Retractable Thumb Writer Mark Strivings

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For well over twenty years 1 taught private instrumental music lessons, specifically saxophone, flute and clarinet. For those who may not know, in addition to the magic and mentalism that you may know me for, 1 am also a professional musician. Over the years of teaching kids and adults, a couple of trends stood out for me over and over. In fact they were so prevalent that I found myself spending a good portion of my teaching time on these trends rather than mastery of the instrument itself Why was 1 having to spend so much time on these seemingly unrelated things instead of the instrument and music itself7 Simple Over the long haul, these other factors were going to get in the way of the student and prevent them from making progress. While they may not be a problem right at that moment, eventually they would get in the way.

In all endeavors that require a skill of some sort (even something as simple as handwriting). if a bad habit is acquired early in the process, it will eventually rear it's ugly head someday and prevent further progress. At that point, the performer tor student) will be operating with an automatic handicap, one that has been self-imposed either by ignorance or by laziness, This is the reason for all the detail I have gone through prior to this.

I could have said something like, "Place a piece of paper in your pocket along with a pencil stub and write on it." That would have been an injustice to you. Since 1 can't be with you as you leam this wonderful technique, 1 can't spot any potential problems as they develop and work them out at the appropriate time. This is something you will have to do for yourself This is the Teason I have gone into as much detail as I have, 1 hope you've done all that I've asked. It is all designed to help you.

Having gotten that off my chest, keep practicing. Practice all the time. I've got some more thoughts on this in a moment, but if you feel like anything is missing in your development up to this point (apart from experience), go back through all of the previous chapters and go step by step. It will pay off for you, I guarantee it.

Also keep in mind that any of the various desks I have outlined for you, or that are in other references, as well as other writers will affect your perfonnance. Practice with them as well. Eventually you will find yourself writing with ease on just about any surface with any writer. That's the goal!!!!

gjo fold or not jofcf?

This is simply a matter of personal taste. 1 virtually never prefold my billets when doing pocket writing, assuming the revealed slip is to be folded. I know of others (some quite prominent) who do prefold the slip. It's a matter of personal taste.

1 don't prefold because, with the material that I use (file card stock), a fold creates a crease, which in turn creates a small bump in the slip. If the pencil goes over that bump while writing, there is a corresponding skip in the writing. Now, I'm probably wonying a bit too

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much, but in real writing there are no skips At least not that look like that If 1 were to prefold the slip, it would limit the writing space that I have available to about 1/4 of the surface. 1 prefer to have the whole surface available and fold later. It's really easier than most people make it out to be.

You're simply going to fold the slip while it is still in your pocket. Assuming you are using my basic desk (see desk section), the slip is in the clip at the bottom of the pocket. Once the writing is done, under some minor misdirection (see misdirection section), the slip is removed by the fingers. Simply slide it straight up This releases it from the clip. Now fold it down by bending your fingertips inward and allowing the slip to curl around it Remove the. fingers and crease the card a bit. Now slide your thumb behind the folded card and, using your fingers, fold the card around your thumb (bending it backwards towards your leg). Remove the thumb and press the whole packet flat. This will seldom result in a quarter perfectly folded billet, but is more than enough to fingerpalm and go from there (see section under reveal-ments}.

This is a bit awkward at first, but trust me, it's much easier than you might think. Once you've tried it a tew times you'll see what I mean. Here's a great way to practice.

Have your pocket writing apparatus ready during your regular day. There's no need to write anything at this point. Simply place your hand in your pocket while having a conversation with someone and fold the slip into quarters. Palm it out a sneak a peek at your handiwork to see how you did. Doing this (when there's no pressure on) several times will give you the confidence to cany it off when showtime happens.

Of course if you are going to prefold the slip none of this will be necessary. And if you are using paper stock for your billets, the 'bump' won't be an issue at all. Bottom line here Is to experiment and see what works best for you.

One of the beautiful things about pocket writing is that you can practice literally anywhere at anytime and no has to know about it but you. As long as you're not actually going to reveal information, you can write anything at all and fail miserably. No problem!! Keep working on it, but the key Is_____do it in the real world. Don't just do it in your own home. Since you can practice this anywhere, do just that!

Practice pocket writing while walking casually. This is a challenge! Practice while talking with someone, practice in a Board meeting, practice on the subway. In any of these situations you can check your results right on the spot Just remove the slip and check it out As far as anyone who may be watching Is concerned, you've just taken a note out of your pocket and read it Easy. No heat no pressure, no problem. This is one of the few skills in all of mentalism that you can practice literally anywhere under any conditions.

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