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66 Posts

Profile of krist0pher
I've been using something called "The Opener", by Morgan Strebler, that can be found on Penguin. I notice that bends, and visual everyday-item illusions tend to catch people and "bait" them much quicker than cards or anything else I've done so far has.

"Haunted Key", "Stealth Pen", etc.

What do you all use to draw in spectators, if you do so.
Kristopher Scofield
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Northeast Ohio
162 Posts

Profile of Bohh
I have limited experience. I'm only now starting to get comfortable in front of people. What I notice works best is visual flashy things. Fire, D'lites, mabye even springing the cards.

If the paperclip works for you, great! I'm not trying to deter you, but try something a little more flashy that they can see from far away and see if you notice a difference in the size of the group.

I'm imagining that the paperclip is a little too small to draw people in, but would be better suited to show them after you have their attention.

Just my 2 cents worth,

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Profile of threadz
It depends on the circumstance and time and place.In restaurants I will animate things to draw a crowd.Outdoors I will maybe start with scotch and soda or something with paper money(slow burn)like I said it just depends where I am at and the type of people I am working.

where the magic is limited only by your Imagination!
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Victoria BC Canada
145 Posts

Profile of okito25
Interesting point Bohh
here's my 2.5 cents , drawing a small crowd only 3 to 6 folks gathered in a circle .. people's curiosity gets the better of them and they want to see whats going on , and come around as well , there fore I think No matter what the trick should be a real eye popper, paper clipped is strong stuff and keeps em talking . I would not nessecarily open with that for a crowd gatherer, but more when I get 10 or so folks around , sometimes I stack dice , other times I play fast and loose, or a dutch looper routine , haunted key .. a silk vanish bill silk production to a pen though bill ,Elastics stuff all kinds of good things .. get to know what you feel good with , takes time .. and you wll have both good and bad experiences .. keep the good .. it is all workable
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New York
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Profile of DanielTyler
I really like to use a Nail Writer effect when I'm opening.

1) It's very non-intrusive. I'm not coming up to them with a deck of cards and I'm usually approaching them in a casual, "Can I ask you a quick question?" kind of way.

2) It's very strong and very quick, so I establish a high level of credibility right away.

3) You can go in pretty much any direction afterward. I like to do a Center Tear as long as the pads out there, but you needn't be a mentalist. You can pull out a deck of cards and go into your normal stuff.

For me this truly is the best way to open up a routine for a stranger on the street or people in a restaurant.
- Daniel Tyler
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Profile of b-gann
I like to do a silk thru microphone stand, it really draws them in I think. it is quick but I repeat it 2 or 3 times, so they get the idea that there is a magical feeling in the room
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Inner circle
Olive Branch, Mississippi
1317 Posts

Profile of rikbrooks
I do linking rings. I have a rather spectacular move where I toss one ring up into the air and link it as it comes down. I don't do that with my good rings though because sometimes I miss and asphalt dings up rings pretty bad. I put a lot of backspin on the ring that I toss and it flies straighter making the link easier. Also, since all eyes are on the flying ring I don't have to worry about the key much.

The ringing of the rings attracts attention.
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Profile of krist0pher
The thing with the paperclip, is that someone (mostly girls) is garunteend to scream out "HEYLOOKWEIRDHOWREYOUDOINGTHAT!" and that'll instantly reel more people in.
Kristopher Scofield
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
17198 Posts

Profile of Father Photius
Well it depends on the place ur performing, if ur busking trying to attract a street crowd, then you probably need a real attention getter. If ur just sitting in a Café, and determined to do a little impromptu entertaining of the waitress or surrounding patrons, then I find using something in the resturant itself as the source works well. I've often used a loop and motioned the waitress over and asked her "what's wrong with this table" (note, you don't attract attention to what ur really going to do), it always seems to attract the attention of one or two surrounding patrons as well, then have one of the pieces of silverware mysteriously move across the table. Always gets a good reaction. (well one time the waitress did scream and dump a picture of iced tea all over the people sitting at the table behind her, but hey , you can't win them all).
For a stand-up routine I've most often opened with vanishing cane (rolled in a newspaper) and for my ending done a silk to cane reappearance. (Yes I stole the entire routine from Mark Wilson who used the same routine many times himself to open and close). Where ur at will determine what you do.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Inner circle
1635 Posts

Profile of calexa
At parties, the d'lites work very well....

Optimists have more fun.....
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473 Posts

Profile of ashah
I like to start with sponge balls, especially if the audience is mostly female. If you haven't done a sponge ball routine, you'd be very surprised by the tremendous reactions you'd get. And it's so easy to do!
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118 Posts

Profile of djc89
If I'm just in a casual situation, I usually just start playing around with cards. Spectators see it and come to me. This is good in the way that it ensures that your audience is interested in actually seeing your magic and that your not just a bother.

However, this is not really the right approach for table hopping, parties, etc. (duh?).
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Profile of shoosh018
As stated many times truely does depend on the situation or enviroment your in! However, for table hopping I usually go with sponge balls. I ask the younger ones if theyed like to see some magic, and of course they never say no! I always look toward the parrents for their approval, and they are always up for somebody entertaining their kid(s).
Anyway, its funny because the parrents, more often than not, end up amazed watching the sponge balls too.
So, after entertaining "the kids", I ask the "adults" if theyed like to see something even more amazing.
This is where it helps to play to the kids first because they will chime in.
I should mention that I start my car set with John Bannon's "strangers gallery" WHENEVER possible!!!
Carlos Lacuna
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109 Posts

Profile of Carlos Lacuna
I don't like flashy attention grabbers. As an opener, I simply introduce myself and chat it up. I used to do things like pull out d'lites or ignite flash paper or do card flourishes, but I felt like I was just trying to get attention. I felt sad, like a lost puppy. Smile
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Las Vegas , NV
359 Posts

Profile of unilogo
I personally open with some crazy type of poet thing. As it does an amazing job of introducing my purpose with what I am doing. It also emphasizes the fact that patter will be a HUGE deal with my act. Not just the tricks themselves.

Then depending on the situation I start performing one of several visual effects...wether bizarre or "happy go lucky".

But I guess more straight to the point I usually open with the effect SPONGE BUNNIES!haha...unbelieveable.....believe attracts EVERYONE. I have a twist at the end (with patter) and then depending again on the audience I start going into the usual crazy or nice stuff.
Jeremy L.
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800 Posts

Profile of Jeremy L.
On 2005-04-26 13:29, calexa wrote:
At parties, the d'lites work very well....

...very, very, well...

For openers I like to use ruber bands ort coins.
Jeremy L.
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The Dragon
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The Dark Shadows.
90 Posts

Profile of The Dragon
Coins, rubber bands, paper clips work well I guess.

But if you're a cardist, do some flourishes and you automatically reel in the ppl. Smile

Don't think too much.

Just hit it.
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