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Jasonm921
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NYC
86 Posts

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I made a list of all the tricks I have and learned. I have a tendency to fall in love with certain tricks and forget others...this keep me concentrated on all my tricks. Smile
Michaels
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412 Posts

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I have 2 permanent lists that can be edited any time and 1 list that changes weekly with my performances.
Lists:
1) Every routine or trick I've ever learned or purchased including videos or books
2) Any routine or trick that I feel is worthy of using in a performance- This list includes notes on the handling of each trick
3) Magic to be used in the next show, which of course is extracted from list #2
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
GlenD
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Inner circle
LosAngeles, Ca
1297 Posts

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I keep a categorized list on 3 x 5 cards in a little box. I have a worksheet that I created on the computer for when I do my shows. It lists basic injections here and there as well as the main body being the effects I will do, with appropriate notes.
I then work out my routine from this until I have it down. Now I am thinking, like what Steven Steele is doing, of putting all my tricks on the computer too, why not?
Annother thing to add to my to do list.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Phil Pearce
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Dallas, GA
256 Posts

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I use a PDA, like Geoff, except that I only keep a list of about 15-20 tricks in the Memo section. Some of them I will never forget, so I just list the name. For others, that I don't perform as often, I make a few notes on how to perform and which book or video I have that gives complete instructions.
If I am asked to do a few tricks, I usually have 2-4 that I always do. But if I need to do more, I just refer to the list and I then have access to 10-15 more that I can choose from.
Some people probably never need a list. Some people probably never do more than 5-7 effects, and that's OK. For friends, family, and customers that I see on a regular basis, however, it seems that they are always wanting to see something "new". So for me, a list like this works.
Cheers!
Phil Smile
xicepik
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Regular user
Montréal
117 Posts

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I just made an Access database that can contain tricks (with % of mastering, effect, description, etc), performances (where you are going to make a show) and shows (set of routines). You can keep track of how it was with a % of approbation, you can keep track of the money made, etc. It's pretty basic, but I think that it will be really helpful. Smile If you are interested in it, you can send me a PM and I'll be happy to send it to you or put it on the net for download.

Mark
Angus
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I recently started the process of cataloging all my tricks along with how well I know them and what I need to work on. I'm also taping myself doing all of them both from the audience view and the "secret" and have those on my Ipaq so I can review them whenever I want.
xicepik
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Montréal
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Angus, that's a great idea with the movie. I could do that and put my movies on a CD, zipped with a password ! Thanx for the tip ! Smile
Angus
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No problem, that's just giving one back for the many I've gleaned from this magical place..
Masimax
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Italy
104 Posts

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I write the complete routine with MS Word and then keep a copy of them in a folder.

In my opinion a databse is the best solution but I've no time to realize it.

Massimo Pulidori
Aus
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Australia
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A thing that no one has touched on is why we need to know so many tricks. If it comes down to you looking at a list to remember them then you are not putting the best you can in performing them.
Advise that I was given and that I continue to pass on to new up and coming magicians of our art is that its better to know a few tricks well than do many tricks badly. I know its good to keep your self up to date and the rest of it, but do so that is in a way that suits you.
I have been performing a card routine now for the last four to five years, and because I have but my main focus into it I continually change some things because they seem to fit better; it never fails to get a reaction. I do see the values of writing things down but only for personal record. You can critique effects in contrast to spectator reaction, unnatural bits so you can chop and change the effect to what seems right for you.

Magically

Aus
GlenD
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LosAngeles, Ca
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I don't expect my list to come to an end. Just like a lot of the ones on my list now, I don't do very often or they were tricks I played with and decided not to pursue. But you never know when you will find something new that you really like or can adapt in some way that just fits right. I have my pet faves that I always have on me and my top 5 or 10 tricks that I feel very confident in and can perform well.
There is still an awful lot that I can learn from the books I have on my shelves now.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
bg
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Indy
313 Posts

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Learning new tricks is fun, that's why keeping a list makes sense. Also, if you're not a pro your audience is somewhat limited so continually adding new tricks keeps the magic fresh for those that see it the most.
Scott Ocheltree
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I use a 3 ring binder to keep lecture notes and manuscripts I purchase, and a small unlined "blank book" for writing notes.
I make lots of lists in the book. Lists of tricks for different shows, lists of tricks I know, am learning, or want to learn. I also jot patter ideas and sketch pictures of prop ideas.
I use my computer all the time for work, but it just doesn't "feel" as creative to me as a pencil on paper. I like the idea of having the order and power of the computer, but I can't give up the cozy feel of my own little "magic book".
Alan Wheeler
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Posting since 2002 with
2038 Posts

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I just started a "Patter Notebook" recently, with different scripts and presentation ideas for my favorite effects.

For the past year I have kept a one page, at-a-glance "Trick List" which is very helpful when designing a show. Set lists of effects that work well together also help me when planning a short act for a dinner out or visit to a friend's house.

I still have a dozen effects that I maintain as my favorites, but with constant performances for my English classes, it's not realistic to think I can limit myself to only a dozen effects as some professional magicians may be able to do.

alleycat Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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nelly
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After all writing them down can only help.

After you have built up quite a few tricks, and especially on a PC, you can group them into routines and categorize them for different situations

ie for children.
For adults only.
For a short performance.
For a longer performance.
For laymen.
For people with some magic knowledge.

That way you will not need to concentrate on what your going to do , but how your going to do it.
Dr. Hoodwink
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Eastern NC
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Fellow magi,

Electro-graphic salutations!

In regards to tracking my rapidly-expanding repertoire of magical effects, I have adopted a system of record-keeping akin to that used when I was developing my 10-in-one circus sideshow.

I currently maintain three separate volumes. One consists of my own written instructions for effects I have learned (this includes patter, stage setting, etc.). A second contains various notes on show themes, effect evaluations and the like. The final volume holds esoteric trivia. That is, it is where I put notes on occult systems gleaned from books, conversations with practitioners of systems such as Wicca & chaos magic, & such. A supplementary drawer in my file cabinet holds dealer instructions.

Hoodwink.
dekerivers
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For any of you that have an extensive video collection like I do. go through the vids and make a list of the effects you'd like to learn from each video. this way you don't forget about an effect that may bee hidden in the vast library of magical effects on your shelf. then make one master copy of all the effects so you can pop in one video and learn only the stuff you want. It's well worth your time. Smile
JuRim
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112 Posts

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Hi!
To keep track of the card effects I like to perform i use something that Robert Giobbi told me: Taking an old redbacked Deck and writing the names of the card effects, I would like to keep an eye on. Shuffling, the cards and training every day one or more of the written effects... Smile
I asked if she like cardtricks. she said:No! I did four...
London
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U.S.A.
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What did you do in school? How did you remember what you were taught? ....Do that.
I understand you may be new to this or what ever, but only you know how you remember things. Just because it's magic doesn't mean it's any harder to remember than anything else you know. If you know too many trick to remember, then you know too many tricks. Don't get me wrong..you should never stop learning new things about your art, but a few good tricks is much better than a bunch of bad ones.
THOUGHTfully,

LONDON
CardMaker
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Ludwigsburg/GERMANY
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I love my PDA for that reason, too!
I keep track of tricks I can/perform using an outliner program:
- the type of routine (coins/cards/other stuff)
- the name of the trick
- the setup/preparation
-some details and hints
So I easily can have a look at which routine to pick, or what I need to setup, or just have a look at the performance tips or some special words to say.
I also keep a list of stuff to buy or sell Smile and things to practice more (these are special marked!)

Since I started magic this outline grows and grows and I couldn't manage this using plain paper.

But where do all our lists with tons of secret information go when we're gone???
CardMaker/Bernd Maucksch
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