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JenniferG

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Which general magic book would you recommend to any starting magician, as the first book to read? An adult who is interested in all things magical.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Easy. Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book. Coins, cards, mentalism, sleight of hand, self-working... An excellent, dare I say the best, overview of sleight of hand and close-up magic. Written specifically for the adult interested in all things magical.

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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Socrates recommended the same book.  I went ahead and purchased it! 
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Harry Lorayne

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       Could have had it personally autographed if YOU PURCHASED IT FROM ME!!
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #5 
Cancelled it 😉

Thank you! Do you have it available in hardback by any chance. Does your older edition have the same exact content?  Where do I buy it? 😉. I think only the older edition comes in hardback right?  Although, hardback isn't absolutely necessary, just would be nice.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #6 
I'm so excited to receive your book.. can't wait to read it! 
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #7 
Oh I just noticed you were born the same year my grandmother was born.  She's still kicking it too.  1926.  Conincidently same year Harry Houdini passed.
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Harry Lorayne

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   Go to harryloraynemagic.com, click on Strore, and then on "Magic Books" and you should find THE MAGIC BOOK. Only soft back I believe. You can PayPal the amount directly to this email addess (harrylorayne@earthlink.net ) - and please do it as a "Personal Payment" - instead of "Goods & Services." The price is going up shortly.  Best - Harry L.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #9 
You will like that book. Mr. Harry Lorayne is fun to read.h
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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #10 
Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic.  The large hard bound, not the tiny little one. 
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #11 
Another vote for Harry's book. Yes, it is well written (Harry always writes like he's in your kitchen teaching you a trick or a move!). To me, best part of the book is you'll learn a little card magic and some solid sleights, a little coin magic (and sleights), some mental effects and so on. Try all of these and you will eventually feel comfortable with one or two or three "platforms." Then, you can focus on those.

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #12 
In addition to the above, I also like “Now You See It, Now You Don’t” by Bill Tarr. Great drawings. I still use routines in that book in my strolling set.
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #13 
Harry's book is great whatever your skill level. It may be too good!
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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #14 
To add to the clutter and confusion, I nominate Richard Kaufman's Knack Magic Tricks. I seldom see it mentioned, but I think it's pretty good.

It's only in softcover and Kindle. You can find a copy on Amazon in used Very Good condition for 6 bucks delivered. Not a bad deal.

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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #15 
Thanks for all help.  After I receive Harry's book -- paypal'd him yesterday -- and carefully go through all of it , I'll pick up these other books. 
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #16 
I went ahead and bought a bunch of books based on everyone's recommendations here.

So this is the list of the books I just ordered, in no particular order:

1) The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne -- autographed
2) Mark Wilson's Complete Guide to Magic
3) The Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay
4) Now You See It, Now You Don't by Bill Tarr
5) Knack Magic Tricks by Richard Kaufman
6) The Secrets of Alkazar by Allan Zola Kronzek
7) The Original Tarbell Course in Magic

Should be enough to keep me busy.. for the rest of my life.. LOL

Thanks!

Btw, should I wait on Royal Road to Card Magic?  EDIT: or maybe get Paul Wilson's videos on Royal Road to Card Magic instead of reading the book? I have so much else to read already!

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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferG
.........
Btw, should I wait on Royal Road to Card Magic?  Go through all of the above first?



Just for consideration. While you are reading all of these you might want to keep your eyes out on the used sites for a copy of Paul Wilson's 5 DVD set covering the Royal Road To Card Magic. It would be a nice change of pace and Paul's a terrific teacher.



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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #18 
Cool, I was thinking perhaps the same thing regarding his video and had just edited my post above your reply to that effect.  Jinx!😉 
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #19 
Yes!!!!!!

Otherwise you start on the path of a sick addiction where all your money goes to magic and magic books. Your marriage breaks up, they take away your kids, the bank forecloses on your house and as you’re packing all your stuff to move it into cheap storage, you look at all the magic you never performed, all the books you never read (some still in shrink wrap) and the you look up to the heavens, shake your fist and shout out “Why?!?!?!?!”
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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #20 
To help save, or at least delay, you from the inevitable financial disaster The Evil One is talking about, here's a completely free version of Royal Road with great commentary you may or may not find worthwhile. The price is right.

https://theburnabykid.com/nwmb/JACK.pdf

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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #21 
As I go through all those books, should I skip any tricks which requires items/gimmicks I don't yet have?  I am ordering a thumb tip though, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on other gimmicks.

I am thinking between all the books I have, shouldn't I be okay skipping those tricks which require any sort of gimmick purchase, and still get enough of a well rounded education in magic?

I am crafty though, and can make some of the gimmicks myself if needed. 

I'd like to keep the costs down for now.
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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #22 
One other thought. This ain't bad (in the Kindle version) for 3 bucks:

https://www.amazon.com/Trick-Decks-Playing-Cards-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B015VSFS8E/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=trick+decks&qid=1561245055&s=gateway&sr=8-10


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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #23 
Those books will keep you going a LOONNNGGG time.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #24 
Getting into magic is like attending your first cocktail hour. There are sooo many different kinds of food to eat. So you try a little of everything. Really liked the sushi so you make a note to get more later. Cheese was cheese. Good but nothing spectacular. Stay away from the liver pate, that was gross. Same with the raw oysters even though you sucked them down like an old pro.

All of us don’t practice and perform all the magic all of the time. To put it into perspective I was sitting with a very successful college and corporate magician along with several other magicians. A few were working pros as well. They were going around the table showing some of their latest routines. As the turn for speaking/showing something new was coming around to him, he looked a me, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I only know three tricks.” I don’t know what the third was, but I did see him perform once. He did the tossed out deck and a blindfold routine. He also does a Q&A routine so maybe he does either one with the tossed out deck. So three tricks so finely tuned from years of performing has provided for he and his family.

Finally, they say that an amateur will perform a thousand different tricks for the same person, but a pro will perform one trick for a thousand different people. And to sorta quote/paraphrase Eugene Burger: the house of magic has many rooms, which one do you want to be in?

By the way, a book that will change your magical life is “Magic and Meaning” by Eugene Burger and Bob Neale.

Have an amazing magical journey!!!
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #25 
So far I really like the card tricks and some mentalism.

I don't see myself doing much with coins or rope, or anything large scale, but I'll give it a shot.  (I really like to be able to carry all my acts in my pockets.)

The two tendons of my ring and pinky finger in my right wrist were severed when my hand accidentally went through a glass window when I was 10.  The tendons were sewn back together, but are shorter than they were so as a result I don't have the full tendon range and in resting state they are slightly curled in.  I can't move them as fast as my left hand and have less control.  So I don't know if I'll be doing many coin sleights .. maybe.  I seem to do okay with card sleights.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #26 
Thanks Jack.  Yeah I couldn't finger pick on guitar either if I tried. I could but it would be way too slow.  I can hold violin bow but it isn't perfect the way I hold it either.  You use ring and pinky finger to lighten tension on bow varying degrees as you play.  I find they are weak, slow and sometimes slip out of position on the bow stick.  But I do my best.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #27 
Blathermist, the three tricks he selected are such that it’s a different performance each time. And HE makes it interesting to watch each time.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #28 
Since Secrets of Alkazar is such a short book, should I read it first before The Magic Book? 
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #29 
Btw, ty Evil Dan! 
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferG
So far I really like the card tricks and some mentalism.

I don't see myself doing much with coins or rope, or anything large scale, but I'll give it a shot.  (I really like to be able to carry all my acts in my pockets.)

The two tendons of my ring and pinky finger in my right wrist were severed when my hand accidentally went through a glass window when I was 10.  The tendons were sewn back together, but are shorter than they were so as a result I don't have the full tendon range and in resting state they are slightly curled in.  I can't move them as fast as my left hand and have less control.  So I don't know if I'll be doing many coin sleights .. maybe.  I seem to do okay with card sleights.


Jennifer...

Take a quick read through this article about Django Reinhardt … particularly his injury that damaged his left hand.

Then listen to some of his stuff on YouTube -- he's a legend.

He re-learned how to play chords by using the flats of his damaged fingers.

Then there's Meir Yedid who is missing a finger on one hand and is a well-known card artist....

I'd say nothing is impossible -- you just need to find the way to do what you want with what you have.

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #31 
How's about Matthias Buchinger? Or more recently, Mahdi Gilbert...

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #32 
Rene Levand is another one.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #33 
Dave, yeah I know Django Reinhardt quite well. I've listen to jazz music all my life, especially old 30's-40's swing. Django is great.  I've shown friends film and audio of him playing and said, imagine if he had use of all 5 fingers.   Django along with Junior Bernard and Jimmy Wyble are my favorite swing guitarists.  If you watch video of him on youtube, his ring and pinky finger are curled in .. that's similar to how my right hand is.. but that's my picking hand.  I have full use of all 5 fingers for noting since I am right handed guitar player.

Regarding sleights, I'll do what I can.  I'll give it all a shot and work around it where needed. I'm happy to just do card tricks really. I can do double lifts and overhand shuffle fine, and that gives me a lot of tricks I can do.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #34 
Jack Bear, have you heard of Bireli Lagrene?  Plays same gypsy type guitar Django played.  He's pretty good:

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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #35 
You don’t need an encyclopedic portfolio of sleights to have an awesome repertoire of card tricks! In an early video tape, Harry once said if you could do a jog shuffle control, double lift and a palm, you’re all set. If you pick up a book of Nick Trost’s card magic, he has a chapter on the “moves” he uses In the book, but few of them are sleights as we know them and none of them are difficult

Read a lot and find tricks you can picture yourself doing. Learn the mechanics and the presentation and then, after you have rehearsed and performed it adapt the trick to you and your style. Make it yours.
As Evildan said many posts ago... enjoy the journey.

jennifer, you’ll be fine... and the group here will be happy to help you through any questions or rough spots.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferG
I went ahead and bought a bunch of books based on everyone's recommendations here.

So this is the list of the books I just ordered, in no particular order:

1) The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne -- autographed
2) Mark Wilson's Complete Guide to Magic
3) The Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay
4) Now You See It, Now You Don't by Bill Tarr
5) Knack Magic Tricks by Richard Kaufman
6) The Secrets of Alkazar by Allan Zola Kronzek
7) The Original Tarbell Course in Magic

Should be enough to keep me busy.. for the rest of my life.. LOL

Thanks!

Btw, should I wait on Royal Road to Card Magic?  EDIT: or maybe get Paul Wilson's videos on Royal Road to Card Magic instead of reading the book? I have so much else to read already!



That is enough to keep you going for life if you learn each item. Obviously you won't if for no other reason than lack of interest or impracticality.

Jerry Andrus had a long and successful career and claimed to have never read a book on magic. His originality makes believe him.

So read a little and think a lot.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #37 
In the Original Tarbell Course, lesson #1 requires a glass disc.  Would the glass disc which comes with The Secret Box suffice?  Is it the right size?  Thinking about getting this gimmick.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferG
In the Original Tarbell Course, lesson #1 requires a glass disc.  Would the glass disc which comes with The Secret Box suffice?  Is it the right size?  Thinking about getting this gimmick.


Since it's never seen, only felt, by the spectator, it only needs to be the same relative size as the coin you're vanishing. Used to be standard fare in magic kits. 

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist


No.

Read a lot and think a lot.

And when you're ready, perform a lot. Assuming you want to be a performer, of course.


Okay, that should be emblazoned to tee shirts. Or included in Bartlett's. (Does anyone consult Bartlett's anymore?!)

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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #40 
Going to head to the bank and pick up some 1/2 dollar and 1 dollar coins.  Should I get any others?  Tarbell calls for 1/2 dollar coin if I recall.  Is it the same size now?  Is it odd to do magic with 1/2 dollar coin these days?  I imagine they were more popular in the 1920's when Tarbell wrote the lessons?  I imagine 1/2 dollar is easier to sleight than a US quarter?  I know nothing about coins or which ones to use on the street.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #41 
Nope, not odd at all. At least to magicians! Grab a few Kennedy halves and Eisenhower dollars, if you can find them. The larger coins are more visible. What's most important is how they fit into your hands. Palming isn't an exact science since everyone's hands are slightly different.  

Don't overlook everyday coins, though, since there's plenty to be done with them as well. 

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist


No.

Read a lot and think a lot.

And when you're ready, perform a lot. Assuming you want to be a performer, of course.


Blathermist, we don't disagree, except that this is a beginner that we are talking about. 

I'm all for reading a lot.  I do it myself.  But I think what is best for some beginners is to get some basics down and then get after it.  Learn one or two versions of an effect and work on them, then vary them to put your personal touches on them.

I read somewhere that Bob Kohler experimented with around 50 ways to perform the Bill to Lemon trick.  50?  Really?  I guess that is the penultimate act of a student of magic.

I would definitely not wish for Jennifer or any other beginner to learn 50 ways to do anything.  Time for that later if they are passionate enough.

So I'm not arguing with you but I stand by what I said, to Jennifer, in the context in which she was asking the question.

She, in my opinion, has enough books to get her started and probably into an intermediate level of magic.  What she needs now is to learn some of the routines, flesh them out and develop her own style.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #43 
I guess I need a close up mat right? I just learned the ribbon spread (I do that well -- was easy to learn).  I do it on my desk which is varnished wood.  Anyways I go to flip that ribbon from the end (domino effect), and I guess my desk is too slick, because the cards slide before they flip. 

I've seen youtube videos where people pay hundreds for these.  To me that's insane since I am really frugal.  Is there one for under $20 I can buy which is really good?  Or can I buy some real felt, padding and wood, and upholster one myself?
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Gilles

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Reply with quote  #44 
I made a couple of close-up mats myself, a pretty large one as my daily workspace, and a smaller ione I can carry easily; I used a good casino quality felt- not a cheap one, and a double layer of a material we use here under the table cloth, if we have a glass table for example, to avoid the noise everytime a plate hits the table; all that stappled on a 18 mm multiplex board; and a wood corner for a nice finish; not really hard to do, as it seems that you're not afraid of the DIY work!
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #45 
If you don't want to go the DIY route, I got a 16x11 VDF pad (like this) from Penguin for $7 that I've been pleased with. Nice material and has held up well. For practice, it suits my needs. For performance, it might be a little cozy if you're in the habit of doing poker deals and the like. They also sell one double the size (23x16) for $15 or thereabouts.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #46 
http://pattricksmagic.com/pattrick-s-magical-mats/OrderMatsHere/ I highly recommend these mats. Different sizes and prices to meet your needs.
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Gilles

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Reply with quote  #47 
Thanks Evildan, superb choice! So sorry I'm living in Belgium, shipping costs , as usual...
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #48 
Thanks for the close up pad recommendations.  I'll have to look into them more.  If I were to get the Di Fatta mats it'd be solid black (without print) as well as the larger size, however Penguin Magic is all out of stock.

Actually I'd really like a pad that is absolute black, so I can in the future, do the magic that needs a mat like that.

What do you think of the PropDog mats from the UK?  made of wood and padding.. plush on top, and leather on bottom.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #49 
I got the Secrets of Alkazar book today -- Harry's should be here any day.  I've read the first few chapters of the Secrets book and I'm quite impressed.  It's sort of like the Tarbell Course right?  Introduce a principle and then give you a trick using the principle just discussed.  I enjoy the way it is written even more than the first few original Tarbell lessons I've read.  I actually have everything here to do the tricks without having to buy anything..

.. well actually I just bought a lot of stamps so I can make the Svengali stamp book for lesson #3.. that trick sounds appealing.. perhaps subconsciously because when I was 3 years old my grandmother found I pulled all the stamps out of her little stamp roll turtle, licked them and stuck  every one of them to the walls!   I do not remember this event though LOL!  I plan to use a large double flap switch envelope instead of the cone of stamps as it seems easier, and to me makes more sense than a cone.
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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #50 
Close up pads are nice but they have a huge downside. One, its just something else you have to figure out how to carry around.  Are you actually performing for lay people?  Because if you are then you have to find a place to put it to perform.  Are you thinking of ever doing shows for money?  If you are close up then that usually means at a restaurant.  Then you have to either carry a little table case and set it up at every table to use the close up pad, or you have to move dishes and glasses around to put down the pad.  Try that in a bar situation and it will take about 10 minutes to get it covered in beer and stuff. 

Also you limit yourself.  Every eye is on your little stage, at waist level.  You lose all eye contact.  (unless sitting down).  Eye contact is so important.  Getting rid of the close up pad eliminates all the above problems.  Is the pad really worth it to spread the cards out?  Which can be done in the hands or on a table.  Or have a little less noise for coin work which can usually be done in the hands, or an alternate method so you don't have to slide coins silently around.  

In the right situation close up pads are wonderful.  If you have people coming to your house.  Or you are going to a friends to perform and you will have a table etc. If you work at a set place (say behind a bar at the local watering hole).  They are also nice if you are not performing in front of anybody but a camera for youtube. 

One can argue they are good to practice on, but then you have to go out into the real world and may not have one, then what?

Not trying to steer you away from close up pads.  I'm just saying in almost all working situations they are more trouble then they are worth. 

Sure you watch all your fav magicians using them,  at magic lectures, on dvd, at magic conventions but go watch them in a live situation (outside of a lecture or convention) and you will notice the absence of the close up pad.

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