Beginning in Magic,
an essay by Magikrn.
What should I get? So many times you here this from someone just beginning in magic. The answer to that question lies inside yourself. This is one of those questions that differentiates magicians from someone who likes to perform some magic tricks. This essay will hopefully tackle the problems we see with beginners in magic.
Part one: Starting out
When first starting in magic, whether you are five years of age or fifty years of age, you need to find a basis for what you want to perform. This may be close up/parlor/street, stage, mentalism, or grand illusions and escapes. The point is, you need to establish yourself before buying any tricks. The best way to do this is to buy some books that have different areas of magic in them, for example Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. By doing this, you can find out what fits your style of performing without spending twenty dollars here and fourty dollars there on single tricks. There are so many different books out there that have so much information in them, that it's not even funny, and alot of newer magicians don't want to take the time to read them.
Part two: Buying
This is a touchy subject with me, as I have been down this road before. I am talking about buying an effect just because it looks cool. The problem with doing this is simple, half of the effects you buy this way, are wasted space and money. Now, before buying a "cool" effect, there are a few things you must consider.
1. Are you actually going to use this, or are you just buying it to know how it's done.
2. Will this effect fit into the routine you are trying put together or already have.
3. What is the actual wow factor of said effect.
There are a few exceptions to effects that should be bought seperately without needing it to fit into a routine. I am talking about some really good impromptu effects that can be used when someone says, "hey do a trick right now" and you aren't prepared. But again, alot of impromptu effects can be found in books as well as dvd's. If it isn't something you see yourself using on a regular basis, don't waste your money.
Research the product you are going to purchase, remember there are no returns in magic because you are paying for the secret. What you spend on magic, is spent indefinately, and who really wants to waste money, I know I don't. It doesn't hurt to ask around, just make sure when you do ask to let everyone know what you are looking for and what type of magic you are into. I see so many people ask "should I get -Insert mentalism effect here- or -insert illusion here-" and the two effects aren't even remotely close to being in the same category. Impulse buying should be avoided, something may sound great when you first see a description, so you click add to cart, pay for it, it shows up and it's not what you expected. Research is your friend, you have the internet, use it, use google and look for the effect and see some reviews on it, or find a performance. Just make sure that what you are buying, is going to benefit you in the long run. I have many, many tricks sitting in a box collecting dust, because I impulse bought them. I now only buy single tricks if I know for sure I will be using them. I am starting a collection of books, that hopefully I won't have to buy another single trick again, as long as I am in magic.
Part three: Practice makes perfect
How many times have you seen a youtube video where everything was sloppy, no patter and the effect lacked pretty much any type of entertainment. This is due to lack of practice, now I know what you are thinking, practice is boring. I know how easy it is to learn a trick, run through it a few times and then want to go show it off immediately, DON'T DO THIS!!!!! When I say practice an effect, I mean practice that effect untill it hurts, untill it is no longer fun. Practice everything about the effect, from the movements to the patter, right down to if you should make eye contact at a certain part of the effect. This is the most important thing to remember when getting into magic, the more you practice, the better you will be. Remember to not only practice untill you can do an effect in your sleep, but you also need to rehearse your routine. Yes there is a difference between practicing and rehearsing, a big difference. Rehearsing is going through each step, making sure every last detail is perfect.
Remember that a well performed magic act is entertainment at it's finest, but a performance from someone who didn't put forth the effort will be remembered by noone.
Eric "Aka" Magikrn...................
Feel free to add to, debate or whatever you wish to this essay. If you feel I missed something or am wrong about something, let me know and I will listen an open mind.