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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Some reflections from a beginner (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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As a beginner it's been very easy to get caught up in detail. "Pay careful attention to the position of the fingers.", "Practice in slowmotion", etc. Those are sound advice and of course very important. But another advice might be to not overdo it. At least not at the expense of something else that might be even more important. Let me explain...

Since I'm still waiting for my copy of Bobo's to arrive I have spent some hours the last days practicing the retention vanish as described at coinvanish.com and today I had a major breakthrough. I fooled myself with it. I had to check to see where the coin was. This wasn't because I suddenly perfected my technique. God knows that still sucks. Instead it was because something else suddenly was right:

1. Timing. Got a very good burn and really saw that coin in the hand when it closed.
2. Attitude. "I" was really putting the coin there...but my fingers did something else.
3. Flow. Nice, smooth, natural move.

Of course, if this had been shown in slowmotion, you would have seen a pinky wiggling strangely, knuckles popping up without reason etc. But, the "feeling" was there, and that is surely as important as everything else. So my advice from this to other beginners would be, don't be afraid to pick up the pace and try in "real world" speed even if you think your finger movements aren't perfect yet. I believe this is as important as praticing the actual minute manipulations in slowmotion to get the "fingering" right.

That was this beginners two cents after the first 10 days of knucklebusting, fingerwriggling excercises. Now, if I can only get a better success rate on that RV than 1/500 this might lead somewhere Smile

Dr. Faust
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Yes, looking back at my experiences as a beginner, I agree with you 100%. I was then, and sometimes still am, overly conscious of the dynamics of exactly what I'm doing. No matter how hard I try, I sometimes can't see the magic, when I'm doing the trick. I'm, of course, just too conscious of the sleights, mostly when I'm just learning the trick. I think it may just be normal to get caught up in the "slowmotion" when you are practicing. However, I know I'm doing a trick really well, when I too finally stop and realize that I also see the magic. I can then suspend disbelief, as they say, actually forget what I'm doing, do it smoothly, and amaze myself too. I hope this makes at least a little sense. It is late, I am tired, and the magic I can now appreciate most is sleep.

Suspended in Disbelief,

Dr. Faust
"I have such sights to show you!"
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Profile of Loz
Agreed. The issue is that timing is a huge component of magic and coin magic in particular and the retention vanish more than almost anything else. If timing is clearly so important, doing the move in slow-motion will hinder rather than help.

I found the same thing with the retention. Do it VERY badly (technically) but get the timing and intention and manner right and it looks good. Then go back to worry about technical finger positioning refinements. Just actually place a coin in your hand at normal speed 10 times in front of a mirror. Then do it a few times while stealing it back.
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Profile of ithomson

I think it was Goshman who suggested practising sleights as part of a routine, instead of stand-alone practise.

I don't agree with this 100%, as some sleights need lots of work and this just clutters up the routine when you're trying to rehearse it. But the benefit of doing this is that you learn not to frame sleights during a routine (I think this was Roth's term for coming out of character to perform a sleight), and everything becomes much smoother. Also it allows you to employ dramatic and misdirection techniques above and beyond those practical for an individual sleight. Not to mention timing, which may alter with some sleights during a particular effect.

This is just a thought, of course. For me what works best is to work on a sleight while knowing what routine it's going to slot into. After a fair amount of work to get it smooth, I then start "rehearsing" it into the routine and work on the whole thing until I (or my critics, more importantly) are happy with it.

I'm not anywhere near an expert on this, of course, so feel free to ignore anything I say. However, one of the people I respect most for routining and meticulous rehearsal here in the UK is Geoffrey Durham. He has a fascinating post on rehearsal and scripting on The Magic Circle Discussion Board.

Hope that's of interest.

Jonathan Townsend
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On 2005-02-03 01:17, jocce wrote:
...Since I'm still waiting for my copy of Bobo's to arrive I have spent some hours the last days practicing the retention vanish as described at coinvanish.com and ...

It's great to read about such enthusiasm. The road to coin magic is travelled more efficiently when one builds one's skill set starting with the basics.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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Profile of jocce
Thank you all for the encouragement. Actually, I don't know if the retention vanish is considered a basic move or not but it was the only thing available to me when classic palming coins 24/7 started to get slightly tedious. Smile

I hope I can restrain my curiosity and work methodically through the basics in MCM (when I finally get it) and not fastforward to the fancy stuff. Wouldn't we all love to run before we can walk? I'll just try to crawl on...

It's rather interesting. I suddenly start to understand a little more about what Mr. Townsend is always talking about "But why does the coin go in that hand?" "What's the reason and the next step?", "What did it have for lunch? A fickle nickle?"

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Profile of Clarioneer
It's great when it starts to come together and once it does you progress even faster.. and once you believe it you gain the conviction - then you've really got it Smile

The note above re-learning for a specific trick is valid in as much as there are a ton of sleights but way less are required to perform most effects unless of course you intend to become a seriously serious coinician Smile

I thought I would never get a decent coin roll - but only last week it started to come together - great feeling Smile
catch you later

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