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Duke

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Recently re-entering magic after many years, I am tempted by all the marketing for new illusions. And I have bought a few.

Some are very low priced "instant downloads." Some are not so economical. Some are just more impressive in the sales video than after I get them home.

I think I have come to a very cautious stance toward new and dazzling offers.
You, too?



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arthur stead

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I’m glad you’re a fast learner, Duke!  Manufacturers are good at creating intriguing, well-produced videos which make their products seem like true miracles.  But (in my humble opinion), 95% of all those shiny new objects are not worth the investment.  

I learnt a long time ago to avoid these pitfalls, and instead focus on a good card or coin book, and take my time practicing and perfecting practical effects from it.

Incidentally, once you’ve decided which direction to go in magic, I’d be happy to help you pick and choose sources, routines, props and effects.  (And so would many other great folks here on TMF). 

Arthur


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Matt G

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Hi Duke. I recently got into magic, about a year ago. When I was first starting I decided to get my hands on all of the "best books" and "best DVDs" and "best effects" that I could afford, thinking I'd use them all, forever, and never need anything else again. Just dove straight in. The books: most are great investments, so fun to revisit, and at the very least they look nice on a book shelf. A few of the DVDs/complete sets from magicians are amazing too. But the standalone effects/gimmicks/sleights that I bought ... I wish I had saved my money for all but a tiny handful of them (Kostya's Roadrunner Cull being a notable exception, I love how much he goes into the thinking about it...even though culls are taught in many books/DVD sets). But, like all things, the more I know...the more I realize I don't know...and the pit is bottomless. I wish I had found this community and be able to listen to advice from folks like Arthur earlier...the "best new thing in magic, look at how amazing it looks on this trailer, must buy at only $20 bucks!!!" will likely be angle-sensitive, awkward to learn, impractical to work into routine, or just not fit into your presentation style. That's not to say it won't be the perfect purchase for some people, but I'd rather save money for the tried & true classics of magic.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke
Recently re-entering magic after many years, I am tempted by all the marketing for new illusions. And I have bought a few.

Some are very low priced "instant downloads." Some are not so economical. Some are just more impressive in the sales video than after I get them home.

I think I have come to a very cautious stance toward new and dazzling offers.
You, too?




Duke, I broke myself of that many years ago.  When I was a kid, one of the first things gifted to me by an older magician was an Abbott's catalog.  It became my dream book.  For a kid with no money and no hopes of getting any anytime soon, that was all I could do, dream.

What I found out was that even back then, the reality was sometimes not what it appeared.

For example, the Joe Karson Zombie trick, which I later saw in person was a cheap green plastic tumbler as a base and a ball made of white foam, the kind you see in craft stores to stick fake flowers into.  The gimmick was of light wire and was merely bent on the end.  The thin wire stuck into a brass grommet of some sort that was embedded in the ball.  It got the job done, but let's say it was underwhelming.

Then there was the "glitter balls", multiplying billiard balls with a sparkly appearance.  Wooden balls dipped in glue and rolled in glitter.  Glitter that would continually fall off in use until there were bald spots.  Again, the dream didn't match reality.

I actually don't own a bunch of magic tricks.  In fact, compared to many, I have very few.  But what I do have, I believe, is some really good stuff.  Quality stuff.  Stuff that gets used and not stored in drawers.  

I don't know if you still have books from when you were more active or what, but personally I would begin there.  You can learn a lot from the items you probably already have.

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Harry Lorayne

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I've written quite a number of book JUST FOR YOU, MattG!!
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Duke

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Matt,

Thanks for the great personal story!
Yep! I'm being far more cautious now! 😁

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Matt G

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
I've written quite a number of book JUST FOR YOU, MattG!!
😉 and I'm forever grateful for it! The Magic Book (which you recommended in person over Zoom many months ago), Close Up Card Magic, and The Memory Book are certainly three of the best purchases I have ever made! I just wish I had discovered this forum sooner so I could've spent more money and time with books like that, instead of the collection of one-off effects and gimmicks from Vanishing/Penguin Magic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke
Hi Matt,

Thanks for the great personal story!
Yep! I'm being far more cautious now! 😁
And I wish you the very best of luck!! I don't know about you but it's so hard to resist temptation for me, with all the advertising and isolation from quarantine and whatnot...hard to stay disciplined and keep my nose buried in all the books I already have!
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #8 
You only need learn the basic principles of magic and then begin to play around with ideas. It all depends on what kind of magic you prefer, but remember this... the magic stores are looking to make the money vanish from your pockets and appear in theirs 😁
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
You only need learn the basic principles of magic and then begin to play around with ideas. It all depends on what kind of magic you prefer, but remember this... the magic stores are looking to make the money vanish from your pockets and appear in theirs 😁


Great post!  Once you know the basic principles of magic you can build your own effects.
Why pay other people to do your thinking for you?
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #10 
Well said, Socrates and RayJ!  Couldn't agree more.

Arthur

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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #11 
I’m relatively new so I don’t have years of battle scars to prove anything, but I know hype when I see it. Those slick promo videos just scream “buyer’s remorse.”

Besides, this is just me but the reason I do magic is to learn the art of sleight of hand. For a gimmick to do the work just isn’t what I’m looking for. I have bought silly things like the flowers that spring up when you pull the string, but that is for just that, a silly moment. Makes a great cat toy too.

I have bought several instant downloads by great magicians like Ammar and Daryl and those were well worth the price. I’ve heard mixed reviews of a lot of downloads though.

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TheAmazingStanley

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Great post!  Once you know the basic principles of magic you can build your own effects.
Why pay other people to do your thinking for you?


YouTube is depressing to me not because there are so many bad teachers (you soon learn who knows that they’re talking about), but so many bad students. Or copycats. You see someone doing a trick you know from a famous magician, and they are carbon copies except not entertaining. Right down to the verbatim banter, hand movements, and color of the cards. Do *something* your own, at least adapt the patter to your personality.


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley


YouTube is depressing to me not because there are so many bad teachers (you soon learn who knows that they’re talking about), but so many bad students. Or copycats. You see someone doing a trick you know from a famous magician, and they are carbon copies except not entertaining. Right down to the verbatim banter, hand movements, and color of the cards. Do *something* your own, at least adapt the patter to your personality.



Very true.  I saw one kid do a trick and you could tell he learned it from watching Daryl Martinez because he used the same mannerisms and the same, exact patter.  It was sad, really.
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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #14 
I think I know the one. Even the same color cards. I had that one in mind when I penned my rant
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JoshP06

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead

 

I learnt a long time ago to avoid these pitfalls, and instead focus on a good card or coin book, and take my time practicing and perfecting practical effects from it.

Arthur



I second this. Books are just better.
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