Posted: Feb 21, 2011 3:18pm
I hike. I love to hike. I don't listen to the radio or MP3's...I just walk and think. I live 5 minutes away from the second largest regional park in the U.S., an old World War II Marine Base that extends for hundreds of miles in total volume. It's cool. During the week you can really be alone and think.
I've been 'thinking' about my next essay to post here and one thing kept coming up: With the volume of material that magicians CAN have to work on, what would I consider that most important? Or, how do you stay 'sharp' without necessarily having to go through every single trick, etc. that you know?
I'm semi retired. Pretty much fully retired from performing, but that does not mean I don't perform. I still work for friend and family and I still want to do a great job when I do, but I'm pretty busy. I'm busy enough doing other things that in some cases if you were to meet me and ask me to do some of the items on my 17 Brad Burt Private Lesson Teaching Videos I couldn't oblige you! Oh, I can still most of the material, but a couple of items are just hard to remember if I'm not doing them all the time. The Gambling Routine for instance. If you have my Gambling Sleights for Magicians DVD you know what I mean. That sucker is tough!
So what do I do? Well, I have a set of BASIC sleights that pretty much cover everything I need to be able to do the tricks and routines that are in my repertoire.
For instance every day as I'm watching T.V. I do the following with a deck of cards: Overhand Shuffle, false and regular; Double Cutting and many, many Double Turnovers; Second Deal and Classic Pass and Riffle Pass. I will Palm off the top and bottom, etc. You get the idea. I go through the sleights that I use in my routines knowing that relearning if necessary the routines themselves is not the difficult.
I'll also work through a set of coin sleights with a focus upon the Classic and Finger Palms and transferring between them. The Goshman Back Clip and various Passes, etc. I also work on palming four half dollars in my L.H., because I need it for a new routine I've developed.
What I'm suggesting is that you get a good solid idea of WHAT sleights, etc. you consider the most valuable to what you do as a magician and like the musician working on Scales and such you always find some time in the day to work through those techniques. If you are a part time performer with 'other' work....you will find that you can get out of practice without really thinking about it. Having a 'basic' set routine of practice can keep your technique tight.
BIG HINT: It is not practice as such that makes perfect, but PERFECT PRACTICE that makes perfect. It would be better to spend only 5 minutes a day doing your techniques as perfectly (even if slowly) as possible than to just rush through them with no thought as to what they look and feel like.
Here's to your success and growth in the craft of magic!
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