mirror mirror on the wall

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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 03:39 PM

What are your thoughts on the use of a mirror during practice sessions? Can the use of such a tool help in attaining "masterly feats of palming and unflinching audacity" or does its frequent use create bad habits?
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Postby pduffie » 05/31/02 04:06 AM

Hi

I would say "infrequent" use is OK as a visual check, but a mirror doesn't give you a correct perspective. With the advent of webcams, mirror-practice becomes less important. You can position a webcam at any angle and watch the results - either after you film it, or as you film it.

A mirror can also impair your judgement. Here's a true story:

While I was still at school, I bought my first Topit. I took it back to the house, pinned it into my jacket, then started to learn the vanish of a billiard ball:

Fake transfer - rub back of hand - ball shoots into Topit.

I was doing this repeatedly in front of a mirror and it started to look great. I then turned away from the mirror to face a wall, which I pretended was an audience. I went through the motions again, but things took a slightly different turn:

Fake transfer - rub back of hand - ball shoots out of open window!

It was a cheap billiard ball and I found it on the pavement/walkway split in two halves. After that early lesson, I was very wary about mirror-practice.

Best Wishes

Peter
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Postby Matthew Field » 05/31/02 06:41 AM

Originally posted by Peter Duffie:
Fake transfer - rub back of hand - ball shoots out of open window!
Sorry, Peter. That's not original. I invented the "Window Topit" first.

Matthew Field :cool:
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/31/02 07:15 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Sorry, Peter. That's not original. I invented the "Window Topit" first.

Matthew Field :cool:
Well, sure. But it sounds like Peter added on the "Dividing Cheap-o Ball," which takes it to a whole new level...about three floors down.

-Jim
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Postby pduffie » 05/31/02 11:23 AM

Well, I have to give in with this one as Matt lives and works in New York and can easily beat my three-floor high window Topit. But as Jim correctly points out, I'm still the guy with the original cheapo-balls...

Best Wishes

Peter
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Postby Matthew Field » 05/31/02 12:05 PM

Originally posted by Peter Duffie:
I'm still the guy with the original cheapo-balls...
Let's leave your balls out of this. We know you're Scottish.

Matt Field :o
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Postby Michael Edwards » 05/31/02 01:33 PM

Originally posted by sprongshift:
What are your thoughts on the use of a mirror during practice sessions? Can the use of such a tool help in attaining "masterly feats of palming and unflinching audacity" or does its frequent use create bad habits?
While occasional work with a mirror -- particularly a three-sided one -- can reveal certain things during a practice/rehearsal session, there are severe downsides to using it as a way to view your own performance. Aside from the difference in perspective, if you are looking at the mirror while you are practicing, you probably are not directing your eyes to the spot where you would like them to focus during performance.

I, for one, learned another liability while trying to perfect the Silent Mora/Vernon wand spin in front of a mirror...make that three mirrors. The wand spun all right and then proceded to crash into the mirror I was using. Practice makes perfect, they say, so I tried it two more times! Each time the result was the same. You'll be pleased to know that there was absolutely no damage to the brass-tipped wand. The mirrors were another story. I'm just about out of the 21 years of bad luck that ensued :D
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Postby Guest » 06/03/02 07:11 PM

Thanks for the tips and kicks gentlemen.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 09:42 AM

I think mirrors are invaluable for checking the angles of moves which might possibly flash. You can learn where and when you can do certain moves, and possibly how to minimize flashing.

It sometimes "hurts" to know that certain favorite routines can not be done surrounded. But we need to know when we're likely to flash.

I suggest thinking of the angles in terms of clock positions. Certain tricks can be done at "Quarter to 3," others at "10 to 2," etc.

Cherish the stuff that can be done surrounded. It's what you will probably end up doing most in the real world.

I also concur with earlier comments about mirrors. You can get into bad habits if you always practice looking into a mirror. Think about, and then practice where your eyes will be looking at each point of your routines. To build rapport with your audience you have to maintain eye contact as much as possible.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 11:50 AM

Ammar had a great idea to help with mirrors. Go get your old playboy mags out of storage, and cut out the best pics of the gal's EYES. Then place them on the mirror at your eye level, and practice while looking into the eyes. Trust me. It does work, and is very helpful.
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Postby Ruben Padilla » 06/04/02 01:07 PM

Oh, the eyes!!! (No wonder I've been practicing too much...)
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Postby Guest » 06/05/02 09:15 AM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
Ammar had a great idea to help with mirrors. Go get your old playboy mags out of storage, and cut out the best pics of the gal's EYES. Then place them on the mirror at your eye level, and practice while looking into the eyes. Trust me. It does work, and is very helpful.
The hell with the eyes, billboard the whole mirror with the centerfolds and imagine you're working a private cocktail party at Hef's mansion with the gals. You might have a hard time palming off this explanation to the other occupants of your household, but maintaining eye contact with "your audience" will definitely not be a problem.

P.S. Thanks for the wonderful tip. I will definitely use the eye thing on my future practice sessions.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/02 09:27 AM

Are you sure it's the "eyes" you'll be contacting?
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Postby Guest » 06/05/02 09:40 AM

Originally posted by Peter Duffie:
I would say "infrequent" use is OK as a visual check, but a mirror doesn't give you a correct perspective. With the advent of webcams, mirror-practice becomes less important. You can position a webcam at any angle and watch the results - either after you film it, or as you film it.
I just checked out Lee Asher's website :cool: . As soon as I familiarize myself with the gizmo, I'll jump on the bandwagon. Very powerful tool.
Onward!

Thanks again.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/02 10:06 AM

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
Are you sure it's the "eyes" you'll be contacting?
:D
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Postby Guest » 07/09/02 04:07 AM

I think mirrors are a huge asset especially in stage work! Heck one side of my studio is covered with them. Altough you may not get every perspective out of mirrors it definately is a huge part in aiding you in a rehersal. They are great for orgainizing blocking and marks while you are in motion. I think that video cameras, and mirrors combined help create the neccessary perspectives needed for proper judgement of your rehearsal.

P.
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Postby Guest » 07/25/02 01:39 PM

I agree whith Mr. Loughran. I always practice infront of mirrors. Also, when I practice my full act, I vidotape it. Trying those may help.

Matt Reesman
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