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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Uneasy Impromptu (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Burt Yaroch
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Here’s my question (you can wade through how I got here following if you’re so inclined):



Is there something you carry with you, cards, coins, Dream Paddle, anything...so that when someone says,"Show me a trick," you don’t have to run?



I have often heard the horror stories of being asked to present a trick when you are completely unprepared or, worse yet, when handed a deck with jelly all over it with the expectations of a performance. I had my first experience today at Wal*Mart. Buying my stack of Decks I was asked by the cashier, as I often am,"Whats with all the cards? You a gambling addict?"



"No, I practice magic as a hobby."



And then, it happened.



"Here’s a quarter. What can you do with that?"



A quarter?! I can do squat with a quarter! Don’t you at least have a half dollar? That, of course is what I was thinking. What I was saying was,"Uhh...uhh.."



So I took the quarter, did a simple retention vanish and then surprised myself. When she was seaching her little conveyer belt to see if I had simply dropped the coin, I seized this moment of misdirection and I threw the quarter over her head. And man I chucked it, like halfway across the store. Of course everyone else who was standing around and watching saw me throw it but she did not(nor did she hear it land in aisle 28). So it was funny for all involved and the cashier was greatly impressed but I swore I wouldn’t let this happen to me again. I would prefer to be better prepared in the future.



Oh by the way, I’ll be publishing this as my original work, "Quarters Over The Head", in my first book, Q.O.T.H. Smile
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Scott F. Guinn
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Personally, I don’t think you are ever OBLIGATED to perform. However, there are plenty of sources for impromptu tricks if you feel so inclined: Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic, Gardner’s Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic, Wilson’s Off the Cuff and On the Spot videos, Mullica’s Expert Impromptu Magic Made Easy trilogy, Dan Harlan’s Impromptu Magic video trilogy. Those oughta keep you going for a while.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Burt Yaroch
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I've heard that the On the Spot series is pretty good. Perhaps I'll check that out. Thanks Scott (again).
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Magicman0323
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I carry several items with me almost everywhere I go, but it seems that when I'm doing a quick errand or forget to carry them with me that is when I'm asked to show something, So I bought a fire wallet that can carry all my items (drivers license-credit cards, etc.) and now I don't have to worry about carrying all my props with me because I always have at least one on hand.



Smile
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Tom Cutts
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I carry Card Warp in my wallet and am always prepared to do Shape Of Astonishment if they can come up with some foil. Not as big an issue as you might think Smile







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donaldlaporte
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I have made it a habit of always carrying things in my wallet, like card warp, as pointed out earlier by someone else, I keep a wire gram there to, and always have change in my pockets and if you have that it’s enough, the change I mean.



donald
Mystero
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I’d also recommend the "On The Spot" and "Off the Cuff" Greg Wilson videos . I’ll tell ya, you get that Goshman pinch down and you are ready 24/7. I always carry something and I mean always. Lately, it’s Ulti-Monte which is great fun and easy. I also do the telescoping pinky which is still wowing the yokels at the 7-11, go figure. I carry a deck of cards in every coat and in every glove compartment. What can I say, it’s in my blood.



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Martino
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I'm with Mystero on this one. The Greg Wilson vids are great. I also always carry a deck of cards in my coat, rubber bands in my briefcase, a smile on my face and a song in my heart! Smile
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Robin Parker
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Are you guys kidding? I never leave home without my "Chinese Water Torture Cell" illusion. If you are going to think, think big! lol
Scott F. Guinn
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I’d just like to throw in a word of caution here, which is probably going to make me very unpopular. Part of the reasons magicians have a bad name with the entertainment community and the population at large is because they are always foisting themselves on unwilling spectators and they just don’t know when to quit!



Please keep in mind that not everyone loves magic, especially not as much as you do. Also bear in mind that sometimes people are just being polite and don’t really want to see magic, even if they say they do. If you decide they are sincere, go ahead and do a trick or two, but please, no more than three, and nothing that would embarrass or humilate anyone.



Also, PLEASE be sure you only perform effects you could do in your sleep--don’t do material you’re not sure of.



A word to the wise is sufficient.

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John Zander
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Sponge Balls! And there is a great torn and restored dollar bill on Aldo Colombini's lecture video "Standing room only" I do that one all the time.
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J R Thomas
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I usually carry a single silver dollar in the watch pocket of my jeans. A few variations on the french drop and then if they are interested the Nate Leipzig Slow Motion vanish from Amateur Magicain's Handbook. I used to carry the stockholder with me with the Daryl color routine set up. It gave me the opportunity to give out my business card.



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Doug Byrd
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I always seem to be dressed in shorts or sweats and have my side pouch on. Scott, you would hate me - LOL!. I’m always loaded for bear. I carry a Roth coins across set up, copper/silver set for Short Hop, a deck of cards, Star Gazer, sponge balls, and my 5/16th" nuts and bolt set for the Eason Nuts routine. Not to mention I never leave home without my TT.



Robin, I also used to carry my Houdini style Water Torture Cell Illusion with me all the time until once (at band camp) it tipped over in my pocket and made me look like I wet myself.Smile

Doug



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Magicman0323
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Oh My Doug !!!! Smile Smile Smile
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
Axman
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I do that one where you pretend to pull your thumb off. It absolutely kills laymen. It flies right past them. I have been doing it for about 24 years now and have honed it into a killer 45 minute showpiece.
Chad Sanborn
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You actually performed 2 tricks at Wal-Mart. the vanishing quarter for the cashier, and for the guy on aisle 28, the appearing quarter.



If you want to do a KILLER impromptu trick and give out a business card try this idea. You bring out your wallet and say inside you have a prediction. You reach into your pocket and bring out some imaginary coins. (this is impromptu!) They select an imaginary coin. "a dime" you ask them to flip it "heads or tails?" "Tails" they say. You reach into your wallet, remove the only visible business card and turn it over to show that on one half is written tails! (you must cover up the other half to get them to ask you to see the 'other end') When you show the other end, it says DIME!!! this is a killer effect. I will leave you to work out your own method.



Chad
Scott F. Guinn
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Sounds oddly like Max Maven’s "Positive Negative"...
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Burt Yaroch
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Smile Smile Appearing Quarter Smile Smile



And I like your suggestion too. Thanks Chad! (And Scott!)
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Robin Parker
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Doug, you sound like a walking show, ready to go with your "lamp shade" always on. lol
Harry Murphy
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Impromptu should not mean unprepared! I believe that you should be able to do a strong routine of magic with props available at hand. Frankly, if you are “known” as the magician you should expect to be asked to “magish”, at some time or another, when you least expect it.



Borrowing objects and doing magic with them can be very strong and can even get you a paying gig.



Ask yourself, what do most people (men and women) have on them at any given time. In fact empty your pockets right now and look at the “stuff” you are carrying. NO not that “magic” junk, the real people stuff.



Look at your pile of stuff and ask yourself what magic can I do with this item? Ask your friends and family to empty their pockets, as an experiment, and see what they normally carry. OK, there is your baseline data. Now build some routines (NO not tricks, routines!)



Personally, I rehearse my impromptu tricks as much as I do my various real acts. I am always planning to be asked to “do something”. I like the Boy Scout motto “be prepared”.



For example: If a person has a handkerchief, I can entertain them for 10 to thirty minutes with sight gags (chicken, bunny, mouse, even a bra!), a little magic like stretching the handkerchief, hypnotizing the hank, etc, etc.



If I am lucky enough to also borrow a pencil or pen I could do a penetration. If I can borrow a coin with that hank I could perform yet a different penetration and if I get real lucky and get a coin and a ring I would perform the coin through ring. I could end any of these little routines with a vanish of those objects from under the hank.



With the handkerchief and a borrowed credit card I would vanish the credit card to have it reappear in my wallet (zippered compartment). (This could be done with a regular wallet.)



Loan me a dollar bill and a pencil and I will perform several dollar bill gags (smiling/frowning Washington, topsey turvey bill) and then do a pencil penetration of the dollar bill to restored bill. Maybe even have the spectator sign the bill with the pencil and then burn the bill and find it restored in my wallet.



Loan me your ring with the pencil and I will do a good ring off pencil to my finger effect.



Do you get the idea? Dump out your pockets and start routining! Have fun.





OK, my day-to-day wallet can be loaded. And in it is a mis-made bill folded and ready for a "$100 Bill Switch" (gimmick less version. My key fob (a little leather thing with my initial on it, attached to a ring) has been gimmicked to take a finger ring instantly (a pair of wire snips and a small section of fish tank tubing and you have a cheap and easy homemade, reel less, ring flight). But I don’t have to use this stuff because I am ready to perform with what you have.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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