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Blogs by Matthew J Magic

Learning magic: where to start


Monday 09th November 2015

Like many, I became interested in magic when I received a deck of magic playing cards as a Christmas gift from my brother and that was it, I was hooked. I learnt every trick that came with the pack of cards and performed them all relentlessly, practicing on anybody and everybody I could.

Hungry to learn more magic I trawled my local libraries for any books on the subject and soon found this to be my way forward. Learning magic from books was a delight for me, there were new gimmicks I could make and hundreds of tricks I could learn to do. Every time I was in a new bookshop I’d go straight to see if there were any more books I didn’t already have then quickly spend my pocket money on them.

The great thing about learning magic from books is that it encourages you to perform the tricks in completely your own style, some suggest relevant patter lines but you’re free to invent your own and perform in a way that is unique to you as opposed to inheriting the style of the person you are watching on a video, DVD or YouTube clip.

Another massive advantage of text and pictures is that you can learn at your own pace, the book will stay on the same page for as long as you want it to without you having to get your hands out of the tricky position they are in to pause, rewind and play the video.

For the beginner, there are some great books out there still and I would encourage anyone with an interest in magic to learn this way as it’s the way I learnt and I believe is one of the reasons I got so much joy from the process. Mark Wilson’s Complete Course In Magic is a must for any aspiring magician or if it’s not necessarily tricks you’re after and would just like to know more about the world of magic, Derren Brown’s book Tricks Of The Mind is a fantastic read.

Other than from books, the best way I learnt magic (and still do) is face to face with other Yorkshire and UK-based magicians. Although we operate in a very secretive world which is difficult to crack into, if you show a genuine interest in magic, we are often happy to help. In my opinion, if nobody had helped me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. That was my main thinking behind starting the Magic Masterclass in 2012 where I give beginners the chance to learn magic from a professional magician and I’m so pleased to have helped over 300 budding magicians get a foot on the ladder to a new hobby.

The Beginners Magic Masterclass gives the opportunity to learn some of the foundation skills of magic with many of the students going on to perform the tricks they learn to their friends, family and colleagues with amazing results. Some of my magic students have even gone on to perform in their own shows which is fantastic.

If you’d like to know more about the Wakefield, Leeds or Manchester Magic Masterclass sessions click here, or if you’d like any more information on how a number of companies have been using it as an original team building activity, contact me now and I’ll be happy to give you some advice.

Alternatively, for any tips on learning magic or what other great books there are available feel free to give me a call or drop me an email.

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Matt has been performing magic for over two and a half decades now – 23 years professionally and 8 as a full-time magician/entertainer. Forming the ‘Matthew J Magic & Variety Arts’ company and ‘The Magic Matt Show’ back in 2006.

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