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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Problem with Magic + The Three Shell Game (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Burrich
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Hi. I pretty recently started on the shell game and love it. However as with much of the magic I do I have a lot of trouble sticking at it. Like with the shell game I find it hard to practice the same moves over and over, stealing and loading. I find it very boring. Don't get me wrong I love doing it but either it lacks or I lack something. I hope I got the gist of my problem across. I would really like some feedback.

Thanks,

Steven.
Whit Haydn
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Watch tv while you do your practice. Magic is really a hobby that works best for obsessive/compulsives, who live for repetitive, perfectionistic tasks. Piano, guitar, or any musical instrument will require similar boring and mindless repetition until your fingers develop the necessary proprioception.

It may help if you separate rehearsal from practice. Rehearsal requires your full attention, and is when you go through all or part of the routine with patter, etc.

Practice is where you sit and do the same exact moves over and over. It is during this latter work that it helps if you can focus on something else while you do your repetitions.

It is actually much better for you to do it this way, than to practice in front of a mirror, for example. You will develop fewer bad habits such as blinking when you work with your mind and eyes occupied elsewhere.

Eventually, you will reach a point where the moves become second nature, and the practice will seem more fun and grow naturally more interesting in spite of the repetition and tiny, frustratingly minute improvements. This is the danger sign that you have left normalcy completely and become a magician. There is no known cure.
Riley
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Quote:
On 2004-07-18 16:22, whithaydn wrote:
...this is the danger sign that you have left normalcy completely and become a magician. There is no known cure.


Yup. It's terminal Smile

Nice advice Whit.

Riley

BTW, if it really gets boring, I have a move (during practice) where I turn the shot glass mouth up, fill it with Irish single malt ... then ... . . . .
well, you know the rest Smile Smile
Burrich
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Hi thanks you so much Whit I wasn't expecting a reply from such a respected magician as you. As for the tip thanks again. I like listening to music and watching TV so that should be fine. A question though, off topic. I bought your close up board (well the school for scoundrels') and I bought it only for the soft reddish side and the hard plastic but not the dice stacking surface. Could you recommend something to put on the bottom to grip the table I work at. I want something that covers all the bottom or else a very small portion of the bottom maybe in the four corners. Also I have Tom Osbourne's booklet and Bob Sheets excellent video with his excellent acquitment. Is Bob Kohler video worth getting?

Thanks,

Steven.

PS. Riley I'm 15. Thanks anyway I think I'll try it (joke Smile lol)
Rupert Bair
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Hi Steven,
shame us 15yr olds cant can't drink eh? lol
I know what you mean about repetion, I don't mind doing moves but when its rehearsing patter and its a 7min trick it gets boring after practising for the 56th time!
It pays off when you can perform a trick flawlessley. (if that's a word or spelt right!)
Matt
Riley
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Just joking Steve, actually I'm tee-total . . (Ahem!)

For your close-up board problem try carpet gripper - comes with various brand names - it's a kind of rubber mat - cut it to size with scissors. You'll find it in your local hardware store or carpet store.
You can buy it in small amounts. When it (eventually) starts to lose its grip, don't discard it -- just wash it in warm soapy water and it'll be as good as new!

Whit may have a better suggestion, maybe.

Regards

Riley
Whit Haydn
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You can find all sorts of stick-on rubber, felt and plastic gizmos at any hardware store that are used to protect furniture surfaces from scratches from knick-knacks, cutting boards, flower vases and the like. There are also tiny suction cup-type things that are used for kitchen or bathroom soap dishes and the like. Creative shopping in a hardware store is a true magician's skill.

Hopefully, you can find something that works for you.

If you really want to cover the entire bottom surface with a non-slip surface, you can glue it to a piece of neoprene with neoprene glue.

You can look for neoprene on the web, but it is hard to find in small quantities. The expensive thing might be to cut up an old magician's pad--but the type of foam product that is used to make the ceiling lining of a car might work for you. For neoprene glue, you can check the industrial plastics supply shops in your city. These are places that supply for the sign-making industry.

Kohler's video will give you a complete and entertaining routine with patter and humor. This is what the other two valuable resources you mentioned don't offer.

Keep an eye out for Sheet's new dvd on the shells. It will be much expanded over his video, and contain a lot of really killer stuff.

And don't listen to Riley. It was smoking cigars and drinking scotch every day that killed Dai Vernon.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2004-07-18 17:06, magic_matt wrote:
Hi Steven,
shame us 15yr olds cant can't drink eh? lol
I know what you mean about repetion, I don't mind doing moves but when its rehearsing patter and its a 7min trick it gets boring after practising for the 56th time!
It pays off when you can perform a trick flawlessley. (if that's a word or spelt right!)
Matt


Matt:

You are absolutely right about the value of practice and rehearsal. The payoff comes when you realize that you know something so absolutely flawlessly that NOTHING can stop you from doing it correctly.

Every time you see a real pro do his show, and you think that it's totally spontaneous, go back and watch it again. And you will see that it is exactly like the first time you saw it. (Obviously, I'm referring to live performance here - not video! Smile )

I tell my students "Practice until it becomes boring, then practice until it becomes beautiful." You are on the right track.
"The Swatter"

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Jonathan Townsend
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Mindless repetition is not always the best practice.

Like pacing a room, and wearing a path in the carpet, your practice teaches you some new habits.

Till the path is clearly visible... there is little benefit in repeating a poor approximation to your goal.

Mindful practice, where you explore the ways you can do a sleight, a routine, just a part of a trick is what helps you get better. Think of it as an even sillier version of Green Eggs and Ham where you find out if you can do it in a car, do it at the bar, do it while at a coffee table... you get the idea. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Hypnotic Winter
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I had problems till I bought a close up mat, my roblem was really the surfaces. Now it all rund smoothly
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
Whit Haydn
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The right shells and performing surface make a huge difference in the feel of performing the shells. You can learn to do the shells on almost any surface, and with almost any shells, but a smoothly working set makes the work more pleasurable. The more fancy moves are made much easier with a reliable design of the shells and a good working surface.

I often work the shells on hard surfaces, without a mat, because of the performing conditions of the venue. It is most important that the shells and pea are designed for this, and mine are, but even so, I would much prefer to work on a mat if given the choice.

The School for Scoundrels shells and pea work well on a hard surface, but are like a Mercedes on a mat.

When the props look good, and handle smoothly, it is a lot more fun to do.
Kent Wong
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The difficulty I first had with the shell game is getting comfortable with the rhythmn of the effect. You really can't get into the effect if you just sit there repeating the same move over and over again. Timing for the moves and the patter are extremely important in order to really sell this effect. For this reason, I used the video camera and fully rehearsed my routine from start to finish. Then I showed the video to some friends and asked for constructive feedback.
"Believing is Seeing"
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Pete Biro
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Get Glenn Bishop's DVD on the shell game. It is a short an sweet routine with a KILLER ending.

Also, if you can find one, Ken Brooke used to sell a shell game routine called 'TWEEZERS' -- this was a great and entertaining routine.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Whit Haydn
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Glen's routine is very good. Saw him at the Close-Up Room in the Castle twice last week. Tweezer's is also good.

I agree with magicman845, also. The timing of the moves and patter is crucial, as with all con games. You have to talk the spectator's head, taking over his thinking. By having a smooth commentary on the action, you keep the spectators off balance, so they can not analyze what you are doing and try to outguess you on the outcome.

Just like with change raising, you have to do their thinking for them, so that they follow your lead. This is one of the things that magicians can really learn from the study of the street scams.
mattisdx
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To make anything more interesting and fun, put on your faovrite music as a background, or your favorite movie Smile this will make the moves become second nature and the time will pass with a whole whole lot more fun ! Smile Enjoy !
Hypnotic Winter
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I totally agree with mattisdx, music can make a hell of a differance, I never thought of using it with the shells though, I've mostly used it with the Zombi Ball.
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
mike gallo
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Get the Dai Vernon book of magic...read what he has to say about practice...this may just change your attitude about practice!

Mike
mattisdx
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Quote:
On 2004-07-28 14:10, Hypnotic Winter wrote:
I totally agree with mattisdx, music can make a hell of a differance, I never thought of using it with the shells though, I've mostly used it with the Zombi Ball.



Music makes everything better Smile
Open Traveller
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Well, now, that's not true.
bishthemagish
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Thank you to Whit and Pete for the kind words on my shell game routine. I do most magic routines short and sweet because my Dad (The late Billy Bishop) used to say that todays audiences only have time for the highlights.

That is what I like about the shell game and the cups and balls. They can be long or short depending on the needs of the magician and the shows that the magician does.

A moment about practice... Like Whit said I also like to do routines with the TV on. Practice for me is sort of a meditation... I enjoy it as much as performing...

I often put the close up mat out on the coffee table and put on a movie after everyone is in bed and play with a routine... Sort of half watch the movie... And do magic...
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
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