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dmoses
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Day 17/21

This is definitely the hardest part. The part where you've learned the routine. You've got what you're saying, you know what you're doing and everything is pretty good--
almost good enough.

Gone are the days of big progress... and now it's all down to little tedious things. Practice can be a little thoughtless and rote when it's more important than ever not to let the little things slip.

So I added another treatment to my shells.

That felt better.

Performance is approaching and I still haven't finished my new table top!

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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Day 18/21

Today's big discovery?
That I should use my right hand to turn over the shells at the end of the third phase instead of my left.

I'll count that as a good session.

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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Day 19/21

With performance day looming my thoughts have turned to putting this into a set obviously.

It was my intention to perform this on the streets as a stand alone piece or opener... my script has a bally and hat line built in-- however I was given some sobering advice by some smart fellows which has given me pause. However because my act is mostly a mind-reading act there's a problem of context that I have to deal with-- but again, scripting has come to the rescue here too. There will be a lot of jiggery-pokery to see how this will finally fit into my act. Whatever gives me the best performance/hat ratio.

So.... I WILL try it as a stand alone piece-- AND, as suggested-- as a closer. I'll let you know how it goes when the time comes for performing-- if it ever stops raining here.

I'm in Vancouver Canada, so the reaction to a performer doing a 3 Shell Demo here (and my presentation is pretty theatrical so that there's very little chance of me being mistaken for a real hustler) might be very different to someone doing it, as we Canucks like to say, South of the 49th Parallel.

I've been working/rehearsing standing up, at performing height for about ten days now. I find it much easier and natural for me. Much less flashing, less popping out, just generally easier to do. I still run the routine seated from time to time-- but I do prefer standing.

That's it for now... there's still a few days and plenty of practice to go.
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
dmoses
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Day 21/21

First public performance!

When I began this 3 Shell Boot Camp Diary it was my intention to document this experience from the first day practice to first day performance.
I'm happy to say that I've done it.

This afternoon, while my buddy Vancouver street magician, extraordinaire Travis Bernhardt was preparing for his set I took out my shells and pea and started my bally at his table. It was my intention to video tape this performance and post a link to it here... unfortunately, I gave Trav some bad advice and although he got my 'post-show' comments, the actual performance has been lost. Ah well.

I will still post a video of an actual public performance... it just won't be the very first.

That said, I will give a link to the post-show video at the end of this. But for those who are stingy with their bandwidth these are the highlights:

1. It was nice day here in Vancouver, which means it wasn't raining. There were a lot of people about and we set up our pitch at this place I had had my eye on for a long time-- a kind of quasi-pedestrian mall in a popular downtown area. It was nice... but cool. And being outside for any length of time meant cold hand. Cold, dry hands. Not the ideal environment for sleight of hand generally-- but especially this routine.

2. I did a quick run through without my script just to test out the table... I opted to use my CU mat on top of Trav's workmat, my dry hands kept messing with the fabric of his workmat and I said, screw it. Once I figured that I could work the table okay I just gave Trav the nod and started a practice run. No energy, no playing to the folks walking by, just doing my warm-up run-through-- people were slowing down to see what was going on. Several people actually stopped as I went through my paces. And when I was done they said: Do it again!

3. PEOPLE LOVE THE SHELLS! I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone but people are totally drawn in by the sight of a little green pea and the three shells. They can't help themselves, they want to look. They want to stop.

4. This is a great routine with one surprising moment after another. If you practice this any length of time you might start to forget how powerful it is... (more on this and how it relates to performance later) but the audience reminds you. Right off the bat with arguably the simplest of the phase there were gasps, smiles and head shakes. It was a great feeling.

5. Bob is right! For the three weeks of this routine discipline yourself to practice the routine "as written". I had a ton of little additions and nuances and subtleties-- some of which I wrote about on previous posts-- but everything went out the window in front of the audience. It was the routine, the simple basic routine, that got me through. That's not to say I'm not going to put them on... on the contrary... it's just that in the moment and rush of my first performance all that other stuff went out the window and it was the routine that carried me through.

6. This was performed, as an experiment, as a simple stand-alone set. 3 mins from bally to hat. This will be part of a larger set for me however on the strength of the reaction I would consider performing a (slightly) longer routine (like the one Glenn teaches on the DVD or something that incorporates bits from other routines I admire) I chatted with Glenn Morphew about where this might go in my set... I rescripted to put it at the end... but man, oh, man, today it really felt like it could be a great tip builder. This is something that I'll play with and see.

7. There was a little concern that the 3 Shell Game might make "the tourists wary"... but I found the opposite to be true. Everybody, young and old were drawn in. To be fair the context of the show -- my outfit, my patter, etc-- makes it pretty obvious it's a show. But again, one of the strengths of the routine is that it's a demo. Here in Canada at least I can't imagine any authorities getting the wrong idea.

8. What I'd change... or will change. This isn't as tough a question as I thought it'd be. First of all to anyone learning, or wanting to learn this-- don't change anything. Just make it easier on yourself right now. Don't imagine you standing in a parlour and opening your mouth and hearing Pop Hayden's voice come out of your throat while Bob Sheets wipes a tear from his eye whispering "why didn't I think of that!" No. Just learn the darn thing and start to perform it. THEN to whatever the heck you want. That said, for on the street the one thing that I'll be doing is more audience interaction. I could tell they were all waiting for it... they wanted to interact... if only I would give them a chance-- and if I can give them that experience that will doubtless translate to more money in the hat. Fortunately the routine is in five easy pieces that you can play/add/edit/riff with.

That's it for now. I'll post again after I've performed some more. It was my intention to go out this weekend but I'm heading to Seattle for Max Maven's workshop.

I'd like to thank everybody for the great notes. Thanks for posting and feel free to use this thread to post about your own experiences actually doing the bootcamp. Let other threads be for the armchair critics-- this one is for workers.

Also: a big thanks to Bob and Glenn for sharing this... and for sharing their thoughts on my progress through PM's and the like. Glenn has especially given me a LOT of help. He is a great teacher and his generosity was really appreciated.

Finally thanks to all the performers whose shellwork has and continues to inspire me. And though I've tried to make them my own... I've borrowed more than a line or two: Soapy Smith, Pop Hayden, Chef Anton, Glenn Morphew, Bob Sheets, Charlie Frye... and the late great Gamblin' Sam.

Thanks fellas.

Dave "Deemo" Moses
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
dmoses
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Sorry here's a link to the post show video.

http://vimeo.com/20127942

I'll leave it up for a week for those who might be interested.
"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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Congratulations Dave!

You bought Bob's Boot Camp, you drilled it, you added your own touches to it and 21 days later you're performing it for real people on the street! Awesome!!!

As you know, it's all downhill from here. The more you perform the shells for real people, the more you'll be on auto pilot and the more relaxed you'll become.

I was like you initially... I was totally amazed at the automatic built in interest the shells generated. If all close up workers only knew this... heck, if I would have known this, I wouldn't have waited 35 years to learn them.

I'm glad to hear the shells might work as an opener as you had planned... as you know, I had my concerns.

Thanks for sharing your boot camp experience with us, I really enjoyed checking in every day to read about your journey.

I'm looking forward to seeing your next video with performance! Just be sure to have your buddy spin the camera 90 degrees or I'll never be able to follow the pea. Oh, and my neck seconds that suggestion.

Thanks again Dave, I'm really proud of you!

Glenn
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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I just stumbled on this thread- what a great one! Wish I had seen it way earlier, although it has been fun and instructive to read through. I "graduated" boot camp late last year and highly recommend this to anyone who wants a great, full routine that audiences will love...

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
BobSheets
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Dave- since we can't see the shells, did you end up using the caps?

You can easily add the poker chips to "stop the yelling." You can let someone try in the middle sometime and then finish the routine showing how they could never win. Once you have the skill set it's very easy to expand the routine.

You're working on ingesting and feeling the confidence that the moves fool them as much as we said they did. We can tell you that all we want but you have to prove it to yourself. Your growth from this point is going to rise exponentially as you now move into the experience stage. Your fun is just starting. You'll start to infect your audience the more you start to Jazz with you audience. Up to now it's been all about you and that's going to change as you start to play off their reactions.

Here's a good place to put this thought in as there will be kids in your audience and the parents will encourage them to play. I roll my eyes and say "oh goody. That's fine, you can play. But, you're still gonna lose. You're cute, your parents think you're cute, I think you're cute, everybody thinks you're cute! You're still gonna lose. You can handle that? Good boy. (like good dog)". After plays I add "Nice kid and he was cute but, he's still a loser".

If you let anyone win they do the pee pee dance. "I beat the magician, I beat the magician" and when it's over they say, "yeah but I won." kind of dilutes the effect. They won't remember any thing else, only that the won.

I can't wait to read more of The adventures of Dave. Bob.
Magic Marine
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Bob,
Any plans to teach a class or workshop at Denny's or Barrys in Maryland?
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Ok, so I've been absent from the day to day here, haven't logged on since my initial post, and I have to say I'm a changed man. Technical issues aside, the DVD is spectacular. I did my first 2 performances yesterday -- small ones, just for friends to see if my work has paid off. Bam!! Amazing!! OK, there was one minor oops moment, but nothing major and I was able to recover. And the second performance from another friend went flawlessly.

I'm still working it every day, and when I'm truly happy with the performance I'll consider posting a video. Meantime, Glenn has offered to review any videos I send to him, so I may just have to do that. =)

One of the best magic buys I've done in years!

PS - learned with the caps, now have switched to the shells. I have a set of SFS shells that have been sitting around for years, but they're not quite right for my hands. So using the Magiorre shells (forgive the misspelling) and they work for my hand size, but I will eventually try the SFS shells again once I have more experience. See which ones work best for me.

OK, 'nuff posting. Time for me to go back to practice.
MickeyPainless
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Congrats Dave!

I have thoroughly enjoyed your diary and picked up a few tips along the way, THANKS!

Lookin forward to a full performance video!

Mike
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Your Diary made me to purchase this course.

I'm curious to see your performance too. And are you starting from nothing, or have you play we the shells sometimes ago?
dmoses
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Day 21 + 3

Hey guys.

Thanks for your comments. There's nothing like knowing other people are watching to give one that gentle boot to the butt that keeps one motivated.
Speaking of which... I was just telling Glenn I was down in seattle this past weekend for the Max Maven lecture and did the bootcamp for my pal TheShockDoc aka Jeremy Weiss... and he was ruthless.
He deliberately sat at the worst angle (the kid's POV) and tried to bust me at every move... He caught some flashes a couple of times... particularly around some lazy "shows" and a couple of "turn-overs"
I tell you it tightened up my moves pretty quick. We came up with a rule of thumb pretty quick which is "keep your hands low and your knuckles out".

And there will be a performance video ... a PUBLIC performance video within the week.

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
dmoses
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... and sorry for that sideways post-show video. duh! I'll see if I can fix that up.
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
dmoses
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Quote:
On 2011-02-20 00:32, filmyak wrote:
Ok, so I've been absent from the day to day here, haven't logged on since my initial post, and I have to say I'm a changed man. Technical issues aside, the DVD is spectacular. I did my first 2 performances yesterday -- small ones, just for friends to see if my work has paid off. Bam!! Amazing!! OK, there was one minor oops moment, but nothing major and I was able to recover. And the second performance from another friend went flawlessly.

I'm still working it every day, and when I'm truly happy with the performance I'll consider posting a video. Meantime, Glenn has offered to review any videos I send to him, so I may just have to do that. =)

One of the best magic buys I've done in years!

PS - learned with the caps, now have switched to the shells. I have a set of SFS shells that have been sitting around for years, but they're not quite right for my hands. So using the Magiorre shells (forgive the misspelling) and they work for my hand size, but I will eventually try the SFS shells again once I have more experience. See which ones work best for me.

OK, 'nuff posting. Time for me to go back to practice.


Hey mister thanks for posting... I hear you about the SFS Street Shells (which are what I'm using at the moment) I have to tell you though-- use the modifications to the shells the Glenn describes in the Bonus section of the DVD-- it makes the world of difference. Seriously you won't regret it... that said, I did order another set of shells that I hope will work even better.... Smile

best

d
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
dmoses
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Day 21 + 5

Okay... with the one minute workout under my belt I am going to turn my attention to the routine extension that Glenn demonstrates on the DVD... for those of you who have seen it know there is at least one incredible move on it that would be great to have in your arsenal.

All this would be to eye of adding a participatory phase to my existing routine.

Work continues on my short routine though. All my run throughs are about tightening up all my clips, turn overs and shows. Being very ruthless so that I can just relax during show time.

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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I cannot recall a DVD that I ever bought, that I got more out of, or spent more time with.
Glenn Morphew
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Jakeg,

Thanks! It's really nice to read and hear positive feedback. I'm honored to be a part of Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp.

Glenn
Visit www.povmagician.com for
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Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp and more...
dmoses
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Day 21 + 7

It was all snow this weekend-- even here in Vancouver!!!-- so no chance to shoot the video.

However, I was mentioning earlier about a pal of mine doing a "flash" check on a run through of mine last week.
I had another one do it again this past weekend. Again I had them sit in the absolutely worst spot: a child's POV.

I was pleased how everything had tightened up however... during the last turn overs I was busted three times in a row.
(you know the part where the three shells are turned over for the final time). Nothing major but I flashed.

I fixed the problem by making sure the fingernails of my clipping hand were pressed into the heel of my hand. Once I did that-- no more flashing.

FYI

best

dave
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
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While wait for the skies to clear here in Vancouver I've been playing with four different sets of "shells" and I thought I'd share some of my reactions to each--

I have a set of SfS Street Shells, a set of Maggoire's, a set of Shagbarks, and the three bottle caps that came with the Boot Camp DVD.

First of all let me say that I can and have used all of these in performance-- I'm not trying to convince anybody to buy new stuff-- and if you're just doing a standard routine without using what I would describe as the "key move" from the boot camp DVD my comments might not even apply to you.

Soooo.

At the moment I'm really enjoying my Shagbarks and Maggoires-- and two more different sets of shells would be hard to find:
The Shags are small, tall and round. They look like little hedgehogs that are a little bigger than a bottle cap.
The Mags are huge (relatively), roomy and ovaline-- like little stadiums [or stadia].

What I like about both of them is the textured surface. They are both very easy to grip and handle generally well.

I think that the Mags are more what the audience imagines the shells of a classic 3 Shell Game would look like. Their size makes them easy to see, obviously and they look great on the table. A couple of "drawbacks": the Mags' size makes the pea look smaller and one might argue that the routine suffers aesthetically a little, more importantly however is that it's so big that a "standard" shot glass will not fit over it. At least not one of five in my house. Instead I use a small chop cup, although it isn't clear the reactions have been just as good. I also find that the loading on the Mags isn't as smooth as with the other shells. The Street Shells load like a dream. But the shape of the Mag, and its Channin dip isn't as optimally designed. It still works fine, just not quite as smooth.

The Shags are cute. I don't know how else to say it. They're tiny, grippy, and stout and inspire grown men to break into rhyme. Smile The texture of the shells and their size makes the boot camp routine a whole lot easier for me. There is no awkwardness of the grip, they load well (again not quite as good as the Street shells but better than the Mags) and they just zip around the table. Their small size might not make such a big impression as the Mags but the pea looks much bigger next to them and therefore the routine might seem even more impossible. Just saying. However, it could be argued that you need a little more precision with your moves. But if you practiced with the bottle caps that came with your Boot Camp set I don't think you'll have any problem at all. I gotta say I have a soft spot for these guys.

The SfS Street Shells. These are great little workhorses but frankly I had a lot of trouble maintaining my grip on them while doing the Boot Camp routine. Glenn Morphew's "Shell treatment" described in the bonus section of the DVD certainly helped but I found myself having to re-apply the treatment on the regular basis. There might be another workaround but I haven't found it yet. Again, for the standard routine (like the one's found one the awesome SfS Shell DVDs) the Street Shells will work great. There's just one move particularly that I find that a shell with more texture makes easier. I also own a SfS Sharper... those of you who have one you know what it does-- although it works with all three sets, the Street Shells is the easiest.

Finally the bottle caps. They're a great training tool, provide a great grip and nice size. They can give your routine a real "street" feel. I would certainly use them... but they certainly "bump" more than the other three and unless you sand the bottoms (by rubbing them against the pavement of the mean streets or otherwise) they can be a little less forgiving.

That's it for now... I'm too lazy to proof-read-- if I get ambitious I might even post a comparative photo-- I said "maybe" don't push me!

best

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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