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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Blinking during moves? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Khopri
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Austin, TX
237 Posts

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Am I just an oddball, freakboy or has anyone else had the problem of involuntarily blinking when practicing a move?

I've been working on trying to get my retention pass to look smooth and several times I've caught myself blinking right at the point where I am performing the pass. Its like my brain is subconsciously trying to help me make the move look smoother by pretending I don't see the pass. As soon as I am conscious of what I am doing, I can prevent it from happening, but if I'm trying to make the pass quickly, or if I work on something else and then switch back to the retention pass, I blink almost every time.

So has anyone else had this problem, or do I need to seek professional help?
BalukMagic
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Toronto, Canada
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This happens to me too... But I can always stop this, unlike you where you said you have no control.
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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A lot of people have this affliction and have discussed it recently elsewhere at the Café'.

To me it's like squinting when I'm thinking hard or trying to focus.
I also find that if I do a sleight without looking at it that I don't blink. At least as much.

Quote:
It's like my brain is subconsciously trying to help me make the move look smoother by pretending I don't see the pass.


I've believe this is true.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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It's a good thing that you noticed.

It comes from mirror practice.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Vandy Grift
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Milwaukee
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Is this what they call blocking the "point of indication" or something like that? I really never had this problem until just recently I was working on a color change and I realized I was doing it BIG TIME. I wasn't working with a mirror, just looking at my hands while I was practicing. I wasn't even "blinking" it was more like closing my eyes for a second or a second and a half while the change was taking place. It became obvious even to me that I was doing it.

Vandy

P.S. Jon is right, it's good that you noticed it. I noticed, then did as Barney Fife would say and "nipped it in the bud"
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Jonathan Townsend
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Ossining, NY
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Quick cure...

Get your eyes off your hands and do the stuff for people!
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Vandy Grift
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Milwaukee
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Quote:
On 2005-04-04 16:56, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quick cure...

Get your eyes off your hands and do the stuff for people!


LOL, that's good, but we have to practice it sometime don't we? Surely you don't suggest reading it in a book and then taking it right to "the people" do you?

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Jonathan Townsend
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Ossining, NY
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The issue is flinching. Focus on YOUR AUDIENCE.

To practice... watch from your peripheral vision.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dan Watkins
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PA
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One of the best (or should I say worst) examples I ever saw of this blinky phenomenon was from a web demo of a really awful routine that came out a few years ago called "True Fly" by Sean Osirus (Symmatrix).

He had a demo clip of the routine and EVERY time he was about to make a coin travel or EVERY time he was about to do a “move”, he blinked incessantly like he was going into seizures or something. (Not just one blink, or closing eyes, but multiple blinks). Some of you might remember the clip…

I don’t think you can find the clip around anymore, but it stuck in my mind forever as the worst case of this I ever saw.
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mike gallo
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This is a common practice, besides blinking, some people will tilt their head to one side while making a move. Fortunately you know you have this problem. Being aware of it can only help you overcome the problem. Perhaps you can slow down the move while working out the bugs. Try to prepare yourself a split second before doing the move. Hopefully it won't be too hard as you know when you are going to make it! An amusing little story (at least to me). The late great Eddie Fechter dealt flawless seconds, no one could see them. But I knew every time he dealt one and it drove him crazy. He would demand to know how I knew. I never would tell him he blinked as he executed them. LOL!!!

Mike
KirkG
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Definitely do some mirror practice to get the move down. Then practice without a mirror for a while and then re-check with a mirror or better still a video camera. Never perform without adaquate pre practice.
Vandy Grift
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Milwaukee
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Quote:
On 2005-04-04 17:02, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
The issue is flinching. Focus on YOUR AUDIENCE.

To practice... watch from your peripheral vision.


I accept that, I'm not saying you practice by burning your own hands. I'm simply saying it's not an uncommon problem and it needs to be recognized of course. I usually try to learn something by reading or seeing it done, then I do it a few times and then I move on from there. But with this particular change I wasn't getting it, forget about peripheral vision, I couldn't even get the mechanics in slow motion. So I kept looking at my hands while I was doing it. I did it 5 or 6 times then realized I was blocking/blinking/flinching and stopped it.

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
ithomson
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I have a colleague who closes his eyes during most of his routines. And I mean closes them for many seconds at a time, not just blink. I can only imagine that this must be what a hamster magician might look like.

Goshman suggested not practising moves independently but as part of the routine they're destined for. This has always worked for me after I've got past a certain proficiency level, and I think could help solve this problem.

But I believe Jonathan T. to have proposed the best solution:

>> Get your eyes off your hands and do the stuff for people!

Once you focus on the audience and the audience's requirements you should find it all a lot easier.

Cheers

Ian
Larry Davidson
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Potomac, MD
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I remember Al Cohen telling me about a guy who did a flawless silk routine with a dye tube except that every time he stole the tube he'd unknowingly lift one of his legs about six inches in the the air...now that must have been a funny sight!

As others have commented, the blinking problem is common, and at least you're aware of it.

Larry
BrianCooper
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Los Angeles, CA
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In Al Schneider's wonderful book "The Theory and Practice of Magical Deception" he goes into how powerful it can be to glance up at the audience when you do a move then look back at your hands after the quick glance. The glance makes the audience think that nothing unusual is going on but since it is only a glance and not a prolonged eye contact stare, the audience believes that they have been burning your hands the whole time. Even though they have been burning them they still feel all is well. So if you blink a lot at least blink while looking up at the audience and it will reduce the "tell".

Brian Cooper
Khopri
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Austin, TX
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Good ideas. Its a very strange phenomenon. Glad I caught it.

Also, if you have the means, videotaping your movements is a great way to practice. I work at a TV studio, so on Sundays when no one is in, I've recorded my hands doing different moves and reviewed it later to see how they looked. If I cathch anything, I go back to the mirror and re-work the move, then try again with the camera. It's probably the best way to see how the trick really looks to the spectator as you are not dealing with a reverse image (if that matters at all)
Larry Barnowsky
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Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
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The blinking is one form of a "tell". We all do it and the fact that you recognized it is very good. It's a bad habit needs to be broken. Advantage players have made a lot of money at Blackjack (hole card down) by reading a "tell" from the dealer's expression when he checks his hole card.
GeorgeSantos
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San Diego, CA
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THANK YOU!!! I thought it was only me!

Now I have my fellow buddies blinking too, I am not alone.

:dancing:

I have this when I practice my retention pass, muscle pass and other coin vanishes. Yes, I find myself blinking if I practice in front of the mirror. It never occured to me that I blinked during live performance.
"David Roth is the greatest coin manipulator in the entire world.."

-Dai Vernon "The Professor"


I AM A FILIPINO MAGICIAN
MICKEY SILVER
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Boston, Ma.
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Hi Khopri, you have brought up a very interesting situation: Involuntarily blinking while you are executing your retention Pass. I will help you, for I have helped many people with this same problem.

Khopri try to understand carefully what I am saying and by all means, as crazy as you may think it sounds, please try it. It "WILL" cure you, 100 PERCENT!

Ok, you seem to catch yourself when you start blinking. This is very understandable. Notice your blinking is very much at the same "POINTS" every time /all the time during your retention pass.

Khopri, the very reason you are involuntarily blinking is because you are UNSURE of yourself. that's RIGHT! For it is at these very points you start blinking "So" we must understand these are the points you feel most uncomfortable with, while executing your mechanics to perform a smooth retention pass. (This is not a bad thing)

7 Day Exercise: Khopri, you are going to attack this problem by "Voluntarily" Blinking. That's right! You are going to blink on purpose and be well aware of it, meaning you are going to blink "BEFORE" your retention pass "DURING" and "AFTER", remember that "YOU WANT TO BLINK". I understand it sounds crazy and you will look silly. However Khopri, you must do this for 7 days on and off when ever you are practicing. (No one has to see you)

You will be absolutely amazed how smooth your retention pass will become, without even blinking an eye!

I honestly mean this,
Mickey
ithomson
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Re:

In Al Schneider's wonderful book "The Theory and Practice of Magical Deception" he goes into how powerful it can be to glance up at the audience when you do a move then look back at your hands after the quick glance.

Isn't this in Tamariz's "Five Points ..." too?

Ian
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