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

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Shawn74
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Wow! This forum is great. It has definitely helped inspire me to not only use a camcorder for rehearsal, but it has also inspired me to go back to some of the material that I have and find some new effects to work on. Something out of the ordinary for me, which would mean getting away from cards for a bit. LOL Now if I can just find a tripod or something make shift heheeh

Thank you all for your insight.
Shawn

Posted: Jul 23, 2005 9:36pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I do have another question about using the Camcorder for practice and rehearsal. Do you focus the camera on your hands when working with coins and cards, as though the spectator were burning your hands, or do you go more for an overall waist up shot. Is waist up, are you able to focus in close enough to resemble a spectator standing fairly close to you? Just wanting to know the best way to work with this

Thanks again
Shawn

P.S. On the above I post I meant insight, but you all probably knew that. Sorry
Thanks again
Hold your breath...make a wish...count to 3... and you'll be in a world of pure imagination
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croman
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I also pracitice alone in front of a mirror, and then I first try it on family to see if it's good or if I need to practice a little bit more.
greatsandini
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One more thought to add and expand on the concept of discipline. I knew an olympic long distance runner once who, no matter WHAT she did the night before, got up EVERY morning at 4AM and ran. Every day. No matter what. If she drank too much, she ran. If she didn't get any sleep, she ran.

My point is, there is NO difference between her and anyone else EXCEPT that when the alarm goes off, she gets up, no matter what. Others hit snooze and say, "I'm tired. I'll do it tomorrow." If you can conquer your mood, inclinations and feelings, you're 90% there.

Really, it's all a matter of overcoming the voice in your head arguing for not doing it. We relate to that voice like it's worth listening to, but it's not. Not this voice. If you can simply ignore that voice, tell it "Thanks for sharing," then grab your coins/cards/rope and get to work, you've won.

That's what I use to motivate myself; I hope it makes a difference for others.
Pachin
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I do not uderstand why is difficult to practice when is so much fun to do so. It is like playing with your toys. Doing magic to the spectatos its just a demonstration of your art. Put it this is way. The artist that paints, uses his time alone and inspiration to express his feelings and emotions of a particular moment. He continues his work little by little. Each line, scratch, form and color that he puts in the paint is the result of what he felt creating in a particular moment. At the end he has a piece of art which represent all those moments.

Same concept applies to magic. Your final presentation shows pieces of art that you have put together day by day. It is your final creation. If you are not having fun every time you practice your art, that means that something is forcing you to do magic. This means that your motivation to do magic is external to you. You really need to love magic deep in your heart to find every moment joyfull and fun.
greatsandini
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I find that different types of practice are more difficult to find enjoyable. For me, fiddling around is always fun. But drilling a sleight or rehearsing a effect, start to finish, can get frustrating after a while. And it's the 100th repetition, not the 3rd that takes something to the next level. And it's these two ways of practicing (among others) that get me from rough to polished, from having a theoretical effect to a having a "worker."
carldourish
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I use camcorder. Simple playback and learn, over & over & over, until you have nailed it. But that's the easy part learning the trick. It's how your going to put a personality across with the trick.

Carl
John Bowlin
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The camcorder is great but I still find a 3 section mirror invaluable for getting different views simultaneously. It is also immediately repeatable with immediate feedback. I only got the the camcorder to see the routine, not individual mechanics and effects so much.
Gerald
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I am getting e-mails asking if the information in the book, The Ostrich Factor is the same as in my articles in M-U-M magazine. While some of the subject matter is similar, the articles in the magazine are completely different. They are not rewrites from sections of the book.

Thanks for the e-mails. I appreciate your interest in The Ostrich Factor.

Regards,

Gerald
JackScratch
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There are very clearly two subjects being discussed here. There is a big difference between practice and rehearsal. Practice in front of a mirror; rehearse in front of a camera, test audience, or director. When practicing, it is enough to simply watch your own actions for proper execution, but when you rehearse, all of your focus should be on performance, while performing, not on a mirror, or your own actions.
EsnRedshirt
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Agreeing with JackScratch-
Practice is for perfecting the trick. Rehearsal is for perfecting the routine.
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
gordonmj
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I just sit infront of the television and do it until I don't even need to think about doing the trick and my fingers know what to do.
booya!
EsnRedshirt
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For those of us who lack a video camera, many inexpensive webcams (even in the $30 range) can record full-motion video. Which means you can also post your routines on the internet for feedback or publicity (but for the love of God, don't post routines which really screw up and reveal the trick.)

Don't have a computer? How are you reading this, then? Smile
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
gene plampin
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Discipline has always been a difficulty for me. Why look, I am reading about practice instead of doing it. I have started taking lessons from soemone I really respect. I find that helps me sit down and practice because I have to show him what he taught me a couple weeks later. I know he won't waste his time with me if I don't practice. While I am soemwhat a newbie, I think even for more experienced magicians, if you make a promise to a colleague to show him somethng and set a date, the exterior motivation helps greatly if you don't have enough internal motivation.

Gene
GG
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Well at first I practiced the basics,(coin sleights)not having much free time, coin magic allows me to practice while working,or any time really that is the beauty of it to me it does give freedom, and a lot of times I don't even know I'm practicing just playing arond,when I've learned the required sleights I then learn the routine, the moves,etc, now after over a year am now putting together a 8-10 minute coin routine, I am most deffinetly a perfectionist,my magic might not yet be perfect but that is my aim, I now praticing my routine as often as possible,writing down mistakes and possible reasons, trying to eleminate them, patter,etc is all built in. I'm sure there is a better way and if any body can give any more advise it would be appreciated,I went throu the entire routine the other day around 20 times,with a 75% succes rate when I hit 85 I will perform I think that might give me that bit extra.
chronos
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I practice in front of a video camera. I find that if I play the same session over and over it helps to pick out all the little bits that need to be corrected.

Also, when I practice, I make sure I spend a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes on the routines I use in shows before I try learning something new. Kind of like an incentive program.
Gerald
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If you are learning something new, especially if it is difficult for you, practice this for quite some time when you are fresh and enthusiastic. Practice your performing repertoire (which you are trying to maintain at performance level) when you are tired and feel uninspired. Then switch the two. You'll find that your attitude toward practice is healthier when you are "uninspired" and that your "enthusiastic" time is more creative and productive.

Sometimes we work and make progress and sometimes we don’t. Mind, body and spirit work in strange ways. I don’t mean to get “cosmic”, but the more we are “attuned” with ourselves, the more productive our practice will be.

I hope these thoughts help with your practice and rehearsal.

Regards,

Gerald
Chatterbox41
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I actually have a "goal" sheet for my practice sessions... this keeps me from "playing" with everything in my close-up case. I actually decide what I'm going to practice in advance. Then what I'm going to practice will direct how I'm going to practice. If I'm trying to learn a new move or routine, I may just be sitting on my bed with the book and the props and going over it step by step. If I'm just working on a sleight used in an effect, I may actually be in front of the tv doing the sleight over and over. If I'm working on angles, I may be in front of a mirror turning to look at different sides and postiions. If I'm working on my performance, I may in front of a video camera running through the routine with patter to hear what sounds natural and what needs work and what needs changing.

I'm not sure there is a "right way" to practice. I think it depends on what it is your trying to accomplish at that time.
fyi2
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One thing I do instead of just watching a video, try playing it, close your eyes and just listen to your set. You will hear the dead spots and weak transits in a heatbeat!

Tony
Sammy J.
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I think you have to have the right understanding when rehearsing in front of a video camera.

I think it is important that you do this, but when I do, I am often disappointed with my performance.

I think my disappointment is somewhat do to the fact that I am not performing for people.

I just don't have the same personality when I'm alone that I have when I'm with people.

I still think it is important to rehearse before a camera. I think there is a lot you can learn. I just think I do a better job when performing for real people!
Sammy J. Teague
Alex Rapattoni
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That's a great tip Tony! I think that if you can perform a great act with no one there, then when you do perform for a crowd the energy they feed you will only serve to make it a better act. I also sometimes film myself performing for my friends and family for review later.

Also, when filming, I stop every fifteen minutes or so for review.
Weird is part of the job.
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