How long do you practice for?

Ask a Magician, a series of blog posts answering your questions! - Issue XV

This weeks reader question comes from Caroline, who asks:

How long do you practice your magic tricks for?

As a professional performer, my audiences rely on me putting on a fantastic performance for their event. As such, it's really important that I keep my skills sharp through regular practice.

I must admit that repeating my current material over and over again is usually not the best use of my time. I perform at a close up magic event multiple times per week, so I have plenty of opportunities to keep this material at a consistently high level, through regular performance.

Instead, my main practice sessions tend to be focused on learning and improving new material, or improvements to my working repertoire. For example, at the time of writing I am working on a very advanced coin routine. I already perform a fair amount of close up coin magic, but this routine is designed to be presented to a larger group, of about 10 to 20 people. I think that would be a very worthwhile and useful addition to the events I find myself performing at with increasing frequency these days.

I am also currently working on some new mind reading magic, again with a larger audience in mind. So, that's one goal for my practice sessions, to round out my repertoire and make sure it fits the types of events I'm working at and the audiences I'm meeting.

Also, for the clients that rebook me for a second or third time (my record is performing a Christmas party for the same company seven years in a row), it's great to have a new season of magic that I can share with them.

Another situation where I would put in a lot of time for practicing would be when I have a show coming up and would be required to perform a few routines that I haven't performed in a while.

One example of this, was a few months ago, I was booked for an event for a group of teenagers at a high school. I have a few routines that I knew would be perfect for this group, but as it's such a unique situation, I don't get the chance to perform them that often. I spent a few weeks revising the routines a few times at home, and then I ran through them at a local open mic night.

That's actually an excellent point. As well as practicing at home, I also look for opportunities to run my stage routines for real at open mic nights, or my close up magic for friends and family. Think of these as a dress rehearsal. It's doing the magic for real, but in an environment with lower pressure than a real event.

Suggested podcast episode: 004 - Can you learn confidence?

So now, to answer the question. Well, it's difficult to give a specific answer in terms of hours, as sometimes it might be five hours a week, and sometimes it might be fifteen hours a week. Generally though, magic is always on my mind. It's something I'm always thinking about, discussing with friends and colleagues, and playing around with ideas.

By becoming engrossed in magic, it allows me to explore what's possible to the fullest extent, and allows me to be more creative, which while not exactly the same as pure practice, is another way that I spend my time improving my magic. As well as making the moves better, it's also important that the words I say, the script are also fun, funny and engaging for audiences.

Overall, when you see my magic, it's the result of a sustained effort over a long period of time (I've been doing magic for twenty years), Isn't that how you get good at anything?

Got a question to contribute? I would love to hear it! Leave a comment, or click here to email me.

And you know what, all of that practice allows me to create incredible performances and receive reviews like the ones below.

Sue Phelan
Sue Phelan
Ed was absolutely phenomenal at my friend's 50th birthday! Fantastic magician x
Michelle Talbot
Michelle Talbot
Very, very impressive 😁
Amanda Bryant
Amanda Bryant
He was very professional before the event and everyone was thoroughly entertained by his close magic and the larger scale audience participation tricks.
Rach Ryan
Rach Ryan
We invited Ed to join us at our wedding reception to entertain our guests during / after the meal. Lots of guests were chatting about his tricks the next day. We loved the one he did for us and have absolutely no idea how he managed it! Ed is relaxed but professional, friendly and fun. Thank you for sprinkling some magic on our day Rach & Mick
Laura Darrant
Laura Darrant
Super personable and an amazing magician. Book him for your works events.
kerry smith
kerry smith
Ed was fabulous, what a fantastic magic show this was the perfect entertainment for my 50th Birthday and left us scratching our heads on how he did some of the tricks as we couldn’t work it out, and we were really impressed, and still talking about it later into the night and after my birthday too. I would definitely recommend and book Ed again and he was very professional, fabulous magic tricks and great communication and early to the event to prepare. I won’t mention what tricks he did as I won’t spoil the surprise but we all loved it. Thanks Ed 🤩🥰👍
Fern Dennis
Fern Dennis
I saw Ed last weekend he was booked for a family wedding. Nearly a week later and I’m still speechless, he was amazing best magician I’ve ever seen! He caters to all age groups, so entertaining.
Le pe
Le pe
Excellent entertainment
Doggo (Aɴʏᴀ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴏsᴛ ᴘʀɪɴᴄᴇss)
Doggo (Aɴʏᴀ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴏsᴛ ᴘʀɪɴᴄᴇss)
Really friendly magician 👍🏾

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YOUR INCREDIBLE EVENT IS
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1. CONNECT

It's easy to get in touch with me, either:

email ↓

ed@edsumner.com

call ↓

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or fill in an enquiry form.

2. DISCUSS

During a short phone or video call, we'll talk about your event and your initial ideas. Don't worry, if you're not sure. I've helped to plan many events so I can advise on the best use of magic and other events entertainment.

3. AGREE

Once all the details are agreed, I'll send you a booking confirmation and ask you to make the first payment which confirms your date in my calendar. Then it's time to start looking forward to your big event.

4. ENJOY

I'll check in with you in the week before your event, and on the day of the event. All you need to do now is enjoy the magic, mind reading and conversational comedy.