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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » a moment's notice! » » Best "ice breaker" ? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mooresville, NC
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Profile of cpbartak
I would say a short cold read would work well.
Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
New Zealand
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Profile of Brent McLeod
Ice Breaker Ive used many times in a bar or a private dinner etc
is Blank Piece of paper to $20 Note-here they are bright Green & the visible effect is very powerful
Matt Watts
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Profile of Matt Watts
This line is all you need.

"how much does a polar bear weigh?Enough to break the ice,Hi I am Matt"
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Profile of chefmagic
Mine has to be Nathan Kranzo's Pimpin. Blows them away every time.

Magic Legacy - Low prices on great magic!
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329 Posts

Profile of taoist
In a street/busking situation appearing dove (hollow collapsable production dove) actually looks real up to a few feet away if manipulated well. I've used indoors before as well and it stops people. Followed by crushing it back up to repocket gets laughs.
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Profile of magicianroger
I use a squeer it works great
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Profile of dcjames
OK - I'll bite... What's a squeer?
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

Tommy Wonder
The Books of Wonder
Volume 2
Kevin Wade
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217 Posts

Profile of Kevin Wade
Fork in Eye gets my vote. I like to aim for my coffee.

If unfamiliar you can see Penn and Teller dicuss it here:
Max Krause
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I should be creating magic with my
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Profile of Max Krause
This one's mine..Literally!

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Ferndown, Dorset, UK
624 Posts

Profile of Clarioneer
For a group including x2 pretty ladies... x1 2ply napkin - Starcle/Rose
If children in the group and a convenient table.. the real 3 card monte...
catch you later

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Inner circle
So far I've managed to gimmick
1818 Posts

Profile of gaffed
Uni-Key is always in my pocket. It literally kills.
That and Scotch and Soda. It's always in my small change pouch where I keep my set of extra car keys.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
~Yogi Berra~

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." ~St. Thomas Aquinas~

Twitter"A means of proving how pathetic and lonely you are in 140 characters or less." ~Anonymous~
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Las Vegas/Boston
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Profile of MobilityBundle
Lots of things to consider for ice-breakers. Among them:

1. Is this social, business, or both? (If business, are you a professional performer? Or is this more like an ice-breaking situation at a trade show or conference?)

2. Are you going to see these people again? If so, how frequently and for how long?

3. Are you likely to have friends or acquaintances in common with some of these people?

4. Perhaps overlapping with 1-3, what is your goal in ice-breaking? Get hired? Get the pretty girl's number? Pass the time? (etc...)

If it's social, I might do something low-key like a simple coin vanish, or maybe some simple mentalism. Then I'd quickly let the conversation move to a topic besides magic, but I'd at least be in the conversation. If it's professional, I might do something more memorable and/or command folks' attention a little longer.

If I'm going to see these people again (for example, breaking the ice at my new job), I would be hesitant to do something I couldn't repeat at a later time. That rules out most gimmicks or detailed preparation, unless you're ALWAYS prepared or carry the gimmick. If you're not going to see these people again, I'd have no such hesitation.

If you're likely to have friends or acquaintances in common with these people, watch your patter. Smile

All in all, your goal in getting in to the conversation should inform your choice of trick. I think the key consideration is how forcefully do you want to direct the conversation? If you're at your third cousin's wedding and you know absolutely nobody, then doing magic for 45 minutes as a result of your innocent ice-breaker might not be a bad way to kill time. But if you're trying to get the pretty girl's number, you better have a next move after that trick. And hopefully it's not another trick. Smile
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Profile of Koolmagic114
Most of my "ice breaking" stuff is usually at a very casual event. A party, out to dinner with friends. So I use whatever is at hand. I will usually carry with me a matchbook with 1/3 of the matches torn out and 1 left in burnt. For a reappearing type match effect. 2 in the hand 1 in the pocket with a torn napkin. I may have a thumb tip on me for $100 bill switch. Or a may number a bunch of sugar packets for a prediction type effect. Lastly, I may do a coin in the sugar packet.

Those work for me.


Co-Creator of "TAGZ" / "Iced Over" / " TelePad" / "Penigma"
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Ca, US
265 Posts

Profile of HusssKarson
French drop!
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Profile of keith1569
I would say a fun little spongeball routine would work well
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Niceville, FL
27 Posts

Profile of Aidan
I gotta say a lot depends on the circumstances... a wedding reception or any dinner, a casual spoon bend is great. With a little prep, it becomes awsome with plastic ware at a picnic.

I always wear a PK ring and carry some "coins"... a dozen easy openers instantly and anywhere. Many foreign coins work well and having "one" among a pocket of change makes it special. Business folks think nothing of it.

I also have some good ballons in my pocket at all times and some "special" coins for the kids (adults too)... with the "ring" mentioned above, I can do an awsome coin in the ballon that's far more astonishing than using a soda can! Kids love it and have something to take home with them.
Integrity is all that is truly yours, everything else, can be taken from you in an instant!
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Western Massachussetts
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Profile of DanielCoyne
What is Squeer?
What is Spoon Spinner?

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Profile of Rainboguy
Simple suggestion:

Do a trick with money. Everyone relates to moolah.

And a couple of half dollars are always easy to carry.
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Profile of tangle
For me its gotta be something with loops, I like infinity loop the best.
move something just alittle with a lot of concentration or effortlrsly loft a ring.
hovercard type thing with a tain ticket is good too!
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London, UK
36 Posts

Profile of frenfr
I'm not into 'magic' tricks at all, as you might know if you read my introduction in the 'Hello I'm new' forum. I have the same initials as Derren Brown, so I focus on psychological magic with no trickery and seemingly no manipulation. (Absolutely no connection, but an amusing coincidence.)

I usually have my cards on me when I go out. I always know the top card and bottom card since I look before I go; a little preparation never goes amiss.

I set a serious mood, take it slowly, and do not tell them what will happen. I present two hands (I was born with 2, you know) and explain that one is red, one is black. Using subtle suggestion combined with a very careful and 'transparent' magicians force, I direct them to the right colour and the right suit. I then ask for 5 numbers. Again, magician's force, using your hand and, hopefully, 5 fingers to the number required. Perhaps it's the 6 of spades, which is the card on the top of the deck. (Choose top or bottom, I normally choose top, and do something with the bottom later....I shall explain in due course)...

I allow them to take the cards out, explain that it would simply be ludicrous, even farcical (!), to assume I was able to prepare the cards such that either I know them or I could presume I know where they will cut to provide a card they chose just now. They agree.

I invite them to cut (quickly adding "around the centre - ish", just in case they cut 5 cards, which I don't want). I talk a little, allowing them to forget which is the top. I then place the bottom, whilst looking and talking at them, at a 45 degree angle on top of the original top. I then bring attention to the deck, explaining that the cut was free and the 6 of spades was absolutely most certainly also free. They agree. (Agreement makes it all stronger. If they ever have a doubt, I say, "Ok, we'll start again. I don't want for one moment that you feel I have done something. This is about free choice, not manipulation." This results (very rarely. 1%) in starting again - just let them shuffle, peak top card, and do it all again if that happens!!!), or they can't be bothered, and say, "No, it's ok, it's fine," knowing that if I offered such a restart, then I must be innocent!) Excellent.

I then invite them to repeat the card they chose and to take the card "to which you cut to just now, which I have highlighted clearly so nobody thinks I am changing anything." Of course, this is the 6 of spades.

If they want something else, I highlight the fact that I will "re-cut" the cards, thus placing the card I know on the bottom. Here is the addition:

I usually always have written in my pocket, when I know I'll be called upon in a public setting, the name of a card written and folded up well. This is the bottom card usually (since I do what I wrote above, first). So, once I have repositioned the cut and bottom card to bottom (quite sneaky, eh?), I reconfirm everyone is happy with the cards being cut, mixed (false, but they always agree. No mixing has taken place), and invite a cut once more. I magician's force the bottom pile after 2 cards and end up with about 12 cards, forced card on bottom.

I ask them for 5 cards, etc., until forced card is in their hands (hopefully). I ask them to place it face up. During the effect, and I love this, I am placing the cards they give me into the box, as a nice, tidy finish is very presentable, impressive and easy on the eyes. If ever they select the pile I don't want them to, I casually give them the box, with no attention drawn to it, and ask THEM to put the cards they just selected into it. That throws them off the scent of the magician's force. Very sneaky, that.

Of course, the last card I leave on the table, let everyone soak it up, and ask them what importance it has.

After a minute, I say, "I really fail to understand the workings of this, but occasionally, I am able to come up trumps. Unfortunately, that hasn't worked today. I was hoping for the *event any card*, but instead you have selected this one card from 52. I then, with no words, reach into my back pocket, and throw the folded paper onto the table. One of them will open it, but I look very 'bland' during this time to keep the interest heightened.

Upon opening, you can imagine the utter speechlessness which permeates.

All of this takes less than 5 minutes and is most certainly a powerful ice-breaker.

Enjoy, fellows.
The man on the top of the mountain didn't fall there.
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