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the AuditOrr
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Profile of the AuditOrr
On 2007-10-30 09:18, JackScratch wrote:

I disagree. I think what you described is not only a beginner, but the rankest of amateurs. Not a beginner? How bout someone you drop in the middle of an event in a strange town and within minutes has formed a good audience who are completely wrapped up in what he is doing. Perhaps someone who owns any stage he sets foot on. Those people I would describe as "not beginners".

I agree completely
I want to go far...
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Profile of DanielSkahen
As far as criticism goes, I have read through threads on the Café that offer it more harshly than constructively, but you can make it constructive simply by pulling from it what they found distasteful and figuring for yourself how to improve it.

Taking criticism personally is a dangerous road. It won't further your progress and, if you let it dig too deeply beneath your skin, it can defeat you entirely. Although some people are nastier than others in their critique, constantly remind yourself that it's only feedback, and that all feedback has some degree of value somewhere within it. If you become emotionally attached to the feedback, you guarantee that you'll miss whatever value there may be.

As far as whether or not you are a beginner, I think too much classification is also a dangerous road. Beginner/intermediate/expert or hobbyist/amateur/semi-professional/professional... I believe that we shouldn't use these classifications as anything more than a point of reference, a generally accepted placeholder to provide a better understanding of your message.

If we search for our identity or status as a magician in this terms, we box ourselves in to a concept that is much more abstract. All magicians - all artisans - pass through different points of progress. But in my experience, these points aren't set on a single path for every magician, nor is that path linear.

I'm only a hobbyist, and I don't even know where I stand on the beginner-to-expert spectrum. But I do know that I've received better reactions and worse reactions from spectators than both hobbyists and professionals on different occasions. I've taken SO many lessons from people who have been involved in magic for decades longer than I have. But I've also taken lessons from beginners, just starting out, and seeing their attitudes and beliefs toward performing a magic trick has refreshed my own attitudes and beliefs.

I could break down my resume, tell you who I've "worked" for and performed for casually, or point out that I've spent every day for years practicing and refining my repertoire. But I've never been able to classify myself. I do believe in progress, but I don't believe in one set of stages every magician must pass through.

I'll never wake up one day, look at myself in the mirror, and say, "Aha! I'm an expert," just as I never did the same when I started learning magic, saying, "I'm a beginner!" My focus is simply on performing the best magic that I can for a spectator, and I'd like to think I've done that and continue to improve upon doing that, without falling into the trappings of classification.

So basically my advice to you, Strange Tasting Fish Sticks, is this: Take feedback from magicians and spectators alike, but learn from it instead of attaching yourself to it. Keep practicing, performing and improving to create the best magical experience you can, not to achieve an imaginary rank in a hierarchy of magicians.

This is only advice, of course, and I'd like to hear any FEEDBACK from people who either agree or disagree with this thinking. Smile
- Dan Skahen
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Profile of Yiannos
I don't know whether you're a "beginner" or not, and to tell you the truth I consider the term irrelevant anyway. But for heaven's sake DON'T let the little twerps on youtube get you down. You can't misdirect a webcam, nor can you really patter with it. If some fifteen-year-old gimp sitting in his bedroom with a pile of Ellusionist merchandise he bought on Daddy's credit card says you suck, who cares? If you are fooling live audiences, and more importantly, ENTERTAINING them, then the youtube kids' opinions shouldn't matter.
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Profile of acetucker
Tell me, are any of you guys totally opposed to using sleight of hand for "cheating"? I'm looking to become a shark and I thought that it would be good to ask some magicians about dealing seconds and bottoms. I kno it doesn't really go with the topic,(srry) besides the fact that I'm a beginner in almost all aspects.
Tina I
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Profile of Tina I
From one hobbyist to another:

One thing that's easy to forget as a 'beginner' is that we shouldn't do tricks - we should perform. We need to look at a routine as a whole because that's what our audience sees. When you do the sponges in front of a camera that only shows your hands the viewers are actually missing out most of what really makes the effects.

Another thing is that someone else's routine my not suit everybody 100%. Mark Wislon's sponge ball routine is awesome when he does it but may look horrible done by someone else. Quite often adjustments is needed. Personally, when starting out with a new effect/ routine that someone else has done beautifully I always ends up modifying it to suit me.

A very old fashion advice: Use a mirror, preferable a full length one. So if you are practicing a routine meant for stage/ parlor etc do it in front of the mirror. Even if it's just a simple vanish. Then you want to make it look like the item vanishes, not like you do a vanish. It's a subtle difference that's hard to explain but easy to see.

Consistency is another key often neglected by us amateurs. Keep your hands the same way whether you have something palmed or not at all times. If doing cards, make all counts look the same whether it's false or true etc etc. Again the mirror is your friend.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that there is so much more that goes into a performance than what is possible when you do an effect at your desk in front of a web cam that it's impossible to say whether you are 'good' or 'bad'. So don't give up... Smile

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