Is It Too Late to Learn?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Thanks for the response, Rick.

    I want to stick with the cards, because I've always had an affinity for them. I like the look and feel of a deck in my hand, as well as the impromptu nature of doing something amazing with something everyone's familiar with. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I went through all manners of prop magic in my youth, and I've always found it to be boring and impractical (not a knock at anyone who does this type of magic, it's just not what I prefer). Cards have always felt right to me. When I learned card magic previously, I stuck with simple sleights and self-working stuff. I think mostly I'm just struggling with the "skill" part of it now.
  2. What are you working on and what are you using for resources? That will help you get a sense of how you are progressing.

    An Ascanio Spread you can pick up in a couple of hours, same with an Erdnase Change, an Elmsley Count will take a couple of days, a faro shuffle about a week, an Elias Multiple shift, will take several weeks, a invisible pass a couple of months.

    I've found that some resources, especially the Card College series, are better than others. There is a level of precision that isn't there in other books and especially in other DVDs.

    Unless your hands are unusually small (like a 10 year olds), the problem is most likely imagined. I've felt that I could never accomplish a sleight before, only to have something just click. Once you learn the basics of a sleight, you should go back to the resource you are learning from and read or watch it again. You would be amazed what you pick up the second time around. Also, take breaks from practicing. Some times too much practice is a bad thing, especially when you get tired and start committing bad habits to muscle memory.

    Go to a SAM or IBM meeting or a lecture... you will see why magicians have a bad reputation. Also, learn some good betchas - bar bet type effects. Select effects that break you out of the stereotype. There are lots of great effects out there that can play well to audiences that don't like "magic." Check out some of Paul Harris' material - Twilight Angels, UV Nightshades, Water Trap. There also is some great card effects that play well - Bannon's Play it Straight or B. Smith's Frequency.

    Being good does help. People start asking for you to perform. Hang in there. It takes time and patience.
  3. Bad reputation? The magician in Frosty the Snowman (1969) was a no-talent, impetuous self-serving huckster. I'm very sure stage magicians made easy horror movie villains for decades before that, even. The stereotypes have spun in every direction, even among magicians, for a very, very long time. If you love it then go after it. Anyone who would tear you down for their own missing pride can go someplace very bad and balmy. Do what you love.

    If you want to learn the more difficult sleights then learn them. Go with what you love, but keep with it. Keep with it.

    I may just be some guy on the Internet, but I'm some guy on the Internet with a low tolerance for cards. It just sucks to be me. If doing card sleights brings you joy then I want you to learn to be the best card magician you can be.
  4. Hey Sovex,

    This is an interesting thread. As to your question of whether you're too old to be putting the time and energy (and money) into magic and manipulation, I'd say that it depends on whether you're happy with what you're getting out of it. If so, it doesn't matter if it's just a hobby. I'm another one here who used to do magic as a kid (I did the birthday parties and the like), dropped it in my teenage years, and got back in many years later (in my case, the gap was about 30 years). In the beginning, like you, I stressed that I didn't have the skill set, and I cursed the magic dealers of my youth who didn't impress upon me the value of learning sleights as opposed to buying tricks. I looked at the copy of "Expert Card Technique" on my shelf and wondered how and when I got it and whether I even looked at it when I was young.

    Initially upon getting back in I felt I had to learn things like the pass, and I bought the Buck Twins "Trilogy" and tried to learn some stuff. Then, I chilled out and realized that I'm basically doing this for myself, and that stressing about ability doesn't really matter. Frankly, I don't really push magic on anyone. If I'm in a situation in which it's natural, or with someone who I know likes it, I'll do something, and that something is usually a lot easier (or well rehearsed) than what I'm fooling around with at home. I probably have half a dozen go-to card tricks for spectators, and the rest is for me and for fun. I'd love to see my skill set build up over time, and I'll work on sleights from time to time until I get a new one down.

    As for flourishing, the young generation of card magicians simply has a crazy level of ability. I've read the Bucks say a couple of times that they'd come home from school and spend eight hours straight just practicing cards. To get to their level, I feel you have to work like that, and that kind of intense focus on something like card manipulation may be aided a lot by youth. So, frankly, I wouldn't expect that you could get there. But you can certainly learn stuff that will amaze people, and you can certainly have fun learning sleights that someday you may actually work into something you perform for people.
  5. Just a quick update.

    I haven't been practicing as much as I would like, but I do feel like I've made some progress. I feel less frustrated about where I am, and have been focusing more on learning what I can and enjoying the process. My girlfriend remarked the other day that she can tell a difference just in how I hold and handle the cards.

    I've been on the look-out for books, and have managed to find several (Royal Road to Card Magic for $4 at the local used bookstore. Win!) I haven't sat down with any of them for too long yet, but at least they're available to me.

    One of the books I had when I was younger described a one-handed cut, which I have tried unsuccessfully to do for years since. I recently started working on the Charlier, and it clicked very quickly. It's small, but it's a nice personal victory.

    I'm still buying several decks of cards to try out. I have some Anglos on the way, which, for budgetary reasons, will be my last splurge for a while (we'll see... :p).

    My biggest stumbling block now that I'm settling in is that I don't know quite where to focus. I like tricks, I like learning sleights, I like manipulation, and I like flourishing. I'm not very good at any of them yet. :p I feel that focusing on the very basics is the best place for me, but after that, I'm not sure which path to follow. There's so much info out there.

    Anyhow, thanks again to all for the suggestions and pep talks. I think I'm doing better now, and hopefully I'll be on the way to being at least somewhat decent, someday.
  6. Too late !!!
    just stay on your couch and watch tv
  7. Before you get discouraged again, please understand that he is probably just joking and being sarcastic.
  8. of course it's a joke ! it's never too late !
  9. Just as an update on my personal development (if anyone cares...), I was getting a bit frustrated again, and seemed to hit a wall with my magic practice. I felt like there was too much to learn, and nothing was quite clicking. I made the decision over the past week to instead focus on Cardistry. I figure that in this hobby, training the hands is as important as training the mind. Since my mind wasn't cooperating, I decided that focusing on my hands would be the better way to go. So far it seems to be going well. I have been working on the basics, and repeating everything as much as possible. I like that I can work on it while my attention is focused elsewhere, and still be practicing. I'm definitely not putting magic aside completely, but I'm giving it a break as I see where the cardistry focus takes me. I don't expect to be doing all the fancy twisty-turny-behind the back catch and grab stuff anytime soon, but I at least want to look like I know what I'm doing when I hold a deck.

    I've been working with tutorials on so far, but I'm also considering purchasing Andrei Jikh's Genesis, as I've heard nothing but good about it.
  10. Hello, everyone! I found this old thread today and want to thank yall for the encouragement. I'm 32, and for various reasons am just now learning. I hope all is well for you sovex! :) Thanks again!
  11. You’re in a similar position to me, and a similar age.

    Let me tell you - even though you have probably realised already, I’m having a much easier and more fun time learning magic now than I did when I was younger, before streaming or dvds or the wealth of information available on the internet.

    I’ve learned more in the past year than I ever did when I was younger. And I’m enjoying it much more too.
  12. I'm a musician (several instruments), expert juggler, dabbler magician, and was previously a serious rock climber and fencer when younger. There are really only a few reasons you would be "too late" to learn something...

    1) your body can't recover any more from the training required - this goes with age
    2) your reaction times aren't fast enough - this goes with age
    3) you're only interested in being the gold medal caliber and there's not enough time left in life

    Magic is fine for all of those, you can have a great time without being #1, speed is not an issue, and you aren't going to be sidelined because you can't take the physical training. A good rule of thumb is: look at the best in the world, if there's a big age range there, you're good. Magic, music, most arts: all good. Gymnastics, sprinting, fencing, stuff like that: there's a peak age and it goes down after that.

    For that matter, that peak keeps moving out. 30 is still totally fine for even many physical activities, even tennis pros and sprinters keep getting older. I've taught tons of adults a lot of things, and they *think* the problem is because they're old, but the real problem is that their lives are so full they have no time for quiet solitary un-rushed practise. I'm 43, and I get in 2-3 hours of practise on my "stuff" daily, more on weekends and days off. I've made sacrifices by choosing to never work more than 75-80% time on jobs, don't have kids, don't have a TV, and am careful about social obligations I commit too. (Not saying you need to do those things, but it helps!) Keeping free time in your adult life is hard: you gotta lie sometimes, you gotta say no a lot, and it'll cost you some dough, but it's definitely possible. THAT is the kicker. :)
  13. Just read your second post. So I've seen this a lot teaching adults music and juggling. The problem is that as adults we can understand what we want to do much faster than people learn, so while kids will happily take their time, adult learners are IMPATIENT. And that'll get you. It's normal, and it's frustrating. I found I was especially bad at your age too, I was brutal on myself at 30, now I'm much more patient. There are a lot of good books from other fields (especially music) on the discipline and science of practise. "Peak" is a great one.

    Also, most youtube tutorials are awful. You need good teachers, those 52kards tutorials and so on are a waste of time. Buy Card College and the DVDs Giobbi made to go with them and you'll be like "ooohhhh, *this* is what a tutorial should look like". Just orders of magnitude more helpful, I *love* his DVDs.
  14. Lol, didn't realizing I was responding to a dead old thread! Hope the thoughts are helpful to someone. I should also of course have mentioned that the video tutorials on here are excellent too, I love the Jason England ones.
  15. Answer this...are you a singer?
    Most prolly no...(altho I do hope I'm wrong :) )

    Does that mean you've never hummed a tune in your life?

    Magic is just...a thing! A fun thing to do! You may make a career out of it, you may not. I don't want to be a painter...why the hell do I like to sketch and draw then? Because it makes me feel good and talented, and people marvel at my sketches which raises my self-esteem.
    Magic will do that.
    To be very very honest...magic helps me in my daily life to.
    Example:-When I have some small object in my hand and no pockets or places to chuck it in, I actually move around having palmed it...much more comfortable than consciously holding it. :) :) :)

    Anyways, what do they say these days? Something about 30 being the new 3?

    [I prolly g
  16. When you see the date the thread was started...
  17. @SilverWolf42712 , welcome to the forums and welcome to magic. We discourage posting in old threads but welcome new threads on any magic related topic. I started magic in my late 30s and that was 10 years ago. Enjoy the ride
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results