Starting with Magic and Mentalism

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Many people ask me how to start with magic and mentalism, so I have prepared this page with a few suggestions of what to buy and what not to buy.

This is a great first trick for kids. It is easy to do, but quite impressive. It is a classic of magic, known to all magicians, and it helps teach a principle of magic without the need for sleight of hand.

 

A change bag is a classic of magic. It is easy to do but it is also impressive. These are used by professional magicians but are easy enough to be used by kids as young as eight or even younger.  Many effects can be performed with this one tool – drop a red hankey in the bag; it turns blue.  Drop a dollar into the bag; it turns into four quarters.  Drop in an egg; it turns into a baby chick… okay, so this last effect is probably more for professionals, but it gives an idea of the possibilities.

 

A thumb tip is an extremely versatile tool for performing many tricks.  It can be used to vanish a hankey, restore a torn up piece of paper, change a $1 bill into a $100 bill, and much more.  I’ve uploaded a few videos showing how to do some tricks with a thumb tip. The main problem beginners have is finding a thumb tip that fits right and isn’t too soft or too hard. It is best to try multiple tips at a magic store, but there are enough tips in this pack that at least one should fit. Some are WAY too long, but you can just cut them a bit. When I change thumb tips, I almost always cut them down to size.

 

Kids can usually start doing this trick when about ten years old.  The effect is amazing.  A spectator names a card, and that card is the only one that is upside down in the deck.  I make this trick myself from regular Bicycle cards, but it takes me about half an hour per deck. My version is better than the one sold here, but this version is just ten bucks. This is a great trick at a great value. To improve this version to be more like my version, just move the Ace of Spades to the top of the deck, the Ace of Hearts next in the deck, and the King of Hearts to the bottom of the deck. Look at my magic and mentalism videos. I’ll make a video explaining the trick. If you don’t see it now, check back soon.

 

I invented this trick, so obviously I like it. Is it easy to do? No. Is it incredibly impressive? Yes. Basically, the spectator randomly chooses a page and looks at a word on that page. The mentalist then draws a picture of the word or otherwise mysteriously divines the word.

 

Are you really serious about leaning mentalism? This is the book. Not serious? Don’t waste your time.  This book is for the person who is truly dedicated to the art of mentalism.

 

For the person dedicated to the art of coin magic, this is the learned treatise on the subject.  This book is difficult to read that the tricks are difficult to do. Everything takes practice, but if you are serious about learning coin magic, this book is a must-read classic.

 

STOP BUYING TRICKS LIKE THIS! Okay, I have no problems with this trick per se. It is actually quite cool and I do have similar tricks. My complaint is that well-meaning parents, grandparents, and others buy dangerous or impossibly difficult tricks for kids. When choosing a trick, it should be both age and skill appropriate. Even if both age and skill appropriate, when would a magician have a reasonable opportunity to use a trick like this? Pulling out a wallet in the middle of a magic show just seems overly staged and pulling out a fire trick to pay the bill at a restaurant seems a bit irresponsible. Disagree with me? Click on the link and buy it.

 

DON’T BUY THESE EITHER. There are many tricks based on invisible thread. These tricks require a great degree of skill and perfect lighting. It is difficult to do the trick, and it is easy to break or tangle the thread. The entire effect can be destroyed by one smart aleck audience member who grabs at the thread. But, hey, who am I to say? I could be wrong. Click on the link and buy one, so I get a few cents.

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