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.