Is It Too Late to Learn?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sovex, May 24, 2011.

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  1. When I was younger, I became fascinated with magic. It was the mid-to-late 80's, so it was a good time for magic on TV, and I got to see a live David Copperfield show in my hometown. I found every book I could on the subject, and learned as much as possible. There was also a nearby magic shop that my parents would take me to once in a while. I bought all sorts of tricks and gadgets, but my interest always came back to cards over anything else.

    As a teenager, I got rid of most of the tricks and gimmicks, but still kept a deck of cards around almost all the time. I kept learning tricks here and there, and would perform in school (which indirectly led to me getting suspended once...). I'll still bust out a pack here and there, but I've found that the older I got, the less I learned. As an adult, it's almost completely gone by the wayside.

    A couple of months ago, I found this site, probably through a Facebook sidebar. Through watching the videos, I felt that old spark of excitement come back. I've been learning new tricks and techniques, and I've been trying really hard to not spend my entire paycheck here. :p

    So here's the thing. I'm almost 30, and I have no intention of making a career out of this, or even performing publicly beyond family and friends. Also, I feel somewhat handicapped, in that I have small, clumsy hands, and never properly learned or practiced even basic slights and manipulations. I can't do a double lift, and I know that's like Card Manipulation 101.

    While it's nice to watch the videos of flourishes and manipulation, and think that maybe I could do that one day, I don't want to kid myself. I don't want to waste my time and money if it's too late for me to learn. And is it worth the effort to put so much into something that will most likely just remain a hobby?

    So, I throw it out to you guys. What are your thoughts? Can I still learn this stuff, or am I too old and boring to make it happen? :p
  2. You are never too old to learn something that you love. Even if it remains as a hobby; your interest in it will push you to learn it regardless of what you think may stop you.
  3. 30! Wow no it's not to late I'm in my mid 50's and for the first time starting to learn card flourish's and despiit the arthritis in my hands I'm doing really well so far. So no at 30 it's not to late for you to start any part of our craft, okay if your dead then it's to late but that is a given.
  4. I'm 33 and I'm still learning different aspects of magic and technique. Jump right in man and have a blast. I didn't even start until I was 21.
  5. First and foremost WELCOME to the forums! It's nice to have you here, and I'm sure you're gonna meet a lot of neat people who can help you along the way with any question you may have.

    The fun thing about magic, is that it accepts all kinds of people into it. She's a loving mistress who doesn't care about age, skill level, or professional ambitions. She is more than willing to let you take it as far as you want, and not a step further.

    With that being said, it's never too late to learn. You already know you have no ambition to see it through to a professional level, and that puts you ahead of the game compared to others here who are still wrestling with that concept. It's a fun hobby, it's a great way to make new friends, it challenges your mind, body, and imagination, and it's just flat out cool.

    I say go ahead and dive in! Drink it up! Participate in a few SNC's, and if the urge strikes you Go Out and Perform!

    Welcome aboard mate.
  6. It's never too late to learn. Magic is something you can pick up at 60 if you really want (as long as you don't have arthritis). It might be a bit harder for your hands to adjust but put the practice in and I'm sure you'll be a decent magician for your family and friends in no time.
  7. Tennessee Eddie, one of my best friends at the Magic Castle. He started magic way passed his 60's and after just one year in magic he won Magician of the Year at the Magic Castle. It is never too late. You can always start and still make a mark on the world.
  8. I'm having my 70somethingth birthday this weekend and recently re-started in magic after a 50 year absence. The most important thing I can say is that I've managed to stay alert and happy by exploring many areas of interest since I retired. It's never too late to learn, but one must realize that when/if it stops being fun and/or interesting, perhaps you're trying to learn the wrong things.
  9. I started when I was older than you are and have loved every minute of it. As for the sleight of hand, it comes with practice. However, there are lots effects that can be performed with minimal sleight of hand. Check out a book called Scarne on Card Tricks - it has like 150 effects that don't require complicated sleight of hand. Also, check out Roberto Giobbi's Card College Light, Lighter and Lightest series for non-sleight of hand effects that are set up into routines. Also, for a lot of material that requires some sleight of hand, check out Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks.
  10. Mate you're 30. that's not even remotely old. And my hands are ridiculously small. and i can still do sleights. (albeit, modified.) There is no excuse to practice.
  11. This was actually my go-to book when I was younger. :) I probably still have it around, somewhere.
  12. Well... It's never too late to start a hobby.

    A career... that's whole different story.
    But you probably knew that already :)

    Have fun and enjoy the ride.
  13. Welcome to the forums! And I don't really have anything much more to say, seeing that everyone else has already said what I was going to say. But if you need any help, I'm always here. You can shoot me a PM.
  14. You're DEFINITELY not too old to start, man. There are plenty of people who have jumped right in with both feet and, because they loved it so much, they got really good really fast. As long as you're enjoying it and having fun that's really all that matters. Jump in and enjoy and see where it takes you. You never know. There are definitely no age restrictions in magic though. Glad you found your way back. :)
  15. Really? I was about 31 when that second wind hit me. Someone on this forum got me into a local club... I don't think I've missed a meeting in two years. You would be surprised, honestly, how many people "get back into it" once they have that special something brought on by age: that being the finances and learned discipline to make things happen.

    No. Not too late. In fact, you're kind of young for that second wind according to my experience outside of forums.

    If you want to do cards then get some resources to learn from and keep a deck on hand. You find all kinds of time to practice your double lift where you once sat through minor annoyances (commercials, boring lunch breaks, and such). I wanted to conquer some issues with cards before moving on to the parlor material I love so much more -- but card were still my "start" back into it for quite a long time.

    Welcome! Or, welcome back! Either way, you're not too old.
  16. Its never late to do what you want!
  17. Truth is, you are not all that unique, many have done exactly what you have stated; dropped magic sometime in their late teens, gone to school, got a 9-5 career situation rolling and then rediscover magic in one form or another for whatever reason. In many cases it's because they start doing little tricks for their little rug rats and of course rug-rat friends. The sense of wonder and elation that comes from seeing their reaction rekindles those nearly forgotten memories of our youth and tinkering and so, a new chapter turns and you're off to not just pick-up where you left off but potentially create a secondary route of course when it comes to vocation -- what used to be known as Semi-Professional Entertainers a.k.a. Weekend Warriors that do shows to help support their addiction to this stuff (it's an expensive habit, after all).

    Also bear in mind that there have been those that wore your same pair of shoes who, when hitting their mid and latter 40's decided it was time for a career change -- they'd seen significant reception and popularity on the local front doing the part-time schedule and so they make that jump towards full-time travel and performance. Others simply wait until they retire from the first career before starting down this particular path; an old chum of mine from high school is doing exactly this, he and his wife doing their version of gospel magic for churches and summer retreats, etc. ala Andre Kole.

    As they say, welcome to the club!
  18. Welcome welcome! I think you get the point man it's never too late for something like this. You have many, many years ahead of you to learn and grow. Honestly, I think you are selling yourself short by ruling out the possibility of going pro. You'll get exactly what you put in and can be as great as you'll allow yourself to be. Just keep pushing man. The only true limiting factor is your belief in yourself.
  19. So just a follow-up on this post, as well as some frustration venting.

    I've been working on stuff for the past couple of months, and for some reason, I feel like it's just not clicking. I know that I can't possibly get to the level of "presentable" so quickly, but I feel like I have barely made any progress since I started. I feel like as many times as I get a trick or manipulation correct, there's a dozen more times where I have an issue with it or ruin it completely. My hands don't do what my brain wants them to, and the deck doesn't seem to help.

    I feel like my hands are too small and clumsy to make this work for me. To be fair, I felt the same way when I started playing guitar, and eventually became proficient at it. The difference is that I feel there is less a margin of "good enough" in magic. While I can bang away at a few chords on the guitar, and get away with it, you can't really do the same thing with a deck of cards.

    I know that it's absurd to expect results so quickly, but I guess my frustration is from feeling like I'm not ever going to get to the level I want to be at, no matter how much I practice. Again with the music metaphor, there's a difference between a "guitarist" and "a guy who plays guitar", and I feel like I'm "a guy who does card tricks", rather than a "card magician". I feel like I don't have what it takes to get good enough to cross that line.

    Another factor that's been bothering me is the public perception of it. I've told people that I've been getting back into magic, and they think I'm joking. In the recent movie Friends With Benefits, there's a young kid who does magic, and this is treated almost like a character fault. I know I shouldn't be embarrassed by something I enjoy, but it's there, and I don't really know how to overcome it. Again, if I was awesome, that would help, but I'm not there yet...

    Sorry about the flood of self pity. I needed to vent, and I felt that this would be a place to do so. Everyone here has been supportive here. That has helped. Other positives are the videos I've gotten through T11, as I feel I learn better through being shown how to do something, rather than getting it out of a book. And finally, I've really enjoyed getting new decks of cards, whether they're custom special editions, or just getting to see what "recommended" decks feel like. So, I'm getting something out of this, just not quite what I want yet.
  20. Sovex,
    Thanks for allowing us to hear your frustration. This is just my perception but it sounds like you are having difficulty with the cards. Have you ever thought of just doing EASY magic with props and just really putting in the entertainment / patter with it? There are tons of practically self working effects that are great for magic and still get the job done: Entertaining your audience. A change bag, some silks, rope, thumb tip, etc. can go a long way. Most birthday party or kids magic is very easy and you get to be really funny and enjoy the kids.

    As far as society's perception of magic. That is a tough one because most of society has not seen a live performer who knows what they are doing. Even my friends who are also 33 make fun of me for doing magic but I just joke with them and they know that I am actually really good and make decent money as a side job.

    Let me know your thoughts.
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