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  1. Al e Cat Dabra

    What’s better to be «technical» or «magician» ?

    I think that an important question for every performer to ask him or herself is: "Why do I perform for people?" To put the question another way: "What is my goal in performing?" There are so many possible answers, including, (1) "I just get a big charge out of blowing people's minds"; (2) "I...
  2. Al e Cat Dabra

    What's your favorite response to "I've seen this one!"?

    Them: "Oh I've seen this one." Me: I cough up some cards. They're usually too shocked and/or busy laughing at that point to say or do anything else.
  3. Al e Cat Dabra

    Preparation Or Expection?

    Jacob, it is a cliche, but true, that we learn the most from our mistakes. You have freely admitted yours to many people here and that takes courage and humility, but it also shows that you are open to learning from what happened and using the opportunity to improve. That is the path to...
  4. Al e Cat Dabra

    What kind of magician are you?

    "All kinds of magicians converge here - what kind of magician are you?" This question really made me think (for a change, LOL). As far as the type of magic I do, it is (1) mainly close up magic (generally strolling around in restaurants, bars and parties/special events); and (2) a stand up show...
  5. Al e Cat Dabra

    How good should a card magican be after 3 monthes

    Hi Scott, Imagine you were in a hotel lobby or maybe a student lounge and someone sat down at the piano and played a beautiful piece of music flawlessly, then they got up and left the room. In that situation you (and/or others present) might be prompted to think or say, "Wow, that's one of the...
  6. Al e Cat Dabra

    What was the first trick you ever learned?

    One day, when I was 6 years old, my Uncle Alfred, a fabulous amateur magician, taught me 2 tricks. First he performed them, fooling me badly with both, and then taught them to me. (It's amazing what a little begging can do). I can't remember which one he showed me first, so I'll write about...
  7. Al e Cat Dabra

    Teaching magic for money

    I say go for it! it sounds to me like you are letting your own insecurities about what you have to offer and your guilt about accepting money from your co-worker block you from taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity for both you and him. He values your time and what you have to offer, far...
  8. Al e Cat Dabra

    TIMU (today I mess up)

    Thanks for sharing this story. LOL! There is not a single one of us who has not messed up whether performing for one friend or family member or during a professional gig. People actually like it when we mess up from time to time because it shows we are vulnerable and make mistakes just like...
  9. Al e Cat Dabra

    Best Chop Cup Routines

    If we imitate someone else we will, at best, be only be a second-rate version of someone else. The key is to be a first-rate version of ourselves. Watching and reading about the routines of others will, as Ely suggests, provide inspiration. The rest is up to us. Take all the moves, ideas and...
  10. Al e Cat Dabra

    Saturday Night Contest - Gold Artisan Card Lotto!

    Card 1: Queen of Hearts Card 2: 3 of Spades Card 1: King of Hearts Card 2: 2 of Hearts
  11. Al e Cat Dabra

    Overhand vs. Hindu shuffle

    As other members have pointed out, it is useful to be able to do both shuffles well. Since the Hindu shuffle seems to come more natural to you, I see nothing wrong with using it the majority of the time. Spectators notice when we handle the cards naturally (and vice versa) and when we handle the...
  12. Al e Cat Dabra

    What's the best trick in Royal Road?

    I almost didn't write this post out of sheer selfishness because my fave trick in the RRTCM is sooooo good I wanted to keep it for myself. But that wouldn't be very nice, would it? My mom taught me to share my toys with my brothers and sisters. But what makes the trick so good? Well, first of...
  13. Al e Cat Dabra

    Advice on visual card magic

    @randy_fdez, I would highly recommend the "Paint Brush Color Change." It is a move I have been doing for many years. It is startling, super visual and very magical. It can be done as just a lightning fast visual trick, or a way to change the wrong card into the right one, or other applications...
  14. Al e Cat Dabra

    Outdated magic

    @Scodischarge, thank you for your kind words. Glad i can contribute something useful from time to time...
  15. Al e Cat Dabra

    Should i read royal road to card magic from beginning to end or should i skip around

    Respectfully beg to differ. The Royal Road was specifically designed to be a systematic course in card magic, beginning with indispensable fundamentals, and building to more advanced techniques, all towards the ultimate goal of being an accomplished card magician. You wouldn't build a house by...
  16. Al e Cat Dabra

    Outdated magic

    I think the problem lies not so much in the plot of having a spectator select a card and then the magician revealing the card. The reveal of a selected card can be very strong, provided it is surprising and magical. The problem is more in the choice of words, "Pick a Card" or similar directive...
  17. Al e Cat Dabra

    Outdated magic

    The context in which they are used and the presentation is often what determines the effectiveness of a particular prop. Cell phones are something almost everyone carries and can relate to. I love doing a presentation of the invisible deck where you ask a spectator to call someone they know and...
  18. Al e Cat Dabra

    Non Magic Books for Magic?

    I highly recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. It's long been kind of my Bible for understanding the common sense psychology of what motivates and fascinates people and how to get them to be receptive to you and your magic. That is important both in the crafting of...
  19. Al e Cat Dabra

    How good should a card magican be after 3 monthes

    "What sleights and tricks should a magicain that has been doing magic for 3 months be able to do?" One trick. Done cleanly and smoothly, with an engaging and entertaining presentation. That's more than can be said of many magicians who have been doing magic for 3 years, or far longer, as they...
  20. Al e Cat Dabra

    What's the point of four ace productions for magicians?

    To most people, the aces, especially as a quartet, are iconic symbols of power. A quick flashy production of the 4 aces is a great attention-getter that immediately differentiates you from their uncle Harold or whomever, that bored them with seemingly endless pick-a-card tricks at gatherings...
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