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scorch420
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Everytime I have friends come over, they ask me to show them a trick. Usually I'll just do 1 or 2 quick tricks like Fraud or Strange Travellers and get back to partying. They are usually left confused or impressed, but it doesn't get any kind of amazing reaction.

I finally decided that it is time to put a routine together of several tricks none of my friends have seen. I have been practicing a flowing patter and the best handlings I can come up with for about 2 weeks straight. Just wanted to get some of your thoughts and advice. This is what I have come up with:

- P.H. Vanishing Deck (AOA book 1)
- Bizarre Twist (AOA book 1)
- 2 Card Monte ( Kard Klub)
- Lottery (Boris Pocus Extreme Mentalism - Jay Sankey)
- Invisible Palm ( AOA book 3) - I tend to perfer Wayne Houchin's patter and handling over Paul Harris'. The more open and slow presentation just looks much more incredible to me.
- The Phoenix Effect (Front Row Sankey)

I know it seems like these effects are all over the place, but I have put together a gambling related patter that makes them all sort of flow into each other. With the exception of Vanishing Deck, which is just a quick opener that leaves everyone scratching their heads. I am doing this routine with a pre-setup deck that I will bust out when my wife and I are partying with 2 or 3 friends. I can control the cards during the first few tricks using false shuffles and cuts. Then the last 3 are pretty much impromtu, which makes them very easy to get right into.

I feel that I have put together a routine of pretty strong tricks, But I would love to get some feedback. Please let me know what you think.
MagicMarker
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Why not vanish the deck at the end?
Seems like a good way to close.

An appearing deck, now there's a good opener.

-Rd
abc
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I'd also opt for vanishing deck at the end and not the beginning.
Shodan
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A vanishing deck would be a great way to get into a different kind of magic! Do you like card tricks? *Pouf!* How about a little rope trick instead? Smile

It looks like a long set. I'd keep it down to maybe just 3 effects and really, really work on them. Even just one exceptional trick can blow them out the water. I performed for some friends not so long ago, started with John Bannon's Dead Reckoning...and then didn't carry on - there was no topping it!

You're also doing a lot of sleight-heavy, technical stuff there (although I'm not familiar with Lottery/Phoenix Effect). A good, drawn out self worker would be an excellent addition and allow you to focus on presentation more than sleights. It's funny, but often the self workers are the strongest items you can present, especially once you've established your skills. Some suggestions:

Lorayne Poker Deal
Bannon's Dead Reckoning
Any variation on Gemini mates etc.
"You don't go up to strangers with a stick and come at their head...introduce yourself first, then come at them with a stick." - David Williamson
scorch420
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Thanks for the advice. I will agree that Vanishing Deck would be a great way to lead into another form of magic, but right now card magic is the only form that I am completly comfortable doing. I have been working on coins and cigarette slights for a couple of months, but I am nowhere near performance level. I like Vanishing Deck as an opener because it was designed to be a strong opener. It is just a quick trick to make their heads spin for a couple of seconds. Then the deck re-appears back in its box all set up for the next trick.

I also agree that it is a bit long. I think I might pull 2 card monte out of the set and work it into another routine.

I know it sounds slight heavy, but with the exception of Invisible Palm, it is not as technical as it sounds. Lottery only involves 1 simple slight snd the trick is built around presentation. Phoenix Effect is also quite simple once you get the basic mechanics down. But it gets some of the best reactions I have ever seen.

Thank you for the feedback. Any more critisism would be gladley accepted.
MagicMarker
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There are all sorts of tips on how to construct a routine, It's definitely not something that we think about during those hundreds of hours we spend perfecting double lifts, french drops and elmsley counts. Perhaps we'd be a lot better off if we diverted 10% of our time and effort to some of the less mechanical aspects of magic.

The following suggested way of constructing a routine is based on a second hand book I found while on holiday, I must confess I have no idea which book and it's a couple of thousand miles away so I can't look it up. It was an old book though.
What I've written below isn't what was originally in the book, it's what I've come up with after a year or two of playing around with the ideas in the book.

It's not the be all and end all, there are no absolutes, but if you need a framework to hang your routine on this might help.

1. Establish your credentials.
The first effect should grab the audiences attention, make them realise that they are not dealing with just another person who knows a few card tricks. Quick and visual effects would be good, but don't simply perform a color change in isolation.

2. Engage the audience. Use a longer piece that can involve the audience, make them care. A good self worker that allows you to focus on presentation and acting might work best. Or depending on the overall goal of the routine you might do a gambling demonstration, memory feat, etc.

3. Fully demonstrate your skills. You've grabbed their attention with the first effect then entertained them and gotten them relaxed and interested with the second. More importantly you should be more relaxed now and have a feel for the audience so it's time to blow their minds with a really strong effect that fully demonstrates your skills.

4. The third effect should be strong enough to conclude the act. If you sense they want one more you should have an even stronger effect to close with. You can't go backwards so if you do an encore it has to kick things up a knotch. Again this might not be a technically challenging effect but it must have a strong impact. I find Out of This World is an amazing trick to use here, but there are lots.

The goal with the fourth effect is that you want this to be the trick that they'll be talking about afterwards, and you want them to feel that you weren't even planning on showing it to them, you just did because they asked for more. This leaves an uncomfortable feeling that you might have even more incredible secrets that you haven't shared with them yet.

You never want them to feel like they've seen your best stuff.

A final point which is relevant to your vanishing deck etc. Small additions to the way you behave can help sell the idea that you are a magician. How would a magician behave if he had real powers. Why take up room in your pockets with a deck if you have the ability to make them appear and vanish?

Similarly with coins, wands, etc. If you have the ability to make things appear and vanish then making them appear when you need them and vanish when you don't really adds to the integrity of the routine and your character.

-Rd
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