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Topic: How well prepared are YOU?
Message: Posted by: David Smyth (Apr 21, 2002 05:13AM)
I was just thinking. How well prepared are you? I mean, do you always carry a deck of cards around with you? A special wallet? A certain gimmick? Just in case that person asks you to show them a trick? What do you usually carry around with you?

Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (Apr 21, 2002 06:40AM)
Hello David.

Right now I'm ready to do "Scotch and Soda" and "Kolossal Killer." Tomorrow it might be different.

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 21, 2002 06:53AM)
David, read through some of the other impromptu threads. I think you'll find that this has been discussed before.

I am always (well OK, usually) prepared to use what is at hand! I know dozens of effects using folding money (bills) and coins and it is rare that I am out and someone doesn’t have some to borrow. I can do a good routine with a borrowed finger ring and a pencil. Add a borrowed handkerchief and I can perform an even longer (and to my mind “killer”) routine.

A pencil or a pen and a bit of paper and I can do some mentalism.

Borrow two rubber bands and a finger ring and I have another good routine (CMH and ring on/off band).

There are several good resources that are literally encyclopedic about impromptu magic. Dan Harlan has a set of video’s out that are a good buy and there is Martin Gardner’s “Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic”. All worth having.

An exercise that I do for myself regularly is to try to figure out what people normally carry and build routines around that stuff well in advance of going out. That is, I am prepared and rehearsed for being in an “impromptu” setting. Frankly, impromptu does not mean being unprepared.

If I am carrying my wallet (I don’t always, sometimes I stick some cash in my pocket and head out) it is set for Kollosal Killer. My car and house key is on a ring that I have gimmicked to receive a ring so that I can do a “Ring Flight”. Otherwise, what ever is out there I will use.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: templemagic (Apr 21, 2002 10:14AM)
I always have a load of cards and coins and rubber bands and EVERYTHING in my pockets
Message: Posted by: dukenotes (Apr 22, 2002 12:35AM)
I've always got something with me. Usually some cards, etc., but even if I don't have my cards I've always got cigarettes because I'm a smoker. I'm ready for the "traveling ashes" and other old favorites. :rotf:

Message: Posted by: DarryltheWizard (Apr 22, 2002 06:58AM)
I'm always prepared, for there's always elastics and table serviettes available. I love to make a rabbit out of a serviette and I usually perform Dan Harlan's Starcle where a sentimental story is used to find a man in the moon with a few folds and one tear of the serviette. The torn part is magically transformed into a star.
" When you wish upon a star, no matter who and where you are, all your heart desires will come to you."
Does one really needs an props if the magic is within you? Tricks with your hands? Tricks using a thumbtip, for example finger through the spectator's sleeve, water from a leaf. Refer to "Magic at A Moments Notice"...Crazy magic with a thumbtip.
Darryl the Wizard :pepper:
Message: Posted by: Brian Proctor (Apr 22, 2002 09:19AM)
I have a leather jacket that I wear all the time. I carry a deck of cards in the "cellphone pocket" I always have rubberbands on me. And I never leave without my silk and tt. Life is fun. :)
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Apr 22, 2002 11:23AM)
I carry around the right coins for my coin tricks lots of times; I also wear a necklace with a crystal that my Grandma Carder gave me. It just gives me the magician look, I think. Sometimes I'll carry a card deck and a handkerchief in my pocket; on rare occasions I'll carry my sponge balls. Just work out which pockets carry what.
Message: Posted by: Jason Fleming (Apr 22, 2002 04:14PM)
I am usually prepared to do Greg Wilson's Re-Cap, cardwarp, and some sundry packet trick at the very least.

Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Apr 22, 2002 09:01PM)
As well as a deck, I have a small coin purse with - Scotch & soda, Hopping half, rubberbands, & a piece of string. I also have Kollosal Killer set up in my wallet at all times.

I also wear my arm chopper on a thick silver chain around my neck & have a couple carrots in my back pocket. :bg:

Message: Posted by: dAvId tOnG (Apr 22, 2002 10:35PM)
I personally think CMH is the best impromptu trick you can have!! you can put a couple of rubber bands on your wrist as an attention getter. Sooner or later, someone might just ask you "Why do you put rubber bands on your wirst?" and you can start replying "Oh, these are not rubber bands, these are Variable Tension Grippers" and you can go into your CMH routine as well as other rubber bands tricks.

Other tricks that i am always ready are:
1)Bill transposition - always in my wallet
2)Thumbs Up - all you need is a pair of
willing hands
3)Reversal(Banachek) - All you need is pen
and paper

and the list goes on and on... :bunny:
Message: Posted by: MichelAsselin (Apr 23, 2002 10:22AM)
What is reversal??
Message: Posted by: Stephen Long (Apr 23, 2002 10:58PM)
Reversal is a deviously clever mentalism effect.
The spectator writes down any three digit number in which all three digits are different.
(eg, they cannot choose 888)
Spec is then told to write the number in reverse.
They are told to subtract the larger number from the smaller number giving them their answer.
The performer can then (with ridiculously minimal questioning boardering on not questioning at all) reveal the spec's answer.

You can get some great reactions with this because there is apparantly [i]no way[/i] you can know the answer.

As for stuff I carry with me:
A deck of cards - if someone asks me to "do a trick" my fave to do is a quick "think of a card" effect in which I seemingly read the spec's mind and reveal to them the card they were thinking of.

Bizarre Shrink - a lovely little Paul Harris number that lives in my wallet. The spec holds a playing card pinched firmly between her fingers. As the two cards it is sandwiched between are whisked away, the card is seen to visably [i]shrink[/i] to half its original size. The baffled spec is left holding a teeny weeny little card.

Trolst's 8 card brainwave - nice little mentalism type brainwave effect using 8 cards. (Or ten in my case. I just think it strengthens the effect that little bit more).

I've also recently added Curry's "sure thing" to my wallet, in which not only does a card change color, but a very large hole travels from one card to another.

:carrot: :banana: :pepper: :cucumber:

ps, while we're on mentalism stuff, why not perform Banachek's "subtle 337"? All you need is a spectator...
Message: Posted by: MichelAsselin (Apr 24, 2002 07:02AM)
I knew the reversal bit under another moniker. I have a series of effects based on calculators. Since many people have a PDA (Palm Pilot or such electronic agenda), I can do a few minutes with the calculator function and the Day At Any Date effect, from the calendar.

I can improvise with whatever is at hand, if I am not looking to be booked, I do not carry anything.

A couple of Georgia Magnet bits can be pressed into use.

Knowledge is power.
Message: Posted by: Enigma (Apr 24, 2002 04:42PM)
I have found the best effect to use in a jam is two in the hand three in the pocket principle .... add some production items and whammo, instant magic.

Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Apr 25, 2002 08:08PM)
I rarely carry anything on me, either. If I decide to perform, I can do something with whatever is available--napkins, borrowed coins or bills, a kid's toy, silverware, rubber bands, small stones etc. It seems to me that is the whole point of impromptu magic--to do magic with stuff that's available when you don't have anything on you.
Message: Posted by: Blue Jockey (Apr 26, 2002 11:07AM)
I don't usually have anything on me. But when asked to "do someting" I can usually do some magic, if they have a coin, rubber bands, pen, ring or cards, or something like that. I am expanding my repertoire of impromptu stuff so I can be ready to really do a trick with anything.

If the worse comes to the worst I have to resort to the twisting hand illusion.

Message: Posted by: karmic (May 6, 2002 06:19PM)
i recently purchased Peter Nardi's "Mind spy wallet" and since it arrived I haven't left home without it......all I need now is some money to keep in it!!
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (May 7, 2002 05:40PM)
I am with Scott on this issue. As a rule, magician's should be able to do 'magic' with just about anything and everything.

How many people do you know (outside of magicians) carry around a deck of playing cards with them? Not too many.

I think it a little odd, or 'un-natural' for a magician to be pulling sponge balls, hot rods, card decks, strange looking props and the like... out of their pockets, just to show a few magic effects. Pulling out items such as these, well, has a 'Prepared Look' to them. When I am contracted to perform, then yes, I carry many 'magical looking' things, gaffed coins, special cards and such... but for the most part, the magic I perform is with borrowed objects (after all, we're talking about 'IMPROMPTU MAGIC'.

I do carry a TT, and maybe the 'Cig Thru Coin' gaff, and my business cards... but that's about it. I'm always looking around my immediate environment, for things (items, props, etc...) that could lend themselves for some type of magical effects (if the need arrises).

I think to be best prepared... YOU'VE GOT TO PREPARE YOUR MIND FIRST. Leaning numerous things to do in impromptu situations, is the best way to prepare yourself. This teaches us not to rely on our 'gaffs and gimmicks'.

I've seen on a number of occasions, where 'magicians' start performing for a casual setting. What didn't look natural, was that these magicians had soooo many 'gimmickey' looking props and such (all pulled out of their pockets), it was if they had brought their Las Vegas stage show with them, and have been hoping that somebody in the crowd would beg them to do some magic. Again, this really isn't 'natural'.


Leaning as many impromptu effects as possible, and preparing your mind, is the best way to be prepared... at a moment's notice. We are only limited by what our mind CAN or cannot conceive.

- - Troy
Message: Posted by: GothicBen (May 10, 2002 08:50AM)
As a bizarrist / mentalist / wierd dude, I rely on Centre Tears, Hoy Book Test, Twisting arm illusion and my take on Meir Yehid's finger fantasies to entertain. Great thing is, I need no props, other than a few paperbacks anyone has, or some paper. Failing that, I've always got some 3 x 5 index cards on me (thanks, Richard Busch!)

Coins across with borrowed 50p pieces goes well.....
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (May 11, 2002 10:19PM)
Want to know how to do impromptu magic in a fun and entertaining way?
Four words:

1) Jay
2) Marshall's
3) "Table
4) Crap"
Message: Posted by: RiffClown (May 28, 2002 01:54PM)
English Penny and Irish Punt are alway in my pocket. I don't leave home without them.
Unless I'v gotten really thirsty, I'll always have some quarters on me for manipulation as well.
Occasionally I'll carry a few other items.
Message: Posted by: E-Leoni (May 28, 2002 02:36PM)
Thats the great thing about "cold reading"
it's always on you, and a paper and pencil can always be found.

Message: Posted by: Magnus Maccormack (Jun 1, 2002 07:19PM)
On 2002-04-21 06:13, David Smyth wrote:
I was just thinking. How well prepared are you? I mean, do you always carry a deck of cards around with you? A special wallet? A certain gimmick? Just in case that person asks you to show them a trick? What do you usually carry around with you?


I feel absolutely lost if I don't have my card wallet (8 packet tricks), coin purse, ITR and a TT with a silk wrapped around it.

Pack small, play big... ;)
Message: Posted by: Magic Tim (Jun 1, 2002 08:56PM)
I can appreciate the approach that leaves all the props and gimmicks at home, but because I haven't gone to the trouble to learn a lot of truly impromptu effects, I currently rely on having some stuff stashed on my person...

I sometimes carry Gregory Wilson's 'Dishonest Abe' in my pockets, and usually have on hand a Scotch & Soda or Johnson's 'Two Copper and Silver' (a dynamite effect that requires no bang ring to reset), and a deck of cards--sometimes with a gimmicked card in place.

There's certainly something to be said for being able to do truly impromptu magic. On the other hand, whether something appears 'impromptu' to the spectator has much more to do with the performer's presentation (particularly his method of introduction) than with where the props actually came from.

Tim :)
Message: Posted by: Steve Friedberg (Jun 1, 2002 11:37PM)
It's gotten to the point where people expect me to have a deck of cards at all times. And just who am I to disappoint them? :)

Beyond that, I also carry a tried and true hot rod. This combination lets me do a couple of tricks at any time. Keep it simple.
Message: Posted by: bdormer (Jun 29, 2002 04:17PM)
I usually don't travel with alot of "magic gear" on me.

I once kept my kids (and a few others) amused at McD's with some wadded up napkins and a couple paper cups. Penn & Teller do cups and balls with plastic cups and tinfoil - I figured it couldn't be worse than fidgety, complaining kids... Lo and behold - it actually worked. I also ended up using a straw as a magic-wand (I needed some mis-direction). Of course, I didn't have much of a "big finsh" as I didn't have time to make "extra large" balls or anything. I had to settle for vanshing one of the kids happy-meal toys - fooling around so he'd forget that I had it, then make it appear under the center cup.

And I do sleight-of-hand vanishes and productions of all kinds of objects (rings, coins, keys) all the time. Keeps those boring meetings at work from being a total waste of time.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jun 29, 2002 10:38PM)
Although I have a mental arsenal of dozens of truly impromptu effects, I usually leave the house with a pack of cards that contain an extra four or five that have a different colored back... for Chicago opener or Bizarre Twist. One DB for non-palm card to wallet. TT with a mismade bill in it. I always wear my Watch & Wear. And, of course, I'm always ready to do key bending, spoon bending, coin bending and some watch stopping.
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Jul 1, 2002 09:54PM)
On 2002-05-07 18:40, Magique Hands wrote:
I am with Scott on this issue. As a rule, magician's should be able to do 'magic' with just about anything and everything.

I think it a little odd, or 'un-natural' for a magician to be pulling sponge balls, hot rods, card decks, strange looking props and the like... out of their pockets, just to show a few magic effects.
- - Troy

I agree. Too many props just seem like props. Coin magic requires no gimmicks and money keeps their attention.

I do, however carry a color changing knife set with me. I use a custom set made for me by Joe Mogar. Looks exactly what a pocket knife should look like. (I used to carry the old, Merrill knives with me, but, I've got to say, the Mogar knives with the stag handles look much more like what a pen knife should look like.)

Another prop I carry is a marble. Yep, a marble. A yellow marble. I pull it out with all my change and pocket lint and my knife. I sort of just dump my pocket contents onto the table, and start playing with stuff that "happens" to be there, a coin or two, a key, the marble, the knife...

If you are squeamish (or moralistic), don't read further:

I'd love to include a condom in the batch of stuff that I dump out of my pocket, but can't think of a trick to do with it.... (gosh, maybe that explains my mood recently!) I am serious.... maybe a color-changing condom packet? Floating condom? Flaming condom? Torn and restored condom? Any ideas?
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jul 1, 2002 11:17PM)
Actually, J.D., many years ago I used to do Sankey's Airtight with a condom. I had some patter about performing safe magic and I didn't know who touched my "deck" last. I can't remember the make, but I do remember it worked best with one particular type of condom because the others tended to tear when I inserted my... hmmm, deck.
Message: Posted by: THOR (Jul 4, 2002 01:13AM)
Here is the stuff in my wallet:

A loop -- I don't keep it on my wrist because it breaks too easily. I usually borrow a fork and do some serious PK on it, although recently I used it do to a version of Banachek's PK touches.

A dollar gimmicked to do the $1 to $5 transposition.

Kollosal Killer ( I actually do this with 2 wallets)

The stuff to do Anders' Healed and Sealed.

4 business cards to do Larry Becker's Sneak Thief (but I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet!)

All fun stuff.
Message: Posted by: kou (Jul 4, 2002 05:53PM)
A great impromptu effect is Richard Busch's "A Coin In Mind" in Peek Performances. All you need is some pocket change.

Another great resource is Banachek's
"Psychological Subtleties" -- psychological forces can be done anywhere, anytime, with literally no props. (And make for some great effect, with the right presentation).

Take care,
Message: Posted by: PMVIVA (Jul 30, 2002 08:55AM)
When I go out to the street I ever carry with me a deck of cards, four half dollar coins and a okito coin box, becouse in spite of somebody asked me to do a trick I can practise card magic while I'm sitting on the bus, or while I'm walking, maybe if I am walking down the street with a deck of cards in my hands performing classic passes, color changes, the people comes to me and ask me questions like "Are you a magician? Can you do a magic trick?" and I have everything I need to do magic, I have coins, cards, also I have the okito coin box that allows me to do coins thru hand.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 30, 2002 10:47AM)
Check out Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromtu (Magic)

It is filled with oldies but many goldies.

Harris :coolest:
Message: Posted by: phonic69 (Jul 30, 2002 10:48AM)
I use my Pat Page card to Wallet as a normal wallet, and so I am always ready to perform a miricle (it doesn't have to be a CARD to wallet, it can be a buisness card al la Gary Kurtz). I usually have a deck of cards around, and I have a double folding 50p in the wallet.

That does me just fine!

Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Feb 15, 2007 07:19PM)
On 2002-04-21 06:13, David Smyth wrote:
I was just thinking. How well prepared are you? I mean, do you always carry a deck of cards around with you? A special wallet? A certain gimmick? Just in case that person asks you to show them a trick? What do you usually carry around with you?



"if you can't do it all, do what you can" I do not consider myself a close-up magician, I perfer working up on stage with large props. but I always carry a rubber band and a coin with me where ever I go. rubber bands and coins are to ordinary for people to think gimmicked. the coin roll, the broken and restored rubber band and the jumping rubber band are the best impromptu tricks I can do.
(since coins are so ordinary, if you have the bite-out coin, carry it with you!)
Message: Posted by: Bendy (Feb 15, 2007 11:16PM)
I never leave home without a TT and a paddle trick of some sort, (the Hot Rod Pen and The No. 2 Pencil are great and are common items above suspicion).

In addition to the TT, I sometimes carry a Mis-Made Bill, a few links of chain...some linked and some unlinked for, well, a chain link linking effect. I like to carry Jay Sankey's Holy Moly on a fairly regular basis, too. These things fit in my pocket without being too bulky. But above and beyond anything else, and when I'm carrying nothing else, I will have my TT. Never leave home without it.