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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What Was The Best Advice You Received As A Beginner? (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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Not wanting to hijack or take the other thread off topic, I thought I'd start this one. As newbies soon learn magic is not just about the tricks but the presentation, amazement, and wonder. While everyone starts with easy to learn or basic tricks and hopefully progresses, this is about advice, presentation or execution as you were starting out.

What advice or insight do you feel was the most helpful to you in the beginning stages? Or even in the returning stages when you decided to become more serious about your interests?

Was it different as an adult vs. when a kid?
danaruns
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Things that were said to me by mentors, and which stuck with me:

    *"Twelve tricks make a career." -- Dale Salwak

    *"I AM the coyote." -- Pop Haydn

    *"What's holding you back from following your dreams? It's all just excuses." -- Jeff McBride

    *"Be more Dana. I want to see more Dana. You are magnificent, darling. Let everyone see how magnificent you are." -- Eugene Burger

    *"Magic is only 20% of it. The other 80% is how you present it." -- Mark Wilson

    *"Most musicians play an instrument. Only a few musicians are so good that they no longer play their instruments, they just play music. Be so good that you don't perform tricks, you just do magic." -- Teller

    *"The thing about show business is, no business, no show." -- Dana Douglas
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Senor Fabuloso
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"Get out there and do it" "ours is a performing art, if you not performing your not doing anything" "you can practice till your fingers bleed but until you perform it just self indulgence" (He actually put it in a more expletive way) Smile

I won't tell you who told me those things as you wouldn't believe me but be assured the advice was and is sound.

danaruns, your list of mentors reminds me of a Mystery School line up. Were you a student there?
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Bob G
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Hi Dana,


Like Burger, I want to see how magnificent you are. Has anyone recorded your performances?



Thanks,


Bob
danaruns
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
"Get out there and do it" "ours is a performing art, if you not performing your not doing anything" "you can practice till your fingers bleed but until you perform it just self indulgence" (He actually put it in a more expletive way) Smile


That is the best advice of all.

Quote:
danaruns, your list of mentors reminds me of a Mystery School line up. Were you a student there?


I was, but only Jeff and Eugene mentored me there. The others are friends and/or mentors from elsewhere in my magic life, mostly in L.A.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
danaruns
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2018, Bob G wrote:
Hi Dana,


Like Burger, I want to see how magnificent you are. Has anyone recorded your performances?



Thanks,


Bob


Trust me, Bob, I'm not magnificent. LOL! Smile Eugene was just a sweet, dear and encouraging man, who was trying to bring out the best in me. And in so doing he taught me to give more of myself on stage, which was very valuable.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Bob G
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Ah well, you're good enough to be a performer, Dana (professional, I assume). That's pretty darn good in my book.
Dick Oslund
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I was fortUnate to have several well qualified, successful professionals in the area of the business which I was planning on working in.

It would take a week, and/or a book to write them all.

Mainly it was, "study the classics. Learn the fundamentals. Keep your basic criteria in mind as you produce a show that can be done almost anywhere for anybody.

Talk WITH your audience, not TO or AT them. Treat spectator helpers as your GUESTS.

Don't buy TOYS. Buy props with which you can perform MAGIC.

GENERIC PROPS, PLUS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ARE MORE PRACTICAL THAN MECHANICAL WONDERS.

KIS MIF!

ETC.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Sharktale
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- Try not to copy others.
- Learn one trick well!!! Learn how to present it... Practice, practice,practice... Only then move on to the next one.
- Think about the trick- what are you trying to show? How else can you present it?
- Learning the mechanics of trick is only first step- now, how will you present the mystery?

Learn to listen!!!

When you meet someone who is wiser or knowledgeable then you are ask him:
- What do you think, what I need to know?
Hope it will help someone.
Pop Haydn
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"If you can do anything else for a living and still be happy, then you really should do that instead of magic." ~ Duke Stern

"When you hit your mid-fifties you are going to need to reconsider what sort of performing character you want to be as an old man and start developing that." ~ Billy McComb
Ray Pierce
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Wow... so many wonderful notes! For me there are so many ...

Don't study magicians or you'll just copy their style. Study the best performing artists in other fields and figure out what makes them great then apply that!

When an effect is 80% ready... get it on stage. The final 20% will never come to you in rehearsal.

Listen to your audience, they will tell you everything. If you video tape your show (which you should do every time you can!) Don't watch it, close your eyes and listen to it. Hear where the reactions come, where the laughs are, then build off of that.

When you're first starting out... no one cares what you think. Prove yourself with your opening few effects, then your opinion will matter more

Find a point of view that is unique and use that to help define your personality.

An act has a character, a show has a personality.

Each routine can show them a new and interesting side of you. In the end, they feel they know you better and that's what they enjoy.

If you truly enjoy what you're doing, that's infectious and they might as well!

People don't care about all of the other shows you've done in the past... they care if you can create a special moment just for them that will live on in their minds forever.

If you do magic only in an attempt to fool them and try and show them how cool you are, that's just being selfish. My goal has always been to give them the gift of wonder and amazement which is one of the greatest feelings ever!

I could go on for days but I need to eat now... good luck everyone!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Drylid
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"Don't ever think you're smarter than your audience." Followed By "you Don't make the magic, the spectator does"
Laughing
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Interesting advice and some are at cross purposes.
There is a disconnect between the advice to "go out and perform" and "practice until you are 80% of the way there". They are "almost" mutually exclusive.

My one bit of advice, as a beginner - If a spectator asks to shuffle the deck, let them, or you are dead in the water! If necessary segue into another trick, the invisible deck give you 52 outs!

Whilst I am a beginner I have been caught out with someone asking to shuffle the deck and I refused. It is a killer. For this reason I feel, at least, partially qualified, beginner or not.
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Aug 27, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
"If you can do anything else for a living and still be happy, then you really should do that instead of magic." ~ Duke Stern


Thank you. I have been trying to figure out who said that for ages.

Mine would be to always be prepared to adjust on the fly when you start performing a new routine.

Also, rehearse until you're sick of it, and then rehearse some more.

And lastly, make the deceptive actions look like normal actions, and also make the normal actions look like the deceptive actions. Meet in the middle.

Oh, and a bonus, which I figured out but was never explicitly told: consistency/congruence with props, presentation, and character will do far more to hide any discrepancies than pretty much anything else.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, Laughing wrote:
There is a disconnect between the advice to "go out and perform" and "practice until you are 80% of the way there". They are "almost" mutually exclusive.


Maybe I wasn't clear enough. In order to perform you need SOME for of a cohesive product so as not to be a burden to the craft. I wouldn't think it was out of the question to ask you not to buy an effect and perform it on the first person you meet after getting it a few minutes earlier. Why is that? I feel you need to practice it enough to feel qualified to do it justice. If you can't understand the reason for that, that's another issue. I don't think any good magician has ever translated "go out and perform" as a means to negate any rehearsal and practice. If you're goal is to be a musician, you don't buy a guitar and go out on the street and start playing it as soon as you leave the store. I hope you can understand the reason why. Anyone in any craft or art requires the dedication of practice to get to the level where it is worthy of public viewing or even by your friends. I sincerely hope you understand now why these two quotes are most assuredly not mutually exclusive.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Laughing
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Ray I don't necessarily disagree with you, of course get a level of competence with the material you are performing. However there is something to be said about actually taking the chance and go and perform, even if its unpaid on the street or in a bar. There is no substitute for experience. Which is why I said they appear mutually exclusive.
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, Laughing wrote:
Ray I don't necessarily disagree with you, of course get a level of competence with the material you are performing. However there is something to be said about actually taking the chance and go and perform, even if its unpaid on the street or in a bar. There is no substitute for experience. Which is why I said they appear mutually exclusive.


I absolutely agree with performing. My only request is that you do due diligence towards competence before showing others. You owe your audience, either paid or not, friends and family or strangers, the care to at least achieve a level of competence with each effect before just going out and "winging it". Anything less and you're weakening the public perception of magic. after it is well rehearsed, then by all means, get it out there! You will always learn more in front of an audience then you ever will in rehearsal.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Wravyn
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Quote:
On Aug 27, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:
Wow... so many wonderful notes! For me there are so many ...

Don't study magicians or you'll just copy their style. Study the best performing artists in other fields and figure out what makes them great then apply that!

When an effect is 80% ready... get it on stage. The final 20% will never come to you in rehearsal.

Listen to your audience, they will tell you everything. If you video tape your show (which you should do every time you can!) Don't watch it, close your eyes and listen to it. Hear where the reactions come, where the laughs are, then build off of that.

When you're first starting out... no one cares what you think. Prove yourself with your opening few effects, then your opinion will matter more

Find a point of view that is unique and use that to help define your personality.

An act has a character, a show has a personality.

Each routine can show them a new and interesting side of you. In the end, they feel they know you better and that's what they enjoy.

If you truly enjoy what you're doing, that's infectious and they might as well!

People don't care about all of the other shows you've done in the past... they care if you can create a special moment just for them that will live on in their minds forever.

If you do magic only in an attempt to fool them and try and show them how cool you are, that's just being selfish. My goal has always been to give them the gift of wonder and amazement which is one of the greatest feelings ever!

I could go on for days but I need to eat now... good luck everyone!


This is worth printing and hanging up.
funsway
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"If you feel your speaking tempo is good, you are probably going too fast."

"always know what act will precede and follow yours."

"Never perform the effect your mother says is her favorite."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
ryanshaw9572
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Your magic is real.
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