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 Post subject: Practice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:00 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 05 Nov 2004
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Location: Dallas, TX
Hey guys, I know there isn't too much posted on here very often, but I just felt like asking a couple questions. I've been reading through alot of what's on here, and I've been thinking for awhile about getting into restaraunt walkaround and seeing if that's for me. I'm not quite experienced enough to start there quite yet, and I need more practice, so I'm thinking probably doing it while I'm at college or something around there (think about a year or two from now). Are there any particular ways to practice, or places? I'm kind of a reserved person, but I'm trying to get more out there. Are there also any tricks or books you recommend? I need to expand my inventory in almost all respects.
Thanks alot!
Ike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:28 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Jun 2006
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Location: Arlington, TX
My favorite place to practice on real people (after enough mirror time):

http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/vie ... p?t=153168


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:18 pm 
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First you practice a trick until you can not screw it up in front of a mirror. then you rehearse the heck out of it until you can do it in your sleep. The difference? practice is doing the trick, rehearse is adding the patter and choreographing everything. All the little moves of your body, where you look at each moment of the performance, when to turn your body or your head and what words you say as you turn.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:24 am 
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Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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Location: Sydney
Paddy always has great advice and he pretty much summed it up, but to your other question about your repertoire I shall recommend a few things and also raise a issue or two for you.

Variety: Variety is EXTREMELY important and I cannot stress this enough. Although I may do a full routine with just cards only there are all different meanings of variety.

- Effect Variety: Basically do you want to pull out a deck of cards while performing and just perform transposition effect only? No. While you can change patter around when you cut down into the core of the effect it is a transposition effect and when you keep repeating something like this to an audience it gets old fast. Try to change things around. E.g - A transposition effect, an ACR, a sandwich effect, etc.

- Props Variety: Only well I have performed routine at times that just involve cards, the routines like that have effects that keep a audience on edge like a colour changing deck, to an ACR, etc. But what is very important is prop variety. While you can perform a full routines with cards or only know how to use cards this while it may fascinate you can bore a audience pretty fast. So use a variety of props and this can also help you with different age ranges. E.g - Spongeballs or Cards for a group of 10 year old kids, I know what I would use. So when it comes to variety be very broad, but make sure it keeps your prop management to a minimum. A few quick ideas are Coin, Card, Rubberbands, Spongeballs. All of those props can make killer routines and wont kill you pocket space.

Routining: Well I don't want to write a epic amount in which no one will read. So I'll try to keep it simple. Make your routines flow. Make your effects lead on from one to another. To many times I have seen magicians on a bloody journey trying to find where there props are and making stupid mistakes like doing one card trick then randomly pulling out a few coins with no lead in or lead out and just expecting to perform a trick. You are NOT performing a trick. A trick = A Hobbyist. Entertainment = A Professional.

Repertoire: Probably one of the most important things to keep in mindis repertoire. Sure you want to perform amazing effect and so do I, but I dont go buying every single one trick dvd that loads my pockets with useless and impractical material which is bogging me down. The effects you select are entirely up to you and generally buy effects that you have an idea for something that you seriously thing you can use. I don't go out and buy a fire wallet because I want it because it looks cool. I buy it because I need it (Note - I don't own a fire wallet and nor do I ever intend to do such a effect in a place like a restaurant that is just in my opinion stupid because of numerous obvious reason). Here are some tips on repertoire which I have generally used over my course as a restaurant magician.

1 - Simple and Direct - You don't want to confuse your audience also you dont want to bore them to death. You want to hit them with some hard magic that is simple to understand and direct like spongeballs.

2 - Size / Weight - You dont want props flowing out of your pockets either too bulky to carry or just heavy and annoying. If you manage this right you will have more room for a larger repertoire.

3 - Reset Time - While some effects can be amazing. e.g - A stacked deck. Look at the reset time you dont want to stack a deck do a trick once and then have to restack it in a certain order. You want something that as soon as the trick is over it is reset or as soon at it goes back into yout pocket it is reset. E.g - Spongeballs

4 - Angles - Okay well in restaurants you have various angles of people watching you not to mention people from other tables behind you watching you which is very annoying. You can't do much about this just choose effect in what no matter what angle the effect is viewed from it is impossible to see how to the effect is done.

5 - Highly Visual - You don't want something no one can see. More visual = easier to understand and more direct. E.g - Spongeballs.

Some other things to keep in mind are - Can be done without a table, Durable props and or inexpensive as you dont want keep replaceing $100 props, can if desired be examined.

Some material you may want to pick up:

- Live At The Jail House
- The Complete Guide to Restaurant and Walkaround Magic, by Kirk Charles
- Restaurant Workers Handbook, by Jim Pace & Jerry MacGregor
- Magic Menu (All years if you are feeling generous)
- Real World Magic, by Jerry Mac Gregor
- Making A Living Performing At Restaurants & Hotels by Carl Andrews
- David Stone's Real Secrets of Magic

And that pretty much sums it up. Until you have secured a restaurant job or such then I could possibly give a whole essay more of information, but I am just glad to finish this off and I hope it helps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:46 pm 
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Thanks alot everyone, you definitely answered my questions for now, and I'll be sure to bring up anymore that I have in the future. Especially after I get the first job.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:20 pm 
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born to perform.

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"Bill Abbott's Cocktail card magic" also has a few helpful tips if I may add.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:53 am 
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paddy wrote:
First you practice a trick until you can not screw it up in front of a mirror. then you rehearse the heck out of it until you can do it in your sleep. The difference? practice is doing the trick, rehearse is adding the patter and choreographing everything. All the little moves of your body, where you look at each moment of the performance, when to turn your body or your head and what words you say as you turn.


Paddy is allways dead on.................

Ya what he said.......


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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Location: Kettle Falls, WA
If you are going to perform for money, you should remember one thing about your practice,

Amatuers practice until they get it right, then perform.
Professionals practice until the CAN'T GET IT WRONG!.

Big difference!

Good luck
Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:57 pm 
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tedricpancoast wrote:
If you are going to perform for money, you should remember one thing about your practice,

Amatuers practice until they get it right, then perform.
Professionals practice until the CAN'T GET IT WRONG!.

Big difference!

Good luck
Ted


Well there are some very good and dedicated amatuers who also practice until they can't get it wrong. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:01 am 
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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the advice above is very solid, i might just add a few things.

first, another idea for a trick is the color changing knives - very strong magic IMHO

second, paddy is right, but i fell i have to add something: practice on the mirror, then use a video camera (or a web cam): the video doesn't blink, and also you can place it behind you to check the most difficult angles

third, read strong magic by darwin ortiz, it will strenghten your effects, even if you do not want to table hop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:57 am 
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yes video camera is good, but not only for the sleights, but for rehearsing too.

I don't like the colour changing knives, it doesn't have any meaning. and I can't find any presentation to give it meaning, "look the knives change colours!" "so what?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:42 am 
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it's a matter of taste i would guess, but i think that magic has meaning by itself.
of course the colour changing knives could be only presented without any story, or any other meaning (i say so but i know i can very well be wrong: an ingenious magician might succeed at it), but that is also true for vanishing a coin, or finding a card, or revealing the loads from the cups. these things have inner meaning: they are impossible, amazing, surprising, beautiful... there is a lot of emotions to be created by those tricks, even if they do not have any meaning by themselves.

another thing: with knives you can do a lot more than colour changes, you can do transpositions, vanishing, reproductions, and so on (check bill malone's walk around knives to see what i'm talking about)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:08 am 
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Yes it is only my opinion, I said I didn't like the color changing knives, I like to watch those myself though, but that isn't a good enough reason for me to perform it.

the same for cups & balls, I don't perform that either, but I love to watch it, especially when it is given a meaning, like Ricky Jays.

it is only my choice to only perform magic that I find meaningfull, or that I can make meaningfull, it must also fit my character and be strong and practical enough. Thats what works for me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:15 am 
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 107
Lensman wrote:
Yes it is only my opinion, I said I didn't like the color changing knives, I like to watch those myself though, but that isn't a good enough reason for me to perform it.

the same for cups & balls, I don't perform that either, but I love to watch it, especially when it is given a meaning, like Ricky Jays.

it is only my choice to only perform magic that I find meaningfull, or that I can make meaningfull, it must also fit my character and be strong and practical enough. Thats what works for me.


in the end, that's what everybody should do :wink:


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