I have many children. My eldest is a Classic Palm who has been with me for so long, I have no memories of being without him. I have a twelve year old Riffle Pass and a Rub a Dub Vanish which just hit double digits. My One Hand Top Palm and I had some disagreements growing up, but these days I never doubt that he’ll always have my back. I’ve raised enough Double Lifts to open an orphanage.
And then there’s my year old Paintbrush Change who looks beautiful as I’m sitting at a stoplight or watching reruns of House, but she’s still a little shy in public. My Grey Shuffle, celebrates two years this June, but he’s never quite seen the light of the stage. They have nothing to be ashamed of. After all, I have two other False Shuffles turning five this year but who’ve still never found jobs out in the real world.
And take a cigar, as I’m pleased to announce the arrival of my newborn Split Fan! I look forward to what joys she’ll bring in a couple years.
Like I said, I have many children: and I like to think that I know a thing or two about how to raise a fledgling sleight into a mature adult. Here would be some tips for the new parent.
Don’t Pressure Your Children
If you want to bring a newborn sleight into your world prepare to give it all of your love. Forget about the trick you want it to inhabit in the future. This is key. For now just practice the sleight. Practice constantly. Take the time to form a relationship with your infant. Tease it. Challenge it. Discipline it.
But don’t put it to work. Do not pressure it with expectations. Give it a childhood before you even think of putting it into a trick. Because as soon as you pressure it to fill a role it will collapse. It’s awkwardness and deformalities will tarnish everything.
The key to adding advanced sleights to your repetoire to never expect to perform them. Learn them because you enjoy them.
After fostering your litter of sleights for long enough you will find that they will start following you to work. It’s only natural. The moment will arrive for Old Man Double Undercut to step to the plate, but your Classic Pass, as teenagers are ought to do, has plans of his own. And Bam! He’ll knock it out of the park!
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. My hands will inexplicably exchange some newer Double Lift or Color Change for my usual. It’s a fun little burst of adrenaline followed by an inspiring epiphany of “Well I guess that’s ready.” Then, and only then, is it the time to put them to work and make plans for them in other routines.
You will feel very proud of your new graduates, as you should be. Now is the time to re-examine your job openings and see if your new sleight is better qualified than your current cast. Pinky Break and Over Hand Shuffle Control to the Bottom won’t mind fresh faced Convincing Control taking over during Triumph, I promise you. Sleights don’t make for jealous siblings.
Keep in mind that the most advanced sleights are almost entirely niche moves. They thrive in very specific enviroments. So beware of forcing your rookies into homes where they don’t belong simply because they are new.
And of course, now is the time to adventure into new lands with your family. Their new skills will allow you to perform new material. They are responsible adults now, so make plans for them and put them to work. Your job is done, and it is time to enjoy your kids repaying you for all the love you gave them while they were children.
But never let yourself become an empty nester.
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Have your own insights? Please comment below!
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