Magic Lessons With My Mentors and How It Inspired My Career
I came into Magic during the mid 1970s and started taking magic lessons then – I would not change this period for magic in the 21st century for anything. Back then, magic was seen either live or on television. I saw David Nixon, Doug Henning, Ricky Jay, Fred Kaps, Richardi Jnr and the legendary Slydini all on television. This experience inspired me to want to study magic.
I went to my local library and got some excellent books to read on magic, namely:
- The Royal Road to Card Magic
- Modern Magic
- Close-up Card Magic
- The Magic Book
These books served me well during those years. What made this period of time special was the simple fact that I had time to read and study without any distraction. Videos, DVDs and online tutorials was way off into the future. It would only be a few years before video would make its way into my life and alter my learning discipline. I hope that I still get a large percentage of my knowledge from reading good quality books.
Since I started the Vincent Academy, one of the questions I ask new students is, ” what books are you reading“? This questions reveals a lot to me about new students taking my programs.
If they are not reading, they are getting their information from The internet or DVDs.
To read a book requires patience, discipline, and intellect effort. It is easy to watch a DVD and think you are learning. Watching a DVD requires no participation – all you need is time.
Reading activates all the internal faculties of the brain, mind and imagination. This is the beginning of creativity.
There is nothing inherently wrong with watching a DVD or sourcing the internet, if it is your only access to learning magic then so be it. It is what it is – many fine magicians have come through learning this way. What I am standing for is the joy of study through reading, this practice can enrich your appreciation of magic along with discovering some hidden gems between the pages of a book.
I encourage all of my students to create working and practical balance of 70% to 30% between reading and watching. At least this will keep the brain and mind supple and elastic.
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