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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deckless! » » Learning New Packet Effects. One Tiny Error = Disaster! (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
14063 Posts

Profile of daffydoug
Ever notice that in learning a new packet effect, even so it seems than other effects, one tiny error, one slip of your memory can totally screw up the entire effect?

Take it from a guy who has learned hundreds over the decades!

The problem is that so many packet effects have SIMILARITIES, in the moves, where and when to hold the break, where the Elmsley count is inserted, whether the last card of the count uses a variation, whether a certain card or group of cards goes on the top or the bottom of the packet, etc, etc and all the myriad details that go into pulling off the deception in it's entirety and flawlessly.

I find it difficult to keep MULTIPLE packet effects sharp in my memory or fresh at my fingertips, because they start to get mixed up in my head. And if I lose that feeling of freshness or sharpness in my mind, or CONFIDENCE in my ability to pull it off without a hitch, I become very hesitant about performing it. I get cold feet, even though at one time in my life I may have been able to do that effect in my sleep.

What are you guy's thoughts on the subject of packet effects and fallible human memory?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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Inner circle
2320 Posts

Profile of todsky
I'd love to add Sidewalk Shuffle to my repertoire. I learned it awhile back, but then forgot the moves (there are sooooo many) because I didn't do it regularly. I think the only way to keep a packet trick in working order and fresh is to do it on a regular basis, at least once a week. Unfortunately my practice habits are not as good as they should be.
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Inner circle
Essex, UK
1052 Posts

Profile of martyjacobs
Nothing beats regular practice. Keep a small crib sheet with each packet trick to quickly remind you of the sequence of moves. It's also a good idea to develop and memorise a script that reminds you of each move in order. Connect keywords to counts and displacements. Take a look a Alex Elmsley's script for his "The Four Card Trick":

The exposition makes the effect clearer and helps Elmsley remember the sequence of events.

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Inner circle
East Orange, NJ
3211 Posts

Profile of jimgerrish
Today you have a tool that you didn't have when you first started in magic: the ability to video record using your phone, and transfer your video files to your computer for storage. That way you can make a recording of you performing each packet trick while you remember it and are in good form. You can follow up with a video of you explaining how to do the packet trick and things you have discovered while performing it. This is not for sale, but for your own use- it's the memory you need just before you perform so you can recall how the dang trick is done! Back in the day, (1950's) when I first started in magic, I kept copious notes on every trick I owned and every trick I learned and knew. The e-Books I produce today for The Magic Nook are based on those notes, and I still use them today to refresh my aging memory about what I used to know when I was smart enough to write down everything. But with the coming of the computer/digital age, I now do a lot of performing into my video camera and my hard drive (now a two terabyte drive!) is gradually filling up with my memories.
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New user
90 Posts

Profile of Melephin
Why would you forget the routine, while you perform it? You would not perform a packet trick, that you haven't done for a long time, would you?

When it comes to perform a packet trick or any trick at all I wouldn't think about the moves or how to perform it. I just think about what I want the spectator to see. The moves how to achieve that are burned in my muscle memory. Don't have to think about them.
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Inner circle
Trieste (Italy)
1053 Posts

Profile of mlippo
As said above, there a way too many packet tricks and most of them are similar in effect, but may have little differences in handling, set up and what have you.
And I also used to know and practise many many of them.

What I've done now it to throw in the rubbish (really, not joking) most of them, keeping just a few, the best ones in terms of effect, props and handling (in my opinion of course) and which effects are sufficiently different for laymen to perceive them as a "different trick".

And this solved many problems for me.

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deckless! » » Learning New Packet Effects. One Tiny Error = Disaster! (2 Likes)
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