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Profile of Ryan
I've noticed something weird when learning a new sleight. When I first learn it, I end up succsesfully doing the sleight a little slow and un-smothly, but then later like the next day, I can't seem to do it anymore.

The roll down coin flourish is a good example of this. When I first learned it, I was able to do it after about an hour of practice, and thought it wasn't as hard as it looked. The next day and it's now been a month, I haven't been able to do it. Has anyone else encountered this phenomenon? Would anyone know what might cause this, or how to counteract this?
Jim Morton
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Actually, it's not uncommon at all. Smile Al Schneider has even devoted a chapter in his ebook,
The Theory of Magic,
to that very subject. He calls it the Five Steps to Mastery.

They are:

1. Learn a new move slowly and with confusion.
2. With attention the move can be done well.
3. While doing the move over and over again bungles will occur more and more.
4. Great frustration and boredom is experienced doing the move.
5. Eventually doing the move is fun and you don't want to stop.

For more on this, click on the Theory of Magic link above. This is recommended reading for anyone interested in magic, and it's available for free. Unbelievable.

Jim Morton
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Profile of Ryan
Good read, thanks a bunch!

Paul Menzel
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Boise, Idaho
530 Posts

Profile of Paul Menzel
Chances are, in those moments when you are able to perform the sleights successfully, you are discovering the correct hand positions for you (as opposed to a change in procedure). If you take time to carefully note and remember what you are doing when it works, you will likely find it easier to repeat the success sooner. I've been through this, thinking, "But I'm doing exactly what I did last time!" only to realize that there was one slight difference in position that had made the success possible and when I rediscovered that difference it all came together again.
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No. California
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Profile of THOR
I notice whenever I try to do that coin flourish, that I have to warm up for quite a while before I try showing it to anyone.

Also, it helps if I stay consistant with the same kind of coin every time.

A great place to practice it is sitting in front of the TV!

Keep up the great work,
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Profile of magiciandude
I think we are on the same page here Ryan,
The idea is to keep practicing no matter how frustrating it gets. Generally I make sure the sleight is worth the time it takes to learn before I learn it and have to practice it.

Hope I was of help!
Lance R. Wilson
Magic is the psychology of the audience.
-Lance Wilson
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