I quit magic for a while but should I continue?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by afk341, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. I'm stuck with a dilemma with either college or magic. I'm studying at a local university in mathematics however I found myself lately more interested in magic than math. I have attempted to quit doing magic by not coming in this website and putting my books in the closet. I joined this website about a couple months ago and I tried quitting about December I think. I even tried putting off magic to the side because I felt it was interfering with my school work.

    Then one day I came across this article about a two weeks ago since I didn't know if I truly liked mathematics: http://paulgraham.com/love.html
    I followed the advice near the end
    "Always produce" is also a heuristic for finding the work you love. If you subject yourself to that constraint, it will automatically push you away from things you think you're supposed to work on, toward things you actually like. ?

    After reading that advice, I went back to doing magic over the weekend, but I stopped doing it again because I realized that I'll be slacking in my classes if I do. However in order to good mathematics you need to devote a lot practice just like in any other skill.

    The thing is, I would sometimes spend hours practicing coin magic, I would film myself, and there's no pressure, it's just me and coins. Nobody else besides my parents knows I like playing with coins. Friends and other family members don't know I like playing with magic. I think that's how much I like playing with magic. I like playing it so much that I don't really care about whether other people know that I do it or not. I film myself and I would critique moves and such. I don't know; it feels like a personal pleasure to me.

    I think I'm in college for one reason and that is for my parents and probably also pressure from the outside and living up to other people expectations that I should be going to college. No doubt math is interesting , I like playing with geometry sometimes , but if I could spend my whole entire day doing one thing , that thing would be magic.

    Nonetheless, I don't know whether to pursue a career in mathematics. Math seems to give a broad range of jobs to choose from, and it seems like a rare skill. Plus I need to support my family as well. On the other hand for magic, I don't know if I could financially support my family doing that. I don't know whether I should find a way to make my brain like math more than magic? Or just give up, and do magic at the same time that might stymied my competence in mathematics.

    Please I want your opinions. I know that might sound pathetic asking it in a forum, but I was wondering if any of you faced this kind of dilemma, or any words of wisdom, while I'm thinking this through... I have been thinking this through for too long lately but I feel this is the place I should turn to because I feel like I might be mocked or scrutinized in IRL...
  2. Why must there be an "either/or" scenario; I know plenty of guys that put themselves through college doing magic.

    We're talking about guys and gals that went on to become respected doctors, lawyers, etc. as well as award winning performers and innovators (at least one of whom is a regular consultant to David Blaine).

    There is no need to limit yourself and your life in that things are NEVER Black & White and you must follow your own passions and where they lead you. Mathematics having their own place in this crazy art of ours, just look around and you'll easily find it, as well as demographic studies, etc.

    Get the degree and as my folks used to say, so you have something to fall back on, but at the same time, it's ok to get jobs performing so you have an outlet that can put a little bit of cash in your pocket and potentially even more.
  3. It's also fine to have a hobby which breaks up the monotony of learning a single subject. We learn better that way anyway.

    You do need to learn to control your compulsion to practice though. You need to find a balance between your school work and your magic. You can probably integrate the two as well - Look up Arthur Benjamin the Mathemagician.

    I'm not all the way awake here so it's hard to put everything into line as I'd like to. So I'll just sum up: You can do both, even if you're not earning money through magic. But trying to make a living as an entertainer is really hard and it'll be better to have a degree in something. If anything, that expands the ways you can use magic to make a living as well as being a fall-back. Like Richard Wiseman who uses magic to study psychology.
  4. I have to echo Craig and Christopher here. There's no reason to definitely choose one or the other. I know that, at the moment, the few years it will take to get your maths (I'm from the UK, we don't say "math" here) degree seems like a lifetime, but it will fly past a lot quicker than you can imagine and you'll feel much more secure coming out with a completed degree. And mathematics has been a perfect companion for many magicians. Maybe do some reading on Persi Diaconis and Martin Gardner to inspire yourself. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of the people teaching your course had some interest in magic.

    So that's the generalities. I imagine that specific advice will be more useful for you at the moment, though. Perhaps you could structure your week so that you're setting yourself targets in your maths course and then rewarding yourself with some time practicing or performing magic. I don't know how your course is structured, but it could be something like, for every class you attend, every paper you complete and every good grade you achieve, you award yourself half an hour magic practice credit, to be cashed in at a weekend or a free evening. If you are able to keep up the discipline of a regime like this, not only will you be motivated to do better in your degree, but the time you spend with magic will feel even more special because it was well-earned.
  5. Totally meant to mention something like this and forgot. That's what I get for posting before coffee has kicked in.

    This is pretty good suggestion. My method, when I'm obsessing over something, is to simply schedule blocks of time for that obsession. When I did card stuff, I would work on sleights and such for maybe an hour then get things done.

    The benefits of TeeDee's system and of mine are also that you learn to be disciplined in your practice which will have massive benefits throughout your entire life. It's much easier to manage your time and resources if you build the habit around something you really care about.
  6. If you need to question whether to continue you probably shouldn't.
  7. Nothing wrong with doing both, you just have to set time aside for both of them.
  8. Well said Craig
  9. One of the things professional magicians agree with is that to be good at any type of art of anything similar(magic, music, painting, dancing, etc), you need to have a life outside of your field.
    So, to be a good magician, you should also practice and learn stuff from other fields.
    Carlos Vaquera is an awesome magician, from Spain I think, he is a martial arts expert, Tina lenert know mime and guitar playing, some magicians also know drawing, like Apollo Robbins.
    Andrew Gerard is a very good guitar player, he has some videos on youtube.
    Anyways, you can learn many things outside of magic, that will help you in magic.
    Time should not be a problem, I study Physics (going crazy with math!), Art, in my free time I practice magic, Guitar and drums, I am trying to learn French and Japanese, also I play chess and poker every now and then.
    Good luck.
  10. @ all

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom, and sorry it took me a while to respond. I have finals for school, so I have been preparing for them. So , that's the reason for the late response. I guess most you all are right that I should learn to balance my time with magic. Once again, thanks.
  11. I totally agree. I also left magic close to 12 years ago to pursue my career as an automotive mechanical engineer. I paid my dues then came back to magic. Now I run my very own magic supply company.

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