ICOM Orientation Room

The I.C.O.M Orientation Room

Thank you for starting here!

This forum is to give you a brief overview of how the study areas work and how to use them for maximum benefit. It is important, however, to reiterate what was stated in the magicians’s code. Please keep all secrets learned in these forums to yourself and to your assistant if you are planning on using one. Have them take a pledge of secrecy as well. You have paid hard-earned money for this course. Please keep this information top secret! Also, above all…


Before we jump into our lessons let us first discuss one of the most important aspects of being a magician. The following text is more important than most people can imagine. In each of the following rule lie the true secrets of successful magic. It is better to know a few routines well, following this code, than to know the workings of a thousand tricks which have no real meaning. This code will always be on this entrance page to consistently remind all of us of the importance of…

The Magician’s Code

1.NEVER REVEAL THE SECRETS OF MAGIC TO LAY PEOPLE: The art of magic is a time honored tradition over four thousand years old. The reason for its longevity is in the equally ancient tradition of keeping the secrets. As a student of the conservatory you must remember, the cornerstone of magic is “mystery” and without it, there is no magic.

2.PRACTICE, REHEARSE, THEN PRACTICE AGAIN: As with any art-form worthy of its name, magic requires time and effort in order to gain a smooth proficiency. Do not be mislead when a trick is seemingly self-working. There is no such thing. Even when the mechanics are simple, you must polish your presentation, and that takes time.

3.NEVER SHOW A TRICK MORE THAN ONCE BEFORE THE SAME AUDIENCE: This may be the most difficult rule to follow…even more so than keeping the secret, but it is every bit as important. The temptation to do a dynamic trick a second time when coaxed by your audience can be overwhelming, but heed this. Many people will watch more closely the second time around due to the fact that the surprise factor is now absent. Therefore, they are more likely to learn the secrets by simple deduction or the second chance at spotting a sleight. If you ignore this rule, you will be surprised at how easily the exhilaration of the original mystery will be sacrificed. The fun will be gone.

4.NEVER TELL AN AUDIENCE WHAT YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO DO IN ADVANCE: This rule does not apply in every case depending upon your presentation. However, it should be the rule rather than the exception. Magic relies heavily on the element of surprise which would be lost if you explain your intentions beforehand. Also, as you will be learning later in the forums, you have a built in “safety net” in the form of “outs” when you follow this rule.

5.ALWAYS STAY IN CHARACTER: Every magician, top professional or otherwise makes mistakes. What separates the master magicians from the tricksters is how they handle those situations. If such an event pops its “murphy’s law” head up, use an “out” and make it part of the show. Remember if you’ve followed rule #4, they will never know you’ve made the mistake in the first place..

6.DO UNTO OTHER MAGICIANS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU: The most neglected rule in magic. Also, a large reason why I.C.O.M Online was founded. Never interrupt a fellow magician’s performance. Be a good audience for them and the entire art will benefit. Never reveal the workings of a fellow magicians act to layman as well as other magicians in general. Respect the props of others. Respect the material of others. If you do not have permission to use a particular magicians routine, please respect that person and leave it alone. We all have fantastic gifts within us. Develop your own style and presentations. It is people who are themselves onstage that become stars!

The International Conservatory Of Magic
New Student Primer

Bobby J. Gallo

Note To Advanced Magicians: This primer is written with the beginner to magic in mind. Please disregard basic knowledge that you may already know. However, please read this in its entirety anyway due to the fact that it gives valuable insight as to how this site functions …thank you.

There Are Three Basic Ways To Obtain Magical Knowledge In The Conservatory

  • Through any or all of the main forums that are added to periodically. This would include the: Beginner’s Study, The Advanced Lab, and The I.C.O.M Spotlight among others.
  • In any or all of the other forums where “resident or static” magic lessons are established. This would Include the: The I.C.O.M Archives, and The I.C.O.M Library with all of its subdivisions including the CyberMagic-Text Book System ™ and The Magicschool Program of Study ™ and lots more.
  • By making use of the International Conservatory Of Magic Virtual Magic Lessons ™ and Virtual Classroom.

Always begin your visit by visiting our “What’s New Page” in the public section of the site to see what may have been added to our huge curriculum.
We recommend that if you are new to magic that you start learning magic in the“Beginners Study, and The Magic for Beginners Cyber-Magic Textbook located in the Library” We have made all the forums available to every student for the simple reason that beginners will generally not get anything out of the more advanced material until they understand the basics anyway, but if they are interested, they are more than welcome to check the “Advanced Lab” out. The point is, beginners will get more accomplished by focusing in the “Beginners Study” where they will be able to learn the basics of magic and perform material within their abilities requiring much less rehearsal time.

Advanced magicians will no doubt find great effects and theory in the beginners study that they can use in conjunction with more complex presentations. They may even consider it a refresher course!


When first entering a forum, please read the complete effect from the beginning. However, before going on to the explanation, try to envision what the effect would be like if you were watching the trick yourself. Remember, once you read the explanation, you will never be fooled by that particular magic trick again, so take advantage of the “visualization” technique beforehand!

For many effects, you may be directed toward the current CyberMagic-Textbook being focused on by I.C.O.M at that particular time. Read the effect from the text before reading the instructors comments and fine points of presentation in the lesson.

After reading the explanation, try the trick out in front of a mirror. Most magicians rehearse this way. Practicing in front of a mirror enables you to see things in your posture at different angles with movements that you would normally overlook.

Here is a brief step-by-step overview of how to learn magic as a member of I.C.O.M

  • Read the “What’s New Page” in the public section of the site.
  • If you are new to magic please read the Magicians Code upon entering the Inner Sanctum.
  • Beginner’s report to the Beginner’s study for your current lessons, Advanced students visit both the Beginner’s study as well as the Advanced Lab. Then go to your specific area of interest such as the Kid Show Konservatory, Secret Passageway, Slydini Legacy, etc, etc.
  • Read the effect and visualize the impact it would have on your audience.
  • Read the method and then proceed to rehearse the effect (in front of a mirror if possible).
  • After you have completed the lesson in your particular study area, be sure to visit the” I.C.O.M Spotlight  to see what magic, material, and theory are being concentrated on currently by both instructors, guests, and students alike. Then there is always the I.C.O.M Online Library” where you can spend time and learn from some of the most prolific minds in magic with features you will find nowhere else as well as practicing your moves from our extensive “Sleight-Of-Hand Gallery”.
  • Visit all other forums of interest. If you are a salesperson, teacher or presenter, you may have signed on exclusively for the “Presentation/Demonstration Page” also located in the library, or on the other extreme end of the spectrum, “The Magic Arcade” for the very young magician of the family.
  • Search I.C.O.M for all terms, sleights, and knowledge you may need to enhance your understanding of the lessons. This includes visits to the library and other forums.

After you have done that, write down any questions you may have and visit the “Virtual Magic Lesson ™” e-mail link at the bottom of each study area. Send us your thoughts on the material and we will respond with personal instruction and advice! You may even choose to share your question with the rest of I.C.OM by posting it in our “Virtual Classroom”.

An important point to remember is that there are important lessons and knowledge placed all throughout I.C.O.M. This is not a simple magic book placed on the Internet. This is an “INTERACTIVE MAGIC SCHOOL”, hence, you may have to do a little digging and researching to find what you are looking for. But remember, and we cannot stress this enough, we are always here to help.

You may see new and different pages and areas “pop-up” as time goes on. Not to mention all of the current pages not mentioned in this orientation that each focus on differing aspects of the magical arts. Check them all out! We at I.C.O.M strive to make your experience with us a magical adventure, you never know what we’ll have appearing here and there!

You now have a full year to review the lessons as many times as you like, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is your opportunity to rehearse, get your personal instruction and develop your unique presentations for the effects.


What Every Beginner Should Know

Bill Wisch

It happens to all of us. We must be a beginner. “Nobody is a born anything, except a baby”, says noted motivator Zig Ziglar. Everyone has to learn the basics. Magicians are no exception, even though it appears “so easy”.

It’s a fun, wondrous, exciting, awesome journey becoming a magician.
I know I’ve enjoyed it immensely…and still do.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to teach quite a few magicians at various skill levels over the years and I still enjoy that first lesson with a rank beginner who is literally “starving” for that magical experience. It gets me motivated as well. But one thing I noticed a while back was that I had the tendency to get caught up in the “rush” and go faster than was practical and effective for the student. It’s real easy to do when the student is so excited and wants to learn everything in one lesson!

I came up with a list of questions that I ask every beginner to set the stage…not only for him or her, but for me as well. I need to have some questions answered to be an effective instructor. There are so many directions to go and I must have a “roadmap” to get to the right destination. That destination is for the student to have the most rewarding, fun and exciting experience they can have during their magical journey…especially up front when the excitement is there.

Bobby J. Gallo’s phenomenal (and I can’t overstate that too much due to the lack of anything in their class available on the market) Cyber-Textbooks, “COMMANDO MAGIC” and “THE COMMANDO MAGIC MARKETING MANUAL”, which just happen to be available for you and only you as a member of I.C.O.M. Online (in the library), are great primers and guides for making effective choices in your study of magic at ANY level. Please CHECK THEM OUT (you don’t need a card) and read them…you won’t run across anything quite like them anywhere else and your decisions will become sharper and clearer because of the practical, valuable, “in the trench” knowledge they contain.

In addition I wanted to mention the questions I’ve always asked whenever I started with a brand new student. These may be of some help, as well, in your focus on this fascinating (and at times confusing to learn) art.

If you are a beginner in magic, ask yourself (and write down or tape record):
1)What do I want to be in magic?


  • 1)stage?
  • 2)close-up?
  • 3)casual?
  • 4)business?
  • 5)professional?
  • etc.?


  • 1)books?
  • 2)tricks?
  • 3)magazines/periodicals?
  • etc.?


  • 1)general interest?
  • 2)specialized interests
  • etc.?

The list goes on and on, right? Decide what you see yourself being in magic.

2)What do I want to learn?
Investigate and check out anything and everything magical. What “turns on your magical appetite”?

3)What do you see yourself doing in magic 1 year from now?…5 years from now?…10 years from now? What are your goals?

4)What style of performer do you like to see do magic? Any favorites?

5)What do you want I.C.O.M. Online to contribute? What do you expect from I.C.O.M.? Do I plan to make use of the “virtual lessons”? Am I just happy to browse and read?

6)Do I see myself inventing effects and routines somewhere down the line? Is it important how much originality will be involved or am I content to use established effects and routines exactly?

7)Where do I see myself performing?

8)Am I a good story teller?…joke teller?

9)Are my hands pleasant to look at? Am I happy with myself physically? If not, what can I do to make myself a more effective performer in my own eyes?

10)What are my limitations, if any?

11)Do I have support in my study of magic? Will I be able to show someone the effects, sleights, routines, as I’m learning them? Will I get positive feedback?

12)What kind of a budget do I have to purchase effects, books, magazines, etc.? (Be practical…you don’t have to spend much and unless you have lots of money try not to be too impulsive buying effects and books until you know something about them and feel you’ll be completely happy with the items.)

13)Am I serious about magic or just curious? Do I plan to study until I get what I want?…no matter what?

and last but not least…

14)Why do I like magic?

If you can answer these questions as if I was asking you in person, and come up with answers that express exactly what you want to say, then you’ll probably get to where you want to go as quickly and directly as possible…WITH THE MOST ENJOYMENT.

Let me ask you to please take time to answer these questions…even if some take a bit of thought. If I was teaching you personally I would spend some time at the beginning of the very first lesson asking these exact questions. Make yourself comfortable and have no distractions. The questions that seem hard to answer would be given as part of your first assignment for the next session. I’m asking you to do the same thing here. As members of I.C.O.M. Online you have access to “virtual lessons” ( the first time anything has ever been available like this in the history of magic) and if you have any questions about MY questions above, please let me know ASAP, OK?

We really want to make your experience with our school as fruitful as possible IN ALL AREAS! Please keep this in mind and never forget…the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and get some help from it.

Why Mostly Text Based Lessons?

We at I.C.O.M Online have the technology to include any photos or illustrations we desire on this site, however, you may notice that we keep such images to a minimum with the exception of the “Sleight-Of-Hand Gallery”.

The reason for this is the following. When reviewing classic magic texts we have found that most include only those illustrations that were absolutely necessary to communicate the routine to the reader. This approach serves our purpose in much the same way, due to the fact that while some members have state-of the-art computers, others have slower machines and still others only have text-based browsers. To keep download times to a minimum, to fit maximum material into a study area, and to better serve the entire magical community, our lessons will be basically text with only those illustrations we feel are absolutely necessary. Besides, it is the personal consultation aspect that makes I.C.O.M Online so special!

Another point to remember is that we concentrate on giving our students only choice magic effects…one lesson at a time. There is a reason for this. It allows you to perfect routines rather than wade through a whole pile of meaningless “trick trash”. David Devant, the famous English magician, was once asked by a fellow performer, who claimed to know hundreds of card tricks, how many David knew. David answered, “only about five or six, but I know them better than anyone else in the world!” Think about it………..

*Note: This another point that makes us different anything else that attempts to teach magic. We are not trying to re-invent the wheel. Most of the magic routines that you need to learn the art of magic are already in print. What is needed are knowledgable instructors to TEACH this material correctly. Something that has been absent from the world of magic for far too long. Now together, I.C.O.M Online and YOU, can make a difference!

Good Luck!

Bobby J. Gallo

Ron Dayton in his own words

Who Is This Guy Anyway?
Ronald J. Dayton

When the two gentlemen who created this marvelous on-line school of magic first approached me and asked if I might like to join them as an instructor, my first impulse was to blurt out an enthusiastic YES! YOU BET I WOULD! But later, when the initial euphoria passed, I asked myself…”What could possibly qualify me as an instructor?!”

My best answer would probably be, nothing…and everything. I am you see, no one and everyone in the world of magic. I have devoted many years to magic…but I did it strictly for myself. I have been selfish, and have striven to soak up every shred of history and information I could find. It is a journey which is on going…and one it seems, that you are interested in as well.

Some people have called me an expert in certain fields of this art…but I am not. I just retain a lot of information which others have learned as well. The difference is, they manage to let go of it, and move on. I on the other hand, hang on for dear life!

From time-to-time, I may express an opinion or two. You may or may not agree with what I have to say…that is your DOWNLOAD. Mine is to state things as I view them, as clearly and objectively as possible.

You will find, as time goes by, and you become more firmly entrenched in the world of magic, that opinions vary greatly. There are many schools of thought. It will be part of your job to sort things out and discover where the truth lies. For those of you who have a copy of Henry Hay’s book, “The Amateur Magician’s Handbook,” in your haste to learn ‘tricks’, please do not pass over the first eighteen pages. This is where the real ‘magic’ of magic can be found. And for my own part, I am in full agreement with almost everything Mr. Hay had to say. It is a real education, compressed into a chapter or so.

As far as magicians go…I am not the best, but I know I’m not the worst. I am good at what I do, but always want to be better. I think that’s a worthwhile goal…to constantly try to improve. Complacency is as detrimental to the serious student of magic as anything I can imagine. Vanity runs a close second.

Books will tell you to ‘be yourself ‘ when performing. To a high degree, that is true. But it is only true when the YOU you convey is a person who is acceptable to the audience at large. It is wise to NEVER talk down to your audience or to make them feel foolish. It is also a good decision not to be vulgar or offensive in any way. Don’t be tempted into using ‘blue’ material. The poor choice in language may well rob you of admiration for the skill the audience may have felt.

Performing styles are extremely important to any magician. We’ve all seen artists we admire. It is very tempting to want to be ‘just like them.’ While this is flattering I’m sure, I think the better road to travel would be to find a character all your own. It won’t be easy…but it would be rewarding. It will give you and your act an important element…individuality. And that is what you wanted to emulate in you mentor’s act. To lead the pack rather than simply run with it.

On a personal level, I enjoy pushing the envelope of creativity a bit. I like to look for different or unique ways of achieving a given effect. Not only does this give me a creative satisfaction, it gives my presentation a look that others cannot duplicate unless I share the method with them. If I were driven to be a professional, full-time performer…this would be a tremendous advantage to me.

Originality is the key to success. As a amateur, it will give you an edge, and make what you present memorable. As a professional, it will do the same. When you’re doing magic for a living, you can’t afford to be run-of-the-mill. As a amateur…should it be any different?

Where will the world of magic take you? Well, how far do you want to go? The possibilities really are quite limitless.

I have been a ‘student’ of magic for forty-five years. That is to say, my ‘interest’ has matured with time. What a boy of nine was looking for from magic is not the same as the intensity of a man in his fifties. The effects, the sleights, the subtle ploys gradually begin to integrate with an appreciation for the dozens of other facets of magic…and magic is so multi-faceted, you may well spend a lifetime, and never fully touch on it all. With your enrollment in this school, you have taken the first step in a journey that never ends and a fascination that seldom fades.

What In The World Are “Virtual Magic Lessons” ™ And How Do I Use Them ???

Bobby J. Gallo

When you enrolled in the International Conservatory Of Magic, you were told that you had Virtual Magic Lessons. What are they? We’re glad you asked.

Virtual Magic Lessons ™ are one of the International Conservatory Of Magic’s finest and most distinguishing features. In Short, Virtual Magic Lessons are a way to communicate directly with the I.C.O.M instructors. The very people who write the lessons! This is what makes I.C.O.M so very different from any other conceivable way to learn magic. With books, you have only the text and illustrations to learn from. When watching videos, you may have a semi-clear idea of what the teacher is trying to explain. However, all have one significant drawback. You cannot ask questions!Think about it, you have never been able to interact with a book or video. Even in a live lecture situation there is limited time to ask in-depth questions. And as for the limited number of so-called interactive magic related cd-roms, you can’t ask questions at all. Interactivity is limited to fast-forwarding and reversing much like a standard video tape. Only I.C.O.M is different! With Virtual Magic Lessons, you now have the means by which you can have total interactivity with your instructors. Just like live one-on-one lessonsat a fraction of the cost!

At the bottom of each main lesson page (Beginners Study, Advanced Lab, I.C.O.M Spotlight). you will find a large red link panel like the one below…

Author: Bobby J. Gallo


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