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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #1 
Let's say you know nothing about Magic and you know ZERO tricks.

What would you do? Would you buy dealer items, or maybe a book, or a video?

What would you do to get started?

If I were to start over I would get the Tarbell Course, learn Vol 1 and then go on to Vol 2.

What about you?

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 
    Most would/should buy THE MAGIC BOOK.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    Most would/should buy THE MAGIC BOOK.


Yep. I have given copies of The Magic Book to two nephews who were interested in magic. For my money, and in my opinion, it's the single best go-to source for learning the fundamentals of sleight of hand magic.

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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Ahhhhhh...The Good Stuff!
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #5 
Ok, let's say we all agree that Harry's The Magic Book is the first thing to get. What would you get after that? A book, a course, a dealer item from a catalog, a video?

Best,
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #6 
     My other books!
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #7 
If you know nothing about magic, how did you discover The Tarbell Course in Magic? How did you decide that's where you are going to start? How did you decide to start with Volume 1 and not just get the full set?
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #8 
Humm??

That is a good question EVIL, I don't know the answer to that lol! Maybe I saw an add in MAGIC magazine promoting Tarbell.

In real life I started buying dealer items from the Tannen's catalog ( the more costly path ). But I was exposed to magic kits and TV Magic Cards, before I found the Tannen's large catalog.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind Phantom
Humm??

That is a good question EVIL, I don't know the answer to that lol! Maybe I saw an add in MAGIC magazine promoting Tarbell.

In real life I started buying dealer items from the Tannen's catalog ( the more costly path ). But I was exposed to magic kits and TV Magic Cards, before I found the Tannen's large catalog.


But how would you know about magic magazines? lol.

Unless you saw a magician performing somewhere and asked him, I guess you'd simply search magic on Google or Amazon and end up buying something that popped up, but there's so much pops up it's a bit of a crap shoot.
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Dustin White

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Reply with quote  #10 
I can provide a fairly recent answer to this from my personal experience.

Other than magic kits designed for younger audiences, there aren't any real magic brokers in my local community, so I did a Google search for "How to learn magic tricks" and browsed websites that came up.

This search brought me to the Ellusionist website, where I registered for their (now archived) forum and asked for tips. While the first few answers directed me to Ellusionist products (videos, which I was quite happy with), I was very quickly directed to books such as Royal Road to Card Magic, Card College, and Encyclopedia of Card Tricks.

(Sorry, Harry, I didn't know of your magic books until I stumbled onto this forum more recently)

TL;DR a web search led to forums that lead to a beginner DVD and books.
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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think what you need first is to be somehow interested in Magic. Then you need to see something that sparks your interest even more so you are willing to do some research in order to get your hands on something magic related (book, trick, video, etc.). I think that first contact is of the utmost importance. Watching a magic performance on TV could also be a trigger or if you see a magician / magic dealer live and he/she really fools you that will also do it. 

That is what did it for me. I saw a "dealer" at a local fair who had a magic stand and he showed me some packet tricks. I was hooked! I bought 2 of those tricks and I kept coming back for more. By visiting his stand I became friends with him (we are still friends to this day although he is not selling magic anymore, he sells other things for a living) and later he had a more formal store. I kept visiting and buying things from him and he started showing and teaching me more magic he would learn from other magicians he would visit to buy his merchandise. Then (we are talking about more than 33 year ago, in 1985!) I became his worker in charge of the store selling magic while he became a professional kids magician working parties. I would also help him as his assistant at those parties. I kept learning and meeting some local magicians. They would teach me things and I would also teach them things. 

You have to keep in mind that back then there was no internet and you would learn from magicians or advanced learners of magic who knew more than you and would take you under their wing. It was a longer process but I would not change it because I feel I learned a lot that way. I learned to keep the secrets (something some young people don't do nowadays); I learned that you had to work hard to get the "right" to be let in on the secrets; I learned that magic is not easy but once you are in, it becomes just a little easier; I learned that the best magic was in books and the best were in English. That is one of the reasons why when I went to California, I looked for a magic shop and started buying books and effects. That is the way I did my research.

Today, young people have technology and can find/buy anything online. It is a little easier for them than it was for us back then...

So yes, I think you need that first interest in magic to get you started... everything else will work itself out for you... or the internet will lend you a hand!


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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #12 
I started at the local library. I'm told that YouTube is a bigger search engine than Google these days.

So if I was just starting out I'd search for magic on YouTube and learn magic from the five year old that had his own YouTube channel.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #13 
Like the Evil One I made liberal use of the local library. This was after being bitten by the magic bug in the form of TV Magic Cards, and well before I was able to visit a real magic shop. Bottom line: If you are interested enough in something, you will find the means to explore that interest. The internet makes it easier than ever before. Consider Ken Theriot, who came to TMF a curious beginner with lots of questions. Members of the forum accepted him, answered his questions, provided resources, and encouraged his journey. Now he's out there aspiring to perform professionally.

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rready

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Reply with quote  #14 
I would say if you could, visit a magic shop. There's less and less of them now but my first visit to a magic shop over 40 years ago I knew I wanted to pursue magic as a hobby. Later I opened a store and some of my first timers , 20 years later are performing magic and doing shows. After that it was buying books, mostly Harry's, and then  came VHS tapes so you could see the tricks being performed. 
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #15 
In this hypothetical, why am I interested in magic? What aroused my interest?

Did I see someone do a particular trick? If I could figure out how, I'd probably try to buy or learn that same trick. Because a beginner's thought is not "I want to do magic" but "I want to do that magic!" You don't even know the full range of options of what magic can be, in the beginning. You just want to be able to do the thing you saw.

Did I see a professional magician perform a whole show? If I could, I'd probably ask that magician how to get started learning magic. Hopefully, they'd take the time to talk to me and have some good advice to offer.

Did I see my first magic on YouTube? I'd probably look to YouTube to learn more about magic.

Did I just hear about this magic thing and find that the idea appeals to me as a quiet, library-dwelling kid who likes secret stuff? I'd probably find my way to 793.8 and be at the mercy of whatever they had on the shelf.

Point being, it's easy to say with the benefit of hindsight that I would get whatever book or video I now think would be a good place to have started. But it's all so situational. How you get interested in the first place (and who you are when it happens) has a lot to do with what the next obvious step will be, and whatever route seems most obvious is probably the one you'll take.

Which is a strong argument for making sure magic is as well-represented as possible in as many forms and formats as possible (including by us as living ambassadors for it), so that whatever route someone ends up taking gets them where they need to be.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #16 
Interesting topic. If we assume that at least one person per day becomes interested the logical question becomes how? Some might have seen a live show, some saw P&Ts FU show. Others might have seen a book in the library. I list magic shop last because they are fewer in number.

Finally, the internet. I have to believe a lot of them got exposed somehow whether a recommended video or whatever. I get stuff foisted upon me constantly.

Getting back on topic, I would probably scour the web for free stuff because I would likely have no qualms about or have been taught about protecting secrets.
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Senor Fabuloso

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
If you know nothing about magic, how did you discover The Tarbell Course in Magic? How did you decide that's where you are going to start? How did you decide to start with Volume 1 and not just get the full set?


My mom and I found out from the counter person at Tannen's Magic shop in NYC. This might suggest visiting a local magic shop as one of the first things, the uninitiated but interested might do?

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #18 
Two recent performers on P&T's Fool Us, both young females, related how they became interested in magic. One discovered cardistry on YouTube, scoured the site for videos and learned the basics and beyond. Later she decided to parlay her cardistry skills into card tricks. Cool. The second has an uncle who turned her on to magic, and who also mentored her along. Again, cool. Both wonderful routes into the art. 

Lots of roads to reach your destination. What makes one superior to another is so often a matter of where you are when you find your north star.

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Chris Karim

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rready
I would say if you could, visit a magic shop. There's less and less of them now but my first visit to a magic shop over 40 years ago I knew I wanted to pursue magic as a hobby. Later I opened a store and some of my first timers , 20 years later are performing magic and doing shows. After that it was buying books, mostly Harry's, and then  came VHS tapes so you could see the tricks being performed. 


I agree with this.  Visiting a magic shop, one can be exposed to a wider variety of effects than reading a book, including gimmicked items (such as Ultra Mental Deck) that wouldn't generally be described in a lot of books.

Additionally, and this is where I started transitioning to getting paid gigs, you can often find performers who are willing to mentor and/or give lessons.  I took mine with the owner of the local magic shop, Gerry Griffin.  I did my first paid show slightly after finishing his little course.

You can meet other performers, etc.

Which is all a precursor to buying all the books recommended earlier in this thread.

CK
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Karim


I agree with this.  Visiting a magic shop, one can be exposed to a wider variety of effects than reading a book, including gimmicked items (such as Ultra Mental Deck) that wouldn't generally be described in a lot of books.

Additionally, and this is where I started transitioning to getting paid gigs, you can often find performers who are willing to mentor and/or give lessons.  I took mine with the owner of the local magic shop, Gerry Griffin.  I did my first paid show slightly after finishing his little course.

You can meet other performers, etc.

Which is all a precursor to buying all the books recommended earlier in this thread.

CK


What I've seen of Gerry is very good! I think many of us agree regarding shops but we recognize many have gone away. If you have one locally you need to support it.
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