David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

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Sebastian B
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David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Sebastian B » January 7th, 2017, 6:01 am

This is probably something that most people already know, but if you have not read Mr Ben's blog and above all his thoughts on practice, you should. The two post I'm talking about is the following: Art of practice and Deliberate practice.

performer
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Re: David Ben

Postby performer » January 7th, 2017, 6:32 am

I am amazed he has time to practice!

mel
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Re: David Ben

Postby mel » January 7th, 2017, 10:13 am

...will there ever be a "Dai Vernon: A Biography" Part II ???

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: David Ben

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 7th, 2017, 10:51 am

He practices a LOT.

Yes, he is working on the second part of the Vernon bio.
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Leonard Hevia
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Re: David Ben

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 7th, 2017, 11:25 am

I stopped checking David's blog because he hadn't posted anything in a long while. But he's a busy man with his books, magic, and other projects.

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Re: David Ben

Postby Ted M » January 7th, 2017, 11:42 am

Please use a subject line with more words than just somebody's name!

"David Ben on Practice" would be a usefully informative subject line.

Looking at the stark subject line of nothing but "David Ben," I felt overcome with dread that he had just died.

Sebastian B
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Re: David Ben

Postby Sebastian B » January 7th, 2017, 11:58 am

What!! How can you read a name in the subject line and automatically think such a think?

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby magicfish » January 7th, 2017, 12:32 pm

I have fond memories of chatting with David from time to time as I perused the book section of Morrissey Magic at the old Glencairn shop. He was always very nice. We talked about our accumulation of magic books more than anything else.
Much later, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend his show The Conjuror. It was one of the best magic shows I've ever seen. David played the part of a nineteenth century stage magician. No dancing girls, no tigers, no pop music. He presented classic stage magic in a straight forward manner. One miracle after another , independent of one another. He came across as honest , likable, and humble. The stage was set consistent with the time period, as was the dress. Now I know I haven't been to nearly as many live shows for a paying public as a lot of people, but to this day I can say that the Conjurer starring David Ben remains one of the best Ive seen.
I enjoyed his Vernon Biography and look forward to volume II.
I also really like his big book on the magic of Herb Zarrow.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 7th, 2017, 1:21 pm

He is, or has just finished, a run of a one-man show in Toronto.
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erdnasephile
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Re: David Ben

Postby erdnasephile » January 7th, 2017, 2:05 pm

Ted M wrote:Please use a subject line with more words than just somebody's name!

"David Ben on Practice" would be a usefully informative subject line.

Looking at the stark subject line of nothing but "David Ben," I felt overcome with dread that he had just died.


I had the same thought/dread... sad, isn't it?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 7th, 2017, 3:43 pm

I've dealt with that issue.
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Sebastian B
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Sebastian B » January 7th, 2017, 3:57 pm

Now that the subject line has been alterd (thanks to Mr Kaufman), perhaps we can return to Mr Ben's thoughts on practice. Whats your thoughts?

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erdnasephile
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby erdnasephile » January 7th, 2017, 6:25 pm

To facilitate discussion, here are the links to the posts in question:

http://davidben.com/the-art-of-practise/

http://davidben.com/deliberate-practice/

Joe Mckay
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Joe Mckay » January 7th, 2017, 6:31 pm

Steve Beam had some interesting thoughts on this.

I shared them in an old blog post:

https://doubledeal.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/practice-a-tip/

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby magicfish » January 7th, 2017, 7:16 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:He is, or has just finished, a run of a one-man show in Toronto.

I wish I had known, I would have attended.
Hopefully he'll do another run soon.

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby performer » January 7th, 2017, 8:15 pm

I will read the links about practising later. I am too busy practising at the moment. However, I do remember asking David B years and years and years and years ago (56 years ago to be precise) if he ever practiced very much. No, not THAT David B! I am referring to David Berglas. I had only been doing magic around three years at that time and of course I was constantly practicing. I assumed every other magician did too particularly a celebrated one like Berglas. I asked him if he practiced much expecting him to say several hours a day. His response surprised me considerably.

He shuddered slightly as if this was an awful idea and snorted, "Oh no.Not at all. Doing the show is my practice!" A lot of wisdom in that if you think about it.

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby performer » January 7th, 2017, 8:21 pm

I have now looked at David's link and also the Steve Beam link. David says you should practice "slow" and Steve Beam says you should practice "fast"

My verdict? I waste too much time on the internet.............

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby performer » January 7th, 2017, 9:07 pm

I have now made my decision about this earth shattering fast/slow matter. It seems perfectly obvious to me which pace you should practice at and in fact the answer is so obvious that the question itself is rather a daft one. There shouldn't be any debate about the matter. You practice the move at your normal performing speed. Of course you do have perform in the first place otherwise the practice is a complete waste of bloody time. If you don't try the move on normal human beings there is not point practicing in the first place. And incidentally magicians are not normal human beings so they don't count. If you deceive a layman with a move then you know you are on the right track.

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erdnasephile
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby erdnasephile » January 7th, 2017, 11:44 pm

performer wrote:I will read the links about practising later. I am too busy practising at the moment. However, I do remember asking David B years and years and years and years ago (56 years ago to be precise) if he ever practiced very much. No, not THAT David B! I am referring to David Berglas. I had only been doing magic around three years at that time and of course I was constantly practicing. I assumed every other magician did too particularly a celebrated one like Berglas. I asked him if he practiced much expecting him to say several hours a day. His response surprised me considerably.

He shuddered slightly as if this was an awful idea and snorted, "Oh no.Not at all. Doing the show is my practice!" A lot of wisdom in that if you think about it.


Ah, yes...the Iverson approach. ;)

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Smurf » January 8th, 2017, 12:16 am

erdnasephile wrote:Ah, yes...the Iverson approach.


I am curious as to how many magicians outside the Philadelphia area will understand this comment.

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Sebastian B » January 8th, 2017, 4:30 am

I like Mr Ben's thinking When it comes to practicing. Dai Vernon often wrote and said: "use your head", Mr Vernon meant this in context of learning and practicing a move. Since no two hands are the same it my be important for you to change a finger position or to have a diffrent grip on the deck. Mr Ben is basically writing the same when he writes about doing a move slowly at first. When doing a move slowly Mr Ben feels that you get a diffrent felling for the move, it is when you do the move slowly that you do the diffrent corrections. What it basically boils down to is focused practice, and this i belive is of most importance if one wants to progress in sleight of hand.


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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby performer » January 8th, 2017, 6:24 am

Sebastian B wrote:I like Mr Ben's thinking When it comes to practicing. Dai Vernon often wrote and said: "use your head", Mr Vernon meant this in context of learning and practicing a move. Since no two hands are the same it my be important for you to change a finger position or to have a diffrent grip on the deck. Mr Ben is basically writing the same when he writes about doing a move slowly at first. When doing a move slowly Mr Ben feels that you get a diffrent felling for the move, it is when you do the move slowly that you do the diffrent corrections. What it basically boils down to is focused practice, and this i belive is of most importance if one wants to progress in sleight of hand.


I do agree that you have to fiddle about a bit and adjust and alter things to your own requirements. So practicing slow may indeed be a good thing so you can get the fiddling about out of the way. However, once you have settled on the results of the fiddling about you should practice at your normal performing speed. I am not sure about doing the sleight slowly when actually working before an audience. I well remember some technician or other (I can't remember who the hell it was) doing the top change very slowly indeed and you could see the switch half a mile away.

The only real way you can judge if your practice has been productive is to work to PEOPLE. Magic is PEOPLE. Lay people that is. The opinion of other magicians is of no importance whatsoever. If laymen do not catch your wicked move and more importantly don't catch it on a consistent basis then you have mastered the sleight. One caveat though. Sometimes a layman does not know exactly what has happened but they know "something" has happened. If that is the case then you have not mastered the move properly. Magic is supposed to be the art that hides art.

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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Sebastian B » January 8th, 2017, 7:08 am

performer wrote:
Sebastian B wrote:I like Mr Ben's thinking When it comes to practicing. Dai Vernon often wrote and said: "use your head", Mr Vernon meant this in context of learning and practicing a move. Since no two hands are the same it my be important for you to change a finger position or to have a diffrent grip on the deck. Mr Ben is basically writing the same when he writes about doing a move slowly at first. When doing a move slowly Mr Ben feels that you get a diffrent felling for the move, it is when you do the move slowly that you do the diffrent corrections. What it basically boils down to is focused practice, and this i belive is of most importance if one wants to progress in sleight of hand.


I do agree that you have to fiddle about a bit and adjust and alter things to your own requirements. So practicing slow may indeed be a good thing so you can get the fiddling about out of the way. However, once you have settled on the results of the fiddling about you should practice at your normal performing speed. I am not sure about doing the sleight slowly when actually working before an audience. I well remember some technician or other (I can't remember who the hell it was) doing the top change very slowly indeed and you could see the switch half a mile away.

The only real way you can judge if your practice has been productive is to work to PEOPLE. Magic is PEOPLE. Lay people that is. The opinion of other magicians is of no importance whatsoever. If laymen do not catch your wicked move and more importantly don't catch it on a consistent basis then you have mastered the sleight. One caveat though. Sometimes a layman does not know exactly what has happened but they know "something" has happened. If that is the case then you have not mastered the move properly. Magic is supposed to be the art that hides art.


I do agree with Mr Lewis that in the context of a performance one should do the move in normal speed. I do belive It Is important to destinguish between practice and rehearsal, which Mr Lewis do in his post. It is offcourse important to perform for real people - none magicians - to become a better magician. What it basically comes down to is the following: Practice - diffrent moves/tricks - and rehearsal.

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erdnasephile
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby erdnasephile » January 8th, 2017, 12:04 pm

performer wrote:Who the hell was Iverson?




Sebastian B
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Sebastian B » January 8th, 2017, 12:42 pm

Are you a basketball fan erdnasephile? :)

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erdnasephile
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby erdnasephile » January 8th, 2017, 1:45 pm

Yep! (more college than pro, however) :)

Sebastian B
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Re: David Ben's Blog and Thoughts on Practice

Postby Sebastian B » January 8th, 2017, 2:06 pm

Nice erdnasephile :) I yoused to watch basketball a lot when i was a kid. My favorite was Vlade Divac :)


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