Small Victories

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MohanaMisra, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. When was the last time you accomplished something and felt amazing, in magic? Or which of such times do you most vividly remember?

    Of course getting a great reaction, booking a high-end gig, such 'victories' are brilliant, but they are big. I'm more interested here in knowing about the victories so small that it seems insignificant, but it made you believe in working for something till the end.

    Maybe it was the first time you started nailing push off double lifts as if it was a piece of cake, or when you finally got a retention vanish down so good that you fooled yourself. Maybe it was that time when you finally created a trick on your own, or that time when after days of pain in your fingers, you suddenly realised that you can do the Pinky Count in your sleep, or the pirouette just happened?

    Write it down, I want to read about them! Ultimately they're the ones that make the journey fascinating.

    Secondly, what do you read, watch, listen to or do when you feel down about your magic, when you feel as if you're never going to be as good as a particular somebody else, or that you have no creativity or raw skills? I'm not talking of the times when you're bored with magic, but of the times when you wish so hard that your magic was better that you start looking down upon yourself (which is never good, even in life). You feel terribly demotivated.

    What do you do then? What would you advise yourself if that ever happens to you again, or if you're certain it'll never happen again, what advise would you go back and give to your discouraged self?

    Please reply :)

    Thank You!
  2. Nice questions
    Two of my little victories I remember more vividly are the moments that I finally got the Elmsley and Jordan counts and when I managed the first time to do a “perfect” spring
    When I fell bad with my magic for me it often helps to practice or try to invent a card control. The variety of controls is VERY wide and they easily stimulate my creativity.
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  3. I remember when I got the Erdnase One Handed Shift the first time, it was like it happened by itself. I had been working on it for some time, just trying to wrap my head around the finger/hand movements to make it happen, and stretching my fingers enough to make room (I have somewhat small hands for my body size). The day I got it, I did it so many times I gave myself a blister.

    Most recently I feel proud when people are studying my work and using it to their own means - particularly those who take what I've created and turn it into something truly personal to them. Also, the fact that my local performances tend to sell out regularly is pretty nice.

    A few things. Generally if I'm feeling uncreative, I don't read magic/mystery art literature. I read fiction, or unsolved mysteries, or something else that feeds into my interests and "fills the tank" as Joss Whedon would say. Not only is it good to distract from the wallowing (and all performers wallow occasionally), it inherently sparks creativity which banishes those thoughts of inadequacy. History of the mystery arts fits in here, too, as well as biographies of performers.

    Otherwise I might delve into books on theory or philosophy of performance, or watch videos of performers I respect and try to dissect what makes them so good.

    Oooorrr otherwise, I'll watch stand up comedy. Again, not only is it a solid distraction from the self-perpetuating cycles that increase a depressive episode, comedians are masters of the stage. With nothing but words they can hold a room. Considering a lot of what I do is similar in that respect (ie: holding a room with words, rather than sparkly visuals), I almost always learn from watching a good comedian.


    And also, if you can find a group of like-minded folks it can be a lot of fun to just jam on ideas and see what comes up. Even if nothing is actually produced by it in the end, just the exercise of creativity is great.
  4. Some little victories that felt really great were getting the coin roll down, the retention vanish, the Tenkai vanish with a card or jumbo coin, and Daryl's Hot Shot to where I could make the card travel from my far left to my far right, spinning in a 3 to 4 foot arc from left hand to right. When I was living in San Francisco with no vehicle and traveling a lot on buses, street cars, and trains, I would always have my Morgan Silver Dollar or Kennedy half, rolling (and dropping LOL) the coin, over and over. It was fun to see the looks on peoples' faces when it went right.

    And as for those times that I felt down and wished I could be better or as good as so and so, I just started practicing -- and got lost in the magical moment...
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  5. Other times I just give up and play the piano or read something
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  6. Groovy.
    My most recent little victory is the Sylvester Pitch. The move seemed very difficult at first and I revisited it a few times before it just started clicking. Now I am working on a little more distance between my hands during the pitch as well as learning it left handed.

    Christopher made some good points about doing other things and how that can improve your magic. I think this holds true for most things in life. It’s okay to take breaks and do something different for a while, in fact it’s beneficial. I tell my oldest kid when he’s frustrated about his pitching in baseball that I built my baseball skills over 15+ years and not a single season. I tell him how I didn’t do baseball all year either and how my other hobbies influenced my baseball each season too. Some things are just going to take a while to develop and you will find yourself at different plateaus throughout life.

    I think because of this mindset about learning some skills my motivation killer has been magicians guilt rather than the slow process of learning difficult sleights. Knowing the secrets has at times fooled me into discounting the strength of some effects causing me to needlessly fret over and avoid performing them. I found performing for some lay people simple magic has rekindled my need to practice and learn because it helps recalibrate my perspective from the audiences view.
    Al e Cat Dabra and MohanaMisra like this.
  7. There's honestly, positively, definitely, NOTHING of a better feeling than getting a cardistry move down in my opinion. I mean, for one, we don't have to worry about hiding it! :D

    Hmm... Interesting...

    :D :D
    The ultimate sign of pleasure for a magician of course, is often cramped and blistered fingers, and I personally 'wear' cramped fingers like battle scars, that is to say, with pride!

    “How did you hurt your fingers again?”

    “I was practising how to count cards with my pinky.”

    “That's so lame.”

    “You wouldn't understand, mortal.”


    Just asking (and I'll deny having ever admitted this) is it only me who sometimes presents jokes from a great comedian within a group of friends, as if it is my own? (As always, remember, I am an amazing human being).

    Which brings me to another question... So many people in magic talk about getting mentors, but HOW does one get mentors in an online world?

    I just got down the 'ring-roll' as shown in Prestige and I can totally relate!

    And I must say, despite all the card tosses and stuff coming up, I haven't seen anything really which can defeat the honest style of the Hot Shot (or it's ultra-cool name).

    When somebody can do a particular move with both hands (regardless of it's practical usage, ha ha!), I call them the Real. Deal.

    Again, interesting.

    Well, to everybody who replied then, what if somebody wants to keep at magic but it's really self-doubt stopping them? Is the solution only Jay Shetty videos or are there any practical, tangible, doable things and advice in that case too?

    Just wondering...
    Al e Cat Dabra likes this.
  8. Two things - 1) I was not necessarily referring to a mentor. I wouldn't actually say I've had a mentor yet in my career - but I have sought out like minded people to ping pong ideas around with, in order to mix up their ideas into my own creativity so that I don't stagnate.

    2) The simplest way to make connections to anyone is to reach out to them. If there's someone you admire, email them. Tell them a bit about yourself, and that their work inspires you, and maybe ask a bit of advice. Maybe they'll respond, maybe they won't.

    All of the relationships I've developed in this industry started with, "Hi, I'm Christopher."

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