Earlier this week I was having a conversation with a good friend and mentor of mine Paul Draper who was talking about magicians today and their study habits. During this conversation Paul said something that I took note of, and after meditating on it for a couple of days I wanted to share it with you here because I think there's a lesson that should be learned by everyone. Paul has said (and I'm paraphrasing) "The problem with magicians (and mentalist) today is that they go out buy a trick, learn it, and say 'Good enough.' They go out perform it for someone, and get the reaction they were looking for which further reinforces their belief that the effect is 'good enough.' No one really sits down anymore, and learns the effect, writes their own patter, figures out their own presentation, and understands why this trick would work for them. We've gotten lazy, in that just learning the effect to get the reaction has become 'good enough' for us as magicians. Our priorities are wrong. Of course we're going to get good reactions, that's why we're magicians. If we didn't get the reactions we wanted we wouldn't be doing this very long. Instead of learning a trick and that being 'good enough' for us, we should be creating a stronger presentation for those tricks." Wow. There's a college education in performance arts for you right there. You could write a thesis on that, but Paul is right. How many of us buy a trick, get it home, learn it, and then the learning process stops there. There is no after thought. There is no, how does this effect fit in with who I am, and what I do. Why should my audience really care about this effect? Do I REALLY need to prove once again that I can make a card disappear from the deck only to reappear inside someone's shoe? How is that any different from when I made it appear in my wallet, or behind that pane of glass? Is the presentation that comes with the trick really the best presentation for my character? Is it the best presentation for the specific effect? Is that already mentioned presentation really the best kind of presentation that I can give as a performer? I'd like to open this up for discussion. How does this post make you feel? What can you take from this and apply to your own magic? Balls in your court.