On the internet I see magicians giving other magicians some of the worst advice ever. It’s also interesting when you look at the websites/promo of the people giving the advice, they really aren’t performers you should be taking advice from.
One of my favorite pieces of bad advice to beginners is “learn 7 tricks”. The idea behind the advice is good, and that’s to spend time to understand the tricks that you do. However the messenger in the form of only learning 7 tricks is very misleading. How do you pick the 7 tricks, if that’s all you can learn? If we all picked 7 tricks when we got started we’d all be doing pretty much the same shows and there would be no innovation.
The saying about learning 7 tricks came out of vaudeville, the story goes: A kid meets the magician after the show and tells him he knows 150 different tricks. The magician tells the kid he knows 7 tricks, but knows them inside and out.
The main problem with the story to be advice for a modern magician is that it came out of vaudeville. Most of the magicians were doing an act, not a show. Their were doing 5-15 minutes, not a modernn 45-60 minutes. In 15 minutes you could do less than 7 tricks and you didn’t have things like TV or the internet burning your material. Look at any modern show and just within that show count the number of tricks…it’s going to be more than seven.
The other thing is that if you only learn 7 tricks and that’s all you spend your time on, then you aren’t a student of magic. Personally I learn all I can about magic, I love it and if I could only spend my time on 7 tricks I’d quit and do something else.
The moral of this post is 99% of advice you are given by other magicians sucks.
Recommended reading: Allow Me To Give You Some Really Awful Advice by Jim Steinmeyer