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 Renato » Nov 9th, '06, 17:11



:shock: DVDs would be a far better way of learning than Youtube IMO.

If you came across any tutorials of marketed effects I seriously suggest you report them to the creators - they're cracking down on Youtube exposure more and more now.

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Postby kingkongkyle1 » Jan 12th, '07, 19:59

Thanks for the tips

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Postby le_dartagnan » Jan 13th, '07, 16:33

I agree, DVD's would be far better than YouTube.
First of all DVD's would then only be used by other magician's, since we would buy it. Whereas YouTube can be seen by everyone.

I did see a trick explaned on YouTube a while ago, this by a young
boy. Now, it's not that he knows it that ennoys me, but the sharing.
We try to keep things under wrap, but there things tend to be shown online,
for all to see.

As far as for beginners : first of all, start with something simple.

It's not WHAT you do, but HOW you do it. Everybody can buy a trick, but not everybody can do Magic !!

When putting a show together, I always choose certain things to do. My program was my skeleton. All the rest was filled with the audience. Sometime I didn't had enough time to end my full program. All depends on how the audience reacts.
Also, don't just do things as you buy it. Make it your own. I've often changed things, because they didn't fit what I wanted.
I have one act which is combined with ventriloquism. The trick is the simplicity itself. But this combination makes the act as a whole.

So if you want to do magic : simplicity can make things great. Make sure you feel at ease with the magic you want to do.


I remember once I was performing in Bruges. I had made my own stand with pressed wood. It was nicely covered by selfadhesive black velvet. With white tape, I made a AV (linked in one) as those where my initials :
Alan Ventrilo.
So the stand was setup on stage and I went backstage. A while later I heard a noise. And as I came back, I noticed this guy, who was another "performer" had tried to move the stand, but since he didn't know how, it fell apart. At first I really didn't mind, since it was not on purpose. However his reaction really surprised me : He asked me if I had made that thing myself. I was very proud of it, and ofcourse I said yes.
That's when he answered this isn't professional blablablabla...
So this guy considered himself a professional, but the only thing he could do was to critizise me. Opposed to that, I was more intrigued. Intrigued in what he had to offer. So I needed to see what he did.
I can tell you, he's only a box of tricks. Everything bought in a shop. Nothing personal. Whereas for me, my Funny Bunny was made specially for me by some friends. My act only lasted for 15min, but all was made by myself, except for my Balloon Trick.

What I want to tell you : you don't need to buy hundred of tricks to become a magician. It's HOW you do it. A trick only lasts for a couple of minutes. But magic lasts longer !

phew, I wrote more than I wanted, hope I make sense :)

Anyways I can simplify what I want to say : remain original !

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Postby AJ » Mar 9th, '07, 03:01

I just ordered bobos modern coin magic from lybrary but just realized how HUGE it is. Im going to be confined to a computer for a long time, is there a way to make this more accesible? Oh, and what coins do i need since this was wrote al long time ago i dont know if i need a half dollar, quarter, dime or what.

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Postby beeno » Mar 9th, '07, 12:50

AJ wrote:I just ordered bobos modern coin magic from lybrary but just realized how HUGE it is. Im going to be confined to a computer for a long time, is there a way to make this more accesible? Oh, and what coins do i need since this was wrote al long time ago i dont know if i need a half dollar, quarter, dime or what.

There are no specific coins you need. If you're practising palming, just start out with whatever feels easiest to work with at first, then go onto bigger/smaller coins. If you're in the UK 2p's are usually the easiest to start working with.

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magic tricks

Postby willdeanda » Apr 22nd, '07, 04:01

When I started I spent a ton of money and of course most of it sits in my closet but heres the thing... you have to first start with the most basic things. I realized quickly that I could not perfom without looking stupid so I had to start with basics... if I could do it over again I woulda learnt:


1. Cups and Balls ($30 US)

2. Basic coin sleight of hand (Bobo's book $10 US)

3. Darwin's encyclopedia of thumtip magic DVD($60 US)

Learning these basics will take months and performance and patter will happen in time but try not to be eager. If you rush your magic you will look foolish and in turn your audience impression of magic will be lost.

Start with the basics. Remember there is no rush... magic has been around for thousands of years.

Pick one "trick" and learn it well. Good Luck.

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Postby Lord Freddie » Apr 22nd, '07, 10:18

Again, for any beginner, I recommend investing in the Tarbell Course In Magic books. Well explained and each volume is packed with techniques and effects. The things between the pages of these books will keep you in effects for a lifetime.

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visual learning

Postby spudgun » Apr 24th, '07, 23:18

i just wanted to ask folks about books versus dvds/videos.....i found going throught the RRCM with the dvds really good cause im pretty much a visual learner and being able to see the slieghts performed and then reading the book was invaluable..........when i got to ECT i found that it was a lot slower moving and find myself going over bits im not sure ive got down well or acurately......my question is this????........is there a dvd that covers what or much of what is covered in ECT.......and equally is there a dvd that covers what or much of what is covered in bobos modern coin magic. I undrstand that many years of study is infront of me so im not being lazy its just that im sort of addicted to magic (i know that makes me sound like a freak) but i love practicing and then doing effects and my practicing is more effective when i can see "things"......also....any thoughts on magic clubs and their use?

Again thank you folks. :D :D :D

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Postby HenryHoudini » Jul 5th, '07, 22:22

I think David Roths stuff teaches a lot of things in Bobo. Ive kinda become a David Roth fanatic. :oops:

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Postby smokin_doritos » Jul 9th, '07, 00:56

When I first started with card and coin tricks, I just found tricks I wanted to learn and tried to learn and perform them. What I later realized is that I needed to be able to handle cards well before trying to learn and perform good tricks. I spent many hours practicing simple card shuffles, sleights, and flourishes before I went deep into card tricks. The same applys with coin tricks and I imagine all other close up tricks.

One nice advantage to this way is when you finally learn and perform it is easier to pick up on the trick and it looks really fancy to incorporate your own manuevers. ;)

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Postby Robert_lavigne » Jul 30th, '07, 20:55

well, I'm just moving from the beginner to intermidiate stage in magic. For those starting out I wouldn't reccomend spending anymore money then buying some good qualtiy cards. To actully be half decent at any magic it takes hours of practice, so buying an exspensive book, DVD or trick may turn out to be a waste of money if your not going to commit to spending hours infront of your bathroom mirror practicing. As much as I hate the fact that people are wasting tricks by showing them on Youtube, there are still some basic slights and flourishes that are a must for all magicians. I recommend learning some basics like the DL, false cuts, false shuffles and maybe some flourishes, and just practice those until they're perfect. if you haven't quit after that, then go ahead and start spending money.

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Postby Zcoder » Oct 4th, '07, 19:24

Most of the time I run into people just starting out and they all
say they paid good money on a trick, but was disillusioned
after getting the trick, most of the time they say it's because
they are left dirty.

dirty meaning that they are left with something they feel they
can get caught with. or their are tricks where angles are very
important. these are tricks that go into the closet forever.

Yet, those are the tricks that magic is really all about.
impromptu tricks, or self working tricks maybe nice, but
that is not the true art of magic. for one, you limit yourself
on effects you could perform. the most important thing in
the art of magic is to take on that challenge. by taking
control of your audience, you will find that you can get
by with almost murder.

That you can pull off almost anything. but you must learn
the art of control, or should I say captivation? to make your
audience give you complete control of them self to you, while
you guild them into moments of magical impossibility's.

You must be relaxed, as well as your audience, and they must
like you, I found out that people can be guided into fooling
them self.

Now since I don't always do stage illusions, I like to work with
the audience I like to get them involved, each and every person
in the audience should feel apart of the trick.

But getting back to tricks that are not so favorable to most
magicians, you must agree, that the effect is powerful.
and what you need to realize is, how much do you want
that effect in your act? and are you creative? do you have
another effect that could help you out of your problem
with a trick you think is dirty at the end?

Since I can't really tell secrets here, I am trying to show how
you can combine some things together to help give you an
escape.

I wish I could show examples, but I won't, but maybe some of
you are already thinking hard on what I mean, and just may
have a few ideas of your own on some of the effects you
already like and don't like, that can be combined together
to allow a good natural escape.

So go ahead and drag out those effects you tossed off into
the abyss, and think more creative on how you could combine
them with other effects to help create an escape.
Like on some effects that require angles, instead of telling
your audience to stand about here or there, tell them, that you
think they should get a good view of this right around this
area, because you would hate them to miss whats about to
happen. it's like you are for each member of the audience
and that you are involving them all, and that you want no one
left out.

Don't give up on an effect because you feel uncomfortable
with what is left in your hands. or because the effect is too
angle important. just calm down, take control. combined with
creativeness. and you will find that you can ditch a tracker
trailer with no problem.

A real magician after all the practice, will someday realize that
taking control of the audience is just the finishing job to his
art, and that those hard to pull off effects are what separates
a amature from a professional in the art of delivery.

I can't say enough to encourage those who want to be magicians
to take on those effects, and improve their performance skills
when dealing with people. after all, those hard to pull off effects
will be tagged to you, while other magicians don't dare pull them off. making you stand out in the eye's of anyone who
See's you perform. and that is the true art of magic.

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Postby Jackson Avocado » Nov 3rd, '07, 00:14

Cardza wrote::shock: DVDs would be a far better way of learning than Youtube IMO.

If you came across any tutorials of marketed effects I seriously suggest you report them to the creators - they're cracking down on Youtube exposure more and more now.


I disagree with this to an extent. I began learning magic off of YouTube, and it's a great resource for beginners like me who like to get a feel for what they're getting into before investing in DVDs. A couple widely practiced card tricks, namely Red Hot Mama and Jumping Gemini, have some GREAT tutorials online. The 'copyrighted' tricks, I agree, shouldn't be exposed, but age old card tricks- come on, you can't get mad at that.

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Postby Saxon Greye » Nov 4th, '07, 04:12

...before I got on this thread I never knew that so many people bought dvds and books and such to learn magic, I learned magic on my own just by sitting down and thinking about it for a few hours. I'm wondering if thats the case with anyone else? because I tried to find one thing that I could fool someone with using cards and coins, and now I'm coming up with and perfecting better and better tricks, everyday I come up with two or three new tricks, about once a week I come up with a drasticly better trick and all my tricks become that much better. I'm wondering (I am not trying to be a jerk here, I'm not bragging, I'm just asking out of curiosity) can anyone else come up with tricks the same way? or do you rely on books? The main reason I ask is because I know someone like this and I'm going to be doing a stage preformance with a few other Illusionists and I'm wondering if I should ask him to preform with us.

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Postby TheAge » Nov 4th, '07, 05:14

Well, that's how Banachek started out, inventing his own stuff... fork bends, making clocks across the room stop, etc.

The only problem with this approach, is that with the great wealth of knowledge out there, you could very well be reinventing the wheel.

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