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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Practice Makes Perfect (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

R.T.
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Hey guys,

Well I bought the Mark Wilson book, and have been working on about 6 diffrent tricks, trying to perfect them. How do you guys typically know when a trick is ready to perform? Is is just a feeling you have, or is there a typical number of times you should practice a trick before showcasing it.

Thanks guys!
vilewarner
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I know a trick's ready to perform when I can perform the necessary moves subconsciously, and everything looks good in the mirror.
ClouDsss
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I know when it can be performed when I can add patter to my effect without having to think of the hands getting the job done.

cheerios
Think outside the box, cos people are all thinking inside now!! - ClouDsss
Chessmann
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Some (like me) would say it is not 'ready' until you have successfully performed the effect in front of others. Doing that is always different than doing it alone - you work out your nerves a bit, see things you had not while practicing alone, etc...

In other words, find someone to try your stuff out on before you go before the public, if possible.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
travisb
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Once you've got the mechanics down to the point where you don't stumble or pause and you know exactly what you're going to say, you should take it out and perform it for people. From that you'll learn all sorts of things, like how to cover your angles, what works as misdirection, what tricks or parts of tricks people react to the strongest, what parts of a trick you still need to work on, and lots more.

No stumbles, no pauses, no second guessing (i.e. if you know a couple of ways to do a move, but you're still trying to figure out which one is best for you then the trick isn't ready, because when the time comes to do the move you won't be sure which one to use and you'll stumble), and have a clue what you're going to say (the more clear you are on what you're going to say as you perform the trick, the better). You owe that much to your audience.

After you've performed a trick for somebody, only then will you discover what it is that you really need to practice. Then you go do that.

-Travis

P.S. Do what you know, and stop there. Don't repeat anything and don't try out anything you're not sure of yet (although doing a trick you're good at and claiming you're not sure if you're going to be able to do it is fine).
Tabasco
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I always preform for my wife first, she knows all the moves and she is a critical judge. So when I fool her I know I'm ready

So try to find someone you can trust and show them first, after the endless pratice in front of a mirror or cam off coarse ;-)
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BerkleyJL
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When you can do the sneaky stuff while actually thinking that you're doing exactly what it looks like you're doing, and you can say your patter from memory without stumbling.

Your body language will give you away if you're thinking about the "moves." If you stumble on words or have to come up with something to say as you go along, it can be distracting.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
Nick B
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I reckon that if you can do the trick almost on autopilot ie concentrate on getting the patter right and timed with the moves and your hands are almost doing the magic themselves you're about there. But there's a difference between being able to do that at home practising and doing it for real in front of people - as I constantly find out whenever I think I've learned a new trick!
Nick
calexa
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I know it when I have a good feeling. Most of my tricks are judged by my fiancee - if I can fool her, I know, that´s my performance is not that bad. And then I show it to others. The problem is that when you perform for yourself, at one point you will say to yourself: Hey, now it looks good (in the mirrow, in the film, whatever). But in this situations the conditions are PERFECT. You are not nervous, nobody is watching from the sides....

So, I always try to show my tricks to others. Then I will find out whether I´m "Ready"!

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Heinz Weber
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I have some friends who always ask for some new tricks, so I have to do my latest work for them no matter if it's finished or not. But they are very tolerant, some kind of amateur-magicians too, and are very helpful in finding things to correct and to work on. Many good ideas are coming from those sessions. And I always get applause...
MattWayne
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Practice doesn't make perfect- never will. Practice makes permanent! Michael Ammar's Book of Magic really hits on this topic. And it's true.

Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
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BerkleyJL
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What Matt is saying is that "Perfect Practice makes Perfect." In other words, you will perform the way you practice.

* Never practice by saying your script under your breath. Speak up exactly as if you have an audience.
* Look at your imaginary audience and make eye contact.
* Perform the moves carefully but naturally.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
MattWayne
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Exactly!

And you bring up a good point about not saying your script under your breath. Very true: If you don't speak up- a) that will lead to poor public speaking, b) might further your mumbling skills, and c) lastly you yourself might not even understand your patter if you mumble through it- great piece of comedy, but not practical in a show.

*Performing the moves carefully but naturally* Hmmm- I'd have to say negative on that one; well not really. I don't think you should think about performing a move. If your going to make a coin vanish- then make it vanish. If your thinking about being careful- you might stutter through that part of the sequenced routine during performance. To me, the move should be second nature. The vanish should be unthought, and unprovoked. But, yes- granted in practice sessions; you would want to hit the technique on the head and make it flawless. So, it could be thought of both ways.

Good Thoughts,

Matt
Matt Wayne
The Celebrity Magician™
www.CelebrityMagician.com / youtube.com/celebritymagician / twitter.com/RealMattWayne /
Facebook.com/CelebrityMagician

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
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Will Gordon
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Right, sometimes the use of a close-up mirror can be very beneficial but don't rely on it too much.
Gerald
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Excellent thoughts! Here are some of my thoughts:

When you are preparing something new to perform, you will probably never feel completely “ready.” You do your absolute best to practice and rehearse in an organized, intelligent, creative, systematic, goal oriented manner with attention to all the details necessary for successful performance. When you think you have all the bases covered, go out and perform it! Only then will you really begin to learn how to perform what you have been practicing and rehearsing.

If you keep your eyes, ears and mind open when you are performing, you will continue to learn from your performance experience. You’ll learn as much or more about performing the new trick in those first hundred performances than you did in the preparation.

Based on past experience with other tricks, you can anticipate the performance conditions, spectator’s reactions and your interaction with them. But there is really no practice technique other than performing for real people, in real world conditions, which simulates actual performance. You can do your very best to prepare. But at some point, you have to just get out there and give it a try.

Good luck with your practice and rehearsal!

Gerald
R.T.
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All the tips are wonderful, and I greatly appreciate the help. I've tried performing in front of my girlfriend and that has seemed to help quite a bit. Also the advice to say your lines like you are actually presenting is a often overlooked great tip!
haywire
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Philadelphia
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I practice in front of a mirror for awhile, then I try it out on friends and family members, most especially my cynical girlfriend.

about 50% of the time, no matter how much I practice she figures out the trick.

the other 50% of the time she has no clue, and its those effects I then go perform
in public, because I know they are good enough. Its good to have someone so cynical and smart to try out new effects on.

Using this method, I've never once been called out in public, or no methods have ever been guessed or exposed. I don't know if this will work for you, but it works very well for me...

Steven
Fescue
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What I consistently see, or don't see, in the mirror is an indicator that I am progreesing with the effect.
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