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Topic: Hello to all
Message: Posted by: The Electro-Swing Cut (Nov 1, 2016 09:09AM)
Hi Everyone,

I don't really know where to start on an intro, so I'll keep it brief. I first picked up a pack of cards 4 months ago at the age of 31. I was the guy at the poker night that always skipped dealing/shuffling due to not being able to hold a deck without dropping cards and looking like a bit of an idiot.

I started to learn a few (very) basic tricks for my young children (aged 3 and 5) after seeing their amazement at a card trick on the TV. I was attempting to be the "cool" Dad. After showing them the tricks, I wanted to learn some foundations of both magic and cardistry. The cardistry helped me with my handling of the deck and taught me some good disciplines, and the magic was ultimately what I wanted to achieve. Four month later and I am studying through The Royal Road to Card Magic, Card College v1, The Encyclopedia of Playing Card Flourishes and The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks. I also own Xtreme Beginnerz (de'vo) and The Trilogy by Dan and Dave. I have by no means mastered any of these, but continue to make solid progress. My presentation appears to be my weakest point, as I am making mistakes when performing for my family and friends that I do not normally make when on my own.

Hope that's enough info for now!
Thanks
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 1, 2016 10:24AM)
Welcome to our motley crew!
You speak very good English for a foreigner!!! HEE HEE
--And, you re beginning, the "right" way. (BOOKS!!!!!!!!!)

Yes! Julius Caesar said it, a couple eons ago: "NON PROGREDI EST REGREDI" (Not going forward, is going backward!)

I am not a cardician, but, I've known most of the top cardicians in the past fifty years (Alex Elmsley, Ed Marlo, Ricky Jaye, Jon Racherbaumer, et al). --I've met Harry Lorrayne, but, really don't know him. I know that they would all agree! BOOKS!!!

Performing for your young children is much different than performing for your adult friends!

You are correct! PRESENTATION is what makes magic ENTERTAINING! (Magic is NOT inherently ENTERTAINING!)

The KEY to making magic entertaining is best described with an acronym: K I S M I F (Keep It Simple Make It Fun).

There are TWO big "card tables" in the Café. You'll meet some fine cardicians there. FESTINA LENTE! (Make Haste Slowly!)

Remember! >>>BOOKS<<<
Message: Posted by: The Electro-Swing Cut (Nov 1, 2016 10:42AM)
[quote]On Nov 1, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
Welcome to our motley crew!
You speak very good English for a foreigner!!! HEE HEE
--And, you re beginning, the "right" way. (BOOKS!!!!!!!!!)

Yes! Julius Caesar said it, a couple eons ago: "NON PROGREDI EST REGREDI" (Not going forward, is going backward!)

I am not a cardician, but, I've known most of the top cardicians in the past fifty years (Alex Elmsley, Ed Marlo, Ricky Jaye, Jon Racherbaumer, et al). --I've met Harry Lorrayne, but, really don't know him. I know that they would all agree! BOOKS!!!

Performing for your young children is much different than performing for your adult friends!

You are correct! PRESENTATION is what makes magic ENTERTAINING! (Magic is NOT inherently ENTERTAINING!)

The KEY to making magic entertaining is best described with an acronym: K I S M I F (Keep It Simple Make It Fun).

There are TWO big "card tables" in the Café. You'll meet some fine cardicians there. FESTINA LENTE! (Make Haste Slowly!)

Remember! >>>BOOKS<<< [/quote]

Hi Dick,

Thanks very much for your kind comments. Can I ask, is it normal to become incredibly frustrated at times? Or is it more likely that I am putting too much pressure on myself?

Thanks
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 1, 2016 11:54AM)
Welcome The Electro-Swing Cut,

I started as an Adult too (at @ 24 or so). As a Kid I was very clumsy with my hands because of dyslexia and issues with hand dominance.

I have gained real confidence in my work with cards and I smile inside when people say how adept I am with cards (flourishes) now-a-days. Still, every time I start with something new, it is back to square one and super clumsy, no matter what the project. that's OK, I can pick up cards off the floor for a few weeks in private, knowing that later it will all be worth it. Think of it as an exercise program.

Take heart and enjoy being the cool Dad. (You'd come off cooler for a few years with some silks and a hank ball/dye tube and some sponge balls LOL).

I only practice frustrated for a short time (maybe 20 mins) before I move on to something more fun. I practice a lot because I keep it fun. Some frustration is normal and needed, just work through it a little at a time.

Best of luck!

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 1, 2016 12:33PM)
The answer to your very reasonable question is >>>>> YES! <<<<<

I started performing (for $$$) October 24, 1945. I was 13, almost 14. I booked my "first" real show (35 minutes) at my local Jr. High School. I made $26.00. (In today's money, that would be somewhere between $250 and $300!) About 20 years later, I turned full time professional, and, retired (finally!) in 2008.

Developing a show (45 minutes) that could play successfully almost anywhere, for almost anybody, was definitely a challenge, and, occasionally frustrating, too! I was motivated (!) by a desire to live well, and, I succeeded. (I was never "at liberty"!)

To be honest, I sometimes "put too much pressure on myself", because I liked meeting challenges!

Magic performing is not your basic means of income, so, you don't need to improve performance skills to make a living. I infer from your first post, that you are anxious to improve, for "artistic" reasons! Nothing wrong with that!

Scroll up to my first post. Remember FESTINA LENTE? How about the tortoise and hare fable?

Certainly, set some objectives, but, don't be discouraged if you fall a bit short. Just reset, and start over! When I was 15, working in a carnival side show, another carnie taught me how to do the DOWNS Palm, with both hands. It was months before I could do it well enough to use it in a show. --But, I did!

Always keep in mind that "magic" is 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% sensory illusion, 5% esoteric principles of science, and 85% PSYCHOLOGY! (Ignore my atrocious mathematics!) Just remember that your use of PSYCHOLOGY is much more important than the "other things".

So, use a lot more psychology in your presentations! Your feelings of being a klutz at a card game got you interested in magic performing, but skills are only 5%! >>> PRESENTATION IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE TRICK, ITSELF!<<<

Years ago, my mentors put it this way: "It 'aint' WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it!"
Message: Posted by: The Electro-Swing Cut (Nov 2, 2016 04:34AM)
Hi Mary Mowder,

Thanks for your comments - although, I'll probably stick with the cards for now! Maybe some cups and balls in the future :-) Recently I've found myself becoming very frustrated when performing, as I'm making mistakes that the spectator spots and ultimately I ruin the trick. In particular, I have just returned from Tenerife, which I used as an opportunity to try tricks on people that I didn't know in the bars. A particular trick I am confident with was figured out by a spectator and it deflated me quite quickly. I even considered whether magic was the right hobby for me, I was that disappointed.

Dick,

Again, thank you for the words of wisdom - very kind. You are correct that magic is not something I use as income, however, card trick are the first 'proper' hobby I have had in 32 years. It's something that I would like to become very good at, so I think I am probably applying a little too much pressure. Having relatively small hands has made the challenge more difficult, but I'm also aware that magicians with far smaller hands than myself have succeeded at the art. I find that sometimes I just have to find slightly alternative ways to perform sleights in order for them to look 'clean'. For example, palming proves tricky for me aswell as a good Pass. Maybe this is where my misdirection needs improving. I will persevere though.

I think after 4/5 months of solidly practicing every day I am just hitting the equivalent of 'writers block'. I'll fight through it I'm sure.....

Thank again both,
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 2, 2016 08:36AM)
The late Max Malini was of small stature, and, had rather small hands, yet he was a world traveler, and entertained royalty, as well as fellows in a pub. He made a good living with magic all his life.

The pass, in those days, was generally considered ESSENTIAL. With small hands, Max needed to "improvise". This was in the days before the "invisible pass", and the diagonal palm shift. Misdirection is/was essential.

At a "session" with other magicians, one asked him, "Max! When you need to do a pass, and, they're watching your hands, what do you do?" Malini replied in his "broken English": "I vait!" The man asked, "How long do you 'vait'?" "Until they aren't watching!" He continued, "I tell a joke or an amusing anecdote. When they're laughing, they aren't watching!" (PSYCHOLOGY!!!)

You are probably correct! (writer's block) Take a day off!

Also remember that there are MANY wonderful tricks (cards, included) that require minimal PHYSICAL skills. (PSYCHOLOGY!)

My show is NOT a "tube, pan, can, and box show"! I don't use props like "red velvet bags on a stick"! I use silks, rope, small balls, and coins (Misers Dream) cards (fancy shuffles and flourishes) an egg bag, 3 linking rings, a trouble wit, etc. The whole act packs in a 13" x 20" x 8" case that weighs a trifle over 20 lbs. The act is set in 4 minutes or less, and I can close the lid (I work "out of" the case.)2 minutes after I finish.

Along with psychology, subtlety "helps"!!!