lately I've been thinking back to when i first starting getting in to magic, and the looking at the things i wish i would and wouldn't have done. The stuff i wish i didn't buy, things like that. So i thought i would put together some quick tips for beginners. 1. Books vs dvds Get 3 books for every dvd you want to buy. There's nothing wrong with dvds, but they shouldn't be your main source of information You can get that dvd you have been looking at, but get some books as well. To be honest there is a lot of junk out there, but there is a lot of great stuff as well. You just have to do the research and find out whats good and whats not. Don't just look at the preview and immediately buy it. Find reviews, look at some other stuff first. Same goes for books. It's easy to get sucked in to the world of online magic buying, there new stuff coming out everyday. I would avoid any dvds with *single tricks. I would get the most material you can for your money. Also Don't just buy the books to say you have them, read and study each book before getting something else. 2. STAY away from youtube Do not, and i repeat do not learn any tricks from youtube. If you really want to learn that trick someone did for you, find where it's published and learn it the right way. There is nothing wrong with watching magic on youtube, i often watch peoples performances they have posted. but never go there with intent to learn a trick. 3. You don't know everything Be humble. If someone tells you something you don't want to hear, don't immediately discard it or argue with them. Think about it. If you really feel they were wrong or they didn't have the best intentions behind what they said, then you can then decide to ignore it. When i first started flourishing, so many people said i shouldn't use it in performances. I argued and argues, because i was going to do things my way. but as time went by, i started to understand. out people were trying to help. now my view on that has completely changed, but it took me awhile to understand. I'm not saying change what your doing because someone says to, but evaluate what their telling you and find out if it's the right way or there is a better way to do it. Don't push it on people who don't wanna watch, they will just make you feel bad. If you do a trick for someone and they start to heckle you, or you just know they aren't interested. Don't try to keep pushing it with trick you think will fool them, or they will like. Just don't perform for those people, it makes things much easier. 4. Practice Practice Practice Seems simple enough, but it over looked sometimes even with simple tricks. I had a problem with learning a trick, then immediately showing a family member. Nothing wrong with showing a family member, but i wasn't ready to do that trick. So when i wouldn't get a good reaction, or they figured it out it was frustrating. But even worse then that, when you do get good at that trick you can't show that person again because you have already ruined it. Also, Practicing in the mirror only goes so far. You can't see all the angles look in a mirror. Get a video camera, or borrow one. Film the trick at different angles, see which angles are good or bad. You don't have to go posting videos all over youtube, find magicians who know what their talking about to critic your work. Theory11 is good place to start. 5. Get out and Perform There is no better way to learn, then just getting out there and doing something. After your comfortable with a trick, show it to people. Figure out what works and what doesn't. I know going up to random people on the street isn't as easy as it seems. Get friends and family to watch, show anyone who is willing to watch. Don't get discouraged if things aren't exactly how you expected them to be. If something doesn't work, figure out why. You can even ask the people you are performing for why they didn't like the trick, or what they saw you do wrong. Don't just listen to what they say then forget about it. Really listen and try to learn from it. These are some things i really wish i would have grasped earlier. I hope this helps someone. I might come back and add some things.