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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » A Guaranteed Way to Make a Reputation in Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Brad Burt
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Some time ago I set about to gather all the best material I could find on doing truly Impromptu Magic. The reason was simple and since I don't plan on actually finishing what I started (in this case), I offer it to you in hopes that someone will realize what I believe has the potential to make someone a household name in magical entertainment.

Here's the concept: An act that uses ONLY props, etc. that can be borrowed at the show venue. Period. No gimmicks at all or perhaps very, very few. Perhaps a thumb tip, but I don't want the concept to get to far a field. Perhaps only gimmicks that will then be used to ACT upon items, borrowed, etc.

Think of the power and EFFECT that you could have when you really get your chops down. Now, combine your magic skill with a pleasing personality able to be both humorous and serious. Man you could write your own ticket. THINK, in one sense this would BE what people REALLY expect a magician to be! Walk in and without any 'funny props' you take the audience apart.

Now, a story to illustrate why I came up with this idea: Billy McComb, my vote for one of the 10 best magicians of any kind of all time used to work cruise ships. His reputation maker? He worked a LOT of international cruises and there might be folks from 5-15 different countries on board. He was able to put ANY COIN FROM ANY COUNTRY given to him into a borrowed bottle! Think of that.

There is the basis. You walk into any venue and produce magic with what is there. Easy? No, I don't think so and there may be only a handful of folks in the world that could pull it off. I would love to see someone give it a try or find out that someone has realized my dream already!

Take care and all the best,
Brad Burt
Brad Burt
BIlly James
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Well I love that idea, it would be an incredible act, not to mention easy to lug in and out.

I once toyed with the idea that in my close up act everything should be produced at the beginning and vanished at the end, why should I need to rummage around in pockets.
It didn't go past the drawing board unfortunately.

Anyway, your idea has definitely got me a-thinkin' Brad, thank you.
Great Domino
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That's an awful lot of different folding coins Mr. McComb had there. No? Anywho, to answer your question, I think Jay Sankey could pull it off.
Brad Burt
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Yes, Billy had a special case for loading the proper folding coin into his hand, etc.

Jay Sankey was one of the guys I had in mind along with Tom Mullica. Not just because they both published excellent videos on Impromptu magic, but they both fill out the other parts of the profile also.

Best,
Brad Burt
Brad Burt
dillib
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Wow, this really seems to be like preparing to be unprepared! Smile But isn't that what impromptu magic is about? Hmm..
Feral Chorus
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I have a booklet called the "Challenge Magic Act" that outlines an act in which the magician will do a trick with any object any member of the audience might have on them. This booklet was $4.00 from Daytona Magic.

The act does call for the magician to have a small box of props, so one does not just start empty handed. Still, the notes do provide a small primer on how to be prepared for almost anything the audience can throw (not literally) at you.
Steven Steele
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The manuscript that Feral is referring to is an act that was developed by none other than UF Grant. I bought it many moons ago and it is dated, but the potential is there. An incredible act is just waiting to be born from this seed. I use parts of it today, but have never fully incorporated the full intent that Grant put into the original act.

Steven
John Smetana
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The Grant manuscript is indeed a much over looked work. The potential, especially for publicity, is enormous. It would be especially interesting if someone.. perhaps a reporter.. or ???, would suggest you perform magic with something really unusual. As long as you picked a slow newsday, I'm sure you could generate a lot of media coverage.

Many thanks to Brad for resurrecting this idea. It is a good one.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
Mysticated
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That is an outstanding idea! I have actually been thinking along those same lines in order to be less burdened when I walk around.
Bill
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This is something that's been on my mind for awhile. Why is it that, in comedy, there are comedians that are "improvisational", like Robin Williams, Jonathon Winters, etc. Why are there no improvisational magicians? Is it because we are taught tricks, and the necessary sleights to accomplish them, rather than techniques and their applications to a variety of objects? Wouldn't that perspective result in more spontaneous effects? Smile
Feral Chorus
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Robin Williams puts in a lot of time and work to achieve his "improvisational" appearance. Similarly, an improvisational magician would have to be well prepared to look spontaneous. The appearance of spontaneity in performance ultimately should heighten the impact of the effects much like a comic's improv should heighten the audience's appreciation of the comic's skill.
DADE
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Yeah,I love the idea. Great thinking, Brad.

DADE. Smile
Only when you've lost everything,are you free to do anything
Andrew E. Miller
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I always wanted to do that Brad. Do a gig with nothing on me! I have seen some "TRULY" impromptu magic tricks such as: Stirring Silver (Jay Sankey), Tenkai Pennies (Tenkai), etc. I wish there were more of these tricks. I think Greg Wilson has stuff like that too. Maybe...

Andrew
If you get bored go to www.a-miller.idz.net and watch some magic.



-Andrew
indianajones
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I think between Jay Sankey and Greg Wilson, they could put an act together.
DoctorAmazo
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On "another" magic forum there was a challenge thread where one participant would list two or three common (and borrowable) items. The others would come up with effects, or whole routines, that could be done with them. Sort of a brainstorm/sessioning thing.

Then someone else would propose a new list of items. (But then, how many times can you *do* TIHOIP in one night...) Smile
MacGyver
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Are you refering to MagicSports, DoctorAmazo?

I think, in the food for thought section, there is a thread about magicsports, a drama/theater game that has been adapted to Magicians. It's kind of like magic improv; the patter is made up, and the points don't matter.
DoctorAmazo
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Nope. This was just theoretical--online.

Only electrons were harmed...
Uli Weigel
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The one thing I did along these lines was writing up a list of things that would most probably be available in certain places, like living rooms, kitchens, restaurant tables, at the beach etc. It is quite an extensive list. Then I was searching my literature for effects that use these props or effects that can be modified. I learned a couple of mnemonic effects (Knights Tour, calendar calculating and stuff like that)and, because for these effects you only need a piece of paper and a pen.
Anyway, I think such a prop list is a good starting point for impromptu work.
Turk
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As part of this impromptu, I would recommend "carrying" the following effects in your head (In my case you start with an empty head and end with an empty head):

1. Doug Dyment's "Mindsight" manuscript. In it, memorize 1, 2 or 3 of the 52 4X4 magic square templates (depending on how many times you might wish to repeat the effect) and you are ready to perform a magic square of the spectator's selected number.

2. Doug Dyment's "Sign Language" (reveal a spectator's astrological sign).

3. Richard Busch's "Number...Please?" manuscript. Two particularly impromptu effects would be "Reversal of Fortune" (mindreading the resulting number) and "In Search of the Unknown Force" (prediction of a number, force of a number). Note: these effects, PROPERLY performed, are not the usual "math tricks".

Knowing these four recommended effects could easily give you a 15-30 minute act with only a pencil and piece of paper (or less).

Turk
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Barryn Vaughn
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I had two gigs booked for the same day and left my "bag o tricks" at the first event. Upon arrival to 2nd gig... I was at first frantic, It forced me to call upon all of my past resources & knowledge. Having learned many "bar-bets" and from the few items the client" provided me, (salt shaker, napkins, straws, glass, etc.) I was able to blend the bar stunts with magic and orchestrate a full 90 minute program that blew me away as well as my audience. Sometimes we know more than we think we know and unless a situation is
"forced" we will never grow in this
"creative craft" Smile
Practiced and Polished Patter & Presentation will ALWAYS Outshine Mundane & Monotonous Methodical Mechanics! (Always leave them wanting more!)
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