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Topic: Advice on practicing
Message: Posted by: Darren Roberts (Jan 4, 2003 06:45AM)
Before I get too overwhelmed and excited about all there is to do in magic...do any of you have advice on how to "divide" up your practice time? I'm going to divide my time between card work and Bobo's book (for the most part) but am not sure how else to supplement my time. There's just too much out there! I have found that I'm trying to do too much all at once.

Maybe I should ask how YOU divide up your practice time?

Thanks for your opinions and advice. :yippee:
Message: Posted by: Terry (Jan 4, 2003 08:48AM)
I am a new magician, or well, an aspiring new magician.. Deference to all the good people who practice regularly and who have for years...I digress.

I highly suggest picking ONE trick, or two at the MOST, and practicing them until you have it cold. Patter and everything.

I bought several tricks and many books, an am having a hard time focusing on one.
IMHO, Magic books are not really something to pick up and read, rather, pick up and learn one thing and practice it.
I think this is sage advice, but difficult to follow because of all the intriguing stuff there is.

After a re-read of you post:
I selected one trick. I dedicated myself to learn it, and to be good at it. After a few weeks, I added another trick, then in a few more weeks, another. Now, when I practice the original routine once, the 2ed twice, the third 3 times, ... so on.
I do it this way to become excellent at the first and add tricks slowly.
Also, I draw definitive time for practice. I say, 'Now I will practice this for 20 mins', and I do. When the 20 is up, I put it down and consider it a sucessful session.
That way, I don't worry about it and keep coming back to it.
Hope it helps.
Message: Posted by: pyro (Jan 4, 2003 09:04AM)
just thought it might help to tell you theres a study guide to bobo's coin magic on http://www.coinvanish.com
Message: Posted by: JoshBlum (Jan 4, 2003 10:05AM)
In my opinion, you should practice a trick until you have it down so that it is completly flawless. I have always been taught this in the magical community and otherwise.

-Josh :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: Daniel J. Ferrara Jr. (Jan 4, 2003 09:19PM)
I like to split my practice time between two different effects. For example, I will spend about half an hour on a card flourish. When my fingers start to get tired, I will switch to a coin vanish. I find that when I go back to the cards after a half hour break, I notice an improvement from before.
Message: Posted by: jessetdp (Jan 5, 2003 01:09AM)
Here's what I do- I make a list of all the tricks I know...than I'll go through the list like 6 times a day just to practice. Then I'll put the list in an order like I was doing a routine. Thats the Chuwee Blaine method... :stuckinbag:
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Jan 5, 2003 02:16PM)
My practice sessions are shaping up to be much different than these posted here so far. I practiced martial arts at one time in my life (Kenpo, a very serious art form I might add, not a sport karate) and I seem to draw constant correlations between magic and Karate. I am gravitating towards learning card magic in a similar style and structured environment as I did martial arts. It is a lot to explain here, but it involves a lot of sleights being practiced in a disciplined manner for the beginner. I call this method Iím working on ďCards as KarateĒ.

1)there is a physical aspect of magic that must be mastered
2)magic follows several fundamental principles or laws so to speak
3)magic ultimately occurs only in the mind and in itís purest form it is a mental pursuit

This is exactly what I learned when I studied martial arts. I hope this system of practice will work out for me in the long run. I am looking forward to reading further posts on the manner in which people practice.
Message: Posted by: Just4Fun (Jan 5, 2003 04:08PM)
I keep a deck of cards, some quarters and half-dollars, and a few rubberbands on me all the time. I'm constantly practicing a few essential sleights - Double lift, elmsley count, slip-force, riffle force. As I got better I added card peeking, charlier, classic pass, and more. Keep the coins handy and ractice palming constantly, in a variety of ways.

Then in the evening I set aside some time, might be 1/2 hour, might be two, two practice my (currently) favorite tricks, or even complete routines if I have the time.
Message: Posted by: Alex W. (Jan 5, 2003 04:32PM)
On 2003-01-04 10:04, pyro wrote:
just thought it might help to tell you theres a study guide to bobo's coin magic on http://www.coinvanish.com

Actually it's on The Coin Purse @ http://www.coinmagic.com

To answer your question, it kind of depends on what type of magic you do. For example, if you do coin magic, like I do, you'll want to carry a coin with you at all times, just keeping it Classic Palmed.

If I'm learning an effect, I will first read over the instructions, not even doing the moves, until I know the sequence flawlessly. Then I pick up my coins, do all the moves in the proper sequence, [i]skipping over[/i] all the moves I have too much trouble with. Then I will practice the moves I have trouble with, over and over, until I can do all the moves flawlessly.

That gives me the technical ability to to the effect. Once I reach that level, I practice the entire effect, from the beginning to the end, until I know the sequence, moves, and patter.

Only now do I perform it.

Believe it or not, this doesn't actually take all that long.

Just the way I do it -- Alex
Message: Posted by: ralphdean (Jan 5, 2003 06:08PM)
the study guide to bobo's coin magic is on http://www.coinvanish.com, at least, it was there yesterday. Along with a bunch more stuff. Go to the Articles section.
Message: Posted by: biff_g (Jan 5, 2003 06:50PM)
Hi there, something that I like to do is to practice a lot of different effects that all use the same principle. First of all, this helps me to find the best effect, and secondly I find that it helps to make my hands more co-ordinated. However, once I find an effect that I really like, I just practice that one, but it usually doesn't take me very long to perfect it because I've already learned the basic principle. By the way, Bobo's book is a great choice. Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Enri (Jan 6, 2003 10:27AM)
Hi all, I think Boboīs is a good stepp in but when I was a beginner I learned a lot from videos and watching other magician. But I also tray to palm a coin one day and it realy helps. Now I can not be without something between my fingers. :spinningcoin:
Message: Posted by: khuber (Jan 6, 2003 12:03PM)
When I practice, I do one trick/effect/technique for at least an hour so I know that I can do it. All in front of a mirror by the way! :donut1:
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jan 6, 2003 04:08PM)
I don't know if there is a definitive answer on how to practice. I wuold ask what you are practicing for? Are you learning a new routine/effect, or are you practicing an act? If you've seen my other posts, you know that I'm a dove worker. I practice my entire act everyday at least twice and work with the birds after that. I have a closeup act and a kids act which I try to run through completely at least once a week. For me, I only try to work on one new effect at a time until I have it down flawlessly. Only then will I add it to one of my existing acts.
Message: Posted by: LittleMagicPrincess (Jun 30, 2003 05:16PM)
I always practice regularly in front of a mirror. If you can't see the trick to it nobody will!
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 2, 2003 11:38PM)
I rehearse my acts daily. However, I usually am practicing three additional effects at a time, but they are at different stages.

The first effect is just being researched, broken down and blocked out.

The second effect is being practiced technically.

The third effect is in the final stages of rehearsal. Music is being added, script finalized, whatever. It is very close to being added to one of the acts.

Once an effect is put into an act and added to the rehearsal routine, an additional effect may be added to the practice (development) list.

Additionally, books and effects are constantly being evaluated for their potential as an effect for one of my acts.

I do practice technically in front of a mirror when I need to check for angles, etc., but I rehearse in front of a video camera, so I can see how I appear to an audience member (my eye contact, body position, etc.)

But that's just me.

Message: Posted by: WizzBang (Jul 3, 2003 07:11AM)
I normally have about ten techniques on the go, all at various stages of perfection. I also go through my whole routine fairly regularly and slip in a few new ones as I rehearse. It keeps me interested and alert to what can happen in the real world. I also record my routines and cut a CD to listen to in the car on the way to work. This gets the patter burned into my brain over time.
Message: Posted by: G. LaBarre (Jul 15, 2003 10:16PM)
I learned early on that there is a difference between practicing and rehearsing. I might practice the sleight or move, over and over until it comes naturally, so I don't have to concentrate on it to perform it flawlessly. But rehearsing is more like going through the whole routine and actually talking to an imaginary spectator, in real time, without breaking the flow of the moves. This seems to help me. Of course you may find people looking at you strangely if you do this in public and get caught talking to yourself.
Message: Posted by: Ricahato (Jul 20, 2003 02:24PM)
The difference between practice and rehearsal is that practice is basically doing the trick, the move, the sleight but rehearsing is the performing with everything included your tricks, with all the moves, your patter, your music if you have any, you talk and move and pretend you have an audience, and you do it without stoping, even if you mess up. If something falls you keep going, that will give confidence with handling unexpected situations on a show. Thanks. :idea:
Message: Posted by: Gambit242 (Sep 8, 2003 04:55PM)
I'm working on learning some of the foundations of card magic. I've been practicing breaks and double lifts. I just started out doing the "whatever" extremely slow, making sure that my technique is accurate. Then I begin adding some speed to the trick. I'm just learning magic, but his technique has always helped me in other areas of entertainment.

Message: Posted by: Emily Belleranti (Sep 18, 2003 11:43PM)
I don't actually schedule a certain practice time for myself. I practice when I feel like practicing. This keeps my interest at a high pitch and allows me to fully enjoy it. I truly love to practice and I don't ever try to force myself to do it. And I never find that I'm not practicing enough, so this seems to work for me.

I do, however, try to be sure that I spend my practice time on different things and that I don't just spend all of my time on a Faro shuffle or something.

I also try to rehearse at least an hour a day. I rehearse my routines and effects in set acts exactly as I would if I were performing for people.

There's some good advice in this thread that has actually given me some new ideas. Thanks for the great posts!

Emily B.
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Sep 19, 2003 06:31PM)
I think that practice/rehearsal time has been covered well in this thread, but, I would like to reiterate a couple of things that were mentioned.

First, there is a BIG difference between practicing in front of a mirror and what an audience may see. The sight lines are different. Which leads to the second idea already mentioned. If you can record your practice/rehearsals with a video camera you'll get a real good idea of exactly how you are doing. It may not be perfect (sight lines are still an issue) but, it is MUCH better than just practicing in front of the mirror.

IMO, the ultimate would be practice/rehearse in front of a mirror, have it video taped, and do it in front of trusted friends/family members.

I have heard this advice from some incredible performers more than once. Give it a try. :goodluck:
Message: Posted by: elgranmago (Dec 9, 2003 04:57PM)
Besides physically practicing a routine, I run through it mentally, sometimes on the bus on my way to work. I did this recently with the Williamson Cup & Balls routine. This not only helped me to get the sequences down right, I found it extremely useful for getting stressful thoughts out of my head.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 13, 2003 11:45PM)
OK you are making me feel guilty. Lucy and I donít have the scheduled practice time. We do practice and hard. Sometimes it is together and sometimes it is not. But sometimes we perform together and sometimes we perform separately too.

Practice is uninterrupted by phone, TV, pets, the door, etc. That is because we have a rehearsal room in the house especially for that. It has curtains, stage lights, sound system, music (remote controlled), video, mirrors, etc. It has no telephone, computer, lounge area, or creature comforts that invite sitting down and resting, reading, eating, drinking or being interrupted. In fact, props not in what we are practicing are usually kept elsewhere and props are not repaired in that room. Non-performing activities are always done elsewhere. We donít even iron a silk in that room because it might change the roomís use. Practice is usually in costume.

It is always with the stage set as it really will be with the items that really will be there for that part of the show. Unless asked, we do not critique each other. There is a video we can observe later over and over in another room. Wardrobe is kept at the other end of the room. But we have learned that changing the costume can change the act. Donít marry a ballet dancer unless you really take rehearsal as serious business. She keeps me busy. And it pays.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: STPAULMAGICIAN (Jan 1, 2004 12:25AM)
It really comes down to plain and simple discipline. It is so important to put some time aside everyday to perfect the unpredictable. Always treat what you are doing as something magical and really feel the effect.

Suspend disbelief yourself and separate yourself from the modus so that you can project that wonder in the minds of your audience through sympathy. Perfect your moves to the point that they become almost automatic and never look at your hands except to misdirect.

Going through the motions while watching yourself for the very first time during performance. Put your passion into your work as well your emotion and intensity. Pick that performer part of yourself and magnify it five times for your stage persona and be true to yourself. But of course it is and always will be, practice, practice, practice.

Kurt Scott
St. Paul MN