A question magicians are often asked is ‘how can I learn magic tricks?’
Magic is a clandestine art, and magicians are forbidden from exposing their tricks. The Magic Circle, the world’s most famous organisation for magicians, expels members who are found giving away magical secrets.
So how does anybody learn magic tricks in the first place? The idea behind the secrecy isn’t to make it impossible to learn magic tricks, but rather a way of ensuring that newcomers really want to learn magic tricks. The study and practice that is required ensures students treat magic with the respect it deserves. When you learn magic tricks, you are receiving knowledge that other magicians have spent years developing, and honed through thousands of performances. Magical secrets are gems that you have to work hard to discover.
And it is well worth the effort it takes to learn magic tricks. They’re an ice-breaker when you meet new people, you can use them to improve your presentational skills at work, or they can help to impress that girl or boy you like. Magic has enabled me to do many exciting things. I have performed at exlusive clubs and parties, and I have entertained royalty, celebrities and the heads of some of the world’s biggest companies at corporate events.
The best way to learn magic tricks is from books. You will be able to find magic books in your local library or book shop or online. A good beginners’ magic book will teach you a broad range of magic tricks. As well as helping you to learn magic tricks, it will show you the variety of magical styles there are, so that you can decide the sort of magician you want to be. Do you want to do close-up magic, like magician David Blaine? Or do you prefer the more psychological style of a performer like Derren Brown? Or you may want to learn magic tricks to perform on stage, or at children’s parties. There are many forms of magic and no one style is better than another. It is up to the individual to find what suits them best when they learn magic tricks.
You may be able to attend lessons in your area to learn magic tricks. Local councils sometimes have courses where you can learn magic tricks as part of their higher education programmes, as does City Lit.
Look for magic shops where you live. London is home to Davenports Magic, the oldest family-run magic business in the world. Tell the people behind the counter that you are a beginner and they will be able to recommend some good magic tricks to get you started. Davenports also runs a course where you can learn magic tricks.
There are other magic shops you can visit in London, such as International Magic. They will be able to give you tips on how to learn magic tricks.
Magic clubs are also a good place to learn magic tricks. Check the internet for magic clubs in your area.
There are many channels on YouTube where you can learn magic tricks. The quality of these varies greatly, but some of them are presented by good magicians and can be a good source or learning.
A few of the channels I recommend are:
Sankey Magic - https://www.youtube.com/user/SankeyMagic
Scam School - https://www.youtube.com/user/scamschool
It's also useul to watch videos of top magicians performing on YouTube. This is not so that you copy them – you must develop your own style – but so that you learn what good magic looks like. You will begin to understand all of the elements that go into a strong performance – scripting, timing, speech, movement, posture etc.
Check the internet and newspapers for magic shows in your area. London's Covent Garden is world famous for its street performers, and at Magic Corner you can watch magical talent from all over the world.
You can also watch magic videos on the London magician video page, for inspiration while you learn magic tricks.
It takes hard work to learn magic tricks, the same sort of effort that is required to play an instrument or learn a foreign language. But it is enormously rewarding, so practise hard and have fun!