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calexa
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I had in interesting discusion with a friend about "impromptu magic". At the moment I don´t want to say my opinion on this subject, I just want to start a discussion.

Question: What is "impromptu magic"?

For example a lot of effects that seem to be done without a setup require one, but they are called "impromptu effects". What about effects that don´t require a setup? Are they also "impromptu effects"?
What defines an "impromptu effect", and what "impromptu magic"?

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Hideo Kato
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My definition of Impromptu Magic is Magic in which you use props which exist where you perform or props you can borrow there.

Hideo Kato
Corey Harris
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I would say any effect for the most part that can be performed with zero notice. Be it gimmicks or not. You can still be prepared with impromptu magic.
Chrystal
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Hi,

For me, "Impromptu magic" means you can perform magic at anytime, anywhere with simple items found on most people or around a house. Items like safety pins, rubber bands, bandanas, shoelaces, ungaffed coins and cards..you get the idea.

I always found it difficult to come up with a suitable explaination when someone seemed genuinely interested and asked me to show them some magic, apon finding out I do this for a living. Saying things like "ummm I don't have my items will me" sounded kinda lame. (I do stage magic and don't often walk around with a Blamo Box..ha ha.)

The end result was me learning how to perform magic using borrowed items from the person or things found easily enough in any environment. That's what comes to mind with "Impromptu".

Chrystal

PS - If this is a bet you've placed do I get a share of the winnings?
Woofledust
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Michael Weber, in his excellent book LIFESAVERS, says:

"Someone once asked me to identify my favorite impromptu effect. I told him I didn't know of any truly impromptu magic. By accurate definition, an impromptu effect would be one which was devised or performed without any prior planning or rehearsal. Even the age-old thumb amputation requires practice to be effective. The presentation of magic which has not been prepared or rehearsed is precisely what is actively avoided by the professional perfomer."

Weber goes on to say:

"In place of impromptu magic, I prefer routines which can be quickly improvised. The goal is to constantly remain several steps ahead of those around you. By the time someone asks you to perform something for them, you have already secretly composed whatever you require from available materials, In essence you have won the game before anyone else realizes the game exists."

This approach fits right in with what Hideo is talking about in the post above. Weber is really just toying with the semantics. I would therefore submit that what he is referring to as "improvised magic" is what most mean when they refer to "impromtu magic". Weber's book consists of effects that can be done with props available where the magic is performed although he often secretly alters those props before the performance begins.
evolve629
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It means when the mood strikes, boom, the magic is performed. I think the magic can be either prepared earlier so it's ready to go or the magic itself can be taken from regular objects in your environment. I hope this makes sense.
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Jeff_Mash
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I agree with most of the others here. If someone hands you something (like coins), an impromptu effect would be one that you could perform straightaway. Likewise, the same with a deck of cards. That would be impromptu in the true sense of the word.

That is not to say that no gimmicks are involved. In my opinion, having a TT handy could be a form of impromptu magic, since you can do it on the spot with *virtually* no setup. Or at least, with no noticable setup to the spectator.

Basically, if you have to say, "Hold on a sec" before performing anything, it's probably not impromptu!
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the74rock
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To me impromptu magic is doing magic anytime and anywhere.
DomKabala
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"Impromptu magic" is magic that is prompted by the occasion rather than being planned in advanced. Magic that is performed with everday objects and that defy logic and is entertaining and not necessarily technically difficult in nature. This is the mark of a great magician.

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Frank Tougas
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Literally it means "In Readiness" from the French. Impromptu magic by that definition means magic which can be performed at the spur of the moment, or magic that is ready to be performed at any time.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Jaz
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By definition:
1) Prompted by the occasion rather than being planned in advance.
2) Spoken, performed, done, or composed with little or no preparation

Some say that if the audience believe it's impromptu then that's it.
In my opinion, if even a common looking gaff is used it's not impromptu but may be better called 'apparently or seemingly impromptu.

This topic has been discussed before with quite a few responses.
Jaxon
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I think there's a huge difference between how magicians and our spectators see a trick as "impromptu."

As I magician I consider it impromptu when I needed no prior preparation or thought to do it. I saw an object that happened to be there and did something with it. I didn't put that object there to use. I just happened to notice it there.

It doesn't matter if it uses gimmicks in my opinion. For instance if I saw something laying there that would fit on my thumb tip. Doing so would be impromptu.

To our spectators I feel it's quite different. No matter how much preparation we might have taken to do a trick we can present it as if we didn't prepare and it'll seem as if we just decided to do it.

If a magician uses a prop that is obviously there for the purpose of the trick you do with it then they know it's there for that reason. Some examples are linking rings, die box, okito box and other obvious magician props.

I just think there's a big difference there and I personally feel that it's good to do things that seem impromptu in an act (even if it isn't on the magicians side). Tricks that seem like they are presented as if they where influenced by the moment are often more magical, entertaining and seem more professional in my opinion.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
calexa
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Thanks guys for all the input. It is very interesting to read what you all think about "impromptu magic".

Magixx
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Frank Tougas
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I hate to bring up David Blaine since he causes such a stir but what he does on his "Street Magic" type specials looks impromptu to the observer although often quite a lot of elaborate preparation has gone into the effect. This would fit into what Ron was saying about impromptu vs. the appearance of impromptu. This may be a topic more suited to the folks who frequent "magic at a moments notice" thread which is devoted to impromptu magic.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
KN_Magic
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Spot on Ron.

To the spectator impromptu can mean something you 'just do'. That you hadn't intended to until the moment. The use of borrowed or strategically preplaced items can help here.

From my perspective anything that requires a gimmick I don't count as impromtu. For instance if I carried a raven with me, I could do stuff that seemed impromptu but IMHO wasn't. However if I'm carrying something that could be borrowed but isn't likely to be available(e.g safety pins)I would count it as impromptu (fine line I know).

Kevin.
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pedrothegreat
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I would say impromtu is something you can do without preparation, e.g. take a pack of cards and perform a trick off the bat. Also gimmicked tricks that can reset instantly could also be classed as impromptu, like a bent coin. Anything that requires previous setup like setting a pack of cards is obviously not impromptu.
I would class gimmicks like the Raven as impromptu in the sense that if you have it on you then you can do a trick there and then, no set up required. The reason I say that is because every trick requires an object of some kind, you can't do impromtu card and coin magic without a pack of cards or coins. You would need to make sure you had some on you or you could borrow them. Exactly the same applies with the Raven (although you'd be hard pushed to borrow one!).

pedrothegreat
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KN_Magic
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Quote:
On 2005-06-09 18:36, pedrothegreat wrote:
.....The reason I say that is because every trick requires an object of some kind, you can't do impromtu card and coin magic without a pack of cards or coins.


Couldn't disagree more.
Many mental effects can be done without ANY props at all.
OK, you need a spectator, but that's about it.

Also, for example, a 'pulling off thumb' trick doesn't need any props (as long as you've got thumbs).

Also there's someone on the Café (I think posted in comedy forum, sorry can't remember who to credit) who does a card routine with an invisible deck.
Get this, not an 'Invisible Deck', but an invisible deck, i.e. a deck that is not there, i.e. nothing!

Kevin.
My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light!
Edna St. Vincent Millay
sjdavison
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Kevin, I agree - I have a mental routine that needs nothing (except borrow a piece of paper and a pen, although can be done without).

Pedro, I disagree that a raven/bent coin is impromptu - I don't quite understand your logic. Surely the point of impromptu is that it can be anywhere, any time. Your point that if you have it on you, it is therefore impromptu, I don't understand - you are obviously prepared, which implies you intend to perform. If you were on a plane, in shorts and a t-shirt, with no bent coin, you couldn't do it, right? So its not impromptu?? Whereas something like the ring of truth, or muscle reading, psychological forces, you could do. Please correct me if I'm wrong.



Simon
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www.sidavisonmagic.com
pedrothegreat
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Hi

Sorry, my mistake, it was late and I wasn't thinking properly. My comment about every trick needing an object is of course totally untrue, didn't think that through at all.
However with the bent coin and raven, I still think its open for interpretation. I don't see how an impromtu card trick (not including the reported Invisible deck) with a pack of cards is less impromptu than a bent coin. With both you could perform a trick anywhere and any time with no set-up if you had them on you. Granted the Raven is MUCH more dubious and on second thoughts I may have jumped the gun. But saying that, if you have it on you (i keep it on my jacket at all times) then you can perform at any time.
I think of the word impromptu meaning if someone said "show me a trick then" then I could perform a trick there and then. If I had a pack of cards on me, I may perform an 'impromptu' card trick. If I had a bent coin on me, I may perform an 'impromptu' bent coin trick. If I had the Raven on me, which I invariably do, then I would perform a trick with the raven. None of those requires me to set anything up and can be performed 'off the bat'.
Maybe I need to look at the word impromptu as a strict term where no props or gimmicks can be used except for your own limbs! This solely restricts truely impromptu tricks to things like muscle reading or the actual invisible deck. This would rule out all card and coin tricks that actually use real card and coins! not so convinced on that one.

Anyway, that's my logic. Possibly twisted logic but hey, my name aint Spock!

pedrothegreat
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KN_Magic
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Pedro,

Don't worry about it. You should read some of the drivel I come out with!
Also, as you've hinted at, all that is important is the spectators viewpoint and in their eye really a coin vanish is just as impromptu as using an expensive prop (if the specs don't see the item or it appears commonplace).

Kevin.
My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light!
Edna St. Vincent Millay
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