Everyone Begins Somewhere
Everyone began their magic journey somewhere, even “The Father of Modern Magic” – Robert Houdin. You may be a teenager who is fascinated by magic. Or you may have just retired from work and are looking for a new and unusual hobby. Magic is an art form practiced by people from all walks of life and at virtually any age.
But what products do you buy to learn magic? There are thousands of magic videos, books and props out there and the beginner can often be overwhelmed. Fear not because this page is for you. We have listed below some of the most widely recognised teaching aids and props that are well known to magicians all over the world that will get you on the right path to learning magic.
Getting started in Card Magic
First of all you need playing cards. There are 2 sizes of playing cards, bridge size and poker size. Most magicicans use Poker size Bicycle Playing Cards, specifically the Bicycle 807 Deck or Rider Back Deck. Although there are other brands like Tally Ho, Bicycle playing cards are the most popular within the magic community.
Once you have purchased the right playing cards you are ready to begin learning. There are many books and videos out there. But there is one that is widely regarded as THE best way to learn card magic. It is called The Royal Road to Card Magic. This was originally written as a book by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue, but world renowned magician R. Paul Wilson and L&L Publishing have put virtually everything onto video. It cannot be stressed enough that this is arguably THE best course in card magic ever devised. Everything is covered from how to shuffle cards to entertaining card magic. To fully appreciate how much is taught in this course just look at it’s contents:
VOLUME 1 – Introduction, Overhand Shuffle Hand Position, Execution, Controlling the Top Card, Controlling the Bottom Card, Top Card to Next to Bottom and Back, The Run, Injog, Double Undercut, Control, Retaining Top Stock, Full Deck False Shuffle, Topsy-Turvy Cards, Poker Player’s Nightmare, Pocket Discovery, Telepathy Plus, Thought Stealer. Pinkie Does It, A Card and a Number, Riffle Shuffle Intro, Refinement, Retaining the Top Card, Retaining the Bottom Card, In the Air, An Instinct for Cards, Ultra Card Divination, Flourishes Intro, Ruffle, Spread and Turnover, Springing the Cards, Waterfall Shuffle, The Fan, One Hand Fan, One Thumb Fan, Bonus Material
VOLUME 2 – The Glide Intro, The Glide, Glide Refinement, Design for Laughter, Observation Test, Glimpse Intro & The Bottom Card Glimpse, The Top Card Glimpse #1, Gray’s Spelling Trick, Key Card / Undercut / Card Under, Do As I Do, The Three Piles, The Twenty-Sixth Card, Meeting of the Minds, Non Poker Voice, Sliding Key Card, Bonus Material
VOLUME 3 – Palm Intro, Top Palm 1, Holding Card / Holding Deck, Multiple Top Palm, Palm Glimpse, Replacing Top Card, Refinement, Card in Pocket, Now You See It, Gathering of the Clan, Spring Catch, Piano Trick, Back Slip Intro, Back Slip, Lightning Card, The Tantalizer, Under Your Hat, Overhand Shuffle 2 Intro, Overhand Break Control, Overhand Lift Shuffle, Lift Shuffle Force, Spread & Break, Holding a Break, Spread & Break Control, Refinement, Obliging Aces, Leapfrog, Spectator’s Card, Poker Puzzle, False Shuffles and Cuts Intro, Optical Shuffle, Charlier Shuffle, False Cuts, Palm Cut, An Incomprehensible Divination, Circus Card Trick, Blackjack Detective, Bonus Material
VOLUME 4 – Double Lift and Turnover, Refinement, Double Lift Glimpse, Reverse, Rapid Transit, Ambitious Card, Throughth and Consequences, Insidious Dr. Fu Lui Tu, The Pass Intro, Pass Technique, Refinement, Roy Walton’s Pass at Red, Kangaroo Card, Righting a Wrong, Blindfold Pack, Double Speller, Color Change, The Changing Card, Self Cutting Deck, A Pretty Cut, Pop-Up Card, Charlier Cut, Acrobatic Aces, Reverses Intro, First Method, Second Method, Third Method, Fourth Method, Reversed Location, Tipsy Turvy, Double Reverse, Mentalivity, Mountebank Miracle, Bonus Material
VOLUME 5 – Hindu Shuffle Control, Hindu Force, Hindu Glimpse, The Step, Natural Injog, All Change Here, Classic Force Intro, Now You See It, One Hand Force, Bottom Force, Two Card Force, Riffle Break Force, Sliding Key Force, Double Lift Force, Cut Force, Justice Card Trick, Fours of a Kind, Pulse Trick, Top & Bottom Changes Intro, Top Change, Refinement, The Changeling, Bottom Change, Arrangements, Jacks Wild, Think Stop, Reds & Blacks, Matching the Cards, Platform Intro, 3 Cards Across, Ladies Looking Glass, Paul’s Tips, Bonus Material
So if you want to learn card magic, then The Royal Road to Card Magic is regarded as ESSENTIAL!
You may want to consider the alternative version which is usually available at a cheaper price (it is 4 volumes not 5). The Royal Road to Card Magic by Rudy Hunter and Magic Makers is an alternative product. Although this is a technically a cheaper version than the Paul Wilson set above, it is still very very good (some magicians prefer it and I am one of them!). Rudy Hunter is a Canadian magician and has a very likeable presentation style and this version of The Royal Road to Card Magic covers a similar amount as the Paul Wilson version. The pace is easy going, a bit more livelier and very clear. Highly recommended!
Getting Started in Coin Magic
Coins are something that are readily available so it is no wonder that there is a branch of magic devoted to them. Modern Coin Magic by Ben Salinas and Magic Makers is a video derived from a classic magic book by J. B. Bobo. It has all the fundamentals of this fascinating branch of magic. Ben Salinas is a very well versed magician and his clear and concise teaching in Modern Coin Magic is an excellent course to give you a solid foundation in Coin Magic.
Getting Started in Mentalism
If you are more interested in Mentalism than magic then Corrinda’s 13 Steps To Mentalism by Corinds is definitely the place to start. From 1956 to 1958, Mentalist Tony Corinda wrote a series of thirteen booklets on mentalism, each one dealing with a different aspect of mentalism or an allied art. The booklets were originally published as 13 individual ‘courses’. Now you can get all 13 courses in one book.
Another product of interest to beginners in mentalism is 13 by Rudy Hunter and Magic Makers. It covers a number of interesting mentalism effects and is another great introduction to mentalism.
Getting started in Spongeball Magic
Spongeballs look a little bit like clown noses and come in a variety of different colours. They are popular because there are a number of routines that can be performed with them. Most reputable magicians know a spongeball routine of some kind. Eugene Burger famously had a love/hate relationship with the spongeballs.
The most popular spongeballs used by magicians are probably Manufactured by Magic by Gosh.
The Encyclopedia of Spongeball Magic by Ben Salinas and Magic Makers will teach you a variety of moves and professional routines to use with the spongeballs. This is a very well shot instructional video that is an excellent resource.
Virtually every magician owns…………………………….. A WALLET!
One of the classic tricks in Card Magic is called Card to Wallet. In this magical effect a card is signed, placed back into the deck and moments later the magician reaches into his pocket and takes out his wallet. Inside is the spectator’s signed card! You will soon realise virtually EVERY magician owns some kind of magician’s wallet. The Real Man’s Wallet by Steve Draun will allow you to perform this classic magical effect (some skill of course is required which you will learn in The Royal Road to Card Magic).
Oh and don’t forget your Black Sharpie Pens for when people sign your cards. Sharpie pens are used by many magicians as they are considered to be the best and most reliable marker pens out there.
So there you have it some good widely recognized products that will help you kick start your journey in learning magic. Enjoy!