little tips...

Struggling with an effect? Any tips (without giving too much away!) you'd like to share?

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Postby joecarr14 » Oct 30th, '07, 08:29

abraxus wrote:watching:
I personally would much rather see someone perform 3 effects of their own, or at least existing work changed to suit them and they make mistakes, than a complete robot regurgitating someone else's lines and mannerisms...I dont want to watch a second hand brown/blaine/whoever..

this is the one people usually forget and i have once or twice when i first started out...

be original with magic dont just repeat it, evolve it and make it better.. maybe one or two tricks can be the same as you just learnt but dont have an entire routine identical to one you just saw on a new dvd....


bah humbug...
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Postby moodini » Oct 30th, '07, 15:21

Johnny Wizz wrote:Excellent thread.

Could I add a really old one but one which will bite you if you ignore it

Never repeat a trick however much the spectator may plead with you!

I will add to that.....try to find another trick that matches one of your favourites from the specs side of the table - however is performed completely differently - so you can when you wish...pretend to show the same trick twice but execute different so that they are still one step behind you.

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Postby seige » Oct 30th, '07, 15:29

One little tip... which I am sure is covered by the above excellent advice... but I would say it's one of the most important things that you can learn when starting out is:

Never perform until you're ready, and don't be egged into performing just because of peer pressure—because the likelyhood is that you will do something REALLY stupid and ruin the moment you had planned.

Not only is this bad for the situation—i.e. you will lose street cred/face/pride... but the knock-on effect is that you will lose a huge chunk of confidence. And for most people, the confidence needed when performing magic is the most important thing of all.

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Postby cymru1991 » Nov 17th, '07, 23:31

I believe that it's been mentioned to LOOK at your audience. I'll try to elaborate by saying not only look at your audience but LOOK AWAY from your hands (unless you need to). You don't want unwanted "heat" on your hands, particularly when a "move" is about to take place. I remember watching someone once performing a trick, and whenever he was just about to do "something" he'd glance down at his hands. This of course put everyone's attention onto his hands- NOT a good idea. So when you learn sleights, learn them, then learn to do them perfectly, then learn to do them perfectly with your eyes closed/ in complete darkness. This eliminates the want to look down at your hands, which- believe me- will happen. Hope this helps... and I'll post here again if anything comes to me...

James, 19, Lifelong student of magic and will carry on learning for the rest of my days if I'm a very lucky boy.
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Postby Peter Marucci » Dec 16th, '07, 15:09

Excellent post and, abraxus, it should be required reading by all magicians at least once a year.

The late, great magician Sid Lorraine argued for a notebook; write down every idea, he said. Not for IF you forget the idea, but WHEN; because you will forget at least one, as sure as the sun rises in the east.

And, this has been put a couple of ways in this thread, but: "Better a poor original, than a good copy."

Peter Marucci

"Better a man honor his profession than be honored by it."
-- Robert-Houdin
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Postby just me » Mar 25th, '08, 08:15

i would like to repeat what someone else has said and say that the instructions are barely ever the way for YOU to do the trick effectively. I often change the trick just so it will 'link' with another trick

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Overcoming Stage Fear

Postby clifford » Apr 12th, '08, 07:25

What am I afraid of? Ask your self this question before reading further ......

What answer did you get?
- I am afraid of facing/speaking to 300 people OR
- I am afraid of failure OR
- I am afraid of tackling an emergency that develops on stage OR
- I am afraid of Mr “Know it all”

Or was it some combination of the above? Well, all of us have fears, I think the first step is to acknowledge them and then figure out how to handle them.. Here are my views, which may be of help...

Perform only those numbers which you are confident of. If you feel unsure of any number- simply remove it from your act. "If you are in doubt, leave it out!"

Put your magic before the audience first. The moment they react positively to the magic you will find the feeling of fear vanishes. Once you get the initial positive pat ,you can sail your way through the entire act.

To break the speaking barrier start performing with music. The music will raise your spirits and will positively add magic in the air. Heard of the saying ‘Music is Magic’?? However, speaking is essential. If you don’t speak you will never connect with the audience. Your voice is your personality. Speak less until you develop the confidence and break the fear barrier.

To boost your confidence and reduce fear, try to visualise every possible emergency and rehearse how you plan to handle it. Remember the audience does not know what to expect in a magic act - That gives you the flexibility of concluding the act in a manner most suitable to the situation.

Remember 99% of the time Mr “Know it all” knows nothing. He just claims to know it all and shakes your confidence. Try calling him on stage and announce “ Well we have someone here who knows some magic and he is going to help me in the next trick” , and see the change in him .Never try to fight against him with your magic, its not worth it ,instead try to take him on your side.

Work hard during practice sessions, be your natural self (do not try to copy anyone), believe that the audience will like you, do not attempt things beyond your skill, do not claim to have supernatural powers, keep smiling and the rest will fall in place.

Let me know what you think!

Cheers - Cliff

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sleight of hand

Postby fabiocoil » Apr 29th, '08, 16:47

Link deleted by Mods - please read the forum rules about links to exposure sites.

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Postby joelhall » May 24th, '08, 22:30

two of the best points here have been the simplest:

...a collaboration of you and the spec, and knowing a bit of everything...

even if its a small gag to do, one can feed off the other here...

how many times have you say been half way through explaining a good one, or just wrapping up, and maybe someone lights a cigarette? or they have on a tie? maybe their serviette while table hopping? these are the small opportunities which can make a huge impact, by throwing in a quick vanish, or manipulation. this quickly recaptures attention by changing direction. keeping an audience on its toes adds to the excitement and entertainment.

i once did an ambitious card routine for some friends (obviously id prepared this before). they were smokers so while one was smoking i asked to borrow their fag, flipped the card stuck it through, then apologised and joked about making sure the card was still 'magic' enough, handed it back and continued. it went down very well, added some spice, and made a simple effect all the more amusing and enjoyable. all the practice of that one 'just in case i can wangle it' paid off :).

one other one is learn (and it is possible) to 'think on your feet'. rehearse in your mind possible things that can go wrong, and a simple but effective way to turn things around, or common behaviour from specs (a knowledge of general human behaviour is a great asset).

especially anything involving badly timed mobile calls... ;)

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Postby cymru1991 » Jun 5th, '08, 21:16

This is something I began to think about last year...
When you learn a sleight, don't just learn it straight off the book or DVD, strip it to the "bare bones" and build it back up:

For example, when I learnt the mexican turnover, I first began by seeing EXACTLY how I turned over a card by using another normally. Every movement, the speed at which I did it, if I flicked either of the cards or whether it was perfectly smooth. I even try to see if my eyes follow the turning over or whether they're looking somewhere else.
I then go and learn the sleight, and try to get it as close as possible to the normal turning over of the card. I try to copy every movement exactly.
The final test would be putting up the camera and filming myself doing a mixture of mexican turnovers and regular turnovers I would the LEAVE the camera without watching the video for a few hours and then come back and watch it to compare the two. If sometimes I can't work out which one's which then I'm happy!!

Hope this helps

James, 19, Lifelong student of magic and will carry on learning for the rest of my days if I'm a very lucky boy.
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Darwin Ortiz

Postby Mexicub » Jul 16th, '08, 22:46

Darwin Ortiz said it best when he describes something called Next Book Syndrome. Which means people who are caught up in waiting for the next new book to read but not focusing on what you have now. I think a lot of people who have trouble mastering this art has this type of syndrome one way or the other. Some people buy tricks at their local shop and always look for the next best thing but not taking the time to master the tricks they already bought. When you have this syndrome you usually don't wanna be left out of what's new and hot, but what's hot about watching someone do a trick they can't even do good. Theres a difference between knowing how a great trick is done and doing a great trick.

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Postby wchua24 » Aug 13th, '08, 00:12

nice post very informative and it discusses almost all important things.

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Re: Overcoming Stage Fear

Postby Ace of diamonds » Aug 13th, '08, 10:24

clifford wrote:What am I afraid of? Ask your self this question before reading further ......

What answer did you get?
- I am afraid of facing/speaking to 300 people OR
- I am afraid of failure OR
- I am afraid of tackling an emergency that develops on stage OR
- I am afraid of Mr “Know it all”

I'm always afraid of Mr "Know it all".

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Postby Jobasha » Aug 13th, '08, 10:43


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Postby psmagic » Aug 13th, '08, 13:05

A while ago i turned up for a wedding to do my strolling magic during the photographs. At the time this mainly consisted of card effects using my regular deck. When i arrived i realised that i had left the new deck of cards at home! It was at that point when i had to think on my feet and quickly rummaged thru my pockets and car to see what i had lying around that i could use. I was left with a pen, coins, a purse frame, watch, ring and my glasses. With some basic sleights added i came up with a 10 minute routine just using these items which i presented to the different small groups. When i finished the afternoon gig i left with a real buzz knowing what i had just pulled off yet none of the guests were aware of my initial predicament. I then returned in the evening with my cards and did my usual card routines.

So what is my tip?...well there's 2 really,

1. either have a good knowledge of effects that really are impromptu and can be borrowed if necessary and more importantly be able to make them entertaining and/or...

2. carry a spare set of the essentials such as cards, coins, pens, business cards etc in a small bag and leave them in the glove box of the car.

Hope this is helpful to someone out there.


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