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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Practice mirrors (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ChrisS
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Cohoes, NY
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I'm curious to know how many out there use practice mirrors and, if so, is it just a single head-on situation or do you use a three-panel small mirror to check all angles at the same time?

Thanks,
Chris S.
Ricahato
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denver
113 Posts

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I was advised by Eugene Burger and Jeff McBride to use the mirrors, it lets you see your moves from the expectator's angle and it also helps you build confidence. I also was advised to use a video camera and record yourself. That is a very effective way to rehearse. Thanks.
eddieloughran
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Hi,

We all use mirrors, but they can cause a problem. If I stand three feet from a mirror (and that's close) the view in the mirror is what a spectator six feet away, and my height, will see. Most of my audience are below my eye level and are closer than six feet. So I don't see in the mirror what they will see.

I wonder if watching myself doing a slight in the mirror will effect the way I do it when not watching myself. If you see what I mean. I'm sort of watching it in mirror image.

I have heard of magicians who, after practicing in a mirror, develop a blink when doing a move. This sounds silly, but I've read this several times!

Try doing a strike vanish looking in a mirror.

Actually a mirror can be good, but I prefer a video camera. You can record from the side while looking in front.

Eddie
ChrisS
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Cohoes, NY
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Thanks Ricahato and Eddie for your responses. The mirror thing is a bit awkward but it seems to get better as you use it. I just put together a three-panel table mirror, and that should REALLY be interesting!

I don't have a video camera yet but it does sound like a very helpful tool.

Chris S.
Shadow Dancer
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Melbourne, Australia
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At my friends' place they have massive bedroom mirrors. He's a magician too, so we sometimes meet up and have a good prectice, and always make sure the performer can see what the audience is seeing and so can another person (from the point of veiw of the magician).

Mirrors, gotta love 'em! Smile
'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.'
<br> AlbertEinstein
Chris Berry
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I practice in my bathroom...anybody else?

Chris
rooooony
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I practice in mirrors. I try all different angles and all different heights to see what is the best. It also will help you to understand what you might be doing wrong.

dominic
John Gordon
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I think that mirrors can be a really useful practice tool. As has been said, they can show you what the opposite view looks like. But that's about it.

Of course a mirror (or mirrors) can show more than a front view, just turn sideways! In fact, the most beneficial use is just that, looking at a "dodgy" move and checking out the good and bad sight lines by doing a turntable move until you know.

It's really good for this kind of detail but also for checking out posture, stance, etc. An occasional glance to see how you look, where your weight is placed, how a choreographed move looks...that stuff. That's exactly why rehearsal rooms have mirrored walls.

For magicians, though, there are the dangers that have been mentioned. So remember, mirrors are great for practice but less so for rehearsal. And that's an entirely different matter.

John Gordon
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Bob Gerdes
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Northport, NY
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Quote:
On 2003-08-18 23:26, Seismic wrote:
I practice in my bathroom...anybody else?

Chris

I'll fess up to that too! Smile It has the largest mirror in my place.
Eschew obfuscation
crazyhands
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I always practice in the mirror first and then I power up the camera just to make sure I'm angle-proof.
Chris Michaels
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Me...bathroom...practice...yep. Only place with a mirror and I don't have to buy a new one.
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Mike Walton
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Chicago
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I've read -somewhere- that if one practices in front of a mirror, then there's a tendency to look down in performance as one does while looking in the mirror while practicing. Anyone experience this?

I finally splurged and bought a webcam that connects to my PC via firewire which has more frames per second than the standard webcam.

It was the closest thing to a video camera that was in my price range. I started with a good standard webcam that connected using standard USB, but the frames per second recorded were so few that some of the motion was lost in the strobe light capture of the cam.

I sent it back and bought Orange Micro's Pro firewire webcam which runs for just under a hundred dollars. I have it hooked up to a flexstand so I can push the camera around to check angles. I then speak and perform to get timing right, and afterward review the tape. It's a decent set-up that meets the need.
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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A number of years ago I was working on an act that involved split fans and other manipulation as well as a routine with the dancing cane. I found that a video camera not only let me see what the audience would see (from different distances and angles), but that it also let me review the moves in slow motion (several times) and get a feeling for how the whole routine really looked.

Also, I was not locked into (and wasn't developing the habit of) looking at the mirror -- I could look anywhere that made sense with the routine and see what it really looked like later. For my money, that camera was worth its weight in gold.
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Brian Roberts
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Toronto
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I was lucky enough to be given a 4' x 8' mirror which works great. I can see myself entirely, not just my hands. I don't use side mirrors but I do turn slightly to check angles. I imagine in the future I will try a vid camera as well.

Regards,
Brian
Chris Toomey
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Rhode Island
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I have found that while mirrors work well for initial stages of practicing, ie with a new move or routine, it can be problematic as control of the move advances. It is not normal to be looking at a point about three feet in front of us, nor to be watching our own moves. I have found that once I like what I see in a mirror, no flashing and that sort of thing, I will move away from the mirror. It's important to not watch yourself doing moves as this would draw attention to them. Video cameras seem to be the best method for a more polished move or routine as you can emulate a real performance, looking towards the camera, and after view any part of the routine in detail. Good luck all
Chris
Clifford the Red
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LA, California
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About the easiest way to create a good mirror for closeup is at Home Depot---1-ft. square mirror tiles and gaffers tape. Do a tri-fold, and you have a nice set up and it even folds flat.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
tabman
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USA
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I agree with Chris Toomey. It's OK to check early on in a mirror, but now that video is so easy to get into it doesn't make much sense not to use it unless you are really strapped for cash and don't have a friend with a video or webcam. Clifford The Red is dead on with the mirror tiles. This makes a great little mirror to check things with. Years ago Tannen's used to sell one almost just like this. You can get mirror acrylic too for a basically unbreakable unit.

-=tabman
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Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Another advantage of using the video is that the actual time lapse is available. We are not guessing when we say how long a trick takes, if we are going too fast or too slow, and how to budget stage time.

A mirror just won't do that for us.

Bob
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popec
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WA, Australia
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I need to get myself a mirror to put on my desk so I can practice when sitting down! Smile
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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Agreed that a mirror is good for practicing sleights and angles, but a camera is better for actual rehearsals.

I did what Clifford The Red did. Mirror tiles and duct tape making an adjustable 3 panel mirror. I use this for table practice.

I use a full length mirror that tips for stand up practice and check my work from different angles.
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