How Do You Practice

Apr 1, 2020
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Recently I read a ebook called Approaching Magic Practice from Merchant of Magic shop in the UK. It offers up a lot of great advice about planning your practice sessions. Since I've followed some of the advice, I've been making a lot of progression on some stuff that I found impossible before.

It's really about choosing things to focus on and forgetting everything else for the time being (and I'm sure this is obvious to a lot of you). Before I would randomly practice everything. And I'm always reading, so alway practicing new stuff. Never really mastering anything.

So now, I practice a few cardistry moves as drills (sets of 5), multiple sessions throughout the day. And then I have a few magic moves I practice, looking for perfection. This small list can be changed or added to. But the trick to me has been repeating stuff in small sessions multiple times a day. And keeping the list of stuff I'm working on very small.

What about you guys?
 
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Nov 26, 2017
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It's definitely better to master a few moves than knowing how to do a bunch of moves at a novice level. As Bruce Lee once put it, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Moreover, start with the easier stuff first. Once you have built a strong foundation, the rest would come easier.

Ever since the quarantine, I've been binging a lot of movies and TV shows. But instead of just getting one task done, why not kill two birds with one stone? Now every time I watch something, I'd pick one or two cardistry moves to auto-pilot on. Lately, I alternative between the spring, LePaul spread, and L-cuts. Practice makes perfect!
 
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RickEverhart

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When practicing a new effect/routine with props (not necessarily with cards) I always stand (because I would be standing during my show anyway) and go through the movements and where certain parts of the prop(s) will be set. It is almost as if I am standing in front of my audience. I think about what my patter is going to be and which direction I want to look as I pretend.

I go through this a few times per day until I think I have most of it down. Days later...I will have my wife and children watch me go through the routine. I have them give me feedback on if I flashed something or if wording doesn't sound right.

Then I go back to practicing it again a few times per day and re-perform it for them. This one effect will then get put into a show or two to give it trial runs. I make adjustments from there based on how my audience reacts.
 
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Jun 18, 2019
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And I'm always reading, so alway practicing new stuff. Never really mastering anything.
I feel you.

But yes, I approach practice in the sense of usability. I keep learning and reading about new moves, methods, and so on. But unkess I have a definite idea of how to use that move in an effect, I don't really work at it.

Once I have an effect, a REASON to practice the move, I do it all the time. For a day. For 2 days. A break for a day. Then a week. Another break, and so on. Sometimes I go challenge mode and if it's a sleight like a pass, I take two decks instead of one. But the above is my general method.

It keeps me sane.

:p
 
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May 9, 2020
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Now every time I watch something, I'd pick one or two cardistry moves to auto-pilot on. Lately, I alternative between the spring, LePaul spread, and L-cuts. Practice makes perfect!

This is what I do. If I'm watching TV, I'm practicing sleights and flourishes. I've done this since I learned my first trick. I do this for a few reasons: 1) it turns what I consider unproductive time into productive time. 2) It helps me learn to trust what I feel, not what I see. If I look to make sure a slight went correctly, I could give away the trick. 3) It helps me to learn to ignore distractions while I'm performing. What do I practice? If I'm learning something new, I'll do that. If I'm not learning something new, I look at where I'm weakest and practice those moves.
 

RealityOne

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When practicing a new effect/routine with props

I only practice new material that I'm going to use. I read a lot and store a lot of information in my brain but I only practice what I'm going to perform.

I always stand

Agreed. I always practice as I intend to perform. If the effect is performed standing, I stand. It it is a table routine, I sit.

go through the movements and where certain parts of the prop(s) will be set

So there is a couple of phases before that....

First, I will practice individual sleights/ moves to get them down such as a particular link for linking rings, a particular count for a packet trick, a particular multiple card insertion control or a particular lid placement for an Okito box.

Second, I will do a run through of all the steps in the effect putting the individual sleights together under performance conditions (sitting, standing, table, etc) without presentation.

Third, I will be memorizing my script (this is usually done at the same time as the run through).

Fourth, I'll be rehearsing with the steps performed alongside the script so that the timing and coordination is correct.

Fifth is the dress rehearsal for my wife and son.
 
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