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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Practicing patience (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dallas Robbins
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Recently I've just got so excited about a new effect I've performed it way too early before a decent amount of practice. I even knew going in I should probably not be doing it, but my excitement for the effect or my desire to entertain a friend seems to hijack my common sense. The fails haven't been completely disastrous, just doing the effects for a couple friends, but I've come to learn I need to practice patience as much as I need to practice in general. I've come to appreciate that a fail during a performance can be a great teacher on many levels. just thought I'd share.
Jason Hutton
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You are definitely not the first or the last to do that. As long as we learn from our mistakes and not repeat, that is all that matters.
Terrible Wizard
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Ive fallen into that trap a number of times ... Smile
Lance Boyce
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I know this one all to well. Though in my case it's false confidence, thinking I'm ready, when I should know better.

Best piece of advice I can give is practice it enough times that you no longer are making any mistakes, I prefer to be able to the trick ten times without mistakes before I'm ready to show it to anyone.
Dick Oslund
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When you're getting dressed, do you need to think which foot you put in your pants leg first? THAT is how "automatic" your performance must be. It should require NO thinking!

When I'm doing my opening trick, I'm "studying" the audience. (I'm looking for a girl whom I will need to work in the silks and linking rings.) When I'm doing the rings, I may be thinking what I'll have for lunch!

If the performance isn't THAT "automatic", you aren't ready!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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When you're getting dressed, do you need to think which foot you put in your pants leg first? THAT is how "automatic" your performance must be. It should require NO thinking!

When I'm doing my opening trick, I'm "studying" the audience. (I'm looking for a girl whom I will need to work in the silks and linking rings.) When I'm doing the rings, I may be thinking what I'll have for lunch!

If the performance isn't THAT "automatic", you aren't ready!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dallas Robbins
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Dick, I like the analogy of putting on your pants. Good advice!
1KJ
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Warning: We will run out of new tricks in
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Quote:
On Mar 17, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
When you're getting dressed, do you need to think which foot you put in your pants leg first? THAT is how "automatic" your performance must be. It should require NO thinking!

When I'm doing my opening trick, I'm "studying" the audience. (I'm looking for a girl whom I will need to work in the silks and linking rings.) When I'm doing the rings, I may be thinking what I'll have for lunch!

If the performance isn't THAT "automatic", you aren't ready!


Dick, that must be why I'm a natural at this. I don't do any thinking... ahh. Ignorance IS bliss.

KJ
kaubell
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I think every trick needs hours of home practice to make it automatic, then takes atleast 8-10 performances to find the real first improvements.
Bogbadger
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I recently learnt Tamariz wonderful "Neither Blind Nor Stupid" which after a slight tweak kindly suggested by a fellow Café member now leads me directly into "Out Of This World." As well as physically practicing I started using an old technique I used for years when learning katas etc in martial arts. I visualise going through the routines again and again just before going to sleep. Sounds mad but it really works to get it as much in your head as in your hands.
bowers
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Dick is absoluty spot about this.
Todd
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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I find that I practice a move or trick for months only to find I should do it differently. There has to be a good balance in what you do. I wait to long and am never confident in my magic. You must find your balance but never perform a trick before it's ready because you can hurt the people watching and disillusion them
Hondo88
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Quote:
On Mar 17, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
When you're getting dressed, do you need to think which foot you put in your pants leg first? THAT is how "automatic" your performance must be. It should require NO thinking!

When I'm doing my opening trick, I'm "studying" the audience. (I'm looking for a girl whom I will need to work in the silks and linking rings.) When I'm doing the rings, I may be thinking what I'll have for lunch!

If the performance isn't THAT "automatic", you aren't ready!


Great analogy. It will help me too. Thanks.
Kabbalah
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"An amateur can be satisfied with knowing a fact; a professional must know the reason why."

"An amateur practices until he can do a thing right, a professional until he can't do it wrong."
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
HallowedHollow
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Wow. The above quote is just the greatest. I have to admit, I'm also impatient when it comes to wanting to show my tricks. Usually it's just to my wife, but that teeny bit of extra pressure makes me mess something up, even if I got it right so many times in a row. I think practicing in a higher stakes environment (not too high stakes, like with a friend or something) after you've practiced for hours by yourself might also be useful.
deadcatbounce
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With items that require dexterity and entertaining vocals, I rehearse and rehearse. When I perform, it takes a while to be able to have a comeback to all the responses and humour involved. I've lost count of how many times I've been asked - "can you make my wife/husband disappear?"

For kids shows, there are certain props and routines where I prefer to break in "in show", and work off the audience response. Dippy Duck, for example.. I was never happy with the idea of whatever it was supposed to do (spell something out, I'd imagine), but over time I'd keep it on show, and as a reserve, if I happened to run out of material)…(never have done!) But I gradually built up the powers of the duck, and it could actually randomly spell out the name of the next volunteer - usually the birthday girl. But it became obvious this wasn't ideal. As soon as you get to the first letter - it kinda blows the gaff - so I bring the letters out in reverse order ( what a brain… !), and then look at the name, trying to pronounce it. Of course, this doesn't work so well for people with palindromic names.. Smile Point is - I started out with nothing on the duck, apart from the basics, and the byplay, and method came about by trial and error..as anyone knows, who uses it in a kids show, there's a load of fun in it for all ages.
Very often, after you're comfortable with an effect, you'll change little bits here and there. I'm always surprised when I look at old footage of me doing an effect I still do, but the performance is totally different.

Another old fav for kids is the cig ash on the palms of their hand. Over the years, this has developed into a story involving my rabbit, my dog, lightning, ashes (dead rabbit) it has a happy ending, and the whole thing takes 10 minutes. It holds them - the story, and the props - flash paper, flash powder, mascara, silver casket (with the ashes in, and a pair of googley eyes.. you get the picture. Takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on time and situation.. I've seen the same trick done in pubs, and it's over in 30 seconds...

So - point I'm making is - practice makes perfect, but it takes time to hone a routine, and the best way to do that is to do it as often as possible.

I'm currently breaking in "Don;t Ring that Bell" by Tommy James. It's developed into a great running gag. I wasn't happy with the fact that I'd have to hold something when the bell went off, so I've modified it so I'm hands free - just another example of something developing through performing.

There's lot of good advice on this thread - this is just my two cents..

DCB
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
alfa33333
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I do not know if it is a matter of confidence, but it happens to me that I am never satisfied. Even an easy self-working trick, I am afraid of getting caught.
deadcatbounce
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Alfa,

Being afraid of getting caught is very different from actually being caught. When you get caught - mark the moment, and rectify the problem for the future. Fear is what holds most people back - not just in performing.

DO you get caught regularly? Now and again? Hardly ever? Sometimes you can be too harsh with yourself. We've all been caught sometime, somewhere - what's important is to have a line to cover it and move on to the next effect. Keep in mind, the audience usually don't know what's supposed to happen…..

Perform in front of strangers as often as you can.

Good luck

DCB
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
Déclic
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I am a beginner too and got too pumped up a few times.
I understand now that I should really work until I am really satisfied instead of thinking that I am doing things well so it's ok.
And being satisfied go through being satisfied as a spectator of my own performance.
Filming yourself can be a starting point, as well as listening yourself delivering your patter, or looking at your hand while performing.
If you have not a true understanding of the mechanics of the routine, to the point that you can play with the concept and mentally go to any point of the trick,
I think that you are not ready. I don't think I am when it's not the case, I can "do" some tricks pretty well from a manipulation or delivery point of view, I own the routine, but I still have not the mental flexibility to really play with it. And when it comes to really clever tricks, like some cards tricks involving sequences and so on, you should have it in my opinion.
It can ask for a little homework such as writing your own understanding of the trick and so on. Not just "hands on" practice and delivery acts.
But we're all different. Maybe for you it pass by different things. Just learn about yourself and find these to find how you must work your routines and effects.
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