Wow, what have I learned this year? That's a big question. I have learned so much. I started magic a month or so before theory 11. Just a few months ago I really stepped into the ocean of magic, instead of just getting my feet wet. At first theory 11 was a place where I bought a few cool tricks, checked out the forums if I needed help with a problem, but then something happened, I had been looking for "that" reaction, instead of a little, "that's cool." I saw videos of people, and was amazed, but when other people watched me, that didn't happen.
Then, I saw the beginner video they had, and it helped me a lot. I learned one trick, and tried to perfect it. Then I started browsing the forums more. I found some great advice, and overall, learned a lot. If I wanted to post everything I learned, we would need more time.
At that time, I thought I knew it all, I had started getting better reactions, but there was something... Missing. People were always giving me looks like "how did you do that?" and I thought I was doing great. But i always knew I was missing something.
A few threads really helped me, and the IRC, helped me ten times more than any trick. I was missing a connection with my audience, I did my magic to fool them, but I learned to astound them.
I have learned magic is an art, not a fun little thing to know. I know to respect the art, and to practice effects.
I also accomplished over exposure, but nothing really interesting.
But most importantly, my magic became me. Not Daniel Madison, Lee Asher, or anything like that, me. I can do a trick by lee Asher without being lee Asher, I can be me. I can make a trick seem like I am saying what i would say, how I would say it. I can make myself pause, move, act, the way I would. My magic is not about fooling people, or making myself feel good, it's about connecting, and to do that, you have to be you, being Aaron Fisher doesn't connect with anyone but Aaron Fisher's specs, being you. If you want to tell a person a lesson, don't tell them it the way a book told you to, that ruins it. Finally there is some of me in my magic, and I think T11 did that.
So yeah, T11 taught me a few sleights, helped me do a few tricks, but most of all, the community helped me create real magic. Now I don't strive for "that" reaction, I strive for "my" reaction. Thank you to all of you who helped me learn here, and I hope we all continue to help each other.