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fengenroll
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Hi,

When I am sitting in my living room and practicing card/coin tricks, I always think about the presentation of the trick but when I perform it for someone I always get kinda nervous and the verbal part of the routine sounds so silly, because I guess I'm so afraid of screwing up the trick itself.

Any suggestions on how you guys practice your presentation part?

F. Smile
Dbzkid999
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If you're nervous that they'll spot your move, talk a lot.

If you talk a lot, they will not be able to concentrate that much on your hands because they have to listen to what you're saying; THEN is the time to do your thing.
rgranville
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Don't just think about the presentation of the trick, practice it by actually saying it. That's right, while you're sitting in your living room with the deck of cards in your hand, practice your patter out loud along with your moves. The only way you can smoothly coordinate your actions (including your sleights) with your speaking is to practice it all together.

If the verbal part of your routine sounds silly to you, then it is silly. It's as simple as that. Tear it apart and look for the parts YOU think are silly and figure out why. Then change those parts. Not only will this make the routine more comfortable for you, it'll make the routine yours.
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fengenroll
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Thank you guys!
It sounds logical, but I kinda feel silly when I am sitting there all alone speaking to friends that's not there.
But I will give it a shot.
What do you feel is the most important thing to do a successful routine, the presentation or flawless handeling?
Rob Johnston
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I actually write down some ideas on what to say during my presentation. I use an outline form to do so. It seems to help me organize my thoughts.

But keep in mind that what you practice and memorize is not what you need to say. One thing about magic is that you need to be quick thinking and pick out what you need to say on the spot. Some of my best jokes have been right there on the spot...it just flies out of my mouth. That comes when you are comfortable performing.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
rgranville
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What do you feel is more important, breathing in or breathing out?

If your handling isn't sufficient, all you'll be doing is fumbling and possibly exposing methods. If you don't have a good presentation, you're not doing magic, you're doing tricks, and probably boring tricks at that. You never want to show anything you're not completely confident you can pull off. But equally, you never want to show anything you haven't made personal and entertaining. If you haven't put in the effort on both sides, you can't possibly entertain people.
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Emily Belleranti
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I don't just practice my magic, but I rehearse it. I will go into a room by myself, wearing my performance clothes, and go through an entire act from start to finish. I speak my patter aloud as I go through an effect, and I perform the effect the same way I would if I were actually showing it to someone. If the effect requires that a card be selected, then I actually spread through the deck and extend the cards so the "spectator" can take one.

I have found that my magic has gotten much, much better since I have started rehearsing regularly. I feel much more confident in my performances. Rehearsal of an act helps to eliminate the problems you mentioned. Don't feel self conscious about doing this; I view it as being the same type of thing as an actor rehearsing.
"If you achieve success, you will get applause, and if you get applause, you will hear it. My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it."



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kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2004-01-05 18:03, Emily Belleranti wrote:
I don't just practice my magic, but I rehearse it. I will go into a room by myself, wearing my performance clothes, and go through an entire act from start to finish. I speak my patter aloud as I go through an effect, and I perform the effect the same way I would if I were actually showing it to someone.

I agree. This is what I do, I have found it is the best way for me to work out any kinks.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

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Cole
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Try video taping yourself..that way you can actually see yourself doing it, and work out anything that is wrong with it after. Smile
Cole
Bob Sanders
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I agree. Dress rehearsal is the only true practice. Professional musicians will tell you they couldn't make it as a pro until they learned pieces of music rather than just movements. Otherwise it is like winking at a pretty girl in the dark. Who knows?

But then there is what we find ourselves really doing at times. Learning parts. Shows are made of routines. Routines are typically the part that give magicians trouble.

I am unaware of a successful race horse that only practiced on the turns. They run the track.

Bob Sanders
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Bill Palmer
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Ludwig Hanemann - Punx was a close friend of mine. In one of his books, he outlined his method of learning his lines and coordinating them with his movements. He would record his script on a cassette. Then, as he played the cassette, he would do the tricks in the routine. If he found that there was a problem area, he would practice that part by itself. But eventually he would be going through the whole routine from beginning to end as the tape played the script. By the time he had the moves down, he had the script completely memorized.

Now, once you have reached that point, you can practice the script by itself, while you visualize yourself doing all of the work flawlessly. This "mental practice" was an important component of his work.

But random chatter and the advice to "just talk a lot if you are nervous" are not good at all. If you suddenly start chattering at various points in your routines, your audiences will soon learn that you are covering up what you are doing with idle speech.

Your "patter" (and I don't like that term at all) really needs to make sense. It is supposed to add to the spectator's enjoyment of your performance, not detract from it.
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treysdaddy
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I practice the vocal part of my routines while driving. I used to do the same with job interviews. For days prior to an interview, I would keep a list of popular interview questions with me and answer them out loud while driving. With all of the speakerphones in cars, you don't look like an idiot talking to yourself anymore.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2004-01-06 09:42, treysdaddy wrote:
With all of the speakerphones in cars, you don't look like an idiot talking to yourself anymore.
Bill


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"The Swatter"

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Gary Dayton
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Quote:
On 2004-01-06 02:58, Bill Palmer wrote:
Ludwig Hanemann - Punx was a close friend of mine. In one of his books, he outlined his method of learning his lines and coordinating them with his movements. He would record his script on a cassette. Then, as he played the cassette, he would do the tricks in the routine. If he found that there was a problem area, he would practice that part by itself. But eventually he would be going through the whole routine from beginning to end as the tape played the script. By the time he had the moves down, he had the script completely memorized.


I think this is really good advise. I first heard about this on one of the forums. A professional magician (I can’t remember his name now) suggested recording your script and playing it while practicing the moves of the trick. Not only do you really learn the patter, but your moves are timed with the words – kind of like performing to music. This really improved my practice and performances, and I think it gave me an extra boost of confidence, too. You are really training yourself to perform with the script or patter when you do this. You know it’s easier to just run thru the moves of a routine and not give much attention to the words you say. This forces you to change that … for the better.

Gary


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Bill Palmer
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There is a card worker named Paul David, who used to live in Houston. He had a practice regime that very few of us understood. I did, because I was in the entertainment business, and I knew what he was doing. He used to come into the pizza parlor where I played and did magic, and sit by the window at the front of the place. He would do his magic, complete with lines, to an "audience of none."

The blaring music we played served as a "real world distraction."

Slydini used to turn on a radio full blast while his students performed for him, so he could see how well they could tune out the distractions.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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phil
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One thing I picked up in a public speaking course is that writing out and practicing a script is a good way to organize your thoughts. You don't need to contentrate to keeping with the script after doing it a few times because you'll know what you're trying to say. Hope this helps.
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fengenroll
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Thank you all for the nice info.
I will try to combine some different things mentioned in those posts above, along with taping my sessions with the new JVC digital Videocamera I won in a lottery at work (yeah!)
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Bob Sanders
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Bill,

If you remember, Tony Slydini would not only turn on the radio while the poor working student was expected to listen to the metronome, he would move the furniture and turn his back to you and talk.

Then there was always his parting shot. "When you go home and learn this, it will be OK. Remember timing."

He was a great teacher.

Bob Sanders
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Dallen
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Yep rehersal is key. But you should not forget the technical aspects of the trick. Pratice it so much that you completely master it..then pratice even more. If you can do it like it was second nature, then you can put a more concentrated effort in your performace.
rannie
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Try recording your lines using a tape recorder. Do it a a pace you feel right for the effect. Play it back and practice the handling and the choreography. When you've nailed it, do it again, this time lipsyncing yourself. After mastering this, the whole thing will be second nature to you.

p.s.
I still mentally as well physically practice routines I've been doing for years. It keeps me sharp and it makes me revisit the routines for new changes.
Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

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