Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

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

Moderators: Mandrake, bananafish, Lady of Mystery, support, nickj

Sorcery Shop - Home of the ITR Aeternum Servare Secreta Best prices around! Best prices around! Dude That's Cool Magic Playing Cards for Magicians

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Mandrake » Nov 18th, '11, 00:48



Therev are many threads, and arguments, here on Hypnosis but start off with ftopic26902.php" target="_blank" target="_blank which covers a lot of ground.

User avatar
Mandrake
'
 
Posts: 27095
Joined: Apr 20th, '03, 19:00
Location: UK (70:AH)

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby AssassinMagic » Dec 15th, '11, 18:27

Hi guys, first time poster here. Ive been doing magic since i was 7, now 20. Unfortunately i had to stop for a few years when i was 15, due to family issues, and now getting back into it. I was wondering if anyone would take a look at some of my videos on youtube and offer any advice on how to improve. Thanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1etYNif ... UyNuiha27u http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm28Kn0S ... I7I5OOG7Ja http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPHpe1Rc ... 3uLIbYJEPs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-pRblos ... dVPXwmGLD3

AssassinMagic
New User
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 15th, '11, 18:20

Advice for the beginners in magic

Postby hds02115 » Mar 10th, '12, 01:44

“I’ve recently been getting interested in magic and want to know where to start.”

This question, or something similar seems to come up so often on this forum but always seems to get the same answers, so why isn’t there a thread specifically devoted to it?

This thread, which I hope is good enough to perhaps make it to the sticky section of this sub-forum has been put together as a bit of a brief guide for any newcomers to the magical arts. It’s aim is to accompany the thread ‘Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide’. Farlsborough’s post has some great tips but here I aim to cover some of the questions that often creep up on this forum, hopefully answering them before they are asked. I’ve tried to do this by breaking down the processes beginners to magic go through and talking about each of them a little. Here we go.

Which Area

So back to the question of where to start. Well for a beginner this can be a very exciting time, suddenly coming into a magical world where almost anything seems to be possible. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming.

From what I remember when I first started and from the posts of others, a big mistake for a lot of people is that they try to overload themselves with everything they can get their hands on. This can be exciting at first, but what can happen with this attitude is that after a while the new magician may start to feel that he or she isn’t making any progress. That it’s slow and they perhaps aren’t where they wanted to be at this point. This feeling can and probably does put a lot of people off, leaving their jumbo coins, sponge balls and cards collecting dust somewhere.

What I would recommend, and I hope others would agree is that newcomers to magic chose a path which excites them and stick with it. This doesn’t need to be a strict rule and you can of course stray from your decided path to try your hand at other bits and pieces, so long as your core chose takes you main focus.

This idea may seem a little drastic but for those newcomers reading this, ask yourself this question; what do you think would be better? For a week practicing sleights for coins, cards, ropes, sponges and rings, or practicing only card sleights for a week? Of course if you were to chose the latter you would not know how to palm a coin, but your card sleights would be more superior to someone who had to spread their time out covering everything. There’s an old saying, a jack of all trades is a master of none, and for those who want a simpler way of putting it, don’t spread your butter too thin. I’m sure you get the idea.

As I have said, this rule doesn’t have to be strictly stuck to, and of course it would be unreasonable to expect that of someone, but it is something that perhaps people new to magic should think about. It’s defiantly something I would recommend and something I wish I had been told years ago. I just feel that this way of learning will encourage rather than overwhelm and so once the newcomer gets to a proficient level, they can move onto a different area, perhaps something that caught their eye while learning their first choice. With all this said, let’s move onto where to start.

Key Starting Points

So then, you’ve decided what you want to proceed with and now you’re ready to start. Well let’s point you in the right direction. What I have decided is that I shall go into more detail regarding cards and coins, as these are possibly the most common areas people start with considering everyone has a deck of cards or coins readily available.

Cards

I think that it’s generally agreed upon that for any budding card magician, the starting place is The Royal Road to Card Magic by Hugard and Braue. This book has been the starting point for probably all of the card magicians performing these days. That say’s quite a lot for a book which you can pick up pretty cheap and even in some normal book stores such as Waterstones (the UK book store chain). Some people are against it because of some of the language used in it, mainly that it is a little dated however, this can easily be overlooked as it still contains a wealth of knowledge and some really amazing card tricks. Constructed well and easy to work through, this is a safe bet. Pick up a copy and a deck of cards for under ten pounds and you’ll be set for a while.

For those who have a little more money to blow and who perhaps would like a little bit more of a modern book, take a look at the Card College series by Roberto Giobbi. These books also receive great praise and cover a lot more than The Royal Road however they cost a bit more and the knowledge is spread out over several books. Personally, I would take the route of Royal Road, and then onto Expert Card Technique, also written by Hugard and Braue. This will give you lots to study at very little cost.

Coins

Personally, I am not extensively practiced in coin magic but a book which seems to get high praise on these forums is Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic. I do own this book and in my opinion it is the coin equivalent to The Royal Road to Card Magic in that it teaches you the basic sleights and some tricks to do with them. For little money invested, you get a lot back.

General Magic

For a good all around book, or books I would recommend series such as Tarbell’s Course in Magic by of course Harlan Tarbell. These books cover almost every aspect of magic and have a great range of tricks in them. Not cheap for the whole set but brought in segments, they won’t break the bank and will give you time in between purchases to really study their content. There are other series out there similar to these which if anyone reading this can think of, please post them in the thread below.

Mentalism

Personally I feel that people new to magic should not be starting at this point. Mentalism I feel requires not only a lot of study and practice, but also an enormous amount of presentation to pull it off well, unfortunately something that not every “mentalist” is able to do, let alone a newcomer. For this reason I would recommend as I’m sure most would to leave this area until you’ve got some magic time under your belt. If however you chose to ignore this or that you are at a stage where you feel you’re ready to delve into this area of magic, I feel the most acknowledged starting point is 13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda. It covers a lot of the different techniques used by mentalists and for the cost, is quite a good investment. Personally, in my magic I only dip a toe into the area considered to be mentalism, but this book is still something I will go back to for some inspiration every now and again.

I feel that the sources offered above are generally agreed upon to be good starting point for each area but of course this is just my opinion so if anyone feels they could suggest better points, please do. To make it easier for people to locate, please do as I have done and put the titles and magicians in bold.

Practice

This is another common question asked by new magicians. “How long should I practice for?” Well, the strait answer is how ever long you want. There is no set practice time for a magician. It’s completely down to you. How fast do you want to progress? How much time can you spare for this new hobby? Do your hands hurt or cramp up? If this last question is an issue you’re having then perhaps you’re practicing too much.

There is no solid answer to this. Personally though I feel that if you are serious in becoming competent in magic, you should practice as often as you can. This doesn’t mean spending every waking second shuffling cards or palming coins, it instead means that you should at least spend some time each day doing something, even if it’s reading one of the books mentioned above.

There is another issue with practice which is over practicing. You may find that you actually become bored of it and start thinking of practicing as a chore. This is of course a bad thing and something which you will of course want to avoid. A good way of doing this is to not create a set practice schedule for yourself. Keep it casual at first and perhaps become more regimented later as you get into it. You may find that it’s not for you after all.

A final note on practicing regarding performances. This will also nicely lead us in the next section of this post. When learning these new tricks, you will have an incredible urge to show your new trick or sleight to the world. This is great and is something that shouldn’t be discouraged however, a word of caution. Not everyone is as into magic as you are and although they might be amazed at one trick, you might find people becoming abrasive when every time you see them you force a deck of cards under their nose. Take a step back and give people some space. After all, they’ve got to get used to you being a magician, just as much as you have.

Performances

So as stated in the previous section, after a while, you’re going to start to learn things which you will of course want to show people. This is of course the point of magic, to entertain others. Well as well as what was previously said, here are some tips for when you’re ready to show off your stuff.

I guess the first thing you should do is ask yourself this question. Am I ready to perform this trick? To this, you should answer honestly because it’s only you who is going to look like a fool otherwise. You should ask yourself honestly if you feel your sleights are proficient and if your presentation is up to scratch. I think it was Eugene Burger that said, when you’re ready, wait a month. This is asking a lot of someone who is probably as excited about showing their new trick as a child before Christmas and so a month is probably excessive, but it holds true still. Make sure you’re ready as if you’re not, you risk doing several things as well as looking silly. A major issue you might face is revealing a sleight which in the future may trip you up on another, better performed trick. Also, if you don’t perform well the first time, people may not be interested a second.

These points kind of lead onto the next topic which I feel new magicians should think of.

Attitude

To really get the most out of your magic you need to get the right attitude. I feel that this lies in respect. That’s respect for your magic, others magic and magic itself. What does this mean? Let’s have a look.

Respect for your magic means treating it seriously, even if it’s meant to be comical. If you don’t take what you’re doing seriously, who else will? This means taking the time to practice and perform your tricks well rather than half assing it.

Respect for others magic. This means respecting other magicians hard work. If you’ve learnt a new trick don’t go telling people how it’s done. This will not only make people lose their respect for you as a magician but will lose you friends in the magical community too. As it was said in a Hollywood movie, “The secret impresses no one.”

Finally, respect for magic itself. This means treating it properly. Currently magic seems to be making a slow and steady come back. It’s seeming less like the nerdy hobby and more like a legitimate skill. Let’s try to improve this view of magic and stop it from sinking back into that shady place.

Youtube

This next topic I take very seriously, that is the topic of magic videos on youtube and other video sharing sites. There are far too many reveal videos and videos of “magicians”, kids mostly performing tricks so poorly they might as well be tutorials. Don’t be the one who adds to this problem.

Personally I don’t see the point in recording yourself performing tricks to a camera and posting them online. One thing is that this serves no purpose as you can’t misdirect a camera. Also, if people really wanted to pick your trick apart, they could just watch your video over and over. This surely spits in the face of the rule, never perform the same trick twice. Another reason I don’t get this trend is that magic is about managing people and so simply recording yourself and having strangers pick you apart just doesn’t compute with me.

Still, saying all this, there will be those who insist of recording themselves. All I say is this. Please, on behalf of the entire magic community, make sure your performance is immaculate. Don’t just do one take and preferable, record you performing to others, not just to the camera in your bedroom.

Buying Into the Hype

As a new magician you are probably going to find yourself being drawn into the marketing traps of certain magic websites. I won’t name names, but you know who you are as do most serious magician. This then will hopefully serve as a warning.

Don’t fall for adds that claim things like “Perform Strait Away” or “No Skill Needed”. These types of tricks are usually over priced and will leave you feeling ripped off. Maybe not strait away, but inevitably, most are over hyped junk. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great bits of magic out there, I am just suggesting that before you part with your money, just take a step back and think logically about the purchase.

I would say that if you stick with studying magic books on sleights rather than just buying single tricks, you will soon find yourself thinking in such a way that you may in fact work out how many of these trick work, or at least how you could achieve them. This I feel is a much more rewarding path to take as this not only saves you money, but also starts you on a much more creative path, inevitably leading you to creating your own magic tricks.

To sum up, you’re no doubt going to fall into some of these marketing traps. It’s just a part of becoming a magician I think. Over time you will learn to spot a dud when you see one and hopefully won’t become adducted to buying the latest shiny thing. This is referred to as CUPS on this forum.

Idols

This final section will be brief as I fear this thread may be too long for some anyway but it refers to which magicians to look up to. Of course this will depend on which area of magic you wish to pursue and will of course differ from person to person.

I feel however that as a new magician in the making, you should avoid trying to be people like David Blaine, Criss Angle and the newest TV sensation Dynamo. Although these men may be competent magicians who get great reactions on tv, do you really want to be like them?

That may be a little too precise. The point I’m making is that to become a great magician, you need to become yourself. This means not copying others. Look up to other magicians for their skill and magic, but when it comes to you as a performer, you mustn’t be something you’re not.



I hope that this guide is helpful to others and will not only stop some of the forums getting cluttered up with the same old threads, but also help newcomer avoid making some mistakes which can be avoided.

All of what I have written is my own opinion and has been written to the best of my abilities at what ever o’clock at night this is. Because of this, if I have missed something or someone thinks something might need changing or adding to, I encourage you to post. Let’s help others, not hinder.

Finally, to all would-be magicians out there starting their journeys down this endless path, good luck.

hds02115
Senior Member
 
Posts: 487
Joined: Aug 13th, '10, 21:12
Location: UK (WP)

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby ruben » May 7th, '12, 15:41

Like a kid in a candy shop. And as the saying goes, the eyes are bigger than the stomach.
How would you drill this post into most of the rug-rats out there, not easy. First off, it's the continuous pounding of the magic shops and the adds, then there's the y-tube with tutorals which I personally do not agree with. Idols? bad mistake, the magic circles help to create these dinosaurs. The profession for most of the new gender has gone down the tubes, thanks in part by our innovations. Money issue? yep that to. If the wallet if fat i'll walk into the magic shop by loads of illusions and or such and improv myself a big wheel. Hey man I suddenly appeared on national tv. Which of course is what the media wants and what the show business Angels are looking to book. Yes ther're called angels, at least they were in my days, not so long ago. Sorry guys I would like to continue, but I think we all got the point and furthermore I hope the new bees got it better.

With respect Ruben.

ruben
Full Member
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Jan 10th, '08, 14:53

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Amazing-magic » Jun 15th, '12, 19:14

First books I bought was Card College vol 1. Haven't needed to buy anything other than those for the moment (For card magic). And I'm starting in mentalism so I am stick to the usual path ans buying a good solid book (In this case 13 steps)

Amazing-magic
New User
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 15th, '12, 17:12

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby The Last Deck on the Left » Jul 25th, '12, 16:54

What a great thread!

My quick advice:

Believe in Yourself. Listen to feedback, but don't give it too much weight and let it rule your thoughts.

Push Yourself. If you stay in your comfort zone you'll stay where you are.

Better Yourself. Read and read some more. DVDs are great - I've bought lots on my journey, but information in books tends to stay with you longer and you'll apply it in a more unique way.

Be Yourself. There's only one you - you have been you all your life. Why try and be like someone else? They are the original and if you try and be like them, you can only ever be second best.

:-)

User avatar
The Last Deck on the Left
Preferred Member
 
Posts: 295
Joined: Oct 19th, '04, 11:53
Location: Midlands - UK

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby johnnyryanUK » Aug 31st, '12, 12:06

excellent thread here very good advice! so is it best to mix DVDS and books as well then?

johnnyryanUK
Full Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Aug 9th, '12, 22:14

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Mandrake » Aug 31st, '12, 15:31

Whatever works for you is the best. Personally I prefer books because they tend to contain a lot of effects and are usually relatively low cost - I'm a well-known cheapskate! However, some effects can be better demonstrated visually so Vids or DVDs definitely have their place. Online vids which are only accessible after buying the effect seem to be developing very well indeed and certainly mean costs are lower than duplicating and distributing DVDs.

User avatar
Mandrake
'
 
Posts: 27095
Joined: Apr 20th, '03, 19:00
Location: UK (70:AH)

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby johnnyryanUK » Aug 31st, '12, 18:33

Mandrake wrote:Whatever works for you is the best. Personally I prefer books because they tend to contain a lot of effects and are usually relatively low cost - I'm a well-known cheapskate! However, some effects can be better demonstrated visually so Vids or DVDs definitely have their place. Online vids which are only accessible after buying the effect seem to be developing very well indeed and certainly mean costs are lower than duplicating and distributing DVDs.

Don't worry I'm a cheapskate too haha! Yeah I agree certainly and it's recommended to buy DVDs off magicshop generally yeah?

johnnyryanUK
Full Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Aug 9th, '12, 22:14

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Mandrake » Aug 31st, '12, 18:52

Whilst I admit here to being a cheapskate, I prefer to project the image to non magi as 'financially astute' or some such cobblers! As for recommending one supplier over others, I'd suggest buyers always search around for the best deals - Google is a very good friend. Most magic suppliers can offer the same items at the same price, or within a few pence, so it comes down to whichever supplier you prefer or have had good service from in the past. Not missing the opportunity for a little commercial announcement :wink: , I'd always suggest buyers check the firms who support TM with their advertising, use the links on here to access their sites and see what bargains they're offering!

User avatar
Mandrake
'
 
Posts: 27095
Joined: Apr 20th, '03, 19:00
Location: UK (70:AH)

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby johnnyryanUK » Sep 4th, '12, 13:59

It's just so overwhelming when you begin magic as there's SO many books DVDs and differing opinions it can be quite difficult for a beginner like me to really get in to some sort of flow! In fact I bet a few people are put off magic right at this period when it's 'all up in the air' (if that's how you word it lol). But once you begin to start learning some basic sleights with cards, coins and few tricks you start to gain some sort of grounding on the royal road to magic (like my play with words).

johnnyryanUK
Full Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Aug 9th, '12, 22:14

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Lady of Mystery » Sep 4th, '12, 14:30

That's why I think that Mark Wilson's Complete Course is such a great book. It gives you a great introduction into so many different areas of magic so that once you've worked your way through it, you've got a good idea where you want to go next.

Foodie chat and recipes at https://therosekitchen.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Lady of Mystery
Senior Moderator
 
Posts: 8849
Joined: Nov 30th, '06, 15:30
Location: On a pink and fluffy cloud (31:AH)

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby johnnyryanUK » Sep 4th, '12, 18:35

Would you advise me to then get as it were 'specific' by specfic I mean start to focus on one or couple of areas?

johnnyryanUK
Full Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Aug 9th, '12, 22:14

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby Lady of Mystery » Sep 5th, '12, 07:13

What I did when starting out was to work through Mark Wilson from cover to cover and tried out many of the different effects and types of magic. When I got to the end I looked back through and made a note of all the areas that I was most interested in and began reading more specific books about those. It is worth giving all the areas a try and not just skimming over them, I started reading Mark Wilson with the intention to learn cards and coins but ended up realising that I enjoyed sponges, ropes and silks far more so these were the areas that I studied first.

Foodie chat and recipes at https://therosekitchen.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Lady of Mystery
Senior Moderator
 
Posts: 8849
Joined: Nov 30th, '06, 15:30
Location: On a pink and fluffy cloud (31:AH)

Re: Getting Started in Magic - a disorganised guide!

Postby johnnyryanUK » Sep 5th, '12, 13:40

Very interesting yes, but I have a question. I just feel that the effects in MW book aren't participatory impressive, some I would perform with no shame but others i have a fear that the audience almost knows how its done because it's such an obvious trick?

johnnyryanUK
Full Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Aug 9th, '12, 22:14

PreviousNext

Return to Support & Tips

MagicWorld Magic Shop for Magic Tricks World-Of-Magic, Suppliers of quality Magic Worldwide Visit Magicbox for all the latest and best effects! Web Design for Magicians A web site set up to sell my book, THE STRIPPER DECK, and future magical/mentalism titles. Manufacturer of modern & unique magic apparatus! UK's Online Magic Tricks and Jokes Shop offers kids and beginner magic tricks and jokes.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest