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Profile of Lagrange
I generally practice my patter on my wife.

She's brutally honest.
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As a complete newbie it's pretty irrelevant to talk about how "I" practice my lines. I'm still developing the good habits BUT I did spot something interesting and probably relevant on Derren Brown's The Devil's Picturebook card magic video.

During the explanation section of the marathon Three Card Routine that starts the tape Derren goes over the same move several times showing it in detail. As he does so he repeats the relevant patter used at that point in the routine each time. I'm guessing this is a habit that helps things "stick" and become more natural when using the move/patter during a performance. He didn't make a point of this BTW, it was just something I noticed, but it seemed to make sense.
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Profile of JackDaniel
I practice some of my routines after the Cardini principle called "the book". You devide the routine you're practicing in different topics, the beginning, middle and end. Do'em one by one before you total the routine, this makes it easier to get every aspect of your routine down perfectly.

Visit the magic of Vegas and your life will change forever..
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Profile of Blackwood
Eugene Berger makes a strong point of differentiating "practice" and "rehearsal."

Practice is working an effect over and over until you can perform it flawlessly. Rehearsal is then performing it in sequence with the rest of your set or act, with patter and music (if you use it).

It's the difference in an actor learning his or her lines and then rehearsing them within the context of the actual play.

Berger also recommends recording your lines for early stages of rehearsal and/or videotaping your performance.

And we all know how smooth a performer Mr. Berger is.

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Profile of fengenroll
It seems like Videotaping works best for me,
cause the camera doesn't blink or lie,
so I know now that my classic pass still flashes big time!
Guess it's going to be like the muscle pass- a move I'll never be able to do..... Smile
Mike Walton
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Profile of Mike Walton
Good question. I first learn the individual sleights, then the sequencing and put it all together. Once I can nail this consistently, I then add the patter which sometimes can make the technical routine more difficult, meaning my brain is trying to do two things now and I need to get it up to speed on both tracks. I do a test performance to my wife, and I think the mental distraction of a spectator is yet another track that your mind needs to be able to deal with, so practice in front of people. I then webcam myself with a headset, as I don't have a video recorder. It helps me check the patter, the sleights, the performance and the angles. By the way, this process can take 30 days or even longer, as Burger notes, but I think the longer time frame helps with routine familiarity, as your subconscious has some time to chew on it, and it boosts confidence.

By the way, don't use a USB 1.1 webcam. They can't get enough infomation to your computer because of the limited throughput of the USB 1.1 connection. The frames per minute are not adequate to capture your performance. Imagine someone trying to film you with a slow strobe light. I highly recommend purchasing a firewire webcam with firewire being the connection and most new computers have this connection, especially Macs. If not, then it's easy to install a card, which I recently did to a PC that was 2 years old. It's the same connection for video cameras, but you can find a webcam for around $100. The frames per minute are much, much higher so you can see the details of your performance much better than a 1.1 USB webcam. Find one with a microphone headset, and you can capture your patter as well. If you have a video camera with microphone, then you're even better off.

Finally, when you perform, perform mimicking every aspect as your final performances. When I started doing public magic, I was having problems with my double, and then realized I only practiced my double sitting with the deck tilted towards me. If front of a spectator, I stood and tilted it differently. I now do my final practice as if I'm performing.
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