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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
When performing I often get folk asking how to get started in close-up.  If they are serious I tell them to get their hands on a copy of 'The Magic Book' by Harry Lorayne. When I'm not on the road I sometimes spend time mentoring those who want to take it further, and when doing so I'll always recommend they purchase, or borrow a copy of Eugene Burger's 'Mastering the art of Magic'.

With these two books anyone who is starting out on the path of close-up magic will have enough information to keep them in work for the rest of their time on earth.

I am curious to know which books you guys would recommend to all those out there who want to get started doing gigs, and picking up the pennies?
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 
     Boy - if those will "...keep them in work for the rest of their time on earth" don't, whatever you do, recommend LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION volumes, BEST OF FRIENDS volumes, MATHEMATICAL WIZARDRY, SPECIAL EFFECTS, JAW DROPPERS!, ONLY MY APOCALYPSE,  APOCALYPSE volumes, "BEST EVER" 4-VOLUME DVD set - because then they'll need about ten times their time on earth!!
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
     Boy - if those will "...keep them in work for the rest of their time on earth" don't, whatever you do, recommend LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION volumes, BEST OF FRIENDS volumes, MATHEMATICAL WIZARDRY, SPECIAL EFFECTS, JAW DROPPERS!, ONLY MY APOCALYPSE,  APOCALYPSE volumes, "BEST EVER" 4-VOLUME DVD set - because then they'll need about ten times their time on earth!!


I'll say! I haven't even come close to reading all the material I have from you on my shelf.

Great recommendations, Socrates

Rudy

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #4 
    Stop reading the other stuff, Rudy!!!!  You have no idea what you're missing. (Or you'll need much more time on earth!!)
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #5 
It goes without saying that Harry has a ton of great books, but for a beginner, or someone with very little performing experience, buying more and more books can often sidetrack them from getting out into the real world and working.

The reason I mention the two books by Harry and Eugene is they are full of great advice on performing, selecting material, working up presentations, dealing with spectators and all the other tips you need to keep working...

Once the reader absorbs the sage advice from both these authors they will then have enough savvy to keep them working with real-world audiences for a life-time, and more importantly they'll have a great understanding of how to go about selecting new books, DVDs and material in the future.
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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #6 
I would suggest Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book" and Henry Hay's "The Amateur Magician's Handbook." Both are great books for beginners and they are not only about cards.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #7 
I don't think anybody has mentioned Bill Tarr's "Now You See It ..."   It's a book that I wish I had when I was just starting.

Robin
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alexandercrawford

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'd recommend anything written by an underground magician you've probably never heard of, called Harry Lorayne.
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alexandercrawford

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Reply with quote  #9 
Its also worth exploring Ganson's Art of Close-up Magic Vols 1&2 and Complete Routined manipulation (1,2 and Finale)
Some of the stuff is a bit out of date, but there's a lot of gold in there.
In particular, don't be mislead by the "manipulation" word - that combined volume is a bible of interesting general magic, including some great close-up stuff.
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EndersGame

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Reply with quote  #10 
Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book and Henry Hay's The Amateur Magician's Handbook are classics that I've often seen mentioned, and that I wished I'd had when I first started getting into magic.

In terms of more recent material, would Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic contents list ] deserve a mention here as well, as another possibility?

The "Dummies" series is often somewhat average, but the Magic For Dummies book edited by David Pogue [ contents list ] is surprisingly good.  Consultants who were involved in contributing to this book in one way or another include many big names, including Michael Ammar, Eugene Burger, Lance Burton, Daryl, Doc Eason, Paul Harris, Harry Lorayne, George Schindler, Jeff Sheridan, Johnny Thompson, Gregory Wilson, and many others.  It has some very solid material.

I also like Joshua Jay's Magic: A Complete Coursecontents list ].  Even though the contents aren't as well rounded as the other titles mentioned so far, one real strength is that it comes with a companion DVD that teaches many of the sleights and tricks in the book.  Especially for younger magicians, having this kind of visual teaching along with the book can be tremendously helpful.

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Craig Logan

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Reply with quote  #11 
I agree @EndersGame, Joshua Jay's book is a perfect beginner book for the reasons you've mentioned. 


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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #12 
Did we not just cover all this on another thread?  But I'll say it again, read the good stuff.  Mark Wilson Course in Magic. 
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmat
Did we not just cover all this on another thread?  But I'll say it again, read the good stuff.  Mark Wilson Course in Magic. 


Repetition is welcome here.

I’ve said it elsewhere, but will join you in repeating it again, Mark Wilson’s book is a “must have”!

Rudy

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MikeIkirt

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Reply with quote  #14 
Join the club, Rudy. I've been slowly working my way through it all!
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #15 
As a kid, I wanted to do the Tarbell Course In Magic, but I spent that $$ buying dealer items from Tannen's catalog.

Anyone do the Tarbell Course at a young age ?
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #16 
The original course of Harlan Tarbell is free to view on PDF at MagicBunny:

http://www.magicbunny.co.uk/

Another gift from the web of magic [wink]
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan Five
As a kid, I wanted to do the Tarbell Course In Magic, but I spent that $$ buying dealer items from Tannen's catalog.

Anyone do the Tarbell Course at a young age ?


I opened Tarbell at the age of about 10, and that was very nearly the end of magic for me. 

One of the first lessons I looked at was how to conceal a coin in front finger palm, then shift it to back finger palm by ducking the second and third fingers under the coin and straightening them.  I worked on that for months and I just couldn't do it.  50 years later, I still can't.  The fact that the first thing I tried was impossible for me very nearly made me give up the whole hobby.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #18 
        That's why I wrote in the Foreword of The Magic Book - I want to teach you only the things you'll be able to do and USE. I want to save you the decades I wasted learning things I never used. (I'm paraphrasing.)
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #19 
And that's exactly why I always recommend 'The Magic Book' Harry... Doc Eason recommended I read it and for that recommendation I am eternally grateful.
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #20 
I think it's a bad idea to suggest to a layman that there are books. Whenever I'm asked, I say there are no books, the secrets are passed down from magician to magician as part of a secret club. As soon as you suggest a layman can do what you do if he buys a book, you've just destroyed whatever impression you may have made. I also deny the stuff on the internet is the real work.

And Harry's book is really good, so whatever you do NEVER mention it except to other magicians. 
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #21 
Magic a funny art really...

Would a painter pretend they are no instruction manuals?

How about a musician suggesting there is no sheet music?
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #22 
Painting and music are not analogous to magic. The essence of magic is creating the illusion of the impossible and anything that works to erode that illusion should be avoided. As soon as you reveal that there are books, you are saying that what you just did is possible. All the magic in the magic disappears. So, the better response is to say there are secrets and those secrets must be protected--and just maybe those secrets do allow for something truly impossible. Sure, no one believes the magic is real, but why point that out directly.

I can't paint, but I do play guitar and sax.
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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #23 
I'm am never star struck.  That said I have to admit I am a little star struck around Bob Farmer. (and I don't think we met)  I have a few mentors in this business.  My father, Romain, Al Goshman a few others...and Bob Farmer.  So when his name came up here I was a little taken aback and now reading his posts I'm thinking he may have a point.  

Bob Farmer came out with two effects that for some reason changed the way I look at magic, and look at audiences.  Those two tricks are Tsunami and Deja Voodo.

I remember just where those two manuscripts were when I was in my dads shop.  Never paid much attention to them.  Then once, in the shop, bored and alone Richard Saunders came walking in and walked directly over to Tsunami, purchased the effect and walked away.  I don't know if many of you know who Richard is, but I thought to myself.  If Richard is buying that it has to be worth looking at.  Half an hour later I was hooked.

It took a lot of guts and faith in order for me to actually try it out on a real person.  But man, was well worth it.   

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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #24 
I live to serve! Seriously, thank you. I never set out to set an example but I do appreciate the comments. 

Tsunami is now part of my book, The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox, and Deja Voodoo is part of The Bammo Gaffus Maximus book. Right now, I'm working on a new manuscript for Tony Miller's Idono wallet. 

For more info anyone can email me at bammomagic@cogeco.ca 
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #25 
     Bob, the answer I've always given when asked by a layman "How the heck do you do that??" or "How the heck did you learn to do that?" is - "A MISSPENT YOUTH!"
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #26 
Harry, my version of your line would be, "I learned it while studying at the monastery."
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #27 
Oh..that is a good one Bob Farmer..
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #28 
     Wouldn't "fit" for me. Most know I had a terrible childhood so "misspent youth" fits for me - well...sort of.
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #29 
Harry, it fits you perfectly and it's totally believable.
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Robert McGee

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Reply with quote  #30 
The Vernon Book of Magic, The Inner Secrets books, The Cardician
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