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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » What/how to practice? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dschmunis
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Hillsboro, OR
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Hi all,

After a long time (10 years) in a Galaxy far, far away... I'm starting to work my way back into magic to find all my pasts skills and tricks gone... that's the down side. The UP side is that I get to rediscover a bunch of cool and fun stuff all over again! Smile

That said, let me get to my question:

There's a list of tricks that I want to start doing again and another list of 'moves' that I know that I need to practice/re-learn. How should I break up my practice?

Should I, for example, take one night to focus on moves and another night focus on tricks? Or should I spend 1/2 the time with moves and the other half with tricks?

If going with moves vs tricks: would you recommend to focus on just one move or try 2-3 per practice session?

As always, thank you to all the wonderful support and advice in these forums! Smile
D.
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3643 Posts

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I'd pick something you want to perform and think about why, what appeals and where would you perform it.

Have good reason for liking the effect (apart from the personality of the performer you first saw doing it) and you have someplace you could make use of it in performance, start with that trick.

Learn the moves needed. I think learning moves is best in the context of a trick where it is needed (not that I don't practice separate moves as well).

Think about the order of operations and the information the audience needs (like patter set up and instructions).

Think about how you could express your character in the performance. The patter and words you use are a good start but how you move and relate to the audience can be a part as well.
If you are just a guy doing Magic you may not think you have a character but you certainly have your own personality, so express yourself and your interests.

I find working on up to three projects at a time, going from one to the other, keeps some focus but offers variety. Sometimes my projects will relate and inform one another, like Ring and Rope and Ring and Ribbon.
When practicing moves in Ring and Ribbon, for instance, I tend to have one move I'm really into that night and I will usually work on the move before and after the main focus so the move I'm working on most will have context. Sometimes I don't have a real routine yet so I'll just put the moves in a kata that works well for the transitions.

Without some focus, you will find it hard to get anything "out there" in a real performance. Try and force yourself to complete one project before moving on to another. A group of Magic friends that you trust to be honest can be a big help.

When you really immerse yourself in practice you will find a new world of enjoyment in Magic.

-Mary Mowder
JasperLee
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There's a list of tricks that I want to start doing again and another list of 'moves' that I know that I need to practice/re-learn. How should I break up my practice?

Yes! Focusing on one sleight or one effect a week seems to be the best way to go about it for me.

Should I, for example, take one night to focus on moves and another night focus on tricks? Or should I spend 1/2 the time with moves and the other half with tricks?

While there are no hard and fast rule to these, I think it would make sense to limit your practice base on the duration. I.E. 20 minutes a day on trick, 10 minutes a day on sleight etc. A timer would really make things interesting.

If going with moves vs tricks: would you recommend to focus on just one move or try 2-3 per practice session?
I'm sure practicing multiple moves within a session would make it more interesting for yourself!

I think David Stone puts it best in his "Real Secrets of David Stone" DVD about how he practice with a box of matches.

He does a sleight as many times as he can without failing and puts one match away each time he succeeds. Everytime he fails, its back to square one. The matches goes back in the box. The aim is to put away 100 matches which translate to 100% success rate in a way.

While that's perfect for practicing sleights, probably the only way to be better at performing is to watch yourself doing it. Nothing beats filming down your act LIVE and re watching it over and over again.
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3643 Posts

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Doing the same thing over and over allows you to see more and more details in the minutia. It can take some time to achieve this state. At least 20 mins LOL

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour....

Auguries of Innocence
William Blake
Mark Boody Illusionist
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1172 Posts

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D.

Here is resource that you may find very useful. It is well worth the investment.

http://www.geraldedmundson.com/tof1/bookorder.htm

Best of luck

Mark
Coolmanclyde
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As always, that's some awesome advice Mary!!

That's the second time I have come across a link to ostrich factor. Thanks for link. I'll have to invest in this.

To the OP: I practice one item ( cards or coin) and one trick a night whenever possible. I can almost do the simple ones with eyes closed. For instance I'll just do ambitious card over and over. Or a color change routine over and over. It sometimes it's a one/two coin routine/moves I'll fumble with all night. Then some Cups and balls Smile

I try not to do multiple in one night. But I cheat on weekends lol! Good luck and welcome back
JassTan
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Singapore
105 Posts

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I usually just pick 3-5 trick and practice during the week, break it down in usually 3 parts if its a longer routine and just practice a small chunks of the sleight sequence.
If it is a new sleight then I will dedicate time only for the that for the week.
The combination of magic and TV show binge watching have help me over come many tough sleights.
Don't forget the check how it looks in the mirror to tweak your practice. Hope it helps
Gerald
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Veteran user
Texas
318 Posts

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Thank you, Mark for recommending The Ostrich Factor. I do appreciate it.

Best,
Gerald
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