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Aedryan Methyus
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In a sense, asking a magician to perform an effect without the tools of his trade is like asking a musician to play you a song without his instrument. What do you do?...

You rise to the occasion and never let them see you sweat!

One of my favorite things to do improptu, is the cups & balls. I have used everything from coffee cups & wadded up napkins using a slim jim as a wand and coffee creamers as the final load to using paper cups with grapes while using a twig for a wand.

When there is absolutely nothing to use I do a one ahead triple prediction routine which can be done with merely a pen and any piece of paper that can be ripped up into 6 equal pieces.

There is always the Crazy mans handcuffs with 2 rubberbands as well that I have embellished on. I first do the standard routine, then the 2nd time I show them one of the rubberbands disappear while penetrating, leaving me with only 1 rubberband and for the conclusion the final rubberband disappears.

These situations are where it pays to spend some time developing our sleight of hand skills which allow us to simply borrow a quarter, cigarette, ring or just about any small object and be able to manipulate utilizing our sleights.

Improptu is a very important subject that I feel deserves a lot of attention. Other than these things I've mentioned, I don't have much more to draw from either because I don't like carrying a lot of things around in my pockets. But I do feel that it is very important to never just say: "ummm... well, I would like to show you something, but I don't have anything on me right now." Unless of course your going to back that up by saying something like: "ahhh... but you see magic is all around us we just have to look for it, for instance that ring you wearing mamm" (your line of BS here....) Smile

Just a few words of advice that I hope someone finds of use.

Till next time. Keep pulling those instant miracles out of your ummm.... hat. Smile
Mandrake
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Smile
Aedryan, you took the words right out of my mouth... The best reason to love IMPROMPTU effects is the fact that I had once been caught with my pants down. Although the man introducíng me as a magician did it out of pure friendship when he told his friends that "...this guy can produce several balls out of thin air like nothing...", I really had to think hard and sweat bullets to evade further questions by my unexpected new audience.

I came up with some "lame" card-tricks... lame in the respect, that they expected something completely different....

At this moment I have learned several things:

1) I started picking up the habit to address people that I know, they have seen me perform before, somewhere to keep my occupation" as a secret. Mostly they get some fun out of it and do what they are asked for. Now I have the leverage to either choose the perfect moment for a surprise, or else skip it.

The ones who might later ask, why I did not, always go satisfied with a remark like:
"The time was not right..."

2) I developed a second routine for the Multiplying Balls in which I shift the performing "sheet" from vertical to horizontal. That takes the routine off stage into the crowd, for you can perform it in a parlor situation. In subdued lighting areas you could even perform it surrounded, once your prop-management allows that.

3) I fell for a lot of impromptu-routines, making up props at an instant.

E.g. I do a vanishing cigarette routine, where the (marked) stump ends up in a tight big ball of Aluminum-Foil. I do this WITHOUT a T.T.

Also I fell in love with a routine from Michael Skinner: Trash Compactor.
A good one handed Card Rise that I found in Paul Le Paul's book, displaying all 5 Fingers, a coin routine, as well as some mental stunts and The Glass Thru Table also employing Aluminum Foil for the Cover (It keeps the shape best and I always find some alomost everywhere..)

Although Still I sometimes encounter situations, where I am not prepared, the headache it might give me is the same headache I use as an excuse Smile who said Magicians never feel sick?

Greets, Mandrake
the truth "lies" in the eye of the beholder
Harry Murphy
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I don’t understand how a magician can ever be caught “with his pants down”, that is, unprepared!

Borrow some objects from the spectator for goodness sake.

A ring, a pencil/pen, and a handkerchief, and you can do several nice and magical effects. Add a rubber band to those and you have a whole sequence of ring on and off effects, each getting more impossible and all impromptu with borrowed objects. Ring on and off rubber band is probably as powerful as the CMH.

Borrow a bill and a pencil/pen and perform a topsy-turvy bill (gag), bill penetration, and torn and restored bill. All of this is impromptu and with borrowed items.

At the table, take a paper napkin and do a torn and restored napkin, cover a glass with the napkin and do the vanishing glass or glass through table.

Many cigarette moves can be made with some lipstick tubes, ending with the old ashes thing (lipstick through the hand back to palm!).

Pick some pebbles from the sand and do a two in the hand, one in the pocket type of routine.

And on, and on, and on…

The challenge here is to know what people usually carry. Rings, paper money, etc. and be prepared to use them for a magic effect! I have noticed that men in my area are carrying less and less change so performing with borrowed coins is getting more and more difficult. Also, few men around here carry handkerchiefs anymore. I always carry one!

Be prepared (and practiced) to perform with what is normally handy.

Or, if you don’t want to perform, you don't have to perform, so don’t perform! Beg off!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Matt Graves
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I've done a "two in the hand, one in the pocket" trick with just a paper towel . . . and it's always fun to eat a napkin on the spur of the moment and wash it down with some Coca Cola . . . Smile
Aedryan Methyus
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Mandrake, in your situation with the multiplying balls being brought up, a good thing to have done, would have been to explain that you can also make balls disappear as well, and found a roll of toilet paper and did paperballs O.T.H. with your friend that put you in that situation.

I always like to pull that out when you get some drunk a*****e in the bar that tries to belittle you by handing you things telling you to make them disappear while laughing it up with his buds.

Ahh... the old salt shaker through table... that one never seizes to amaze people either. That's got to be the best improptu trick there ever was.

Another thing that I will do too is borrow a dollar bill and fold it in half 3 times and do sleights with it. You can do alot of sleights with it and much easier than when they start handing you dimes, nickles or pennies to manipulate.

Speaking of pennies, there's the old penny vanish trick where you leave the penny behind your ear as well that is great for improptu. However it isn't angle proof.

Till next time.

Aedryan
Mandrake
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Right Mumblepeas,

I probably cannot understand it now either, but there was at least a time, when I started...
And that one incident I remembered was when they specifically were keen on those balls out of midair... anyhow, you completed my list of thoughts... great...
thanx, Mandrake


Aedryan,

The penny-vanish, yeah.... this one bears a lot of philosophy in itself.
Shift technique between transfering and lapping, shift your place of deposit-ear or collar or shoulder... even bolder. the specs shoulder!!! or your own head. like in Ammmar's version of coins across, then make it reappear in the spec's hands instantly...
:bg: Smile

Greets, Mandrake
the truth "lies" in the eye of the beholder
Joshua Quinn
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Quote:
On 2002-03-23 11:39, mumblepeas wrote:
I have noticed that men in my area are carrying less and less change so performing with borrowed coins is getting more and more difficult.


Seriously? That's discouraging to hear. I was okay with the fact that, as you said, "impromptu" effects with a borrowed handkerchief aren't much more practical than routines from the 1920s with a borrowed hat and cane... but it would be a shame to have to add coins to that list.

Ah well, better start brushing up on my credit card sleights, and order those Jeff McBride "Pager Manipulation" and Michael Close "Power of Palm Pilot Palming" videos.

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Harry Murphy
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Quinn, Smile

It is sad but true, styles change, taste changes, and times change. I think that the task of magic is to stay ahead of the trends. There was a time when Magicians were well ahead of technology and used it to mystify.

Now I don’t know if we even stay abreast of styles. It seems that magicians are about one step behind. Heck, look at the most common coin gimmicks sold and used. They are coins that are not common or not even minted anymore. Maybe we need to update our gimmicks, maybe we need to update our thinking and maybe we even need to think about developing new plots for our magic.

Quinn, your post, made me think about the
“little” changes that occurred in my lifetime. I have seen hats go out of style and ball caps come into style for men (at least in the bar’s I work), the linen pocket handkerchief almost vanish (when I was younger a man didn’t leave home without a hank in his hip pocket), coin purses (yes men used to carry those little plastic football shaped things and tons of pocket change) and pocket knives (my dad was never without a pocket knife), the American half-Dollar (it was a common place when I was a kid). White shirts and ties are also not as common today, in the work place as 20 years ago. In fact dressing for a show at the theater has fallen out of fashion. What’s next?

I have experimented, from time to time, with seeing what people “normally” carry by simply asking them (and having them dump their pockets). I try to think of impromptu effects that can be done with these objects.

Excluding the magic props, what do you have on you right now? Are you pretty typical of your peer group? What things are commonly carried in your region? Can you “work” with those things?

I’m at work, and I am carrying a comb, a pen, a wallet (OK, I admit that it is let for Kolossal Killer), and two keys (a car and house) on a ring with a fob (also gimmicked for ring flight). In my wallet (which is very thin, by the way) are some folding money, a driver’s license, a health insurance card, and two credit cards. I also have a pager clipped on my belt and am wearing a watch (no rings or other jewelry). That’s it! No coins, no handkerchief, no knife (it’s in my car), no photos of family in my wallet (I hate bulky wallets). I am pretty typical of the men working and living in this area. Some may have loose change, but they are becoming more and more rare. Sad, but true!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Aedryan Methyus
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Those are all excellent points to be considered Mumblepeas. Sounds like you are loaded for bear even on a bad day... Smile

I however, can't stand having anything cramed in my pockets when I'm not performing and rarely even have pockets at all in the summer time.

Times like these, a lot of times I will bring my close-up case along and leave it under my seat in my van if I think that I may be stopping somewhere that people may ask to see something and I will tell them that I may have a few things in the car. (This might be a good reason for you to make a mad dash for your car if you are feeling ill Mandrake.... lol, just kidding bud)

Smile

Till next time,

Aedryan
thelastdoctor
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I've found that just having a US Silver dollar with me is "magical". Most "young" folks have never seen such a BIG coin. Even if not asked to perform, if I have the time I'll do a "Spell Bound" with a gold token I carry with me.

If at a check out situation that allows, I'll vanish something (if I have the change on me to pay for it, mints, lighters).

I agree with many of the posts. Just look around and do what you practice, Magic.

One thing I want to avoid is an "impromptu" routine. The coins I carry can easily be accepted. By the way, after Spell Bound, some clerks will offer a quarter or some other coin.

Know a thousand gags, stories, sleights, or one, but always use your mind to create the magic, not the props.

The Last Doctor
who?
:stout:
The Last Doctor
?who?:stout:

I’m always looking for the perfect pint or sugar free Jelly Babies...
Harry Murphy
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Aedryan, you make my point! It sounds like you don’t like carrying anything in your pockets. I suspect that you have one car key and a bit of folding money. Do you even carry a wallet?

As I said, the stuff I carry is what I need in my day-to-day (workday) life. Carry a couple of keys, a wallet for my credit card, license, health card, and a little folding cash. I also have a pen (my main tool at work) and a comb (this is grandiose on my part as I have “thinning” hair). Yes, That marks me for bear! Hey, even with empty pockets and with only a dollar bill I am loaded for bear!

Yes I cheat. My regular wallet (ungaffed, non magical, very thin, hip pocket style) is set up with the necessary to perform Kolossal Killer and my key ring has been gaffed to act as a reel-less Ring Flight. Even un-gaffed or set-up, I would be carrying the wallet and key ring. Two birds with one stone!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Aedryan Methyus
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Oh, there isn't any doubt in my mind Mumblepeas that you could pull magic out of thin air standing in your underwear. I can tell by your posts that you're no slouch.

In fact, I wish I could bring myself to be more prepared like you my friend, but unfortunately no, I can't stand carrying so much as a wallet with me even when I'm dressed up and going out on the town.

For 1 reason I have lost my wallet along with a significant amount of money, ID and credit cards a few times in the past. In general, it just bothers me having things in my pockets anyway. (Guess I'm just weird that way)

Also, decks of cards, packet tricks and other small/fragile props tend to get worn, sweaty, scratched, misplaced, bent, broken etc.

I have a great suggestion for you Mumblepeas that you may find of use that utilizes a
"special" certain something that you already carry with you. I do a really cool close-up effect called "Fortune and Fate" by Dan Garret which I purchased from Hank Lee's.

It is a great way to give out your business card that knocks them dead. If you have ever seen David Copperfields "Dream Vision" illusion, the same effect can be achieved right out of your pocket.

Your brother in the art,

Aedryan
Harry Murphy
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Aedryan, Preparedness is in the mind. Not in the prop or borrowed item in this case. How you get there is to know what is usually available to you in a given situation or environment. Then, at home at your leisure, practice a routine or two with that typical object.

I like to stay away from cards (no one ever has them anyway and I don’t carry them) and coins (they are so very small and I don’t carry any big American silver dollars with me.

In my notebooks, I have dozens of different tricks that can be done with a dollar bill. I have tied several (three or four) of these effects together into a short routine. I practice these routines regularly. That way, if I am in a bar or restaurant or over at a friends house or at an office and someone asks me politely to “do something”, I can borrow a bill from them and do a nice, short, tight and magical routine. AND it appears impromptu.

In my mind the secret of good impromptu is simply being prepared! To some this might not be pure enough, to them this might be considered Jazz magic, or guerilla magic, or even extemporaneous magic. To me that’s just splitting hairs. Magic is not an art. It is a PERFORMING ART. Without the performance part there is no magic.

In a bar environment there are glasses, fruit, napkins, often coasters, silverware, cigarettes, and so on. Being prepared is to know tricks that use those borrowed objects.

I know a bar magician who has performed table-hopping magic at the same bar for about 15 years. He does not carry all that much, he is a master of using what’s available and doing strong magic. It all looks spontaneous and impromptu.

The weight of his personality and his broad knowledge of puns and jokes will keep a table laughing as he performs his magic. One of his signature pieces is where he borrows a $20.00 bill, wraps it in a napkin (ends of the bill sticks out of the napkin), borrows a lit cigarette, and burns a hole through the bill and napkin! He unwraps the bill and there is NO HOLE!

Anyway, I doubt if I could perform in my bathing suit! It’s not a pretty sight and frankly there would not be an audience!

By the way, Dan Harlan has a set of
“Impromptu Magic” videos that will give you a good working repertory. Martin Gardner’s book “Impromptu Magic” is encyclopedic with ideas. Either or both are good building blocks to help you be prepared to be impromptu.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Joshua Quinn
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Aedryan, I couldn't find a description of "Fate & Fortune." Could you tell us a bit more about it? Thanks.

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Thoughtreader
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Quote:
On 2002-03-30 02:48, Quinn wrote:
Aedryan, I couldn't find a description of "Fate & Fortune." Could you tell us a bit more about it? Thanks.
Quinn


Fortune and Fate is not actually Dan Garrett's but Anthony Linden's, a very clever and talented Canadian performer from the Toronto area. It looks as if you the performer place three business cards down in front of the participant and have them call out three things and that you have all three written on the business cards. (Think of Copperfield's "The Wall" where the person he brings up spray paints on the wall and there is a prediction revealed after showing everything that was painted by the participant moments earlier).

It is a very clever and highly commercial effect and one that is well worth purchasing and learning.) Anthony also has several inexpensive videos out (check Stevens Magic as they used to carry them) which not only has some excellent magic in them but some excellent business card effects like the aforementioned one, much that looks or is impromptu. It will make your audience want to keep your business cards after you are done.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
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Aedryan Methyus
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You are right Paul. Thank you for correcting me on it's originator. It truly is a great effect though.

Quinn, you will find it at the Hank Lees site under mentalism I believe.

Your brother in magic,

Aedryan
Darren Kidby
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Interesting post's in here,
Most of my act is done without the use of gimmicks, just slieght of hand,
I wanted to perform anytime anywhere as required, so you could say this is "impromtu"
Aedryan Methyus
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I was just wondering where Mumblepeas has been. It seems that once he decided to buy Fortune and Fate he disappeared. Maybe he can't put it down long enough to return to the forum... LOL

Aedryan
Thoughtreader
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Quote:
On 2002-03-30 21:30, Aedryan Methyus wrote:
You are right Paul. Thank you for correcting me on it's originator. It truly is a great effect though.

Quinn, you will find it at the Hank Lees site under mentalism I believe.

Your brother in magic,

Aedryan


If you like Fortune and Fate, then I highly recommend Anthiny Linden's two videos (they are not expensive either which is a bonus) as they contain real world magic from his own repertoire including quite a few excellent business card effects. Very commercial material with lots of great ideas to build upon.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
gordonmj
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I just think fast and use whatever is on the table or around me.
booya!
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