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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Biggest Mistakes that Card Magicians Make (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Terrible Wizard
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It seems to me that a lot of youtube stuff is junk, or exposure, or both. And that learning from true experts is safe, whereas a beginner (who can't really tell whether or not a particular youtube tutorial is actually any good, especially if it at first appears good) is entering dangerous waters when learning from YTube non-experts because they might be picking up bad habits or sub-par technique which they will only have to correct later on.
Terrible Wizard
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Let me add another classic mistake that I make again and again - analysis paralysis borne of information overload.

There's too much information out there. Say I want to learn to do card magic. I ask online, or do a search, as to where to start. I end up reading for three hours and get offered a hundred different books, DVDs, systems or lists of sleights.

Eventually, I take the plunge, spend some money, work through some book or DVD. Sooner or later I hit a snag, or find that a particular move I want/need to learn to do some trick/effect I like isn't there. Again I go online to get help - and get a range of opinions telling me that my initial choice of book/DVD was sub-par, or that the moves are taught incorrectly, that I'd be better off with so-and-so's DVD/book on that sleight, or that I'll find the 'missing' move, trick, principle in this or that resource. From one source I trusted I now have another hundred sources to decide between and I suspect all of them.

And maybe I buy couple more resources. And I find one doesn't suit me at all, and the other teaches the move very differently to my original source. Which is best? I go online again and find out that both those sources are out-dated, I need something else ...

And so on. Smile

I really wish there was a personalised, one-stop, expert, trusted, universally respected, fully comprehensive source I could turn to without having to swim through the deep sea of card magic resources, pulled every which way or led on goose chases and dashed against rocks of poor purchases, false information or bad habits. Basically, the best way to learn is to have an expert mentor. Everyone else ... well, we get to flounder a bit more.
0045
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Hi White Snowman

As a pure hobbyist with limited performance experience (Friends, Family, Workmates and occasionally in pubs) I have very few magical friends.

One person who I have met and got to know reasonably well through a common interest in card magic is really quite talented but by his own admission learns most of his effects from dvd's.

This may not seem like a bad thing (I too have a number of dvd's mainly from Mr Lorayne and Mr Ammar) The thing that irks me though is the way he performs his card magic. He literally emulates every effect he learns, When he does a small set one moment he is a brash tough guy like Mr Lorayne (Not intended as a criticism Harry, you are one of my card heroes and I have learned a lot from your dvd's and books but I couldn't get away with your performance style) the next moment he is softly spoken and elegant like Mr Vincent and then he goes into into a comedy routine straight from a Mr Malone dvd. As good as he is there is just no cohesion in performance style.

Learn your effects and then adjust them to suit your own personality. Don't fall into the trap of learning an effect with it's accompanying patter and then thinking that that is the only way to perform it. Be yourself and not a clone with multi personalities.

Regards and best wishes.

0045
Harry Lorayne
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0045: I think I've written/said it - repetitiously and redundantly - after perhaps hundreds of my written effects/routines - Learn it as I teach it, AND THEN - add your own three Ps - Patter, Personality, Presentation.

(Do I really come across as a "brash tough guy" when doing card magic? Interesting - because my lay audiences never, ever, seem to feel that way.)
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
0045
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Just my impression Mr Lorayne.

I love to watch you perform and respect your contribution to card magic. The brash tough guy that I perceive is never rude and never causes offence, it just wouldn't work for me. You are a unique individual and I would encourage anyone to listen to your advice. Wish I could buy you a beer and chew the fat.

Regards

0045
Doug Trouten
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Harry, maybe 0045 is from the mild Midwest like me. We're a timid people, and think of everybody from New York as a "brash tough guy"!
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
MeetMagicMike
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Johnstu wrote:

Quote:
can tell you one of the biggest mistakes card magicians make when giving advice: Assuming the reason they are into magic is the same reason anyone should be into magic...


I wholeheartedly agree with this entire post. I only quoted the first sentence.
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I took the Pledge
Jon Strum
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Biggest mistake - being boring. Reasons why magicians are boring? All of the above posts.

Once you're finished practicing your sleights, start rehearsing your performance. And be sure you are clear about the difference between the two.

Great magicians can make even the most simple self-working card effect look absolutely magical. Lesser magicians can make anything boring. Or worse.
"Do you like card tricks?" he asked.
I said no. He did five.
Jacob3
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Don't ever perform Ambitious Card to someone who is sittig while youre standindg.
RiderBacks
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Quote:
On Sep 24, 2015, Terrible Wizard wrote: It seems to me that a lot of youtube stuff is junk, or exposure, or both. And that learning from true experts is safe, whereas a beginner (who can't really tell whether or not a particular youtube tutorial is actually any good, especially if it at first appears good) is entering dangerous waters when learning from YTube non-experts because they might be picking up bad habits or sub-par technique which they will only have to correct later on.


Lots of people rant about online videos. There is some truth to some of those rants, but there is also much falsehood. The best handling I've ever seen of one of the better tricks ever is available on a major video site. There is so much that can be learned by watching people (and especially experts) perform their routines on YouTube or other sites. And there are plenty of expert performances on all the major video sites. Intelligent beginners should be able to sift the wheat from the chaff, especially with some research. Unintelligent beginners will never go far anyway. Of course, I do not recommend relying on online videos alone. That would be truly insane. You do need books. But books plus videos (of all qualities) plus--and this is most important--a sound mind, is the absolute best.

Also, there is no such thing as over-analysis.
GideonK
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I find that one of the biggest mistakes some card magicians make is, they'll focus on the method and moves rather than the effect and entertaining the audience.
GideonK
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Quote:
On Nov 18, 2015, Jacob3 wrote:
Don't ever perform Ambitious Card to someone who is sittig while youre standindg.

I'm curious as to why you feel this way. My ambitious card is usually one of the first things I'll casually perform and I particularly enjoy doing it for a sitting audience. I find that there is an extra element of misdirection when I perform card to mouth and I've yet to be caught in a double lift. Overall I feel it doesn't detract from the routine and in some cases, enhances it, but that's just me. I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter.
Jacob3
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Quote:
On Nov 20, 2015, GideonK wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 18, 2015, Jacob3 wrote:
Don't ever perform Ambitious Card to someone who is sittig while youre standindg.

I'm curious as to why you feel this way. My ambitious card is usually one of the first things I'll casually perform and I particularly enjoy doing it for a sitting audience. I find that there is an extra element of misdirection when I perform card to mouth and I've yet to be caught in a double lift. Overall I feel it doesn't detract from the routine and in some cases, enhances it, but that's just me. I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter.


It is because you need to have your deck heavily slanted towards your audience at all times. Otherwise they can clearly see that the card your putting in the middle of the deck is not their card.
MGordonB
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In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde - Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.
MichaelJae
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^^AGREED^^
When "magicians" copy every single ****ing word to a routine that isn't theirs. Seriously, use your ****in head and develope your own presentations. The ones that need to be spoonfed are not magicians, their just tricksters performing someone else's magic.
Zee
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I am not a great magician, or I won't even call myself a magician, but there are a few things that bother me from time to time.

People do not practice there sleights and say "Oh, I am more about entertainment/presentation" or "I use misdirection". They find themselves all kinds of excuses to not practice. Dai Vernon once said "If you don't like practice, for god's sake, take up some other hobby." Tommy Wonder also said we should not always heavily rely on misdirection(or direction as he say) to patch things up.

People just need to at least try to practice and make their sleights look good.

Zee
Jon Strum
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Thought of one more - Believing that you can get away with something that appears slightly less than perfect because of the degree of difficulty associated with executing a particular sleight.

If an invisible pass is *almost* invisible, and the performer can't add the necessary offsetting misdirection, it's no longer a magical effect.

Magic may be the only thing in the world that can't appear "almost perfect" to an audience. Because the moment that happens, you lose suspension of disbelief and the performance stops being magical. That's something that shouldn't be overlooked.
"Do you like card tricks?" he asked.
I said no. He did five.
wwhokie1
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SPEED. I think one of the biggest mistakes is trying to go too fast. The "hand is quicker than the eye" is not really what we are trying to accomplish. It is not about doing a move quickly, but doing it correctly and smoothly. Whenever you move at an abnormal speed you are drawing attention to the fact that you are "making a move" or "performing a slight". they might not see what you did, but they certainly know you just did something. That is the exact opposite of misdirection. You want to perform a move when they have no idea you are performing a move. Watch performances of great card workers. Don't watch the explanations, just watch the performances. They don't rely on speed.
RedHatMagic
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Not unique to card magicians....too much umm, ok, alright now then, (eg filler words to no purpose) also I will (eg now I will cut the deck) I can see you are cutting the deck.
Let the Entertainment Commence!
DaveGripenwaldt
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Looking at this string again, I thought of another one....one of Gregory Wilson's pet peeves.

Card workers who "do the moves for themselves" and not take in account the audience's perspective. In other words, they necktie cards they hold so they can see them, instead of showing them oriented to a spectator’s eye line. Or they present an effect so that everyone has to look down on it, when displaying items at chest level would allow more people to see the items. Or they spread cards to show the spectators something and they spread left to right so that spectators are seeing everything upside down, etc.

It tends to come from guys practicing tricks without a spectator; or, at least not spending time thinking about how things need to be displayed so the audience can actually see what is going on.
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