Timely training: Cram in extra practice during these downtime dead spots

April 29th, 2011 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General

It’s said on every magic video, by every mentor and almost everyone on the face of the planet: If you want to do magic, you have to practice. Magicians seem to respect that more than the average practitioner, however. We hear it as a warning when we first start learning, we have it crammed down our throat when a mentor calls us out on a flash. Yet we keep pushing, practicing, rehearsing, because we know that practice is a critical part of being a magician. (Because, let’s face it: Your Center Point could use the work, right?)

We’re always looking for better ways to practice, and better places. It’s not easy to quarantine ourselves in our magic workspaces, sneaking in double lifts and passes when no one is around. We’re always on the lookout for ways to INCREASE our practice time. If you’re looking for more places, try these out:

Standing in line anywhere

Movies, banks, the DMV, amusement parks, the drive-thru at your favorite fast food joint, etc. If you stand in a queue or line for more than five minutes, and you don’t practice, consider it a blown opportunity. These are great places to practice strolling work, street magic or any other gig that requires you to stand.

Resturants, eateries and coffeehouses

These are kind of no-brainers, but it deserves a reminder. Especially if you’re eating by yourself on a lunch break, it’s too easy to get distracted by things on the menu, decorations or reading material on your favorite WiFi-enabled gadget. Set it aside in the minutes before you get your greasy french fries and get a few sleights in. These are perfect times to go through your tabled, seated tricks.

Take a magic break at work

A lot of guys at the office might be afraid to take a break just to practice their magic, but remember: If smokers get to take smoke breaks to poison themselves, you can take a few minutes to head outside and drill some culls. Think people will laugh at you for practicing? Let ’em. They’re the ones smoking, and they think YOU are the weird one?

Clothes shopping with your significant other

Most guys hate heading to the mall for a hard day’s work shopping. But you have something those other guys don’t: Something productive to do in front of those three-way mirrors. You haven’t practiced until you’ve seen your pass from three angles at once. You also score points with your girl: She gets to tell all her friends that her guy WILL go shopping with her. And chances are your magic will catch eyes and give you a practice audience — you don’t ALWAYS have to hand out a business card…

While sitting in the restroom

Don’t laugh, because this is the perfect place for practice away from the public. You’re in a secluded area where no one else is watching, you are seated and you have nothing better to do for the next five minutes. Seriously, what else are you doing in there, besides the obvious? Just make sure you don’t practice anything that might send a card down the drain. And that the floor is clean.


  1. Hahaha I do this everywhere. People literally either ask me to please quit being so loud with the cards, put them away, or my favorite, “do you know any magic tricks?”

  2. Lol I do this every time >,< even at the car.. haha I do practice everytime except sleeping thou. (wish I knew how)

  3. Filip Nykiel on:

    There is only one rule about practice.

    Practice everywhere ; D

  4. I love Ellusionist website

  5. This is a great blog, but I do notice one mistake. Rather then ”maybe your magic catches the eye off” which causes a most found pattern of:
    – Magician dribbling the card, looking around like some predator, waiting for people to approach him.
    – People walking by akwardly, not sure what to exactly say.
    – Magician disapointed, as nobody approached.

    Much rather:
    – Magician dribbles a bit, After which he steps up to a group of people and musters up all courage, and just goes for it. I mean in the end, who cares? Its not like you’re going to see those people again anyways.

    ”Hey guys, I’m Daniel, shopping with my girl, mind if I show you a little magic?”

    9/10 times they reply positively, they’re most likely waiting to for a spous/girlfriend/friend to return from their oh-so time consuming shopping duty’s.

    So go out, and grow the balls to APPROACH people, this was and is my primairy practice, and I’m the most outgoing social guy in the revenue now, I used to be a bit of a shy person :).

  6. Very well said, Daniel

    Another good time to practice is while watching T.V. or waiting for a certain video to download.While I am watching Family Guy I just mostly practice DL and other sleights and you would be amazed how fast it would become smooth and second nature to you after a few episodes 😉

    Also remember don’t try to rush a sleight your just learning on…Slow is smooth,smooth is fast.

    Great Article!

    Much love Ellusionist XD