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How do I get started in magic?

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 2,791 ✭✭✭ oeb


    In this current time of youtube magic, there seems to be a demand for 'Instant Gratification'. People don't want to learn magic, they want to be able to do it.

    This is bad.

    People want to skip the foundations, people want to be able to watch a video on youtube and show it to all their friends a few minutes later. This harms our art.

    When you go out and preform tricks to the public when you are not ready, you give magicians in general a bad name. I am nearly willing to bet that almost every person here who preforms regularly has met people who dislike magic simply because they have only ever been exposed to bad magic.

    So this post is for all the people who want to get started in magic the right way. The way that builds a solid foundation in the art that will allow you to properly develop as a skilled preformer.

    Please note, I have tried to provide the ISBN-13 below where I could, but at times I could only find the ISBN-10. Book shops should support both anyway.


    Where do I begin?
    Every one has to start somewhere, and the best place to start is probably with something that gives you a bit of variety. It can be intimidating to be faced with something like Card College, or Modern Coin Magic when you don't have the experience behind you to appreciate it. So here are some books that I would recomend picking up. Most of the books here can probably be ordered direct from your local bookshop.

    Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic : ISBN 978-0894716232
    The Art of Magic & Sleight of Hand, Nick Einhorn : ISBN 978-0754810926

    Where do I go from here?
    Once you have had your good solid introduction to magic, it is generally time to focus on one area at a time. Magic has a really broad spectrum. There is an awful lot of different skill sets out there. From cards, to coins, to sponge magic, to stage magic, it can be quite intimidating. Most of the books that are seen as 'classics' focus on one specific area. Most magicians typicially find a 'favorite' type of effect quickly, so hopefully you should not have too much difficulty deciding where to move on to next.

    Card Magic
    The Royal Road is recognised amongst most magicians as the book that every card magician should start with. I agree to some extent, but in my opinion you would be better off with Card College. It is much more detailed and easier to understand. But it is also much more expensive. The Royal Road will probably set you back ten or fifteen quid, where as a complete set of Card College will probably hit you for the tune of 130-200 USD.

    The Royal Road to Card Magic : ISBN 978-1406793918

    Card College (5 Volume Set)
    Vol 1 : ISBN 978-0945296188
    Vol 2 : ISBN 978-0945296157
    Vol 3 : ISBN 978-0945296225
    Vol 4 : ISBN 0-945296-33-9
    Vol 5 : ISBN 978-0945296447

    Coins
    There is probably only one book that most people will recomend when it comes to coins, and that is Modern Coin Magic. While there is a huge ammount of material out there that focuses on cards or mentalism alone, coin work seems to lack alot of the specialist work. (Then again, I have never really been into coin magic, so I could very well be wrong). That being said, on most 'Lecture' style DVDs (Most magic DVDs are in this format) you will find at least a couple of coin effects, so it is important to know the basics.

    Modern Coin Magic, J. B. Bobo : ISBN 978-0486242583

    Mentalism
    Mental magic is quite a different beast to sleight of hand. It generally requires much much stronger preformance skills. Alot of what you do will totally rely on you convincing the spectator. There are very few succesful magicians that have both a strong mentalism act and a strong sleight of hand act. Most seem to choose one or the other. There is really only one book to get you started here though, and it covers pretty much every foundation that you will need. From billet (Small pieces of paper used for predictions) work, to blind folded driving.

    13 Steps to Mentalism, Corinda : AISN B000NUJ6AM


    Sponge Magic
    Sponge magic is a firm favorite both with magicians and spectators. It is very visual, and can be made very entertaining. Steve Dacri has released a great new DVD set called 'The Sponge Ball Tool Box' which is a great start. It comes with a DVD, some sponges and some other gimmicks to help improve your routine. I wont provide a link to the product as I don't want to promote any specific online store. A google search returns plenty of results anyway.


    I hope this is helpful to somebody.


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Comments

  • #2


    Great post oeb.


  • #2


    Very good post IMO

    as an add-on, in personal experience, I found Sponge magic the easiest to start with for sleights etc. its a very simple set up, can be fairly forgiving (unlike coins), and get u used to both using sleights confidently, and developing patter and showmanship. I would recommend that this school would be the best to start with.

    Card magic is like Poker, there is a WORLD of new information out there to learn, that you may never know it all, if you want to be a dedicated card magician be aware, it takes a lot of work. My handling is still quite poor, but i do constantly look out for ways to improve it.

    coins are quite fiddley, but pack an impact when learned. If you are going to try coin magic, get yourself on ebay and order some silver dollars/halfdollars. euro coins are smaller and much harder to learn with. be warned, a great coin routine takes a lot of practise, but having seen it and not being able to do it, its worth every second. a professional display of sleights using coins will garner respect not only from spectators but fellow magicians.


  • #2


    zuroph wrote: »
    coins are quite fiddley, but pack an impact when learned. If you are going to try coin magic, get yourself on ebay and order some silver dollars/halfdollars. euro coins are smaller and much harder to learn with. be warned, a great coin routine takes a lot of practise, but having seen it and not being able to do it, its worth every second. a professional display of sleights using coins will garner respect not only from spectators but fellow magicians.

    Just a few comments on to this.

    It is also worth noticing that most coin gimicks come in the form of US coinage (Mostly half dollar), but alot of them are also available in UK format.

    Few coin gimicks are available in Euro, and the ones that are tend to be cheaper in US format anyway.


  • #2


    oeb wrote: »
    Just a few comments on to this.

    It is also worth noticing that most coin gimicks come in the form of US coinage (Mostly half dollar), but alot of them are also available in UK format.

    Few coin gimicks are available in Euro, and the ones that are tend to be cheaper in US format anyway.

    Great Original Post...

    Now, doesn't the fact that most gimmick coins are US/UK denominations take away from the trick if you use them? How do Irish magicians get around this? Won't an audience be suspect?

    Or do you say something like "I recently did this trick in the US..." to subliminally induce acceptance of the $ coin?

    Do any of these introductory books come with DVD's to enhance explanations of how to hold a deck of cards properly etc?


  • #2


    well my recommendation of dollars was purely for the size and the handling practise. I was talking about coin magic in a pure sleight of hand sense. I personally would consider gimmicked stuff a seperate area of magic, but i agree with oeb that it can be a handy link in to other tricks with amercian coins.

    thankfully, with the changeover to euro, this is not as big a problem as it was before. in years gone by, it was impossible to get irish coin magic, unless u had it specially manufactured for you. now, with euro, the coins are finally starting to surface. its taken a while, but they're now out there, and are being made very well. i now have a wallet with 4 different coin gimmicks in it, plus 2 card packet tricks, plus the wallet itself is a gimmick!!!

    One of the main UK sites magic supply sites, I have pestered for a while to produce euro coin magic, and, thankfully, they've recently replied that they have some on order to be made by a company, and will let me know on the progress.

    TBH, people these days know sleight of hand is sleight of hand, so using american half dollars doesnt take away from the trick, its just part of the show. but if you really want to explain using them, im sure u can come up with some patter. for example, to kids, talk about how some old magician was paid these for saving some americans life, or making someone disappear or whatever!


  • #2


    Great advice from all.

    And Zuroph's right. There doesn't tend to be too much issue with using American coins, they are easier to manipulate and most people are familiar with them. It almost makes Hollywood worthwhile.

    You may get the odd heckler who asks about it in a belligerent way (again, usually someone who's only seen bad magic before) but it tends to be pretty easy to explain if you really feel you need to.


  • #2


    There's a few little shops in George's street arcade that have collectors coins for sale. Not too sure if they have American coins but they probably do.

    Does anyone know a good book shop to get the books mentioned?


  • #2


    Any place that will order books should get them in. The only ones you are likely to find on 'walk in' basis are the Mark Wilson book or the Nick Einhorn one.

    If you want Card College, you will probably have to order it from an online magic shop, I got my set from elusionist a few years ago (They were simply the cheapest at the time)

    I got all my half dollars by asking mates who went to the states to pop into a bank to get them for me. Coin shops are unlikely to have them as they are pretty worthless on the secondary market. You might find old silver dollars, but expect to pay between 30 and 50 euro per coin (Or even more) depending on the quality.


  • #2


    I must recommend Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, it's an excellent read with some great effects! I've seen very little to surpase that book.


  • #2


    Thats a great post there, i have to say i wish i had some reference like that when i started out

    definitely one of the most useful posts on this forum so far


  • #2


    Cheers dionsiseire,
    You never know, 6th might sticky it *hint* *hint*


  • #2


    oeb wrote: »
    Cheers dionsiseire,
    You never know, 6th might sticky it *hint* *hint*

    And as if by magic .....


  • #2


    Anyone have an book or dvd recommendations for cigarette magic? I'm not sure why but I find it really interesting.


  • #2


    Anyone have an book or dvd recommendations for cigarette magic? I'm not sure why but I find it really interesting.


    It's not an area I have looked into that much, but Tom Mullica has a few DVDs out on the subject (He is famous for his cigarette routines), and David Stone has a DVD out called 'No Smoking' which contains his excelent routine with an unlit cigerette (It's a pretty simple, but very powerful multi-phase routine).


  • #2
    Once you know you have a genuine interest in magic my advise would be to find out about your local magic society. There are links to all the societies in Ireland on a new site I started for people with an interest in magic in Ireland.

    Brendan


  • #2


    I am more interested in the mentalism side of things. Have any of you read the encyclopedia of new stage hypnotism by ormond mcgill and if so what did you think of it?

    Have read Derren Brown' s book and am going to see if I can get that book by Corinda. Anyone else have any other suggestions?


  • #2


    is it hypnotism u want? have you started on it? Id recommend Reality is plastic. google it


  • #2


    RodVelvet wrote: »
    I am more interested in the mentalism side of things. Have any of you read the encyclopedia of new stage hypnotism by ormond mcgill and if so what did you think of it?

    Have read Derren Brown' s book and am going to see if I can get that book by Corinda. Anyone else have any other suggestions?

    I'm not a mentalist, but I have read good things about Osterlinds Easy To Master Mental Miracles. It's a 4 DVD set.


  • #2


    I am a mentalist! To start get 13 steps by Corinda and Theo Anneman's Practical Mental Magic and I would also say Paul Brook's The Alchemical Tools (reviewed on MagicIreland.com. That gives a ridiculously solid grounding in it all. After that Osterlind's stuff is great as is the rest of Paul Brook's.

    If Hypnosis is what you want get Reality is Plastic by Anthony Jacquin. There is also the upcoming Manchurian Approach DVD from Alakazam that I make a small appearance in! That looks set to be absolutely brilliant!


  • #2


    think u need to start at an vearly age,or buy sum gud books and vids


  • #2


    damosee wrote: »
    think u need to start at an vearly age,or buy sum gud books and vids

    Age does not matter. All it takes is interest.


  • #2


    Great Post...........Thank you


  • #2


    Is there any way we can get more links to online resources here for those of us who can't splurge on loads of expensive books? Not to mention it's pretty hard for me to find English books in my area of Germany and ordering is well out of my price range..

    It's something I have a great interest in but just plain don't have the money for the bloody books and trying to find valid, reliable information on the 'net is hard if you don't know the ins and outs of what you're looking for.


  • #2


    Are you looking for reviews ? or somewhere to buy books in German ?

    If you're looking for exposure sites , I think you'll find most people here wouldnt like them being posted.


  • #2


    I just want to know how to start but don't have the money to invest initially, times are tough. I have a genuine interest in picking up some sleight of hand and learning more about mentalism, but as I said I don't know where to start or where to look. All I've been able to do is watch Derren Brown and Penn & Teller and try to figure it out by sight and it's not going so well :pac:


  • #2


    Just pick up the royal road to card magic. Its on amazon for £4.48 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0572029187/ref=si_aps_sup_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1297168261&sr=8-1&condition=new, cheap as chips and will keep you going for months.


  • #2


    Hi Liah,

    There should be a few good basic guides to start from online, i'm on way out to work, but will have a look this evening for you.

    In the mean time, FB and Twitter are your friend. Subscribe to people like Jay sankey, as he often puts up free tutorial videos of basic effects for one day only.


  • #2


    liah wrote: »
    I just want to know how to start but don't have the money to invest initially, times are tough. I have a genuine interest in picking up some sleight of hand and learning more about mentalism, but as I said I don't know where to start or where to look. All I've been able to do is watch Derren Brown and Penn & Teller and try to figure it out by sight and it's not going so well :pac:


    You can likely get the Royal Road to Card Magic, 13 Steps, Bobo's modern coin magic and Mark Wilson's complete course in magic for less than 50 euro for the lot (And 25-30 of that is Wilson's book).


  • #2


    Some excellent pointers there. Magik ha salways been intriguing to me! I have great respect for the field and the dedication that is involved.


  • #2


    Liah, did you subscribe to Jay Sankeys website? over the last few weeks, he's posted some great easy and very effective tricks for free, very good for someone who's a beginner who is willing to put a bit of practise in.


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