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dmoses
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Day 1/21

Package arrived. 3 bottle caps. 7 SfS peas. A DVD.

Watched Bob's presentation... a great minute routine filled with intermediate skill level things and advanced level thinking.

I watch Glenn's tutorial. Wha-- Can't follow it... yet.

Plus... I realize as a left-hander the front-on views are great-- like watching a mirror-- but the overhead shots are mess me up.

I hate the caps! They don't let me get away with anything. I miss my shells.

More tomorrow.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
jakeg
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What helped me the most was to write the routine out, step by step, and practicing from my script. It took a long time to do it with lots of mistakes that had to be corrected, but is sure helped.
Glenn Morphew
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Here are a few ideas from another thread that might be useful.

On 2010-12-22 13:47, Glenn Morphew wrote:
If you position a mirror in a way to watch your TV through the reflection of the mirror, it will reverse the image for you and it will appear that Andi is doing the pushoff with his left hand.

Glenn


Another Café member added this...

If you watch the DVD on your computer using the KM Player (free download), you can automatically mirror image the video by hitting CTRL + F10 during playback. A very handy feature!
Visit www.povmagician.com for
The Rub-a-dub Deluxe Suite
The Morphew One Hand Top Palm
Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp and more...
dmoses
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Day 2/21:

The routine is down. Not good but down. I'm flashing like a b@stard but that's okay.
I video-ed myself and got some helpful comments from Glenn.

I'm going to try taping myself every day to get a sense of progress...
I have a feeling it'll be two steps forward one step back.

Thanks for the tips fellas.
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
Glenn Morphew
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Dave,

Now that you have the patterns down, I think you will move forward on some level every day. The more reps you get under your belt, the better and more confident you become.

At some point, (sooner rather than later) your hands will start to move around the table with good tempo, an economy of motion and little conscious thought on your part... you'll be on auto pilot.

That's the reality and the beauty of practicing with spaced repetition.

Glenn
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The Rub-a-dub Deluxe Suite
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Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp and more...
dmoses
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Day 3/21:

Absolutely, Glenn

Today was about gaining speed... but also in sloppiness.
I've got to keep an eye on that.

Positioning... or rather pre-positioning the load-- if you're boot camping you know what I mean-- is another thing to worry about-- especially during "the arc".

But it's definitely coming along... I'm losing my "death grip" on the B.C.
And I keep having great moments where part of me is actually fooled when I lift up the cap under the finger. My brain goes-- "Huh?! Where did it go?!"

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
Glenn Morphew
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D,

Try not to worry or focus on speed. Instead, focus on precision, smooth actions, rhythm and good tempo. Your speed will come. In fact, you can easily get to the point to where you're doing it too fast. You never want to move so fast they have difficulty keeping up with things. If you do, you'll loose the ultimate effect you're striving for.

Glenn
Visit www.povmagician.com for
The Rub-a-dub Deluxe Suite
The Morphew One Hand Top Palm
Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp and more...
dmoses
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Day 4/21

I'm discovering different thing when practicing in different positions.
Practicing standing up definitely gives me the cleanest performances.

Doing it while watching TV is fine for piece-work, like practicing BC's and loads but routining certainly requires my attention.

The scripting is underway and I'm already finding it makes a difference with the pace.

Slow progress.

Oh. and I tried the routine with my Shells that I missed so much. It's a different animal and if you're going to be performing with Shells I'd recommend practicing with them the transition isn't easier, just different.

Have a great weekend all and thanks Glenn for all your advice and support. It's been an incredible experience so far!

Dave

Posted: Jan 30, 2011 2:16am
Day 5/21

Just checked out the "bonus" material on the DVD. great info hidden here!
The bootcamping continues.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
filmyak
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If you don't mind my butting in... =) Got the DVD about 4 days ago, too.

Overall I love it, but let me hit a few problem spots first.

1 -- DVD quality is awful. By this, I mean the disc, not the footage or material on the disc. They went cheap with duplication and it shows. (I've heard a few other folks are having the same issue.) Won't play at all on my PS3, which is what I use with my primary TV, with my table in front, to practice while I watch.

Only solution was to take the time to rip the entire DVD to my computer, re-encode it, and burn to another DVD. Solved the playback problem, but lost all chapter markers, so now I must manually scan the disc to get to where I want to be.


2 -- Routine is great -- for the first time, I feel I can learn this routine and actually use it, especially as there is zero audience interaction. I don't need to be good enough (yet) to be versatile at audience management. I can get this routine down and then slowly build in a more "standard" presentation if I choose.

But... I don't think it's taught right for a DVD, sorry, Glenn. The multiple angles are great, but I am desperate for a truly broken down routine. The moves are either quick and fluid and hard for a beginner to follow, or (like with the "hand behind the back" alternates section) filled with so much explanation, I have to put my shells down and fast forward past it. Once I know the alternates, I just want to go through the routine without any additional explanations.

Even better, I'd love each phase separated and really broken down. Graphic: phase 1. Here are the moves. Learn it, then move to phase 2. Etc. Especially with the 4th and 5th phase, where things get a little complicated (pea moving in one hand as misdirection as you "do the work" with your other hand, must be well coordinated).

Now, the good part is that the above are MINOR gripes. They do require a little extra effort on the viewer's part -- be prepared to use the rewind and pause button frequently, which is hard when you've got both hands in play on the closeup mat -- but the information CAN be learned with a little perseverance on your part. I finally have about 90% of the routine down, and I'm noticing improvement every day.

Glen Morphew's enthusiasm is contagious and I really like his own routine that he teaches after the 1-min boot camp. Once I have the boot camp portion down pat, I'm going to move onto that routine as well. And he really does teach well, it's just not quite as compartmentalized as it could be on a DVD.

Even with the minor issues above, it's still the best intro to shell game dvd/book I've seen. I've taken the SFS class and loved it, but found the routine daunting and too free-flowing for my amateur self, so when Whit recommended I try this DVD as a primer, I got it the next day. Seriously, my shells are being used for the first time in years (learning with the included bottle caps, and also trying the shells now and then), and I'm convinced I'll be doing the shell game in front of an audience within a month, tops. Then I can start adding some real moves and building up to a legitimate shell game scam routine.
dmoses
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Hey filmyak

I don't mind you posting on this thread, but I think there's a review thread elsewhere and it's probably best to keep them altogether.
That said, I'd be happy for you to use this thread to track your progress day-by-day
and any comments about the dvd can be how it relates to your work and progress.

d

Posted: Jan 31, 2011 12:03pm
Day 6/21

Today I thought I'd try and transfer whatever I learned over to my set of shells.
It was a real wake up call.

First I was shocked how easily I am handling the bottle caps now, second I was shocked on how difficult I found doing the routine with my shells.
Just the key move particularly. While my shells are great for pinch s***ls I felt like I could get the proper grip on them.

Ironically that's around the same time I discovered Glenn's bonus section on the DVD which seem to anticipate the problems I was going to have. Before I make the changes to the shells that Glenn suggests I'm going to try changing the texture of my hands, which are a little dry. I picked up some great hand "stuff" from Jason England the last time he was in town for a lecture and see what difference that makes.

I'm also working on my script. I'm just trying not to steal ALL my lines and since I'll be performing this mostly while busking I want to tailor it for my situation. It's not so hard once it's broken down I've got my opening bally 5 phases and a hat line outro. And it does make practicing the routine easier as well as making the beats of the routine nice and clear.

So my goal for week two is to bring these things together and to keep that darn pea in back c**p! (I know I don't think I'm being consistent with my asterisks)

Posted: Feb 1, 2011 6:09pm
Day 7/21

I don't know what happened over the weekend. I continued to put in my 15 minutes a couple times a day without any surprises. But this morning's session was amazing.

Relatively amazing anyway. All the bumps seemed to smooth out. None of my shows had embarrassing "pop-outs" if you know what I mean.
Everything seemed to start clicking together.

Very encouraging.

I also finished a draft of my script. I'm a little verbose so it ain't no one minute workout any more... but having the script has certainly helped.
It's not quite memorized yet so I've recorded it and I let it play on my laptop while I do the workout. I usually talk along with the recording and I make some changes on the fly and try to remember to note them up.

As I mentioned before I intend this to be a kind of bally for my street act so it's a little stylized and formal in a structure/rhyme sense. I've stolen from the best but still have tried to make it my own whenever possible.

So for anyone who is a little discourage from his apparent lack of progress, stick with it. You're getting better and training new muscle with every session.

Of course tomorrow may be the two steps back but that's okay.

d

Posted: Feb 2, 2011 10:59pm
8/21

... and two steps back

But most of the fumbling was around trying to work the script into things.

Also I'm being a little tougher on myself about flashing, particularly during the turn overs.

Still a ways to go.

d

Posted: Feb 5, 2011 1:13am
Day 9/21

After having trouble transferring my work with the cap to my SfS Street Shells I took Glenn Morphew's advice from the Bonus section of the Boot Camp DVD. Wow! Having only complete the first phase of the work (adding texture, those how have the DVD will know what I mean) and it's changed everything.

Bob mentions at the beginning of the DVD how frustrated he was that so few people were using his work from Absolutely Nuts. I think this might very well have been the problem. My experience with other shells, especially expensive/heavy ones is very limited so it might not be the same problem but using the Street Shells-- the work was very difficult.

But with this very simple changes, it's a whole new world baby.

Okay. I might be overstating it but still, a BIG difference.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
Feral Chorus
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D,

I am working through the boot camp as you are, although at a slower pace. Just wanted to let you know I am enjoying the diary.

Like jakeg, I had written out the routine and found it helpful and recommend doing it. I am a lefty like you, but I didn't find any benefit from reversing the hands from what was taught. I found learning the moves, as is, was best and that my hands "got it" easily enough.

-Feral
MickeyPainless
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Glenn's Texture formula is excellent!
dmoses
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Hey FC!

Thanks for the kind words. It's my hope that something I experience might help.
And frankly it's something to keep the motivation up and me on schedule.
And I was tempted to do the same as you and just work the routine right-handedly... because sooner or later I have to do the moves equally well right-handed.
but I had already started and had been working on the SfS DVD for a while.

And yes, Mickey, Glenn's formula makes a huge difference... I haven't completed all three stages yet but even the first has helped immeasurably.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
MickeyPainless
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Not only is Glenn's texture formula a great aid in grippage but I feel they look more like a real shell! I have a set I made from real English walnuts and side by side it's pretty hard to tell the difference from a couple feet away IMO!

Keep up the good work D, I'm enjoying your diary!

MMc
dmoses
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Day 10/21

That's a good point Mickey. I haven't got my Brown Boot yet but I'll bet you're right.

Worked strictly on the shells instead of the caps today. By the end of the work out it was feeling much better. Oh, the irony-- I hated the caps so much when I started. Now I'm missing how much easier they are!

The script is coming along. I'm loosening up a little on that too. Because it's a poem there are a couple scansion issues but I'm trying to make it fun. Resisted the temptation to plug in a shot=glass on the second last phase-- patience-- 11 more days and I can make all the changes I want, if I do.

Also thinking that I'll video my first street performance and if I don't embarrass myself too badly I post it for anyone who is interested.

Posted: Feb 7, 2011 7:06pm
Day 11/21

Today was good, solid work with the shells.
It's starting to feel more like rehearsal and less like practice which is a little scary.
I have taken one or two very small liberties with the blocking while still trying to stay true to Bob and Glenn's intent to get this down before "adding on". It's just a little beat I've added to help sell the story a bit better for me.

The script is pretty well down except for the occasional brain-freeze and the tweaking of lines continues.
?
Two new things today.

First I finished the "process" with my shells. I kinda liked them more before the last two stages. I felt more secure with the first stage alone. But they still work great. Let's face it I might just hate change.

Second is that I've started playing with how I'm getting into the routine. I mean physically. How do I end up with Shells and Pea where they need to be? It's pretty straight forward but important none the less.

That's it.

d

Posted: Feb 8, 2011 6:38pm
12/21

Script running smoother.
Making eye contact with pretend audience members, I think I even winked at one.

Am wondering about how spectators' reactions will throw off my precious rhythm

I am definitely going to play with my "shell treatment" again before too long. I liked the "grippy=ness" of stage one.
I am feeling almost as good with the shells now as I did with the caps, not quite but almost. The milling on on the cap edges was a definite bonus.

Starting to itch for a proper performance. Good sign I think. I owe Glenn M a new video.

d

Posted: Feb 9, 2011 5:36pm
Day 13/21

More of the same.
Still playing with the 'set up' but I think I've stumbled on a very simple solution.

Still a hiccup here and there but am starting to figure out how to recover from some problems on the fly-- a good sign.

d

Posted: Feb 10, 2011 6:45pm
Day 14/21

The shell are definitely starting to lose their grip, or rather I'm starting to lose my grip on them. That said, I'm surprised how well everything is going.

It is the benefit of the boot camp approach that many useful =small= ideas are coming right now. Yes, at the beginning there are many interfering =big= ideas which Glen and Bob ask you to ignore and rightly so I think. but the ideas that are coming now are all-- is this the best blocking for this moment? is everything clear here? all the minutiae that goes to make a better performance.

but whatever lofty dream there are-- there are still the occasional 'pop-out' that brings the performer back to bootcamp. there is no mistaking that new muscles and muscle memories are being created.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
Boudje
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Each day I came to read your review, and each day I'm tempted to buy it... At the end, I probably should buy it 2 weeks ago and compare my review with yours...

Anyway thanks for all thoses details.

A quick question: can yo practice (present it) on a flat table, or have you got to found a big close up mat or a linen table?
MickeyPainless
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Boudje,

The beauty of S4S Perfect Pea is you should be able to do it on any surface!

MMc
dmoses
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Day 15/21

Hey Boudje... I'll post this instead of what I was going to write today.

I'm not trying to use this thread to shill for Bob or Glenn, this is honestly just an attempt to write down my experience trying to learn-- AND PERFORM-- this routine.

However...

I think it's interesting to look back on our purchases and really think about our best investments... I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this will be up there. Which is not to say this is the be-all and end-all of 3 Shell Routines-- both Bob and Glenn perform others... or extended versions of this-- but if you want to perform a GREAT 3 shell routine this is a great place to start.

I didn't start here... I started with George Anderson's Magic Digest when I was a teenager and more recently with SFS's fantastic products. But I'm actually starting to see how I might create my own routine built on the strong bones of this little one minute miracle.

There is also a service after sales component to 3SBC that is simply outstanding. I don't feel comfortable talking too much about this because it's not advertised as part of the package but let me say that if you had questions that came up while you were working on this routine that you would find a lot of support available to you.

And Mickey's right about the peas-- they're great-- but every surface has it's own personality and if you're going to perform it practice on the surface you're going to use. That said I mostly practice on my close up pad. But I have used my kitchen table, a glass table, a restaurant/cafe table, and a cardboard box. It was possible to do it everywhere-- but there are moments when familiarity with your performance space is needed... just for minor adjustments, etc.

tomorrow!
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
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BobSheets
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I love the posts here because ya'll are talking about "doing" it. I think Moses is having fun. I hope Moses is having fun.

I just got together with my DVD doctor, Ken Norris, and most of the issues have been addressed. So the new duplications should work on all DVD players and computers.

I'm not sure about the play station yet so I'll have to have someone test that out.

Glenn is a marvelous teacher, great shell man, and working with him to get this out over the last year has been a real pleasure.

Make sure you get your presentation reminds people that you are demonstrating and not "gambling" with the three shells. Now drop and give me 20. bob.
dmoses
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Day 16/21

Hey Bob! Thanks for dropping in!

I am having fun... and I bet once the performing begins it'll be twice as fun.
I say that because I did a rehearsal today for the first time with a couple of live laymen watching.
The reactions were great.

I only wish I has my notebook and stopped my set to ask them all questions I was wanting to. Maybe I'll get the chance later.
Even in this very informal rehearsal environment a couple of things were underlined for me:
Don't rush.
Be clear.
And have fun.

Looking forward to performing this soon.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
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