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RayJ

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As I was looking though emails this morning and reviewing some of the topics here I began to wonder, do modern-day magicians know how good they've got it?

The answer of course, is that people rarely think about their current state of affairs, they are just busy living it.

I think it would be good for everyone to stop and think about how good we really do have it in the magic community these days.

Magic has never been more easily accessible.  I'm trying to keep this topic positive, so for the moment, I'll ignore the unwarranted and undesirable exposure and such.

The fact is, you can go to the internet and witness beautiful magic from both latter-day masters and masters of yore.  What a treasure!

Most of us never met Dai Vernon, but we can watch him, for free.  All it takes is a computer, a phone or tablet and an internet connection.  How cool is that?

Cardini?  Yep, there's video of his complete nightclub act.  He was one of the highest paid performers in his time.  Not magician, highest paid performer, period!

And you can watch him!

Many of Harry Lorayne's appearances on television are captured on youtube.  Want to see him with David Frost?  You can!  With Carson, check!

Want to buy a trick?  You don't have a brick-and-mortar shop in town anymore?  Or maybe you never did?  No problem!  Just visit any number of online retailers.

Oh, and many of those retailers offer free tricks or lectures or downloads.  

Tired of using the same old cards from the drugstore?  Check out Theory11 and others and get your mind blown with the options.

Trying to decide whether that cool new trick is really worth it?  Is it really practical?  Does it have strict limitations?  Well then check out the various reviewers online or in your favorite magic magazine.

I made a post elsewhere recently where magicians were asked to list books they had bought but didn't get anything out of.  I think with all of the information we have nowadays there is little excuse to make a bad purchase.  If you want to buy a particular title, then just go to an online retailer and pull up the table of contents.  Does it look interesting.  Does there seem to be enough in there to have value.  Are there certain sleights in there you've wanted to learn?  Go ahead and read the reviews.  Are they consistently good or bad?  Did you look to see if the book was reviewed by an internet-based reviewer you trust?  How can you fail with all of that on your side.

Finally, and there's actually more stuff I could mention, such as the overall quality of props these days, etc., but I'll end with The Magician's Forum.

Do you, as a member of this forum realize how good you have it?  

I could list all of the cool things this site offers, but I'd be here a really long time.

If you've spent any amount of time here, then you already know.  For the new members, take part in all of the good stuff offered around here.  You won't be sorry.

Thanks Rudy, for making this space available.  You put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it.  

And we get to reap the benefits.  How cool is that?  


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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 

       And, to brag a bit, both Dai Vernon and Richard Cardini were close friends of mine. 
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne

       And, to brag a bit, both Dai Vernon and Richard Cardini were close friends of mine. 


Harry, you remind me of another point.  On this forum we have access to people from all over the world.  We may never meet, but we can converse and learn from each other.

Having a person of your caliber here to share with is priceless.  We really don't take enough advantage of it.  I with more people would take the opportunity to pick your brain.

Again, Rudy has done a tremendous job with his interviews with you and those have been a real treat!


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Harry Lorayne

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    Well, thanks for "them kind words," Ray.  I don't know if, at my age, there's much left of my brain to pick!  And, yes, Rudy has done one heck of a job - I don't think he knows just how much I appreciate it - and him.
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne


    Well, thanks for "them kind words," Ray.  I don't know if, at my age, there's much left of my brain to pick!  And, yes, Rudy has done one heck of a job - I don't think he knows just how much I appreciate it - and him.


Well, hopefully he will read your message and then he'll know!
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Matt G

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Reply with quote  #6 
Man, thank you so much for shining some much-needed positivity onto what seems to be a really sensitive topic to a lot of more experienced magicians. I recently read a book called "Fooling Houdini" by Alex Stone and he talks a lot about his experience with the magic community, and how sensitive and resistant to change it can be.

It's great that people can realize the impact that such a warm and welcoming place can be to somebody like me: just a new guy passionate about learning and performing magic, without any "real world" friends in the magic community. I bought all sorts of effects, books, DVDs, whatever else when I decided to take this seriously, because I hate half-measures. The money I've spent on "best magic books" (Royal Road and Card College and The Magic Book were among those, thankfully) and "best tricks" (kind of a waste of money, but in retrospect I did get a few cool effects out of it that I like to perform occasionally) pale in comparison to what I've gotten out of this free community already. At the end of the day, magic is about people and bringing people closer, and being able to talk to some brilliant magical minds and absorb their knowledge and live vicariously through their experiences...it's just awesome. And being able to watch other people grow as magicians and share their experiences with us, folks like Sam and JenniferG, that's really inspiring and beautiful as well.  

I dunno, it's just so cool to see the art of magic grow right in front of your own eyes. I hope one day I can give back to this community as much as I take, but for now, I'll just answer your question: yes, I do know how good I have it 😉
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt G
Man, thank you so much for shining some much-needed positivity onto what seems to be a really sensitive topic to a lot of more experienced magicians. I recently read a book called "Fooling Houdini" by Alex Stone and he talks a lot about his experience with the magic community, and how sensitive and resistant to change it can be.

It's great that people can realize the impact that such a warm and welcoming place can be to somebody like me: just a new guy passionate about learning and performing magic, without any "real world" friends in the magic community. I bought all sorts of effects, books, DVDs, whatever else when I decided to take this seriously, because I hate half-measures. The money I've spent on "best magic books" (Royal Road and Card College and The Magic Book were among those, thankfully) and "best tricks" (kind of a waste of money, but in retrospect I did get a few cool effects out of it that I like to perform occasionally) pale in comparison to what I've gotten out of this free community already. At the end of the day, magic is about people and bringing people closer, and being able to talk to some brilliant magical minds and absorb their knowledge and live vicariously through their experiences...it's just awesome. And being able to watch other people grow as magicians and share their experiences with us, folks like Sam and JenniferG, that's really inspiring and beautiful as well.  

I dunno, it's just so cool to see the art of magic grow right in front of your own eyes. I hope one day I can give back to this community as much as I take, but for now, I'll just answer your question: yes, I do know how good I have it 😉
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EVILDAN

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I grew up in the 70s and I remember seeing the same ads in magic magazines month after month. 
Every once in a while there would be something new and every magician that belonged to a club tried to be the first person to buy it so they can be the first to perform it. 
Packet tricks were great for a while because it fed that craving for "something new." 
Today there's something new released almost every week.

I also remember seeing magicians on TV. If they appeared on a show or had their own special, you had to schedule in the time to make sure you watched it. 
If you missed it, there was no repeat unless a talk show had a late season rerun. That's when TV Guide was actually helpful. You could see what was on and who was appearing on what show. 
Today, if you missed something, wait until tomorrow and it'll be on youtube. 
Even movies. It seemed like it would take about 3 years for a movie out of the theaters to make it to videotape. It also wasn't guaranteed that all movies made it to videotape. AND, those videotapes were expensive!!!

Today you have online magic shops, multiple review sites and reviews on the online sites themselves. 
Plus you have forums to join and participate in where you can rub virtual elbows with just about anyone from anywhere. 
I recently started participating in Zoom meetings where I get to see people that I normally wouldn't because we all live in different areas. - This I really am loving!!

But, I do miss hanging out at a brick and mortar magic shop on weekends. 


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RayJ

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Thanks for your heartfelt and thoughtful contribution.  Yes, we all are bombarded with negativity in our daily lives.  Seems it never ends.  But a wise woman (my wife!) continues to remind me that while I can't control what happens, I can control how I react to it.  So I'm taking the positive approach and choosing to count my magical blessings rather than focusing on the bad.

Thanks Matt!
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
I grew up in the 70s and I remember seeing the same ads in magic magazines month after month. 
Every once in a while there would be something new and every magician that belonged to a club tried to be the first person to buy it so they can be the first to perform it. 
Packet tricks were great for a while because it fed that craving for "something new." 
Today there's something new released almost every week.

I also remember seeing magicians on TV. If they appeared on a show or had their own special, you had to schedule in the time to make sure you watched it. 
If you missed it, there was no repeat unless a talk show had a late season rerun. That's when TV Guide was actually helpful. You could see what was on and who was appearing on what show. 
Today, if you missed something, wait until tomorrow and it'll be on youtube. 
Even movies. It seemed like it would take about 3 years for a movie out of the theaters to make it to videotape. It also wasn't guaranteed that all movies made it to videotape. AND, those videotapes were expensive!!!

Today you have online magic shops, multiple review sites and reviews on the online sites themselves. 
Plus you have forums to join and participate in where you can rub virtual elbows with just about anyone from anywhere. 
I recently started participating in Zoom meetings where I get to see people that I normally wouldn't because we all live in different areas. - This I really am loving!!

But, I do miss hanging out at a brick and mortar magic shop on weekends. 




Great points Dan.  You are so right about the Zoom meetings.  They have opened up a whole new way to connect.  

Regarding magic shops, I'll never forget the kindness shown to a little "wet behind the ears" aspiring magician that I got from the late Gene DeVoe.  Mr. Devoe would steer me towards the stuff I should be buying and away from the junk.  If I'm honest, the junk would have yielded him more money, but he didn't look at it that way.  He wanted to see me learn the right way and to be a customer for life.  I did continue to have a relationship with him until he retired.  I miss him and his shop dearly.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #11 
This forum is the best in magic as far as I am concerned. So much experience shared here, many magicians willing to help one another, Saturday sessions, lectures, Harry Lorayne and other professionals posting here - we have it so good these days, and that is just here at the TMF...

Magic is in a great place right now, and long may it continue.
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
This forum is the best in magic as far as I am concerned. So much experience shared here, many magicians willing to help one another, Saturday sessions, lectures, Harry Lorayne and other professionals posting here - we have it so good these days, and that is just here at the TMF...

Magic is in a great place right now, and long may it continue.


Yep, and you found your way back.  You were missed!
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Mike Powers

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Totally agree about the state of magic. I'd say it this way, "This is the 'golden age' of magic." In fact I'd say, "This is the 'Golden age' of the arts in general." Music, cinema, dance, ... all the arts are rocking. I think historically the effect of the internet on human life on planet earth will dwarf the effect of the printing press. 

Mike
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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #14 
Well said, Ray. It can be easy to spend time missing how things were that you lose sight of how good things are. I for one certainly appreciate how good TMF is and what it provides for us. Thanks Rudy.

Andrew
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Well said, Ray. It can be easy to spend time missing how things were that you lose sight of how good things are. I for one certainly appreciate how good TMF is and what it provides for us. Thanks Rudy.

Andrew


You are right about that Andrew!  
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Totally agree about the state of magic. I'd say it this way, "This is the 'golden age' of magic." In fact I'd say, "This is the 'Golden age' of the arts in general." Music, cinema, dance, ... all the arts are rocking. I think historically the effect of the internet on human life on planet earth will dwarf the effect of the printing press. 

Mike


I don't think there's any doubt that the internet has already surpassed the press.  If the internet goes down, so does half of our economy.  Maybe more!

Still, there are those who lament the "old days".  My father, for example, never got a taste of technology.  I don't remember seeing him use a computer ever.  My mother did, and loved it.

My dad was raised on a farm and they made due with not even a general store within 20 miles.

If you'll oblige me, I'll tell a quick story (he swears it was true!) that sums up my dad's sense of humor.

Being on a farm meant ordering a lot of sundries through mail-order catalogs.  One day my father called Montgomery Ward and attempted to order a case of toilet paper.

The clerk asked which specific product as they had several choices.  My dad asked "how will I know?" and the clerk responded that there was an item code in the catalog.

After a short pause, my father responded "Well if I had your catalog I wouldn't need the darned toilet paper!".  

True or not, I always got a kick out of that one.

Technology, like it or not has changed the world for the better.  Sure there's some hiccups and some times you wish it didn't exist, but for the most part, it is good.

Besides, there's no turning back now!
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #17 
EVILDAN grew up in the 70s. I grew up in the 80s, so it's too late for me too : - \
I took up card magic by looking card magicians on TV shows.
Specially Juan Tamariz, Pepe Carroll, Arturo de Ascanio, Rene Lavand...
So, the TV was my only window to the close-up magic world and any piece of motivation and information.
Certainly there wasn't "Youtube" in the 80s, but I used my father's VHS recorder to record some TV magic shows! So that I could analyse some card magic performances carefully when I was 10!
So, I could discover some card tricks techniques and ideas just by watching them once and again.
When Youtube was born I was already 30, and I had read already around 50 books about card magic and magic in general.
So, Youtube didn't help me much to improve my knowledge about card magic,  but helped me a lot anyway, since I can see old priceless vids by the greatest magicians in history. "Almost nothing!"
Apart from remembering with great nostalgia the Tamariz TV Shows.

As amateur I feel lucky since I took a good path.
However I wasn't lucky at all regarding the chances to become professional.

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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi, Paco.

I just clicked on your link 'The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician'. This looks interesting. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for making it available.

Andrew
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paco Nagata
EVILDAN grew up in the 70s. I grew up in the 80s, so it's too late for me too : - \
I took up card magic by looking card magicians on TV shows.
Specially Juan Tamariz, Pepe Carroll, Arturo de Ascanio, Rene Lavand...
So, the TV was my only window to the close-up magic world and any piece of motivation and information.
Certainly there wasn't "Youtube" in the 80s, but I used my father's VHS recorder to record some TV magic shows! So that I could analyse some card magic performances carefully when I was 10!
So, I could discover some card tricks techniques and ideas just by watching them once and again.
When Youtube was born I was already 30, and I had read already around 50 books about card magic and magic in general.
So, Youtube didn't help me much to improve my knowledge about card magic,  but helped me a lot anyway, since I can see old priceless vids by the greatest magicians in history. "Almost nothing!"
Apart from remembering with great nostalgia the Tamariz TV Shows.

As amateur I feel lucky since I took a good path.
However I wasn't lucky at all regarding the chances to become professional.


The wonderful thing about magic is you don't have to be a professional to enjoy it.  You don't have to be a professional to be well-regarded either.  Some of magic's great thinkers and writers weren't even performers really.  Some magicians perform mainly to other magicians.  So it runs the gamut.  

We have it great here because we have a nice mix.  We have some who rely on magic for their income, some who do paid gigs on the side, some who perform for family and friends and probably some who never "perform" at all.  We have some that have "regular" day jobs but have been well-published and have contributed much to the magic community. It's a great mix.
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Paco Nagata

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Hi, Paco.

I just clicked on your link 'The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician'. This looks interesting. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for making it available.

Andrew

Oh! Thank you very much, Andrew!

The book can be described as "an amateur card magic autobiography" plenty of thoughts, anecdotes and experiences. Everyone who loves card magic will enjoy it as well as finding some ideas and inspiration (as told me many readers :-)

I (always) want to remark that Tom Gilbert was the one that introduced the book in TMF. I will be eternally grateful for his consideration and appreciation, as well as the appreciation of all members here, like you.

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Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 16/06/2020
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
The wonderful thing about magic is you don't have to be a professional to enjoy it.  You don't have to be a professional to be well-regarded either.  Some of magic's great thinkers and writers weren't even performers really.  Some magicians perform mainly to other magicians.  So it runs the gamut.  

We have it great here because we have a nice mix.  We have some who rely on magic for their income, some who do paid gigs on the side, some who perform for family and friends and probably some who never "perform" at all.  We have some that have "regular" day jobs but have been well-published and have contributed much to the magic community. It's a great mix.

You are absolutely right. I agree with all this, Ray.
This post is great; actually all your post are great, but this should be read by ALL amateur magicians that cannot achieve all their goals. In fact, there are professionals as well that can't achieve certain goals or dreams, so we all are simple people that do our best anytime about what we love to do.

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"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician" https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado" https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 16/06/2020
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #22 
For every comment made on this post, I’ve found myself responding with a big appreciative ‘YES!’ . One more: my experience with TMF has just re-affirmed that the distance between any of us is shortened to a few taps of a keyboard. Ray has said a few times that TMF is an oasis. I got it! It’s one of the major de-stressors in my life. I’m very thankful.
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RayJ

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👍. 😄
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EndersGame

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Reply with quote  #24 
Well said, all. We have it good today - very good!
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