"Practicing" Spontaneous Resourcefulness

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.

"Practicing" Spontaneous Resourcefulness

Postby Guest » July 5th, 2004, 7:54 am

I tremendously enjoyed Jon Racherbaumer's column "Outsmarting Murphy" in the July issue. Nevertheless, I do believe he missed a key point in his conclusion. I suspect he omitted this point because he felt it was self-evident but, notwithstanding this, Id like to pursue it (with apologies to Mr Racherbaumer).

He states in his conclusion that:

Beginners ask, How can I practice spontaneous resourcefulness? Are there any drills?

The answer to the beginners question is not really.
Whilst I accept that it is difficult to practice spontaneous resourcefulness, I do believe that it is entirely possible to prepare for it in the following ways:

I believe that there is only room for spontaneous resourcefulness when the routine being performed is thoroughly (1) practiced and (2) rehearsed. This preparation has two advantages:
  • First, the performer has the ability to devote his or her entire mind to solving a problem and or taking advantage of an opportunity, whilst maintenance of the performance will require relatively little concentration.
  • Secondly, if the performer is thoroughly prepared, he or she will be performing at a lower level of stress and so the additional stress of a problem arising is less likely to send them into a tail-spin.

In addition, during thorough practice and rehearsal there will be occasions where things do go wrong. There is a tendency to pack up at this stage and recommence the practice from the beginning of the trick or routine. I believe that, once the basic moves have been learnt, it is vital to consider on encountering a problem how you could continue and then to attempt to do so. When it comes to real performance, the mistakes made or the problems arising will almost certainly be different from the ones encountered in practice/rehearsal, but the performer will be dramatically better equipped to handle them if they have considered and attempted, say 5-10, different outs from problem situations.


Re: "Practicing" Spontaneous Resourcefulness

Postby Guest » July 12th, 2004, 1:42 am

How many times have I been in the middle of something, and darn near drop it on the floor? A couple... :rolleyes:
Afterwards I'm thinking..."Man, what would I have done if this or that happened?"
It's these "inches-away-from-disaster" experiences that have taught me how to bob, weave, and duck...because when it hits the fan, it never gets distributed evenly.

An extremely well written article, Mr. R., I was on the edge of my seat, fingernails chewed to pieces, in anticipation of your heros' Houdini-like escapes. May we all be so fortunate.


Brian Marks
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Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Nyack, NY

Re: "Practicing" Spontaneous Resourcefulness

Postby Brian Marks » July 14th, 2004, 5:28 pm

I unfortunately have not read the article yet. I still will drop my 2 cents in. Prepartion as previously mentioned, experience of performing helps. Let me throw improv classes into the discussion.Improv will teach you to be more spontaneous.

There are many classes in improv in NY. Chicago is the capitol of improv. Many other major cities have improv theaters with classes including LA, Boston, Orlando, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Toronto and others. Comedy Sports have locations through out the country. Look them up and get involved. Youll get performing exp away from magic on top of it since most classes end in a public showcase. All of it will improv(e) your magic performance especially when things don't go as planned.


Re: "Practicing" Spontaneous Resourcefulness

Postby Guest » August 2nd, 2004, 3:37 am

Jon Racherbaumer is one of my favourite writers in magic.

Having clearly stated my pro-Rock bias, I must state that Jon's 'Outsmarting Murphy' feature [published in GENII - July 2004] is a MUST read for anyone interested in the 'real work'.


Re: "Practicing" Spontaneous Resourcefulness

Postby Guest » September 4th, 2004, 2:25 pm

I feel that part of the practice in magic is doing shows. When the performer does shows the routine - and the performance of the magic gets better over time.

Also it gives the performer the chance to think of new lines and ideas as they feed and work off a live audience.

I feel that practice only will get magicians only so far with a routine. But the performance of the routine with a live audience over years will make the routine an entertainment gem.

I feel is the difference between coal and diamonds... In a way...

The performance and the effect is better and improves over time...

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