Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Struggling with an effect? Any tips (without giving too much away!) you'd like to share?

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Postby ChelseaBlues » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:55 am



Being an amateur magician, I found this thread a good read. Thanks to everyone for contributing.

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Postby ButrosButros » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:57 am

some pretty useful advice on this thread :D

i've only recently started out, but i figured i'd add a little.


so it looks like the majority of posts on this thread are from close-up/card/coin workers. this is all stuff that requires a certain amount of skill and certainly requires you to really practice. so in getting to a level where you're comfortable and confident enough with the mechanics to start working on presentation, it's a reasonable investment in time. so from learning an effect, to putting it all together for a show (even just for friends), it takes a while.
i get the feeling that a lot of new comers are full of excitement, and really want to do 'magic'. it's already been explained on here the difference between doing a trick and doing magic. anyway, back on point, the initial excitement and eagerness can be diminished somewhat as they slowly realise that it's a lot of practice and hard work, which may ultimately put them off. so if we go back to the idea of doing real 'magic', surely it's better to start off with some self working effects (i started with Self Working Mental Magic by Karl Fulves http://www.talkmagic.co.uk/ftopic15537.php). the mechanics are so simple, it leaves the eager new magician with nothing much to do except concentrate on how to interact with the audience and really give them a magical experience. this allows you to build up confidence and helps keep that excitment and gives you a nice thrill. as you go along mastering very basic self working effects, you'll be ready to move on to stuff like Corinda, or Royal Road or Bobo etc etc. you'll appreciate it more, and be really eager to put in the time to learn and improve and blow some minds!

so it's kind of the opposite of most of the posts here that suggest picking up the classic texts first and practicing loads and THEN thinking about performing then. the classic texts are a must, don't get me wrong, they may just not be the best place to start for some....

any who.....I'm still a beginner so i could be talking out of my bottom.

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Postby Adam Boyes » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:11 pm

ButrosButros wrote:some pretty useful advice on this thread :D

i've only recently started out, but i figured i'd add a little.


so it looks like the majority of posts on this thread are from close-up/card/coin workers. this is all stuff that requires a certain amount of skill and certainly requires you to really practice. so in getting to a level where you're comfortable and confident enough with the mechanics to start working on presentation, it's a reasonable investment in time. so from learning an effect, to putting it all together for a show (even just for friends), it takes a while.
i get the feeling that a lot of new comers are full of excitement, and really want to do 'magic'. it's already been explained on here the difference between doing a trick and doing magic. anyway, back on point, the initial excitement and eagerness can be diminished somewhat as they slowly realise that it's a lot of practice and hard work, which may ultimately put them off. so if we go back to the idea of doing real 'magic', surely it's better to start off with some self working effects (i started with Self Working Mental Magic by Karl Fulves http://www.talkmagic.co.uk/ftopic15537.php). the mechanics are so simple, it leaves the eager new magician with nothing much to do except concentrate on how to interact with the audience and really give them a magical experience. this allows you to build up confidence and helps keep that excitment and gives you a nice thrill. as you go along mastering very basic self working effects, you'll be ready to move on to stuff like Corinda, or Royal Road or Bobo etc etc. you'll appreciate it more, and be really eager to put in the time to learn and improve and blow some minds!

so it's kind of the opposite of most of the posts here that suggest picking up the classic texts first and practicing loads and THEN thinking about performing then. the classic texts are a must, don't get me wrong, they may just not be the best place to start for some....

any who.....I'm still a beginner so i could be talking out of my bottom.


Good post! It reads like you've read my mind regarding giving up! I bought Bobo and RRTCM and it was too difficult so I bought The Secrets of Alakzar and Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic but never found the time to actually practice any of the content properly!

I think that if I get the time I could do with coming back on here for some advise and to start at a level which is good for a newbie

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Postby Dalin » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:04 am

I'd consider myself as something of a beginner to magic and I'm currently undecided as to whether close up style mentalism is more my cup of tea than the coin and card stuff. I prefer mentalism, I think the presentation required tends to flow much more naturally from me and I love the personal, almost intimate atmosphere that it can create. On the other hand I'm not sure I can allow myself to do all the pseudo-psychology which seems to be an almost intrinsic part of mentalism.

Regardless, that is all off topic. For anyone who's considering mentalism I would recommend Theodore Annemann 'Practical Mental Magic'. The effects are as old as the hills and some can be given a bit of a twist with modern themes. But there are so so many real gems in there and I'm not sure if I've come across any book/DVD which hasn't credited Annemann somewhere at least once. The only slight issue with this book is that it is just a list of tricks and how to perform them. If you are only going to buy one book, this is not it. You'll need to get at least one with advice on how to perform mentalism in general.

Corinda's 13 steps is also a superb place to go to. It is very effective at introducing you to the main areas and types of effect that are at a performer’s disposal and has lots of very good methods and suggestions for presentation. Another huge plus with this book is the general advice that it gives for performing mentalism, a lot of which is applicable to other forms of magic too.

I started off with the two books listed above for mentalism along with RRCM and Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. I'd recommend any of these for people who are interested in those art forms.

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Getting Going

Postby MWGrubb » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:51 pm

Years ago, when I first started, I was shaking like a leaf. I was so nervous. But my desire to perform was so strong I went ahead. It takes guts to get out in front of folks, but once you start it gets easier and easier.

The key is to do something. To make it easier, do something that you can do in your sleep, as it were. You have got to make sure that you are comfortable doing what you know to do. Look, if you start with your friends and relatives to get smooth, they won't take it out on you!

Find effects that are simple, real foolers, and have an easy set up. When I was in college, I ALWAYS used the ID. HOWEVER, I did not use the standard routine. I used an effect from Tony Shields with a "Magic Rock," that gave the spectator the ability to guess a turn-over card correctly.

If I ever missed the effect by turning over a card close to the one guessed, it looked even more real!

Hope this helps.

Warmly,

Millard

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First show,

Postby Steven360 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:40 pm

I have been interested in magic for years, and always found it interesting and alluring. I recently did my first payed show (not much) but a first paid gig. I was really nervous but half way through it smoothed out... all simple tricks I bought at a local shop and online. It was really fun...

Does anyone know of a good trick that involves making a pint (full) disappear?

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Postby janiecullen » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:37 am

I am really interested in magic tricks. Especially on coin tricks. Could anyone here could start a good one advice on how to do coin tricks. I want to know more about coin tricks. I have an idea about coin tricks but it's not enough to be expert.

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Postby dup » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:31 am

Janie -

I would suggest reading Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. It contains lots of information about coin tricks.

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Re: First show,

Postby Erwin » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:17 pm

Steven360 wrote:Does anyone know of a good trick that involves making a pint (full) disappear?


Leave me to mind it while you go do your act. That's magic!

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Postby ruben » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:26 am

for the new to be intertainers,I would if I were you find these books and put them under your pillow.

Dale Carnegie-(Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business)
and- (How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Henning Nelms-Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers

Peter Lamont and Richard Wiseman-Magic in Theory: An Introduction to the Theoretical and Psychological Elements of Conjuring.

Nathaniel Schiffman-Abracadabra: SECRET METHODS MAGICIANS AND OTHERS USE TO DECEIVE THEIR AUDIENCE

start with these-for now

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Postby Adam Boyes » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:55 pm

I've only just noticed this thread :)

I have 4 magic books, a complete novice - Mark Wilsons, Bobo and RRTCM.

Do you think I'm best off starting with Mark Wilson? Bobo and RRTCM seem quite advanced looking over them again!

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Postby Mandrake » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:24 pm

Mark Wilson gets my vote because it covers a much wider range than the other two books - save those for after MW and they'll follow on very naturally.

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Postby Adam Boyes » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:05 am

Mandrake wrote:Mark Wilson gets my vote because it covers a much wider range than the other two books - save those for after MW and they'll follow on very naturally.


To be honest I thought as much. Thanks

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Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Pepsi Twist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:29 pm

Though RRTCM has a whole lot of stuff and is certainly no waste of money, I prefer Card college. I think it's a bit more comprehensive but still eases you into it, and the writing is a bit less stuffy. Having said that, I have Paul Wilson's RRTCM DVD which is useful along with the book.
For everyone asking about coins, Bobo's Modern coin magic has pretty much everything you'd need for a long time, I think that book and a few gimmicks will sort you out for good!
I have Paul Zenon's Street magic as well, anyone care to weigh in on this? I'm not a fan and I wouldn't recommend it (unless you just want to impress a few friends down the pub or something).

I also have Complete Card Magic DVD (4 discs) with Gerry Griffin, which has a lottt of effects (over 120 is says on the box, a lot of repeats etc, but still plenty of variety) as well as the last disc being an encyclopaedia of shuffles, forces, cuts and sleights (No not all of them of course, but quite a few of each). As a beginner, it's so helpful just to watch so even if you're not using them or they're way beyond your skill for now, you know what all these things are. Plus it was about £20 on Amazon, bargain!

Just a few of my thoughts, feel free to ignore :)

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Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Crimsai » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:42 am

I'm working my way through The Royal Road at the minute, but I've recently been fascinated with hypnotism, not necessarily doing it but just learning about it, can anyone suggest some good books on the subject?

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