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Should I Specialize?


It's important to specialize in the type of magic you wish to present. Find an area that you feel comfortable with and that your wallet allows. Several areas require specialized training and years of study. Other fields require massive amounts of financial investments. Others require little more than several fifty-cent pieces or a deck of cards. Some people have the personality and stage-presence to appear before crowds of 500 people of more. Others can only stand the sustained glares of only one or two close friends. One has to decide for themselves.

Areas of Magic

1) Close-up
2) Mentalism
3) Stage Illusions
4) Platform/Parlor/Cabaret
5) Kid's Shows
6) Gospel Magic
7) Table-Hopping/Bar Magic/Walk-Around
8) Street Performing
9) Escapology

1) Close-up - Cards, coins, cups & balls, balls, thimbles and any other generally hand-sized tricks. Generally, people will specialize in either one or the other of these different subfields; card people rarely socialize with coin people.

Personally I can't stand card tricks. Magicians who know me know enough not to approach me with a deck of cards. I recoil whenever I hear a magician say those fateful words, “Here! Take a card!” I'm continually reminded of Somerset Maugham's immortal words:

“He asked me if I liked card tricks. I said ‘no.' He did five.”

There are a lot of entertaining card tricks but too many magicians insists on doing ALL OF THEM AT ONCE! Relax! Three good card tricks are enough. When an impudent amateur magician swaggered up to Harry Houdini after a show and haughtily said, “I know 500 card tricks. How many do you know?” Harry Houdini thought for a second and calmly replied, “Fifteen.”

Personally, I know ten card tricks because I pick and choose and these are almost without and
It might be cool to master a thousand flourishes, manipulations and sleights but these are entertaining only to other magicians and not to lay audiences.

I feel the same way about coin magic. I have a short 3-minute routine and then that's it! I use it to introduce myself as a magician. After all, who else could pull coins out of a kid's ear? And, admittedly, magic with someone else's money certainly holds the attention of the lender and his or her friends.

Excellent coin tricks that can be purchased at any well-equipped magic store are: Hopping Halves (aka, the Sun & the Moon,) Scotch & Soda (aka, Vodka & Orange Juice,) Alchemist's Fantasy and the Great British Coin Trick. (NB: Don't worry about the names of tricks, none of them involve alcohol but instead refer to the original use of these tricks as bar bets.)



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