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 Post subject: I have money, what should I buy?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:41 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 1450
Location: Boston, MA
Well, this is my first essay about magic in a long time, so bare with me! But the question in the topic can be answered in one word: nothing. Stop acting like money is going to buy you professionalism, experience, and talent. Because it won't.

Every magician starts somewhere. Some start by picking up a mainstream magic book. Some start by picking up the 'LATEST STREET EFFECT!'. Some people see Blaine / Angel / Copperfield, and want to be just like them. Any of these ways is fine, but in the end, everyone must realize they will all start at the same place: the basics. Magic is based on the principle of making someone BELIEVE something happens, when it may not actually happen. If you can sell the idea that their card really jumped to the top of the deck, you're doing good.

So now, to get to the real point of this essay. Lately there have been a lot of topics about what to buy. These topics range from mature magicians who are looking for advice on a good book, to amateurs looking for 'where to spend da 20 bux!!!!'. Many people do not know the difference between need and want (as pointed out by Ben Lewis in a post of his).

I have Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic. There are literally 100s of effects and sleights in there. I spent months only learning from that book. Why? Because I just paid $10 for a 400+ page book. But in those months, I accumulated money from my job(s). Why didn't I buy the latest effect? Why didn't I buy the Instant Downloads I needed [sic]?

Those who have $10 and don't know what to get: stop fooling yourselves. I can tell you without knowing anything about you that you probably only know about 25% of the material you have access to. Stop saying that you have mastered all of Card College. Stop saying you have mastered ECT or RRTCM. If you had mastered ANY of these books, then you wouldn't be asking OTHER people what to buy with your money. Basic books like these will teach you what type of magic you will want to perform.

You do NOT need to buy magic every time you have the money. DVDs are good, books are a better deal. Last week, I went into a local B&M Magic Shop, and bought old manuscripts and books. Yes, books that were made before I, or even David Blaine, was born. From the 70s (some even from the 60s!). Do you know how much I paid? I paid $4 for a new copy of 'Entertaining With ESP'. And do you know how much information was in there? I was amazed at how many QUALITY effects and HELPFUL advice were packed into a book this size. Many of these tricks were being sold seperatly on DVDs or in '1 Trick' Manuscripts for MUCH more than $4.

Magic is meant to be practiced and perfected. Sure, I may be able to pick up Stars of Magic and learn one of the card tricks in an hour. Heck, I may even be able to go out and perform it for someone! It's a classic effect though, why not try and practice it some more? Perfect it? Find a way to fit it into my routine and work with my persona? I'd much rather spend a year learning the trick and then being able to do it flawlessly than learn it in a day and risk blowing it.

The point of this was to convince you to go back and look into all the magic you have access to. Books, little pocket tricks, DVDs, manuscripts, ANYTHING. I promsie that you will pick up some useful tips and tricks, and perhaps even a routine or two! If you need to ASK what to buy, then you don't have your past material mastered. And you may even save some money...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:30 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Dec 2002
Posts: 4064
Location: London, England
A wonderful essay. If I may add my two cents:

I think that, as you said, magic is not at all about how you do it, but rather how you make the audience think you did it. Taking Ambitious card as an example, to offer the audience no explanation as to how the card jumped to the top leaves them coming up with their own suggestions (е.g. maybe the card that went in the middle wasn't the one I thought it was). However, if you give the audience the suggestion that it snaps up through the deck to the top, they'll latch on and more readily accept it, suspending their disbelief.

Another important point to get across is that a magician is nothing more than an ordinary person playing the part of a someone who can do magic. The character can be either tightly or loosely based on the person playing him (or her) and this can be left up to them. The magical character being played will have powers. More importantly, he won't have certain powers (for example, I [my character] can't levitate). On top of this he will have certain mannerisms, attitudes and philosophies.

When looking for a new trick to buy (assuming that there is a good reason to buy one – as Fatal said it's often driven by just wanting something new, rather than needing it), what to look for will be driven by the character. I can omit any tricks that have a kind of spiritual side to them because I don't believe in that sort of thing. I can quite easily narrow down the tricks that would be relevant to me by thinking whether they are in line with who I am – that is with who my character is.

Therefore it seems moronic to me why people would ask for other forumites' opinions as to what tricks to buy because they are going to get as many responses as there are tricks. Everyone has their own favourite. For example, there is still the ongoing battle over which is better: B-2 Bomber or Stealth Pen.

So I recommend that people should be doing some more inward searching and finding out for themselves what they'd like, rather than relying on the skewed opinions of others.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 75
Fantastic essay, almost sticky thread worthy. I know it's a little old now, but I just saw it.

I’ve been practicing magic for three or four months now and so far I have zero routines. I’m practicing two slights- the Herman pass, and the DL. I’m of the opinion that these two slights perfected have limitless potential. I’m not interested in making or performing any routines until both slights are completely invisible.

Anyway, great essay. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:46 pm 
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Emperor Penguin

Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 7922
Location: Parkville, MO
Well, it's nice to see that some people actually practice before posting videos all over YouTube of their "skills".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:27 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 642
Location: God's Country
This is a good read, well written and interesting - congrats.

I will plead guilty to buying things I don't need when buying new magic, although more often than not it's to put my cart total above what one needs for free P&P...

Recently I've been buying effects that I would like to have in reserve for the future. I've a stage show coming up and I'm half preparing for my next one after that, but I know I'm going to be meeting with potential clients at this event I'm performing at so I want some close up stuff I can maybe perform as well. Plus, I'm looking into getting more into the weerd world of bizarre magic with a psychic edge so I'm buying things I don't need to see if I can fit them into my magic persona.

I totally agree about looking at your wants and needs and maybe saving a little cash to go buy a good book or two but sadly kids is kids; their wants are needs and we the mature magicians are fighting a losing battle if we keep trying to get them to see that they don't need any new magic if they only went and studied Royal Road.

32


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:32 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 1125
Location: Outside of your bedroom window
Yah, you are totally right with that essay. When I first started, I kind of practiced a lot. Then, the practice time started decreasing and decreasing and I was buying new effects and stuff. And then one day, I realized that I was getting stuff and not really performing it because I couldn't do the effect flawlessly or just didn't feel comfortable with it.

So I decided to really try and work on things that need practice, like my DL's... I remember when I first started learning them. My moms friend let me borrow Born to Perform Card Magic. And after a while, I never noticed that I started doing my DL's differently than from what Oz shows us how to do it. I realized this after I had bought my own copy of BTP and have not yet mastered the way that he teaches, because I didn't really, really practice it. But like a week ago, I really started to try and get a really good DL and Erdnase Color Change. For a few days, I practiced like for like an hour... until I got Blindsided from the promo. Then it just stopped and I was practicing Blindsided up until today.

So, after reading your essay, I am really going to try and perfect everything that I have before ordering again. And after I perfect it, I will perform it.

Very nice essay, well done!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:54 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 967
Location: Sydney - Australia
you have inspired me :) thank you, well written i enjoyed reading it :)


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