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TeddyBoy
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Hi All. A de facto newbie here trying to find the way to learn sleights/tricks competently, AND to satisfy my curiosity for learning how things are done at a satisfying pace. Like many before me, I am squarely on the Royal Road both in text and DVD. I liven things up with excerpts from Card College and The Magic Book, which provide interesting takes on the subject - especially the Magic Book. I understand that my impatience can be an impediment in this regard.

To the point however, I recently downloaded an ebook by Dominic Reyes entitled Approaching Magic Practice. The material is well-presented and [at least to me] well-thought through, however his strategy for beginners was somewhat shocking. His advice is to focus on one trick/move by practicing it [a]twice a day for [b] 20 minutes each practice, and [c] continuing this for 20 days. This took the wind out of my sails since this limits one's growth to about 18 tricks/moves for the entire year. This sounds very slow to a newcomer like myself. I don't doubt its effectiveness, but I can feel my eyes glass over at that pace.

This may be a tough question for those who started their magic practice while in the womb, but given your life's experiences, is Mr Reyes' approach seem somewhat rigid? Was your early learning experiences similar to Mr. Reyes' prescription? I would love to hear any suggestions.
Cheers,



Teddy
TeddyBoy
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I think I may have at least partially answered my own question after pondering what I wrote above. That is, perhaps learning 18 tricks per year, for a beginner, is really not that bad a pacing. However, I would still love to get feedback on my original post.
Cheers,



Teddy
Andy Young
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I believe you should go at your own pace. If you are practicing everyday for a set amount of time after awhile you should be practicing less and able to have more time to learn new things.
DaveGripenwaldt
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I can understand how that original advice struck you and I would suggest it be tempered by two practical considerations...you and the move.

First you: What alteration in that advice would not make your eyes glaze over and not scare you off? 10 minute sessions? An hour once a week? Practicing by fiddling with the move as much as possible during holes in your day? The point is, start with what you are actually willing to do so you actually do it. Then see if that approach really is working. Are you learning the move? Does it look good in the mirror? Does it play in casual performance?

The other consideration is the move itself. Learning an Elmsley count is far easier that a Diagonal Palm Shift, so the practice should reflect that...probably don't need 20 days to learn an Elmsley.

The above applies to learning tricks as well, though I's say there is another element to that which frankly demands more time and thought. That is not only practicing the mechanics, but also putting work into patter and presentation as well (that's where too many magicians stop too soon, if they think about it at all).

Bottom line, take Dominic Reyes' advice, or any you get here and tailor it to work for your temperament, skill set, natural ability and schedule...and evaluate the results.
landmark
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I think it's very good advice.
Before each session decide what you want to accomplish exactly.
What are you working for? And then, how did it go?
Your early sessions will be devoted to getting the moves down in the right order.
Middle sessions on refining the sleights.
Later sessions working on presentation, scripting, and audience feedback.
Let video and real people guide your next steps.
"I use my five illusions to create the sense I'm useful to six."



You can read my daily blog at Musings, Memories, and Magic
GreenKnight33
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For what its worth as a newbie 3 years in. I actually focus on 3 to 5 sleights a year max. I also only focus on 3 to 4 effects as well and completely write my own scripts and presentation. A lot depends on your other life/time demands, but this pace has helped me stay focused and really go to making the sleight above just passable.
Aus
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There are many ways to practice your magic and I can understand the impatience that enthusiasm can bring to what appears to be the slow grind to become Perficient. You can feed that enthusiasm with self-working tricks to a large extent that doesn't require arduous sleights thus fulfilling that need to perform. This will also provide the opportunity for you develop your presentations of the magic you perform which is another important skill.

There is one piece of advice that I give newcomers in filtering the magnitude of stuff out there and that is the concept of diminishing returns. Diminishing returns is asking the question of what is the value of this trick/sleight to me in relation to the difficulty of the task required to learn it. For example, a Hindu shuffle would have a high diminishing return value because the slight is rather easy to learn but has the versatility of being used as either a display, a force or card control. For the investment of learning one shuffle, I have added three things to my repertoire which is good bang for your buck i.e. return on investment.

The hindu shuffle is considered a foundational sleight which like all foundational sleights have a high diminishing return value when it comes to this approach, but where this perspective comes more helpful is when you move beyond the foundations and have to move through the versions, variations and more difficult moves that exist out there.

Another tip I would give is get a hold of THE OSTRICH FACTOR A Practice Guide for Magicians by Gerald Edmundson. It seems to me that formulating a practice stratagem is the next big problem since you seem to have all the foundational texts but no clear direction. I have purchased this book from Gerald and rate it very highly in bringing a focused plan to your practice sessions. You can get a copy here: http://www.geraldedmundson.com/tof1/bookorder.htm

In the meantime, there is a free study guide I posted some years back from an old friend Opie Hustion to the book Royal Road To Card Magic: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

Magically

Aus
Josh Riel
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I was something like 21 (21 years ago), just married, when my brother reappears (for all I knew he was dead), my wife and I go to the Hotel he's staying at since it had been over a decade since I'd seen him.
There he shows us a mind-blowing magical act. My wife is practical to a fault, and can see through just about anything... "Women's intuition" or something -it has been vexing for me, and what she sees makes her literally squeal in surprise! She doesn't do that. In 21 years I've never heard her make that noise again...

I was completely taken in by it, not just the magic, but by her REACTION.
By the way, it was a TT, Sponge balls, a R&S deck, Hot Rod, and a coin under cloth: not what some magicians would consider a "formidable" act.

So that's my backstory... no one asked, yet I power through regardless.
There is not a magic presence in my area, so no chance for any mentor-ship. My brother vanished again that same day.

So to answer your question: I wandered around trying to learn how to be a magician, my brother gave me a set of his tricks and taught me, but I felt there had to be so much more.
I found out about Tannens magic and got a big book full of magic for sale mailed to me, I bought things based on what I thought was cool, I struggled.
Then I made a mistake... I finally went online, to forums, and started to listen to magicians.

I was told to learn from stuff, then disregard it, and make my own stuff. I read books, watched videos, learned sleights, then tried to make something new. It was a disaster, I completely lost confidence.
Yes, I fooled people, until I bored them.
Pop quoted Vernon, and I'll paraphrase: Only in magic are amateurs told to paint over the work of the Masters

Later I met Pop Haydn, I talked to him via PMs and such, he even asked me to call him once. I've had the pleasure to meet him a couple of times at the Magic Castle.
The point of this is Pop's magical theory, his beliefs, his teaching methods. If I had met him at the beginning... His thoughts are all over this forum, he has a lot of videos you can watch and many you can buy.
He's the only magician my wife talks about. She follows him on Facebook, so he is special.

Definitely read everything, learn everything, but perhaps consider the masterpiece you're learning to be a masterpiece that you do not need to alter without good reason. THIS is the lesson I wish I had learned so many years ago.

Also Bill Palmer said it best: Practice till it's perfect, then practice till it's beautiful.
However, watch a busker... they blow people's minds and it's sooooo very sloppy sometimes. I'll watch just because I love all magic, particularly the REACTIONS; my wife walks away. Aim for perfection, but I think relevant perfection comes from actual performance.

Love magic because magic is beautiful, perform magic because you love magic's effect, and don't let anyone stand in your way (Especially not yourself) you will screw up and feel embarrassed... how is that different from anything else in life?

I recommend anything by Pop Haydn, he was the only person I've ever met that I was "starstruck" by... so I may be biased. Every book and video has merit, so I won't bother you with any particular recommendation.


I will say that sponge balls, a TT and a Hot Rod can change a person's life!
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
drolleric
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You should find some answers in "The Approach" by Jamie D Grant !
d3kker
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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2017, TeddyBoy wrote:
I recently downloaded an ebook by Dominic Reyes entitled Approaching Magic Practice.



[Offtopic?]
I know the e-book is free to download, only I come on pay sites / email spam sites.
Because the site is under construction of the real publisher.
Anybody knows a temp download?
[/offtopic]
Need more card's
Andy Young
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Quote:
On Sep 3, 2017, Josh Riel wrote:
I was something like 21 (21 years ago), just married, when my brother reappears (for all I knew he was dead), my wife and I go to the Hotel he's staying at since it had been over a decade since I'd seen him.
There he shows us a mind-blowing magical act. My wife is practical to a fault, and can see through just about anything... "Women's intuition" or something -it has been vexing for me, and what she sees makes her literally squeal in surprise! She doesn't do that. In 21 years I've never heard her make that noise again...

I was completely taken in by it, not just the magic, but by her REACTION.
By the way, it was a TT, Sponge balls, a R&S deck, Hot Rod, and a coin under cloth: not what some magicians would consider a "formidable" act.

So that's my backstory... no one asked, yet I power through regardless.
There is not a magic presence in my area, so no chance for any mentor-ship. My brother vanished again that same day.

So to answer your question: I wandered around trying to learn how to be a magician, my brother gave me a set of his tricks and taught me, but I felt there had to be so much more.
I found out about Tannens magic and got a big book full of magic for sale mailed to me, I bought things based on what I thought was cool, I struggled.
Then I made a mistake... I finally went online, to forums, and started to listen to magicians.

I was told to learn from stuff, then disregard it, and make my own stuff. I read books, watched videos, learned sleights, then tried to make something new. It was a disaster, I completely lost confidence.
Yes, I fooled people, until I bored them.
Pop quoted Vernon, and I'll paraphrase: Only in magic are amateurs told to paint over the work of the Masters

Later I met Pop Haydn, I talked to him via PMs and such, he even asked me to call him once. I've had the pleasure to meet him a couple of times at the Magic Castle.
The point of this is Pop's magical theory, his beliefs, his teaching methods. If I had met him at the beginning... His thoughts are all over this forum, he has a lot of videos you can watch and many you can buy.
He's the only magician my wife talks about. She follows him on Facebook, so he is special.

Definitely read everything, learn everything, but perhaps consider the masterpiece you're learning to be a masterpiece that you do not need to alter without good reason. THIS is the lesson I wish I had learned so many years ago.

Also Bill Palmer said it best: Practice till it's perfect, then practice till it's beautiful.
However, watch a busker... they blow people's minds and it's sooooo very sloppy sometimes. I'll watch just because I love all magic, particularly the REACTIONS; my wife walks away. Aim for perfection, but I think relevant perfection comes from actual performance.

Love magic because magic is beautiful, perform magic because you love magic's effect, and don't let anyone stand in your way (Especially not yourself) you will screw up and feel embarrassed... how is that different from anything else in life?

I recommend anything by Pop Haydn, he was the only person I've ever met that I was "starstruck" by... so I may be biased. Every book and video has merit, so I won't bother you with any particular recommendation.


I will say that sponge balls, a TT and a Hot Rod can change a person's life!



I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. It is amazing how it isn't the effect it is the performance that matters.
drolleric
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Go for acting lessons, and with a pack of cards and sponge balls you will blast of the audience !

Be too technical and not interactive and they will get bored !

We sometimes enjoy performing magic only because we like the new techniques and gimmicks ... that's not for the spectators..

It is only good if you perform in your bedroom or in front of a webcam ! And the trouble is new tricks and gimmicks are created every week (day ?) ... Hard to resist !!
danaruns
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New magicians want to learn everything, all at once. I think that's an almost universal trait. At some point, though, most of us slow down and substitute quality for quantity. And while we never stop learning, at another point one hones a single act to perfection and then performs that act for years (possibly decades, possibly a career), with only small changes over time, and rarely with regular wholesale changes.

So how should a new magician who is in the "everything all at once" phase practice?

I love the Reyes approach. But I think there is value in learning a boatload of tricks/sleights/methods/routines in a short time, even if you never perfect any of them. It's good to have a broad base of knowledge and experience. And you have to learn a lot of different things to discover what it is that you want to focus on forever. One might never learn that billiard ball manipulation, for instance, is their passion, unless he/she tries many things first. (I chose balls because they are rather obscure, and not something a new magician normally falls into, like cards and coins.)

So I think it's fine, in the beginning, to sample a lot of things without necessarily mastering them. At some point you're going to get tired of buying new props/books/DVDs, and your mind will turn to something in particular that you love. That's the point at which Reyes becomes a good practice method, because that method is designed to learn a thing thoroughly. And one has the desire to learn thoroughly only when one has found something of profound value. But the search must come first.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
danaruns
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Quote:
On Sep 3, 2017, Josh Riel wrote:
I was something like 21 (21 years ago), just married, when my brother reappears (for all I knew he was dead)...



What a story! Thank you for sharing. Smile

And I second your praise for Whit "Pop" Haydn. Pop is a friend of mine and has been a wonderful mentor. I am particularly grateful to him for all the times we have sat and talked about the philosophy of magic, which is an area in which he has deep knowledge and a unique perspective.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
55Hudson
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Ted:

I think it is important to differentiate between sleights and tricks/routines.

Far less that 18 sleights are required to perform loads of great magic. Harry Lorayne has often said that only five sleights are necessary to perform card magic. I don't recall his full list, but mine would include: control, false shuffle, force, double turnover and palm. Throw in a false transfer and there are loads of impromptu tricks you can perform.

I recommend learning a one trick that requires one or more skills you are working on. For example, two in the hand, one in the pocket and red hot mama. Just performing those two tricks you can hone several skills.

Once you have the skills, adding new tricks becomes easier. Even then, it does take time. When I'm adding a trick to my set, I typically work on it for about a month before showing to my wife. Then another week before showing to friends, then another week or so before introducing in a paid show - so two months before adding a trick that requires no new skills.

Good luck!

Hudson
Gerald
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Thank you, Aus for recommending my book. I do appreciate it.

Best regards,
Gerald
Gerald
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A recent discussion with a magic friend brought these thoughts to mind about my book. I thought I would share them here.

The practice techniques in The Ostrich Factor are detailed and specific, but at the same time they can be adapted to variety of practice strategies. The sequence of practice is what evolved from my own experience. Everyone is different and learn in different ways. So the techniques are flexible enough so that you can apply them in any way you wish.

However, the purpose of the practice method is to make sure you don’t overlook important details in your practice sessions. So to take only one or two techniques from The Ostrich Factor will not achieve the desired result. You’ll probably get a better result, but not the total result. If you “make the practice technique your own” and change it to your way of working, make certain to not leave out any of the steps described in the book. Preparing to perform should be creative and fun. But your practice and rehearsal sessions should be within a framework of time-tested principles and axioms of the craft.

I appreciate the magic community’s continued interest in The Ostrich Factor. I appreciate the recommendations from the book’s readers.

Regards,
Gerald
Raisul Mushfeq
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Wow, some really great points here! As danaruns said "New magicians want to learn everything", this applied to myself too! I got too much content on my hand and did not really know where to start and froze up for a good time. I think I should have stuck through one move at a time. Well not very late for me Smile
Gerald
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In "the old days", inner secrets were not readily available and difficult to come by. But with the internet information explosion, volumes of information are easily available to anyone. I suspect that being over-whelmed is common among modern pursuers of the craft. I'm sure others have said similar things on this forum, but let me offer thoughts on the subject:

It is wise to focus on a limited area. Learn one trick. Study it in great detail. Learn everything you can about it. Study its history. Learn the mechanics, develop interesting patter, plan the misdirection, instill your personality into the trick. Practice all aspects of it until it you can present it perfectly.

Then, see if there are other applications of the mechanics you have learned. See how you can apply what you have learned to your next project. Continue to focus on only one trick at a time. Continue this procedure until you have developed a basic repertoire. It is a fun, fascinating journey!

Believe it or not, the more you limit your choices, the freer you become to create. I seems that the opposite would be true, but it is not. Even if you limit yourself to something that on the face of it, seems unreasonable, it allows you to create with focus and accuracy.

Igor Stravinsky, the great Russian composer of the past said it best: “The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.”

I hope these thoughts are of help.

Regards,
Gerald
Tap Roniart
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Quote:
On Aug 30, 2017, DaveGripenwaldt wrote:
there is another element to that which frankly demands more time and thought. That is not only practicing the mechanics, but also putting work into patter and presentation as well (that's where too many magicians stop too soon, if they think about it at all).


Amen!

You can be great at method, but when in front of someone & have to speak, none of that matters! Smile
Tap Roniart

# PM me your effects looking for a method!
# Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors-especially ideas that end up being awful-as I am on cell.
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