Talking About Tricks

It was almost this time last year that I received my 2-book set of Talk About Tricks, and a few weeks later I had skimmed through the 1300 pages to see what was what. I parsed through the entire table of contents and knew that I was super happy with my decision to shell out for the collection.

Back then, I made it a personal goal to read at least one month's section, every month. The goal wasn't necessarily to consume everything -- after all, at least then, I only focused on card magic; lately I've been dabbling in most other types too, but still mostly cards -- but the goal was to pick out all of the card tricks that I thought I'd like and add them into my practice regime, hopefully my repertoire.

I got through the first month from the book, September 2001, and barely into October. After that, I had put the book aside to work on some other projects and next thing you know, a year has nearly passed. Ugh.

Just a few days ago, I pulled Volume 1 back out from the dust jacket and put it on my table with a fresh deck of cards. I immediately found Trait Secrets by John Bannon and started practicing it daily. Then, I was reminded of the Retention Vanish by October 2001's article from Chris Korn -- a finesse for handling the killer coin trick. Today, I made it up towards the middle of November 2001's content and really like the Greek Triumph trick by Mark Aspiazu!

Why bring all of this up now? Well, for quite some time I've been trying to find a good way to remember my full repertoire, or how to practice the hundreds of tricks that I want to use. A big blocker for me, specifically what I think has been holding me back, is that I just have too many things I want to do and so many ideas for how to organize them that, well, nothing ever got organized. However, I settled on a way!

Rather, I read about a way that echoed one of my preferred methods. I was discussing my inability to focus on specific tricks to practice due to having "too many to practice" and they sent me a blog post on The Jerx that was Jerxy's method of practicing: flash cards!

In the article, Jerxy goes into detail about an app that he uses and describes how it works -- even with screenshots. My idea wasn't explicitly flash cards, but it was similar in concept where I would enter in the different routines from my repertoire and each day it would show me a couple (like, up to 5). I could rate my execution for that trick and pending how difficult it was for me to perform, or if I had to look at the instructions, it would prompt me again for it sooner rather than later. If the trick was easy, it would push the trick down further into the stack and allow the rest to bubble up. As I type this, I have programming terms in mind... but by writing it it does in fact sound a lot like flash cards, so maybe they're the exact same idea =P

I considered taking the short route with a marker and index cards -- multiple colors to separate things like "card magic" versus "coin magic" and whatnot. I only had white index cards and I knew that keeping track of those would be slightly harder, and given the number of tricks I want to practice it would be impractical to maintain, so I figured I would pass on this approach. It would, however, have worked if I had a smaller list of tricks to practice. I'll still keep that as a manual backup plan for specific types of things.

Anyways, I looked at a few apps -- including the one Jerxy mentioned -- but I didn't really like any of them. And, I figured that I technically have all of the information for the tricks from my repertoire here on this site... why not make it myself? I spent about 2 hours this past weekend and knocked out the interactive display pieces, I have just a little more to do to wrap everything up and bam -- I'll have a functioning "flash cards" app that will work on my laptop, iPad, and phone! In the interim, I've been practicing only the tricks from Talk About Tricks that I've liked so far, and it's working out pretty nicely.

If all goes well, this weekend I will be piloting my new app and will hopefully have a functioning practice regimen finally! I'll keep you updated with my progress. Wish me luck (^_^)

Share This!

Previous Post Next Post