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Jimmy Lee
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What is the best tirck to use for an impactful opening for a parlour performance?

My magical friends, any views?
Magically Yours,

a guy from a tropical island in South East Asia
..oops...where did he disappeared to????
Harry Murphy
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Jimmy, in a typical parlor performance, you will probably be setting up right in front of some of your spectators even it is just opening up your roll-on case (unless you do everything out of your pockets). Then you are probably doing to do a couple of warm-up bits (mainly gags or teaching them to clap routines). At some point you will get into your show/act.

Something startling, visual and very magical. In one act, I snap my fingers and reach into the air and produce a 36-inch silk scarf. It is immediately split into two and used for a self-untying knot routine. Two more silk scarves are produced (splitting the silks again) and a sympatric silk routine is performed.

One could say that the instant, barehanded production of a scarf is my opener.
In another show, I produce a stemmed glass, full to the brim with wine (colored water). The glass is used (shortly after I drink the “wine” for a misers dream routine.

In a third act, I will toss a length of rope to a spectator and even join in a tug-of-war with them before doing a cut and restored routine.

I use these routines as cues to the audience that the show has begun in earnest. They are used to transition from the set-up/warm-up phase to the Magic Show phase.

I don’t see my “opener” as a single trick or a single effect, but rather as the beginning of a sequence of effects that are logically tied together and tend to happen very rapidly.

(Bare handed production of a scarf, to splitting the scarf into two, to self-untying knot routine, to production of two more scarves, to sympathetic silk routine. The production of full glass of wine to a misers dream routine. Cut and Restored rope, to a full rope routine a la Tabary, to ring and rope routine. You get the idea).
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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