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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Alleged XY chromosome multitasking deficiency (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Amazing Noobini
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Oslo, Norway
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Several times in conversations women have smirkingly made the point that unlike them, men cannot do two things at once. I then like to make the point that this is quite true as long as one of these 2 things is nonsensical clucking. At which point the unpleasantness usually starts. Smile

Of course the truth of it is that women do in fact have better language skills than men. Generally speaking. I saw a BBC program on that once. But what about multitasking?

Being now finally in the scripting/rehearsal stage of my slow magic progression, I find myself quite unable to do things like running/counting cards while at the same time talking. Even with a script. Can't do it. Shuffle-shuffle-shuffle-stop...talk talk talk...shuffle-shuffle-shuffle.

So what do you think? Is this a common beginner's problem? Will it get better anytime soon possibly? Because I am getting worried. Especially considering the current price of hormone injections.

Well, I am sure really that it will get better with more practice. But I would love to hear some other peoples' experiences with such issues.
"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)
CamisBoss
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I for one am not good at multitasking. In fact, my girlfriend teases me constantly about it. When I began a few years ago, I was not very comfortable at all with cards. As the years went on, my sleights and handling became smoother, and I didn't have to think about it as much. Now, I can do simple shuffles and sleights with patter. I recently began studying coin magic about 6 months ago. I find the coin sleights to be easier to do while talking than card sleights are. Just my 2 cents...
airship
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In my day, I have driven
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Start with expressions, then simple counts. For example:

"Now to shuffle three times..." *arch eyebrow*

Shuffle once

"One..." *raise other eyebrow*

etc...

Keep the patter simple. You can play the expressions for dire effect or for laughs.

The point is you TAKE TURNS talking and doing something, holding the expression for the duration of the action.

Doing this for awhile will get you used to interleaving speech with actions. After awhile, you'll find that you can do the count WHILE you're doing the action. After that, it's just a matter of adding a few words here and there. You'll find it doesn't take much time to become comfortable with the idea of simultaneous speech and action.

It's mostly about your level of comfort with the routine. Practice, practice, practice, until you could do your act even if you were in a coma. Smile
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
The Amazing Noobini
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Thanks a lot! I will try to think of it in the terms you suggest. Already I have noticed some improvement.

There is some odd process at work when I post a question here at the Café... the mere act of writing it seems to solve it, at least to some degree. I suppose that is what they call it the MAGIC Café.

As for practicing, I truly deeply hate that, which is where a lot of the problem lies most likely. That is, I can practice sleights for hours every day because I do other things at the same time, but sitting down in front if a mirror and doing the same routine over and over again... brrrr.
"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)
molsen
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Multitasking is easy when only one of the tasks you execute requires conscious concentration and thought. I think your issue is that several of the tasks battle for attention. Some of these you can practice into automation, which is exactly what you must do.

I have been using a mirror when practicing, but am right now on my way to the shop to purchase a webcam. Thinking about the above, I came to the conclusion that paying so much attention to viewing myself in the mirror, takes my concentration from other areas, including presentation. By being able to review myself AFTER the fact instead of DURING, I hope to gain new insights and possibly improve faster.

Likewise, you may find it useful to practice your presentation/patter without the props and then combining them. It depends how your brain works, others may find it harder to re-combine the patter and the execution afterwords.

My point is that looking at yourself and trying to break down the task in different ways helps with understanding the components, as well as turning the effect into smaller bites that are easier to chew.

As for the magic of posting a question, this is the same principle. In order to formulate the question so OTHER people can understand it, you have to clarify it for yourself first. Often that is done by trying to understand and describe the components involved so you can ask how do handle them.

By the way, your posts over the years reveal an exciting journey both within yourself and the art of magic. I for one hope you are still enjoying the trip, for you are making great progress! I hope I am too, often you have voiced questions I myself was discovering at the same time.

Michael
Thales
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You may have read one of my
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If you are doing a slight that you do not what your spectators to see, like a pass, then it is good to be able to talk to them while doing the slight. But for the most part I have heard that it is better to not talk while doing slights. Yes you can learn to multitask and do a slight while talking without a problem (you can talk and drive at the same time can't you?) but why make your spectators choose between watching your hands and listening to what you are saying. For the most part they can really only do one of those things at a time. So use your patter to set up the stage for what is going to happen then say "Now watch what happens" and shut up while you turn there card into some other card or vanish the coin, etc. Talking and vanishing at the same time is really just too much for most people.
"If you can't change the method, change the moment." Vernon
The Amazing Noobini
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Once again one of my least impressive forum posts have paid off with some very intelligent answers. There is plenty of experience and good thinking here!

Part of my problem is that I am actually very new to mirror practice. I have only recently finished the work on my desk to which I have fitted a 3 piece mirror. Besides the frustration of discovering that many of my best sleights really aren't that deceptive at all, the new angles and the new scripts and the sum of it all has been a bit overwhelming. But already there is improvement.

I have worked on a Poker demonstration for a while now, which I think has a cute presentation. Through it I'm having to tackle an old enemy; the Overhand Shuffle. It is maybe the most basic thing there is, yet even after years of doing it I often seem to bungle it and draw of two cards together instead of one when I have to run a certain number. So I'm doing these deals again and again and again and when I turn over the cards of the last hand, they are often the wrong ones. Frustration.

But it is getting better. I'm not ready for video practice yet, but already I feel less foolish talking (under my breath) to the mirror. I think there is hope. But I think I understand the theoretical psychology of how to structure things a lot better than I will be able to actually do it as a performer. But we will see.

I have a background as an (unsuccessful) filmmaker and I have always endeavored to make the scripts I have written function without dialog whatsoever, film being a visual medium. I have argued this point with people many a time, Norwegian films being famous for "laying tracks" with dialog and using it to tell the story instead of the actual images.

Magic isn't all that different really. What grabs me the strongest as a viewer are the purely visual things. Words then add to it, injecting a human touch, a story, humor and dramatic tension (pauses).

And then you have this entire misdirection concept which I really haven't begun to tackle yet. Smile But I think at least the multitasking will improve greatly with more rehearsal.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Michael, good luck with the new camera! Hope to see something brilliant from you online soon!
"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)
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