There are tons of books that people often recommend as starter books for learning magic.
For example, if you will be doing card magic, check out the Card College series. I wrote about that here: Magic Tricks With Cards: Where Do I Start Learning?
For coins, you’ll almost always be told to get yourself a copy of Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic.
I heartily agree that those are excellent starting points. And they will give you the basic foundations you’ll need if you want to really be good.
Can I Do Any Tricks Right Away Though?
But what if – while you are on the long learning curve to becoming a top-notch sleight-of-hand artist, you want to perform some magic right away?
I have the answer to that. It’s Paul Zenon’s Street Magic: Great Tricks and Close-up Secrets Revealed. Why that one in particular? Because it helped me out a LOT.
Because of the situation below, I’ve decided that the best way to learn magic is in a sort of “2-track” way. To become a really good magician, you’ll need skills in the basics, which takes awhile. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start performing SOME magic along the way. So here is the system I developed:
- Track 1 Learning – This is the long-term study and practice that will ultimately make you a skilled magician. It takes time and practice. But as they say, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.“
- Track 2 Learning – This is where you learn tricks that are easy enough to be performed with only a few hours of study and practice. It allows you to start performing SOME magic right away. The fun that brings, and the rewarding audience reactions will give you the motivation to keep on with your Track 1 studies.
I had been dutifully studying Bobo and Card College, along with some other great sources (Eric Jones, David Roth, The Tarbell series, etc.) – this was my “Track 1 Learning” – when I won a door prize at a local magic club meeting (Society of American Magicians). That book was the Paul Zenon book.
Well I was going to a party just a few days later and REALLY wanted to have a couple of tricks I could do well, since I would be telling folks I’d taken up magic. Of course they were going to ask for a trick or two, right? But while the stuff I was studying was really long-term, foundation-building stuff, it didn’t really give me much in the way of stuff I could do RIGHT NOW that would be impressive enough that folks would really have fun.
But as soon as I started reading “Street Magic,” I found 2 or 3 tricks right away that were terrific and required no difficult sleights or anything. One of the card tricks I still do to this day (which is only 3 years later, but still :-)).
Paul Zenon’s book was my first foray into “Track 2 Learning.”
I am still working my way through Card College and The Tarbell course. But I think it’s important for you to get the experience of performing quite soon after you start. this will help keep the motivation up while you learn the truly wonderful life-long skills that take a little more time.
CLICK HERE if you want to grab a copy of Paul Zenon’s “Street Magic” for your own, and get started actually performing some really good magic quickly.