Under, Over by Joshua Jay

Being a magician can be tough, and so can being a teenager. Being both presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges. The booklet I’ve written, and present to you here at Vanishing Inc Magic FOR FREE, is this idea come to life. I’m speaking here to young, serious magicians, but I hope that the tricks and advice I include will also be of interest to older, more seasoned practitioners.

So you’re a magician and you’re young. Your audience will notice your age; there’s no way around it. “Wow, he looks like he’s still in school,” a woman might whisper to her husband. “How good could he possibly be?” the husband might reply. The first part of this book, Under (as in under 18), is intended to help you find ways to make your age work for you rather than against you.

The second part of the book, Over, is the part you’ll want your parents to read. Make no mistake—I hope you read it, too, but parents write to me all the time with questions such as, “Is this a good hobby for my son?” or “Is my daughter too young to become a magician?” or, a personal favorite, “Can you actually make a career out of this?” I’m in your corner here, and in Over I’ll make sure they see magic for what it is. (Oh, and check out the part where I tell them it’s okay to miss school for magic conventions!)

In the pages to come, I’ll answer as honestly as I can some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received over the years. But there’s one question I won’t be addressing: “Should I become a magician?” If you don’t know the answer to that question, without hesitation, then you aren’t serious about magic. That’s fine—this stuff isn’t for everyone.

Most young people drift out of magic because they got into it for the wrong reasons. Some people get into magic because they want to know how stuff is done or because they think it’s easy once they know the secret. Some older ones are just looking for a way to get a date. Others are allured by cool-looking gadgets. But these reasons become unfulfilling; I mean, there’s only so much shelf space for unused magic. Most of these kids fade away when they discover girls or basketball. But there are a few of us who stay with it because we realize what magic really has to offer.

When I started in magic I was surrounded by an overwhelmingly supportive group of family, friends, and magicians. None of them charged me for advice, nor will I charge you. In a few years you will be a seasoned, adult performer, and invariably someone young will seek out advice from you. I hope this book and the spirit it is presented inspires you to share what you learned.

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