strong patter to lead the spectator down an engrossing path, and mastering a handling that creates astonishment. The more I learn, the more I realize that an effect is less sleight and more performance. The sleights are important, as a blunder blunders the effect, but the performance and performer make the magic and astonishment astonishing.

I'm not saying I've mastered this as I still struggle and will probably always struggle with something new, but I've learned this is all so very important so focus initially on a limited number of effects and master them so you will be a master of 4 rather than a beginner of many.
Reis O'Brien
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
2467 Posts

Profile of Reis O'Brien
Wait... what's this "monkey magic" I am hearing about? I love monkeys! I wanna see monkey magic!

Stoff... er... Hazzy, don't sweat it. I sucked big time at the beginning, now I suck a little less. See? There's hope for us all!
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur
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Crescent Head Australia
372 Posts

Profile of troppobob
Giday Stoffo

Love the name, maybe you could expand and become , "The Amazing Stoffo".

I have just read through all the above suggestions and advice and I reckon it all worthwhile considering.

My slant on the situation:

1. Every time I learn a new effect I feel like a complete beginer when I perform it and have serious doubts about wether I will pull it of. However the feedback confirms to me that when I get it right (after plenty of practice and rehersal) that I am not as hopeless as I imagined.

2. Recently I decided to enter some contests when I attend magic conventions. I was amazed at how daunting it was to perform in front of large numbers of my magic peers who I am sure were each wanting to be encouraging but corporately were scary.

3. I have to inform people that one of my personal strenghts is modesty/humility, because it does not come across when I perform. I am realy humble (trully) but I do not believe that I need to comunicate this to my audience when they are expecting to see a competent magician.

Anyway go for it.

Troppo Bob
Liam Jones
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Veteran user
384 Posts

Profile of Liam Jones
We where all rubbish when we started it is a well known fact that you just don't click your fingers and be good at it, you just need to practise

read books watch dvds do what is right for you
magic soul
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Regular user
111 Posts

Profile of magic soul
I echo the above about not being born with the knowlege but in my humble opinion books and now maybe d.v.d's(as when I started out there was none.Or videos not explaining tricks anyway)are the best ways to learn.Tricks that are marketed have there place but...
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