How to Learn Magic
(or indeed anything else!)
If you're just getting started in magic, then please also check out this post:
How to Get Started in Magic (link to come)
The established way for magicians to learn magic is through:
- magic books,
- magic videos (previously VHS, then DVD and now digital download),
- and live in person magic lectures.
Click here for a reputable UK based magic shop that sells materials for how to learn magic.
Recently, I gave my magic lecture to a group of magicians, and after watching a lot of content from across the magic community, it got me thinking about how we actually learn magic.
While I often enjoy watching a magic lecture, I find that most lectures are not the right way for me personally to really drive forward my improvement.
A lecture is, in my opinion, a broad brush. It's a great way to pick up ideas, and discover things you might not know much about. The best lecture I saw was by the magicians Natalie & Eli on the topic of Quick Change. A magic genre I know very little about, (but a little more now).
Anyway, this broad brush approach is why my lecture is designed to appeal on multiple levels. I try my best to provide a basic routine that beginners can perform as it is, as well as inspiration for more experienced magicians to run with (Jumping Off Points).
From the feedback I've received when I've given the lecture, it seems that I got quite close to my goal.
Side note: if you haven't already seen the lecture, you can find out about booking it for your magic club by clicking here.
More than tricks!
It's important to remember there is more to magic than just the tricks. Only knowing the secret to a trick does not make you a magician.
I recall recently a conversation with a friend who pointed out to me that TV cooking shows while entertaining can be overwhelming. However, there are cookbooks and video courses that actually teach you step by step, not just what to do, but how and why also. And it's these that provide the most benefit.
She pointed out an example of a cookbook that begins with techniques such as chopping an onion, boiling water, making toast or an omelette. Hardly recipes at all, but extremely important if you really want to master the skill of cooking.
In fact, one of my favourite books in this style is The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer - in it he spends six pages talking about the right patisserie cream to use and has twelve photographs showing the various stages for whipping meringue. It's detailed, but that's what makes it so valuable.
It's this type of fine brush level that I'm now looking for from my magic.
It's fun to know lots of tricks, and when I teach beginners my goal is to expose them to a wide range of magic so they can be inspired as they explore and play with magic. However, there comes a time when you might want to take the next step. To do so, you need to narrow your selection. You have to temporarily pause the influx of new tricks and really learn how to perform the ones you currently know.
How to learn anything!
I think there are two ways to really learn something.
The first way is by doing whatever it is you want to learn for real. One of the common things I hear from magicians who want to start performing is this idea of creating three sets of three before they begin. This advice is misguided, in my opinion. Instead, I would suggest just choosing a trick or two (maximum). It doesn't really matter what trick it is so just pick one and get started. I think I have a pretty kickin' routine for the Age Cards, which is a mathematical trick often included in Christmas crackers!
I guess the caveat to this would be to find places where the pressure is low. Your best mates wedding is a bad choice. Some friends down the pub, or an open mic night, is a great idea.
The second way to learn anything is by seeking out people who have done what you want to do, and asking them for the details. I mention this in the lecture about my close friends that I really trust to be honest about my faults.
I've also paid to attend small group workshops where I can really ask specific questions, whether that is about the handling, the timing or general performance skills. I find that a lot better than a lecture to a large group.
And you must ask questions because a great teacher will be able to break down their process and answer them for you.
As the title promises, this really is a method for learning anything, so hear goes.
- Find an excellent resource - eg. a book, or course.
- Do the thing for real.
- Find an expert teacher to perfect your technique.
- And repeat.
YOUR INCREDIBLE EVENT IS
JUST A FEW STEPS AWAY
During a short phone or video call, we'll talk about your event and your initial ideas. Don't worry, if you're not sure. I've helped to plan many events so I can advise on the best use of magic and other events entertainment.
Once all the details are agreed, I'll send you a booking confirmation and ask you to make the first payment which confirms your date in my calendar. Then it's time to start looking forward to your big event.
I'll check in with you in the week before your event, and on the day of the event. All you need to do now is enjoy the magic, mind reading and conversational comedy.
07792 129 828