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Profile of dorbolo
I think there is something quite more important than what effect one does on-the-fly or even whether to perform or decline: that is the way one manages the situation. With sufficient character development, it is possible to decline to show an effect and still come off as magical and mysterious. Certainly - "I don't have any tricks with me" or "I only play for pay" is the antithesis of the magical style.

There are lots of reasons why magic is not possible at the given moment: "my powers diminish in daylight", "I've used up all my woofle dust - that's why I am here - do you have any?" "Mercury is in retrograde", "the last time I tried to vanish a coin at Safeway I turned the last person in line into a troll", "the Secret Service is monitoring me for creating un-authorized currency", "O.K. but you will need to sign this soul-transfer document in blood first",
"I promised the coven I'd stop showing off in public", etc.

This is not so different from the show-time situation where the spectator (friendly or not) challenges you to "do it again" or
"here, vanish this; vanish my check, etc." We have ways to deal with such circumstances and they should be extended to the 24/7 circumstances. That is, one does not have to do tricks all the time to be a 24/7 magician. One should, however, believe in magic (i.e. one's character) all the time and convey that belief to others.

In yakandjak's situation, the difficulty I see is in allowing the spectator to dictate the terms; "Here, do something with this coin." As you had plenty of cards on hand, the option would be to put the coin in your pocket, say thanks with a big smile and proceed with your card effect (or set the coin to the side saying "We won't need that right yet", or etc. This is the same as in table hopping situations or kid shows where a challenge is made).

My point - whether we do effects on demand or not, we should be always ready to respond in the character of magic.

...other than that, always carry a TT Smile

In good spirit,

Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Yak raises the original question: "Is there something you carry with you...so that when someone says,"Show me a trick," you don’t have to run?"

As most have pointed out, the key seems to be to have something with you that you would be carrying even if you weren't doing magic: Pen, business cards, coins, etc.
That way you are NEVER stuck.
But a very important post here was Scott's original one:
Just make sure that it's not the audience who are the ones who are running!
As Scott says, not everyone loves magic as much as we do.
So read your audience and, if they ask you to do something, make sure they mean it and are not just being polite (like saying, "how are you?"; you don't really want a full answer!).
Because, if you force yourself and your magic on people often enough, you are not going to have to worry about carrying things with you; you won't have an audience, anyhow!
Peter Marucci
Nutty Norman
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Profile of Nutty Norman
I do think that Scott has really covered the matter very throughly. I was fortunate enough, when I was first into Magic to have a mentor who had toured the Music Halls (Vaudeville - if you are in the US of A) of Britain as a Magician.

His advice to me was 'Always leave them wanting more'. If you have been paid to perform for them and they do 'want some more' then they re-book you, so there is more income. If you were not paid to perform and they 'want some more' then they may book you and pay your fee.

The other thing that I was told was this.
'The first objective for any performance is to get re-booked'

So, as was suggested, you consider, what they may have in their pockets etc., also consider what they may have in their mind.

Consider your audience, objectively, try to see your performance through the eyes of a Lay person. I often think that we Magicians
expect everyone to Love magic, as we do.
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Profile of saglaser
I'm one of those who usually has about 20 minutes or so worth of material in his pockets. But I've never used more than a fraction of it at any one time. And I go days, even weeks, without using any of it at all -- except perhaps to practice with when I'm waiting around and have nothing to read.

I like having the variety on hand because it enables me to pull out something particularly appropriate to the situation. Does the atmosphere of the moment call for something silly or spooky? Am I being asked by a child or an adult? Is it somebody cooperative or challenging? Is it time for a joke or for something with depth?

I may be loaded for bear but I usually do one effect. Sometimes two. Who wants to be a bore?
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Profile of SloMo150
True words spoken by saglaser. Being a novice, I don't want to injure my reputation or set someone off from magic. When asked to do a Trick I never do more than two. I have yet to offend anyone.

But as has been stated not everyone is as enthused as I am, soo lets not put more people off. In some ways I am always in "character" by being pre-prepared. That is why coins are such a valuable item. a quarter with a French pass can easily be found somewhere else. And like I said before
a TT in the pocket takes up hardly any space.
Hey wanna see me pull a rabbit from my hat, (lion appears). I gotta get a new Hat.
Jeb Sherrill
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I will say this, I think it is important that you learn enough sleights and other material not requiring props, that if asked to do magic at a moments notice and you don't happen to have all that stuff you ALWAYS carry (ok, you're at the beach in swimming trunks), you can still do something. It doesn't take much. I used to carry props a lot, but even then I liked to be prepared just in case. Hey, it can't hurt!


Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Marduke Kurios
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Profile of Marduke Kurios
I agree with all of you! Know the sleights, use their things. Have the ability to do anything with everything! We can use sticks, and stones, and even a blade of grass!

I already carry coins, bills, and writing materials naturally. Doing magic with them is frosting on the cake.

I think every Magician should own a copy of Martin Gardner's 'Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic'. It is filled with a lot of really fun stuff to do anywhere, anytime.

And yes, keep it to a minimum.
Live well,
Laugh often,
Love always.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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Geoff Williams
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Profile of Geoff Williams
On 2002-02-21 23:24, Marduke Kurios wrote:

I think every Magician should own a copy of Martin Gardner's 'Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic'. It is filled with a lot of really fun stuff to do anywhere, anytime.

I totally agree. The Gardner book is filled with choice bits of magic and stunts and just plain fun diversions.

Highly recommended.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
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Profile of SloMo150
While at a used book store, I ran across a book by Blackstone titled 200 Magic tricks you can do. It has a whole section on impromtu. Coins cards and such.

Also Modern coin magic is a great book to learn to do sleights with coins. People are going to ask (nature of hobby or profession) don't offend them make it a real magical moment. you never know who you might influence. Magicicans get a lot of bad press. So I like to make all situations a pleasent one. Smile
Hey wanna see me pull a rabbit from my hat, (lion appears). I gotta get a new Hat.
Steve Friedberg
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Profile of Steve Friedberg
Gee, folks...why do you think God invented the Hot Rod? Smile

It's small...it's carried easily in any pocket. In addition, my wallet is jammed with packet tricks and no, I never leave home without a deck.

The silver/copper/bronze transformation, performed at an airline counter (pre 9/11) has gotten me bumped up to first class...and my card work has introduced me to friends like Sam Adams, St. Pauli Girl, etc. by people who simply want to see more.

So I don't regard it as impromptu...I regard it as an opportunity to have fun!

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Matt Graves
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Profile of Matt Graves
If you happen to get caught with absolutely nothing with you, you can always pull your thumb off or stretch your finger . . . one effect that is really good if you're out eating at some restaurant is the old salt shaker and coin thing . . .

The version in The Amateur Magician's Handbook is slightly different from the others I've read - I think it's better, personally. I've been caught too many times doing it the other way.

Also that thing where you stick a fork in your eye and make goo come out - that seems to make girls squeal in particular. I used to do that to some of my teachers if we were on a trip and stopped to eat and I got to sit close to them . . . Smile

Any coin tricks from the chapter in Modern Coin Magic called "Quick Tricks" are worth learning. Also, for some reason, I've found that once you've really rehearsed the basic coin sleights in The Amateur Magician's Handbook, you can invent your own mini coin effects on the spur of the moment. And I'm still thinking - my gut is telling me - there is something to be done with these new quarter designs. I just don't know what yet.
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Profile of maurile
On 2002-03-12 19:29, serling307 wrote:

If you happen to get caught with absolutely nothing with you, you can always pull your thumb off or stretch your finger . . .

Or you could stretch your thumb and have the spectator pull your finger. Smile

Seriously, Finger Fantasies, the Twisting Arm Illusion, and the Balducci Levitation are all great propless stunts. Throw in a psychological force and that's more than you'd ever want to do in a single impromptu session anyway.
kris attard
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Profile of kris attard
On the subject of impromptu tricks, in my opinion coin tricks are among the best. They're visual, straightforward and once you've learnt a few sleights, you can come up with different possibilities. And it's almost impossible to be caught without coins. Except if you're a nudist in the middle of a pool, or something extreme like that. some of my favourites are Dai Vernon's Expansion of Texture, a superb routine that always gets great reactions (it's in The Dai Vernon Book of Magic), a strong coin prediction that uses ordinary coins and a routine where I attempt to snatch a small coin out of a spectator's hand. He responds by closing it rapidly every time. On the third time, he finds a different coin. I sometimes couple these with a watch steal. Now there's something I recommend for great effect.
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Profile of Warlock
Check out Eugene Burger's Magical Voyages 1. You'll find a U.F. Grant idea Eugene has improved on which he calls '21st Century Bill Transposition'. Jewel of the series!!

Personally, I prefer mindreading/telepathy effects and have several "in mind" (pun intended) depending on the situation.

-- Warlock --
Man has always struggled to control his own destiny. In the end however, Fate has the final word!
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