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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » The Magic Ratio that drives aspiring magicians crazy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ViciousCycle
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(a) The # of tricks you perform brilliantly well IS LESS THAN...
(b) The # of tricks you perform. This in turn IS LESS THAN...
(c) The # of tricks you practice. This is turn IS LESS THAN...
(d) The # of tricks you own. This is turn IS LESS THAN...
(e) The # of tricks you own combined with all of the tricks you think you want to own.

A good magician builds their reputation with those tricks in category (a). Yet many aspiring magicians can get too caught up inceasing the number of tricks in categories (d) and (e). Yet what good does it do to aspire after another miracle if one has not yet learned to perform well the miracles that one already has?
JackScratch
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Ah, you left out that the aspiring magician races through his catalog of effects just as FAST as he/she is able to. Those starting out aren't just looking for more, they are constantly seeking higher effect per minute ratios.
Andy the cardician
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There is another ration - knowing as much secrets as possible
Cards never lie
MickeyPainless
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I'd say you're pretty spot on!
I have just recently got to the point where I have done an inventory of owned/performing/performing WELL/ etc etc and I have decided to master 5 and leave everything else alone for 1 month (I know it may take longer to master some). I have enough stuff NOT including tricks to be learned from books and vids with a simple deck of cards or a handful of regular coins to do several 30 min. gigs and yet I'll bet I can only put together 10 mins. of a confident routine!(if I work slow)! Smile
Excellent topic Vicious and a good wake up call that otta bristle a few hairs on a few necks! LOL
Mickey Overload
Nathan Hastings
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The plague of all young magicians is definitely trying to learn too many tricks.

A good magician knows how to focus.
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
MagiClyde
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One thing that forced me to focus was my desire to join the local IBM chapter. The main requirement was that I had to do a 10-15 minute routine to show that my interest in magic was genuine and that I at least had a clue what I was doing.

Even though I knew many tricks, if you had asked me to do the routine a year ago, I would not have been able to do so. I had no confidence and, despite evidence to the contrary, felt that I did not have enough material to sustain an act for that long.

Now, a year later, things have changed. I have managed to build my confidence and learned to about 6 tricks well. When it came time to perform, I was surprised to find myself feeling like a peacock strutting his stuff. I performed each trick flawlessly and felt no fear. It may not sound like much, especially since I have seen much younger magicians come much further in less time, but for me it was a huge leap forward.

What, may you ask, has this got to do with anything? I was just like many of the people in the first post. I have more books, DVDs, tricks and fancy decks than I know what to do with. If I had ever bothered to learn just a fraction of the stuff that I have, I would have been a professional magician long before this. It isn't the quantity of stuff you have, but what you do with it in presenting quality to your performance. Do I still want to buy more stuff? ABSOLUTELY! Do I buy more stuff? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I decided to put a halt to my acquisition of new magical toys until I can master just some of the things I already have and can start doing them in front of lay people.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
shek
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I can definitely attest to the fact that many MANY early magicians go on a mad shopping spree of magic material (mostly DVD's and individual tricks) continually looking for the next big thing. Having been there myself, I can sympathize with those who do that. I do agree that maybe those people should stop, think, and maybe consider trying to thoroughly LEARN to perform an effect flawlessly before moving on. However, especially in early magicians, I can see the need to keep obtaining more and more material. Many beginners are still unsure of what kind of magic they want to do, and they are entitled to a "shopping" period in which they can just experiment. I think it takes a while before you can find an effect or routine that you are REALLY in love with and will keep working on as you develop as a magician.
Bill Thompson
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I think filling a sock drawer with junk and getting ripped off a couple of times is part of your growing experience as a magician. It teaches you things that can only be learned with experience.

Soon you learn that books are the best things to buy. The junk in the sock can be fun to play with from time to time though...
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
ViciousCycle
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Today, I attended a magic lecture by Eugene Burger at Chicago's Magic Inc., and he dealt with some of this very stuff. Some quotes from the lecture:

"You can entertain people with less stuff and a better act."

"Am I better off doing 200 tricks poorly or 12 tricks fabulously?"
MickeyPainless
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Man, I'd love to see Eugene live! I have seen him on vids and I really like his manner!
shek
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Quote:
On 2007-09-29 23:11, misterbill wrote:
I think filling a sock drawer with junk and getting ripped off a couple of times is part of your growing experience as a magician. It teaches you things that can only be learned with experience.

Soon you learn that books are the best things to buy. The junk in the sock can be fun to play with from time to time though...


I agree. A lot of people will buy a bunch of useless gimmicked tricks and DVD's and finally realize "where did all that money go?" It's a learning experience. Personally, I have to admit that it took me a while to realize that books are the way to go Smile
Jaz
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There are dozens of new tricks and methods that people will think they need just because of the hype.
This buying new things happens during the 'exploration stage' and is quite common, as is most of those things ending up in a drawer and never being used.
Hopefully there will come a time when a half dozen or so of those 250 tricks in your drawer and books will be mastered.

Except for the # of tricks practiced(c), the # of tricks done brilliantly(a) will most likely be very low in comparison to the rest of the list.
JamesTong
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Thanks for bringing up this thread, ViciousCycle.

This would be a good reminder or guideline for the newbies who keep chasing after new things.
The Amazing Noobini
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I agree with misterbill that it is a natural part of the process to overshop a little. It takes a bit of time to figure out where one's attentions should rest for an extended period of time.

Also when you are starting out, every single effect you see has a reference to something else. You need to pause the learning to buy something else in order to learn an Elmsley Count or a so-and-so DL. And all of these things. This accounts for a lot of the extra shopping and sidetracking.

Me, now that I have a bit of an overview and little bit more of a foundation to build on, I find myself more interested in diving deeper into what I already know than in learning all new things.

But I think it's important to follow one's curiosity. If one learns only a little bit of this and that it will come to use later on anyway. It has to be fun and not all hard work.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Nathan Hastings
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This is why I think that ellusionist is so bad for magic. It appeals to young aspiring magicians, and then it teaches them the wrong habits. It gets them off on the wrong foot.

So much of their material is sold on the basis that "you won't have to practice hardly at all", which is definitely the wrong reason to buy a trick if you want to get good at it.

Also, there is so much hype in the air at ellusionist that you could cut it with a rather large chainsaw. "This is driving magicians all over the internet crazy!" "This is the newest way to make a reputation for yourself!" All bull crapola.

Ellusionist is teaching young magicians the wrong ways to be successful in their art! It should be abolished!
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
ViciousCycle
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As I reflect more and more on the Eugene Burger lecture I attended, I find myself undergoing a thought experiment:

Imagine that there's a magician who's built a solid reputation on a dozen tricks THAT I ALREADY OWN. What are those twelve tricks? Now then, go and try to become that magician!

Yes, this will require a lot of work, but as Burger said, if you're not going to do magic effectively, "Go take up stamp collecting."
Bill Thompson
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I think that young magicians should learn a lesson from the ellusionist hype when they found out that the ellusionist DVD they just bought for $25 that teaches one coin vanish is just one method that could have learned from a $25 book containing dozens of coin tricks. This only had to happen to me once.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
The Amazing Noobini
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Yeah, I finally deserted E after buying some unusable cards that were marketed as the best cards available on this planet. Possibly even in the entire galaxy. Now the same thing happened with Theory11 and me. A disagreement concerning what can be considered an objective truth in product information.

Anyway, the thread is about us, or those of us who have a love affair with shopping carts. All cannot be blamed on the hype of the salesman.

I'm currently going through shoppers withdrawal symptoms. I have decided to stop buying magic articles because I have 4 DVDs still wrapped in plastic, many still more half watched. And about five new books that I have hardly started on yet.

But the prospect of not buying anything new for the next 6 months or more depressed the hell out of me. Shopping feels good. New toys, new opportunities. New dreams and possibilities. Yet I have enough card decks already to last for decades. I don't need anything, strictly speaking.

But shopping is also a reward as well as a necessity. When I have been good I get to type in the numbers and wait by the mailbox for a price. So even now when I'm not supposed to buy more stuff, I sometimes find something that is not related to learning, such as a coin I want which is only available right now. And I get really happy. Because at the moment, it is the only type of new articles I will get.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
John Long
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We're starting to sound like a "support group".. painful but true. I took me over a year to begin to break the buying habit.


I think it was Whit Haydn that said: "An amatuer in one who performs many tricks for the same person(s), while the professional magician performs the same tricks for many people"
Breathtaking Magic;
Not Breath Taking
Sk8erBoi9305
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Quote:
On 2007-09-29 23:11, misterbill wrote:
I think filling a sock drawer with junk and getting ripped off a couple of times is part of your growing experience as a magician. It teaches you things that can only be learned with experience.

Soon you learn that books are the best things to buy. The junk in the sock can be fun to play with from time to time though...


I totaly agree.
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