Struggling to progress

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by coffeeparamedic, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. So... I have been trying to progress.. I am still very new. been doing this only for a few months. Working through Royal Road to card magic. Also got Card College 1, and tried to work through that, but just not progressing.
    I feel like I am not getting the concepts, and every time I practice for ages, then show someone and they can basically see exactly what I am doing. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this?

    I also got Mark Wilson's Complete course and tried working through that, but I work through it a bit but it feels tedious and then I stop...

    Any ideas how I can progress / be more motivated?
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  2. Well, my first piece of advice is don't try to perform before you actually understand what you're trying to do.

    The physical parts of magic are often not very exciting, until you really get into it and then they become more appealing because you'll understand what makes them great. Don't worry about that. You need to learn those parts proficiently so you can do the tricks, but focus on the presentation and having fun with that. Magic is interactive - it doesn't really work by yourself. You have to have that connection with the audience for magic to really work.
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  3. Did you try self working card magic first? For example Card College light or Braur Encyclopedia of Card Tricks?

    Do that for awhile first.

    When ready for sleight of hand, did you get Royal Road DVD? It helps to watch someone else as you read about this stuff. Card College 1 and 2 also have an DVD on for $15. Master the tricks at the end of Royal Road chapters 1/2/3, before moving on, pick one or two to master from each chapter at least.
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  4. @coffeeparamedic, do not become discouraged. You are as cut out for this as much as anyone else. It seems to me that tweaking your approach might be the key for you, at least at this stage. You say you are "working through" Royal Road, Card College and Mark Wilson. Think of how much material there is there - many, many moves, sleights and tricks. It can become easy to become a Jack of All Trades, but Master of None. When the chips are down and you are performing card magic for someone, you are going to be showing them a trick (possibly 2-3), but ideally for now, I would suggest one (1) trick. Take the mindset that you are going to learn that trick and be able to perform it better than anyone in the world. Eat, drink and sleep it. Make it your pride and joy. Then perform it whenever you can. "Working through" all that volume of material in 3 different books is not what will blow people away, but your ability to perform your one masterpiece (then later, you can gradually add to and build your repertoire, each trick a solid brick in the wall).

    I highly recommend that you learn "An Incomprehensible Divination" from the Royal Road. It's in the Chapter on False Shuffle and Cuts. It's a very overlooked trick, a totally baffling and beautifully constructed multi-phase routine. And I guarantee you that no one will see, as you put it, "exactly what I am doing." There is one easy move to learn - the Charlier Shuffle, which is not hard and is an awesome convincer and you need only casually glimpse the top card once, in the very beginning as you square up from the shuffle - the rest is all subtlety and presentation. If for some reason this routine does not seem suitable for you, pick another and focus exclusively on it until you have mastered it. This will be a far more efficient use of your time than trying to "work through" all that different material in multiple books. There will be time for more of that later. When it's crunch time, it's how well you have mastered and can perform a trick, not how many tricks and moves you have read about or tried a few times...
    RealityOne and Gabriel Z. like this.
  5. I feel your pain! I have been working on the straddle pass and I understand how to make it work but I am just not very good at it. I work on it every time I have a deck of cards in my hand and at times don't know where else to go other than continuing to do it over and over or give up! It is tough but keep at it.

    Like they said above there are some very easy, great tricks in Royal Road. I've had that book for awhile now and I am still not done going through it. I try to be able to perform a couple of the tricks well at the end of each lesson before I move on. Just stick with it!
  6. @coffeeparamedic - I agree with @DadMagic and @Al e Cat Dabra - try to focus on three self working effects or some simple effects. In Royal Road, Poker Player's Picnic, Intuition with Cards and Designed for Laughter are great tricks that require little or no sleight of hand. Also, if you want to PM me a video of a performance of an effect, I'd be glad to give you some pointers.
  7. Like many have recommended, self working tricks would be the best now. They help magicians focus on the presentation more and thus, I feel they are good enough for magicians of any skill-level, although for some reason they are thought as a beginner's cup of tea, I don't think so...
    Anyways, I think there are some REALLY great videos by Rise Magic on YT for motivation. That should help, as should many videos by magicians themselves who tell you what to do when you feel de-motivated.
    But the strongest piece of advice I can give is, DON'T practice until it feels tedious, because it should not. Learning magic is not a do-or-die situation, it should be FUN, and if it is the opposite, something's wrong.
    Also, I'd say, go ahead and watch people performing magic. I had always shied away from learning the classic pass, because, well, double undercut was easier and achieved the same purpose...
    But when I saw how magical it looked when there were NO cuts or shuffles, but a card was controlled to the top, and when I saw it can be employed for purposes other than controls, I became determined to tame that beast. And when that happens, boredom does not exist, because you have a very clear idea in your mind how good you want to be at something (as gppd as the performance you saw, usually). Performances sometimes teach more than tutorials.
    However, if it is a PURELY progressing problem...maybe you are attempting something too hard? Or just doing something wrong? It's amazing how a simple correct finger placement can improve you drastically overnight. So re-read the instructions and keep practising...there are some moves out there that just click in place, sometime or the other.
    And when that happens, I feel like running out on the roads nude screaming,

    Have fun! :) :) :)
  8. @Lord Magic wrote: "And when that happens, I feel like running out on the roads nude screaming,
    'EUREKA!!!' "

    If you decide to do that, please don't mention to anyone that you're a magician, LOL!
  9. I really shouldn't it is, people think magicians are insane people...
    Doing that and introducing myself as a magician would be the proverbial 'last straw' that will convince people that we need to be kept locked up in cells.
    Al e Cat Dabra likes this.
  10. If it is available, practice in front of a mirror or a web cam at the angles you’d like. From there the actual mechanical technique is just time, practice and muscle memory. Whoever suggested selfworking card tricks is on point, as those will give you easy on hand strong tricks that will make progression seem more apparent with minimal sleights as you work on your lifts, counts, deals, cuts etc etc etc.

    Once your brain isn’t stuck in the physicality of the trick, you’ll start being more comfortable with it and it will start to click. Or you can just take up mentalism if you don’t want to practice. (I kid, I kid. A lot of stunning mental miracles require practice.)

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