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Topic: Who to practice in front of???
Message: Posted by: whitjm5 (May 6, 2008 10:16PM)
Is it okay to practice for wife/kids? I don't want to ruin magic for the kids, especially, but I do like another set of eyes to tell me if they catch anything funny or have suggestions. Any advice?
Message: Posted by: Art190 (May 7, 2008 12:17AM)
I always ask my mom and dad for advice. Whenever I have something new to show them, I do the trick to them and they tell me what they thought. Even though they know how a couple of things are done, I still end up blowing them away. It's funny because my dad knows what a double lift is but I stopped using it in tricks for a while and then one day I used it and he had forgot about the double lift and fooled him :) If I had a wife, I would probably ask her for advice. I wouldn't tell the kids becuase as you said, it might ruin the fun for them. Whenever I ask my parents for advice, I also ask them if they saw anything funny or if I flashed or something..then I try and improve on that.

Good luck,
Art
Message: Posted by: Art190 (May 7, 2008 12:19AM)
By the way, welcome to the Café. This is a great place. You'll like it a lot! Have fun.


Art
Message: Posted by: Jaz (May 7, 2008 03:33PM)
I don't [i]practice[/i] in front of anyone.
When I'm learning a new effect I practice alone, then rehearse, and then after I feel I'm ready I may perform for my family and ask for opinions. I don't always believe them however ;) .
Message: Posted by: Gerald (May 20, 2008 08:09AM)
Jaz has a terrific point. You always prepare to the best of your ability and then perform before a spectator, no matter who it is. You might think of it as a "dress rehearsal", but you never "practice" in front of the laity.

Listen to Jaz. He gives excellent advice.

Cheers,
Gerald
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Aug 21, 2008 01:36PM)
Some mentalism requires people just to attempt to learn the properties. For example, I can't see how anyone could practice contact mind reading alone, or really any mentalism that relies on psychological signals. I have one person that has graciously agreed to be my practice partner. But even then I know that different people are more difficult to read than others, and I have no clue how far out to extend my circle of practice partners. I don't like ruining the magic experience for others. Its a difficult balance.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Sep 19, 2008 04:13AM)
As mentioned-Practice in private

Rehearse in front of family once comfortable with your practice

Then video your act-This may surprise or shock how you look & sound etc
but its a great way to learn

Then perform in [public!!!
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Sep 19, 2008 09:46AM)
This may be beyond what you're asking about in terms of who to perform for to get feedback , but ...

I think if you can cultivate a working relationship with someone who teaches acting or other theatrical arts (dance, mime, circus arts) and get them to be your coach it would be helpful. Someone with that sort of training is not just going to be looking at whether the tricks "work" (from a technical sense) but also will be able to give you input on how you look and move when you are doing the act and give you valuable suggestions for improving the dramatic impact of your act .

Not easy to find such a person and you may have to pay them to watch your act and give notes , but I would think it would be worth it in the long run. Magic is about one of the only theatrical arts where people try to go it alone without a director or a coach . Actors and dancers and mimes all work with directors who can see them and give a clear critique of what they need to improve about their performance.

Enrolling in an acting class or theater arts class at a local college might be the easiest way. An acting class is going to give you valuable info. anyway, and then after you've been in the class for a while and gotten to know the instructor you might be able to ask them to view your act privately after the regular class hours to give you specific notes on your performance.
Message: Posted by: captainkk (Sep 20, 2008 07:27PM)
I practice in front of a mirror first, then video myself. What I've also been doing is recording myself to hear my patter, it helps me get the patter part of the act flowing smoothly. After I get it down, I then put on the show for my wife and kids.
Message: Posted by: MagicMikeMartin (Oct 21, 2008 08:23PM)
A few comments as an observer....I frequent a local magic store....about a year ago I met a guy who was new to magic...and just started working at the magic store about "two weeks ago"...at the time he knew a few effects and was understandably nervous in his presentations.....

flash forward a year...I was there this past weekend...he had a crowd of 20 people around him...while doing a spongeball effect he lifted a lady's watch....his presentation was flawless and incredibly confident.....

I made a point to congradulate him on his success and being a fantastic performer....he went on to tell me that it was nothing but doing it over and over and over and over again.....

I left wishing I had the time to work in a magic shop....just for the practice/rehersal time alone!
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Oct 22, 2008 09:31AM)
Always have a designated director. Someone who knows magic would be best. Someone who knows staging would be even better.
Message: Posted by: Ken The Klown (Oct 22, 2008 11:03AM)
I practice in front of my wife and my daughter. Both are very good at helping me revise moves and directions. They are dependable REAL people who enjoy helping me out.
Message: Posted by: montymagi (Dec 5, 2008 12:50PM)
When I'm learning something new I practice utill I have the moves down. Then without the moves I practice my lines until they flow naturally. At that point I put them all together infront of a mirrior.

Then I show my wife without telling her how it is done (she and I have a deal and she is very critical and does not go easy on me). When I pass her test I do my act for my wife and kids. I do a lot of children entertainment and it really helps to get my kids reaction.
Message: Posted by: Aaron Little (Dec 6, 2008 10:23AM)
I practice in front of my wife and the web cam. She is brutally honest with me, which is what I need.
Message: Posted by: HusssKarson (Jan 7, 2009 11:59PM)
Don't pratice in front of wife, she'll get bored with it. Practice with your girlfriend.. you can always change one!!
Message: Posted by: jeffdell (Sep 20, 2009 09:43AM)
I practice in front of my sister and my parents first, usually. The problem I tend to have is with my patter. Even though something is funny to me its often not funny to others!
Message: Posted by: mkmager (Oct 2, 2009 05:52AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-08 00:59, HusssKarson wrote:
Don't pratice in front of wife, she'll get bored with it. Practice with your girlfriend.. you can always change one!!
[/quote]

^^ 2nd this!
Message: Posted by: Servaas Koomen (Oct 3, 2009 09:45AM)
I also find that my girlfriend/wife gets bored. so we made an agreement that I show some stuff from time to time. that way we both have more fun, and she is also very honest.

I just practice, eventually in front of a mirror. then I pick some random people, from work or family to finetune my performance.

and later on I plan to get a full act of 15 minutes straight together but I'm not there yet... :)
Message: Posted by: WilburrUK (Oct 4, 2009 07:33AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-03 10:45, servaas wrote:
I also find that my girlfriend/wife gets bored. so we made an agreement that I show some stuff from time to time. that way we both have more fun, and she is also very honest.
[/quote]

You have a girlfriend AND a wife.. I guess it's a good thing that they get bored quickly then !
Message: Posted by: mkmager (Oct 4, 2009 08:01PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-04 08:33, WilburrUK wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-10-03 10:45, servaas wrote:
I also find that my girlfriend/wife gets bored. so we made an agreement that I show some stuff from time to time. that way we both have more fun, and she is also very honest.
[/quote]

You have a girlfriend AND a wife.. I guess it's a good thing that they get bored quickly then !
[/quote]

;) oops, let the cat out of the bag? LOL
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 9, 2009 08:23AM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-21 14:36, cpbartak wrote:
Some mentalism requires people just to attempt to learn the properties. For example, I can't see how anyone could practice contact mind reading alone, [/quote]

Just found this quote and I would disagree. Go alone to anyplace where there is a lot of people. Spend time watching them, absorbing their gestures, motions and foot placement. Develop observational skills about how people in general telegraph their intentions in numerous ways.. For example, watch how people shift their weight before moving their head or body to look at something. The audience can be of more help than the medium in doing contact or non-contact mind reading demonstrations. This is a skill you must develop alone since no one else's observation is relevant.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Oct 12, 2009 11:26AM)
[quote]
On 2008-09-20 20:27, captainkk wrote:
I practice in front of a mirror first, then video myself. What I've also been doing is recording myself to hear my patter, it helps me get the patter part of the act flowing smoothly. After I get it down, I then put on the show for my wife and kids.
[/quote]

I practice in front of a mirror as well. The only problem is the guy in the mirror can be over critical at times. :)

Once I've got the move right, or trick, I'll show it to my wife who isn't so critical.
Message: Posted by: Darth_Prime (Oct 19, 2009 01:05PM)
[quote]
On 2008-09-19 05:13, Brent McLeod wrote:
As mentioned-Practice in private

Rehearse in front of family once comfortable with your practice

Then video your act-This may surprise or shock how you look & sound etc
but its a great way to learn

Then perform in [public!!!
[/quote]

good advice indeed

you can't always be prepared for real world situations, that's why it's good to have all your moves and routines second nature so you are more equipped for anything else that could happen.
Message: Posted by: cdelah (Oct 25, 2009 04:40PM)
I think it is always best to practice in front of a mirror. You can see yourself as a spectator would.
Message: Posted by: TheWhiteye (Nov 6, 2009 04:16PM)
Videotape videotape videotape.

From learning the moves while watching in real time; to perfecting your tone and your patter. Videotape catches what your eyes unconsciously miss.

The only way videotape practice works though is if you WATCH IT!

and then again, and again.
Message: Posted by: TheWhiteye (Nov 6, 2009 04:17PM)
And again.
Message: Posted by: mentalmagic101 (Dec 11, 2009 12:31PM)
There is only one way and that's get out there in front of a real audiance. I will spen many months pratcing and rehearsing before I try somthing new in my set.
You will never get a true reaction from your Mummy guys !!!!
Message: Posted by: RodHousley (Feb 1, 2010 10:13PM)
Yes I practice for my wife, who is also my assistant all the time. Just a note: There are going to be times where they get tired of being the ginnie pig though. Also if you plan on practicing for them, please be aware that they are going to become jaded and will give you criticism that you may not want. Be open to what they have to say because they are your audience speaking to you out loud.
Message: Posted by: courtmagician (Mar 31, 2010 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-21 21:23, MagicMikeMartin wrote:
I left wishing I had the time to work in a magic shop....just for the practice/rehersal time alone!
[/quote]

About 10 years back, I managed a small magic/joke shop in Boston and we demonstrated the same dozen or so tricks about 100 times a day, and although I couldn't say I "practiced" anything new (however we're defining that in this thread), I definitely learned how to work a crowd, and I'm extremely grateful for that job.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (May 23, 2010 05:24PM)
My wife has gotten very tired of watching my practice runs. I tend to agree with the comments about practicing till you've got it right. Then share with others. I've found that at good magic shops, you can show a short routine to those running the shop! When they aren't too busy, just ask if they would mind. Another approach is at the local Magic Club. They often have time during the meeting to run through a routine and get feedback from club members.

Hudson
Message: Posted by: kal (Feb 24, 2011 09:52PM)
I wouldn't "practice" in front of anyone, as Jaz stated.
In terms of the first real person (my videotaped friend doesn't count, and he's usually never listening to me anyway) I tend to actually perform it for random people.
I don't like performing for my family at all if I can help it. I want the few times I perform for them to be special, and the absolute best effects I've worked on.

If you can find a professional friend to work with you, in the context of a manager, that will only help you all the more. I wouldn't necessarily recommend a fellow magician for this role as they may be too knowledgeable for the effects to really 'play'.
Message: Posted by: joe yang (Feb 25, 2011 03:13PM)
Sometimes our "absolute rules" do have exceptions. Thdy just may not apply to you. For instance, when I work out a new escape, I sometimes need one or even two people to help with the ropes and knots. This is before I even start to practice.

On the other hand, when I have new a PK effect, I practice in private. Then I am fortunate to have a caberet where a lot of local talent go to try out material. Rehearsing new material "in workshop", in front of other singers, comics and variety artists can be a very positive experience. It also helps lead to gigs.
Message: Posted by: Simon Mandal (Mar 7, 2011 08:32PM)
Your family is likely to be a much more difficult audience to impress.
Unless you are very secretive, they probably know a little about how magic works.

They are also used to your natural rhythms, and can tell when your movements are a little "off."
People who don't know you may not know you are not quite acting the way you do.

The only way to get good in front of people is to perform a few well selected effects thousands of times in front of lot of different people.