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If you've never been to a magic convention, make plans to attend one this year. I remember the first magic conference I attended and how I felt... like I was going to be out of place and under appreciated . I was wrong...
I made friends at my first conference that have remained friends through the years. I received invitations to attend club meetings in other cities, and I did.
Lastly, I made friends with some really well-known magicians. Almost without exception, the lecturers were approachable and friendly. You could ask them to show you an effect after the lecture and they would. You could ask them questions on subjects that wasn't covered in their lectures and they would take the time to answer. And some of the best cardmen in the world would find their way to the lounges after the nights last lecture to fraternize with us 'regular' guys.
I inevitably bought lecture notes that I could not have found anywhere else beside the convention. Having seen the performer both perform and lecture on many of the effects only made it that much more valuable to my growth as a magician. Find a convention near you and make plans to attend... you'll be very glad you did.