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Mr. Ed
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This seems like a really cool topic. I was just wondering what everyone likes as a truely improv routine. When you have nothing on you at all. (scary image) I like to do CMH with rubberbands off of blueprints at work, Gregory Wilson's 3/4 across with other peoples quarters, and a sponge ball routine that has been a combination of alot of different routines with napkins.

I don't want to start the debate over should you do Improv, just if you do, what do you enjoy and what does your audience enjoy?
He who laughs, lasts.
Michael Peterson
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Well, I always have a small purse in my pocket with rubber bands, coins, a piece of string,T.T. & I always have a deck of cards.

I also have Knepper's "Kollasal Killer" set up in my wallet at all times.

I am trying to work on my sleights so I can do some totally impromptu stuff, I'm not there yet

Smile
WindsorWizard
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A truly improv routine in my mind would not include anything that was mine, except me. That means that one must use borrowed objects and create our magic with those items provided by the spectators at the time with just your hands, voice and mind.

It does not need to be mind boggling magic, but needs to be entertaining so they can go away talking about the magic you did with THEIR articles.

Having a handful (or should I say "headful") of routines you can always do with common objects one would find in use everyday is necessary.

Coins, keys, rubberbands, paperclips, bills, handkercheifs... eh maybe not, tissues, napkins, business cards, pens and the list goes on. You have the power to create magical fun from anything because you are a magician.

If you are anything like me, and I know I am... Be mentally Prepared and you will always be "ON" when the opportunity arises!
EVERYTHING is possible...
If you simply, just BELIEVE!
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Burt Yaroch
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Beyond the semantic debate, I have to disagree. I don't believe improv equates to borrowed in magic but rather to the
"appearance" of spontaneity. Me having a TT in my pocket or an ITR in my jacket looks to the spectator to be just as off-handed as you not having these items. The only difference between our two performances will be that because of a little preparation on my part I am in the enviable position to perform more powerful effects (for the most part).

I'm not saying that you can't do a totally cool effect with borrowed coins, paper napkins or someone elses goat. You can. My point is that instead of being taken off guard, why not appear to have been taken off guard. The latter is just as "truly improv" as the former to your audience.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Hey is that a goat in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
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Scott F. Guinn
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That was BAAAAAAAAAD!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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p.b.jones
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quote:
I'm not saying that you can't do a totally cool effect with borrowed coins, paper napkins or someone elses goat. You can. My point is that instead of being taken off guard, why not appear to have been taken off guard. The latter is just as "truly improv" as the former to your audience.

If you are prepared and practiced at performing with borrowed objects then you are not "taken off guard"
Also you are the least likely to ever be "taken off guard" as you can borrow what you need. But with your approach one day you will be without the items for whatever reason.
as for the most powerful effects It is quite possible to put together a very powerful Improptu act, in fact on Sunday I spent several hours with Patrick Page who was extolling this very fact with coins through table (standing) and repeatedly producing ash trays, pints of beer and any other unusal objects avilable.

phillip
Peter Marucci
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While these routines were not specifically designed for this sort of setting, my No-Gimmick Scotch and Soda and No-Gimmick Hopping Halfs (or Halves) would fit perfectly here.
No gimmicks, no special coins, no reset. (hey, if I were a full-time dealer I could really come up with a killer ad here!)
In any case, the coins could be borrowed, if you wanted to make it purely impromptu (that's a little easier here in Canada, with large(ish) one-dollar and two-dollar coins having replaced bills entirely.)
If anyone is interested in the Scotch and Soda routine, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.
As for the No-Gimmick Hopping Halfs, well, that's going to appear in my Showtime column in the Linking Ring magazine. So if you want that, keep an eye out for it. Smile
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
DougieC
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You guys gotta try the Psychokinetic Time routine. 100% impromptu (borrow the watch) by anybody's definition.

Killer effect.


Dougie
Burt Yaroch
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Scott, you're the punniest guy I know. Smile

Quote:
On 2002-01-29 05:18, p.b.jones wrote:

But with your approach one day you will be without the items for whatever reason.


That is precisely the point P.B. As Ichazod and I have said, these items are ALWAYS on our person. I hope that doesn't sound incredible or far-fetched as it's really quite simple.

Quote:
as for the most powerful effects It is quite possible to put together a very powerful Improptu act, in fact on Sunday I spent several hours with Patrick Page...


Which is why I said, "for the most part". Once I have matched the technical expertise of Patrick Page I promise to leave my pocket dove pan at home.

But even Patrick Page will be stumped when someone approaches him and says, "Hey, show my brother how you change this one into a hundred."

An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of perspiration.
Yakworld.
Mr. Ed
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Not to sound to political here, but I agree with WindsorWizard that truly improv is with borrowed materials, and that was the point of my question. However, you can borrow 1 quarter and be 1 ahead, nothing wrong with that, the appearance is that you only used 1.

I also agree with Yakandjak that you should always have something on you. However, I have been approached at the swimming pool with my daughter, by her friends, to do something magical (no better pitch man than a 3 year old). Now how do I (or where do I) retrieve that ITR? By the by when I was in that situation I just started throwing kids in the pool and ran.

Also Ichazod, with your KK do you use poker size or bridge size and if bridge has anyone ever called you on it?

Dougie I'll try Psycokinetic thanks.
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Burt Yaroch
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Smile Smile Three year olds over the head. I love that routine. Or were you using Mr. Ed's Kid Pitch?

And I hate to kick this horse again when it's down BUT...if you are one ahead after borrowing one quarter then you must have used a quarter from your pocket, hmmmmmm? (Sounds like a little advanced preparation to me.) And one might argue that we always have spare change in our pockets, what pauper doesn't? Well I never do, 'cuz I'm constantly walking through metal detectors. But I always have a TT. Smile

I really don't understand why there is this aversion to being prepared to perform (read always having props on your person). Magicains are constantly talking about audience management. Why when we discuss improv magic are these teachings suddenly dismissed? I should, instead, let the spectator conduct my improvised medley and be "prepared and practiced" to prestidigitate with whatever items he offers me? That may do more for ones ego but certainly not more for magic.

And yet another interesting point raised by MagicMrEd (to end on a lighter note): what COULD he have had in his swim trunks (most of mine have pockets) so he would not have had to resort to flinging kids about? Smile
Yakworld.
p.b.jones
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quote:
I really don't understand why there is this aversion to being prepared to perform (read always having props on your person). Magicians are constantly talking about audience management. Why when we discuss improv magic are these teachings suddenly dismissed?

It is not that we dismiss carrying props Just in case. when I was a begginner I carried thumb tips and stuff around too.

In my opinion, in most cases not all,
when magic is a hobby or when you are not doing that many paid shows. you are keen to perform and do so whenever possible for friends, family at social meetings at the pub (bar) for example. I myself was like this and carried stuff with me. However, once you are performing maybe 300 -500 shows a year this need diminishes (not dissapears)
I probably perform unpaid improptu about 2 or 3 times a year. so I am not going to carry props just in case for 365 days.
Pat Page told me he would never perform unpaid socially unless he was absolutely begged into doing so as a favour. He doesn't even discus magic or bring up his occupation.

phillip
Burt Yaroch
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Wow. Very interesting perspective Phillip. At least I know where you're coming from now.

I would really like to hear more on this point of view but will post my querry under a new topic as not to steer this thread too far off it's intended course (as I may have already).

Thanks for clearing that up. So if you do impromptu what do you enjoy and what does your audience enjoy?

:wavey:

Well I'm glad you asked MagicMrEd (sorry for derailing your train of thought).

I always have a TT for my handling of Sankey/Acer bill switch.

I always have, even in the swimming pool, a Kennedy dream paddle (actually I didn't in the pool but I will from now on) Smile

I always have two decks of cards, one gimmicked to the hilt and one regular.

If I'm not at the airport I carry three half dollars.

I also always carry three sponge balls, two billy goats, and a partridge in a pear tree. (Actually it's a dove I spray painted brown.)

That's all I got. Smile
Yakworld.
Scott F. Guinn
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Actually, truly improv means you are making it up as you go, so it would be impossible to say here what improvisational routine I would do later down the road. I think what you mean is "Impromptu," although some would argue that can't be done, either. However, in this context, we're talking about the performance APPEARING to be impromptu from the audience's perspective. Therefore, it doesn't matter if you have something with you (TT, ITR) or not, as long as the magic APPEARS impromptu.

Doing magic with borrowed items does not constitute "Impromptu" OR "Improvisational." I borrow jewelry, money, etc, all the time in my banquet, restaurant, stage and mentalism shows, but the audience knows that it's not impromptu. The VENUE is what dictates whether they will consider it impromptu. If it is a gathering where you are not booked and they think you didn't come prepared to perform, it's an impromptu situation in their eyes. The fact that you know some effects with readily available materials doesn't occur to them -- they think you have to have your "props" with you. If you just happen to have a TT, ITR, pull, etc with you, so much the better.

What you do in this situation is not nearly as important as how you do it. Act as if you are thinking on your feet. Look around and act a little tentative -- as if they've put you in a bit of a bind here, but you'll see what you can do. Then do CMH, Balls Over the Head, Floating bill, $100 Bill switch, whatever. You'll KILL them!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Mr. Ed
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yeah what GreatScott said. That's what I meant. Not improv, but impromptu.
Smile
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spfranz
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Quote:
On 2002-01-29 11:47, yakandjak wrote:
I really don't understand why there is this aversion to being prepared to perform (read always having props on your person).


For me it's a simple reason. I never wear a jacket and I absolutely hate having all kinds of c**p in my jeans pockets. Even having a handful of coins jingling in my pocket makes me nuts.

I know, I'm weird. Smile
Never ask a dog to watch your food.
p.b.jones
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I just assumed from the begining that you meant impromtu
phillip
tboehnlein
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as far as effects, Recap, coin flurry, or CMH depending on what I have on hand. As far as what GS was saying there seems to be a lot of discussion as of lately as to what people are calling jazz magic.
btaxin
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As long as I'm wearing long sleeves, I'm set to do the Twisting Arm Illusion, and it's always a big hit!

Bob Taxin
Drewmcadam
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You guys REALLY need to get across to the mentalist's section at Penny For Your Thoughts!

On second thoughts, you stay here and we'll do the REALLY impromptu stuff like Psychokinetic Time which Dougie C mentioned, but nobody caught onto.
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