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Topic: Why?
Message: Posted by: cardguy24 (Dec 18, 2004 09:35PM)
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
Message: Posted by: Rick (Dec 18, 2004 09:44PM)
Who are you trying to please, yourself or the audience? just have fun!!! that's what it's all about..don't be too hard on yourself.
Message: Posted by: Nick Pudar (Dec 18, 2004 10:32PM)
I'm curious how you are measuring progress. The only way I can really tell is by observing audience reaction. Also use local magic meetings and find someone who can be critical and helpful by suggesting meaningful improvements to your handling and presentation.

Nick
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Dec 18, 2004 10:39PM)
What works for me when I come to a mental block such as what you have described in you post is to do this...

take a break from whatever it is you are doing, give some time to get over it, think about it and visualize what it is you have to do, take another break fer awhile...

comeback to it when you feel the time is right. You'll be surprised that what at once was so difficult, is now so easy! And you should be able to overcome whatever obstacle it was you were suffering from.

I have used this approach to drawing, magic (in all it's forms) guitar and pretty much anything else I have ventured into.

Hope this helps.

That'll be $250.00...

Johnny
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Dec 18, 2004 11:54PM)
At a cetain level of progress, we still have something to learn more. Until recently I have been wroking on streamlining my handling of sleights and routines omitting unneccessary parts. This proceedure was basically influenced by Dai Vernon's 'Be natural'.

However, I noticed 'Being natural' is not always work to make magic more powerful. Emphasizing in patters or in behavior is needed to impress important imformations on audience. I think this type of technique has much relation with theatrical modus-operandi.

Anyway, I think mastering sleights and mastering routines are only 50% of performance of magic.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Open Traveller (Dec 19, 2004 01:05AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
[/quote]

Practicing sleights, methods and routines will only get you so far. There will come a time when you can't get any further and truly progress until you begin to understand that performing for people is all about relating to them. When you begin to really connect with the people, getting them laughing, amazing them, keeping their energy up and really getting them to see that you're there having fun with them, then you've entered the next realm -- and one which doesn't have a ceiling.
Message: Posted by: Alniner (Dec 21, 2004 08:19AM)
Cardguy....I reached the same ceiling that you did a while ago. I felt I just wasn't getting anywhere anymore. The reason I felt that way was because I wasn't performing any of the new stuff that I had learned. It wasn't until I got out on the street and starting doing it live, did I break that barrier.
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Dec 21, 2004 08:24AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
[/quote]
The old saying about being your own worse critic seems to apply here. At a certain point you should reflect and be able to see your progression, but that is not to say that you shouldn't continue to work on routines and overall performance. Remember that you see your own work more than anyone, so at points, it may seem stale to you. Change your audiences frequently and let them be the judge.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Loh (Dec 21, 2004 08:30AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
[/quote]

Frankly speaking, I am also faced this situation like you before.

What I overcome this is most important thing is HAVE FUN when you perform the effects that you learned and practised in your private time.

As I believe repetitive of practising and performing, this will become seconds natural to you and I can say you will feel more confident of presenting your effects.

I usually try to relax and sometimes I tend do not too over SERIOUS in performing my effects.

I think that sometimes a human try as hard as possible to PERFECT in their performance, I feel that I tend to make more MISTAKE. :(

Frankly, this is my opinion only about myself in my past experience, I really in the hope that this info can really help you. :)

All the best!

Andrew Loh
Message: Posted by: Big Al Jnr (Dec 21, 2004 08:31AM)
Try a great book called "The Ostrich Factor" by Gerald Edmundson.

Here's the link

http://www.geraldedmundson.com/tof1/bookorder.htm

If you Search for Ostrich Factor you'll find several threads already.

Al.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 21, 2004 08:38AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
[/quote]

Do you perform for laymen? Do you listen to what they say and watch how they react?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 23, 2004 07:18AM)
I have had similar experiences with my chess skills. All I can say is never give up, be assiduous in your pursuit of excelence and your breakthrough WILL come.
Message: Posted by: saturnin (Dec 23, 2004 07:48AM)
Mr Townsend wrote:
"Do you perform for laymen? Do you listen to what they say and watch how they react?"

Please read that part twice!!!
Because their feedback and reactions are what count!!!

Ronnie Lemieux
Montreal
Canada
Message: Posted by: MetalBender (Dec 23, 2004 10:42AM)
Like all these other guys said man, just have fun. I think you'll find that you will always be able to progress in magic. It's not something like juggling, or a sport, or mayonaise that has a shelf life. You can improve in magic your entire life. Maybe you need to enter a different area of magic for a while. I primarily do cards, but when I start to feel stale in that area I go mess around with mentalism for a while. As for practicing constantly, don't. You will burn yourself out and cost yourself a lot of grief and agony. Practice often, but don't do it to the point where you are getting discouraged. If you feel yourself starting to get frustrated take a break, crack open a cold one, and watch Shade for a little while, that always helps me.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Dec 23, 2004 12:12PM)
Al Schneider has a realistic approach to the learning process as related to sleight of hand. If you can located his publications from the 1970's I urge you to do so. I don't have his DVD's, but maybe someone who does can comment on whether this is covered...

Merry Christmas!
Message: Posted by: Satori (Dec 23, 2004 12:28PM)
This is where the internet I think can help as well. Many of the magicians on this board may not agree, but I think that you might consider taping some of your performances. Submit them to magic forums. If not entire routines, then single effects. This being the case if you are worried about exposing your good material.

And be a packrat. I have some old footage on my computer from over a year ago. When I compare it to some more recent stuff, the imrpovement is very visible. This may be the emotional boost you need to see that you really are improving.

S.
Message: Posted by: CamelotFX (Dec 23, 2004 10:52PM)
Take an acting class at your local community theatre or community college. No, it has nothing to do with magic. You'll be working on stage presence, improvisational skills and doing trusted material in front of other students in a live audience setting. Forget about magic during the course. When you come back, everything will look completely different to you and you'll have a zillion new ideas for routining your act and feeling more comfortable in a performance situation.

It isn't how well you can palm a card or side steal. That's not what's entertaining. This is show business and whether you're singing, dancing, telling jokes or pushing the pasteboards, audiences respond to the same stimuli all over the world. [b]You[/b] are the show, not the jack of diamonds.
Message: Posted by: blendobag2 (Dec 24, 2004 05:09PM)
I have been doing the magic as art for nearmost 53 years. 53 years is very, very, long, long, time!! Not once am I better now than when I started 53 years old ago! I am not better at all -----not a bit----but there is fun and friends to have so why not.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 25, 2004 08:31AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-23 23:52, CamelotFX wrote:
Take an acting class at your local community theatre or community college. No, it has nothing to do with magic. You'll be working on stage presence, improvisational skills and doing trusted material in front of other students in a live audience setting. Forget about magic during the course. When you come back, everything will look completely different to you and you'll have a zillion new ideas for routining your act and feeling more comfortable in a performance situation.

It isn't how well you can palm a card or side steal. That's not what's entertaining. This is show business and whether you're singing, dancing, telling jokes or pushing the pasteboards, audiences respond to the same stimuli all over the world. [b]You[/b] are the show, not the jack of diamonds.
[/quote]

This man is right. Theatre is one of the best things you can do to improve your stage "presence" I have acted in several shows for the local thatre, and I can tell you , not only is it a blast, but you begin to learn to UNDERSTAND things about the entertainment profession that you now probably don't even have the foggiest about.

You will begin to have a foundation built beneath you. You will learn to become comfortable in front of people as never before. You will gain confidence, poise, and clues on how to connect with an audience. You will begin to learn about theatrics, stage makeup, props, rigging, and many other things that may prove INVALUABLE to your future in magic. Believe me, it's ALL related;interconnected.

If you have the means, you could take a class in mime or dance. My understanding is that Copperfield did just that.


All I'm saying is this: You will be more well ROUNDED as a magical performer for enriching your experience with theatre. 100% guaranteed!

PS; This is some of the best advice that you will ever receive on this subject.
Message: Posted by: cardguy24 (Dec 26, 2004 12:42AM)
Thanks a lot guys for the advice. I appreciate it.
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Jun 8, 2005 10:02AM)
Thanks, Al for your comments about The Ostrich Factor. The complete review by Mike Close in MAGIC magazine and other review excerpts from Genii and MUM are now available at my web site.

Thanks again!

Gerald
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 8, 2005 10:07AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. ...[/quote]

Have you considered performing magic for peope instead of just doing tricks?
Message: Posted by: Tom Wolf (Jun 8, 2005 10:13AM)
Well said Jon!

It is nice to read the comments from all who perform "magic" instead of "tricks".

There is a great difference between the two in performance when one has the correct mental direction.
Message: Posted by: Yves Tourigny (Jun 8, 2005 10:25AM)
The idea about acting class is very good. I would suggest something like a Toastmaster Club. It will help you become confortable in front of people as well as giving you a lot of experiences in structuring your patter. It is not better than the acting class just something different you might want to consider. I know it has worked for me. Sometimes we get so engrossed in our study of sleight of hand that we lose the big picture. Magic is about communicating something to the audiences. So everything that helps bettering your communications skills will definitly help you.

My two cents,

Yves
Message: Posted by: Pablo Tejero (Jun 9, 2005 03:38AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
[/quote]

Itīs better to spend 10 years in magic, and feeling you are not improving or you are not so good.... than spending three months and consider yourself as a master cardician. And believe me, there are a lot of people like the second example.

If this could help you, I am in magic, specially card magic, since the last 8-10 years... and I am still consider myself as a beginner cardician,... instead the true is I am a beginner and very bad cardician :rotf:


All the best magic,

Pablo Tejero :bikes:
Message: Posted by: anticoin (Jun 9, 2005 03:57AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
[/quote]

Perhaps you should learn new sleights.
There is a sense of achievement when you are able to do a new sleight fairly well.
Message: Posted by: Paul Sherman (Jun 9, 2005 04:58AM)
I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, but it's also possible that you're practicing too much material. Are you focusing on material until you have it mastered or are you toying with lots of different ideas? I always find I make better progress when I stick with a single effect or move until I have it down pat.

Paul
Message: Posted by: Pablo Tejero (Jun 9, 2005 11:28AM)
[quote]
On 2005-06-09 05:58, Paul Sherman wrote:
I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, but it's also possible that you're practicing too much material. Are you focusing on material until you have it mastered or are you toying with lots of different ideas? I always find I make better progress when I stick with a single effect or move until I have it down pat.

Paul
[/quote]
Reading this I remember one thing Ascanio used to say; it was something like: "Donīt show me the last killer effect you have learned, I prefer to see this routine you have been working on and practicing since the last ten years."

All the best magic,

Pablo Tejero :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jun 9, 2005 11:19PM)
Atheletes get stale and so do performers.

Take a break for about a week, and maybe two or three. It used to happen with me when I played basketball - got stale, played poor.

Happens with me and the pasteboards - when it does, I put them away for awhile. Now they're always close, but I don't pull them out unless I'm really inspired.

Try it, trust me.


A.
Message: Posted by: acehigher (Jun 10, 2005 05:44AM)
Why don't you find someone who wants to learn and teach them. When you teach someone else you learn ALOT and you will also realise what you don't know.