The “REAL” magic is described by my biggest inspirations in magic like Jeff McBride and Michael Ammar as pieces of advice that go beyond sleights and gimmicks. I invite you all to collect all the best advice given to you by your mentors of magic, and add them to this essay. The following advice was given to me by Jeff McBride in his amazing manipulation DVDs. Some of them are direct quotes, and some of them I have rewritten a bit.
Jeff McBride – Art of Card Manipulation Volume 1:
“Before I began the magic, I was almost finished with the manipulation” (remember to make the magic happen after you did your secret move)
“When I’m breaking in a new piece of material, I always sandwich it between a strong opener and a very strong closer… place them in between your already established material, and this will keep you from falling on your face.”
Do free shows at charity events, hospitals or senior citizens homes to get experience and free publicity.
Try to interest both sides of the brains of your audience by combining the intellectual appeal of magic with the flourish, artistic appeal of magic.
Practice your repertoire to different kinds of music. This will make you feel confident doing magic in any setting.
“Always dress as if you’re going somewhere better later… This will create an aura of magic and mystery around you”
Give your magic meaning by putting it in a theatrical context, by adding storytelling and by combining it with personal experiences.
Jeff McBride – Art of Card Manipulation Volume 2:
Practice with both shoulder blades touching the wall. This ensures the audience can see you, and you can see them, and they can appreciate the magic that you’re making.
Do theatrical training. Spend time on studying mime, martial arts, dance or other theatrical elements. This will make a huge difference in your show.
Video tape yourself when practicing. The camera doesn’t lie, and gives you the feedback you need on your angle work. Also have a close friend or fellow magician sit down in different sides and heights of the room and really “burn” your hands while you practice your sleights.
Jeff McBride – Art of Card Manipulation Volume 3:
Practice deck cuts with rubber bands around the different blocks of cards.
Put a deck of cards or some coins next to your phone, where you sit when you watch TV or other places where you find you can practice magic while doing something else.
Use other abilities you might have and combine them with your magic, making your act unique.
“It’s more than moves that make up the magic, it’s YOU!”
“Be ready to perform anytime, anywhere”
Jeff McBride – World Class Manipulation Volume 1:
Spend time at your local magic shop and magic club.
Be careful of mirrors! Mirrors lie! Mirrors show everything in reverse. After doing some mirror practice, the best tool that you can possibly use is the video camera. The unblinking eye of the camera doesn’t lie and will give you very critical feedback.
Be aware of the point of indication. Every time you blink your eyes, you’re blocking out that moment from your consciousness. Watch yourself on video, and study your “tells”.
Jeff McBride – World Class Manipulation Volume 2:
“Almost any magician can add benefit by adding a manipulative sequence to their already existing repertoire”
“…Don’t imitate! Create your own magic!”
Jeff McBride – World Class Manipulation Volume 3:
Set goals for yourself. Try to enter magic competitions. It will give you motivation to practice, and make something special out of your magic. Also if you do better than you thought, you’ll get all important confidence. If it doesn’t go well, learn from it, and get feedback from the other magicians in the competition.
When constructing your routine, be aware of your intention. What are you communicating to the audience?
I hope you will find great advice here. I will make a collection of Ammar advice, and Schneider thoughts sometime in the future. My intention is to collect all the best into a Bible that I go through when developing my character, constructing my routines and put together my acts. How to entertain my audience, and to practice in the most efficient and satisfactory way. Pretty much everything that has to do with my magic actually.