How To Learn Magic #2: Getting Started The Right Way.

Steve Faulkner Performing Magic

Written by Steve Faulkner

December 12, 2020

Following my piece on how to learn magic, books, or videos, I thought I would share some information for those who are just beginning their journey or maybe just thinking about it.

Learning magic used to be a lot of hassle. Most magicians would, quite rightly, adhere to the ‘magicians code’ which states that, among other rules, magicians must not share the methods behind their tricks. (I’m completely paraphrasing here, but you get the idea).
This makes complete sense, as if everyone knew how a magician did his, or rather too rarely her, tricks, then they would become rather pointless. So with all this secrecy, how would one even begin to learn magic?

There were books, and later VHS cassettes (the things that people of a certain age had before DVD’s and downloads), but they were rather expensive, and took significant effort to track down (or decipher). So, it was accepted that if someone were willing enough to put the effort (or money) in to learn magic, they had earned the right to gain further knowledge. More experienced magicians would usually be much more open with secrets if they could see, or feel, genuine enthusiasm and willingness to learn. This was a wonderful and rewarding process, of which I have very fond memories.

The Perfect Source For Learning Magic

Now with YouTube and the abundance of magic downloads, this process may seem to be archaic and time-consuming. But if you are interested in learning magic, I have a little advice. It may seem obvious, but like the magic you are interested in learning, not is always as it seems. And it may not be as easy as you think. If you want to become a magician, the advice is this.

Learn from one.

Simple. Or is it? Unfortunately, many people teaching magic have yet to perform, and a great deal never will. If they did, they would learn that the tricks and routines that they claim will ‘slay audiences’ do little more than confuse or bore them. Of course, you may want to learn magic just for the joy of it, and you have no interest in showing anyone. That’s fine and brings its own rewards, but my feeling is that at some point, you’ll realise how wonderful providing the experience of amazement and wonder can be. If you learn properly, this craft can change your life as it has mine. It would be a shame to waste the opportunity.

Luckily, the internet hasn’t completely killed this craft, and in some ways has enhanced it. Because many professional magicians have seen the problem and done something about it. My initial motivation to create my own course was just this. But there are others, and I suggest you shop around. Have a look on youtube or ask them about their experience. Most will and should provide you with some free performance footage (you’ll be able to spot the fake audiences that some use). And most experienced performers will be able to point you in the direction of some authentic performance footage (have a look at me with Arctic Monkeys, and apologies for the name drop!)

You’ll be surprised how many people will be happy to help, if they see that you really do want to learn. Magic is a beautiful craft, and many of us want to keep it that way.

Thanks for reading.

Click here to check out my Card Magic Course, and learn from a professional card magician

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2 Comments

  1. Roger Woods

    Absolutely right Steve. Learning from books and videos is fine but as magic is a performing art there is so much more to enjoy by performing. Finding a mentor who performs regularly for the paying public is the best. I also believe that our local magic societies have so much to offer in this way. Many go out doing shows (or did do before the pandemic!) and this is a great opportunity to gain some initial performing experience. You will soon learn to recognise those who have the experience to give you genuine advice, but beware of those who like to give their advice without being rooted in that experience. When you and an audience are enjoying the magic together there really is nothing like it.

    Reply
    • Steve Faulkner

      Thanks Roger. And I agree. There’s nothing like it, and it’s very hard to imagine what will work or what won’t before experimenting. I’ve learned so much from other performers and lecturers, and also wasted a lot of time listening to those who haven’t actually practiced what they are preaching. 🥴

      Reply

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