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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Practicing from beginning to end (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gomerel
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I'm sure this will not come as news to anyone but beginners. I am still somewhat a beginner. I sometimes forget to practice getting out the cards, coins or whatever, and putting them away. I just taught a seniors class in magic and one senior always asked how to get the trick out and how to put it away. Often I didn't have a great answer. But of course it is as important as the trick itself. Duh!
Theodore Lawton
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Your right, it is important! Especially if it's a stacked deck, a deck with dbs or dfs or gimmicked coins, etc.; anything you can accidentally flash. Plus you get better at taking things out smoothly and looking more polished, no matter what trick you're doing.

I always make it a point to have time where I practice mechanics of the trick and also have practice sessions where I "do the whole routine," taking out the effect, talking out loud and putting the trick away and flowing into the next one. This is where creating routines can "happen" when you realize how well a couple of tricks can flow together.

Maybe you realize that putting one trick in your pocket opens the door to cleanly cop out your next gaff. Or in the action of putting something away you realize that the theme of the patter of that trick flows into the theme of something else, creating a routine.

Great point gomerel! More new magicians should focus on this.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Bill Hegbli
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I believe it depends on the trick. How you introduce the trick is important, so one must know what the trick is 'really'. As in, if you are going to do a card discovery with say a little robot, you don't pull out a deck and say, you want to see a card trick. What you do is pull out the robot and introduce him to the spectators. As in, I was in the toy store and seen this little robot, I though it was cute and it can walk, "like a robot". Let me show you what I discovered this little guy can do. Now pull out the cards with out mentioning them. You see, it isn't a card trick, but a little thing this robot can do.

Another example, would be with scotch and soda coin set. You pull out the half dollar and say, these are getting kind of scarce these day, you know many people have never seen a half dollar. You know they are only worth in value about the same a Mexican Centavo. What the Centavo shrink as I pass the coin under the half dollar. Hold out your hands. Now but them behind your back, and take one coin in each hand.

As for as ending the trick, and putting the items away. Say, if you enjoyed that, you will like this, and pull out your next trick or item. Or, if you liked that, I know you will like this.

You don't look at your pockets, you look at the spectators, talk to them and keep eye contact. Be friendly, know where you are going and what you will be doing next. Also, know when to stop and move on.

Hope this gave you some food for thought.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
gomerel
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Good ideas, Hegbli.
paulalpha
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Good ideas. I need to work on putting a routine together and transitioning from one trick to another, and that needs to be part of my practice rehearsal sessions.
Dick Oslund
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Lets clarify a few terms!

PRACTICE: Practice improves SKILLS.

REHEARSE: Rehearsal improves PERFORMANCE.

TRICK: A trick, somewhat like music, only exists while it is being PERFORMED. (So, you can't "...get the trick out...or, put it away...")

PROP: Any physical item which is used to PERFORM a TRICK.

MAGIC "CLASSES": YOU CAN'T NO MORE TEACH WHAT YOU AINT LEARNED, THAN YOU CAN GO BACK TO WHERE YOU AINT BEEN!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
kidnapped1853
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Excellent terms and definitions Dick. I would also add the theater term BLOCKING: "to plan or work out the movement of performers in a play." For our purposes this would include bringing props into play as well as disposing of them.
Dick Oslund
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YES~~! Thanks! for mentioning BLOCKING! Paulalpha's mentioning TRANSITIONING, in his post, just above, should have "reminded" me to mention BLOCKING. The late Charlie Miller, always asked: "HOW do you get into it???" He didn't just mean, how one introduced the "premise". The physical "bringing props into play as well as disposing of them", was also one of his concerns.

I "work out of" my prop case. (I'm an "itinerant mountebank"!) Props are brought out as needed, and replaced into their "place" when their "work is done". Doing 3, sometimes 4 programs a day (on a school assembly tour, makes this necessary. I NEVER unpack props! I don't want spectators attention distracted from ME, by props, on display! I have lines, and gags, to make prop introduction and "DEintroduction" as simple as possible. As, I'm sure that you are well aware, bad blocking can raise havoc with TEMPO, TIMING, and, TIME.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mary Mowder
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Why are you teaching Magic if you are somewhat of a beginner?

Getting the Magic out and putting it away was a problem for me as well as a beginner.
I now make that a part of practice after I get the "moves" down. You also need to know what to say while you're getting things out. A tiny bit of dead time at the beginning (or anytime) can make your audience feel uncomfortable. A distracted audience is not following you where you need them to go (for misdirection OR entertainment).
I decide what clothes and pockets I'll use or where in my table or case things go. I have been caught out by wearing the wrong pants that don't allow for a ditch I'm expecting. D'oh!
I can't say I've solved all these issues because it is a process but I continue to work on them. Ducking behind the table to get stuff is still a problem for larger things that don't fit on my table's top shelf easy reach area. I'm moving away from these larger items more than trying to get better at the duck and grab.

-Mary Mowder
Brent McLeod
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Agree with many above comments,practice the whole routine,getting props out,talking and putting props away..ensure no long silences,something should always be happening or said,even more so with a music routine!!
loserdlj
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Good ideas~~
Dick Oslund
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I just realized that I should have mentioned above that my set up time for the entire 45 minute program, was 2, occasionally 3 minutes. I could be walking out the door, 2-3 minutes after I finished working,

This was only possible, due to PLANNING! ("FAIL TO PLAN, AND, YOU PLAN TO FAIL!")
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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I 'talk' about this, in my book, and you can see me do" it on m;y dvd!

TEMPO, TIME, AND TIMING ARE CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR PERFORMANCE!

The instructions that tell you how the trick "works", don't tell you how critical those three "Ts" are, in the total success of your act!

If the MUSICian, STOPS playing as he turns the pages of the sheet music, the music "suffers".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Mr, Gomeral! How can you teach people how to be a magician, when you admit that you are only a beginner? Mary asked you, a few comments up. You didn't respond, so, I'll ask again.becaise

NEMO DAT QUOD NON HABET! (That means, "No one gives what he does not have!)

Whenever I have mentored someone, I always began with: "I can't TEACH you ANYTHING, BUT, I can help you LEARN. I, then suggested books to read. When they had read them, I asked them: "What questions do you have?" We spent time DISCUSSING the various topics. Only when I felt sure that they understood what the author had written, did I suggest another book. We also watched other performers, and discussed what was good, and what needed improvement. It didn't happen overnight! Most of them became successful professional performers. I mentored the late Chuck Windley, the late Bob McAllister, the late Dennis Loomis, the late Jeff Helding, and, the late Doug Henning. Others included were Jeff Bibik, Al Ullman, and Andy Portala. Andy's son, Eli, is now a very successful magician, I could name more, but, that's enough.

Some one asked, "How do I get the trick out, and, how do I put it away".

You need to learn some basic terms! (A trick exists when it is being performed! A PROP is simply a piece of equipment that is used to perform a trick. You can use a prop to perform a trick, and, it's necessary to plan how you will get it "on stage", and, how you will get it "off stage" without messing up the TEMPO of the act. There are three "Ts" which are critical to the success of an act: TEMPO, TIME, & TIMING! You didn't have any idea, how to respond to the learner. I suggest that you find a copy of Fitzkee's book on "SHOWMANSHIP FOR MAGICIANS", and STUDY it.

I'm sorry that I had to be so "direct", but, Nemo dat quod non habet!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
bluejay17!
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If I'm doing close-up (like card tricks) I have my cards in hand before I even appear in front of my audience. Carry your cards all the time, make them like your clothing, if you don't carry cards all the time how can you expect to seem natural doing tricks with cards. That's my highly extreme take.
ryanshaw9572
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I highly recommend Drew Backenstoss’ Penguin Live ACT Lecture for anyone looking to become more detail-oriented about their shows.
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