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emeline
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Hi,

Two questions:
1) What are the biggest mistakes that a beginner do with coins, cards or balls in front of an audience?
2) If you are now a professional, what was the most difficult to learn as handlings, etc. when you were a beginner?

Emeline
Erdnase27
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I think the biggest mistake a beginner can make and this is the 1 I made when I started out is:

- thkinkg that knowing the trick AND have the perfect technique makes you a good magician. really , its just 15%. I wasnt that good with rpesentation and the audiences saw through all the handlings. Presentation does sooo much with a trick, its unbelievable:)
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
emeline
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Michiel, do you think the communication is more important than the handlings in front of the audience? Maybe the communication is quite useful to "hide" the handlings! That is pretty sure...(When I speak about "communication" I mean the words, the fact to have a contact with the audience)
BrianMillerMagic
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These are extraordinarily broad questions, but I can do my best.

Biggest mistakes with cards, coins, etc

-Focusing all your effort on the technique and not the presentation
-Staring at your hands during performance because of the aforementioned problem
-Speeding up while executing a sleight in order to cover it
-Misdirecting away from something instead of towards something else
-Believing that the more difficult something is, the more laypeople will enjoy it. It's often the simplest handlings that yield the greatest effects.

Most difficult techniques to learn

-DL with cards; it is the most basic and yet most difficult sleight to master, and 95% of card magic relies on this move as a solid foundation
-Coin roll with coins, simply because there is no easy way to learn it other than trying it, then dropping it, then trying it, then dropping it for weeks until you get it
-Learning that the presentation is just as important if not more important than the handling

These were all just off the top of my head. When I think of more I'll post again. These were two good questions though Smile

Posted: Feb 6, 2007 3:30pm
Oh and one thing I just remembered:

Presentation and misdirection should cover any and all sleights, but that doesn't mean that your sleights shouldn't be invisible anyway. There will always be someone in the audience that couldn't care less about anything you're saying, and he will instead just burn your hands intent on discovering the secret. For these wonderful people your sleight of hand should be essentially flawless. No one is perfect, even professionals, but it should be at least 99%.
emeline
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Quote:
These were two good questions though Smile


You are a quite nice magician, thank you!

Emeline, a new friend of you! Smile
BrianMillerMagic
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Always nice to have a new friend. Hope my little insight has helped answers these questions, at least in part.
emeline
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Brian, you have perfectly answered ! Actually, I am so amazed that somebody has replied to my message ! That is why I want to visit your website and your Myspace profile, you seem to be a smart magician!
Jaz
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Quote:
On 2007-02-06 15:27, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
These are extraordinarily broad questions, but I can do my best.

Biggest mistakes with cards, coins, etc

-Focusing all your effort on the technique and not the presentation
-Staring at your hands during performance because of the aforementioned problem
-Speeding up while executing a sleight in order to cover it
-Misdirecting away from something instead of towards something else
-Believing that the more difficult something is, the more laypeople will enjoy it. It's often the simplest handlings that yield the greatest effects.



This is worthy of becoming a 'sticky'.
Well said Brian.
BrianMillerMagic
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Thank you Jaz. Just things I noticed about myself when I was a beginner, and now I see in other younger magicians so I try to help correct it early. I had to relearn a host of things about magic because I got into bad habits due to the things that I pointed out. It's easier to do it right the first time than to learn it all over again.
tbaer
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I also have enjoyed Brian's comments since he started posting on the Café, not only on this topic but also other posts he has commented on. Always very informative and professional.
The Magician
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Trying to learn everything at once
The Magician

Expect the Unexpected
ViciousCycle
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With magic, it's easy to to chase after the next new trick, and not take the time to become adept at the tricks that one already knows.

With magic, it's easy to be tempted by short cuts. Some tricks promise to be fool proof, yet there are certain fundamental skills that one needs to learn.

With magic, it's easy to get caught up in feeling too clever about one's self. But if you're too concerned with being clever, you can end up making your audience feel stupid. The idea is not to make someone feel stupid that they can't figure out your trick; the idea is to make them enjoy your illusion. (When a violinist finished playing a magnificent piece, the initial reaction should not be for one to angrily demand, "HOW DID YOU DO THAT?" The initial reaction should be just to enjoy the music. So it is with magic.)
MattWayne
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Emeline! Bonjour; it's been a very long time since I've seen you one le Café!!

Do you still have that poster I sent you a long time ago?

I think the biggest mistakes beginners make when working with manipulative magic with cards, balls, coins, etc- is that they constantly look at their hands. There's not a bit of control in there own perception. They know the sleight is coming and they then watch it themselves. Possibly a lack of confidence; this will then become a hard habit to break! Making their card work very obvious. Or they'll pause directly before the sleights; that sort of thing.

The hardest sleight for me to learn when I was just starting out was a double lift with cards. I spent hours and hours trying so hard to make it seem effortless. I still to this day practice with a deck at least two hours daily to keep up on just the feeling of card sleights. I always am refreshing myself.

Hope you're doing well Emeline!

Amitiés,
Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
The Celebrity Magician™
www.CelebrityMagician.com / youtube.com/celebritymagician / twitter.com/RealMattWayne /
Facebook.com/CelebrityMagician

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
Spokesperson behind, TouchTricks
emeline
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Hi my Matt !!!

I sent you a PM. And thank you for your answers! You are still nice with me!

Your french friend,
Emeline

(By the way, Happy New Year!)
Erdnase27
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Hi sorry if I was unclear. I mean not only the words
also how you do, your motivations etc. sorry if I was unclear. English is mot my strongest point either:)
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
JackScratch
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I've said a few times, if I had to select one generic piece of advice I could give any magician, any time, and have it be valuable, it would be "Slow Down." That one phrase has the best chance of being useful to the most magicians.

As for the stuff people are saying about presentation, couldn't agree more. However, they aren't saying what needs to be said. The thing about the Presentation versus Handling arguement that almost always gets misrepresented, is people misunderstand what is being said about handling. Of course your handling is important. What they are telling you is that compared to presentation, writing, and your connection to your audience, handling is cake. It's the easiest part of the equasion, and the part that most magicians focus too hard on in the first palce, while sadly neglecting the rest. They aren't telling you that you can just blow off your handling. They are teling you that almost everyone who has ever gotten into magic started off as "all trick and no show".

The rule for years has been "practice, practice, practice", but we are changing that, it's not the rule anymore. The new rule is "Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse".
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On 2007-02-07 09:05, JackScratch wrote:
What they are telling you is that compared to presentation, writing, and your connection to your audience, handling is cake.


JackScratch, this is exactly what I was getting at when I said:

"Presentation and misdirection should cover any and all sleights, but that doesn't mean that your sleights shouldn't be invisible anyway."

The way I worded it may have been a little round about so thank you for making that more clear.
Habu
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I'm breaking back into the business.

There are many many comments in the forums about the importance of presentation.

There are many comments about being natural and not watching yourself do the slight, to direct or misdirect attention away with your eyes as well as your actions as if nothing you had rehearsed for hours was really going on.

The in first pages of Tarbell he is already discussing the mistakes of young performers saying you have to know the fundamentals, not the tricks, perfectly before you move on to the next move.

From all of this I think my advice to new performers is what I am doing. Yes I've purchased tricks and books, but before I step foot on any stage be it carpeted living room floor or wooden performance hall, I am going to watch as many live performances via magicians from my local IBM (or other club)as I can, and buy videos of other magicians performing their acts...not their tricks but their presentations.

I have already made arrangements to witness the spectacle that is Bob Sanders, and thank you for allowing me to come to your performance. I also intend to tag along on some birthday party shows and help out if I can (pro bono of course) maybe even pay for the gas...

After I have studied their posture, poise, gestures, and expressions, I will emulate what works best for me from what I have seen and develop my own presentation style.

NOTE: --directed at the new person-- It is not usually acceptable to copy an act or do a routine exactly like someone you have watched...what you want to do is just learn from the professional how to make the rehearsed seem natural and casual.

Posted: Feb 7, 2007 10:23am
Find a mentor if at all possible.
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
tupawk
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I am just starting to practice seriously as well and this is all great advice. I have found when practicing my routines for family and friends that the presentation and mis-direction has been the most important thing to get right in order to perform the slieghts totally unobserved.

Slow down, look people in the eyes. Wait until you are sure you have thier attention then perform the slieght. There is no reason to rush things as others have said.
BrianMillerMagic
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Family and friends can be some of the worst audiences you will ever experience, but performing for them will do some good: your sleight of hand will need to be nearly perfect because family and friends burn your hands instead of being interested in the performance (usually). Also family and friends can be worse than hecklers, though not intentionally. When I am performing at a restaurant or some public venue, often my friends will show up. The trouble is that they still think of you as a friend while you're performing, so they'll try to joke around because they feel "cool" or something that they know the magician. They'll make jokes about the method because they're on the "inside." It's so difficult to try to explain that while I'm performing at a paid gig, I'm really not their friend; I'm a professional entertainer and I'll treat them like any audience, or any heckler. Perhaps this has just been my experience but I would find it unlikely that no one else has had this happen.
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