No – this has nothing to do with the movie, but with the way to structure practice. It is a suggestion. You don’t have to follow it, but if you do, you will be doubly rewarded. Read on…
Remember the old story about Dai Vernon practicing the Top Change? That picture in your mind of watching an old man trying to put a card onto a matchbox on the table, but failing by tumbling over the match box every time he tried to put the card on top?
Yes, I am sure you remember. What a genius way to practise the Top Change! I wish I had thought of it. It is a brilliant strategy to learn the Top Change and all its nuances in timing.
But let us “pump iron,” and take things one step further. What most of us probably missed is the “how to get in and out of a sleight”. The Professor said this is as important as the sleight itself. And he was right. Most of the time, we miss this important detail and practise our sleights only partially: we concentrate on the sleight itself, but not the get ready, and not how we get out of it.
But, we could place the deck onto the table. Then, we pick up the deck, take the top card, show it, and “try” to place it onto the match box. After we “succeeded” (and did the Top Change), we place the deck back onto the table and then show the transformation of the card on the match box. Thus, we have learned how to pick up the deck and have it in position for the Top Change, as we need to have it in real performance.
Now the extra “weight”: the deck is on the table, but with a step about half-way down. We pick up the deck with one hand, place it into the other, getting a little finger break at the step. Now we go through the motions of the Professor’s practice set-up, and when replacing the deck onto the table, we make sure that the step is still there.
One short series of moves, but we practise picking up a step, maintaining a break whilst doing a Top Chage, and even learn how to put the deck down and still maintain the step.
Not too bad for barely the same time we need to just practise the Top Change isolated.