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Billy Andrew
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Scotland U.K.
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OK so I practice long and hard. Both standing at the table and sitting at the table. Then I perform an effect for the first time only to discover that the position I'm in exposes an angle I'm not prepared for. (Sitting on floor, standing beside somebody etc.)

What kind of preparation do you put in to protect yourself from this? Are there even more angles I need to be prepared for?
A journey of one thousand miles starts with the first step
MarkAllison
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Hemel Hempstead, England
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Different sleights are prone to different angle problems. What I do is go through each sleight very slowly and try to work out which angles are likely to cause problems for each sleight. In performance you can either use different sleights depending on your environment, or change your body position to cover any problem angles. IMHO learning the mechanics of a sleight is only half of the work, you also have to learn the necessary misdirection to cover the sleight. Having got the sleight right both in terms of mechanics and misdirection, you can then think about the performance.

Cheers

Mark
Thomas Wayne
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Inner circle
Alaska
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Set up a video camera and run through the routine from every conceivable angle. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's not that bad; just use a tripod and change your body angle relative to the camera position. I also raise the camera to its highest position and to its lowest position to check the angles for giants and midgets.

If the result you want to achieve is the very best effect possible, no amount of practice and rehearsal is too much.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Garrett Nelson
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I think I know the problem you are referring to. It is a tricky thing to figure out exactly what angle the spectator has. Moves like a gamblers cop, snap-change, and many others need to be done at a certain angle in relation to where the spectator is (this is assuming you are standing). Too much one way and it is exposed from one side, and vice versa.

The problem comes because the move is always going to be exposed at a certain angle, and the spectators don’t always stand at exactly the same place.

Am I on the right track to what your problem is?

You have to get a feel for the angle needed; you have to know how to aim it at their eye just right. The best way to work on this is with a live partner. A mirror just doesn’t seem to give the necessary result.

You can just go through each thing until they don’t have the bad angle, and you are confident you can feel out how to position things every time so they won’t ever get it.

If there was ever a reason to have a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse who doesn’t detest magic, this is it: a great practice partner.
MattSedlak
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Those midgets always catch me when I do a pass Smile
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Billy-

You have asked a very important question here. I've said this elsewhere, but one of the most overlooked technical aspects in all of magic (in any genre) is angles. I have seen MANY magicians, from raw beginners to some of the biggest names in our art, performing trick after trick, blissfully unaware that there is a contingent of the audience (or sometimes several) who can see everything they are doing. This is often a problem with too much mirror practice--looks good to the magician in the mirror--but more than that, it is simply a lack of thought.

Thomas' suggestion is good, although it shouldn't be necessary. You don't have to be a math genius to figure out where the bad angles are in a particular move or trick. But the video camera is a good idea until you've performed a lot (and been caught a few times), when you will get an uncanny, virtually unerring "feel" for where the angles are. If you don't have a camcorder, get a friend you trust to watch from different angles and to tell you what he sees. Tell him to watch the "wrong" hand, etc. Then, either figure out a way to cover that angle or make sure no one is there when you perform that move.

As a sidenote, I agree with the likes of John Carney and Tommy Wonder in the use of misdirection as it regards this area. Some feel misdirection should be used to cover poor technique or bad angles. Carney and Wonder feel just the opposite. Misdirection is not something you slap on like a band-aid to cover the "sores" in a routine. Rather, it is the ultra-important technique of audience control (both physical and mental), and should be in your thoughts at all times, not just as a "hey, look over there!" to throw their attention off while you execute a move that would otherwise be discovered.

This type of application does the reverse of what it should--it actually raises suspicion and tips off the audience as to exactly when you did "the dirty work." Better to learn your angles and adapt to them, perform routines with techniques that are well within your current ability, and devise presentations and audeince control techniques that focus on the effect, not the method.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Billy Andrew
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Scotland U.K.
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Thanks for responding Scott.

I wish I could keep all your good advice in mind when rehearsing, I'm sure it would make my time far more efficient.

I was thinking about setting up a close up mirror at home. Are you suggesting I keep working angles using intellect rather than begin relying on a close up mirror?

Billy
A journey of one thousand miles starts with the first step
Garrett Nelson
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Although I am not Scott, I will interject that a mirror does have its place. It just isn't the best/only tool to be used.

It is invaluable for some things, but can lead to trouble in others (like getting comfortable with angles).

For a quick way to check out the basic way a move looks, a mirror can't be beat in my book.

Again, I feel it is a tool. It is best to use more than one tool. You can't build a house with just a hammer...
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Quote:
On 2002-05-15 07:32, Billy Andrew wrote:

I was thinking about setting up a close up mirror at home. Are you suggesting I keep working angles using intellect rather than begin relying on a close up mirror?

Billy
I think using a mirror is fine. My point is that some folks use that as their sole source of information and don't bother to think about which angles the mirror can and cannot see. A trifold mirror is a good tool, as is a camcorder, but neither is as good or important as your mind, your experience, and how you use your mind to learn from experience!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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