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Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
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1988 - 2013
The Big Brother is watching you
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I remember when I first started magic, when I was around 11 and had my own magic business with my dad. I was obessed with magic, as I was with many other things in life. I remember I would sit in front of a mirror for hours practicing sponge ball sleights. I got pretty good at it. I enjoyed practicing.

Now, it seems, I don't mind practicing things while doing other things, (classic palm, insanity ladder, coin roll, four coin roll down, backpalm, etc) but practicing anything where you have to look in front of a mirror constantly or a video camera for hours just seems to have completely lost my interest. It's no fun for me anymore. Dai Vernon said something similiar to, "If you don't have the will to price, by all means choose a different hobby." and I feel like I'm going down this path.

It seems sometimes when I do magic I fail. And I have a huge fear of failing. I recently performed just pretend to someone, in which I practiced it throughoutly before, I was doing it perfect, downs palm to edge grip was perfect, but she was sitting down and I was standing it, and it had bad angles. I must've misjudged something, because she saw the coin in my hand. I felt awful. I felt even worse that I was caught. I've done it many times before succesfully, but I hadn't practiced the whole rountine in awhile.

Anyone else have this problem of uh, being bored sitting in front of a mirror for hours practicing? Maybe magic is no longer the right hobby for me. Smile
Justin Style
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Don't go. Come on, stay, stick around, the place won't be the same without you. You're a great dude and you've come so far, don't give up now. Who cares that you can't cp a coin, become a mentalist, practice cards for a while, try something new. But don't just throw it all away now.

Hang in there; you're just having a bad day.
Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
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1988 - 2013
The Big Brother is watching you
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I apologize for what I said earlier, I'm having a really bad day. I basically lost 4 magic videos, didn't back them up like an idiot, and 400+ songs, and so far itunes wont sync with my ipod, and the 50 points I spent on a rhapsody download won't work, it closes, whenever I try to play a video I get a real time error. Just really frusterated right now.
Jimeh
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Ottawa, Ontario
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It'll all work out dude, keep at it.
Don't let a few bad days ruin the big picture.
MickeyPainless
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May I point out Kevin that you made pretty much this same post a few months ago! I along with MANY have told you there is NO easy way to get good other than time and practice! Justin had 6500 hours tied up in his 8 (now 10) silver dollar production before he went for his record! At 1 hour EVERY day of the year, that's dang near 18 years! Ya think he wanted to quit? I'm sure most would! Do what ya gotta do man but every time you get mad and want to quit, think about the fact that if you take it back up 1,5 or 10 years from now if ya never quit in the first place how good ya might be!
Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
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1988 - 2013
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Quote:
On 2008-12-21 17:44, MickeyPainless wrote:
May I point out Kevin that you made pretty much this same post a few months ago! I along with MANY have told you there is NO easy way to get good other than time and practice! Justin had 6500 hours tied up in his 8 (now 10) silver dollar production before he went for his record! At 1 hour EVERY day of the year, that's dang near 18 years! Ya think he wanted to quit? I'm sure most would! Do what ya gotta do man but every time you get mad and want to quit, think about the fact that if you take it back up 1,5 or 10 years from now if ya never quit in the first place how good ya might be!


Thank you mickey, sorry about making this post, I'm just having a bad day. I'll keep working my classic palm, I think I can get it eventually! Just having some people say it can't work ever in their hands is discouraging.
Wes65
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I've said very little in
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Kevin,

What's the rush? You're not in a race. Pick a couple of routines that you like that are well below your skill level and stay up on those. Perform them when you have opportunity. Continue to practice your sleights a little each day. When it becomes fun again, and it will, dive back in. Many very good magicians put it down for a while, sometimes years.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes less is more.
Wes
mmreed
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Kevin,

Sounds more like audience management issues instead of lack of practice... all the practice in the world cannot overcome bad angles and misplaced positions.

Focus on your enviroment BEFORE doing an effect and look at placement.

Imagine its like the old mafia don... walking into a restaurant... scopes the place out... picks the best place to sit as to not get whacked...and always has an exit ready.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
abc
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I have been doing this for 18 years and I still have an off day and mess things up. Or I run into a heckler when I am moody and it just gets worse from there. Keep the faith man. I started magic when I was 14 (excluding fooling around with magic kits as a kid) and thought I was ready to perform shows by 17. When I got to 21 I thought "what the hell was I doing at 17?!" Now I am 32 and I am thinking "What the hell was I doing at 21?!"
muse
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If you're doing magic (or anything for that ,matter), you need to accept that a percentage of the time things do and will go wrong, irrespective of your skill level. If you were to practise all day, every day, that percentage would decrease, but it would still be there. So when they do go wrong, yes, work to cut out that particular problem the next time, but also cut yourself a little slack. It doesn't make you a bad person, or even a bad magician.

In addition to working on the technical manipulation skills (and audience management as mentioned above), maybe work on outs as well - by which I don't just mean more manipulation, but perhaps have a jokey or self deprecating remark you can make, or...whatever works for you, something you can say to someone who catches you. It's serious to us, because we know how much work goes into trying to do it well, but to the vast majority of people watching, it's just a light hearted entertainment. Steven Youell (in his WMD text) has some great thoughts on taking precautions as you go through card tricks to maximise the ways you can get 'out'.

I hope your bad day is starting to be a distant memory, and that you get to enjoy the next time you get to perform.
muse
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Also, see the posts in the 'Penny for your thoughts' section under the heading 'Reacting to people figuring out' for some interesting discussion about this
Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
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1988 - 2013
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I don't know, just lately I've felt really depressed. Gary yin on the boards here is amazing with coin magic, I strive to be as good as him and rannie sometimes. I thought I was good with sponge magic until a few minutes ago I looked in the mirror and did the 2 in the hand, one in the pocket sequence where in the end they all vanish, and realized my sleights looked horrible, absolutely horrid. And I remember the days when I was a young kid and would sit in front of a mirror for HOURS everyday, each day practicing sponge ball sleights. No wonder last time I showed it to someone they guessed it correctly. I spent a good hour + practicing staying up all night. I have the sponge ball toolkit too and I'm trying to use steve darci's 2 in hand one in pocket because I think it looks better. I just don't seem to be a good coin magician, or a good sponge magician.
Take a look at my videos at http://www.youtube.com/fishsticks911, mainly the sponge ones , its horrid work and very shobby and I haven't really realized how bad it was until recently.

I really need to work on all of my magic.
kloenie
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Hi there fishstick...

I am kloenie from the netherlands.
I am new here, but I do sometimes tricks on my work ( high school with 1500 students )
I have done the card on the ceiling I think 100 times before I did it with students.
and many times I did it wrong.
I think I spend every day 1 hour for training, and withing 1 year I first did it with a student.
I whas shaking like cracy.
I did the trick well, but after the trick I realised it whas 100.000 times harder for the mirror and at my home.

I have then practices it before my wife and she gave me little tips like, you must stand in that angle etc.
I have now more tricks and every time I ask my wife if she wants to help.
of course first for the mirror, then for my wife(she don't know how the trick works ) and some times with card tricks she see the secret.
if that happens I tell the secret and the routine.
then she can help me get the routine better.
then I do it at my work.
and of course sometimes it will not work well.
but if you can manange to perform it good, with a little show they will forget what they see.

hope I helped a little.

gr kloenie
mmreed
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Your youtube videos aren't bad... most of your effects were pretty clean.

One thing to keep in mind... Magic isn't brain surgery. If you screw up a move, so what. Move on. No one dies, and infact, no one even remembers the wrong move. Many times the audience has no idea you screwed up. Sure flashing a coin or a palm has then thinking oooo I saw that... but so what.

Magic should be fun - even if you make a few mistakes.


You have your whole life ahead of you to perfect your magic. Enjoy the path - not the destination.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
Justin Style
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Thanks for the props Mick! You're right and bring up a good point.

Let’s see;

It took me more than TEN YEARS to be able to do card productions and split fans.

6,500 hours just working on the coin routine but about 10 years or more of practicing. Don't forget, on day one I couldn't DP ONE coin.

It took me about two years of practice to do a four coin roll out.

These are just a few examples of the blood sweat and hard work I put in.

Why?

Not to please anybody but MYSELF!

Not only that but I didn’t even admit I was a magician for the first 5 years. I got into magic in ’85 but didn’t join the IBM til ’90 because I didn’t think I was good enough…yet.

Again, I will say it like this; Go to the gym and try to bench press 315 lbs. I'll bet you can't. But, I will also bet that if you keep at it, you WILL, sooner or later.

Your MAJOR problem is that you are looking to be as good as others who have been in the game for years. It just don't work that way.
Jimeh
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Very well said Sir Justin...
muse
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If you compare yourself directly with other people, you will drive yourself crazy, and quickly. There will ALWAYS be someone who can do something you want to do better than you can. Once you get to the level you want with something, and it becomes easy (or at least second nature) to you, you can bring yourself down by discounting the knowledge and abilities you have (by which I mean not seeing what you do as being special or of a high standard) and instead looking enviously at what the next person can do that you can't. There is ALWAYS and will always be someone who has the potential to make what you do seem less impressive. And that's true for all of us, even the best - read, for example, about Vernon's search for the perfect deal from the middle of the deck.

It's healthy to look at what other people are doing if it's focused on giving you an incentive to improve, but not if it's just making you feel that what you do isn't worth the candle. Athletes get round this by running / jumping against their own 'personal best', so that they measure their improvements against where THEY were a year or whatever before. If they only measured themselves against the world record holders, they'd probably want to give up. And while some of those athletes may go on to break world records, the majority will not reach that standard, but will develop steadily over time, because they have a balanced view of their progress.

But even MORE fundamental that that is the enjoyment of what you do in any hobby. If you're a professional then the show must go on, but if you're not, then look for the enjoyment, rather than some severe tests, in what you're doing. People take what Vernon or Marlo said as being profound because they were highly knowledgable and skilled, due to being obsessives who devoted their life to cards. And that worked for them, but that doesn't mean that what they or anyone else here says is necessarily true for you. Most of us choose a more balanced approach to life. There are no rules to how much you need to practise, or how seriously you need to take magic. Plenty of people on the Café, even a few 'names' have said on various posts that they gave it up completely for a while before returning to it later.

Something that was right for you years ago may well not be right for you now. If your enjoyment in magic NOW comes through practising ten hours a day, or from picking up a pack of cards once every ten days, what's right for you IS right.
jocce
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If I don't feel like practicing magic, I won't practice, period. I'm not going to compete with anyone, I just do it because it's fun.

Try something else for a while, try rehearsing instead of practicing sleights. Improve your scripting instead, or go fishing Smile

*GASP* Do you fail sometimes...but...but...Smile
Same here. Do I like to fail? Heck no! Will I learn from it? Oh yes!

Enjoy the journey Kevin because no matter how far you travel you never reach the end station.
Blackghost83
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I think that you need to find a practice schedule that's right for you. Scratch that, don't even make a schedule. Just practice when you feel inclined to. It's like Obi-Wan says(sorry for the reference), "Act out of instinct, don't do it when the magic(force) doesn't feel like it flows."
-Jason
When asked, "Would anybody play cards with you today?" Ricky Jay simply responded, "Sure."
"Silly People."
Blackghost83
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There is only one thing that can be gained from practice.
And that is perfection.
-Jason (with a good quote that he should have used in his last post)
When asked, "Would anybody play cards with you today?" Ricky Jay simply responded, "Sure."
"Silly People."
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