If you were starting over again...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kaldra, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Lets pretend you suddenly had an awful case of amnesia, and were starting from scratch again. What would you consider to be a staple in your routine that you would first want to learn?

    I ask this because I have recently just got into magic by stumbling upon Brian Brushwood's Scam School, and instantly had a blast performing simple tricks at the bar and seeing the reactions people have. I have always had a nack for public speaking or performing and I really believe this will be a fun hobby.

    I'd love to hear what people would recommend, budget isn't too much of a concern at the moment so don't let price become a deterrent in you recommendations.

    Thanks! :)
  2. I bought Royal Road to Card Magic over 10 years ago and I still perform effects from it to this day.
  3. I would have purchased the entire Tarbell Set of Books. Unfortunately I had to settle for Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, but there is a plethora of material in there to get you going. Royal Road to Card Magic would be right up there too.

    If I could start all over again I would have stopped revealing how every magic trick worked to my family members 20 minutes after performing it for them....ha ha. Man I was so stupid back then.

    Don't try to take on too much material at once or you will become overwhelmed quickly. Also, I would have stopped making impulsive purchases every time I saw the next latest and greatest item I just had to have.

    Also, see if you have a local magic club nearby or even within an hour drive. They are a lot of fun, you network with a ton of good people, and most importantly see many different styles and presentations of magic. Most clubs meet once per month, have lectures, go on field trips, session, have banquets / shows and go to conventions. I would have joined my club years ago had I known there was one. They don't typically advertise themselves very well though.
  4. I did a quick search for that and its turned up a few different products with the same name from different people. What did you happen to pick up ten years ago?
  5. I wish we had a club in my neck of the woods, but there isn't much interest in my city or anywhere near it. Actually to find even a magic shop I would have to drive 3+ hours.

    As someone who has been in internet marketing for a few years I know all about shiny object syndrome and purchasing the latest and greatest.

    I've had a fair amount of people ask me to reveal how I've done the simple tricks I've learned thus far, but I have yet to share a single trick so far. :)

    I was expecting to get a fair amount of recommendations for products on Theory 11 site here so I appreciate the variety of options already offered. Is there a website or online retailer you would recommend I look at for the Tarbell Set? I live in Canada so shipping might be a problem.

    As for getting overwhelmed or learning too much, so far I have tried to learn maybe 2 or 3 tricks at a time, feel comfortable with them and they try them out a few times that night at the bar or something. Once they feel natural and I can work in a good story or routine, I'll go back and learn a few more. Rinse and repeat :)
  6. Tarbell Complete Course by Tarbell. (this can be had as one download for about $30)
    Royal Road to Card Magic, by Hugard & Braue.
    Modern Coin Magic by Bobo.
    Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks by James.
    Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
    Amateur Magician's Handbook by Hay
    Magic and Showmanship by Nelms

    Everything a growing magician needs and should be about $100
  7. Thanks for a nice little list with variety for different style of tricks. I found a site that offered the Tarbell Course as a download (24.95) but people mentioned its not as in-depth or doesn't include the same amount of material as the 8 book vol.
  8. It is a reprint of the original mail order course. It is also searchable which makes it a big help. It is also 1313 pages give or take. The 8 vol set was really only a 6 vol set for years until Harry Lorayne did vol 7 and then they added number 8. But that download version is a great buy, The hard back version of it is almost $100.
  9. Awesome! Thanks for the explanation of what is different. I've picked up the PDF.
  10. I'd start with the foundation material -- slight of hand. I'd learn all the basics with cards, coins, sponge, rope & billiard balls and most importantly, how to work with a Thumb Tip. This is at least a year's worth of ardent work and remember, it's just the basics -- technique more than tricks per ce'. The second year is where I'd start applying that knowledge creating & perfecting fluid routines; at least 6 effects that were dependent on each of the moves, counts, etc. I'd previously learned. To the latter part of that second year I'd begin actually performing vs. showing tricks around here and there. This way, by my 3rd year I will have built a local reputation and paved the way towards building a starter business -- a side line in which I'd be cutting my teeth on the business side of show -- the most important niche to it all, even if you're only going to do shows on the weekends.

    This is the pragmatic path -- the voice of experience, so to speak.

    Of course, there is a major change I think I'd make in my case; I'd not invest so much time into working with the big illusions and instead, focused on what was natural to me -- Mentalism & Bizarre type performance. Knowing what aspect of magic that best suits you is important. I spent nearly twenty years trying to be a big stage act and ended up broke, broken and emotionally shredded. When I started doing Mentalism full time things changed and changed quickly; I was able to perform more and for better money and for high dollar clients because I was seen as a natural -- a real psychic, which I still sell myself as today.
  11. This is an interesting question and honestly - I think the thing I'd change most is that I would, like Craig, focus on the mental and bizarre stuff sooner.

    I love my card tricks but they are not as satisfying as my bizarre work. Just a few days ago I did a partner mind-reading act for the local steampunk society. The next evening I attended a 'hypnosis party'. The genuine fulfillment I get from these sorts of acts is far greater than any magic trick I've ever done. This is my niche.

    When I started out, I admit I basically tried to copy Derren Brown's style, but with more of a magician's material. It didn't work obviously. Then I tried to be a busker and turns out I am a terrible busker. While I am a naturally funny person, I am not boisterous. I tried doing 'general magic' and nearly lost interest completely. I enjoy doing sleight of hand for the purely physical skill of it, but I don't particularly like performing it.

    If I knew then, what I know now (heh) I would have focused on building a bizarre act from day one.
  12. A three year plan in the making, wow! Thanks for the insight and explanation as to why you would break it down into each year as you progress. My intention with this has never been to evolve this into a business as most of my time is dedicated to building my business of helping local businesses get more business. (Say that three times fast.) However I can really appreciate that understanding the foundations before anything else is really important. I've been reading Tarbell's Course in Magic non-stop since last night and it has already sparked some thought into areas I may never had payed attention to before with my previous tricks.

    Mentalism & Bizarre has always peaked my interest but I always felt that it takes a great deal of time and experience to build up to that kind of performance. Understanding how to read and perform for a crowd. Are there any resources you would recommend for someone starting out that wants to build towards this kind of performance?
  13. I feel that card tricks are what most people associate a lot of magic with in this day and age and for people like myself starting out gravitate to these kind of tricks to start out with. I mean for myself as I said stumbled upon Brian Brushwood's Scam School, started watching a few videos and tried to follow along. Well as far as materials went, what did I have close by? A deck of cards. So I started watching most of his card based tricks and working a routine. I use the keycard trick as my closer if I'm at the bar and will usually preposition my mark a bet of if I get their card right they buy me a drink but if I'm wrong I'll buy them one. I make the bet with them though after it looks like I've screwed up the trick and it impresses everyone when I still pull out the right card.

    However, leading up to this closer I use a few what I guess you can call Mentalism & Bizarre tricks, have them move a neckless through the power of suggestions, being able to have them pick a hand and read which one they chose from a node they make. Those are the tricks I actually find more amusing to perform but people seam to like the card tricks more.

    Do you happen to have any recommendations on resources I should check out to learn more about Mentalism & Bizarre style performances?
  14. Craig is your man for beginner resources for the bizarre. He has a series of books up on LuLu (for now - they are going to be taken down)(See this thread: http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.php?40645-SPECIAL-ANNOUNCEMENT-No-More-Free-Books)

    That will give you a nice little primer and an idea of where to go from there.

    I recommend picking one thing to focus on and develop skills and systems surrounding that. For instance, metal bending. Learn to bend coins, forks, spoons, nails, etc. Pick up as many methods as possible. That way you can seemingly do it at all times, and frequently one method can cancel out the idea of others.

    From there, build outward to develop more theatrical skills and other 'powers'. But don't overdo the powers. In general, it's like a well balanced super hero. One main power, one or maybe two minor powers.
  15. Thanks Christopher, that was some great advice and thanks for the link.

    Also thank you Craig for the free PDF's, just downloaded them. I hope your new project next month works our great. I'll be sure to follow as it develops.
  16. I also Recommend Royal Road to Card Magic I would also recommend Paul Harris' True astonishment or any of the The art of astonishment books...
    I must also recommend Expert at the Card Table by Wesley James DVD collection Based on the book by S. W. Erdnase
  17. The Paul Harris and Expert at the Card Table is a bit advanced for someone just starting out. You have to crawl before you can walk.
  18. My advice would be: Dont be in a hurry. Take it slow and focus and learning the fundamentals of magic. Most people who is new to magic seems to be in a rush to learn everything there is to learn and move on to more advanced stuff because they think that harder equals better. But if you focus on easier tricks for a few months or even years it will pay of later.

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