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Topic: Faithful Practice
Message: Posted by: Timmy (Sep 13, 2005 10:41PM)
I practice my card handling for two hours each day. That's in addition to mindless fumbling while watching tv or in class or driving down the road. I think it has really helped make me a better magician. Practicing faithfully really does help.

Message: Posted by: Steve V (Sep 14, 2005 01:25AM)
That is facinating, do you reherse or practice? What do the rest of you think, should you practice sleights or rehearse your sets?
Steve V
Message: Posted by: npm37 (Sep 14, 2005 06:13AM)
Probably no one else will agree with me but I don't practice much by myself. I think it is more important to get time in front of real spectators. I don't mind if I get busted some times, I think the experience is worth it.

"Keep it real"
Message: Posted by: Watchmaker (Sep 14, 2005 07:48AM)
All three (practice, rehearsal & performance) are equally important. To be a well rounded performer you need them all and if you think one is more important than another you are short changing yourself and your audence.

It might just be my perception but it seems people put these things way down on their priority lists. It's funny that this forum, Time after time, is one of the least read and least posted to on the Café, when you would think if people were serious about the quality of their magic it would be the most read. I've heard so many times that after only a year most people have all the tricks they will ever need. Don't get me wrong it's always fun to try out something new but so often too much time is spent daydreaming about the next thing rather than practicing a good one.

What I'm trying to convey is to take your favorite tricks (the ones you already have) and make it a habit to practice them, rehearse them and then perform them. The quality of your performance will greatly increase.

By the way the experience you gain from performance in front of a live audience should be used as input in your practice. One without the other is hollow and not fair to the audience. They are not there for you to practice on, but rather you are there to entertain them. It is respectful to treat them as such. What would you think if an orchestra wanted to try out a new peice so just threw it into a concert you were at? Wouldn't you think it would be more professional if they had at least spent some time practicing it first, including rehearsal? There are many different situations where magic is performed, some might be useful to try out new things, but not new in the sense of not practicing them first. You might think people don't notice, but they can tell. Most are polite enough to wait for you to turn your back before they roll their eyes. [I'm not singling out anyone just making an observation of poor performances I've seen].

Just as an experiment take two effects. Practice one and rehearse it until it looks great. The other one skim over a couple of times. Then go out and perform them to the same audience and see which one gets the better reaction. Of course you don't really have to do that since the answer is self evident.
Message: Posted by: npm37 (Sep 14, 2005 07:56AM)
Thanks watchmaker,
I'm not saying that I never practice, but that I find it hard to say "pick a card" when there is no-one there. I have practiced the moves, but I need real people to "bounce" off to make the effect good. Also, what is the difference between practice and rehearsal?
Message: Posted by: Watchmaker (Sep 14, 2005 10:33AM)
Npm37, you are exactly correct and make my point. You can't get everything out of practice alone, you need the others to become a well rounded performer.

Practice is just that. Going over and over the slights, patter etc. Building the foundation. Rehearsal is putting it toghether. From beginning to end just like you would if you had an audience in front of you. If you goof up, keep going just like you would if it were 'real'. There are some pretty good discussions on this very topic.

Some of us have the opposite problem. It's easier to practice then find people to try things out on. I'm sure I'd be better if I performed more.

Timmy, I think you're on the right track. Keep up the practice. Also take advantage of this site. Look who we have as a guest this month, Eric DeCamps. Talk about a great performer, he is really top notch. Ask him how he structures his practice. His stuff is really polished.

P.S. when you say "practice while...driving down the road" I HOPE you mean as a passanger? I do not recommend working on a Pass while driving, although any accident would provide just the cover I need.
Message: Posted by: npm37 (Sep 14, 2005 06:07PM)
Ha, ha - good one! It would be a bit hard to explain to the police what all the cards were doing on the floor of the car! lol
Message: Posted by: Foucault (Sep 16, 2005 09:05AM)
On 2005-09-14 08:56, npm37 wrote:
Thanks watchmaker,
I'm not saying that I never practice, but that I find it hard to say "pick a card" when there is no-one there. I have practiced the moves, but I need real people to "bounce" off to make the effect good. Also, what is the difference between practice and rehearsal?

You could try the Michael Ammar trick of pasting a pair of eyes cut out of a magazine onto your practice mirror. It's important to practice not just the moves, but your patter. Practice as if you were in front of an audience.

While you can benefit from the experience of goofing up in front of an audience, if you're exposing a trick because you haven't practiced enough, you're spoiling the effect of that trick for others that might perform it.
Message: Posted by: greatsandini (Sep 23, 2005 12:00PM)
A couple of thoughts on practice and performance:

First, I think it's useful to alternate the two. For myself, I try to practice and rehearse until it's smooth and I don't have to think about what I'm doing. Then I perform it. If I'm paying attention, I then have a goldmine of information to take back to practice and rehearsal. After all, no matter how good I may or may not be, I'm only one guy with one set of eyes and one perspective. Until I'm in front of someone it's ALL theoretical. I then take the new information and knowledge and apply it to the the effect. Then I do the same process all over again. And keep in mind, this is all part of preparing for the effect to be part of my regular repertoire. It's not yet ready for full time use until I've done this process several times.

Second, when performing new stuff, it's useful to sandwich the new piece between 2 tried and true ones. It's how comics try out new material. Not only does it allow you to recover if it doesn't go so well (after all, you started off well and then finished well), but it makes sure that the audience is in the right frame of mind when you perform something new. If you hit them cold, they won't know what to think and have no reference for what you're doing, but if you set them up and give them a flavor of your way of performing, their response to the new material is much more accurate.
Message: Posted by: HusssKarson (Jan 8, 2009 12:09AM)
Most important thing is.. ask for honest opinion from friends!
Message: Posted by: yutszfung (Jan 12, 2009 12:52AM)
That's what I do before I perform my new trick, ask your magic freind for some comments