Learning From Others

One of the questions I always get asked as a magician is “How did you learn magic?”. No, there is no Hogwarts that 11 year old magicians attend. But the sentiment of Hogwarts — learning from teachers and peers — is exactly how I learned magic.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Creativity dies in a vacuum. In order to learn, you have to seek out others to help you. This, for me at least, is done both in the form of older magicians who have decades of knowledge and experience, and my peers that are along the same path as me.

The older magicians teach me lessons, and my peers help me to perfect them. There are many places where a magician can interact with these communities: magic shops, magic clubs, and conferences, just to name a few.

Recently, you could add social media to that list. There are numerous online forums and Facebook groups dedicated to providing magicians with just such a community to learn from and share ideas with.

But the best place to learn is in person. I’m currently at the Society of American Magician’s national convention in Las Vegas, and it couldn’t be a more interesting group of teachers and peers. Every time I attend a convention, it reminds me of how important community is for creative thinking..

..which leads me to this article. So many people believe that they peak too early. They stop learning and just struggle to remain status quo. But in failing to learn more, they quickly decline, and fade away.

A community helps remind us that we have yet to peak. With those who have learned more then us, it shows us how much farther we have to go. With peers at the same level as we are, it gives us companionship on the long, sometimes lonely road to the top.

Creativity dies in a vacuum. Don’t let yourself get sucked into one. Find a community of like-mined people in your field, and learn from each other. Bounce ideas off of them and figure out how a crazy idea can actually work. That can only be done in a community.

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