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After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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The Beginning

Getting started in magic is something that can be difficult, frustrating, and down right aggravating. However it can also be a lot of fun. It is all in how you approach magic from the outset. What I am going to try and do is relay some of my thoughts on what are some good ways to get involved in the art. I'm not trying to convey this as a set of rules, just a guideline to help you get your feet wet.

Resources: This is one of the most commonly asked questions by people who are wanting to get involved with magic. What should you buy? Not buy? My best advice is to first determine what it is you want to do in magic. Close-up magic, Stage magic, Sleight of hand magic, Mentalism, and the list can go on and on. Considering you are at a site which contains Card Magic, I will concentrate on close-up sleight of hand magic using cards. The first main hurdle you need to overcome is to decide if you want to persue magic using books or videos as a means to learn. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. What follows is only my opinion on the subject. I personally prefer books to begin learning. Books contain much more than just how to do "tricks". Knowing how to do a trick is not even half of what you need to learn about magic.

Videos: (for the most part) just show you how the trick is done. It is very important that you don't emulate the performers style and presentations from a video performance. You must have your own style and presentation skills, or you will not be received as well as you could be.

Books I recommend for the beginner:

Royal Road to Card magic- Available at most magic shops

The Amateur Magicians Handbook- Available at most bookstores

Card College- Available at magic shops

Counts, Cuts, Moves, and Subtly- Available at magic shops

Mark Wilson's Course in Magic- Available in both magic shops and bookstores

Video's I recommend for the beginner:

Daryl's Encyclopedia of card sleights Michael Ammars easy to master card miracles

Both available only through magic shops

--Notes by: Matthew

♦ Performing Card Tricks (and others, too!)

Anyone can learn to do card tricks. If you got this far on the internet, and found this article, you can CERTAINLY learn to show a card trick. That's the easy part.

The hard part is making the trick WORTH performing. That's where your own talents and abilities come in. When you show a trick to someone, you must find a way to present it that's interesting to your audience (even if it's only one person, even a relative.) If your audience looks like they're about to go to sleep, or reach for a baseball bat, you're not doing so well!

Once you learn the mechanical part of the trick - the stuff with the cards and your hands - you still have some work to do. Now you have to decide HOW to show the trick to people. If you just let them pick a card, then find it and show it to them, that's when they'll start the yawning. Many of the easy tricks here at Card Trick Central end just that way. That doesn't mean you have to LEAVE them that way.

An example: in the easy trick "Easy Pick", you are given a way to find a card. Now you know what their card is. Do you just show them? Not if you ever want them to watch another from you!

One solution: when you find their card, you have your back turned. Put the card in your pocket, without letting them see you do it. Tell the person who picked the card that, if they say the name of their card, it will jump right to the top of the deck. Show them, first, the top couple of cards so they can see it isn't there yet. Have them name the card. Look confused. Say that it can't be their card, because before you started the trick you put one card in your pocket. Make a big deal of taking out the card and showing them it was theirs, all along.

Understand, this was just ONE possible ending. You could also do something where you pretend to read their mind, then find their card. There are lots of possible ways to reveal their card, and you can mix and match them. The same basic trick, with several different endings, looks like different tricks to people!

Usually, the trick, itself, will suggest some sort of ending. Like the example above: since your back is turned, it's easy to get the card into your pocket without anyone seeing. (Especially a shirt pocket.) Go over the trick several times, and watch how you do it. It won't be long before inspiration strikes.

Give it a try. You'll find it's not hard to get the ideas going. The more often you work to come up with ideas, the better you'll get at it. Soon, you may be inventing your own card tricks. (And, we hope, submitting them to Card Trick Central.)

--Notes by: [email protected]

Hey I'm not the world's best magician and neither are you, (if you were you wouldn't be here). So if your trick doesn't work the first time you do it, don't give up. Practice and eventually you will get the hang of it. If you think there is a problem in the wording of the trick itself. Don't hesitate to write. The address is below. And remember its no fun if your friends laugh at you when you get the trick wrong. So if you don't know how to do it or you haven't practiced enough, please don't try it in front of them and don't tell them you got it from Card Trick Central. Good Luck, and have fun. And remember practice, practice, practice. You are not going to learn how to preform a trick perfectly the first time you try it.

--Notes by: [email protected]

How do I practice and get the most out of it? The first thing you need to think about is this. When people are watching magic, it is your job as the person presenting it, to make them believe that what they are seeing is real. Now I realize that most people don't believe that what they are seeing is truly magic, however, if it is unexplainable to them, then you have done your job correctly. When you practice you need to keep in mind that the moves that you are trying to perfect should never be seen by the spectators. If they see something, or even think they have seen something out of the ordinary then you have failed. All sleights must look as if nothing unusual has happened while you are holding the cards in your hand. So when learning a new slieght, such as the double lift. Always remember what it is resembling. When you are turning two cards over as one, it should look the same as when you are turning just one card over. A good tip is to execute the double lift, then simply turn a single card over on top of the deck. Repeat this time after time, rotating from one card to two. When you do the double lift and it looks the same as a single card, then you are doing the sleight correctly. This holds true with most if not all sleights. When doing a side steal it should only appear as if you are squaring up the deck. When dealing the second card it should appear as if you are dealing the top card. When doing an Elmsley count it should appear as if you are counting cards from one hand to another. These are just a few examples of the point I am trying to make. When you do sleights it shouldn't appear as if you did something fishy to the spectators. Make sure that when you are going to try and learn a routine or sleight that you have no or very few distractions. Try to get a train of thought going and keep it in your mind. The more attention you pay to what you are doing the more success you will have learning. Another way to progress is to practice whenever you get an opportunity. Such as when you are watching TV, riding in the car (and I emphasize the riding part, make sure your not driving). And any time that you have few extra minutes here or there. You only need to have a few minutes to do several sleights, this isn't going to be as productive as setting down for an extended amount of time, however, you will get something from it. A phrase that was passed along to me is the following. Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. So make sure that you are doing things correctly when you practice, this way you will progress much quicker .

--Notes by: Matthew

♦ Presentation

Presentation is very important like in anything that is done it is done in a persons own style. Find a style you like within yourself. Apply your own personality to your presentatation or style.I myself need work on my presentation for some tricks i have started to remember again. When performing a effect first tink of the effect in itself and urge the effect as much as possible sometimes even performing a trick that has no warning of the effect needs to be thought out before performing it in that manner . So think of the effect you are trying to do. Sometimes if you are very unconcious of the effect that is taking place while performing you are able to astonish people by the fact that you are simply unaware of what is going on. I am very concious of my presentation side of things.

Notes by: [email protected]

Taken from Lecture by: Alex Elmsley

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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