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Topic: Practice, practice, practice
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Feb 24, 2010 10:33PM)
I'm taking a little break right now from practicing/rehearsing.

I was just thinking about when I first started out, I just wanted to do magic! Practice shmactice, learn the secret & go do it (badly). I have come a long way since then.

I have just spent the last 2 hours working on my opener. In front of the full length mirror from all angles, in front of the bathroom mirror from all angles, video taping myself from all angles & reviewing it.

This being serious stuff is a pain in the ***! ;)

I'm pretty much sick of doing it, but it's getting pretty darn smooth.

I just felt like ranting a bit.

Message: Posted by: base851 (Feb 24, 2010 11:58PM)
Good practice in just about anything is, unfortunately, very very boring. When I was younger I played golf competitively and I'm pretty confident that I've literally hit millions of practice shots/putts/chips/etc. Practice is about developing muscle memory (and, sometimes, unlearning bad muscle memory). That requires repetition, and repetition is terribly boring. Sticking it out when you're so sick of it that you want to scream is what will make the difference between being good and being very good.

Soldier on! :)
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Feb 25, 2010 01:14AM)

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Feb 26, 2010 10:25AM)
One supplement to practice that I came up with was to audio record my complete manipulative act during a practice session and narrate verbally what was happening as I performed. Then I would have a verbal audio version of my act that I could listen to while traveling or even sleeping. The idea was that I would subliminally impress upon my mind the moves, timing, etc synchronized with the music. Of course, this was supplemental to regular practice. I think I got the idea from something Maxwell Maltz wrote in _Psychocybernetics_ about a case study of basketball players. Half of the participants practiced real free throw shots on the court. The other half practiced free throw shots in their minds. The study revealed that both types of practice produced comparable results. Don't get me wrong! I'm not at all saying that anyone should give up "real" rehearsals. But if you want to get extra rehearsal time in a novel way, you might try this suggestion. It's like the cliché about practicing something until you can do it in your sleep. It worked well enough for me that in a competition of over 20 magicians, my act was one of maybe three that actually ended in proper timing with the music.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Mar 3, 2010 07:04AM)
Of course careful, systematic, intelligent preparation and attention to detail is without question a necessity. If you are devoted to the art and a conscientious performer, chances are you’ll never feel really “ready” no matter how much you prepare. So, at some point you have to just go out and perform your new routine. Only then can you get the feel of the new routine, i.e. its pacing, audience reaction and interaction.

You’ll certainly realize the time with systematic practice and rehearsal was well-spent. But you’ll reach a new level of “enlightenment” when you perform for the laity. Keep your eyes, ears and most importantly your mind open and you’ll learn a lot from the performance. Keep performing your routine. Change it with your new revelations and after a while, if your basic concept is solid, you’ll have a new addition to your repertoire.

It is easy to rely on your tried and tested material. But a true artist is always evolving and never feels that he has “arrived.” It does take courage to perform something new. But it is also challenging and exciting . . . especially when you can tell your new brainchild is going to be a good addition to your working repertoire.