Recently I’ve been pushing myself to expand and learn some new magic effects and play around with things that I don’t normally do. Here’s a quick video of me practising a new effect I recently purchased… I wish I’d thought of it myself, but it’s not my own creation – still cool though…
Bending the laws of physics – Yorkshire Magician Oliver Parker
Hope you enjoyed that small portion of awesomeness today!
It’s inevitable that every time I perform people will ask me: “So how did you learn magic?” or “How do you learn new tricks?”…
Close up magic is incredibly intriguing and definitely stimulates thought and conversation – that’s why it’s a brilliant ice breaker… or perhaps they just can’t think of anything else to say and want to make small talk with me, who knows?!
But it’s an interesting question, after all how do you learn magic in the first place and then continue to learn new tricks if a magician is never supposed to reveal their secrets??
A lot of people assume that a magician is never supposed to reveal their secrets, which is mostly true, but that isn’t the entire picture…
The rule is more that a magician should not share their secrets with non-magicians along with many other rules such as never performing the same trick twice and so on. But a lot of magic shops and societies exist worldwide where people with a genuine interest in magic can learn new tricks and share with each other to help expand our art form.
So I think that’s the key, in order to learn magic in the first place, you must have a genuine interest in actually practising and performing magic. When that spark and interest is there, the individual will seek out how they can learn and get started in magic – finding beginners magic books in local libraries and department stores to get their foot in the proverbial magician’s door and start on their journey to becoming a magician. But you have to start simple and work your way up!
People who merely wish to find out the secret to the latest trick probably won’t get very far – If you have no interest in performing a particular trick, you’re very unlikely to spend £30 on a lengthy in-depth book or DVD teaching you how to do it. Even if you did, you’d probably be bored with the results of magical jargon you’d just spent your hard earned cash on! But to those who have a passion for learning, practising and performing magic they are much more willing to make these investments and put the time in perfecting it and work their way up gaining an understanding of sleight of hand techniques and terminology to make sense of this kind of a product.
Obviously once a magician has spent money learning the secret to an incredible effect, they’re not going to be willing to freely give away these secrets to just anyone! Here’s where a lot of parody reveal videos crop up on YouTube – young magicians who’ve just spent £60 on a DVD often put up joke videos teaching a completely fake method as a laugh in an effort to prevent piracy and stop real magic secrets being revealed on YouTube. Because YouTube is now so saturated with these hilarious “reveal” videos, you’re not likely to find a serious explanation to a real trick.
So if you have a genuine interest and passion for becoming a magician and learning how to amaze people I encourage you to get started today!
Here’s how I started after my Granddad introduced me to a very simple card trick… my parents gave myself and my brothers gifts of magic sets so I experimented and practised simple tricks learned from children’s magic books as well – practising them repeatedly before showing my parents and school friends.
When I saw the results of friends being completely amazed by these pieces of magic I had been meticulously rehearsing I was inspired to learn more!
I took trips to the library to hunt down any magic books they had and learned all I could from them in the time I had to borrow them. I practised in front of a mirror non-stop and sometimes used a camcorder to record how my presentation looked before going out and performing street magic and showing tricks to my school friends.
Once I had dedicated hundreds of hours to learning these basic principles I was ready to learn a bit more advanced sleight of hand and purchased some instructional VHS tapes (yes, pretty old school, I know) then set to work practising these techniques.
Once I had developed these principles and foundation techniques I was able to create my own effects based around these methods and develop my own presentation style further.
Every day I dedicated hours to practising – during school lessons I was rolling coins over my knuckles and learning tricks with Biro pens, during break and lunch I was performing the tricks I’d been practising for teachers and friends in the halls and after school I was flourishing and practising sleight of hand card magic while watching the television. Although they encouraged my magic, my brothers and parents quickly hated the sound of cards being riffled, but it didn’t stop me from pursuing what I love!
The results of all this practise were impressive enough to fool myself so I kept on practising and performing every day for friends at school – their reactions inspired me to continue. There’s something about putting a smile on somebody else’s face that makes you feel great inside!
I soon joined several junior magic societies (The Northern Magic Circle Juniors, Merlin’s Magical Academy, The Bradford Magic Circle and later the Leeds Magical Association) to gain feedback from different perspectives and expand my knowledge about presentation, showmanship and build my experience as a performer!
So like anything in life, learning magic tricks and becoming a magician takes a lot of dedication and patience to master. If you have a genuine interest, you’ll stick with it and enjoy the results. But don’t expect to be walking on water within a day!
“The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.”
Lebanese Poet and Philosopher