A Practice Guide for Magicians by Gerald Edmundson

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What is "The Ostrich Factor"?

An old adage tells about the ostrich that buries his head in the sand, hoping the hunter won't see him. Even though he knows the hunter is there, he believes the situation will somehow resolve itself. We as performers can become like the proverbial ostrich. As well-versed, conscientious amateurs and professionals, we know the accepted axioms of the art. But when practicing to perform, we sometimes inadvertently overlook a small detail or ignore one or more of the well known rules. The oversight keeps our performances from being as good as they could be.

We make an assumption: if we know and understand the axioms, because of our experience and intuition, we will somehow automatically apply them to our performances. “ Surely my head isn’t in the sand.” This assumption is what I have coined “The Ostrich Factor.” The application of age old principles is not as automatic as we might think.

The deception of The Ostrich Factor is strong. We can easily overlook a small detail that makes the difference between a GOOD performance and a GREAT performance. The in depth practice method described in The Ostrich Factor book helps to avoid overlooking the ancient axioms, their implications and the small details which help to make our performance all that it can be.

Without question, with performing experience, some aspects of showmanship and misdirection do become intuitive. There is no substitute for performing experience. However, it is a mistake to depend entirely on intuition. To rely only on experience and natural ability will not always produce the best result. It can produce a good result, but probably not the best one. The secret to doing our best with our performances is experience PLUS creative, consistent, intelligent practice. Our best should be what we strive for—for the art, for our audiences and for ourselves. The Ostrich Factor practice method helps us to achieve our goal: to be the best we can be.