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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Notes on Learning the Wrong Way (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ravenspur
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Granby, MA
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So I am a rank amateur, almost no skills when it comes to card sleights. With some advice from people here, I purchased Move Zero from John Bannon and learned (or sort of learned) the first trick on the video. It's called Collusion, a variation on a Fulves' self-worker called Gemini. I worked up a story for it called Synchronicity starting with a story about a friend who feels, at the exact moment, that another friend has died. I don't believe in extra-sensory stuff, but it illustrates the concept of synchronicity concept. The effect is two participants counting out cards to predict a target card.

Last night was my second meeting of our local S.A.M. assembly. It's packed. Eventually, we get down to tricks. A few people do tricks. A couple duff their effects. A few do some good effects. Our best guy, a semi-professional, even duffs a professional effect that he's learning. It high quality and not at all easy. (It comes with a non-disclosure agreement). He later performed it impressively.

Finally, I get up. It's now or never. I get everyone's attention with a few jokes and the story, not professional quality, but respectable for a first timer. I get the trick explained and a couple of participants and get to the reveal and discover that

I did the set up wrong.

Three cards to position and they are all wrong. My suit predictor is in the target position and the value predictor is in the suit position. I didn't lose my temper or die of embarrassment. I've screwed up enough times in life that I know how to do gracefully. I was more concerned with what I did wrong and how not to do it again.

Here's what I learned:

Magic isn't like other things I've learned. It sometimes/often/always requires more precision than I'm accustomed to.

I hadn't paid enough attention to setting up the cards. The first mistake I made came from not giving the set up--a very simple set up--my full attention. The amount of attention necessary was small, but I managed to give less than needed. It also would have helped if I had memorized the set up perfectly.

I prefer learning by reading more than by video. I had tried to write the directions out, but didn't do a good enough job. I learned the general idea, but I needed to learn more specifically. Next time, I'll try to learn more consciously and follow the video rather than trying to write things out.
Harry Lorayne
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New York City
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I've written quite a few books JUST FOR YOU - mostly no set-ups to remember (of course, if you want to remember set-ups, or anything else, I've written a few books to help you in that area also!) Impromptu stuff.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Ravenspur
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Granby, MA
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I've been working with The Memory Book, Harry.

You made me realize that to memorize something, you have to pay attention to memorize it. I've also been learning the number system and figuring out ways to remember things on the way home from work when I tend to be on auto-pilot. I had to stop to pick up a prescription one day, so I kept picturing a dancing prescription bottle at the place I needed to turn. It worked!

I will definitely be checking out more of the good stuff!
mlippo
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Trieste (Italy)
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Ravenspur,

we've all been there … at least I have …


I'm familiar with the trick. I've done it sometimes because it's a decent and easy trick and gives me the opportunity to give away two business cards (I don't use Post-Its at the back of the Jokers as suggested by Bannon - a bit of marketing won't harm).

I now have enough experience to be able to do the set-up on the fly without making mistakes. You'll get there, eventually, don't give in, please.

Next time you will be more careful, because you will have learnt from your mistake. Especially in the case you went to the club with the pack already set. You probably feel an idiot. Don't. Don't you ever forget rule #1: it's just a card trick! Smile

Mark
Ravenspur
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Granby, MA
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Thanks for the good thoughts, Mark.

I have another assembly meeting next month, and by then I hope to have a second trick learned.
Signet
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We often have people mess up when doing tricks at our local club meeting. The owner of the shop is always very reassuring, telling them no problem, just start again. He says every one of us has been in the same position at some time. We also have people perform the same trick at different meetings to show the progress they're making.
If you like reading better than videos, you should get "Destination Zero", by John Bannon. Mr. Lorayne's books are also excellent reading.
danaruns
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Ravenspur,

Congratulations! You did so many things RIGHT! You learned the trick. You designed patter around it, and it sounds really interesting and entertaining. You did the hardest thing of all, which is getting up there. Good for you. You have no idea how many people never get that far. And you did the best thing of all, you crashed and burned. Yeah, the best thing of all, failure. I'm serious. We don't learn from success, we learn from mistakes. And in magic, there is much to be learned. I can't tell you how many times failure has saved me. And taught me. And inspired me. You are now a better magician for having failed. Welcome to the club. And you know what? You didn't die! How about that?

I remember seeing the 60th anniversary show of It's Magic!, a few years ago. It's a big budget stage show with nothing but famous and top level magicians. Some of the best old pros around. The thing I remember most about that show was that every performer failed. Every single one. And these are the most seasoned performers. The final performer was Jonathan Pendragon, and for the big finale of the whole show he did his Metamorphosis. And he completely screwed it up. I mean, he messed up so badly that all 2,000 people in the audience now know exactly how that trick is done. And that was the conclusion of a night of similar failures. Long time pros from Goldfinger & Dove, to Jeff McBride, to James Dimmare, to Justin Willman, to Jonathan Pendragon, and all of them failed miserably in the same show. It was impressive! Smile The best thing about it was seeing all those consummate professionals go down one after another, and realizing that (1) failure really does happen to all of us, (2) it never ends, as long as you're performing you're failing, and (3) we might as well just give ourselves permission to fail, because it's going to happen anyway.

In a recent show I did, one trick went entirely south. My music failed to play. It was a silent routine to music, and I had no music. One of my props failed in the middle of the trick. And a gimmick I had palmed didn't go where I intended it to go when I tried to ditch it, but went clattering across the stage instead. The whole thing went about as badly as it could have. And there were several magicians in the audience who all watched me go down in flames. Oh, well. It taught me a lot. Now I do my music so I don't have to rely on the sound guy, and I've actually added patter to the routine (because when my music didn't play I improvised patter and found that the routine works better with speech and music). Plus, I learned what not to do when ditching that palmed gimmick, and I redesigned that prop to be much stronger. That massive failure was the best thing that ever happened to that routine.

So congrats on everything you did right, and welcome to the boneheaded failure club. We're all members of it.

Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Wravyn
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I remember doing a show once and it was a disaster from my perspective. I was feeling down on myself afterwards and I remember what the MC of the show told me while the next act was on... The only way to not fail or mess up is by not doing anything.
Danaruns is right... As long as you learned from it, you were a success.
Senor Fabuloso
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NO MATTER WHAT PUSH ON THROUGH! The show must go on, dosen't just apply to the show beginning but it continuing NO MATTER WHAT. Mistakes happen but most of the time if you don't acknowledge them, neither will the audience. Remember the laypeople don't know what your going to do so don't let them know, by calling attention to the mess up.

A friend of mine was performing in a competition and during his act dropped a ball during his manipulations. I knew this was a mistake because I was at his rehearsals. But like the true professional he is, he simply went over to the ball and kicked it up to his hand, with his foot. Nobody was any the wiser and thought the drop, was part of the act so he could show off the kick move.

Push on through, it's the best thing to do. Hay that rhymes Smile
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Ravenspur
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Granby, MA
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Update: I finally got the trick down and performed it successfully for my wife and daughter. I also did a simple mind read of a card I saw Vinh Giang do. Very low tech.

I had set up the trick as a matter of two people working together through synchronicity to produce a target card. I could have "blamed" it on them and said something like I think we need to reconsider the concept and ask them to think harder and say I hadn't given them enough instruction so we only got half-way there (the right cards in the wrong position). But I lacked the experience and confidence.

As always, thanks for the support and advice.
mlippo
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Quote:
On Mar 14, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
Update: I finally got the trick down and performed it successfully for my wife and daughter. I also did a simple mind read of a card I saw Vinh Giang do. Very low tech.

I had set up the trick as a matter of two people working together through synchronicity to produce a target card. I could have "blamed" it on them and said something like I think we need to reconsider the concept and ask them to think harder and say I hadn't given them enough instruction so we only got half-way there (the right cards in the wrong position). But I lacked the experience and confidence.

As always, thanks for the support and advice.


Glad to read the above!
With experience and a bit of self-confidence, you'll be able to easily set the three needed cards while talking to the spectators and starting from a thoroughly shuffled pack, which obviously makes this trick something you can do anytime anywhere ..

Bravo!
Mark
mlippo
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Ravenspur,

another quick and easy one by Bannon you may wish to try, is Ban-Nihilation, from his book Destination Zero, page 42.
It's just a one-card set up and you need two extra prepared cards from a different pack, that you can easily carry with you.

Mark
Ravenspur
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Granby, MA
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Update, Part II

I had a little time at the end of my first two classes today. They had quizzes. I offered to do a magic trick. It's a Vinh Giang mentalist thing where you pretend to read the participant's tells to say what card he's picked. You ask them questions, and they can lie or tell the truth. Since the card has been forced, it's just a matter of looking like you're reading them.

The first couple of times went well. I repeated the trick for another kid and when I rainbowed the deck he accused me of looking at the top card, which, of course, I was. So I did a false overhand shuffle and the Ose cut with @danaruns suggested. And he was satisfied.

Best part: they enjoyed it.
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