Especially today, with the internet making information so readily available, people of all ages, all around the world, are trying to learn magic tricks. Unfortunately, going about this the wrong way won't make you into a magician at all, but will instead make you into someone who simply knows how a few tricks work.
If you actually want to start learning to be a magician, and really appreciate the craft, you should follow these basic steps.
Step 1 Go to the bookstore, or your local magic shop
If there's a magic shop in your area, start off there and you'll likely find people to point you in the right direction. Otherwise, just head to your local bookstore. The material most magician shops will recommend are the types of books available at any major book chain. So go to the Games Section--where most magic books tend to hide out--and look for material on magic tricks.
Step 2 Choose a book that speaks to you
The good news and bad news is that most beginner books give you the same tricks. This means whichever one you buy will probably be fine, so just ensure it's one that you can follow along with easily. If you are a visual person, for instance, try a book with a lot of pictures.
Step 3 Read the whole book
The most common blunder most beginner magicians make is looking for the tricks they want to learn, and ignoring the rest. You'll find that the most mundane of tricks in these starter books will teach you skills that will be very beneficial as you grow as a magician. Even if you only like card magic, the ideas taught in coin magic will prove useful, and so on.
Step 4 Practice!
Practice all the tricks in the book. Again, obvious but easily ignored. Many people focus on the few tricks that appeal to them, and even then don't often practice enough. If you don't practice, you'll quickly find the idea of being a magician becomes a bore, because you will know secrets but have no skills. By learning and practicing all the beginner books have to offer, you'll quickly learn the tools that the best professionals use.
Step 5 Now find a focus
Now that you've learned a variety of magic tricks, you have an idea of what the world of magic has to offer. Did you most enjoy the cards, the coins or the larger illusions? Start focusing on what you liked best and start making that your expertise. Remember, there's no reason you can't start with a new expertise down the road.
- While magic blogs and columns aren't the best place to start your magic learning, they are a great tool to help develop the tools the beginner material has introduced you too.
- Resist the temptation to spend a lot of money on props from magic stores. Wait until you have a better idea of what kind of props you'll actually make use of. Otherwise you'll wind up with drawers full of unused stuff.
- Check out Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic as a great book to start with. It's available through most any bookstore!