I'm new to both Penguin Magic and magic in general so I figured I would introduce myself. My name is Jacob, I'm 15, and I live in Texas. I started playing around with magic when I was 12, I got a wizard deck, a svengali deck, a cups and balls set, a normal deck, a couple of TERRIBLE books with a few awful tricks in them and a few other cheesy, cheapo, props. I practiced, learned a few tricks, picked up Magic for Dummies and worked through the card section part of that book and then performed a few tricks for people. This lasted for about a week. After that, I pretty much quit learning and practicing magic.
About 2 months ago, I found those old props so I picked them up, read through the trick books, and magic for dummies again and I found a new passion. I love magic. I love everything about it. I love learning, I love practicing, I love performing, I love thinking of new ways to use sleights, and possibly my favorite part is getting to give people a moment of amazement and joy. I was looking for somewhere to get quality magic items and books and found Ellusionist. Although I believe it is slightly overpriced, the community on the forums is fantastic. They gave me a list of props, some basic books, and a general direction on where to start. I've been working through the card, coin, and impromptu section of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic practicing a little bit every day and trying to learn the essential basics. Don't worry, I'm taking my time as that was something the people over at E stressed I had to do when learning the basics. Now, two days ago I finally got enough spending money to make my next purchase. I've purchased basic props (cards, sponge balls, quality cups and balls, silks, rope, basic gaff cards, etc.) and I ordered Royal Road to Card Magic, Magic and Showmanship, and Modern Coin Magic. So, I will be working on getting down the basics and some general knowledge in every area of magic.
This being said, I have already decided what I want to do in my magic career and what types of places I want to work. In a couple of years when I have down the basics, have created/learned a number of quality routines and can perform them nearly to perfection I want to do restaurant magic. I don't intend for magic to be my full time job later in life, but I plan on working as a magician at restaurants through college, some of high school, and possibly even after that it just depends how well I do and how skilled I become.
Alright, so now that y'all have a good idea of who I am, what I want to do, and where I am at in terms of magic I'd love any advice or just a general greeting. I'm a generally open minded person, I encourage any and all advice, and aside from that I'm really looking forward to becoming involved in the penguin community. After reading a number of various threads, it seems like this will be another vital support system for advice, critique, and help anytime I need it in my magic career as well as just being a great place to socialize.
That is it for my introduction, I just thought I should say hi and let everyone know who I am before getting to involved as I plan on sticking around and coming here anytime I need help.
P.S. One thing I would like as far as advice goes is how do you develop a performing character such as a stage persona. I love comedy magic and I'm generally a very sarcastic and joking person so I figure I would go something along those lines. I have already been told that I need to have a set character so I can make my magic performances more enjoyable instead of just a "See this, this is your card, now I'm going to make your card disappear" performance. So, how do or did all of you develop a character? Is it always changing? Is a stage persona necessary or can just being yourself be sufficient?