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Profile of Xaethia
I am just wondering, how do stop figgiting, for example springing the cards as soon as you pick up a deck?

Any tips?

Thanks Smile
"Technique beats skill. Psychology beats technique. Philosophy beats all. Think about it." CrdShk
Mary Mowder
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Profile of JamesTong
Don't pick up anything. I am not joking.
Mary Mowder
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What's the problem?

We don't have a problem!

Twitch twitch.

-Mary Mowder
Jonathan Townsend
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Does your performing character have some sort of magician's epilepsy or Tourette's syndrome?

If so - go with it but if not - play the part without the fussing okay? all the coins I've dropped here
jazzy snazzy
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Profile of jazzy snazzy
It takes forever to overcome this. Often I shoot video of non pros demonstrating various items. Every sentence begins with "Um" and they feel like they must move their hands with each word. Makes me crazy. Some dance from side to side too.

Usually the first taping is a throw-away even though I don't tell them that.
After viewing it they improve considerably at least for a while. It gets to be a running gag around here when I shout "Quit shaking the product!".
I threatened to duct tape my son's hands to the chair when he was making a Youtube clip.

Practice is one solution but I think much more so is PREPARATION. If you know exactly what you are going to say and do, these nervous ticks become much less noticable. Soon you develop confidence and it becomes much more comfortable.

Perhaps join Toastmasters. If you find a good group, they will help immensely. And you are forced to prepare something to present to a live audience.
It gets easier each time.

Another thing to do is watch professional spokespeople on TV with the sound off.
Note the body language and facial expressions. They use the eyes instead of the hands. Every gesture is done for a reason.

One of the toughtest things in magic is eliminating moves that are not absolutely necessary to the effect. It's like music where you set a tempo, perform on certain beats, insert pauses, crescendos, and so on.

I'm not a huge fan of excessive taping of rehearsals but in this area, it is invaluable.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
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Profile of RodHousley
Practice doing just what you want to do. You have to make yourself practice what you want to actually do or you will never get out of the habit.
David Waldorf
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Profile of David Waldorf
I don't think it happens when I am performing (have to check), but whenever I pick up a pack of cards I start to shuffle endlessly. Just rifle shuffle over and over and over again, switching to something else every now and again.

Well, one time I had just performed for a talent contest, and was watching the rest of the contest from the crowd. I was holding the deck of cards that I had used on the stage, and I began to mindlessly shuffle as I watched the other contestants. After a few moments, the guy next to me lays his hand down over the cards and says "Do you mind?" I shrunk a few inches in my seat, and did a Hindu shuffle for a bit, then put the cards away.

Moral: shuffling cards doesn't fascinate everyone as much as it does me.
Didn't your mother ever tell you not to believe anything you hear and only half of what you see?

From a Roy Rogers movie
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Profile of courtmagician
Jazzy has a point about the video taping - if you can tape yourself, and then watch it and be objective. I find that during initial tapings of something new, I do fidget and umm and ah a bit, but those are easily eliminated once I'm conscious of them.

Of course, the above advice is just for a performance, and one of the habits I see card performers doing when just "standing there" is to riffle the cards incessantly while holding them (I do that, too), and I think that comes from practicing moves while doing something like watching TV because you sort of slip into a coma during some scenes and your mind just fiddles with the cards versus practicing any one move (or you could continue practicing during the coma, but then that move might become your fiddle).
Learning that all things magical are not limited to card tricks.
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Profile of kal
If you mean during your performance, just excellent scripting. Knowing what you are going at every moment, and how you are being perceived by the audience.
It's important to realise that your performance is an act, not an occasion for you. The ONLY thing that matters is how it affects the audience. Once you understand the mentality of being there only for the show (and not for you own enjoyment) you can really focus on your presentation and you'll be totally confident in every moment and have every moment planned.
I'm always honest about when I'm lying. And I'm always lying...
Simon Mandal
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Profile of Simon Mandal
This really needs to be addressed in practice.
As you practice in the mirror say to yourself "relax relax relax. smooth smooth smooth."
It sounds silly, but it works wonders.

I learned this from a book on Juggling. (I am not a juggler, just was interested.)
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Profile of steveoblair
This is a huge problem I have I spend most of my day just riffling cards and not practising anything this but its something 90%of magicians do you cant help it. I have also noticed that I don't do this while out gigging because I am to busy performing to mess around with cards. So really there isn't really a problem here its just part of being a magician.
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Profile of Granger
Pick up smoking habits. I am sure you will not pick up that pack of cards anymore Smile
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Profile of drewer
To stop playing with cards, you should just use hand gestures while you speak (which you should do anyways). You should put all your focus on connecting with the audience, instead of splitting it between talking and shuffling even if you think that shuffling doesn't take away your focus on the audience (it does).
Constantly shuffling shows nervousness and a lack of attention on the audience. They think that even when you're not doing a trick, you think you are more important than the audience. FOCUS ON THEM.
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Profile of Gerald
On 2012-12-15 10:49, drewer wrote:
. . . Constantly shuffling shows nervousness and a lack of attention on the audience. . . . FOCUS ON THEM.

Drewer is absolutely right. Fidgeting around with props reveals insecurity and uncontrolled egocentric self-awareness. Handle props as little as possible. Smile, keep eye contact, and call people by their name. Perform FOR and WITH spectators, not AT them. Share in the enjoyment of the moment. Besides, this attitude lends itself to and opens opportunities for strong misdirection.
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Profile of JoshTmagic
I myself have Tourette's syndrome and do have ticks but none of them involve riffling the deck but I do have one where I pull my wrists back in an awkward position I think this may be from practicing something with cards but what helps me in class is just to roll a coin across my fingers! for you just try tapping your foot under the table so some part of your body is moving!
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Profile of Vangel
Solutions and problems probably vary for each person but have you tried slowing down everything?
If your mind and body is racing at uncontrollable speeds it can cause figgiting and nervousness. Slowing everything down will focus your concentration on the movements that you intend.
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Profile of 55Hudson
One thing I have advised presenters to limit the pacing/shifting is to imagine nails run ing through your feet right into the floor. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and only make defined, purposeful steps. Everything should be choreographed - feet, hands, looks.

You may want to just practice sitting still/quiet for extended period. If you need too, sit in a coffee shop, with the deck on the table, and sit, observe. Don't move or speak. Learn to control your personal space In this way.

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Profile of Waters.
On Nov 15, 2009, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Does your performing character have some sort of magician's epilepsy or Tourette's syndrome?

If so - go with it but if not - play the part without the fussing okay?

While not making light of disorders, I do think that framed the right way, an obsessive need to pick up something and do something (while trying to resist) really could be entertaining. We are all creatures and people can relate.

Can I hold the remote please?
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