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Topic: Stick to the basics
Message: Posted by: Daniel J. Ferrara Jr. (Aug 19, 2005 02:28PM)
Just some advice for anyone staring out in Magic. Don't focus on learning all those advanced sleights in the beginning. Learning to be comfortable when perfomring is much more important. Work on your ability to control your audience and to use misdirection without being obvious about it.

I have spent years perfecting my pass (an advanced card move) really just to impress other magicians. The truth is that the average spectator is just as impressed with a self working trick when it is presented as "the worlds greatest illusion."

Any thoughts on this?
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Aug 19, 2005 06:08PM)
Agreed.

Learning a zillion sleights can be fun and self satifying but without the basics and a few well done presentations you have next to nothing. The sleights mean nothing to laypersons.
Message: Posted by: Jonton (Aug 19, 2005 08:21PM)
Also agreed, but part of controlling your audiences means having back-up plans, or in this case: Back-up Sleights.

Let's say that they caught you performing a false cut. In that case, you either need another type of false cut or a completely different control such as the pass. Or maybe they caught you performing a double lift in an ACR. You might need to know a pass or tilt.

What I'm saying is that you OBVIOUSLY need to start with the basics. Basic sleights, basic audience control, etc. You should have the basics perfected before you should move on to harder, more serious material. You should be confident enough that you wont be caught, but hey, mistakes happen. Sometimes you get the wrong kind of spectator and they may see everything you do. You need a back-up. Don't rush out and learn everything that there is to learn, because that's just about impossible. Take it slow, practice hard, and magic becomes more...well, magical!
~Jonton
Message: Posted by: sinnead zenun (Aug 19, 2005 11:19PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-19 21:21, Jonton wrote:

Let's say that they caught you performing a false cut. In that case, you either need another type of false cut or a completely different control such as the pass. Or maybe they caught you performing a double lift in an ACR. You might need to know a pass or tilt.

[/quote]

why get caught???? first maybe haven't really master the basic... that's why the move is caught... or the spec is a secret seeker then no use for showing it to him again with a different method... ;)
Message: Posted by: calexa (Aug 20, 2005 10:14AM)
Agreed!

Magixx
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Aug 20, 2005 10:26AM)
If you look at magic as a performing art, then the focus is on your act, not your technique. Someone just starting out should focus on developing their performing skills first by selecting material that is simple to do. Once the beginner has basic performing skills mastered, then he or she can start using methods that are more difficult.

Now, I'm not saying that a beginner shouldn't practice difficult sleights (the first sleight I learned was the pass from Greater Magic - hardly suitable for a beginner). If you enjoy practicing a move because you get a sense of accomplishment when you finally get it, then go for it. It would be unwise to use it in performance until you have mastered the ability to entertain with a simple trick first.

Jim
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Aug 20, 2005 11:02AM)
Just remember the best method is not always the easiest.
Message: Posted by: Schismatized (Aug 20, 2005 09:09PM)
Sticking to the basics. this can not be said enough. everyone should take this advice to heart. Thanks for the great post Daniel
Message: Posted by: Dark (Aug 21, 2005 04:38PM)
If you get caught, just move on to the next part of your routine... This is where personality comes into play.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Aug 22, 2005 07:48AM)
I harken back to my Kung Fu. We teach head kicks, spinning kicks, flying kicks, etc. But we never use them in competition or defense. Our justification for learning them is 1) The sense of personal achievement, of having mastered a difficult movement, maintains an entusiasm for the art. It keeps us striving and practicing. We all need goals or we will get bored. 2) If you can do the complex and difficult well, you can do the simple so much better.

The man that can kick a heavy bag at head height with skill and power can really lay into the bag at stomach height.
Message: Posted by: Jonton (Aug 22, 2005 07:25PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-22 08:48, rikbrooks wrote:
I harken back to my Kung Fu. We teach head kicks, spinning kicks, flying kicks, etc. But we never use them in competition or defense. Our justification for learning them is 1) The sense of personal achievement, of having mastered a difficult movement, maintains an entusiasm for the art. It keeps us striving and practicing. We all need goals or we will get bored. 2) If you can do the complex and difficult well, you can do the simple so much better.

The man that can kick a heavy bag at head height with skill and power can really lay into the bag at stomach height.
[/quote]

Wow...I totally agree. I like the analogy you got going on. That was really great...
~Jonton
Message: Posted by: Fescue (Aug 24, 2005 07:13PM)
As a beginner I spend about 50% of my (magic) time practicing sleights and 50% reading magic history and theory.
Message: Posted by: Herrick, Jeff (Aug 24, 2005 10:19PM)
Okay, I have to agree as well, I'll only learn a new sleight if it's better than an old one that I'm using, by that I mean more direct/cleaner.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Aug 26, 2005 05:07AM)
Jeff, I disagree with you on that one. I learn every sleight that I can. If a good magician is using it then there has to be a reason. I try it, practice it, and then decide what I want to do with it. Sometimes I master it, other times I change it a little to suit my style, and other times I discard it.

I just bought Justin Miller's lecture notes and almost discarded one of his coin routines until I thought, no, he does it well. I'm doing something wrong. Back to my library and I found that I was doing the friction pass wrongly.