Friday, July 31, 2009

Where To Start?


The other day, someone asked me for some advice for getting into magic and I feel I am the last person anyone should ask advice from. I don’t think I’ve given any advice to anyone about anything worth writing down, but in an effort to satisfy anyone asking or wanted to ask, my first and only recommendation would be investing $20.00 in “Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic”. When you see it, you may think it’s for children, but I’ll tell you that mine is the most worn out book in my library. Dog-eared, noted in the margins, highlighted areas, and scraps of paper in certain sections – I still use it at least once a week. It has everything in it to get you started to see what best suits you. Coin magic, card magic, mind reading, silk magic and it even has easy to build illusions! Once you get that figured out, and it may take awhile, hit the internet. One great place is to sign up on The Magic CafĂ©. It has a million sections and people on there are usually very supportive. Look for DVD’s and research them. I can’t tell you how many DVD’s and books I would have loved to have bought, only to read a few detailed reviews and realize, maybe not for me. And anyone will tell you this, but practice absolutely makes perfect. I carry around bits and pieces of various magic pieces that I spend practicing walking down the street or just sitting at a stoplight or even in the grocery store line. Find a performer you really enjoy and watch how their act is broken down. Where the beats are at, how long they spend on an effect – why what works for them, works. Then create your OWN act. Write, write, write and then re-write all of it. What you say is sometimes the most crucial part of ones act, and even what you DON’T say is the most important. And don’t take your audience for granted. That’s hard, but they aren’t stupid. And, the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is this: videotape yourself and if you like what you see, so will the audience. If there is one part you don’t like, work it out until it IS something you like. Both you and your audience will appreciate it in the end. Pick three tricks and work on them until you can do them in your sleep. Then, move on to another three. You’ll be surprised how many great effects you can do with just that small formula. Lastly, get out there and do it. Doesn’t matter where, just do it. Your best critic is your audience. NOT you. And don’t worry about failure. You will fail. Next time, just fail better! You’ll get the hang of it. Any other questions, ask Copperfield. He’s doing something right…