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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The April 2006 entrée: Michael Ammar » » Question About Michael's Repertoire and the Easy to Master Series » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

daffydoug
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Eternal Order
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Hi Michael,

Man this is great! Having you on the Café and we get to pick your brain! What could be better? I have a zillion things I have always wanted to ask you! (But I'll keep it down to a couple hundred.) Smile

First, I was wondering, how is your family?

Michael, of all the effects in the easy to master series, (coins, cards, etc.) do you perform the majority of these effects on a regular basis, or did you actually take the time to learn and master them solely for the purpose of the video shoots?

Now if you answer that you don't perform them, my next question would be why would you not perform such wonderful effects that you shared with us?

By the way, I want to say how much I appreciate the time and thought that went into making sure we were getting more than our money's worth by including a bonus prop and effect in each video. I miss that thoughtfullness in the current videos releases by other artists.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Michael Ammar
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To begin, my family is doing great -- thank you for asking! Being away from them is definitely the hardest part of being on the road...

As for the ETM series, one of the criteria the material has to pass is 'Would this be something that I would perform myself...' So I do agree with you -- why would I not perform those effects?

On the other hand, the reality of being a working professional is that you simply don't need that much material. I can perform in a lot of situations while calling on just 7 or 8 effects, and when you consider the average DVD in the series has 11 or 12 effects, there is way too much for anyone to keep polished at any given time.

Plus, when I'm working on a new project, I really have to immerse myself in the new material, trying out and reading through much, much more than ends up on the final list, so during those times I don't have any room left in my mind for projects that I've already finished. In order to do the next project justice, I've got to develop a while new set of favorite things to play with. Which, when you think about it, is the nice little perk of the job. It is the sort of thing that I used to do for nothing before I had a family, and now, at times, it becomes my job!
Christopher Williams
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Michael, many people have said just stick to a few routines that you can make your own, and special to you. Learn the way they need to be presented. What I find amazing, is that on the ETMCM, you perform and teach almost 90 effects!!! How can this happen? that's not including the material of your own that you do yourself, and all your coin magic! How can you remember so many routines, and have kept a great presentation to them all! Any tips?!?!?!?
daffydoug
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Christopher..you must be into mentalism very deeply..I had that same EXACT question running through my head! (But you asked it first!) Hope Michael can give us some insight!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Michael Ammar
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Well, it is true that you don't need more than a dozen effects to make a living doing magic. Many magicians come up with the majority of their life long repertoire during their first 10 years, and if they learn anything really new after that it is just for their own interest.

But that is what was cool about the projects I got to work on. Long after the average magician would've capped off his working repertoire, I had a reason to totally immerse myself in researching additional material in a variety of different areas, and it was part of my job!

But that also tells you a bit about how it was possible -- in order to really deliver the goods on these projects, I really had to completely immerse myself in the topic and material. From morning to evening, day after day, for months in a row, I would only think about the material being considered for the current project.

This meant that there was simply no time to go back and work on or even think about material from previous projects. But the good news was that all that material was really, really accessible if I should need to call on it. In most cases, one or two viewings, plus a little time with the Super Practice session, and it all comes back to me!
daffydoug
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That was also the advantage for us the students! And with DVD, you can go insrtantly to the desired effect, without spending wasted time winding and re winding.

And your written outline notes for each effect were also a tremendous help!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Matt Graves
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You only need a dozen tricks to make a living as magician? That sounds too easy. I'm not a pro, so I don't know. But what about kids' shows? Would you not have to have extra tricks like sponge bunnies and coloring books and colorful scarves and whatnot to add to your repertoire? I mean, what if you have your dozen tricks that would work well for a bunch of grown folks at a private party, but those same tricks wouldn't mean doodley-squat to the kids gathered in the gym at the local elementary school? What if you have a dozen close-up tricks but then somebody hires you and gives you a stage to perform on? See how it all falls apart? Since you are a very experienced pro, maybe you have a good answer to that.

These are just questions that go through my mind a lot. I'm admittedly bitter because I've never been able to make it as a professional. I really wouldn't know where to start, and although I know more than a hundred tricks and can do most of them very well, I am at a loss as to how to put together a show that would be adaptable to different circumstances . . .

So if you don't mind sharing . . . I'd venture to ask what your standby of a dozen tricks is. I mean, what effects do you normally do for real people? Is it different for kids than for adults, or is it the same? Just curious. I am in awe of all you who make your livings doing magic. And even more so in awe of you . . . you're one of the all time greats, in my opinion. But when I hear things like, "If you can do a dozen good tricks well, you could be a professional", it just makes me want to scream. Maybe it is easier than I think . . . I dunno . . .
daffydoug
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What you have just asked are some burning questions...
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Steve Hook
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Serling:

It's that those 12 routines are "developed" and "perfected" about 10 layers deep.
Whitewolfny
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Serling, you have hit the nail on the head in expressing what goes through my mind. I feel I have to know all these 100s of tricks to be a good magician and I don't know where to start or which ones to try to perfect. I hope Michael can shed more light on your thoughts. I sure could use some direction.
Braxton Mannar
<BR>Just an old dog trying to learn new tricks Smile
daffydoug
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My dilema also, but it's good to know I'm not alone! I too hope Michael can shed more light on the subject
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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