Okay this will be a short essay first, because the point i want to make isn't that complicated and second, because i know if it is short than more people will read it all the way through.
So heres the idea. When you are performing magic, the trick that you are doing has to be easy or else it won't look like magic. Now this may sound obvious to some of you but i feel like there are a lot of people that don't quite get it.
I thought about this when i was having a conversation with a female magician about how magic isn't about doing hard sleights. I said that magic doesn't have to be difficult to be good. But then i thought about that for a second and realized not only does it not have to be difficult to be good. It HAS to be easy.
Now i don't mean that you have to do sleightless tricks that a beginner could to for it to be good. That isn't what i mean by easy. I mean easy for you. It has to become easy/effortless/second nature for you to perform. If there is any strain on any sleight or move or anything in the trick then it isn't magical, it just looks like you are trying your darndest to fool them (and probably failing).
I see a lot of people (kids mostly) biting their proverbial lip as they work through a routine. Its amazing how little practice we'll let our selves get away with (i used to do it). Being able to work your way through a routine isn't equal to having it mastered. You will find out really quickly when you go out to perform the thing that there is a big difference between a trick that you can "do" and a trick that you have mastered.
So how do you fix it?
Well I use a practice technique i picked up from reading david stones book "close up" on becoming a professional close up magician. He says that he will put 100 dash marks on a black board and erase one each time he does the routine. By the end he is f*cking tired of doing it BUT he could do it in his sleep. Thats where you need to be before you go and perform your routine. Unfortunately you basically have to be sick of the trick by the time you perform it because you run through it so many times.
So lets go get sick and tired of our routines!