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will lane
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Hi all. I've been practicing magic tricks on and off for years now. Posted lots on this site and taken lots of advice. Read and worked through lots of written material. Practiced a lot. The thing is...

I'm still not any good. At all.

A little under a year ago I asked the question, "how to get good- really good" in this thread.

And the overwhelming answer was, summarized: "just get out there and perform, build your confidence up".

Yet I've found it really hard to do anything because my confidence with magic has been at an all-time low. I don't even feel comfortable performing a key card location.

I need some recommendations on whatever tricks you can think of that are 1) IMPOSSIBLE TO MESS UP (self working/little to no skill or sneakiness involved) 2) QUICK 3) ARE AT LEAST PASSABLE ENTERTAINMENT. Material I can be confident in performing. So that I can build up some confidence to start working on other tricks again.

Thanks all.
funsway
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That is what the Fulves "Self-Working Magic" series of books was written for.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
psychod
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Will,

I would also suggest looking at the Card College Light series for some ideas of easy to do tricks that are entertaining.

Dave
Just adding my 3 cents worth because anybody can add their 2 cents worth...
funsway
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I have been thinking about your several post on the 'confidence' issue.


Consider that what you are offering is a life, real-time experience of something considered impossible.
Most folks in your audience will have only vicarious experience with magic that suspect of editing, cuts, angles, hype, etc.
One cannot even look at an alleged "photograph" online without suspecting artistic manipulation.

So, ANYTHING you do will be wonderful, mistakes or not, smooth or not. It will be real and authentic.

Plus, it is honest. You tell them you will be creating an illusion of the impossible using trickery and guile,
and then do exactly that. You can be the most truthful person they meet all day!

Be confident that every person will have their concept of the impossible shaken and may even have it impact their life in some way.

persoanlly, iwould get away from cards as many will think "trick" or "skill" rather than "impossible."

Don't worry about "entertain them with perfection." Give then an unforgettable experience. That is enough.

That does not mean "buy today, perform tomorrow" - just not endless, lonely practice. Avoid friends and family too for your early adventures.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Fedora
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Well will, I have a couple of suggestions,

first, perform for complete strangers, folks you'll never see again (unless you
make the effort to do so) if it goes well or not it will end the same anyway.

i believe lance Burton said in an interview that after just a couple weeks
performing consistently at an amusement park all the nerves were gone.

actually performing for folks is the only way to know if what your doing
is worth doing, and if your making errors, fix them, and perform
for some more folks.

in very quick fashion you won't be nervous, and you'll know weather you
actually know your material.

the only down side is for the folks who watch your first performances,
and they won't know who you are to complain about.

second, learn something mentally demanding particularly well,
even if you don't perform it for folks, other things will look
comparatively easy.

i suggest "stand up monte" for this.

in terms of easy things with high entertainment potential,
I'll probably make some suggestions later.
Fedora
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A few suggestions of simple things with high potential entertainment value,

Comedy cut and restored rope, by mark Wilson.
this can be found in "Wilsons complete course in magic"

although most cut and restored rope effects aren't particularly difficult in
general, this probably has the highest easy to difficult ratio.

a rope is cut and placed in a paper bag, you shake the bag and pull out the pieces,
they are tied together, pull the rope and the knots fall off.

Probably not the biggest wow out there, but It's simple, and still has good
entertainment potential.

next suggestion is, "spot card/crazy dots/what's next?" many different names,
same prop, white card with black dots, as you flip over the card the dots change number,
most will figure out your covering the dots with your hands.

but than the dots actually multiply.
not difficult at all, same repetitive movement over and over, decent entertainment value,
what really makes or breaks it is the dialog.

Last suggestion, "dream queens" marketed effect.
four queens are explained to be in an envelope, one is backwards, they name a suit,
the cards are pulled out, and that card is backwards, It's turned over and It's also
a different color back.

extremely simple, all you have to do is remember how you put the cards in the envelope.

this allows you to focus all your attention on entertaining.
it comes in pocket and parlor sizes, highly recommended.

good luck will.
Wravyn
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Are you looking at close up/intimate magic; small group; parlor?
landmark
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The ultra-mental (Invisible) deck. One of the most impossible effects in the world. Spec names a card and it is the only one reversed in a deck of cards placed on the table before the card was named. Once you get used to working with rough and smooth, it will become easy. And for extra easy, fan the cards in front of your face--you will be looking at the face of their card; then separate so they will be looking at the chosen card's back. No memorization this way.

And if you want to be extra prepared, have a duplicate deck in your pocket...

One more thing; for any trick, allow yourself to fail ten times. Just tell yourself that each failure is one step closer to getting good at it. That way you win no matter what happens.

Best of luck.
will lane
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Thank you all for the advice, funsway, psychod, Fedora, and landmark. I'm looking into your suggestions and will hopefully find something that suits me.

Quote:
On Jun 5, 2022, landmark wrote:
The ultra-mental (Invisible) deck.


Thank you for the advice and thank you for reminding me of the power of the ID. The only thing that tripped me up was the memorization/math. The fan method can work, but I found this site that will "quiz" you with random playing card generation and so I can practice my reaction time.

Quote:
On Jun 4, 2022, Wravyn wrote:
Are you looking at close up/intimate magic; small group; parlor?


Close up primarily, although parlor size is fine too.

Please keep suggestions coming.
Kanawati
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“I’m still not any good. At all.” Will, forgive me if I’ve got you mixed up with someone else but I recall, and I’m quite sure it was you, showing a silk vanish and I remember thinking “that was pretty good!”

I like the suggestions from others already. A couple I’d add:
With the one ahead principle, and forgetting about final loads, cups and balls can be close to self working.
Hopping halves.
…and kind of a non coin version of hopping halves that I really like is Sugar Rush by Platt.
Richard Sanders’ Fiber Optics will give you a ton of great rope moves. Sleight heavy yes but just start and stop with the Professor’s Nightmare if that’s not currently something you do. With time and just for fun you could look at one or two of the other moves he teaches.
Tony Miller
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Pick up B'wave. It's easy to do and will astound the lay audience.
Then just get out there and do it.
__
"If you want magic in your life, start thinking like a magician." - Scott Grossberg

www.anthonyrmiller.com
Tony Miller
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Also check to see if there is a magic club in your area. Either IBM, SAM or both.
You'll see plenty, have plenty of opportunities to perform/practice and grow as a performer.
__
"If you want magic in your life, start thinking like a magician." - Scott Grossberg

www.anthonyrmiller.com
pulpscrypt
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One of my favorite effects is CARD WARP. It does require a specific handling, but I always refer to it as "sawing a lady in half" illusion that I could afford! Smile

There are so many great videos of people performing it and it ALWAYS seems to deliver a full size magical punch.

Practice about 4 hours in front of a mirror with one or two decks of cards (which will get destroyed) and you will feel on top of the world!
Levi Bennett
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You've received lots of great advice Will!

Here's my 2 cents.

First a question. Do you want to perform so badly that you're willing to fail? Because failure is ultimately just another stepping stone on your way to success.

All successful people fail many times on their path to the top, whatever "the top" may be. For some it's vanishing the Statue of Liberty and for others it's doing some card tricks at their nephew's birthday party.

It's the things we learn in failure that eventually prepare us to succeed.
Failure is where we learn to deal with embarrassment, how to improvise, how to ad lib, even ways to do a trick that work in spite of what looks like a failure. And so much more: how to fail with grace, how to laugh at your own failure...

Failure is where we can learn humility. We learn that our magic ultimately isn't about us, we're just there with whatever skills we have trying to bring happiness or excitement or amazement to someone else for a fleeting moment. Unless it is all about ourselves, in which case we need to rethink our motives.

So are you willing to fail? Of course it isn't fun, but it's part of the deal and you have to accept it. It's even possible to screw up a self-working trick lol

Also, one last thing, don't get caught up in the trap of thinking magic is very important. It's just a trick or two. People won't remember very long either way. The best you can hope for is a good moment or two, a smile, a laugh, maybe some amazement.

Answer that failure question for yourself and take all that great advice others have given you and put some smiles on people's faces, if you really want to!

I believe you can do it.
Performing magic unprofessionally since 2008!
funsway
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Fine thoughts from Theodore as usual. Yet, I question, "People won't remember very long either way."

I have had folks describe to others a magic effect I performed as a teenager thirty-forty years after the performance.
Was I "That good?" No! What they remember is that a skinny kid did what they would not -- to get up in front of a hundred strangers,
overcome my fears an doubts, and create an illusion of the impossible being defeated.

Ofter what they would describe never happened except in their mind and fondled perceptions -
more magical and impossible that what I had actually done.

Just do it! Whatever you do will be better than ...
and remembered because you did something "non-possible for them."

In a world where many in your next audience have never seen a LIVE magic Effect there can be no failure --
only memories to be savored.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Wravyn
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If you are looking for something to carry, simple to do, which allows you to interact with your spectators, give some thought towards these items;
Hot Rod
Dan Harlan's Mental Block

If you are looking for something a bit more practice wise, yet simplistic in sleights;
Prohibition Monte by Allan Rorrison and The 1914

Find the Karl Fulves Books of self working Magic; Mentalism
The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne

And as others have said, just get out there and do it. The first step of a thousand step walk is always the hardest, but once you take it, the following ones are going to be easier, even if you do trip since there have been many successful steps already.
Levi Bennett
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Yes, I stand corrected about that Ken. People will remember. I think in general a lot is forgotten, but we do create memories. People move on quickly though, it's not like we remain a topic of conversation for very long. They might mention it when they see us, or watching another magician they might tell someone, "I saw this other magician one time..." But our performance is usually much more important to us than it is to them. I see your point though and you're right.

Thinking about this this morning, another thing to keep in mind is that we are never failure free. We never get to a point where we don't make mistakes. (For example, see my admission above.) Even the world's best magicians mess up once in a while. Failure is a part of life and a part of magic and it never ends. The good news is, you can get better with practice. At magic and at life!

The real improvement then comes with the doing. You can only practice so much, you only get really good by getting out there and doing it. Any musician will tell you this. As a musician I can tell you that. You only get really good by performing a lot. I also got much better at magic by getting out there. And I failed many times.

So, to echo Ken and Wrayvn and many others, just get out there and do it!
Performing magic unprofessionally since 2008!
Mr. Woolery
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Will, what tricks do you enjoy practicing? Do you have particular things that feel good in the hands? For me, I love thimbles and the 3 ball trick just to have something better to do than play with my phone. What’s your trick to occupy your hands? This is the trick I think you would be best off performing.

Set aside time daily to rehearse this one trick. Get ten pennies. Put them in a pile to the left of your practice spot. Do the trick. Talk out loud so you get used to your script. Move one penny to the other side of your practice area. Until you’ve moved all ten. Do it daily for a few days. Then do it for a real person.

When you approach the person, have a rehearsed script. “I don’t mean to bother you, but I need someone who can give me a little feedback on something. Can you spare a little less than 2 minutes?” Most folks will say yes.

Do your trick. Even if you mess it up, do the whole thing. Then ask for feedback. Remember, this is framed as them helping you out. Have a question to finish with. “Do you think the ending is too obvious?” Or “did the spoken part make sense?” Or “could you see the method when I did it?” Or “did you find it entertaining?”

Good tricks for quick performance close up abound. Easy ones, even! A lit match vanishing in your fist is unexpected and easy. Sponge balls are classic for a reason. T&R sugar packet is easy and fun. But pick one that you enjoy doing.

Patrick
will lane
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Thank you all so much for the suggestions and encouragement.

Quote:
On Jun 2, 2022, Fedora wrote:
i suggest "stand up monte" for this, in terms of easy things with high entertainment potential.


I wasn't sure of which stand up monte you were suggesting exactly (there are hundreds of 3 card montes!), the David Blaine version looks great but I think it's a little bit too much pressure and too long for me. But because of this suggestion I found the Blank Card Monte; easy to do, quick enough to work in line at the grocery store. Thank you.

Quote:
On Jun 3, 2022, Fedora wrote:
Last suggestion, "dream queens" marketed effect. four queens are explained to be in an envelope, one is backwards, they name a suit, the cards are pulled out, and that card is backwards, It's turned over and It's also a different color back.


I have Dream Queens on the way, thank you. It will be sure to make friends with my Blank Card Monte set inside my card wallet. Hope to get Mark Wilson's course soon.

Quote:
On Jun 5, 2022, landmark wrote:
The ultra-mental (Invisible) deck. One of the most impossible effects in the world.


Thanks again for this encouragement. I drill myself every so often so that the calculation will become instant and stress-free. It would be easy to go into a simple 2-phase ACR, with a Key-Card location with another deck and an ID location; depending upon how much time I have.

Quote:
On Jun 8, 2022, Kanawati wrote:
Will, forgive me if I’ve got you mixed up with someone else but I recall, and I’m quite sure it was you, showing a silk vanish and I remember thinking “that was pretty good!”


Thanks for the encouragement. I was inspired and decided to revisit my handling for silk appearances/vanishes/blendos. Can't say too much, but I feel better about it; I think the "magic" is in the wiggle of the fingers. Smile

Quote:
On Jun 10, 2022, Wravyn wrote:
Dan Harlan's Mental Block


Is there much difference between this version and other versions of Color Vision/Mental Cube, aside from the handling/routining? I love Color Vision because of it's simplistic, tactile, but mysterious nature. I have the Tora version.
Fedora
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Yes, the Stand up monte I was referring to is by Garrett thomas, the same as used by
David Blaine in one of his specials, although physically easy, it's somewhat mentally demanding,
definitely not a simple effect.

Blank card monte looks neat, haven't seen that before.

Mental block is the same, just made of wood instead of plastic.
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