Awesome New Idea for Young Magicians

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TheKingOfCards, May 31, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone,

    My name is Ashwin Khurana, and I am an upcoming magician from the San Francisco Bay Area. I have this crazy new idea that may just work, but I need everyone's input in order to help make it a success.

    Everyone know what I am talking about when I say "Youtube magic junkie?" All sorts of things pop into my head - little kids (and some BIG kids) who learn magic solely through Youtube videos and tutorials, etc. Your perception may be similar or different altogether, but I think we can agree that this is NOT the path any of us would recommend to a young boy or girl interested in magic, correct? Comon' everyone, admit it. Theory11 and other sites are great, but a HUGE percentage of the book knowledge we have is not available (not yet at least). Although we try hard to say that "just because you downloaded some great videos, with tons of substantive material, doesn't make you a magician," sometimes we can't get that point across. But this is not my point.

    My crazy idea is to create a Youtube course for upcoming magicians, focusing on the school environment. Honestly, look at how many young kids are getting into magic! They're practically flooding the magic market! They are also the most susceptible to what i call Magic Fever - that sudden urge you get to start learning magic when you see it performed for you. All the youth, and I'm going to place them from 6th to 12th grade, go to school every single day. You see, there is a ton of material for the working professional, the restaurant worker, and even the street magician. However, there is no single place where ALL of these young magicians can learn how to become a successful magician in school. School is the performing playground for these young magicians, and most of what occurs at these high schools will set the precedent for how the magician looks at magic for the rest of his or her life.

    I have just graduated high school, and I've been performing every day (yes, literally every single day of my life) for the last six years (6th -12th grade). I want to share my story, my experience, and my journey from a young and shy magician into a confident and well-known magician throughout the entire High School Bay Area network. Like I said before, a lot of who we become as a magician is determined by our humble beginnings performing at school. For those of you who are young magicians, you would agree that it is sometimes a struggle to become the magician you WANT to be, at school. Where do you go to for advice? Where can you ask questions that apply to your specific situations? I'm here to help, and I'm hoping that the magic community will come along with me for the ride in order to help all of you.

    In my course, I want to go over a large number of items, such as: audience management, dealing with hecklers (because our peers can sometimes be the most brutal of laymen), creating routines that keep your image "fresh," diversifying your repertoire, showcasing your personality and style, sharing your story and sending your message to your audiences, publicizing and advertising [for your shows perhaps], using Youtube and other media as a device to gain popularity, using magic to network efficiently and smartly, learning how to sometimes say "no," learning how to approach people (YES, it IS different from Street Magic), etc. I'm sure that you can all name ten things you had problems with as a magician in school, and I'm sure that we can add at least a hundred specific questions to the list.

    There are, however, other PRACTICAL concerns we must deal with, such as: time management - learning how to get in quality practice time during a busy school schedule, working on your style (clothing and fashion), learning how to garner that amazing first impression before you even start performing - and then the even better impression you must give to heighten the performance, networking with people to help spread the word about your magic, using your school's resources efficiently, using media efficiently (Facebook, Youtube, blogs, etc), public speaking skills, how to become the magician you want to be with a very low budget, etc.

    There are TONS of ideas I want to get across through this course, and my goal is to help steer young magicians into a direction where they can pursue the art of magic in a more nurturing environment. Having been through the entire process, I think I can offer some unique perspectives on the subject of becoming the great school magician that some of us want to be, and I would love to have as much help as I can get in facilitating the transformation of this idea into something real.

    If you are a young magician interested in learning how to become the magician you CAN be, leave a comment below and I'll be sure to contact you if you have any questions for me. Post your questions, however specific they may be, and we'll use this as a temporary forum for your the answers you seek. For those of you who would like to give me some advice or who would like to help contribute to the course "syllabus," shoot me a PM or leave a comment here. ALL suggestions are completely welcome. I'm looking forward to collaborating with many of you, and I challenge the Theory11 team to try to help me in my endeavor. I think this idea has potential to be turned into a DVD of some sort, one that I think would garner great response from the magic community of young magicians.

    thanks for your time. To learn more, check out for more. I just started the facebook page a little while back, so there are only 50 or so followers, but I'm hoping to get the page up and going. My course will be featured on youtube, and my current Youtube account is I put up some filler videos of some random effects I've performed so that my page isn't "empty," but this stuff is from a very long time ago. I'm not too proud of my effect selection, video editing, or quality of performance, but I wanted to put something up to keep people busy.
  2. this is AWESOME!!!

    i'm with you on this one, i know tons of magic theory i read books, i ask questions of other magicians, but its really really hard to apply the stuff i learn in a school environment.

    its hard to try to create a solid character when i have friends who knew me before i found magic. i'm not always performing magic when i'm at school. so its difficult.

    again this is awesome, i would both take of advantage of this and help in anyway i can.
  3. Hey man, I've a good feeling bout this thread becomin real good, but meanwhile, I'm gonna stick with one question first. I'm 16 and still in high school. Anyways, I've got school stuff that's taking pretty load of my time these days and time can become a troublesome problem. What I wanna know is back then, how much time did you take off to practice, managing all the other commitments you had? I'm looking for a specific time frame, say 2 hours a day for example. Hope you can help me on this.
  4. Thanks for your support and enthusiasm! Please share this post with as many people as you can too, because I think it's a great idea that will be able to help hundreds, if not thousands of young magicians.

    Another idea I just had, or rather another topic I want to cover, is this idea of maturity. I had this problem, and continue to try to resolve it. It's more of a teenager thing, but I think magicians as a group have this problem as well - it's defining yourself. I had this type of identity crisis where I was competing with myself in what to showcase to people... my magic personality or my actual personality. After many years and much advice, I now know that I am one complete "package," and that I am as magical as I am "normal." A lot of people struggle with figuring out how others define them, and I think just discussing this topic and letting people know that it's completely NORMAL to go through this, would be beneficial.
  5. Speaking of busy schedules, I'm actually going to go to a friend's house to work on an AP English Final Project - memorizing 150 lines of shakespeare and then performing it in front of the class haha! I will think about this and get back to you as soon as I can. What I think I will do is post a video about this idea on my Youtube channel, and I'll link you so that you can post your question there, and I'll answer with a video response or whatever works out best for us. Just wait a bit, and I'll get back to you haha : )

    Thanks for your question
  6. what i do with this, when i'm trying to practice magic as well as study, and get good grades, etc.

    i just work magic in when ever i can.

    teacher gives 20 minutes of work time, bust my butt to get done in 10 and then work on my strike second deal for 10.

    and i've also worked with teachers explaining that i need to keep my hands busy someway. and they either provide a way for me to do so while they teach, or they allow me to find my own means to fidget. ( i usually practice coin sleights)

    i guess what i'm getting at is in High school, schedules are ridiculous, all over the place, theres no way to get in a solid two hours of straight magic practice, its just not possible.

    so i fight for my practice time, i squeeze it in where i can get it.

    thats really all the advice i can give,

    i know that the older guys will say this isnt good practice, but its all we've got in High School.
  7. giving out free lessons sound good. a way to spread magic to others. but i feel that the only way you can know if someone is serious is to have them actually pic up some magic materials for themselves. yea it might be a beginners book or a dvd, but at least you know they will put some money into it, which would make them more likekly to really work on the material.
    but if you can talk more about magic theory and ways to apply the magic they know, then great. but i cant think of teaching ways to show off and potentially give out secrets that only the willing should know.
  8. Just wait until college.

    Or when you have a full-time job and a family to take care of.
  9. i bet. it sounds like a lot of fun.

    i look forward to that period of time between college and family. thats gonna be the golden age.
  10. Its a nice idea but i think chris has the overall solution to it to be honest.

    Its just too liable to go wrong as well as succeed, and in that i mean that it will attract a tonne of the people who you don't want it to.

    Like chris said before me, you need to encourage the willing and then reward them, but if you are providing a free magic course there is no incentive for them to go out and purchase their own stuff, and as it is there is far too many tutorials on youtube anyway.

    I think its brilliant that you have had this idea and want to go the distance with it, but i suggest you be very conscious of how much it could work against what you are trying to do.

    Perhaps if you took it up a level and create a student teacher basis for it. What i mean by this is that you could put the first video up with an introduction to magic and the basic ideals and fundamentals that willing magicians should have and abide by if they want to be accepted into the community and succeed. Then you could request anyone who seriously wants access to the course for legitimate learning purposes to either private message your youtube account, or respond to the video with their own video, explaining in short their opinion of magic and why they want to learn to become a magician.

    I know it sounds very formal and far fetched, but i think this would be the only suitable way to conduct such a project. If you could give a preview of the course you were providing, also providing it meets high production standards, and make it persuasive enough for the viewers to be convinced it is a worthwhile investment of time, then any of them taking the time to tell you their personal motivations for wanting to learn deserve access to the tutorial course.

    Its a bit like the traditional Buddhist test, where any willing student would have to stand completely still outside the front of the temple for 3 days and nights without food or water, to prove their dedication and earn the right to the buddhist elders/tutors.

    I may be new to magic, but i have seen how important, and damaging youtube has become for our community and the art as a whole, and i think that your motivation and ideas are fantastic, but you need to be careful not to counteract the good you are trying to do.
  11. I definitely agree with you. This course will not be teaching any effects... only going over theory and helping people make the best of their school magic career. Of course, suggestions for what type of stuff to perform will definitely be thrown in. I totally like the preview idea, so I will either write something up or will create a video. I think a substantive statement would say that this course is to help guide kids through the process of becoming a successful magician in school, but withoout exposing stuff or effects of others.

    Keep giving ideas and criticism everyone. I want to have as much con as pro for this idea in order to develop the course in the best way possible.
  12. Well then i support you 100% (more than i already did :) )

    I think that by what i have seen in this thread, you are the perfect person to conduct this project as well. I like the fact that you are listening to everyones ideas, and i know its a simple thing to do, but nowadays a lot of people ask what people think of something but just ignore the criticism they don't want to hear. You on the other hand are taking everything into consideration.

    This sounds like it will become a very good addition to magic, and i wish you all the best on it.
  13. I totally agree with chris. If you are giving lessons to these kids, then how are you going to know that they are serious about magic? I dont know, but i dont have a really good feeling about this.... just my opinion.

    I mean i had to find the magic material that i own and do on a daily basis on my own.

    I dont really know about this one.
  14. Hey Blake. I'm not too sure I understand what you mean by "how are you going to know they are serious?" Or maybe I just don't see the link between your statement and a reason to not do this project. If you could be a tad more specific, that would really help :]

    As for finding your own magic material, I agree that this was probably a very important process, but don't you think it would have been nice to have some sort of guidance? Perhaps knowing that buying every single thing out there, or whatever you afford, doesn't make you any better of a magician. Even that one single piece of advice can take a magician far, and I can explain this later if you'd like. Anyhow, like I posted above, there will be no exposure of anything at all. At most, I would be describing effects and reasons for why I perform them - and reasons for why I think these specific things might work in a school environment.

    Perhaps the only downside is this being a waste of my own time, but I think for the few that it may help, it would be totally worth it. I know that my mentor took a BIG chance on me - the guy lectured to me for hours every day for two years in entirety until he was able to knock sense into my brain.
  15. Well if you build a better magician by establishing good habits, and strong moral/ ethical foundation, provide them with the information they need to grow, and the opportunity to apply their new knowledge then you very well may have a formula for improving the community.

    This is indeed a noble idea.
  16. Thank you William. It seems to be one of those thing "I wish I had someone tell me this stuff - it would have helped a lot." After all, even through the process of establishing material to teach, I will probably learn a lot myself by going back through the process and learning how to teach it to others. A lot of people complain about the "generation gap" between the younger and older magicians, and a lot of ideas have been thrown out about how to fix this. I think if we can make a lasting impact on as many young magicians when they start, we will be able to guide them correctly through magic.

    For me, I started in 7th grade after having seen Rick Thomas perform in Vegas. Then, I stopped by Houdini's Magic shop (which I now loathe), and I was just enthralled by the UFO/Hummer floating card trick, as well as the D'Lites... you know the whole deal. I met my mentor my first day of high school and he turned me around from a kid who grew up idolizing Brad Christian (lol) into one who loves Darwin Ortiz, Marlo, Vernon, etc. He took the spotlight off mainstream media-magic and directed it towards the classics and theory, or at least the conventional (and in my opinion the most valuable) way magic has been learned and taught in the past.

    Magic is like adolescence. We struggle trying to find our way through a mess of new ideas, without knowing much at all and without being sure of anything. Even worse, learning magic through the time of adolescence - where it gets REALLY confusing haha! A lot of kids start magic on their own and are not aware of the resources or older magicians available in the area they live in. I was lucky enough to find a mentor at my own high school, and although he was two years older and lives on the other coast now, we remain extremely close friends. The majority of kids will not have a mentor in magic, as they are hard to come by at schools, and I think if I can serve as a long-distance mentor for even one kid, it would be a worthy and genuine endeavor.
  17. This sounds promising. There truly isn't much material there that is aimed at the performing styles of teenagers and young magicians whose majority performance time is spent at school.

    I think what you have here is a nice jumping off point and I would like to see this perhaps get developed further. It could be interesting and extremely helpful.


  18. What i basically meant was, that if you are willing to do this project for them. Then how do you know that they are willing to put the full effort into it? Then there will be even more young magicains that dont know what they are doing and that dont put in the time to practice... (not saying that all will do this) but im sure they will be some that do not really care and just want to learn magic FAST and show there friends, but its not good presentation and there handiling and everything sucks... and thats because they do not put the time in. Like i said, im sure some will benefit from this.

    Maybe there is a way to make like this idea better... I have to see how this goes. I dont know yet.

    And im not saying that you are bad for doing this, just so you know that. Im just saying that this project might be... well i dont know yet. Like i said i will have to see how this goes..


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