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Topic: I I am not enjoying practicing anymore.
Message: Posted by: SamuelJonesMagic (Nov 6, 2016 06:14PM)
Hi everyone :)
This is my first post and I don't really know if I'm posting this in the right place, but I need some advice from all you guys.
I'm 14 I have been doing magic for 6 years (or something like that) and I do not have the motivation to practice anymore. Not just that but I have over 200 magic books and for months now I do not have any desire to read them. I want this to be my job but I don't want to force myself to practice because there is no point doing it if I won't enjoy it.
Here are my reasons of why this could be happening:

.The magic club I went to closed down.
.I haven't got no magician friends to talk too.
.I am doing other fun things like planting and stuff and reading other books.

I do not wan't to stop doing magic.
I know the joy it can bring to me and other people, but I just need your advice.
Has this ever happened to you? How should I motivate myself to practice?
What do you recommend guys?
Thanks!!
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Nov 6, 2016 08:10PM)
HI Samuel,
Welcome to the Café!

First, I wouldn't worry so much about practicing all the time. At your age, 14, you should have lots of different interests and experiences. Although you think you want to perform for a living, you may find something else you want to do for a living and keep magic as a hobby. Some of the greatest magicians had other jobs and magic was a hobby - John Ramsey is one, he was a pharmacists; Ascanio another, he's was a lawyer.

For many years, magic was my hobby. Now it is my profession. When it was my hobby, I always had something in my pockets to perform at a moments notice, not so much any more. I still love magic, but since it is now my job, a bit of the fun has been replaced with the challenges of running a business.

So my main message is don't worry so much about magic as a job. Enjoy it. Take it as it comes. Magic is a great hobby and the perfect part-time job. It can be a challenge to make it full-time and there is no reason for you to make that kind of decision when you are 14.

Now, to answer your main question. What I do when I find it hard to focus on practice, I typically pick up something new or something I haven't worked on for a while. I find the new challenge gets me motivated again to put some more effort back into magic. Now when I say something new, I don't mean another card trick or slight. I mean switching to another branch if magic. Try ropes. If you already do ropes, try silks. Or coins. Or paper. Rubber bands. Dice. The endless variety of options keeps me excited and interested.

Let us know what you are going to work in next!

Hudson
Message: Posted by: SamuelJonesMagic (Nov 7, 2016 08:07AM)
Thank you :)
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Nov 8, 2016 10:57AM)
I have hit those spots, too. When started I just wanted a skill that exercised my fine motor skills so I worked with cards. Then people told me I should learn rubber bands, and thimbles, and silks, and all the other things, too, if I wanted to consider myself a magician. So I started looking at other stuff and started trying to learn it and I just didn't care. I'm not into those types of magic, it's just not my thing.

So I stuck with cards for about two and a half years and I got pretty good. Then I branched out to other things that caught my interest. Mind reading, finger rings, parlor stuff, hypnosis. Now I'm an established bizarre performer.

So if you get bored my advice is two fold:

1) Try another aspect of magic, like 55Hudson said. If there's something that seems interesting to you, go right on down that rabbit hole and check it out as much as possible. There are many rooms in the house of magic, as Eugene Burger says, go check some other ones out.

2) Take a break! In one of the first lectures I saw, Wayne Houchin said his magic didn't get really good until he stopped being totally obsessed with magic. When he started getting other hobbies and interests, he was able to inject that into his magic and make it much more interesting and fresh. If you exist in a magic bubble, you're going to stagnate. Bring your life into your magic.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 9, 2016 12:45AM)
First, don't sell your books.

I've seen many Magicians go through a cycle of less interest and sell their stuff. Later they are desperately trying to replace their library.

If you have to force your self to practice, it won't be good practice. look for Magic that excites your sense of wonder. Try to remember what got you into Magic. You may be entering another phase where, say for instance, "showing off" doesn't hold the allure it once did. You may want deeper meaning in your Magic. There is often a feeling of boredom or dissatisfaction just before a big step.

There is nothing wrong with giving Magic a rest and pursuing other interests. When you come back to Magic, those interests will inform your Magic and make it new to you.

Best of luck.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: SamuelJonesMagic (Nov 9, 2016 09:31AM)
Thanks guys.
These are all really good and inspiring answers :)
Message: Posted by: AndreOng1 (Nov 9, 2016 10:39PM)
The 2 tips are golden from WitchDoChris. they got me through my down time as well.


[quote]On Nov 8, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:

So if you get bored my advice is two fold:

1) Try another aspect of magic, like 55Hudson said. If there's something that seems interesting to you, go right on down that rabbit hole and check it out as much as possible. There are many rooms in the house of magic, as Eugene Burger says, go check some other ones out.

2) Take a break! In one of the first lectures I saw, Wayne Houchin said his magic didn't get really good until he stopped being totally obsessed with magic. When he started getting other hobbies and interests, he was able to inject that into his magic and make it much more interesting and fresh. If you exist in a magic bubble, you're going to stagnate. Bring your life into your magic. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Coolmanclyde (Nov 9, 2016 11:57PM)
Maybe instead of practicing it's time to go perform more! Seeing people's reactions can be very fulfilling and gratifing. Ever considered donating time to perform at hospital or boys club? But like mentioned above, taking a break might be needed.
Message: Posted by: SamuelJonesMagic (Nov 10, 2016 07:05PM)
Thank you Andreong1 and Coolmanclyde
:) you are so right! :)
Message: Posted by: Coolmanclyde (Nov 10, 2016 09:01PM)
There you go! Time to perform and get a new love for bringing happiness into other people's life with magic!!
Message: Posted by: mengdz (Nov 25, 2016 09:12AM)
I took a 25 year break from my late teens into my 40s. Mary is right don't sell your books. I also know how you feel with having no magician associates. The nearest magic club to me is 45 miles. I have to agree that performing more will help keep the spark there. Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 26, 2016 06:57AM)
Hi Sam!
I was "surfing" this AM, and the "title" of your post caught my eye.

I was 14 once, in 1946. I had gotten interested in magic when I was about 7, when I saw the late Stanley Susan perform. WOW! I forgot all about being a cowboy, or a fireman!!! My dad knew how to do the French drop, and that became my "party piece" at family gatherings.

By the time I was 10, I had found "The Magic Show Book" (Alexander the Magician) at the library, and I did a "show and tell" for my class. When I got to be 13, I had a "show", and I did it for my dad's lodge. That got me a date for a church group. (I made $3.00 for each of those "gigs"! (A hamburger and a coke cost ten cents back then!)

I was a month and a half short of 14. I had the unmitigated gall to approach the principal of the local Jr. High School about booking a school assembly show. He was a Scout leader. I was a Scout. He believed in encouraging young guys.

We charged $.10 admission. In about 35 minutes, I made $26.00! The local paper ran a photo ("above the fold") and a feature story (2 columns x 12") I had become an "overnight" part time professional, at "not quite 14".

All through high school, my buddies were making 50 or even 75 cents an hour, bagging groceries. I was making $10 to $25 for a 30 minute show for Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, Church groups, Masonic and Knights of Columbus, American Legion, VFW, ETC. I kept my grades UP, and, could even get an afternoon off to book other schools in the area! I had a bank account!

That was a long time ago, and times have changed, BUT, there are still groups that want entertainment, and, booking them provides MOTIVATION to practice!

Learning "moves" and "methods" is, at first, fun, but, doing shows is more fun. (and, can even "contribute" to your "piggy bank"!)

My friends, Hudson, and, Mary, have given you some great advice. (The other contributors, too!)

After 20+ years (U.S. Navy, college, etc.)of part time pro'. work, I became a full time professional for about 50 years. I'm now happily retired, but, still do a few shows, locally. (I'll be 85 in about two weeks.)

Read Hudson's thoughts again! Enjoy growing up! I did! I had lots of interesting hobbies, besides doing magic. E.g. I was active in Scouting. (still am! --for 72 years-- and, I'm going to continue "until I get it right!")

I would suggest that you "put together" a 15-20 minute show that can play almost anywhere, for almost anybody. KIS MIF! (Keep It Simple Make It Fun) Do material that does not need any special lighting, or staging. Simple tricks with a few silks rope, cards, etc., are what you should do.

Books like Mark Wilson's "Complete Course in Magic" can, and will, provide the material you will need, and, you won't need to spend a lot of money on props!

Remember! YOU CANNOT "BUY" MAGIC. You CANNOT "BUY" TRICKS! You can buy, SECRETS, or make, PROPS with which to PERFORM TRICKS.

If you perform them well, using your PERSONALITY, and a GOOD PRESENTATION, the MAGIC will "happen" in the mind(s) of the spectators!

"Break a leg!"
Message: Posted by: SamuelJonesMagic (Jan 23, 2017 08:22AM)
Thanks Dick!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Mar 18, 2017 10:21AM)
Lots of good advice here. I decided For me the loss of enjoyment stemmed from committing to too long of a practice session- like an hour. I found that just 15 minutes a day REGULARLY was much more enjoyable AND brought about a satisfying improvement in my skills...
Message: Posted by: Doc Willie (Mar 18, 2017 04:31PM)
Another plug for performing more. When I get tired of practicing, I take a bag full of tricks and some cards to a local coffee house. Practice there with the cards until someone comes up and asks what you are doing, or even pauses by your table. Then offer to show then a trick. Then start performing whatever comes to mind. Improvise according to what they bring and what the situation offers. E.g. I was carrying Ellusionist's card to chapstick trick at a meeting when I saw a lady pull out her chapstick. BAM! Moved in and showed her the trick, starting with "Did you know that chapstick eats cards?"

Also performing at a hospital, shelter or for some other charity will give you a great feeling.
Message: Posted by: jacobsw (Mar 19, 2017 11:24AM)
Hi Samuel!

If I understand you correctly, it's just the practice part you are having a hard time with -- you still enjoy PERFORMING, just not practicing. Is that right?

If so, there's nothing wrong with letting yourself coast on all the practice you've done already. You have probably mastered a lot of tricks by now. Some of them you might get a little rusty on if you're not practicing, but you can always polish them up when your motivation returns.

Obviously, if you are a professional magician, practicing regularly will be part of your job -- but it's not your job yet. In the meantime, there are a whole lot of skills you can work on acquiring that will be useful to a magician. Even if you're just hanging out with friends, that's working on your social skills, which are frankly more important to a performer than any specific sleight.

I believe very firmly that the point of all creative pursuits is to make your life happier and more meaningful. There's no need to force one if it's just not there. I think that's true of all age groups, but being a teenager is a particularly challenging and stressful time for most people. There's no need to add an extra source of stress on your shoulders!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 13, 2017 07:56PM)
I PMd Sam about month ago. No reply.
Message: Posted by: Station10 (Apr 29, 2017 04:22AM)
As with any skill you want to develop and keep honed practice is essential. I'm a firm believer in scheduling frequent and consistent practice sessions. When I was young and started in magic I would spend every waking minute practicing. I enjoyed it and couldn't get enough of it. But there does come a time when you can get burned out on it and you need to take a step away. It doesn't have to be a permanent step but your mind and body is probably exhausted and needs time to recharge. Focus on another interest or activity. Don't give up practicing though completely. Schedule 3-5 short practice sessions throughout the week - even if it is only 5-10 minutes a session. Just enough to keep you versed in the art and your fingers nimble. Sooner or later you are bound to find that drive and determination again. When you just make sure that you stick to a "limited" schedule so you don't become burned out again.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 3, 2017 08:58AM)
P.S.: I am not a new magician! I was a part time pro'. from 1945 to the mid '60s. Then for 50+ years, I was a full time pro'. touring the USA, coast to coast and border to border. I joined the I Bother Magicians Ass'n. in 1950. I knew the founders of the IBM.

I was a member until April of 2017. I resigned, after 67 years, as a member of THE ORDER OF MERLIN EXCELSIOR.
Message: Posted by: SamuelJonesMagic (Oct 19, 2017 04:33AM)
Hey man!
Thanks so much for the advice it has really helped, I didn't get the pm you sent sadly but your posts were helpful to read :)
I am getting back into practicing now and am enjoying it, as you guys said, trying differnt things and performing more can be fun.
Thanks again, Sam :)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 10, 2017 07:01PM)
Well! Welcome back! Happy to hear that my posts were helpful. Can you receive PMs?

I suspect that you were practicing, but not performing. THAT can be very boring. PM me, and, we can discuss the situation.

Dick
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 23, 2017 10:32AM)
[quote]On Mar 18, 2017, Doc Willie wrote:
Another plug for performing more. When I get tired of practicing, I take a bag full of tricks and some cards to a local coffee house. Practice there with the cards until someone comes up and asks what you are doing, or even pauses by your table. Then offer to show then a trick. Then start performing whatever comes to mind. Improvise according to what they bring and what the situation offers. E.g. I was carrying Ellusionist's card to chapstick trick at a meeting when I saw a lady pull out her chapstick. BAM! Moved in and showed her the trick, starting with "Did you know that chapstick eats cards?"

Also performing at a hospital, shelter or for some other charity will give you a great feeling. [/quote]

GREAT advice!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 12, 2018 03:49PM)
There is a difference between practicing and rehearsing the effects. If you are getting bored with practicing, then try rehearsing the effect from start to finish, while using your personality and how you wish to act, speak, and gesture with your hands, arms, and body. Imagine you are in front of spectators or an audience, visualize them in your mind. Speak the words you will say to them.

Practicing is usually only going over a move or flourish a number of times. Once you master the move, then include it in the entire rehearsal process of the total effect.

It is good you get bored practicing, it forces you to rehearse the total sequence of an effect/trick and have some fun with the total effect.

Then get out and perform for people any chance you get. Take notes of what you should work on more.

Hope this helps you to the next stage in your magic career.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 21, 2018 12:52PM)
To follow up on my friend, Bill's excellent thoughts, I'll try to "boil them down" to the ESSENCE...

PRACTICE TO IMPROVE S K I L L.

REHEARSE TO IMPROVE P E R F O R M A N C E.
Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Mar 21, 2018 08:56PM)
8 words that say so much!!

That is a nugget of wisdom that should be printed out and hung in EVERY magic room of EVERY magician that WANTS to be better!!

Thank you Mr. Oslund
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 23, 2018 01:19PM)
Yer welcome!

Gee! If I could have put that in a dvd, I "coulda" sold it, and, retired, a second time! hee hee
Message: Posted by: paulalpha (Apr 10, 2018 09:33PM)
The key is in performing. You practice in part so as to not be a fool while performing. When I learn a new trick, I start roaming the stores to get in practice/performing opportunities. You'd be surprised at the number of times they thank you for showing them the trick, and they'll say you made their day. Most people go their entire life without seeing one decent closeup magic trick. Performing is the motivation for practicing, and performing also counts as practice.
Message: Posted by: deanr201 (May 23, 2018 06:12AM)
As others have said (and in other threads)

Practice will help with the skills but getting out there and performing will go along way to helping you improve.

Plus positive feedback will give you a boost and and negative or criticism you can embrace, learn from and improve.

Also strangers don't know what to expect so you one step ahead of them at least. If it goes wrong they may not even know