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Topic: How do you practice?
Message: Posted by: tropicalpenguin (Nov 22, 2002 07:15PM)
I have a few tips for practicing. I personally avoid the mirror. It provides a bad angle and it's too hard to focus on doing the trick and seeing how it looks.

I usually get a person I can trust to watch and then tell me how it looks. You can also tape yourself doing the trick to see how it looks. This is a tedious job, but it's one of the best so you can self-critique and immediately know what to fix. So how do you guys practice and do you have any tips?
Message: Posted by: r4bid (Nov 22, 2002 07:49PM)
There are many threads already existing on this topic. I suggest you do a little search, you will find some great answers.

I do the whole mirror thing by the way...
Message: Posted by: thanos4182 (Nov 24, 2002 12:23PM)
I videotape myself. Not only does the camera not lie but you can go back and look at certain effects you might have forgotten about.
Message: Posted by: Tommy1324 (Nov 24, 2002 12:30PM)
I generally practice just by doing magic for fellow employees or passengers at the airport where I work. Just don't tell my boss. :baby:
Message: Posted by: redlinewes (Nov 24, 2002 03:39PM)
I usually practice in front of a mirror or my family. I also use the neighborhood kids to practice as well.
Message: Posted by: DarkArts (Nov 24, 2002 06:24PM)
For me, yeah I use a mirror to practice. Or sometimes I use my trusted friend or confidant to review my tricks...
Message: Posted by: magic hands (Nov 24, 2002 07:22PM)
I use a camcorder. Thought I was doing pretty good till I taped it and looked at it.
Film does not lie!! :arg:
Message: Posted by: tla (Nov 24, 2002 10:43PM)
I use a close-up mirror. This mirror is actually three mirrors connected together. Practicing with this kind of mirror setup allows you to check all your angles.
Message: Posted by: Edmund_Fitzgerald (Nov 28, 2004 07:04PM)
I practice sleights on commuter trains and subways. Most everyone is asleep or not paying attention. I just keep repeating every day. Works for me, although I have to do the patter in my head to avoid really annoying people.
Message: Posted by: TOTALLY MAGIC (Nov 28, 2004 08:00PM)
I videotape my self. I also show someone that will not tell the trick and I use a mirror.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Nov 29, 2004 02:20AM)
Video taping is great because you get to evaluate yourself as an audience, as opposed to the mirror which is always good to use, where you perform and watch at the same time. The best thing for me is having a magic buddy. I also love mental rehearsals. I go through a mental script which involves my patter, my sleights and subtleties and also possible ad libs when problems arise.


Message: Posted by: kihei kid (Nov 29, 2004 05:26AM)
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Nov 29, 2004 08:43AM)
I also use the close up and large mirror.

I know some professionals who practice during their show proper.
Message: Posted by: Ziggy (Nov 29, 2004 09:44AM)
I use a large mirror and then when I get the routine down I videotape it.
Message: Posted by: thumbslinger (Nov 29, 2004 01:15PM)
Bob Sheets gave a lecture at the Castle the other week and mentioned that performing in front of a mirror can have an adverse affect on yourself.

He wouldn't name the person but said that 'ticks' can develop because of the way you check yourself out and possibly through things like 'muscle memory' and stuff you start moving in certain ways which harken back to trying to 'see yourself' and angles and such in the mirror.

Video cameras are cheap today. You don't need a fancy one.
Message: Posted by: Katmando (Nov 29, 2004 01:33PM)
I use the three mirrors to catch the angle. I have thought about the camcorder but have not gotten around to it.

Later <><
Message: Posted by: NealCoffey (Nov 29, 2004 06:42PM)
Webcams can be had pretty cheaply these days, $20 or so, and are good for watching yourself from multiple angles (move the camera, try it again). The frame rate is a little slow on them, though, meaning any tricks involving fast motions (like a snap change) may look better on a webcam than they do in reality.
Message: Posted by: eazy4me (Nov 30, 2004 10:20AM)
Me, I practice for a mirror. :D
Message: Posted by: Mr Pies (Nov 30, 2004 12:56PM)
I tend to break the trick/routine into sections and pull out the things I feel are the important points. These can be sleights or misdirection and focus on those and build the rest of the trick and patter around them. To practice a trick you have to understand the trick from the inside out and how it all fits together. I constantly play with the patter. I have a script and then add or delete bits as the whole thing comes together. Once I'm pretty confident with it I will videotape myself, I tend to avoid mirrors and then perform to a few close friends. It may seem a bit long winded but you do learn if the effect you are trying to learn is for you and will suit your style. Hope it helps.
Message: Posted by: Mystician (Dec 7, 2004 01:35PM)
On 2002-11-24 23:43, Talon wrote:
I use a close-up mirror. This mirror is actually three mirrors connected together. Practicing with this kind of mirror setup allows you to check all your angles.

If I could afford it, I'd take the best of both worlds and use 3 camcorders at slightly different angles ! For now, 1 of each will have to do.
Message: Posted by: Jason Cardwell (Dec 7, 2004 11:55PM)
Sometimes it's hard to practice with a mirror when you need to look at what your hands are doing, like when I was learning a one-handed knot. I never thought about a video camera, though. I'll have to try that!
Message: Posted by: JediMindTrick (Dec 8, 2004 12:47AM)
A FANTASTIC way to practice.... use a webcam!

I found this out recently after installing one on my laptop to talk to long distance friends, that you can set up the angle for different perspectives, all while staring at the screen for immediate feedback. I found that, unlike a mirror, it felt like I was watching someone else's hands...but I was totally in control.

It's a great tool to use
Message: Posted by: Will Gordon (May 16, 2005 02:52PM)
I start the technique or trick slowly at first then as I generate more speed I incorporate the use of a close-up mirror.
Message: Posted by: Romengan (Jun 23, 2005 05:45AM)
Even though it looks like this one has been answered thoroughly, you can use the webcam at one angle (great idea) and a mirror at another angle. This way you can see yourself from the start through the mirror and after a satisfactory performance you can check the webcam (or camcorder) recording to review if you were good at that angle as well.
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Jun 23, 2005 10:53AM)
I practice in front of a Mirror
Message: Posted by: DoomPenguin (Jun 23, 2005 11:20AM)
My digital camera can record movies, so I use that to see how I'm doing after I've tried the trick out for awhile. I might use a mirror every once and a while.
Message: Posted by: denzildon (Jun 23, 2005 02:17PM)
I guess its time for me to get a camcorder!!!
Message: Posted by: smartie_28 (Jun 23, 2005 06:01PM)
I use a mirror but I'll soon have a video camera and I'll start using that
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Jun 29, 2005 05:17AM)
Good suggestions! It is a good idea to use the mirror to check the angles and get a general idea of how your practice is progressing. But use it sparingly. Video tape from different angles gives you a better idea of how it really looks to the spectators. Video tape an actual performance. This is a real eye opener.

You might want to have a look at the discussions about "The Ostrich Factor: A Practice Guide for Magicians" at: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=84908&forum=110&20

You can also do a search on this forum and find other threads that discuss the book.

Read reviews excerpts by David Regal, David Goodsell and the complete review from MAGIC magazine by Mike Close at my web site.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Jul 7, 2005 06:12PM)
I use a mirror. I like the idea of videotaping a performance, though.
Message: Posted by: migwar (Jul 8, 2005 02:45AM)
When I first started card magic, I found when I practised with a mirror, I spent a lot of time looking at my hands, which I thought was a bad habit, I use a webcam now, and will be getting a camcorder
Message: Posted by: amakar (Jul 15, 2005 12:29PM)
Write the script
Rehearse outloud
Incorporate the "moves"

When learning the script, I've found it helpful to record yourself on a CD and play it in the car.