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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Magic Style? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

bwinn
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I'm pretty new to magic and wonder what style of magic I am into. I prefer sponge balls and cups and balls
Abracadabra, Hocuspocus, and all that Jazz
Dick Oslund
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"Style" has nothing to do with PROPS (in this case, sponge balls & cups & balls).

Some magicians use a lot of humor, either verbal comedy, or situation comedy. Some, years ago, when I was starting out (1940s) were suave and debonair ("swayve & deboner"!).

I tried THAT, and "discovered" that, at 19, I wasn't! I "got" an agent, who told me: "If you can make 'em laugh, I'll get you lots of work!" I did, and, he did. I worked a lot of club dates, during my four years in he Navy!

What is now called "close up work" only existed in a few big cities, in the "40s--'50s.

Nowadays, some magicians present bizarre, weird, acts. A few work what vaudeville bookers (in the '20s and '30s) called "dumb acts" (silent, pantomime).

Are you considering just performing for friends, and family? Are you considering becoming a PART TIME PROFESSIONAL (doing paid dates, to augment your "day time job" income. If you're considering FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL WORK, you have a lot of learning, and practice ahead. --And, even then, you may not have the talent, necessary.

Some professionals do only close up performing, in restaurants, Some specialize in trade shows. Some are only interested in kid parties. I specialized for 50 years in performing for school assemblies. (Lyceum) I would start in September with 350 +/- programs booked for the school year. That area of the business is almost gone.

I suggest that you READ basic books, like TARBELL. You'll learn more tricks than you'll ever do, in Tarbell, but, more important, you'll learn PRINCIPLES.

"FESTINA LENTE!" That's Latin, for: " MAKE HASTE SLOWLY!"

There are, today, a gezillion books which will help you to learn. There are fellows here that will tell you that, "You MUST buy this card trick book, or that one, or this coin book or that one, ETC. You will be wise to start with Tarbell. Tarbell will provide a very wide education.. The "patter" that Doc T, suggests is archaic, now. Skim it and forget it. The course was written almost a hundred years ago. Much of the presentations suggested are out dated, HERE COMES THE BUT!!!:::: You will learn principles! (Much of my professional act with which I made a living, came from Tarbell!

You need to learn the basic fundamentals. Then, if you wish, specialize in something that appeals to you.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
bwinn
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Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks, Dick! I have heard good things about Tarbell!
Abracadabra, Hocuspocus, and all that Jazz
Tim Snyder
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Chicago, IL
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Welcome bwinn!

Let me recommend the library as a great source for material. My suburban library has partnered with more than 20 other suburban libraries. Using my home computer, I search for a book or dvd and push the request button when I find one I want, within 4 or 5 days it is delivered to my local library. Most recently, I checked out several books by Robert Friedhoffer on teaching science with magic. I'm sure that the libraries in the Philadelphia area would be similar. They should certainly have a large number of the classics such as Karl Fulves, Mark Wilson' Complete Course, and Joshua Jay's Magic. When a classic book is recommended on this forum, I will often check to see if it is available from my library system. There are even a small number of magic DVD's available. You may be surprised by what you find. My system actually has a set of Tarbell.

Again welcome, and have fun learning the art of magic.
Dick Oslund
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I was 13, once, too! (But, that was in 1945!)

The Mark Wilson "CCIM" is a fine book for a beginner, also. The illustrations are (I think the term is) sequential. It does help in learning "step by step", a "move". I knew Walter Gibson, who "ghosted" the book.

Heck! I knew Tarbell, too!

If you can find a copy of "Magic Digest" by George Anderson, published by Digest Books, Inc. 540 Frontage Road, Northfield Illinois copyright 1972, it'a worth your $. George was also, a friend. He rewrote some of the material in Tarbell, AND, suggested presentations for all the tricks that he described. I used to pick up copies at magicians' estate sales, and give them to young fellows, mainly 'cuz of the presentation ideas. --That's the hardest thing, I think, for a young lad to grasp.

Philadelphia is big enough to have a "few" used book stores~! Booksellers can search online for books. Many booksellers will check on line for you. George's book was mainly a soft bound book, but, I did have a hard bound edition. My softbound is a autographed, presentation copy.

You can "get" Tarbell in a "pdf" edition. (I don't know how to do that. Maybe YOU already know!

The best way to learn magic is to READ. Don't fall into the trap, and become only a trick shop guy!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Aus
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Magic Digest by George Anderson can be downloaded as an eBook at Lybrary.com at: http://www.lybrary.com/magic-digest-p-858710.html

Magically

Aus
Dick Oslund
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Young friend, B WINN!

Since you are just starting out, you should LEARN, before you get led "astray", by "magicians" (note the " " !)who never learned, or don't understand the fundamentals, a few basic terms!

You cannot buy MAGIC, you cannot buy TRICKS! MAGIC only "exists", and, usually only briefly, in the spectator's mind!

You can buy PROPS (what some "magicians" call APPARATUS --an antiquated term that "goes back" to the dawn of the age of science, when itinerant mountebanks, put on a clean shirt, and, moved in to the parlors of the "well-to-do". These early magicians, adopted titles as "professors" or "doctors" and, "performed experiments in "natural science", thus the term "apparatus" (it sounded "scientific" and, therefore, "educational"!) Many "magicians" still "work" that way!!!!

So, you can buy PROPS, and/or SECRETS (in books, or dvds). Using the PROPS and/or SECRETS, you can PERFORM a TRICK. A TRICK, like music, only exists while it is being performed. (Stop dragging the rosined horsehair over the taut catgut, and, the music stops!)

IF, the magician PERFORMS the TRICK well, using a pleasing PRESENTATION, the spectator will most likely, be ENTERTAINED.

(MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!!!!!)

So! PRESENTATION if the KEY to ENTERTAINING! --It "aint" WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it!!!!!

There are three "steps" in putting a "new" TRICK into your program:

1. Learn how the trick is DONE!

2 Learn how to DO it!

3. Learn how to DO it, so that it ENTERTAINS a spectator! (That's the most difficult one!!!)

"PRESENTATON" is what makes the TRICK >>ENTERTAINING<< PRESENTATION IS >>>HOW YOU "DO" IT<<<.

Even though the Tarbell Course is almost a hundred years old, and, the patter and presentation, are a bit archaic ("dated") you can still LEARN PRINCIPLES! --HOW a TRICK is DONE, and, HOW to do it so that it ENTERTAINS, if you are willing to study!

I was 13, almost 14, when I started performing, for money! There were only books! No DVDs, No INTERNET!, FEW MAGIC CLUBS.

If you were lucky, you might find someone qualified, and, willing to help mentor you! I was lucky!

Good luck!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Andy Young
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Quote:
On Mar 6, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
There are three "steps" in putting a "new" TRICK into your program:

1. Learn how the trick is DONE!

2 Learn how to DO it!

3. Learn how to DO it, so that it ENTERTAINS a spectator! (That's the most difficult one!!!)

"PRESENTATON" is what makes the TRICK >>ENTERTAINING<< PRESENTATION IS >>>HOW YOU "DO" IT<<<.


This is the essence of how to do magic. Picking a style can be a difficult thing especially when you are young. It is not difficult because you won't be able to act the part, but it begins with your audience. If you are preforming for friends or family then it will be hard to sell yourself as anything but your normal self. This may be funny, shy, a skilled person, ect.

I would first find out who you are and then try to find some clips of people that have the same style that you already have. Watch and then from there decide a path will work for you. If you don't want to do cards then don't do cards. If rubber bands are your thing then do rubber bands or what ever it may be. But a firm foundation in presentation and sleight of hand will help you in all faucets that you choose to go down. If you want more direct answers, then just ask more direct questions and I would be happy to answer anything I can.

Good luck
Brandon G
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Fantastic advice, Dick. I personally will be sure to check out Magic Digest. Thanks for the link, Aus.
supertoad12
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Hi bWinn,

My daughter is also 13 years old and has been doing magic for a few years now. Mr. Oslund provided lots of valuable information. May I also suggest that you visit the Denney and Lee magic studio in Essex, MD. It is not too far from your place and you will get to see one of the best magic shop in the world today. Mr. Denny will be able to talk with you and to recommend which material you should start with. Don<t be surprise if he mention the Tarbells (...and he will...)! He also sells a variety of used book which might falls within your budget. Check it out!
Steph

"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it"...J.M. Barrie
Dick Oslund
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Yes! Denny and I "go back" 40+ years (SAM Convention in Boston!). I can recommend him, without reservation!

When my book "came out" in 2015, one of the "stops" on my "book signing" tour was Denny and Lee's Magic Shop. I did a lecture and sold more books than I had ever thought possible! I was totally impressed with the "atmosphere", the huge stock of props and books , AND, how hospitable Denny was.

If Bwinn (and grandpa!) have an opportunity to visit, I recommend that they PLAN a whole afternoon!

(I chose #76. --What did I win?)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Russo
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So.California / Centl.Florida
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Danny - 80 in June- pro for over 70 years (yes 70 years)to help with cost of living and slow Gigs - I work p/t for a Library(for 15 years) There are MANY Magic booka AND the "J" Chilrens Magic books ARE very good- and most Libraies in same county will let you barrow books that are not in Your Library -Try it. Also go to'Search' put in 'russo' user name - Many Ideas and effects I'm glad to share- (also a lot of personal comments if you want to wade through them L-O-L) GOOD LUCK & Blessings (pm me) --Ralph(ruso)Rousseau
supertoad12
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On Mar 8, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
Yes! Denny and I "go back" 40+ years (SAM Convention in Boston!). I can recommend him, without reservation!

When my book "came out" in 2015, one of the "stops" on my "book signing" tour was Denny and Lee's Magic Shop. I did a lecture and sold more books than I had ever thought possible! I was totally impressed with the "atmosphere", the huge stock of props and books , AND, how hospitable Denny was.

If Bwinn (and grandpa!) have an opportunity to visit, I recommend that they PLAN a whole afternoon!

(I chose #76. --What did I win?)


Sorry Dick,

Try again. J'aurais bien aimé vous voir en 2015...Maybe next time!

p.s. Moving back to "la belle province" next July after a 3 year military assignment in the US. I will truly miss the magical ambiance of Denny's shop!
Steph

"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it"...J.M. Barrie
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