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Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
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1988 - 2013
The Big Brother is watching you
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I remember reading somewhere I think MB said, "Levels!" there are different levels of skill people have, obviously. But how much practice puts "average" people compare to highly skilled people? I mean world class manipulation. Someone like say, oh my new favorite magician ponta the smith. This guy is in my opinion, smoother and (better, technically) than david stone. As much as I love david stone, I think this new talent is incredibly talented, world class! I think he may win FISM, or at least he could compete.

My question is this...since there are a lot of very smart people here. Sometimes I Do not enjoy practicing, but I do not mind it as much if I do it while doing other things. Often times I will practice while watching TV. And in the commercials. I say I worked on one move, the stone production for about 2 months now, practicing in front of the TV and sometimes in front of the mirror with music. Many hours of practice. But how exactly does practice equate to smoothness? To get as smooth as someone like ponta, or david stone, how much practice is required? Obviously this is a tough question right because everyone learns at different rates. But is it safe to say someone this skilled could be practicing 8+ hours a day?
JamesTong
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Besides practicing, one would also need a lot of full dress rehearsals.
Dan Bernier
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You can practice for hours and hours before a mirror, or in front of a t.v during commercials, but one important key is to get out and perform before other people. The best experience is achieved when you perform for other people. Even performing for other people should be considered practicing.

In my opinion, there is no better way to practice than to perform for other people. You will be able to learn so much more than just practicing in front of a mirror, or during commercials.

Even if you are able to learn from others mistakes, there is still no better reward than learning from your own.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Some of the best magician's in the world learned from their mistakes, and still learn from their mistakes. Making mistakes is all part of growing and becoming better.

What seperates the best from the best? Those who are willing to face their fears dead on. And, when they make mistakes, they learn from them.

Never compare yourself to someone else. Only imatator's do that.

Dan
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Floyd Collins
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Well said Dan!! I would just like to add one thing here don't imitate like Dan says this is true but you can learn a lot by watching those who you feel are great! Studing the masters will help you transform into a master yourself.
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

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mmreed
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One thing I think magicians overlook in regards to practice is that we not only need to practice our moves and skills, we also need to practice our performance abilities.

Join an improv group. Take acting classes. Join a debate team or toastmasters group.

Not only will it improve your performance skills, it will give you added marketing exposure.
Mark Reed
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Stu Turner
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As some of the guys have said, you can practice a move until it's 100% perfect but you can't beat working in front of an audience and all the variables it throws up.

You can never prepare for all the things that are thrown at you in real life until you have experienced them. The small child that wanders behind you whilst you're table hopping and takes a prop out of your pocket; the mirror you didn't spot behind you that lets a spectator glimpse your hidden gimmick; the bad stage lighting that makes your silk or sub trunk cloth almost transparent.

The more you can perform in front of an audience and the more different scenarios you can work in, the more you will experience and learn from.

Everyone tells you that you shouldn't perform an effect in front of audience until you're 100% perfect which is definitely good advice but you really need to work in front of people to hone your performance skills and make your routines better than just good.
jim ferguson
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I think what seperates a good magic performance from a great magic performance can be summed up in three words - Attention to Detail. If you aspire to be 'great' you must overcome your boredom with practicing. Learn to enjoy it. Your practice sessions should be focused, nothing should be there which could destract you. Most of the greats love(d) to practice. There is an old saying in magic, it goes something like this - Practice and practice till your absolutely fed up of it, then practice some more, this is when the real magic begins. That's not the exact wording but I hope you get the gist. jim
DATMagic
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Practice, Practice, Practice! That's what my guitar teacher used to drill into my head at each and every lesson I ever had, and she was exactly right, but the most important thing she ever told me was.... have fun! You can do moves till your fingers cramp up in pain, sweat pours off your brow, and your face locks in to a permantly constipated grimmace, but I promise it will all come across the same at your next performance. When you practice always think of the smiles, roars of laughter, and gasps of elated astonishments you will hear, and practicing will be a lot more fun.

Posted: Jan 18, 2010 7:08pm
PS You know you practice too much when the only thing in your bathroom is a commode, linking ring magazine, a roll of toilet tissue, and a thumb tip.
David A Trombetta

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Gatehouse
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I don't think I want to know what you're using the TT for...
jake.o
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You not only need to practice but you have to make sure you are practicing the right things. for example if you wanted to be world class in coins you need to pick you favorate tricks and only practice them which will eventually make you look good. I think this is why most poeple stay at the average level because they would rather spend there time spread out into different areas of magic rather than to focus on one of them.
Jaz
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"What seperates the best of the best?"

Besides technical skills, a lot has to do with your personality and your ability to entertain.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Connecting with your audience.

Take your shows seriously and yourself lightly.

Learn as much from your bombs as your A + shows.

Write
Write
Write

Improvise

Write
Write
Write

take risk

Emulate, don't imitate.

Love your audience.
Know your audience. What plays script/comedy/drama with one group will fall flat somewhere else.

Less is more....at times

more is more

most of the time

more is less

know when to quit a running gag/call back

Mentor

Listen to your audience

write

write

improvise

Take classes in theatre, voice, improvisation

Bring you to your work.

Write to find out who you are....

Harris
still learning who I am ...and too old to know everything....
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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HerbLarry
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Attention to detail and perseverance.
You know why don't act naive.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Perserverance is a great word and thing!
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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gaddy
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10,000 hours
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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If you work very very very hard

it will take

20,000 hours


Harris
now and zen in the zone
deutsch
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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James Crosbie
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I think what Gaddy is referring to is a book by Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers, The Story of Success.

One of its main premises is the concept that to become truly 'great' at something (music, computers, sport, even crime) seems to require 10,000 hours of 'practice' - the equivalent of 3 hours a day for 10 years. A great, simple read and thoroughly recommended.

Though, I do agree with most on here, that as well as practice, personality, great audience interaction and a visionary in their field are also key.

Regards,
James
Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
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1988 - 2013
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Quote:
On 2010-01-21 17:54, James Crosbie wrote:
I think what Gaddy is referring to is a book by Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers, The Story of Success.

One of its main premises is the concept that to become truly 'great' at something (music, computers, sport, even crime) seems to require 10,000 hours of 'practice' - the equivalent of 3 hours a day for 10 years. A great, simple read and thoroughly recommended.

Though, I do agree with most on here, that as well as practice, personality, great audience interaction and a visionary in their field are also key.

Regards,
James


That's interesting. Because ponta told me he practices 3 hours a day, he used to do more too. And get this, he's been doing coin magic for 10 years. He also said this:
"I think 2 months is too short for coin magics. You need 10 thousands times practice for each effects tricks. "

Words to live by!
Vick
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There is not 1 performer who would be called the best of the best who doesn't know the history of magic.

Not all of it but much of it

Study (including acting classes and voice lessons), intellect, hard work, determination, perseverance, knowing how to entertain, wanting it enough to do the work and if needed to make the sacrifices, respect for self and for the art. The list could go on.

For me I got better technically being a pitchman (I hawked Svengali Decks, D'Lites, Sponge Balls and IT sets in tourist traps and malls)
Basically I got paid to practice 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for over a year

Quote:
On 2010-01-17 01:13, Strange Tasting Fish Sticks wrote:
To get as smooth as someone like ponta, or david stone, how much practice is required?


Like it's you wrote is different for everyone but it is a life long journey.

I don't think there is an X amount of hours = Y amount of smoothness formula or if you are doing it this well you must have spent that many hours 10,000 attempts at an effect is usually a good number.
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MagikDavid
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In the original post, the question was asked, "...how exactly does practice equate to smoothness?" In my opinion... it doesn't. However, practice can indirectly help achieve it. Here's the way I break it down:
* PRACTICE - Until you have technically mastered each effect.
* ROUTINE - String together the effects in an interesting way. Make sure that the transitions from one effect to the next makes sense in an entertaining way.
* PRACTICE - Practice the routine over and over until you can do it without thinking about it (or without post-it notes.)
* PATTER - Practice working patter into your routine to make it more entertaining. You can either work from a strict script... or, like me, a loose one. You should at least have a general theme surrounding your performance.
* PERFORM - If you've done all the above, you should be ready to perform. Try a small group first. Take mental notes of how it went (i.e., did I come across nervous? did they seem interested? were they bored? did it seem too long? which tricks seemed weak? which ones strong? etc.)
* RE-WORK - With the notes you've taken, re-work your routine... weeding out weak stuff... changing patter... switching effects, etc.
* PERFORM AGAIN - Repeat again with a different group, again taking notes.
* RE-WORK AGAIN - Same as above
* REPEAT - Repeat the above process until you become comfortable with your show.
* TWEAK - Always be mindful of ways to tweak ALL the elements of your performance, to make it more entertaining. (By now you should have an idea, based on audience response and previous notes.)

If you've done all the above, and you've successfully built your confidence in the process... then you should have achieved that "SMOOTHNESS."

Hope this helps. Of course, these are my opinions... I welcome other comments pro or con.

Dave
One good thing about being wrong...
Is the pleasure it brings to others.
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