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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What kind of magic to learn with 15 minutes a day (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Alfred Borden
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Hello,

I have a question. As the title suggests, I have about 15 minutes a day to learn magic.

As this is not really a lot of time, I want to get the most out of it. Perhaps an example will help to clarify what I mean.
Coin magic, for example, has a relatively steep learning curve. That means you have to invest a lot of time before you can demonstrate the tricks to others. But that means that with 15 minutes a day, it will probably take me years to get good enough. Although coin magic interests me, I don't want to wait that long.

What do you guys think about this? What kind of magic would you learn with 15 minutes a day?

Thanks.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Get any Karl Fulves Self-Working Magic Books, perhaps Ropes and Table for a start.

Inexpensive and quality material you will use even after moving to more complicated things.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
gaddy
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I've heard that it's better to devote 15 minutes a day to learning & practicing something than to spend two or three hours to learn something once a week.

That said, I don't think there's anything short of stage work & illusions that can't be broken down into segments that can be practiced in 15 minutes.

I second Karl Fulves books. Lots of good magic that won't take a lot of time to learn.
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
The_Mediocre_Gatsby
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Hi Alfred. I second Funsway's recommendation about self-working magic. There are a ton of good resources out there with John Bannon's Move Zero DVD/Streaming series among the best. During your 15 minutes of practice a day, you can start by learning the mechanics of the trick, and then you can practice building a strong presentation around that trick. The nice thing about self-working magic is that the relative simplicity of the method allows your to focus your attention on presentation. This matters because presentation is far more important than method in any trick. As you are building your presentation consider the following questions:

Why should the person care?
What is making this happen?
This thing happened, so what?
Dave Scribner
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Alfred, 2 years ago in March you asked basically the same question and how long you should practice. Then in June you posted you only had 15 a day to practice and asked how to get good in such a short time.

Next, a year later in June 2021 you found you now had 30 a day instead of 15 to practice and asked how to get good. Now another year has passed and you're back to 15 minutes a day so asked the same question again.

It sounds like either you don't want to devote the time it takes to be accomplished or you're just looking for an answer giving you a short cut. Bottom line is there is no short cut. If you're just looking to learn a trick of two to present to friends, then take that 15 a day and practice that one effect. But if you're looking to be an actual performer with an act, then you need to find the time to devote to practice.

I don't mean to sound harsh but many of us have spent years working on effects and developing our craft regardless of the particular venue and it's a never ending process. One of my mentors (a professional magic) performed the same act for over 50 years and told me on several occassions he was going to keep practicing until he got it right. He was flawless by the way. The point is your performance is what you make it and there's no quick way to perfect it.

I do agree, however with those above that have suggested self working magic. Work on one effect at a time until you perfect it and then move on to another.
Where the magic begins
Alfred Borden
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Wow, first of all thank you for taking the time to look at my older posts. You are telling the things just as they are - so I don't think that you sound harsh at all.
I did not realize, that I have postet basically the same question that many times. I was aware, that I asked it before, but I thought that I asked it only once.

Your comment shows me that I've basically been going in circles for a couple of years. This happens to me a lot with my interests because I have so many of them and keep switching from one interest to another without really focusing on one specific topic for more than a few months, if at all.

Ultimately, it comes down to priorities, I guess. Of the many things I like to do, which one is most important to me? Maybe it's magic, maybe it's something else. Whatever it is, it's time to finally commit to something for the longer term. After all, I can still do all the other things on the side if I feel like it or have the time, but I have to focus on only one thing long term in order to make progress.

I would also like to thank everyone else who wrote back to me. I really appreciate your help.
Magical Moments
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Here is a suggestion. Perhaps you may want to select just one set of props used for a complete routine such as Cups and Balls, Linking Rings, a coin routine which may or not utilize a coin box, or something like those and focus on becoming competent with just that.

I am thinking jack of all trades and master of none applies here. I know that for me, when I jump from one trick or routine to another, I never achieve the level of competence I desire. At this time, I am focusing my time on a mini set of cups and balls (and, to be honest, a mini chop cup as well) so two routines which are actually related.

Although I can perform them reasonably well, it is my feeling that I have not taken my routines to the level I desire. I am adding things to my routine for those items a little at a time and practicing them day after day. I appear to be getting there and having fun doing it!

In any case, I wish you the best in your journey into this most wonderful art.
landmark
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Alfred--I think multiple interests is one that a lot of us have. One way to deal with it is to set a defined block of time over a period of weeks. I find six weeks is a good length to see what progress has been made. In other words, make a deal with yourself that for the next six weeks magic is going to be your #1 hobby for that time, and that you will set aside regular practice times throughout that period. Then at the end of that six weeks you can reassess; perhaps you'll move onto another hobby for six weeks and then come back to magic later for another six weeks.
funsway
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Practice time is not the only aspect of learning to be a magician. That is essential to mastering Effects.
Other aspects such as voice control, eye contact and empathy can be "practiced" with whatever other activity you choose.

A new routine can be envisioned in your head while sitting in doctor's waiting room, and verbal script practiced while cooking pasta.
You can role-play a different routine in mind while riding the bus or during commercials on TV.

There is nothing wrong with having other hobbies. But no need to leave "magic learning" for another day either.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Mr. Woolery
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I’m going to suggest a strategy instead of a branch of magic.

Find an accountability partner.

This would ideally be someone a lot more experienced than you. Someone who can casually mentor you by suggesting ideas for improvement. If that’s not feasible, get another new guy, but commit to meeting every week for a timed video call. Each week, you both have to perform for the other. And you have to give honest feedback, not just attaboys.

This is not a chat with a buddy. This is you having to tell the other guy you spent your practice time goofing on the phone if you did that. And you still have to perform for him. Even if you screw up terribly. You have to perform. Every week.

You both have to commit to a thick skin, too. Be completely honest in your feedback and accept complete honesty in return. Ever play a computer game and have it give you do-overs for mistakes? The games that are most rewarding are those that are less forgiving. Think of feedback that way.

If you are inclined to skip out of commitment, put something up at stake. The first time you don’t perform, you buy your partner a drink. Second time, a pizza. Third time, he drops you.

Set goals and meet them. Challenge one another to perform for a stranger and get it on video. Analyze the video together. Or whatever will help you toward your goals.

You have to reciprocate, too. Give as much as you are getting. Force him to improve as well.

This won’t be easy, but it will motivate you to practice and get the most from that time you set aside. I suggest working the same trick for 2 weeks at a time. Do it 3 times a day until you can perform it. That’s 21 times a week for a 5 minute trick or 35 times a week for a 3 minute trick. But do just the one trick until you can nail it. The accountability meeting will help you identify where it is going wrong. The next meeting will show if you have improved.

As to tricks, pick things you want to do. If you like coins, pick a good coin trick (Tenkai Pennies, Matrix, Copper Silver Penetration, whatever inspires you) and work it until you are happy and your partner is unable to suggest further improvements. Then pick another trick.

Once a month, do a longer video call and show the previous tricks you have learned. It is too easy to lose repertoire. Show your partner you have kept up with your material. Because after a certain point, you need to spend some of your 15 minutes on keeping things in the brain, not on putting new stuff in.

Just a suggestion, but I bet this would help you a lot more than practicing self working tricks in isolation.

Patrick
optimisticfool
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15 minutes a day isn't going to get you far. Maybe the 1st week if you're new to magic, but after that you'll get bored. Because you're going to see a beautiful example of magic and want to learn it ... and this is when you'll realize 15 min isn't enough.

That being said... if you practice the Rubrics Cube for example, 15 minutes a day, you will eventually memorize the whole algorithm and will be able to solve the cube quickly.
TomB
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What type of magic do you like? Find an entertainer you like, buy his dvd. Watch it. Learn it. Practice it.
EndersGame
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Quote:
On May 19, 2022, Dave Scribner wrote:
Alfred, 2 years ago in March you asked basically the same question and how long you should practice. Then in June you posted you only had 15 a day to practice and asked how to get good in such a short time.

Next, a year later in June 2021 you found you now had 30 a day instead of 15 to practice and asked how to get good. Now another year has passed and you're back to 15 minutes a day so asked the same question again.

Good catch. It sounds like it would be helpful to have links to those threads posted here. The answers given there are still helpful and valid.

How long to practice an effect before first presentation (March 2020)
https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......c=710924

Minimum time for daily practice (June 2020)
https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......c=715981

How long to get good with coin magic? (June 2021)
https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......c=731478
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