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Topic: First magic act
Message: Posted by: Jescilito (Dec 11, 2014 05:00PM)
So this past week I put on a magic act in my American Sign Language class. I had to use sign the entire time and couldn't speak. It was a huge success. It blew everyones minds! haha. It was kind of tough to sign my way through it but the patter went really well actually. I feel like it was actually more illustrative than just speaking.

I've hit a hump since I began practicing magic only 4 months ago where I have about 5 solid pieces of card magic that I can perform really well without much fear of mistake, however, I am a pretty introverted person and get incredibly nervous when I perform for anyone that I might make a mistake. I have a tough time getting into the mindset of when I make a mistake instead of calling attention to it just looking for an out instead. Although, aside from my personal amazement with magic, using at is a tool to get over my awkwardness is partly why I got into my studies magic.

All and all though it did me a lot of good being in the classroom environment where everyone had to do a presentation and most were just as nervous as me.

I started off with a two card transpose on a table, then did a biddle trick, and last I did a sort of a triumph in the hands with a faro shuffle. It went for about 10 minutes which I was also pleased with myself for getting my banter right and taking my time. The reactions I got made all the practice worth while and has made me that much more passionate to learn more.

Since then I have been doing more card magic for random people and finding it is coming a little easier. Last night I went to a bar with my roommate and did my routine for several groups of people and they were all really blown away. Anyhow, I'm really happy with my progression and just wanted to share a post.

Now I am off to work on more magic!

Thanks for listening.
Message: Posted by: Mike Gilbert (Dec 11, 2014 06:56PM)
Grea job Jescilito! Sounds like you are off to a great start! Remember, it only gets better! Keep up the great work, and let us know how you're doing!
Message: Posted by: GreenKnight33 (Dec 11, 2014 08:24PM)
Sounds like a great first set! Well done! So much to learn, so little time. Keep at it!
Message: Posted by: Tiny131 (Dec 11, 2014 08:40PM)
Very nice! This is how it starts...you get a taste. Then you want more! Very nice work. I couldn't even imagine doing card magic while signing. I depend a lot on the use of patter for misdirection. Way to add another element in there and make it a success. Keep it up!
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 12, 2014 01:30AM)
Message: Posted by: Pepsi Twist (Dec 12, 2014 05:44AM)
Excellent work!
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 12, 2014 09:15AM)
Five solid pieces in only four months is pretty good, I think.

I know people who make their entire living with fewer than that. The thing is to do them well.

For the majority of my career as a performer I did only three routines in a show, a three-phase coin routine, a three-card monte effect, and the cups and balls.

I figured it was better to spend fifteen years perfecting three routines than try to do a hundred different things in a haphazard and un-confident way.

Didn't stop me from learning a lot more, but most of what I learned was applied to the stuff I already did in the show.

Anyway, good job so far!
Message: Posted by: Jescilito (Dec 12, 2014 10:13AM)
Thanks I am really enjoying it.
Message: Posted by: Jay Store (Dec 12, 2014 11:59AM)
Hi Jescilito,
Really great to read your story. How come you set yourself such a hard first task as signing your routine - was it just circumstantial or will that be a common audience type for you to be performing to? It raises loads of interesting questions in my mind about how sound - and not just patter - has an impact on what we do and how our effects play to the audience.
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 12, 2014 01:04PM)
I think an in-the-hands Triumph using a faro shuffle, for a self-professed beginner, is noteworthy as well.

All in all, I think you're well on your way to becoming an awesome magician.
Message: Posted by: Jescilito (Dec 12, 2014 01:20PM)
Jay, for my final in ASL, we had to put on some sort of a presentation in sign language. The presentation had to include a visual aide. We were told we could do anything. A lot of people played music videos on the projector and signed the words. Some people handed out sheets of poetry they'd written and signed the poems. Since magic has been the focus of my time recently I was just absolutely set on doing a magic act.

One thing I have learned through Sign Language is how to say more with my facial expressions. You can really say a lot with body language alone. A lot of the signs are intuitive as well and even if you didn't know exactly the meaning of the signs used, I feel I could still get the point across. Facial Expression is to ASL as Grammar is to spoken language. So in the situation, being so expressive with my face because I had to, really added to the effect I feel. This is one of the biggest challenges I think beginning magic, at least for me. Grabbing someones attention and carrying them along through the magic with me and not just showing them a trick.

For instance with the triumph effect. I showed the cards seemingly being pushed into one another face up and face down, making a mess of the deck. It was interesting how much the signing helped add misdirection and to bring everyone along for the ride. When I signed that the cards were face up face down, pointed in those directions, and gazed up and down with the signs, all eyes were exactly where I pointed to which aloud me to flip the deck without anyone even having a chance to raise a brow.

So no, I haven't exactly planned on doing magic for deaf audiences. I haven't done so for anyone who is deaf, but, it is a really awesome feeling to know that not only can I communicate with someone who is deaf now. I can also share some really awesome magic with them.
Message: Posted by: Jescilito (Dec 12, 2014 01:21PM)
Thanks for the compliment!
Message: Posted by: Shadowstalker (Dec 12, 2014 01:44PM)
It must have been pretty hard to perform without the misdirection provided by patter, well done.
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 12, 2014 01:49PM)
[quote]On Dec 12, 2014, Shadowstalker wrote:
It must have been pretty hard to perform without the misdirection provided by patter, well done. [/quote]

I think it actually created better opportunity for misdirection. Note the focus on facial expression, and having to sign the words. This creates a great deal of focused attention on things that aren't the cards.

I know a lot of performers who think it's all in saying the words, but it's a much bigger picture, really. Expressions, movement of the body, distraction from the place where the action happens, it all works together, even without the spoken word.

I applaud Jescilito's realization that this is the case, and the proper use of that knowledge as much as (or more than) anything else.
Message: Posted by: Shadowstalker (Dec 12, 2014 02:10PM)
Thank you very much for answering so quickly and making things clearer for me.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 12, 2014 02:20PM)
Wonderful! Jescilito...

I always stress to young guys whom I am mentoring that in presenting an act or show, communications is extremely essential. The "com" in communications comes from the Latin, "cUm". (cum means "with", not "at" or "to"). So,we communicate with each othr.

Performers must not be delivering a speech, but having a conversation with the audience. "con" as far as I can remember, also comes

from "cum". We have a conversation with each other. (never "at" or "to" each other.)

The American Indians of the prairies spoke many different languages. They developoed a common sign language, and they were able to communicate with each othere. Body language was a critical part of their communicaation.

You have learned a great lesson. --And, you have communicated to many magicians, the importance of body language to communication. I see far too many performers who deliver their lines ("patter")like a first grade youngster reciting a poem at a Christmas play.

Shadowstalker noted above that "it must have been pretty hard to perform without the misdirection provided by patter, but Mortimer provided the answer!

The challenge you obviously have is that you must use your hands both to communicate, and, do whatever sleights are necessary to produce an effect. You, apparently succeeded! CONGRATULATIONS!
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 12, 2014 03:01PM)
Dick, I love the thought you put into your posts, it's nice seeing people who think like I do, and it's nice to have what I say validated. It tells me I'm not just imagining all of this, and that's important. XD Your opinions are often quite insightful, and I like that.

And yeah, I think Jescilito's doing an outstanding job for someone who's somewhat new to all of this. I love it when people actually get it. And this person actually gets it.

At the risk of sounding really corny, it almost makes me want to cry happy tears when I see it.

Our arts are multidimensional. It takes a while for most of us to realize how deep it all goes without drowning in a sea of uncertainty, but knowing the waters are deep, and then getting the feet wet is a pretty good start when learning to swim. I think we might have a future Olympic swimmer here, if you'll pardon my metaphor (that is to say, if it isn't all wet).
Message: Posted by: Jescilito (Dec 12, 2014 10:47PM)
Thanks for putting so much into your replies. I really am passionate to get this magic thing. I found that really interesting Dick and certainly it will give me something to think about and reflect on. It's nice to see how strongly people feel about magic.
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 13, 2014 06:24AM)
I don't even really do straight magic that much any more (though I'll be out busking this weekend for some extra holiday cash), as I'm focused more on mentalism and seance stuff now (completely different art forms than straight magic), but I still love the stuff.

Magic and the related arts have paid my way through life for a long time, and it's hard not to love something that's done so much for me. Of course it helps that I have a supportive woman in my life, and I love her just as much.

The way I see it, if I've learned things about magic, and others are still getting there, why not help, you know? Maybe it can prevent you and other newer magi from having to learn so much of it the hard way, like I did.

If I can help someone to improve in the arts, I'll do it. No hesitation, whatsoever. And as always, you're free to ask me anything at all, and I'll do my best to answer it as best I can, or direct you to someone who can answer it better. No problem. Helping others with what I've got is my only real reason for joining this place.
Message: Posted by: Jay Store (Dec 16, 2014 02:04AM)
Thanks for the informative reply, Jescilito... a really interesting story.

Dick, 'con' does indeed also come from 'cum'; I like to teach it as meaning both 'with' and, in compound, 'together', so that 'conversation' is a 'turning together' from one state of understanding to another. The 'co' of 'cooperate' if from the same root.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 16, 2014 05:37AM)
Aha! A Latin scholar! Much sand has passed through the glass since I studied Latin ('55-'58).

I'm on a campaign urging young magicians to have a conversation withi their audiences. Jescilito caught my attention with his challenge.

I like your "turning together"! Words DO have meaning, eh!

I remember reading somewhere that about 13% of American English comes from Anglo-Saxon. (G H O T I is pronounced F I S H !) Jay Marshall performed the "douse" box. He said that his father once told him: "Never say 'die'!" (mice--mouse, therefore dice--douse) LOL

Charlie Miller had a "thing" about prepositions. "I just used a preposition to end that sentence with." or Churchill's "Up with which I shall not put!" Jon Racherbaumer is a wordsmith usque ad...!

Enough! I'm assuming you teach Latin! Our schools over here in the colonies, barely teach English anymore! (Witness, some of the horrible posts that must be "decyphered"! 'Twas brillig and the slithy toves, did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Egad! It's time for coffee!

Ave atque valel!
Message: Posted by: Jay Store (Dec 18, 2014 02:55AM)
Well deduced Dick! I teach Latin, Greek, and Ancient History. And I dabble in other dead languages, including Anglo-Saxon. I came across the 'ghoti' spelling as an illustration of the idiosyncrasies of English spelling: I don't know whether it works with American pronunciation (or indeed spelling). 'gh' as in tough, 'o' as in women, 'ti' as in motion, spells 'fish'! I love the douse line, although I confess to having misread it initially with a different pronunciation as the verb 'to soak with water': is that spelt (itself I think the British variant on 'spelled') dowse on your side of the Atlantic? Isn't language amazing!
Message: Posted by: JoshTmagic (Dec 18, 2014 08:54AM)
Sounds like you had tons of fun
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 18, 2014 10:59AM)
Etymology is one of my favorite ontologies, as well. Phenomenologically speaking,of course. XD

Plainspeak: Yeah, I'm into the study of languages, too.