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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Hocus Focus: Deliberate Practice, the Myth of the 10,000-hour Rule and the Illusion of Mastery (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

martydoesmagic
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I've just published an article on deliberate practice on my blog. This is a topic I'm familiar with from my work in the higher education sector in the UK. However, I've tried to apply it to the world of the amateur magician.

Hocus Focus: Deliberate Practice, the My...... Mastery

The article doesn't go into detail about how to conduct deliberate practice, it is meant to be more of a beginner's guide to the concept. However, I'd like to write a companion piece that is more instructional in nature.

So, I guess what I'm really asking is, what are your strategies to make your practice sessions effective?

Thanks!

Marty
funsway
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Just few thoughts. Instruction theory applies more than teaching theory.

Once you have mastered about six essential sleights, achieving proficiency in new effects need not take too long.
Automaticity is not dependent on hours as much as dedication. For example, I use a sleight called "Swidle" that allows both hands to be shown empty while concealing a coin.
So, I carried hidden coin hand for a week in every daily activity - driving, eating, cooking, going to class, making change at a store, etc.
Is that practice? - or just becoming one with the sleight sequences involved. NowI can add that to any coin routine with NO practice.

Ditto on audience engagement skills that are not restricted to performance magic, Every day, every live interaction with another person.
These should be part of who you are and need only be focused on the effect to be learned.

Mastering an effect must be incremental, and constantly reviewing a video of a performance can be contra-productive. Save video for specific sleights and techniques.

Dress rehearsal is not the same as practice. It is essential, but need only happen once.
"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
martydoesmagic
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ken.

I agree that other sleights and moves become easier to learn once you've mastered some of the fundamentals.

I only wanted to concentrate on deliberate practice in the article, but you're right. Informal/unstructured learning is also important. The 70-20-10 model is a helpful guide. 70% of your magic training comes from informal learning (this could include self-initiated deliberate practice sessions), 20% from learning from others (networking, coaching and mentoring), and a further 10% from formal teaching.

I'll discuss the difference between practice and rehearsal in a future article.

Marty
tommy
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Look, don’t worry about getting technically any good, because all you really need is an interesting persona. An interesting persona is a magic tool, used for marketing the mystique that attracts curiosity and desire. With an interesting persona, one can get oneself invited to elite parties, where one can eat drink, and be merry and also be envied as a great lover and an artist, without having to produce any art of any merit at all.

https://www.itstartswithadam.com/blog/wh......to-money


Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Fedora
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Quote:
On Jan 8, 2023, tommy wrote:
Look, don’t worry about getting technically any good, because all you really need is an interesting persona. An interesting persona is a magic tool, used for marketing the mystique that attracts curiosity and desire. With an interesting persona, one can get oneself invited to elite parties, where one can eat drink, and be merry and also be envied as a great lover and an artist, without having to produce any art of any merit at all.


Is that how criss did it?
George Ledo
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Yup, unfortunately, name recognition (and, in some cases, airheadedness) seems to be enough for some people to get ahead. Look at all the "celebrities" and online "stars" we have nowadays. The article Tommy linked to is long, but worth reading.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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tommy
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Marty's Hocus Focus article was excellent in my humble opinion.

As an old card guy, from the world of gambling, I tend to practice the old-fashioned Erdnase way: seated in the usual manner at a card table, opposite an old triptych mirror, where I become my own critic. I think the new digital cameras are wonderful but old habits die hard. There is some good old advice on practice in the book;

Our Magic. The Art in Magic, the Theory of Magic, the Practice of Magic. by Nevil Maskelyne and David Devant, chapter X Rehearsal.

Rule (24) Never present in public any performance, which has not been most perfectly rehearsed-first in detail and finally as a whole.

I am a fan of Cardini and he would use the theatrical elements as cover or misdirection for moves. So if one is doing that sort of thing, I think, at the end of the day one has to practice both the theatrical elements and magic moves together. They are like two sides of the same coin as Laurie put it.

Now getting back to the party:

https://www.bookforum.com/print/2904/the......ut-25153

I perform most of my card tricks at private parties: sometimes standing up, as opposed to being seated at the card table.
Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
martydoesmagic
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Quote:
As an old card guy, from the world of gambling, I tend to practice the old-fashioned Erdnase way: seated in the usual manner at a card table, opposite an old triptych mirror, where I become my own critic. I think the new digital cameras are wonderful but old habits die hard. There is some good old advice on practice in the book; Our Magic. The Art in Magic, the Theory of Magic, the Practice of Magic. by Nevil Maskelyne and David Devant, chapter X Rehearsal. Rule (24) Never present in public any performance, which has not been most perfectly rehearsed-first in detail and finally as a whole.


I also practice in front of a similar three-panel mirror (meant for the bathroom). I've contemplated buying a tri-panel full-length mirror, but they're very expensive. As you suggest, practising seated is fine. Still, for a full rehearsal, it would be better to see your entire body to check your staging, mannerisms, body language and misdirection technique. Actors and dancers use full-length mirrors when they train. Magicians should probably do the same.

Our Magic is a fantastic book. I've got plans to write about it in my magic Ruseletter soon.
George Ledo
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When I did my cards-and-doves act back in the 70s, I rehearsed in front of a full-length mirror, but found that I was looking at the mirror too much instead of at what I was doing. Also, it was (no kiddin') a mirror image. When I received a Super 8 camera as a present, I recorded parts of the act on it and discovered what it really looked like.

Years later, when wanting to do a new act, I bought a video camera and found that recording and reviewing, sometimes in slo-mo, gave me a lot of info on what it all looked like. And I could pretend I was in front of an audience because I didn't have to look at a mirror or monitor.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
martydoesmagic
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Yes, too much mirror practice or rehearsal can cause problems and lead to bad habits. For example, when I first started using a mirror, I noticed I squinted every time I performed a secret manoeuvre! Also, you can end up staring at your hands when you perform. However, mirrors provide immediate feedback in a way that a video recording does not.

I perform once for the mirror (checking technique) and then for an invisible audience (I close the mirror when I do this). This way, I don't get transfixed by my reflection! Smile I sometimes film my performances, but I don't do this often.

All three techniques (mirror work, invisible audience and filming) work well together. Filming a full dress rehearsal to fix any issues would be an excellent final step before performing for a live audience.
funsway
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2023, martyjacobs wrote:
mirrors provide immediate feedback in a way that a video recording does not.


my problem is having the image in the mirror wanting to talk about poison apples Smile

(also known as "I need suspenders" syndrome)
"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
gaddy
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ADHD makes all of my time spent practicing worth about one quarter of how much it should be...
Most of the time I feel like I'm barely making any progress at all.
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
critter
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On Jan 15, 2023, gaddy wrote:
ADHD makes all of my time spent practicing worth about one quarter of how much it should be...
Most of the time I feel like I'm barely making any progress at all.



My ADHD lets me hyperfocus but also often crash out quickly. I can work out details very fast but once the challenging bit is past the motivation is lower.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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