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Topic: Taking my time - 6 tricks only
Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (Nov 29, 2007 02:42AM)
These posts are a delight to read. So much information, very sound advice straight from the field.
The bulk of good books that are recommended make for a lot of fascinating reading, I am sure. I myself have already such goodies as: 'Card Manipulation' by Hugard, 'Magic and Showmanship' by Henning Nelms (my Bible), Ganson's 'Routined Manipulation', Ganson's 'Close Up Magic', Corinda's '13 Steps to Mentalism', and Marvin Kaye's 'The Complete Magician'. Recently, I acquired the complete Tarbell Course. And after going through some of the posts here, I ordered Mark Wilson's course, the 'Royal Road', and 'Now You See It, Now You Don't'.
But all these books, tons and tons of information, are useless without the age old wisdom that says:

Practice - practice - practice
Presentation - presentation - presentation
Perform - perform - perform

As it happens, I am putting together a small act with card tricks that I intend to use as an entrance exam to a magic club. I have been going over it for several weeks now, and let me tell you:
IT PAYS TO TAKE YOUR TIME.
The effects are ALL beginners tricks (two from Marvin Kaye's book 'The Complete Magician' and 4 from Paul Curry's 'Card Tricks Without Skill').
But by going over them, time and time again, I am making them mine. I've already thought of a lot of subtleties to make them 1) more entertaining (the most important) and 2) more baffling (who amongst us doesn't get a kick of fooling his brother magician?).
When I was young and dabbled in magic for the first time, I was excited over every trick I came across and wanted to do them all. As a result, I did a lot of tricks mediocre and a lot more really bad.
After years of being away from the art (see my introductory post), I have vowed to take my time.
Yes, I am standing before the mirror every day and practicing coin palming and vanishes as per Lesson 3 in the Tarbell course, and I am practicing a number of card sleights which I deem interesting (limited experience that I have and all), but the majority of my time is spent at just thinking about the 6 tricks that will be in my act.

I'll let you all now what the result is of all this mindbending. (Still have to decide what magic club I'll apply to!)

Ciao for now,

Erik
Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Nov 29, 2007 04:54AM)
Welcome to The Café & back into magic. You state that the majority of your time is spent just thinking about the 6 tricks that will be in your act. That is good, because visualization is a great tool for polishing up your act. It looks like you are off to a great restart, so keep us informed of your progress.
Good luck and have fun!
Cardamagically,
Dom
:) :bwink:
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Nov 29, 2007 11:36AM)
What you are doing with making the tricks yours is what all magicians should do, but a lot don't. After over 50 years in magic, the greatest enjoyment I get out of magic is playing with a trick, modifying it, improving it, changing the patter, adding a move, etc., until it evolves into something totally unrecognizable from what I started with. More than once I've been taught a trick by someone, played with it a few months, performed it back for the person who taught me, only to have them not recognize that it was the very trick they taught me. There is so much that can be done with any trick, and it lets your creative juices flow when you play with them like that. Keep up the good work, sounds like you have a lot of reading ahead of you.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 29, 2007 09:23PM)
Erik...welcome to the Café and back to magic!

You have a great magic library on your hands with a lot of good books. You can go a lifetime with what you already have.

Congrats on your routine. You'll do a great job performing it for others and will be glad you put the time into practice and evolving the effects into something you can call your own.

Keep up that great work, and keep us posted on how things go.

Mark. :thumbsup:
Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (Nov 30, 2007 02:06AM)
Thanks, everyone, for the nice posts.
One fun thing I have discovered is this. Most of my time is devoted to presentation. How can I make this more entertaining? The bonus is that by working on presentation, sometimes and totally unintentionally I fall on a way to improve the mechanics of the effect, so as to make it even more baffling.
Of course, this is all talk. The proof of the pudding...
But I'll let you know how it goes when I finally bring this before an audience of magicians.
Ciao for now,

Erik
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Nov 30, 2007 08:24PM)
You're doing things right - instead of hopping from dozens of tricks to another, you're concentrating your efforts on a small number that you will present really well in your own way/style. This is excellent. When you find that this strategy works - as your are already doing - I'm sure you will pass on this tip regularly to new people on this part of the Café in the future. It's great advice - you are already starting to give it to others by explaining your approach even now.

As to "How can I make this more entertaining? The bonus is that by working on presentation, sometimes and totally unintentionally I fall on a way to improve the mechanics of the effect..." I think you are already stumbling into the answer. It is not only the mechanics that you will find ways of improving, it will be the presentation; the patter, the pace, the pausing... All these things evolve over time organically, and the longer you stick with the same routines, you will find that this process inevitably takes place. Many people prematurely abandon a routine before they have had time to do this by going onto the next thing. Keep practicing and working on your 6 tricks/routines, and suddenly a new line of patter will occur to you, a new thought on pacing and misdirection...your personality will infuse into the trick. At the beginning, it is the trick that infuses you. Over time, the reverse occurs. This is the simple, yet complex answer to your question. It is great discovering the answer.

You seem a very wise and thoughtful learner, and I'm sure that this will not only all happen for you, but that it has already begun. Well done - and good luck!!
Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (Feb 25, 2008 07:44AM)
I'm starting a new topic about this six tricks thing. I passed my entrance exam to the magic club of my choice and will extensively report on it in a new post in this forum.

Ciao for now,

Erik
Message: Posted by: MikeOB (Feb 25, 2008 08:08AM)
Thanks for this. This is what I should be doing. I come onto the Café and go into trick reviews. Then I read about some great new trick or DVD, and now I want to buy it. Then, it either goes in my case or I practice it a little. I need to just concentrate like you are doing on a good 5 tricks. This is very helpful. I also need to work on my sleights a lot more. I have so many books to read as well.

Mike
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 25, 2008 10:35PM)
Congratulations, Erik, on passing the entrance exam! So what were the 6 effects that you worked so hard on?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 7, 2008 10:50AM)
Erik,

You have an audience here waiting! Results?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Mar 7, 2008 01:01PM)
You can find his results a few threads down, or by clicking [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=248531&forum=41&8]here[/url].

Congrats, Erik!
Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (Mar 11, 2008 02:59AM)
Thanks everyone

Now I need a follow up. Next Friday there is another meeting and I haven't got anything prepared for that. The discrepancy between my act that took 5 months in the making and showing a little something with 2 days in the making might have them wondering if they didn't make a mistake accepting me...

OTOH, I can be excused as my father is in intensive care at the moment and it isn't looking good at all. Might not be able to go the meeting anyway...

Ciao for now

Erik
Message: Posted by: molsen (Mar 11, 2008 03:19AM)
Erik, sorry to hear about your fathers condition. I hope he will recover quickly.

I don't think you should worry too much about the meeting, it sounds like you gave them all a great experience at your entrance exam. They should all understand and respect that you take your time to prepare properly before showing something new. Re-read your original post above if you don't understand what I mean ;) Best of luck to you in both your magic and your personal life.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Cyar (Mar 14, 2008 10:01AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-25 09:08, MikeOB wrote:
Thanks for this. This is what I should be doing. I come onto the Café and go into trick reviews. Then I read about some great new trick or DVD, and now I want to buy it. Then, it either goes in my case or I practice it a little. I need to just concentrate like you are doing on a good 5 tricks. This is very helpful. I also need to work on my sleights a lot more. I have so many books to read as well.

Mike
[/quote]
I could've wrote this myself. I do need to start making some practice time in front of the mirror. I remember a looong time ago at convention somebody was selling a three angle mirror that folded up (think of those mirrors in a department store that allow you to see front, left and right) to cover all the angles. It was also suggested to me to videotape myself and watch the playback.