Am I too old to start in magic? That’s a question that we hear a lot here at The Daily Magician and I’ve always found it an interesting one because I’ve never thought of magic as something that had an age cap on it in general.
I’ve never thought of magic like some other hobbies such as I don’t know… Gymnastics… Where you really find an age gap when it comes to something like tumbling as a 35-year-old. (BAD example, YOU get the point)
I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘flexible’ nature of magic as a hobby…
See, a lot of people get frustrated when they discover magic in their later years, only to find out that a lot of the moves and techniques required take years on years of intense practice to master. That they’ll need to wait years until they can call themselves a real ‘magician’…
…or do they?
I don’t think so.
And I’ll explain why… Sure, there are a few tough moves you won’t be able to crack anytime soon, and you’re unlikely to start competing with the likes of Steve Forte or Bill Malone, but here’s the beauty of it:
You don’t need to!
All you need to do is play to your unique strength. The one thing YOU have that no other magician to live has had access to—YOUR mind.
So much of what makes strong magic comes down to how you THINK about magic.
And guess what?
You don’t need years of practicing the second deal in order to have good ideas. If you can think creatively, you can contribute something to magic that none of us have seen before.
So many of the BEST effects in magic are based on nothing but a ‘good idea.’ No fancy sleight of hand. No grand props. No stooges.
Just an idea someone had.
* Out of This World by Paul Curry (with ONE ingenious idea Paul created a practically self-working effect where the spectator divides the deck into red and black)
* Shuffle-Bored by Simon Aronson (you cleanly predict the outcome of two spectators shuffling the deck)
* Mnemonicosis by Juan Tamariz (the spectator names a card, cuts the deck, and magically discovers their own card without the magician touching the cards)
None of these effects take crazy sleight of hand skill. They just rely on very, very, VERY smart thinking.
Furthermore, consider this:
I’ve heard it told that legendary magician Eugene Burger didn’t start taking magic seriously until he was well into his 50s!
But when people talk about Eugune now, do you think they start by saying: “great magician. It’s a shame his ideas only came to him after he was 50. I guess they don’t count”
Of course not.
They talk about his IDEAS.
Any the beauty of ideas is that everyone can have them. No matter how long you’ve been in magic. No matter how old you are.
In many areas of magic, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been practicing for 10 years or 10 weeks, if you can have a good idea and execute on it…you can fool people (including other magicians.)
And hey, if you DO want to get deep into the gambling sleight of hand and move monkey stuff, go for it. As I said, you’ll find it harder to get to a ‘world-class’ level…but you can still get pretty darned good pretty fast. Magic is a very forgiving hobby (as opposed to something like rock climbing or rugby).
Alright, pep talk over.
If you have a minute, click the link below and let me know how long you’ve been performing magic for:
From this survey, I’ll be able to build a more complete map and see if my predictions on the age of magicians around the world are correct!
*DISCLAIMER* This is a live survey so the below results may shift somewhat, I do my best to update them as and when I feel the data has changed somewhat.
The Results (as we stand right now):
Here’s some interesting data from this survey.
Of those that answered:
Around 15% have been practicing magic for LESS than one year.
28.6% have been practicing magic for 1 year.
42.9% have been practicing magic for 1-5 years.
And 15% more have been practicing magic between 10-20 years.
A real ‘range’ of answers there.
(according to some hasty maths I whipped up with my iPhone calculator and a couple of sketchy estimates, the average is 3.5 years.)
Furthermore, the average ‘starting age’ was also all across the board. From teenagers to retirees, there’s a huge amount of variety.
All of that brings me to this:
Every single magician is unique.
Far from being a weakness, that’s a strength. No one else has your life experience and philosophy on life and magic, which means you can perform magic in a way that nobody else can.
Basically: nobody does it like you 🙂
Personally I started magic at the age of 8… And I can hear you sighing already, well… There’s the secret to getting into magic. Well… Actually no. I started at 8 but by the age of 18 I could barely pull off a half-decent pass, this is a strange comparison so you’ll have to just bear with me.
There’s a video game that I follow, it’s called Counter-Strike Global Offensive, or Cs-go for the fans of abbreviations out there. (I’m definitely one of those fans.)
A few years back there was a huge update, it moved from Cs-go source to the game that I know and love today. There were many players that came along with it, at first they did well, using their years of experience to destroy everyone else ion the competitive scene, but after a while, they fell off and people that had been playing for a year or less started to dominate the scene.
I don’t know if this metaphor makes much sense to you, it certainly sounded better in my head, but what I’m saying is if we spent a little less time comparing ourselves and a little more time on the grind we wouldn’t need to use google to ask ourselves if we were too young or old to start anything, everything is a mental game and I’m telling you, you can win this one!
So, am I too old to start in Magic? From me to you, no freaking way!