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cardguy24
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101 Posts

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I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.
Rick
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Who are you trying to please, yourself or the audience? just have fun!!! that's what it's all about..don't be too hard on yourself.
Nick Pudar
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I'm curious how you are measuring progress. The only way I can really tell is by observing audience reaction. Also use local magic meetings and find someone who can be critical and helpful by suggesting meaningful improvements to your handling and presentation.

Nick
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
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johnnymystic
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What works for me when I come to a mental block such as what you have described in you post is to do this...

take a break from whatever it is you are doing, give some time to get over it, think about it and visualize what it is you have to do, take another break fer awhile...

comeback to it when you feel the time is right. You'll be surprised that what at once was so difficult, is now so easy! And you should be able to overcome whatever obstacle it was you were suffering from.

I have used this approach to drawing, magic (in all it's forms) guitar and pretty much anything else I have ventured into.

Hope this helps.

That'll be $250.00...

Johnny
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Hideo Kato
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Tokyo
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At a cetain level of progress, we still have something to learn more. Until recently I have been wroking on streamlining my handling of sleights and routines omitting unneccessary parts. This proceedure was basically influenced by Dai Vernon's 'Be natural'.

However, I noticed 'Being natural' is not always work to make magic more powerful. Emphasizing in patters or in behavior is needed to impress important imformations on audience. I think this type of technique has much relation with theatrical modus-operandi.

Anyway, I think mastering sleights and mastering routines are only 50% of performance of magic.

Hideo Kato
Open Traveller
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Quote:
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.


Practicing sleights, methods and routines will only get you so far. There will come a time when you can't get any further and truly progress until you begin to understand that performing for people is all about relating to them. When you begin to really connect with the people, getting them laughing, amazing them, keeping their energy up and really getting them to see that you're there having fun with them, then you've entered the next realm -- and one which doesn't have a ceiling.
Alniner
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Burlington, ON, Canada
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Cardguy....I reached the same ceiling that you did a while ago. I felt I just wasn't getting anywhere anymore. The reason I felt that way was because I wasn't performing any of the new stuff that I had learned. It wasn't until I got out on the street and starting doing it live, did I break that barrier.
Skĺl

--
Alan
Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.

The old saying about being your own worse critic seems to apply here. At a certain point you should reflect and be able to see your progression, but that is not to say that you shouldn't continue to work on routines and overall performance. Remember that you see your own work more than anyone, so at points, it may seem stale to you. Change your audiences frequently and let them be the judge.
Andrew Loh
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Malaysia
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Quote:
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.


Frankly speaking, I am also faced this situation like you before.

What I overcome this is most important thing is HAVE FUN when you perform the effects that you learned and practised in your private time.

As I believe repetitive of practising and performing, this will become seconds natural to you and I can say you will feel more confident of presenting your effects.

I usually try to relax and sometimes I tend do not too over SERIOUS in performing my effects.

I think that sometimes a human try as hard as possible to PERFECT in their performance, I feel that I tend to make more MISTAKE. Smile

Frankly, this is my opinion only about myself in my past experience, I really in the hope that this info can really help you. Smile

All the best!

Andrew Loh
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Big Al Jnr
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Yorkshire, England
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Try a great book called "The Ostrich Factor" by Gerald Edmundson.

Here's the link

http://www.geraldedmundson.com/tof1/bookorder.htm

If you Search for Ostrich Factor you'll find several threads already.

Al.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. George Bernard Shaw.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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Quote:
On 2004-12-18 22:35, cardguy24 wrote:
I always feel that no matter how much I practice or how many books I read I always stay on the same level when it comes to my tricks. I practice constantly but I never feel I'm really improving. Am I doing somthing wrong am I being to hard on myself.


Do you perform for laymen? Do you listen to what they say and watch how they react?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
daffydoug
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I have had similar experiences with my chess skills. All I can say is never give up, be assiduous in your pursuit of excelence and your breakthrough WILL come.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
saturnin
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Mr Townsend wrote:
"Do you perform for laymen? Do you listen to what they say and watch how they react?"

Please read that part twice!!!
Because their feedback and reactions are what count!!!

Ronnie Lemieux
Montreal
Canada
There is no road to happiness,

happiness is the road!
MetalBender
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Like all these other guys said man, just have fun. I think you'll find that you will always be able to progress in magic. It's not something like juggling, or a sport, or mayonaise that has a shelf life. You can improve in magic your entire life. Maybe you need to enter a different area of magic for a while. I primarily do cards, but when I start to feel stale in that area I go mess around with mentalism for a while. As for practicing constantly, don't. You will burn yourself out and cost yourself a lot of grief and agony. Practice often, but don't do it to the point where you are getting discouraged. If you feel yourself starting to get frustrated take a break, crack open a cold one, and watch Shade for a little while, that always helps me.
"Magic up close and personal, the way is should be."

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Julie
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Al Schneider has a realistic approach to the learning process as related to sleight of hand. If you can located his publications from the 1970's I urge you to do so. I don't have his DVD's, but maybe someone who does can comment on whether this is covered...

Merry Christmas!
Satori
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Panama City, FL USA
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This is where the internet I think can help as well. Many of the magicians on this board may not agree, but I think that you might consider taping some of your performances. Submit them to magic forums. If not entire routines, then single effects. This being the case if you are worried about exposing your good material.

And be a packrat. I have some old footage on my computer from over a year ago. When I compare it to some more recent stuff, the imrpovement is very visible. This may be the emotional boost you need to see that you really are improving.

S.
CamelotFX
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Take an acting class at your local community theatre or community college. No, it has nothing to do with magic. You'll be working on stage presence, improvisational skills and doing trusted material in front of other students in a live audience setting. Forget about magic during the course. When you come back, everything will look completely different to you and you'll have a zillion new ideas for routining your act and feeling more comfortable in a performance situation.

It isn't how well you can palm a card or side steal. That's not what's entertaining. This is show business and whether you're singing, dancing, telling jokes or pushing the pasteboards, audiences respond to the same stimuli all over the world. You are the show, not the jack of diamonds.
blendobag2
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I have been doing the magic as art for nearmost 53 years. 53 years is very, very, long, long, time!! Not once am I better now than when I started 53 years old ago! I am not better at all -----not a bit----but there is fun and friends to have so why not.
daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2004-12-23 23:52, CamelotFX wrote:
Take an acting class at your local community theatre or community college. No, it has nothing to do with magic. You'll be working on stage presence, improvisational skills and doing trusted material in front of other students in a live audience setting. Forget about magic during the course. When you come back, everything will look completely different to you and you'll have a zillion new ideas for routining your act and feeling more comfortable in a performance situation.

It isn't how well you can palm a card or side steal. That's not what's entertaining. This is show business and whether you're singing, dancing, telling jokes or pushing the pasteboards, audiences respond to the same stimuli all over the world. You are the show, not the jack of diamonds.


This man is right. Theatre is one of the best things you can do to improve your stage "presence" I have acted in several shows for the local thatre, and I can tell you , not only is it a blast, but you begin to learn to UNDERSTAND things about the entertainment profession that you now probably don't even have the foggiest about.

You will begin to have a foundation built beneath you. You will learn to become comfortable in front of people as never before. You will gain confidence, poise, and clues on how to connect with an audience. You will begin to learn about theatrics, stage makeup, props, rigging, and many other things that may prove INVALUABLE to your future in magic. Believe me, it's ALL related;interconnected.

If you have the means, you could take a class in mime or dance. My understanding is that Copperfield did just that.


All I'm saying is this: You will be more well ROUNDED as a magical performer for enriching your experience with theatre. 100% guaranteed!

PS; This is some of the best advice that you will ever receive on this subject.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
cardguy24
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Thanks a lot guys for the advice. I appreciate it.
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