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Good day, Sir Leodini.

I have been a close-up magician for about two or three years now. I have twice performed stage magic, but all the tricks I did was close-up tricks. Please tell me how to improve my talent and how can I have the tools of magic that I can get for a cheap price? I am poor and currently in 4th year high school. That is why I don’t have time to work and earn money to buy magic stuff. Please help me. Thanks in advance. – Ivan Jason S. David, Magician from Plaridel Bulacan


Hi Ivan,

Thank you for your letter.

I’m sorry for this late reply. I have been busy lately and lack the time to write   for this blog.

Let me break it to you gently. The brutal truth is that all grand things have their own penalties. If you consider magic a grand thing, be ready to spend money. That is its penalty. Magic as a hobby can be expensive, much more if it’s a profession.

Still, it doesn’t mean learning magic and upgrading your skills are beyond the reach of poor students like you. There’s a way around all problems if they can’t be confronted head on.

First, be wise and organized in your study. Be methodical in your investment program. Buy one stuff at a time—a book, a magic prop, or a DVD.

Don’t hoard stuff, as most magicians do, including me. If you accumulate magic more than what you need, that’s when your capital expenses pile up. The cost of magic increases and your learning process slows down, because you can’t focus on tricks to learn one at a time.

And that’s the greatest secret of learning magic correctly. Learn one trick at a time, not several tricks in one time.

Second, buy books that have lots of tricks. Make sure they run the whole gamut of performing magic—that is, the books must contain tricks that are suitable for close-up, parlor and stage performances.

Don’t buy an e-book, manuscript or DVD with only one trick in it, no matter how good the reviews are. Remember you are trying to stretch your meager resources and maximize your buying power.

Similarly, don’t be tempted to invest in single-trick props.  The money you spend on, say, one vanishing cane can be spent more wisely on a DVD or a book with six to 10 tricks in it. You can then use these multiple tricks to build a complete show. Compare the benefit of a complete show with one effect, and you will see the cost-effectiveness of this strategy.

Having less money to spend on magic may slow down your progress but it should not daunt you from learning and mastering your art. In fact, I think you will build a stronger foundation as a performer if you don’t rush learning your tricks.

Magic routines get stronger the more often you perform them. You may be able to expand your repertoire by learning one trick today, learning another tomorrow and yet another the next day. But then you have to stop and ask yourself: is this large repertoire strong and entertaining, or is it just a collection of amateurish presentations?

Again, at the risk of being repetitious: learn tricks one at a time instead of flitting around one trick to another like a butterfly in heat. Learning slowly will build you a strong foundation and help you master your craft while keeping your expenses to the minimum.

Good luck and stay magical,