This guy is using his downtime at work to practice and get good at a skill! Practicing in your downtime with other tasks in a great way to pick up new skills! I learned to do rubik’s cube and a lot yo yo tricks in the time between when I finish setting up my show and my show’s start time. Sometimes it’s just 15 mins, or whatever. That’s time I could be scrolling through Instagram, or learning something new!
Years ago I used to do lasso in the show, but it’s been a long time. Since we’ve moved, I now have access to an indoor half court gym and I’ve been using it to practice lasso again. For me, relearning it is not like riding a bike, it’s definitely taking some work!
Here’s what I can do:
Right now it doesn’t look very elegant, or remotely skillful. I think I look like I’m working hard doing it, that’s because I am. I need to get to where I have a lot more muscle memory so that I can talk while I do it. The other thing I need to do is figure out what my left hand should do when I jump into the loop at the end, it looks funny right now.
The nice thing about working at fairs all summer is that I can practice this as part of my preshow and actually do it in front of people. For me, that’s a huge advantage when learning, when I’m learning in front of people, it makes it easier to introduce into the show when it’s finally ready.
The plus side to the lasso is that it’s has no set up and plays big. The downside to the lasso is that it’s a high practice, low payout skill. What I mean by that is people think it’s easy to do (it’s not). The other downside is that it’s a low trick, so it wouldn’t play well at a show where you don’t have a stage, as it’d be hard to see for anyone in the 3rd row or further back.
When it’s finished, I’m hoping to get 3 – 5 minutes out of the lasso. That primarily will talking with a 60-90 second routine.
It’s kinda strange getting back to work. I’ve been practicing all week and got into the city I’m performing in last night and spent the night practicing. Today’s agenda is more practicing. Luckily this hotel has some space to set up the show.
Running the show as much as I have the last week is really helping my lines come back to me more automatically.
I think that’s one of the things that separates more seasoned performers from newer ones is that they know their show soo well they don’t need to think. That frees up brain computing space to deal with ad libs, paying attention to what’s happening in the room or fixing any problems that arise.
One thing that I like about the Three Card Monte is that it automatically engages the entire audience. It’s a game they all can play with being the person playing it. That’s why I think things like the 3 Card Monte or the Three Shell Game are perfect for virtual shows. The level of engagement is great!
Here’s a video from a practice session:
I’m working out the sequence, right now it’s:
Mix and the money card is in a different position
Set aside a non-money card, do the mix and the money card is now the one set aside
cards change so the two non-money cards are now the money card and the money card is now the non-money card
all cards change into jokers
There’s a lot of magic that happens in that sequence. It’s a pretty amazing sequence, and basically using the three card monte premise as a presentation hook for card color changes.
Awhile ago I wrote about using progressive anagrams for streaming shows. Here’s a test show I did with the routine that was written up in those posts:
I should have handled the envelope a lot less, I’m way too fidgety with it. That and scripting it out better would have tightened it up. One of the cool things about right now is that there are soo many of these live stream shows you can get on and work out the bugs to routines before you take them in front of a paying audience!
With the lack of live performance venues performers have been doing their thing with streaming video on the internet. Most of it is a person in front of a camera with no production value. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day and The Dropkick Murphy’s live streamed a show that would normally have an audience and it … Continue reading “Practice!”
With the lack of live performance venues performers have been doing their thing with streaming video on the internet. Most of it is a person in front of a camera with no production value. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day and The Dropkick Murphy’s live streamed a show that would normally have an audience and it was amazing.
You can watch it here:
Besides really setting the bar for a live streamed show, they also were a lesson in how to perform. You should be able to perform like it’s a stadium for no one. I know it’s strange when you don’t get the feedback from the audience, however they way they performed it was as if to a full house. It’s clear that when the rehearse, they rehearse like they are playing to a crowd. They way the pause after a song, they’ve been there and planned to be there.
Look at how you practice, are you simply going through the motions or are you doing it like you’re actually doing a show?
The first magic book I ever got was The Amateur Magician’s Handbook written by Henry Hay. The title is a little bit misleading as this really isn’t a good book for beginners. This book teaches you some pretty hard stuff . It also teaches some pretty old techniques that aren’t really used anymore. Things like … Continue reading “Be Your Worst Critic!”
The first magic book I ever got was The Amateur Magician’s Handbook written by Henry Hay. The title is a little bit misleading as this really isn’t a good book for beginners. This book teaches you some pretty hard stuff .
It also teaches some pretty old techniques that aren’t really used anymore. Things like back palming multiple coins, or using edge grip to produce multiple coins. It’s not that these are bad techniques it’s just that they aren’t modern.
One of the chapters in later editions of this book is on using video to practice. I was talking to a magician friend and he mentioned one of his mentors told him he was practicing in the mirror too much. He needed to not watch himself practice. He learned to work to himself in the mirror, but he needed to be able to do without seeing himself.
That’s where video comes in, you can see what you are doing, but not in real time. Mirror work has a time, but watching and taking notes in video is a helpful step. I’m working on something new and it looks great in the mirror. Take me away from the mirror and my right arm is stiff, and unnatural. The problem was in the mirror I’m reacting to what I’m seeing and making my right arm natural. Without the mirror, I wasn’t getting the feedback, and the result was a unnatural movement.
TLDR: step away from the mirror and watch yourself practice on video.
I’m a big fan of getting new ideas for magic tricks in front of people as soon as possible. The sooner you can get something new in front of an audience, that sooner you know if it’s good or not. Even with a rough idea, you’ll get a sense of whether or not there’s anything … Continue reading “The Sooner the Better…”
I’m a big fan of getting new ideas for magic tricks in front of people as soon as possible. The sooner you can get something new in front of an audience, that sooner you know if it’s good or not. Even with a rough idea, you’ll get a sense of whether or not there’s anything worth pursuing or not.
Personally, I don’t want to waste my time on an idea that doesn’t connect with an audience. Doing a trick once in front of someone will also let you know technically if you are doing the right thing technically. You’ll know if a certain move or sleight fits the rhythm of the trick.
Obviously you must be able to do whatever moves the trick requires at a passable level. This is where having a background in sleight of hand comes in handy, it will make doing new things much easier, than if you don’t normally use sleight of hand.
Currently I’m working on something for a show and an article for a magazine for magicians. This is something that I’ll probably only do a couple of times. One of the tools that I’m using to get it show ready is video. I record the trick, takes notes while I watch the video and rehearse … Continue reading “Video Rehearsal…”
Currently I’m working on something for a show and an article for a magazine for magicians. This is something that I’ll probably only do a couple of times. One of the tools that I’m using to get it show ready is video. I record the trick, takes notes while I watch the video and rehearse some more. Then I repeat the whole thing.
One of the things that I’ve noticed in watching my video is that when I do a certain move that takes a little bit of brain power, I stop smiling and look like I’m doing something. This is just my face. If I cropped the video and you just saw my face and I asked you when I did the move, you’d be able to!
This is the value of video, you can see things that you can’t see in a mirror. When the move happens I need to visually see something, so I can’t see my face in the mirror. I wouldn’t have known my face was giving me away!