Always Leave Them Wanting More

Close-up magic was never something I was going to be able to master in the span of one semester, but I can say that I have learned a lot.

In my first post, it is obvious (at least to me) how little I knew, not only about close up magic, but about writing blogs about what I was doing. That being said, my experience trying to make a coin disappear was very fun and rewarding. It was about three days into practicing that I began to realize how enjoyable this experience was going to be, but also how much work it was going to be.

I soon moved to card tricks to try and give some variety to what I was learning, and the first card trick I learned went really well.

This led to me getting a little over-confident with my abilities and trying a trick that was a little outside my comfort zone, resulting in the GIF above.

My skills as a close-up street magician were developing nicely though, and as I practiced more and more, I became more confident with my ability to perform in front of people.

One day, while I was working in a school as an EA, i decided to try out my new skills on some kiddos, that story can be found here. This experienced solidified for me that close up magic was not only something I enjoyed, but something I wanted to practice more and more. Being able to break out a few tricks is sure to promote engagement in my future classrooms.

Fast forward a few weeks, and i have been practicing lots. My focus has primarily shifted to card tricks, and as I become more versed, I became excited to share what i could do with my peers. For a blog post one week i showed myself practicing…

…and the next week i released a how-to video of my own.

The Learning project was a great chance to see learning in action. By the end of it i felt versed enough to review tools for the trade, (that post can be found here). Coming to this point made me realize just how much I had learned, but also just how much was left out there for me to learn.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to participate in this assignment, as it gave me the opportunity to explore something i had been wanting to try for a long time, but found homework to be in the way. With it being homework, I didn’t have homework as an excuse anymore.

I hope you have enjoyed following my journey to becoming magical, see you all soon.

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Here’s My Card

A few weeks ago, I did a post about buying a deck of cards specifically for magic.

Well, they arrived, i practiced with them a bit, and as it tuns out, they are amazing.

 

I noticed a few things right away when I started using the Bicycle Rider Back playing cards. The feel of these cards was exceptionally better than the free packs of cards I was practicing with. They are coated in a textured plastic coating that makes them glide really well against one another but provided excellent grip in the hand. This was very helpful as many card tricks require you to manipulate one or more cards inconspicuously.

I would recommend these cards for anyone trying out magic, but also for anyone simply looking to purchase a good set of cards.

These cards cost me around four dollars but when bought in bulk they can be acquired for less than a dollar a pack.

I give these cards a solid 5/5. I am very happy with my purchase, I’ve spent four dollars on worse things.

How Do I Magic?

This week, we were challenged to create a resource rather than find and use one. An interesting challenge, but I felt up for it for sure. This assignment has had me make a few videos now so I found the process easier than before.

I originally planned to re-record the audio for the video, but upon reviewing it I actually liked the way i explained everything (that is why at the beginning you will hear me say I’m going to dub over it).

So without further ado, here is my instructional video, if you try the trick, leave a comment about how effective my resource was, enjoy.

Magic isn’t for everyone, but I have found the experience to be very rewarding. I hope that this video/blog gets you to try it. If magic is something that appeals to you, check out my earlier posts and see what resources I used to get into it.

Ta Ta for now!

Magical Repetition

This week we were challenged to use technology to document our learning using a tool we were not super versed in before this assignment.

I had done some video editing before, but had never tried to make a collage of any kind, and so when I had the idea for this blog post, it seemed like an obvious choice.

Below you will find 21 attempts of the double flip card trick, posted in order, to show my ability in action. The double flip was one of the first tricks I learned (that blog can be found here), and it is my favorite so far because, when done well, really highlights the possibilities of close up magic.

Making this video taught me a few things, mainly just how much work goes into making YouTube videos. Though this wasn’t the goal for this week, it is a lesson I am glad I learned.

This short, repetitive video took over three hours to make, i can only imagine the person-power required to make the quality of content we see on the internet these days.

As I get better at using technology to document my learning, I am excited to see what other things I can do with this skill set.

Until next time..

Magical Investment

Those who know me know that i have spent a fair amount of money on cards, but not for magic tricks, but for Magic: The Gathering. So when I decided to invest in a good set of cards, the thought of getting 52 cards for less than five dollars is rather unheard of for me.

At this point, I feel like I have learned (or are in the process of learning) enough tricks that learning more would get in the way of the tricks I was already practicing. And so this week i decided to take a different route.

Videos are great, but they are not all that the internet has to offer. One thing you can do on the internet is just ask questions to the void. Better yet, chances are, as long as your question isn’t too obscure, someone has already asked it, so that’s what I consulted to find the best deck of cards for card tricks.

I found an informative response by Bhavesh Aggarwal on Quora.com.

Bhavesh is a hobby close up magician, and in his answer suggested the Bicycle Rider Back Index Playing Cards for a myriad of reasons.

  1. The “air cushion finish” makes the cards glide nicely.
  2. “they’re tacky enough to do various sleights and otherwise impressive moves like a one handed cut without lack of traction destroying the alignment of your card stack(s)”
  3.  They are CHEAP. If you do magic lots, or do tricks where you sign a card, you will be going through plenty of decks, so economic options are important.

I have ordered the recommended cards and will write a follow-up post with my own opinion of the cards after they arrive.

See you next time!

A Magical Reflection

Over the last two and a half months, I have been practicing a skill I never thought I would have time for, and in a way I never assumed I would. Using the internet to add poorly executed magic tricks every week to a small repertoire was perhaps not the wisest idea in learning magic.

 

Patience is a virtue, but by consulting videos and walkthroughs, i have come to expect more from myself. So this week, rather than search out a new trick, i have sought out some advice. And I found it here.

 

I have always been a fan of Penn and Teller (I’m still salty about missing them in Vegas), but they did more than entertain me today. They could very well be my biggest motivator in choosing magic as a pursuit for this project.

If you haven’t seen them perform, check out this trick, one of my favorites.

I think my biggest take away from learning things on the internet was not something you can learn on the internet, oddly enough, and i think it extends into the other facets in my life.

Patience.

I need to be more patient with myself. It can be hard to be patient in a world of due dates but that doesn’t make it any less necessary.

 

Lots to think about this week, see you next time.

 

I Can’t Eat Coins Anymore, They Go Right Through Me!

This time, in my journey to become a master magician, I decided to try something a little simpler. Card tricks are cool, but i need a varied repertoire if I am ever to buy a house off of my magic skills. This weeks trick is one of the most famous. Pushing a coin through one’s hand.

To learn this trick, i wanted to search outside of YouTube for my learning tools, and so i stumbled upon slightofhandtricks.com, seemed suitable enough. And though the videos used to learn the tricks were still uploaded to YouTube, the organization of the site made if very pleasant to discover this weeks trick. The page i ended up on was this one.

The hardest part of this trick is finding two coins that look similar enough. In an age of plastic and digital currency, the coins of decent size that i own are often worn to different levels.

I am thinking that soon, rather than simply learning new tricks, i will instead practice a routine, using other performances found on the internet as inspiration.

Lots to think about.

Jonah