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Magic 101: Getting Started in Magic

If you are just starting out in magic, here's where you can find easy beginning tricks and read tips on how to learn and perform magic. You'll soon be performing for and amazing your family and friends.
  1. Basic Effects of Magic (14)
  2. Glossary of Magic Terms (91)
  3. How to Choose Tricks (7)
  4. How to Make Balloon Animals (22)
  5. Learn How to Juggle (8)

Learn How to Present the "Count" Card Magic Trick
In response to my recent lesson where I taught an effect called "The Count," many of you, after watching my performance video and reading the instructions, asked questions about showing the trick to audiences. As a result, I decided to analyze the trick and my performance - the approach and psychology - to assist magicians in performing the...

Choosing Tricks That Fit Your Act
As I've discussed in earlier articles, it's always best to choose the tricks that allow you to best entertain your audience and will work best under your particular performing conditions or venue. But how about considering what you already perform in your act and adding routines that are different?

Choosing Magic Tricks
How can you select the best magic tricks for your audience, venue, skill level, personality and more? Here's everything that you need to know.

The Five Biggest Mistakes Made by Beginning Magicians
Why do so many in the general public loathe magic? It's probably because they've seen poor magic or an arrogant, boorish "magician." Here then, are the five biggest mistakes made by beginning magicians.

Magic 101: Overcoming Nervousness
Perhaps the most difficult thing for a new magician to overcome is nervousness when performing in front of a crowd. While there's no magic remedy for nervousness, here are a few approaches that have personally worked for me.

How to Learn Magic Tricks
Want to learn magic tricks? If you have a true love for the art of magic, the next step is learn magic tricks, develop presentations for them and get your feet wet standing in front of and performing for audiences. Here's just about everything that you need to successfully learn and perform magic tricks.

7 Themes To Improve Your Magic
Here are seven themes that you can apply to tricks to make them stronger and increase their impact. When possible, I've suggested an easy magic trick from here at Magic.About.com that the theme can be used with.

Beginner's Books and DVDs
If you're getting started in magic, here are some great books and DVDs to help launch your magic.

Magic 101: Is Your Trick Ready for Primetime?
When you‘re introducing a new trick, here’s a checklist to determine if it’s ready for live audiences. This list can save you some grief and prevent potentially embarrassing moments.

Beginning Magic: Your First Show
Many beginners know how to perform simple magic tricks, but few think about putting them together into an entertaining set or show. Here’s advice on taking those tricks and organizing them into a set. We’ll even use some tricks explained here on the site. For purposes here, we’ll aim for about ten minutes worth of material.

Five Steps to Perfect Your Sleight of Hand Moves
One of the joys and challenges of being a magician is working up new effects and sleight-of-hand moves that you present to your audiences. If you're developing a new move, whether it's a color change, side steal, pass or other, here are five steps that will help ensure success.

Magic 101: Tricks Versus Routines
When you read a story or watch a play, there's a certain flow of events and one follows another. In the same manner, creating a flow or routine to your magic will improve your ability to hold the attention of spectators and entertain them

How to Select a Trick for Your Audience
The tricks that you perform and your presentations have to appeal to your audiences. Here are things to keep in mind when considering a new trick.

How to Select a Trick for Your Venue
When performing magic, in addition to thinking about who you are performing for, your audience, you always have to think about where you're performing. You may be on a stage, in front of a classroom, in the center of a party, at a restaurant table or in a conference room or office cubicle. The tricks you perform have to work in your chosen venue and within your performance conditions.

How to Choose a Trick for Your Skill Level
In order to perform a magic trick, you must possess the necessary skills to execute the moves and steps. Here's everything that you need to know.

Choosing Tricks That Fit Your Act
As I've discussed in earlier articles, it's always best to choose the tricks that allow you to best entertain your audience and will work best under your particular performing conditions or venue. But how about considering what you already perform in your act and adding routines that are different?

Buying Magic Sets Versus Tricks
When buying beginning magic tricks, you can purchase tricks in magic sets or buy them individually from magic dealers. While there are lots of tricks that only require common household items, most magicians will want to work with magic props at some point. So which is the best way to obtain magic props, from a set or by purchasing them separately?

Magic 101: Magic Sets - Buying a Magic Set for a Kid
So what does a magic set offer the beginning magician and what can you expect in a magic set? Here are some answers.

Buying Magic on the Internet
A young magician recently asked me after a show for some advice on purchasing a particular magic prop. His question prompted some thought and the following article that discusses purchasing magic via the internet. I hope that you find this helpful.

How to Vanish a Coin
Here are easy techniques and props that will allow you to make a coin mysteriously vanish.

Basic Magic Technique
Here are basic sleight of hand techniques that you can use with cards and coins.

Easy Magic Tricks You Can Learn and Perform for Friends
If you want to learn easy magic tricks, you've come to right place.

Easy Magic Tricks With Playing Cards
With just a deck of cards, you have lots of magic options. Among the many card tricks that we have explained in our library of easy tricks, here are our favorites.

Easy Magic Demonstrations
Here are demonstrations of easy tricks that are good ones to purchase for beginning magicians.

Basic Magic Technique: The Swivel Cut
Here's another flashy way to cut a deck that’s harder than the pivot cut. The upper half of the deck turns 180-degrees as it separates from the deck.

Magic Technique: The Pivot Cut
Here's an impressive way to cut a deck of cards. While it’s not as flashy as the one-handed cut, it's a nice flourish that shows that you know how to handle cards.

DVD Review: Card Trick Magic by Stephane Vanel
If you’re a beginner and want to learn some good card magic, Stephane Vanel’s “Card Trick Magic” offers first rate effects that don’t require complicated sleight-of-hand and are easy to learn and perform. The DVD features 12 card tricks and offers an introduction to basic card sleights. The routines here are excellent for beginners.

Study Guide – Cub Scout Magic
For Bear Cub Scouts, Elective 13 deals with magic. The requirements ask scouts to learn and perform magic, but “The Big Bear Cub Scout Book” only offers a few tricks. To help cub scouts earn this elective, here are some easy magic tricks that we explain here on Magic.About.com that are simple and only require household items, but will also fulfill the requirements.

The Five Best Magic Tricks for Serious Beginners
For the serious beginner in magic, here are excellent tricks that are easy to learn and perform, inexpensive and can form an early foundation in magic technique and presentation.

The Five Best Magic Tricks for Kids
Here are the best tricks for beginning magicians that are easy to learn and perform, inexpensive and are good effects.

The Best Magic Books for Beginners
Visit your local bookstore or library, and chances are, you'll find lots of books on magic. While most magic books explain lots of tricks, few provide a foundation in magic for the serious beginner who wants to learn fundamentals and move beyond mental puzzles. With this in mind, here are several beginning magic books that I highly recommend.

Learning Magic: Books, DVDs and Tricks
You’re getting started in magic and eager to learn. But you have lots of options ahead: books, DVDs and tricks that are vying for your money and efforts. What is the best and most cost effective way to proceed?

Watching Magic-Guidelines for Magicians
As a magician, I’ve run into my share of problem audiences and pain-in-the-neck individuals and hecklers. But surprisingly, some memorable problems have been caused by my fellow magicians, particularly beginners. It’s difficult to imagine that common courtesy would have to be explained. But here are some guidelines for magicians when watching other conjurors.

Basic Technique: The Coin Vanish
This basic magic technique allows you to make a coin seemingly disappear. It’s a basic sleight-of-hand move that is well known among magicians.

DVD Review: Incredible Self-Working Card Tricks Vol 5
Now with a fifth volume, Michael Maxwell offers another set of "self-working card tricks" that require no sleight-of-hand or skill with cards. This DVD is good for beginners and comes with some decent effects and a couple of no-sleight variations on card classics.

Shopping for a Change Bag
I never thought that I would perform using a conventional change bag-a rather infamous magic prop. However, Paul Gallagher's Miracles From the Sock Drawer DVD explained an excellent change-bag-based routine that is great for young kids. I recently purchased a change bag, but my bag is less than optimal. If you're shopping for a change bag, here are things to consider.

Beginner's Magic Demo: Cups & Balls
Some consider the cups & balls to be the oldest recorded magic trick, apparently depicted on the walls of Egypt’s Great Pyramids. While professional magicians perform stunning, advanced versions of this classic, beginning magicians can purchase simple, pre-packaged versions that result in a mystifying sequence.

On Learning Card Magic
Forum member, and noted magician and writer Brad Henderson generously contributed this comprehensive and informative post about the major texts for learning card magic. If your goal is to become a proficient card worker, Henderson discusses and compares Card College, Royal Road to Card Magic and lots more.

Beginner Demo: Color-Changing Handkerchiefs
In The Color-Changing handkerchiefs, the magician appears to make a handkerchief of one color change colors by simply pushing it through a hand. At the end, the magician shows that his or her hand is empty.

Beginner’s Magic Demo: Professor’s Nightmare
Professor's Nightmare is a classic rope trick that is easy to perform and is great for beginners who are seven-years-old and up. We take you on a virtual demo.

Beginner’s Magic Demo: Svengali Deck
A Svengali deck is a trick card deck that allows you to easily perform some seemingly amazing feats and it’s a great trick for beginners of almost any age. We take you on a virtual demo of what the deck can do.

Five Steps For Getting Started in Magic
If you’ve been bitten by the magic bug and are starting out in magic, here are five steps to get you on the right path.

The Magic Commandments
If you’re interested in performing magic, here are basics that all good magicians follow.

The Magic Resolutions
This New Year’s eve, as you vow to spend more time with family and friends, lose weight, exercise, make serious financial decisions or take on new ventures, don’t forget to include your art of magic. For 2006, here are some magic resolutions for consideration.

Marked Magic Cards
Marked cards are mostly associated with gambling and card cheating, however, magicians sometimes rely on marked magic cards to identify a single card or groups of cards.

All About Force Decks
As the name implies, a force deck is a gimmicked deck of magic cards that seemingly gives a spectator a free choice of cards to choose from, but only allows him or her to select one card. Magicians call the process "forcing a card."

Every Day Items for Magic
Found something that you can use in your magic that wasn't from a magic dealer? Here's a place where you can tell your fellow magicians about your discovery and how you are applying or using it.

Five Simple Steps to a Better Magic Show
Here are five secret steps that will help you to be a better magician. When you know the secrets to making your magic performance more fun to watch, you will then have your audience wanting more.

Five More Steps to a Better Magic Show
This second of two articles discusses five more steps that will help you to be a better magician. When you know the secrets to making your magic performance more fun to watch, your magic will be far more entertaining.

Magic Trick Discussion on "The Count"
In response to my recent lesson where I taught an effect called "The Count," many of you, after watching my performance video and reading the instructions, asked questions about showing the trick to audiences. As a result, I decided to analyze the trick and my performance - the approach and psychology - to assist magicians in performing the...

Norm Barnhart
Norm Barnhart is a Minnesota-based entertainer who performs magic, balloon twisting and more. He's authored several magic books and conducts lectures.

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