How Does A Close Up Magician Learn Their Tricks?
Do you have your pentagram, spare human soul, and envelope with the devil’s home address on it? Well, you’d better take those back to the shop because you won’t be needing them for this.
The honest answer is often the least interesting one, I’m afraid: the way I learned everything I know was through hard work, practice, and dedication. But the specifics are more interesting than with most skills.
Where to Start?
So, let’s assume you’re all ready to learn a trick – you’ve bought some cards, you’ve set aside a few hundred (or thousand, depending on how serious you are about this) hours, and you’ve done a bit of stretching. How would you go about actually learning some tricks?
I Hope You Like Reading
As with most subjects, the library is packed full of books to cover every pastime, hobby and leisure activity there is, and magic is no different. The vast majority of magic tricks you’ve seen done originated from being printed in a book or a magazine at some point in time.
If you ask any close-up magician how they started in magic, you will most likely hear certain books crop up multiple times, as the most popular tricks have been gathered together and written up into modern publications.
The Easier Method
There is also an impressive amount of magic in DVD & video form, as there is, unsurprisingly, quite a bit of demand from those who would rather watch someone demonstrate the trick instead of having the patience to read it.
I would get into the whole ‘learning from books vs learning from videos’ debate that has blighted large parts of the magic community for years, but I have neither the time nor the courage to pick a side. We can get a bit catty at times.
The Even Easier Method
But this is the 21st century, and there is an obvious alternative to books that more people than ever before are turning to for guidance in just about all aspects of life: the internet.
The world wide web is, essentially, an enormous library in and of itself, and has established itself as a magnificent resource for anyone looking to pick up a new, magical hobby. It’s where I started.
Be warned, though. The more accessible a platform is, the easier it is for those who are, let’s say, ‘lacking in capability’ to do a shoddy job at teaching budding magicians looking for instruction.
How Many Tricks Are There?
Literally hundreds of thousands. Magic has been around as long as people have, and just about every trick you can think of has been thought of already.
If you’d asked me a few years ago to show you something, about 300 different tricks would’ve whizzed through my mind. But over time, I’ve stopped doing 95% of what I learned when I was younger.
I tend to stick with about 10 ‘go-to’ tricks which have served me very well, and continue to do so. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to something new at Christmas.