A Practice Hack
By Andi Gladwin - Wednesday, March 4, 2020
I love to practice magic; at times it can be almost meditative as I sit at my card table (often late at night) with nothing but a deck of cards, and a mirror in front of me. I wrote at length about how I practice magic in my Astonishing Essay, but here I'd like to share a new process that I have been using lately to decide what I want to work on. It's a simple idea that makes use of my trusty notebook (which, for me, is an app called Evernote).
When reading a magic book, I start a new note called "Things to Practice from [Book name]." Then, as I find tricks or moves that I'd like to remember to practice, I write down the name of the trick, followed by the page number. I then add a bulleted list of any important notes that I need to remember during the practice session. This could be the setup of the trick, a particular observation or finesse that I feel that is important to recall as I practice the move.
This does two things: it helps me practice with purpose (which itself is much more rewarding), and allows me to remember items from books that I would typically forgot shortly after I read it. If I'm ever unsure of what to practice that evening, I can open up my notes, find an item and start working on it. If I have forgotten anything in particular, I can just grab the book and refresh my mind.
This has been especially useful as I have worked through sleight intensive books such as the new Steve Forte and Tom Gagnon books. Without this technique, I would have likely tried out the techniques and then immediately forgotten the details. The process will likely evolve over time, and if it does, I'll be sure to update you.
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