How does one get started in magic? Most magicians credit their career to a magic set bought for them while they were children. Others, like Jeff McBride, see a magician on stage or television, and head for the local library.
Myself, I got in magic out of necessity. I am a youth minister. I teach Bible classes at juvenile detention centers. Several years ago, a local church pastor asked me to do Wednesday night devotions for his youth group. This was a bunch of local kids that came in weekly to play ball and learn skills such as woodworking and camping.
The first week there, I shared a wonderful Bible lesson and got zero response. I didn't want to go back. The second week fell just as flat. I was very discouraged.
Then I remembered a simple trick I had learned. I knew how to turn two one dollar bills into a five dollar bill. The following week, I told the parable of the talents. I illustrated this tale with the money changing trick and was a big success. The kids paid attention and were still talking about it a week later.
After that, I went to the library and checked out videos and books on how to do magic. I would find tricks that I could use to present Bible lessons. For three years I was blessed to work with these kids and share important messages that they listened to. Time and again they would ask me about the lesson even weeks and months later.
You want to get started in magic? I'm giving you the same advise I give everyone that asks me. Go to the library. You may not learn how David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear, but you will learn the principals he used. All the real secrets to magic can be found at the library.
I have since invested in many professional illusions and props I use in my various school shows, Gospel magic performances and family shows, but I still use a lot of the tricks I learned at the library.
I hope this article might encourage you to go to the library and study this art. Feel free to email me with your questions.
Most important though, remember the three rules of magic:
1. Never reveal the secret. When the secret is shown, the magic disappears. No matter how much they beg, it will only ruin the magic for your spectators.
2. Never do the same trick twice for the same audience. The second time, they might catch the secret.
3. Practice, practice, practice. Do not perform for an audience until you know you can do the effect right.