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Topic: Practicing and mirrors
Message: Posted by: Chimp (Jul 31, 2004 10:25PM)
Do you guys usually practice in front of a mirror? Do you stand or sit? Do you always try to "perform" or do you just grind through the practice?
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Jul 31, 2004 11:36PM)
I use my webcam so I can record my "performance" and review it later to fix any misdirection or anything that needs to be added or taken out :D just be yourself and you'll Soar ! :crazydude:
Message: Posted by: dynamiteassasin (Aug 1, 2004 07:48AM)
I use a mirror always. It helps a lot. Through a mirror you can see your mistakes and correct it. A webcam is good to check out your sleights and routines.
Message: Posted by: Ken Dyne (Aug 1, 2004 08:23AM)
I used to use a mirror and then I cottoned on to soemthing Jeff McBride said. I cant remember his words but it was soemthign along the lines of: in a morror you only see a relection and inversion of what yoiu are dsoing, you do not get to see what the spectator sees. If you go and record yourself performing then you can put 100% into performign, without havign to get sneaky glances at what it looks like) and then look back at the show as a spectator would see it. This is more realistic I would say. Also, this way you are able to make notes as you watch.

Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Aug 1, 2004 08:31AM)
You might not get a perfect spectators-eye view, but you also only get one angle with a video/digital camera.

I think the best way to go is to grind through the early practice with a mirror and then check the finer points later with a video camera (if you have access to one).

It's by no means essential to film yourself, but I think it is essential to practice with a mirror. Video has only really come in as an option in the recent past. There are (and have been in the past) plenty of first-class magicians who haven't filmed themselves.
Message: Posted by: Bill Thomas (Aug 1, 2004 10:04AM)
I agree - start with a mirror, see that you have no window's between your fingers etc.... After you feel you have the mechanics down then start video taping yourself. I think video is better later on and at that point you can give up the mirror - more or less.

Message: Posted by: Chimp (Aug 1, 2004 10:36AM)
Thanks for the ideas - I never thought of filming myself. I'll try that once I get better :)
Message: Posted by: Luke Sherratt (Aug 1, 2004 03:57PM)
Here is a good tip for working with mirrors, Cut out some Eye's from a magazine and tape them to the mirror and whilst you parctice focus on the eyes, That will help you learn the trick and also help with making contact with the spec. Also remeber when using a mirror you are trying to fool yourself you don't wan't to the one move you need to do go wrong so you tend to blink when that move happens and you miss a lot so I say use a video camera you can't beat it.

Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Aug 1, 2004 04:28PM)
Hey I love that spectators eye tip ! :D great job !
Message: Posted by: Wizzy (Aug 1, 2004 04:54PM)
To get your total performance right tape yourself in the clothes you wear, use the script you have written, and perform out to the camera. That way you can correct your actions, cut out the ers and ars or any superfluous words, and check how you look all in one.

Then do it again and get it better.

There are lots of tips in `Maximum Entertainment` by Ken Weber - try the string in the Café.

Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Aug 1, 2004 10:50PM)
Mirrors are spiffy for testing the 'look' of a sleight, but note that mirror 'angles' are NOT fully 'real' angles. Consider a standard close-up performance in which you will have people of varying heights and placement relative to your working area. You may have as many as 20 or more angles to adjust to in one way or another. A mirror, even a three sided mirror basically offers only one sight angle to be ware of...yours!

Check yourself with a mirror and then leave them alone. Imagine your audience around you. SEE their eyes, movement, placement, etc. and attempt to adjust to these conditions changing them each time you practice. Best,

Brad Burt
Message: Posted by: superhiro (Aug 2, 2004 12:32AM)
I don't have a video camera so I can't comment on that by I do use a mirror alot.

When you practise sleights you still end up looking at your hands to see if you are doing something wrong which focuses your attention to your own hands. So I don't think you would act as natural as just doing it infront of a camera. But I would say a mirror is useful in finding out the angles of a sleight. You can quickly check what are the most extreme angles you can work with.

Message: Posted by: rannie (Aug 2, 2004 03:37AM)
Next to a magic buddy and a video cam, the mirror is the next best thing.
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Aug 2, 2004 09:46AM)
Yes, using a friend can help a great deal, however if you know more than them about misdirection, etc... than you will want to watch yourself on a recording :D but, a friend is better than you practicing alone in a dark room :D
Message: Posted by: Kaizen Magick (Aug 2, 2004 10:49AM)
In addition to mirrors and video, I think it also important to practice in front of people, especially layman so you can get a real audience reaction. Having a friend who is a magician to watch your act can be helpful with some of the technical aspects but sometimes we magicians can be too critical as we no longer see things like a normal audience would. I suppose a good balance of all the mentioned techniques would be the best of all worlds but obviously this is not always possible.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Aug 2, 2004 12:51PM)
Good point Kaizen! Real people is the way to go, but only after polishing it a bit with the "critical" friend. An example is the Classic Force. The only way to get good at it is to give it a go as often as you can. If they pick the wrong card , simply proceed to a signed card effect or any pick a card and lose it and find it type effect.

Cheers !

Message: Posted by: Kaizen Magick (Aug 2, 2004 04:38PM)
Right on, Rannie!
Message: Posted by: kregg (Aug 2, 2004 05:22PM)
A mirror is a great way to check out your appearance and for a simple run through. But, video from different angles is the way to tweak effects.
When taping, a great way to keep your performance honest is to place a paper bag over your head. No Joke! It keeps you from watching yourself, stifling your natural mannerisms and it focuses your attention on the effect.
For the final polish nothing beats a good director (non-magician).

Message: Posted by: Darko (Aug 3, 2004 01:28PM)
Video is a better way. When you practising with mirrors, you canīt concentrate 100% in the trick and 100% in watchi yourself. Itīs impossible. The video allows you to do the effect properlly and later, watch with full attention on details.

(my poor english, again, sorry).
Message: Posted by: Jaymz023 (Aug 3, 2004 07:58PM)
I use a mirror for certain things-- and a web camera. I have used a video camera a couple times-- The web cam is very convienient.