We're dancing around a bunch of really good points. Let me pull a Dustin and review.
Mark asserts there's no such thing as an invisible pass.
RK insists there is and that he knows several people who can do one.
Glenn states, quite succinctly, that public performance is key to improving.
Here's someone with nowhere near the knowledge leve of RK, nowhere near the number of shows that Glenn's done, and not enough wisdom to hang with Mark Lewis.
I love difficult sleights. I enjoy discovering them in arcane magic books and practicing them. A truly invisable pass is a reality. You can find RK's DVD on the pass and see the majority of popular technique done sort of insanely well. I've seen Steven Youell and Steve Dobson use passes, in a room full of magicians and fly by every set of staring eyes in the house. Howie Schwartzman is another guy who, standing in front of you will shift the deck with no tells, not one.
For me, that invisible pass grail is hiding in Ultimate Card Secrets. Some guy named Vernon has work in that book. Toss a card on top of his technique and you get a damned smooth passing action.
So, back to review mode:
Some jerk with no bona fides named Kent chirps in and says invisible passes are real and he hasn't seen them?!
Technique, raw and undiluted, in performing situations isn't worth the amount of research and practice I've put into it. Performing for non-magicians I use two passes; Cervon's free-turn, (you can see me do it here, if you want to abuse me)
and I start my Ambitious routine with a Hermann, just like Vernons told me to, via the pages of "Stars of Magic". (If you ever see me do it, the technique is actually out of, "And a Pack of Cards".
Neither of those are invisible. Well, when Bruce Cervon did his pass it was, but I digress.
I've worked a steady magic gig three times in my life. The first two were as a teenager behind the counters of a couple of magic shop. The experience helped. That was so long ago it has little meaning though. Years later I got a gig at a restaurant in Florida. For two nights a week for three years I learned some very, very harsh lessons. (read David Stone's book if you ever even consider working for tips)
I learned that at tables, no trick should last more than two minutes. Every trick you do must me modular so it can end at several different places. Sleights that don't work every time are of no value. Sleights that aren't 270 degrees proof take a great deal of work to keep in the act.
For those three years I quit doing any reading, cool sleight research or hanging out with other magicians. I was doing the do two nights a week and considered it to be work. From those three years I have a collection of effects, about 45 minutes of material that I can pull out of a single pocket and entertain lay audiences. Nothing, nothing else I've ever done in magic holds a candle to what that one, long-term gig taught me. I could revisit what worked and what didn't with instanateous feedback two nights a week.
Review time again - Kent has no where near Glenn or Mark's time on stage and can probably be completely ignored. Completely, we don't even know why he's wasting your time if you're foolish enough to read this.
I learned smoothly executing the right sleight is important. I don't think it's any less important than any other facet of the art. It's only one facet though. I like to think great magicians consider it important and strive to perfect that part of their performances.
I learned not changing, tone, the speed my hands were traveling or the expression on my face whilst doing the do helped spectators experience real, imperceptable magic.
I learned my act would never be perfect. I would never please every spectator and that sometimes you're doing your schtick in front of [censored].
Sorry to ramble on. I'd like to see Mark Lewis perform live. He would entertain me and fool me. I'd like to hang out with RK and discuss arcane pass variants. I'd like to buy Glenn a beer and later watch him do the cups and balls for a lay audience.
These things will never happen, but a guy can dream.
PS last review point.
El Mystico - attempts to redirect the thread to its intended direction.