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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Keeping Track Of Routines (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tony Thomas
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Inner circle
North Carolina
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How do y'all keep track of your different routines? Do you keep them fresh and rehearsed? How many do you keep ready?
From the Encouraging Magic of...
Tony Thomas
www.magictonythomas.com
Tony Thomas
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Inner circle
North Carolina
1240 Posts

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I'll start - I currently know 4 routines...

-one for the chop cup
-one two cup routine
-two three cup routines

I write the routines out in detail and keep them on a word document. I don't have a set way that I review my routines. I'm interested in different types of magic, so through the course of a year I will pull out different things and review what I know on those things, to keep them in my memory bank. You know, linking rings one month, multiplying balls the next, then my cups. No set schedule, but based on my interest. If I have a show to practice for, then that takes priority.

How many routines do most keep up with? I have a couple of others in print that I am considering learning, but I am weighing the value related to the cost of keeping it long term.
From the Encouraging Magic of...
Tony Thomas
www.magictonythomas.com
MikeDes
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Inner circle
Montreal
1177 Posts

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Besides a full database of props, tricks, videos and stuff, I keep a "repertoire" list to make it easier when I am planning a show. As far as documenting routines, I just record a video.
Nate The Magician
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I keep a list in my notebooks- but really, I don't worry too much about keeping routines straight. I mean, what's magic without a little improvisation, right?
On a more serious note, however, practicing your act every day is important. It helps to get the moves more natural than breathing. Also, jam sessions are a very good way of keeping moves fresh in your mind- just run through every move you know or can think of and hope for the best.
Just my two cents. Actually, my one cent- I don't have enough cents to give away two cents- that just wouldn't make any cents!
Codyreese
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Salt Lake City
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I keep a list on my computer that syncs everywhere else. Ill try to always have 3 different 5 minute routines committed to memory and the rest written down or video taped.
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5735 Posts

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I simply perform often enough, so that rehearsals aren't needed as often. I rehearse and practice with a goal in mind, usually to make a specific improvement to a routine. Routines are recorded on video, so that I can run through the script with props in hand, if needed, which it rarely is. The props, while in hand, should trigger the recall of the routine in most cases.

I have setlists in the prop case, to refer to during the show. They use rather large fonts and are mounted inside the case. For strolling gigs, I just trust my gut as to what to perform next. If it's a situation where the strolling set turns into a stand-up set, as in small groups, I may have a setlist under the cellophane of a deck of cards, which sits on a table or chair.

As for how many routines I know, I lost the motivation to keep a count. I just keep the setlists to refer to. I also have files with routines that I know.
Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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I keep bibliographies on Ms-word for the effects, moves and lines that I'm interested in.

Then I write acts with several carefully ordered effects to form a sort of very consistant story adapted to my character (the scripting of these effects within the frame of the acts is a constant work in progress) then I rehearse (which includes but exceeds practice) the body language, the silences, the feints,... and from time to time film audience reactions to improve the interaction with the audience. I'm not so much after claps than lower jaws on the floor as claps break the pace of an act even if people cannot refrein from it.
I'm aware of a lot of routines but perform only four acts (standing card act without table, sitting card act, standing close up/parlour act without table, sitting close up act). For the last year or so, I'm designing a mental act without paper or table

In this respect I collected over 50 years, descriptions of moves, variants of effects (I hate reinventing the wheel and love giving credit where credit is due), lines and catchy quotes (adapted from and outside the magic world), acting bits and pieces (body language), feints and misdirection examples or theories... that come from books or DVDs

These are noted and classified either in Word (mostly) or in Excel with personal annotations and I complete them as time goes by.

Altogether, this represents about 45 effects ; tht's about five for each act + one additional effect for each act to be able extend performance time or please customers who already saw the act and want to see it again.
I enjoy watching other magicians doing their routiness but don't wish to learn new routines that wouldn't make sense in one of my acts. I like exchanging ideas but detest performing for magicians who try to check what they already know or don't understand that what they like is the script that took longer to write, rehearse and adapt than it took to learn the moves and practice them. Magicians watching magic seem to have therefore difficulties in entering into an emotional story which makes the existance of magic believable (or at least questionable) rather than displaying a performer's skill

... but that's me
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
mago.niko
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Athens, Greece
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Mr Ben Salinas wrote a very clever idea in his blog a while ago.
Take an old deck of cards and write on each card a trick you do or did. Shuffle the cards and each time take the top card and practice the routine.
Beside the excel database I keep I found this idea very helpful.
Searching for the magic side of life...
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Billy McComb published a nice way using 3X5 index cards. Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Tim Friday
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I found an app called 'Index Card' I like to use
Dick Oslund
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Inner circle
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If you are working every day, you don't need a "cheat sheet".
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Christopher Moro
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Video is great. I shoot myself doing the routine, or trying out different ideas and record explanations where necessary. The videos are filed away, organized by effect or whatever detail will help me keep the best track of them. These are on hard drive. It's very easy to revisit and evaluate these variations or alternate handlings or phases with this method... in addition to the obvious and main benefit of video... to see how bad I am Smile
AKMan
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Spokane, WA
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Every new effect that I learn I write up in my own words in a document that I keep on my computer and print out for a three ring binder notebook. I have full routined shows on 3x5 cards. If I need to do a show with a specific theme I look at the cards and notebook to see what I need to do to fill in or take out for that particular show. I only recently started with the notebook idea when I realized I had forgotten key parts or patter to good routines I did 20 years ago. For that reason I even write up the stuff I’ve been doing for years because I might forget it someday and my notebook will save me. ~Jon
Tony Thomas
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North Carolina
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Jon- great idea with the written docs on the computer and the notebook for back up, plus the cards. Wow, that is thorough. I think we are both wired similarly. I also like the video ideas. These days video is simple and can be quicker and more clear than writing.
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Tony Thomas
www.magictonythomas.com
Quentin
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Inner circle
1008 Posts

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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2014, AKMan wrote:
Every new effect that I learn I write up in my own words in a document that I keep on my computer and print out for a three ring binder notebook. I have full routined shows on 3x5 cards. If I need to do a show with a specific theme I look at the cards and notebook to see what I need to do to fill in or take out for that particular show. I only recently started with the notebook idea when I realized I had forgotten key parts or patter to good routines I did 20 years ago. For that reason I even write up the stuff I’ve been doing for years because I might forget it someday and my notebook will save me. ~Jon


Well said. Having a written script is very important, especially if you have learnt to entertain with your tricks. You will have some gags, lines and bits of business, some of which you will eventually forget, or add new ones. Having the written script means you can always check back.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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If I came up with an Ad Lib, I would add it to my 3x5 cards. (I also would update the playing time). I had one trick that started as a 3-minute bit, and over time it wound up my CLOSER at 7-minutes.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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Gene Anderson suggested that magicians should record their shows on cassettes, then play them back on the cassette player in their automobile on the way to their next show. This stimulates the memory of the routine.

This was in the 1970's.

Of course, there are more up to date media for recording shows. For example, if you have an iPad, you can record not only an audio version of it, but you can have the video record as well. Just don't watch the video when you are driving!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Kbuck54
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I write out , in long hand, in a journal, each effect. I jam daily, practice and rehearse. Keeps evrything flowing as it should.
SHAZAM!
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