Outside the Comfort Zone
Coins, Cards, Sponge-balls, Mentalism, Stage, Parlor, Close-Up and Street. We all have our preferences on what and where we like to perform. In turn, these become our comfortable routines, and our "tried and true" environments. I think it is time we all branch out and attempt new methods and areas of study.
Plato once contemplated that if you lived inside a cube, you could not understand the world outside it. The one inside the cube could not comprehend it's measurements, because measurements are models made up by, and for observers relative to their position on the outside of the cube.
I know that is a lot to take in. The basic idea, is, you cannot understand something entirely from one (you own,) perspective. It takes outside perspective to understand the whole. How does that apply to your comfort zone?
Study something new, if you only do cards, learn some coin sleights. If you only do mentalism, try out some cards. Also, changing the environment you are in when you perform can drastically change how you approach the routine. There are ways to make close-up tricks look good on stage, and ways to take street style magic to parlor.
If you play violin in the orchestra, you understand your own instrument, and the other strings in your section, thus your perspective of the piece of music you are playing is finite. What would happen if you learned the trumpet? Maybe you would gain knowledge of the entire brass section, and in turn understand more of the whole; even better, watch another orchestra play.
Another tip, have someone film your performance of something you feel comfortable with. Watch it back. Critique yourself. There is no way to know what the spectator is experiencing in that moment. Even though you are creating that experience, you don't have their perspective.
So, is your comfort zone actually comfortable? Try learning something new, practicing it, and performing it. Go give it a shot. There is no downside. If you don't like it, don't do it; but you have to at least try.
Learning more about the craft that you love is a good thing, neigh, a great thing. Understanding another perspective, another style, another setting, can only make you better at what you do. There is no consequence for trying something new.
Thank you for this. I’ve always wanted to learn some coin magic, but it always seems like my hands don’t want to cooperate with the movements. Maybe I should spend some more time on it an not give up so easily.