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 Post subject: Keeping a Notebook
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:39 pm 
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Keeping a Notebook

In this essay, I shall attempt to cover everything I know about keeping a good “magic notebook.” It will probably get boring after a while, so kudos to you if you make it to the end of the essay.

First, you have to pick out a good notebook for you. I suggest going to your local Wal-Mart or Target, because they should have a relatively large selection of cheap notebooks. Now, to actually pick out a notebook. I personally prefer spiral notebooks over 3-ring binders, but the choice is yours. However, I have no preference for color. You might also want to consider a multiple subject notebook. That way you can have dividers for the different “sections” of your notebook. Also, some people like to decorate their notebooks (speaking in a general sense, not just for magic notebooks) with pictures, drawings, etc., but I leave mine the way it came.

Before we get to what you should put in your notebook, we need to talk about how it should look on the inside. I am of the opinion that you should always keep your notebook nice and neat looking. I also suggest using pencils in your notebook, so it’s not filled with ugly scratch marks from where you messed up when you were writing in pen. You also shouldn’t doodle in your notebook… it make it look unprofessional. If drawings are necessary to what you are working on, keep them nice and neat looking.

Now that we’ve discussed all the boring things, it’s time to get to the stuff that should actually be in your notebook. In my notebook, I include: scripting, random tips that I pick up, ideas that I have, and records of some of my best and worst performances. I will attempt to thoroughly cover each of these subjects.

In the “ideas” section of my notebook, I keep any ideas that pop into my head. These may include ideas for new effects, sleights, and even possible subjects for essays like this one. I may also include “solutions” to the new sleights and effects.

I also include records of some of my performances. For each performance, I start off with the date. Next, I write down the names/ what the spectators looked like, how their reactions were, and what effects I performed. Lastly, I include a short summary of the performance, which includes how well my actual presentation was, if the performance was good or bad overall, and why.

Another thing you can use your notebook for is taking notes at any lectures you might attend. If you do this, I suggest trying to write down as much as possible while still keeping your notebook neat looking.

And the last thing that I include in my notebook is scripting. I have just begun this long process, and let me tell you… it’s a pain in the butt. I feel that, while it is an extremely long and boring process, scripting is necessary, and helps you improve overall as a magician. I also think that you should script every routine, every effect, every word and move of your performance… even the things that could possible go wrong during a performance.

In conclusion, I think that every magician should keep a notebook, as it has definitely helped me improve. Once again, thanks for reading, and good job for actually making it through this extremely boring essay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:32 pm 
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born to perform.

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The notebook is a very good tool when it comes to writing your script, Im acually writing an essay on scripting and I may direct it to your essay.

Very good essay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Wow very nice and detailed. I am deffintly going to get a note book now!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:44 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback, guys, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sorry it was so boring, but I felt that a lot of people would get some good use out of it if they actually took the time to read it.

Blizt- I can't wait to read your essay. As for me, I have quite a few essays on my list of things to write about, including hecklers, "ending dirty", and many others... so expect at least one a week from me! Anyway, feel free to quote this essay, refer to it, or whatever.

Thanks again, guys!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I thought I could share my experience with a magic notebook, and just how mine is organized.

First, I use a 3-Ring binder with clear plastic sleeves. I find that this keeps everything organized. It's organized into the following sections:

Instructions
Instructions for individual tricks and props. Smaller papers that don't fill a sleeve are placed in the front binder pocket.

Single Trick Documents
These are printed e-books that contain only one effect. For larger e-books I put them in little presentation folder used for reports.

The Workshop
This is where I keep effects that I haven't finished yet, or just keep ideas for which I haven't developed a method.

Finished Effects
This section contains full effects or routines that I've come up with and have typed out, complete with photos. I haven't researched them to check originality yet, but they're effects I've come up with independently.

Scripts
This contains scripts in development, along with polished, revised scripts.



So that's my notebook. I don't expect anyone to copy this format, but it may help people to stay organized.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:47 pm 
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Scott Hitchcock talked about this a lot as well...as a matter of fact, I saw him do a lecture about two years ago and he spent about 15 minutes talking about this...

I still have his lecture notes and low and behold, in the notes, there is a page and a half devoted to keeping a note book.

It is truly important. There are many talented magicians out there who have fogotton more than most have learnt. The notebook ideas are designed to help you preserve and remember ideas, tricks, and other thoughts about magic that might have otherwise become lost forever.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:42 pm 
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that's exatly right. it started to happen to me. I only can remember so much (crap, i'm human) BUt honestly, i started reading books agian becuase i couldnt remeebr every trick. so then i strted writing down the names i have for them, and lo and behold, ta da, abracadabra just like that--my arsonel of tricks expanded. I grew as a magician.

The only thing i dont really like what you wrote what the fact that you kinda profile the spectator. I've never done that, but i do keep quotes and reactions.

good essay, as usual


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:37 pm 
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i keep random pieces of paper in my backpack with the "recipe". It's just folded and stuffed in an area of my backpack. I dont know much about a notebook though. The way I would want that organized just seems time consuming.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:02 pm 
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Cookmasterflip wrote:
i keep random pieces of paper in my backpack with the "recipe". It's just folded and stuffed in an area of my backpack. I dont know much about a notebook though. The way I would want that organized just seems time consuming.


Shouldn't you be willing to take time to keep your magic organized so you can become the best performer you can possible be?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:34 pm 
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I kept a nice pretty-looking binder for a long time, full of all the effects that I knew, a sort of grimoire of tricks. Well, as things happen, my cousins found it, and now I can't perform much of anything to anyone in my family. Similar experience at school... Just a little horror story from Susto on my notebook nightmare. :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:54 pm 
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adjones wrote:
Cookmasterflip wrote:
i keep random pieces of paper in my backpack with the "recipe". It's just folded and stuffed in an area of my backpack. I dont know much about a notebook though. The way I would want that organized just seems time consuming.


Shouldn't you be willing to take time to keep your magic organized so you can become the best performer you can possible be?


how is my organization correlating to my performance? It's there because its the safest place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:23 pm 
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Cookmasterflip wrote:
adjones wrote:
Cookmasterflip wrote:
i keep random pieces of paper in my backpack with the "recipe". It's just folded and stuffed in an area of my backpack. I dont know much about a notebook though. The way I would want that organized just seems time consuming.


Shouldn't you be willing to take time to keep your magic organized so you can become the best performer you can possible be?


how is my organization correlating to my performance? It's there because its the safest place.


Really? You don't have anyplace that you keep your actual magic props? Organization and keeping a notebook can greatly help your performances... I I have experience this first-hand. You can have scripts, performance tips, new moves, sleights, or effects that you need to practice. Tips for these moves, sleights, or effects. Just try it out... you may end up like becoming a better magician!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:37 pm 
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adjones wrote:
Cookmasterflip wrote:
adjones wrote:
Cookmasterflip wrote:
i keep random pieces of paper in my backpack with the "recipe". It's just folded and stuffed in an area of my backpack. I dont know much about a notebook though. The way I would want that organized just seems time consuming.


Shouldn't you be willing to take time to keep your magic organized so you can become the best performer you can possible be?


how is my organization correlating to my performance? It's there because its the safest place.


Really? You don't have anyplace that you keep your actual magic props? Organization and keeping a notebook can greatly help your performances... I I have experience this first-hand. You can have scripts, performance tips, new moves, sleights, or effects that you need to practice. Tips for these moves, sleights, or effects. Just try it out... you may end up like becoming a better magician!


I'm only a card type. and no i dont rely on scripts, i make them up. They are somewhat linear to the original patter i first heard it from. and Again, still not understanding the need for a "NOTEBOOK". I think we can agree that our "style" definitely what seperates us. and If i need to be better, i simply practice more or perform more. We can at least acknowledge that the secrets are safe.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Cookmasterflip wrote:
I'm only a card type. and no i dont rely on scripts, i make them up. They are somewhat linear to the original patter i first heard it from. and Again, still not understanding the need for a "NOTEBOOK". I think we can agree that our "style" definitely what seperates us. and If i need to be better, i simply practice more or perform more. We can at least acknowledge that the secrets are safe.


I don't care how much you practice, you should still script your routines... it would make your performance 10 times as good. And copying, or "almost copying" the original patter from the creator or teacher of the effect isn't going to get you anywhere. It's the original magicians that get noticed these days. I'm mostly a card guy, as well, but that doesn't mean I think a script is silly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:50 pm 
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adjones wrote:
Cookmasterflip wrote:
I'm only a card type. and no i dont rely on scripts, i make them up. They are somewhat linear to the original patter i first heard it from. and Again, still not understanding the need for a "NOTEBOOK". I think we can agree that our "style" definitely what seperates us. and If i need to be better, i simply practice more or perform more. We can at least acknowledge that the secrets are safe.


I don't care how much you practice, you should still script your routines... it would make your performance 10 times as good. And copying, or "almost copying" the original patter from the creator or teacher of the effect isn't going to get you anywhere. It's the original magicians that get noticed these days. I'm mostly a card guy, as well, but that doesn't mean I think a script is silly.


I dont think a script is silly, I just don't think its necessary. I'm sure I copied the original patter (for lets say ACR), but after doing it enough times, it gets old to me, which declines my interest in performing it. To refresh it, I change up the patter slightly (every performance), but never deviating too far away from the original presentation (in this case the card rising to the top).
Lets assume you saw me perform an ACR. I would highly doubt you'd notice the same "exact wording" but will notice very similar ideas, synonyms, word orders. In other words my patter varies in how i want to present the card rising to the top. I do think you should care, because scripting limits yourself to those words only.


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