Hey T11, This is the first time I've been on T11 in... let's say, a couple of months? I've recently been working (non-magic related), in the beginning to gain more money for magic things.. books and such. But because of this, I was lead away from magic for a short while. Looking around my room and seeing all my "old" magic books and props I was toying with, I started to realize a few things and started to question myself about who I was as a magician and where I really wanted to be in the future, in general and with magic. I assume these type of magic-lapses happen to us all. But I believe that these lapses from magic once in a while are an extremely beneficial way of evaluating what we really want to do with magic. For me, I am beginning to realize (realize used loosely... maybe "think about" would be correct)... think about the weight of performance over technique. One thing that kind of intrigues me is the different styles people have. Yes, a very vague statement - but I mainly mean in card magic. When I click on the media section I see a lot of people performing card stuff for the camera that is extremely beautiful and things, but doesn't seem like something that would actually be intriguing to a lay audience. Things that require the magician in complete control of the pack the entire time. When I take these lapses from magic I start to wonder if this is the type of magic I'd like to do; the answer is no for moi. I believe that the less time the deck is in my hands or being shuffled and flourished, the happier the audience is. Obviously a very general statement, but when it comes down to it, Jay Sankey magic does stir great reactions, does it not? What does that say? Jay Sankey and The Bucks... both entire different types of magic; who plays better for lay audiences? I perform mainly close-up with a large portion of parlor, but little stage. I love studying Erdnase and any card book I can get my hands on... but what for? Well for me, I do believe that many of these moves are unnecessary in today's magic for real people. I realize this because the one close up routine that get's the greatest overall reaction is card under glass (or under anything for that matter.) With a good presentation and making sure your audience likes you and laughs, this routine almost never fails for me. This routine requires little sleight of hand at all, pas de hard maneuvers. But it gets amazing reactions... what are we slaving over Erdnase for? I study Erdnase for the sole purpose of learning the moves for me and my own personal use. I think this is a really cool (and somewhat nerdy) concept - devoting time to things you really may never use. I'm not really sure my entire point of this rambling, but I guess I'm trying to say that maybe sometimes we should take a second-look at what we are doing and who we are. I try on an everyday basis to make sure my magic isn't stale; what can I do to make it better? What can I change, what am I working on, what should I try out? Overall, I think we should all take little breaks from our magic once in a while. Try it. It will give you a whole new vantage point and inspiration to make your magic that much better. Try it!