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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Steals and Loads (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DerekMerdinyan
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What are some good sources to learn PROPER loads, steals, and ditches? I have been doing things, "my own way," but I have run into some issues lately. I figure that the "proven methods" might be better then mine Smile

I assume the sources would all be books, but a video may provide a good visual.

Derek Merdinyan
magic4u02
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Derek:

It is great that you have come to a realization that you need to research this area. One ot the mistakes I made was learning and developing my own means for body steals during my manipulative routine. There is nothing wrong with doing this, however, I went about it the wrong way. Let me explain.

I think the manipulator really must learn the tools of the trade and the methods and skills first before he or she deviates from this and develops alternative methods. The reason for this is quite simple. There are right and wrong ways to doing body loads and steals. These become the "principles" of body loads and steals and never change no matter what method you are using or devise. However, you will not know these principles unless you are willing to research them first and build upon the knowledge there. Only when you know this knowledge can you devert from it.

The book "It's Easier then you think" has a great section in there on body loads and how to steal. It is by Geoffry Buckingham and is an old book, but he discusses the principles behind them and the ideas he conveys are really good reading for any manipulator.

Also, the Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder has an excellent chapter in there devoted to logical misdirection. This is a great resource to understand how to logically misdirect the audience to make your steal happen totally unnoticed.

I hope this helps.

Kyle
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Bill Hegbli
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Get the Pat Page Video from LL Pub. They are selling out and this is the only one they have left. It is on stage magic. At the end he has a steal method that will make everything clear about misdirection and getting away with a steal.

The VHS video is only $10. Check it out. Best info I ever seen.
magic4u02
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Great share there wmhegbli. Thanks. I may have to check that out myself.

Kyle
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icentertainment
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I would suggest filming your routines as you practice

you don't need a super big video camera, a cheap still camera with MPEG recording with no sound will help

just so you can practice the steals
magic4u02
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I always use a video camera and not a mirror. The problem with a mirror is that the manipulator stuident gets to accustomed to seing themselvesion the mirror, that once that mirror is not there, they seem lost without it. The other reason is that the mirror really shows a reverse image of what the audience really does see. Video taping allows you to concentrate on your presentation and then watch what the audience really sees later.

Kyle
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magicurt
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McBride also recomends using a camera. I like to use both. I practice in front of a mirror till I get it right then run through it a couple times before I pull out the camera. Then pick up my bad spots and start over.

Curt
Bill Hegbli
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All the filming in the world will not help, if you are doing it incorrectly. 'Method' then 'refinement'.
magic4u02
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A mirror can make you to dependant upon it and so I would suggest staying away from that mode of practice. It also shows the wrong or reverse view of what really is seen by the audience and so bad habits are picked up. If it a habit becomes a bad habit, then it is often times very hard to get yourself to correct the problem later on.

Kyle
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kregg
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The question's to ask are; How big is the load?, How heavy?, etc,.. This will guide one as to how much attention or cover is needed to pull off a feat of magic.
POOF!
magic4u02
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If you do have a big load, then another option for you is not a body steal but to learn how to do a table steal using proper misdirection and stage movement. You may also do a stable steal in numerous ways, but I shall not go into specifics here as that is not allowed in this section of the Café. If you would like to know ideas on this, I would be happy to cover off on ideas with you via a PM.

Kyle
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magicurt
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Kyle you are a great wealth of info and I really enjoy your post. I certainly mean no disrespect but I disagree about not using a mirror. I always use a mirror first to know what angles and movements are correct and which need work. If I can't spot the methods or gimmics from various angles then I am ready to turn the camera on and work on practice and rehersal. I do, howerever, use a mirror for a routine for practice and definately not for rehersal. I think it is a great tool to use in routine developement and indivdual "moves" practice.

This is just works for me. If I get the feelfor my moves and routines in a mirror first my body seems to remember it. If I film it and then review I don't get the feel and recognition nearly as fast.

Curt
magic4u02
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Curt no disrespect shown at all. We are cool that we can agree to disagree. I guess what I should say is that it is my personal preference that using a mirror can tend to lead to bad habits. This is not to say that it can't help a manipulator if he or she feels it is beneficial and if they are careful not to fall victum of some of the bad habits that can come from depending too heavily on the mirror.

The problem with performing in front of a mirror are several that are important for each manipulator to really look at in detail and determine which might be right for him or her these are:

- The mirror does not show a perfect and accurate likeness of what the audience really is seeing. The mirror shows an opposite and reverse image of what the audience will be seeing. By this I mean if you have and are holding an object or card in the right hand, the mirror will make it look like the object is still in the right hand side when in reality, from the audiences view, it appears to them that the item is on the left side. The mirror is not showing truely what the audience sees and therefor gives a false impression on angles.

- When a performer works in front of a mirror for too long of a time, too much emphasis is placed on the performer looking at and staring at the image in the mirror. Instead, they should really be focusing their attention on doing rhe mechanics of the routine as if performing for an audience. this means with proper eyecontact towards the audience. When looking at a mirror, you are too much aware of this image and the tendency is to watch yourself too much.

- When the performer works infront of a mirror for too long of a time, the performer will have problems once that mirror is taken away from them. In theory, the performer gets so used to seeing him or herself performing, that once that image is gone, they tend to feel uncomfortable and it shows in their performance. This is due to the fact that they have been relaying soley on seeing their own reflection.

How do I know some of these things? Because I fell victum to them early on in my manipulative career and I learned the hard way. I had to take a step back and not rely so much on the mirror.

Now I always film every practice and every rehearsal. It is so easy for me to just set up a video camera at different angles and just do my performance as if I was doing them live infront of an audience. Then I am not relying on the mirror at all. I am focusing my efforts on my performance, eye contact, movement on stage etc.

I then can take a look at the videos and see EXACTLY what the audience is seeing and the proper angles they are seeing as well. I can then make adjustments as needed and practice again.

For myself this has just been a much better practice routine that has worked and worked for my students as well.

No disrespect to you at all and I totally admire and respect your opinion on this subject. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and others as well. Thank you for sharing your opinions with us.

Kyle
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magicurt
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I certainly agree with your post and it sounds much like how I practice and rehearse. I just find that getting the feel for the moves and working of my routine comes easier in front of a mirror. What feels good often looks terrible and vice versa. Once I get the mechanics, routining and blocking done, I work without the mirro and use the camera. But reading your post reminds me of the true level of consciousness I need to put into rehersal. I good pick me up.

Thanks,

Curt
magic4u02
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Curt:

You are most welcome. You certainly have to do what works best for you. The key is that if you feel you must use the mirror, limit yourself on how much you rely on it and then use the camera. If you do it that way, you should be ok. It is when the performer relies to heavily on the mirror, that problems tend to happen.

Kyle
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kregg
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I've used mirrors for years. The mirror is only used to check moves, not rehearse an entire show. I guess some performer's can't resist.
The mirror and camera are useful rehearsal tools. Yet, nothing proofs a show better than a great director and a live audience.
POOF!
magicurt
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Im with ya kregg, but you want to make sure the show is completely ready before the live audience. The worst feeling in the world is not passing the live audience test due lack of preperation.

Curt
magic4u02
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I agree. But I think it is safe then that if you are going to use a mirror, you use it sparingly to check out initial moves and such and then move away from it and to a camera for rehearsals of the act and sequences. Then you take it to a live audience and work out the kinks by being aware of what got reactions, what did not etc.

Kyle
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John Bowlin
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Unless you have three video cameras or tons of time and tape a mirror can't be beat for giving you 3 different angles simultaneously while working on skills. I made a practice mirror by joining 3 mirrors at 33 degree angles and it has really helped alot. When I see beginning magicians flash(myself included) it's usually an angle problem. I go to the vid camera for routining and rehearsal.
icentertainment
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Quote:
On 2005-09-27 00:17, wmhegbli wrote:
All the filming in the world will not help, if you are doing it incorrectly. 'Method' then 'refinement'.


This is true but if you don't have a team of magicians looking at your work- You will have to "do it your self"

You refine after watching the video- then you show your friends & family

as you move into a more pro level- you may hire a director to view your act

but for just starting off be your own critic and video tape it.
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