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jhudsy
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Hi all,

I'm curious, how long do you wait between discovering a new effect, learning it, and showing it to an audience for the first time? What about if the effect requires mastering a new sleight? Or if it's just composed of a new sequence of things you already know or an old gimmick?

I guess this question is a rephrasing of the old "how do I know when I'm ready" question, but I think the answers could be interesting.
PenEnpitsu
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Like you said, you ONLY perform it only when you know you can do it without fail. I think you would be able to tell yourself after spending as much time in front of the mirror as you should be Smile

After that, test it on your dog. See if you can successfully misdirect them (they have eyes too), and see if you can accomplish the "opposite end" of the trick before poochie's eyes revert back to you. Once you can do that, I think you're golden. b
jhudsy
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Hi PenEnpitsu,

I fully agree with everything you've said (if only I had a dog). Perhaps I should rephrase the question to state "On average, how long does it take you to be ready?" I'm wondering if an average actually exists, or whether the numbers will be all over the place.
dman11
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I think its like PenEnpitsu said.... Until "you can do it without fail" and feel very confident doing it...The time is going to be different for each trick depending on how difficult it is for you.
Olympic Adam
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If you are already performing for audiences you should be aware of this already

not something that we can answer really :S

just until you are ready, I've been told a method before then done the trick straight for people. Helps me learn the trick sometimes, before practicing a MD and taking too long then getting into bad habits
Protection for mind readers and mentalists: http://tricksofthemind.com
dmueller
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Practice until you can do it without really thinking about it, and then practice some more. It really depends on the complexity of the routine as far as how "long" from start to finish. For example, Scotch and Soda, it was a matter of hours before I felt comfortable performing it for anyone. I have been working with my Cups and Balls for about 6 months, and no one has seen it yet.

Once you get the effect down to where you do feel comfortable performing it for others, don't stop there. Keep working on it, and refining things. Some of the best effects I have ever seen have evolved over years and years of performance and tweaking.
DomKabala
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Quote:
On 2010-09-16 12:08, dmueller wrote:
Practice until you can do it without really thinking about it, and then practice some more.
Reminds me of a quote from the Great Blackstone Jr. which goes like this..."Practice until it becomes boring...then practice until it becomes beautiful!"

There to time limit involved, only you will determine when you are ready, as we are all unique.

Cardamagically,
Dom Smile Smile
We don't stop playing when we grow old...we grow old when we stop playing.

God is enough, let go, let God. Gal 2:20

"Anything of value is not easily attained and those things which are easily attained are not of lasting value."



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DomKabala
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Quote:
On 2010-09-16 12:08, dmueller wrote:
Practice until you can do it without really thinking about it, and then practice some more.
Reminds me of a quote from the Great Blackstone Jr. which goes like this..."Practice until it becomes boring...then practice until it becomes beautiful!"

There to time limit involved, only you will determine when you are ready, as we are all unique.

Cardamagically,
Dom Smile Smile
We don't stop playing when we grow old...we grow old when we stop playing.

God is enough, let go, let God. Gal 2:20

"Anything of value is not easily attained and those things which are easily attained are not of lasting value."



Smile Smile Smile Smile
PenEnpitsu
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Quote:
On 2010-09-16 06:44, jhudsy wrote:
Hi PenEnpitsu,

I fully agree with everything you've said (if only I had a dog). Perhaps I should rephrase the question to state "On average, how long does it take you to be ready?" I'm wondering if an average actually exists, or whether the numbers will be all over the place.


To answer that question, I believe it's a matter of how much you're willing to practice the sleight. It took me about a month before my pass was performance ready, but it wasn't until 2 months until I was proficient using it in conjunction for misdirection.

For easier sleights like the one required in Prohibition, I was able to do it competently after about 10 hours of practice. However I've heard others perfecting it in 2-3 hours. I think it really depends on your ability to understand the technicalities of the actions and then on how quickly you're able to adapt your body to fit, modify, or even improve on those conditions to achieve your effect.

Maybe you're looking for a benchmark to compare yourself to in learning sleights.

Pass: 2 months
Double Lift: 2 days
Overhand Shuffle Controls: 3 days to get smooth/automatic
Backpalming (Cards): 1 week
Classic Palming: 1 year (still working on getting better)
Muscle Pass: WIP (I'm guessing this will take months as well)
Thumb Palm (Coins): 5 hours

I wish I could give you a breakdown of hours, but I started learning these sleights maybe 6 years ago so I've forgotten Smile
VynnCredible
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I think Lance Burton wrote a great article on this topic in his "Advice" column in Magic Magazine. Pick up this month's issure and read it because I really got a lot out of the story of how he and Mac King got their start and comparing it to how the Beatles became famous. Now I am pretty sure that I will never come close to being Lance or Mac, but it really hit home and he made a lot of good points about what to do and how to now when your ready.

Vynn Credible
http://vynncredible.com
Mary Mowder
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Sometimes a week and sometimes years.

- Mary Mowder
Jim Oliver
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100 hours

Jim
Ed Marlo rules
Cyberqat
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OKay... here's my rules.

On slights: I practice until I can do it without thinking about it. Slights need to be instinctive. For this reason after you get the asbic moves down they are best practiced while you are distracted by something else. I often practice while watching TV or a movie. You want to know it "in your fingers." When you reach this place, you will know. Its a Zen/flow thing.

On illusions: I practice till it looks good to me in a mirror and til I can do the patter smooth. For me that's a litmus test. Then I try it out on my wife. If it passes muster with her I practice justa bit more and then try it out on someone for real.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Ed_Millis
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Then again, there are some things that you will never master about a sleight, trick, or routine until you put it out there in front of people. This mostly applies to people who practice the spots off their cards only because they are afraid of "not being ready" - which is the mantra of the fear of making a mistake.

At some point, you have to say "I'm as ready as I can be" and just throw the thing up in front of an audience. Your dog, your wife - sure. But how about people who don't have any reason to stay and watch if you're bad?

I agree with all the "practice 'till you got it down" advice. I just know that for myself, I often have to simply say "I'm done with practice. This goes into my next show." Or else I'll keep practicing until I talk myself out of performing.

More good performances are killed by fear than by mistakes.
Ed
Cyberqat
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Ed is absolutely right there.

And the first time you do something for others, no matter how practiced you are, you are likely to tense up and fumble a bit.

The good thing about this is that it teaches you quickly that minor fumbles don't really matter a long as you fake confidence and keep going.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
ralphs007
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Quote:
On 2010-09-20 16:53, Ed_Millis wrote:
Then again, there are some things that you will never master about a sleight, trick, or routine until you put it out there in front of people. This mostly applies to people who practice the spots off their cards only because they are afraid of "not being ready" - which is the mantra of the fear of making a mistake.

At some point, you have to say "I'm as ready as I can be" and just throw the thing up in front of an audience. Your dog, your wife - sure. But how about people who don't have any reason to stay and watch if you're bad?

I agree with all the "practice 'till you got it down" advice. I just know that for myself, I often have to simply say "I'm done with practice. This goes into my next show." Or else I'll keep practicing until I talk myself out of performing.

More good performances are killed by fear than by mistakes.
Ed

Great advice!
"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him".
James D. Miles
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I was foolish when I started this hobby. I didn't even spend two days (I only do card tricks anyway) to practice, especially for those self-working tricks or using gaffed heavily.

Now, I've come to a point to realize that it's not only about executing the move or delivering a clean-looking effect, but it's about presentation. Script and presentation is the foundation of every trick/effect.

Let's say we do a trick using a Svengali. It would take no more than 4 minutes if you want. But then, they will got nothing, no great moment or memory, no story, etc. So, with good script and presentation, you can prolong the period of the effect to some more minutes AND it will give them one of the greatest moment of their life.

I've learned this when I do Twilight Angel. The first time, I just did the trick, no heavy script. Only something like "Hey look, I got a deck, choose a card" That's it. There was no emotional reaction, etc.

After spending months in here, I've read soooo many great suggestion and tips from veteran and pro magicians. I learn that script and presentation is the half-soul of your trick.

I did Twilight Angel, with script and storye, etc. It was worth it and d@mn great. So, there are two steps in learning a trick. First is the steps or executions of move including sleights. Second part, also very important, how you build your effect into something memorable. Script and presentation are your best weapon to stun them.

Just my 2 cents as I myself only a hobbyist but I take this hobby seriously that now my parent in laws start wondering why I still keep my job not train myself into a working magician lol.

Hope it helps.
Magic comes through perception. -HS
Markkuhn2
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Practice until you don't even have to think about what you're doing.
MT
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You really should wait a while before getting it because otherwise you'll buy everything and you'll be out of a lot of money. I learned the hard way.
molsen
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To answer the question that was asked, I usually practice daily for 3 months or so before considering showing anyone.

After that I will typically record myself on video, performing the effect a few times in a row. I wait a couple of days and then review the recording. If the first and last instance of the effect are not equally good, I take another 3 months cycle.

I only do card effects, but this has applied equally to quite simple effects like Elmsleys "Infinity: Round Trip" and more complicated items like Daniel Garcias Torn.

Of the first 3 months, I typically spend the first 2 on getting to terms with the mechanics, even if I already know all the involved sleights. This is because I will be modifying or replacing the patter line and often the whole presentational angle in the 3rd month. I can only do that efficiently if I really understand the dynamics of the effect. If this intrigues or baffles you, Tommy Wonders books should provide entlightenment.

Maybe 3 months may seem like a long time to some. But consider whether you are actually learning to perform the effect, or whether you are simply acquiring the skill to demonstrate it without revealing the secret.

I never stop practicing an effect if I keep it in my repetoire.

Note that I am not telling anyone what they should do, I am simply offering a description of what I am doing myself. It will not affect me the slightest if you loudly and vehemently disagree with me :o)

Michael
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