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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Pocket management when strolling - Please advice!! (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Michael Baker
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Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Montana76 wrote:
Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! I really have to take some time reading through it all and devouring it!

Jarle Leirpoll is actually a member of the same Magic Society as I (Magic Circle Norway) so I have actually discussed his book with him in person.
I think rather than buying the Lybrary version we should purchase it directly from the author. You can do so and support Jarle here: http://www.leirpoll.com/pocket.htm

I am putting in my order today!!


I bought Jarle Leirpoll's book when it was first published, from whoever had the first US distributorship (probably Hank Lee at that time). I consider it one of the more important books in magic. Almost all close-up magicians use their pockets to some extent. His book takes a smart approach to understanding how to get the most from them. Mr. Leirpoll also leads by example... there are several VERY good routines explained that perfectly illustrate the various examinations of pocket usage.

Montana76, I am actually envious that you know him personally. Smile I felt honored when he accepted my friend request on Facebook! Ha!

I've had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Flanagan, but I have not seen him work. Just from reading his posts here over the years, I have no doubt he is spot on with any advice he offers. His metamorphosis of prop management sounds a bit like my own, but with some notable differences. When I was first starting out, I used a seat/case like John Mendoza describes and uses. But at that time, most close-up magic was performed seated at the table. Once strolling stand-up table-hopping became more the standard, I had my pockets stuffed like a cross between Captain Kangaroo, and a shoplifter at the end of a busy shift. I swear I weighed thirty pounds less when I got undressed after work. This did not even begin to account for attached goodies like FISM Flash, pulls, ITR, hidden wine bottles, and you name it.

I was working a lot and making some serious (almost sinful) money, so I could hardly see the error of my ways. Fortunately, this time was also smack in the middle of the era when baggy suits were the style of the day. As with Patrick's story, I found a need for alterations in my clothing. So, just as fortunate was the fact that I knew how to sew. I did my own alterations on my suits, so I can easily see where the cost of having it done professionally could quickly reach $100., as Patrick mentions.

Eventually, I became older and wiser (I think). Rather than look for better ways to tote all that junk with me or on me while doing walk-around, I took one of two routes. For strolling gigs (which I don't book at all anymore) I pared down and carried less (again like Patrick mentions), but mostly I focused on building a market and booking gigs where I could do a one-shot close-up show. This way, I could justify working with a small case and still do much of the close-up magic that plays well in the more intimate settings... stuff that one would normally consider a pain to carry around all night long (bulkier props, lousy reset, etc.).
~michael baker
The Magic Company
TheMightyRicardo
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Hi Montana,
SPatrick and Patrick Flanagan mentioned phone cases or holsters.
Have you looked at Pro Carrier by Joshua Jay?
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/1422
My problem of pocket management is worse than yours since I don't wear a jacket. I only have 4 pants pockets and I don't want to be fumbling for anything.
My carrier goes on my belt instead of a phone and my car keys on a belt clip.
I notice you don't do any bill tricks (I use EB). This goes down well and takes up little space. Do you not do TT tricks?
Since you do sponge balls what about Turbo Stick which leads nicely into sponge balls?
I have loops and some rubber band tricks but haven't performed them yet. Since they don't take up any pocket space I am hoping I can learn to include them.

Richard
Rocky
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Ive done a 2 hour walk around gig with a set of mini lining rings, 2 sponge balls, and an invisible deck. I used to think I needed 20 effects or more when strolling.
I admit to feeling under-prepared when I do a gig, but experience has shown that less can be more based on ones performance style.
Montana76
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Quote:
On May 4, 2015, drmagico wrote:
...You can do Daley's last trick by just taking out the cards from full deck so as to eliminate the separate wallet (gaffed?) I usually use the jumbo coin to end a one coin routine. I have it on a clip in the back of the suit and can easily reload it in the clip after going from one group to another. ...


Hi drmagico and thank you!
I use my shirt pocket for Dr Dalays. I have one of those small "packet trick" wallets (plastic). Non gaffed. What kind of clip do you use for your jumbo coin?

Quote:
On May 4, 2015, Chamberlain wrote:
My suggestion is to combine them into 2 acts of 4, and drop the one cup routine - I'd love to do chop cup strolling, but half the time either there's no table nearby or its too crowded...


Thank you very much for the input! And thanks a lot for all the tips on the routines! Great info!

Quote:
On May 4, 2015, Chamberlain wrote:
Don't your fingers get covered in ash performing Torched and Restored?


Not really!


Quote:
On May 4, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
I would learn to do more with less.
Have some coins have some cards and maybe ring string stuff and work from there. No pocket management necessary.
You can do several card things or coin things or mix them up and so forth. Pretty easy really. I would start to learn utility moves and not routines. This way you can have hundreds of routines literally.
I have heard this 3 sets of 3 quoted and ir is a good starting point. But sticking to it like dogma makes no sense to me personally.
But fir pocket management having less to worry about managing seems prudent to me.


Really good points here. I am actually originally a "card guy". I know my shuffles and moves but I been striving for diversity for my walkaround. My coin work is lacking though..
Maybe you could recommend some good card routines for walkaround except for the three I have? (ACR, Dr Daleys, Slop Shuffle).

Thanks for your tips!!


Quote:
On May 4, 2015, spatrick wrote:
I can help with some advice. I stroll currently with 13-14 different effects in my pockets. Now this seems like allot, but I have done some major long strolling events and I love the fact that I have everything on me and most of my routines require no (or very little) table space. On top of that, having more than you need can sometimes feel like a safety net that can boost your confidence and professionalism when performing.

Now, with all that said, I usually stick to 3 sets of 3 like you do. I keep the rest for backup if I need to pull something else out.
(snip)

You have allot less stuff than I do so you should have no trouble placing it all. The key is to place it in the same place all the time. Get used to setting up your stuff the same way, in the exact same location every time, as well as pulling everything out of your pockets and back into your close-up case after the gig ends the same way everytime. After a few gigs you'll become anal about it and that's where you want to be. Once you get used to pocket management you'll never go back to clutter.

I hope I have helped, even a little bit.

S. Patrick


Thanks spatrick!
The thing is that these nine effects have been carefully selected and I would LOVE to carry the all. Your advice makes me wanna spend some more time trying to physically figure it out. Cell phone cases, aprons or hip-bags are out of the question I am afraid.

Quote:
On May 4, 2015, patrick flanagan wrote:
Montana,
I've talked about this here before. It was common for me to do 25-32 different routines in a 3 hour shift. I had several (10) special pockets put into all my suits. Cost me an additional $100/suit. Why did I do that many routines? Because I could. I loved learning new things and figured if I can do it...I should. Then I got tired of spending the extra $$$ every time I bought a new suit and went with one of those holsters. I can't remember who made it, but I bought it used from a guy (in a yellow suit) here. I used that for more than a few years, but discarded it recently. Now, I just go with the suit as is. And, if something doesn't fit, I don't use it. If I add something new that requires more "pocket", then something else goes out or the new thing doesn't get added.
Another thing, I've never been a fan of having rubber bands on my wrists. I dunno, I think being dressed up in a suit and tie and wearing rubber bands on the wrist just looks badly. My opinion, only. When I was doing rubber band magic, I would conceal them in the cuffs of my rolled up sleeves. I work with my sleeves rolled up over the sleeve bottom of my jacket.
As far as the loads for the chop cup, I'd suggest getting ball holders. They pin on to the lining of your jacket and lay nicely...so no pocket needed. I carry a lime around in that manner. For the Jumbo Coin production, I slide mine under my belt. It is tight enough to stay there and easy to retrieve.
Finally, I always buy dress shirt that have a breast pocket. That helps tremendously.
Hope that helps
Patrick


Thanks for chiming in Patrick!
I agree with the rubber bands around my wrists. I feel "off" style-wise. And my wrists are the first place people look when I vanish one of the rubber bands when I ditch them.. I interpret your advice to let the pocket space dictate the amount of "stuff" I carry with me. That sounds smart!
Thanks for the tips on the ball holders. But my routine lets me grab the loads when putting the crochet balls in my pocket.. Any advice?
Thanks a lot for the tip on sewing my back pocket! I'll do that!


Quote:
On May 5, 2015, MeetMagicMike wrote:
At some point near the end of my event I take a short break and re-load. That way I can end with the Chop Cup or something else special.


That's a tip that I will use!! Thanks!

Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Theodore Lawton wrote:
I abandoned the 3 sets of 3 idea as soon as I stepped into a real situation to perform. It may work for some, but it's not my style; it seemed way to limiting and was too much to think about.
I would just have about 8-10 things with me that I could do in my sleep and freestyle it from there.
...


Thanks Theodore!
The 3x3 principle is of great help to me as it forces me to be more fluid. I have no doubt that I will evolve and not be so stiff, but your point is valid!

Quote:
On May 5, 2015, pepka wrote:
Montana, ditch half that stuff! Props that you only do one thing with are of no real use in a strolling situation.

I'm with Theodore. I don't do the 3 sets of 3. I have about 30 working pieces to pick and choose from that I can do with a normal deck, 2 coin sets that go into one purse, a sharpie, my wallet and a separate wallet to carry jokers and stranger cards. I reset as I go from one table to another. In my bag I keep a few extra decks, chop cup, Unshuffled, ring and string, and other odds and ends that if I see a lot of repeat customers I can grab quickly.

Look into finding a copy of the book Pocket Power by Jarle Lierpoll. One of the best books on close up magic. Pocket management, ditching, switching etc.


Thanks for chiming in Pepka! I always love your posts!
So now we are getting to the nitty gritty of things..
I would actually love to ditch the phantom deck for example.. But I feel it would really weaken my ACR. But OMG that things takes pocket space. I could switch it with a regular omni deck wich is much more tidy and tight. But you do not use those kind of "one off" gimmicks?
Jarle has been contacted and the book has been ordered. Thanks!


Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
THEODORE & PEPKA! YES!!!!!!!!!!!

I learned early to "go" with GENERIC props. (rope, ring, two "polys" (not silk) for knots, a few coins,sponge balls & purse frame, TT, etc.) Occasionally, I might have an egg bag.
(snip)
Nate Leipzig's tricks were ALL "closers".

Dick


A true advice from a veteran worker!! Thank you so much!

Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Zephury wrote:
........
Cup routines and other things really would take up a lot of room in my pockets, so that's not really a part of my act. However, there's one thing I really think you should try out from this, regardless of rather you want to put in the effort for the color stunner or not if you're interested. It's the Joshua Jay Pro Carrier. I practically carry my whole act with me every day cause I have plenty of space for all my coin stuff and a deck of cards in just a regular pair of pants and the carrier. And ah, I forgot one thing.. a Sharpie in my top left vest pocket!

Good luck.


Thank you for taking the time to writing such an elaborate and complete reply. I will defo look into the Color Stunner and I will give the Pro Carrier another go as I already own one.

I love your website by the way! ( http://www.harleysalas.com/) Very classy!


Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Michael Baker wrote:
(snip)
Eventually, I became older and wiser (I think). Rather than look for better ways to tote all that junk with me or on me while doing walk-around, I took one of two routes. For strolling gigs (which I don't book at all anymore) I pared down and carried less (again like Patrick mentions), but mostly I focused on building a market and booking gigs where I could do a one-shot close-up show. This way, I could justify working with a small case and still do much of the close-up magic that plays well in the more intimate settings... stuff that one would normally consider a pain to carry around all night long (bulkier props, lousy reset, etc.).


Great advice! Thanks!

Quote:
On May 5, 2015, TheMightyRicardo wrote:
Hi Montana,
SPatrick and Patrick Flanagan mentioned phone cases or holsters.
Have you looked at Pro Carrier by Joshua Jay?
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/1422
My problem of pocket management is worse than yours since I don't wear a jacket. I only have 4 pants pockets and I don't want to be fumbling for anything.
My carrier goes on my belt instead of a phone and my car keys on a belt clip.
I notice you don't do any bill tricks (I use EB). This goes down well and takes up little space. Do you not do TT tricks?
Since you do sponge balls what about Turbo Stick which leads nicely into sponge balls?
I have loops and some rubber band tricks but haven't performed them yet. Since they don't take up any pocket space I am hoping I can learn to include them.

Richard


I found the Pro Carrier to be too small but I'll give it another go!
I sometimes do TT Bill Switch but I find that the effect doesn't go well with my other effects.. I find it hard to get into and hard to transition from. But I tend to use it for "those special moments". But it is really not an effect I can trust to be performing all night long.
EB is something I was very happy with but I find it costs to much to tie up that amount of money.. The cost of making a proper EB in Norwegian currency is aprox $200 and I find it quite difficult to get the gimmick right. But oh my when I used to do it it KILLED! Do you do it?

Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Rocky wrote:
Ive done a 2 hour walk around gig with a set of mini lining rings, 2 sponge balls, and an invisible deck. I used to think I needed 20 effects or more when strolling.
I admit to feeling under-prepared when I do a gig, but experience has shown that less can be more based on ones performance style.



This pretty much sums up all the responses I've gotten and this is something I will take to heart. Thank you SO MUCH everyone. I'll get straight to it.

And feel free to come with more advice/pointers! This thread has been extremely valuable to me!
Thank you so much!!!
Christopher Lyle
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The older I get, the less I feel I need. My job is to be entertaining...not a walking magic shop. Traditionally, here's what I carry...

Deck of Cards
Sharpie Marker
Rubber Bands on Wrist
4 Silver Dollars
Extreme Burn in my Wallet

That is more than enough material for 2-4 hours of strolling magic. Your mileage may vary...
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
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Montana76
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Thanks Christopher!
Can I ask you how your EB is set up? Bills to bills? Clippings to bills?
I find it really hard to construct the gimmick..
Isaach
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I don't have as much experience as many of you, but the one thing I would say is that style is very important. You want to look professionals, and a bulging suit is anything but that. It should be well fitted. That doesn't mean you can't bring large loads though. As mentioned earlier, you can place items under you belt, in holdouts, or a topit. Storage options like aprons and cellphone holsters, are going to make you appear less professional to your clients and bookers.

I would recommend you take a look at Shimshi's penguin live lecture. He doesn't talk about pocket management, but he does talk about style and clothing selection in general, and non of that has stopped him from being successful with the magic he can fit in his pockets.
Isaac Haber - Boston

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TheMightyRicardo
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Hi Montana,
Yes I use EB all the time. To interupt adult groups while strolling I need the powerful impact of EB as an opener.
I use colourful magazine clippings to $10 bills (red in my country). The splashes of colour in the clippings camouflage the edges of the bills. The bills could always be spent in an emergency, so it is an investment, not a loss.
I have thought of re-making it with higher value bills but it does take time and care to make, and the one I have has served me well for over 2 years.

Richard
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Quote:
On May 5, 2015, Isaach wrote:
I don't have as much experience as many of you, but the one thing I would say is that style is very important. You want to look professionals, and a bulging suit is anything but that. It should be well fitted. That doesn't mean you can't bring large loads though. As mentioned earlier, you can place items under you belt, in holdouts, or a topit. Storage options like aprons and cellphone holsters, are going to make you appear less professional to your clients and bookers.

I would recommend you take a look at Shimshi's penguin live lecture. He doesn't talk about pocket management, but he does talk about style and clothing selection in general, and non of that has stopped him from being successful with the magic he can fit in his pockets.


I agree that some things can be too far and take away from your professionalism of which items I will not mention. However, in regards to something like the Pro Carrier, people really don't even see it. It's far from unprofessional and when it is noticed on occasion, they in fact compliment me saying that it seems very professional. Regardless, it's a very useful utility and when you use pockets for ditching, it's not the best to have other items in your pockets in which make clinking sounds.
Paul S Wingham
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I don't carry loads but a couple of things that make a difference are jol deck holders; which attached to belw under suit, so they are never seen. A little zippo holder and a couple of dave bonsall's clips for omni deck.

As an added point in relation to final loads. I don't do a chop cup but I do magus capsule. I have also done fireballs by Gary Jones and one thing I discovered by doing this is that size doesn't always matter and people love choclate! For this reason I now do a lime final load but before that I produce a ferrero rochet chocolate which I give to spectator. They are small enough to keep 3 or 4 in your pocket but big enough and shiny so they get noticed. Smaller than two bits of fruit and the spec gets to eat a chocolate.
Theodore Lawton
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That's a great idea for a mini cup load.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Montana76
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Ah! That's a great idea! But the chocolate will melt in my "hot pockets"! (couldn't resist..)

To summarize what I should do:
- Ditch the phantom deck, phantom pen and one cup routine. I can do those effects separate at the end of the night for example. "one last round" so to speak.
- Do more with less. What fits in my wallet? A couple of more card routines maybe?

Can someone recommend a good card effect for strolling? I have quite a few under my belt but I really would like a routine that is fairly different than the afore mentioned (dr daleys, acr and triumph..).

Have a great day everybody!
Paul S Wingham
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The ferrerro rochet idea wasnt my own; just to be clear; but it really is a great space saver and who doesn't like free chocolate?

I also use to the max so have ice in pockets anyway; but it helps being fairly cool year round in the uk.
Zephury
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Quote:
On May 7, 2015, Montana76 wrote:
Ah! That's a great idea! But the chocolate will melt in my "hot pockets"! (couldn't resist..)

To summarize what I should do:
- Ditch the phantom deck, phantom pen and one cup routine. I can do those effects separate at the end of the night for example. "one last round" so to speak.
- Do more with less. What fits in my wallet? A couple of more card routines maybe?

Can someone recommend a good card effect for strolling? I have quite a few under my belt but I really would like a routine that is fairly different than the afore mentioned (dr daleys, acr and triumph..).

Have a great day everybody!


The Chicago Opener is one you should definitely look in to. I personally took the original one and modified it a bit. The time the card is originally returned to the deck, I stopped doing it with a hindu. I place the indifferent card once it changes colors under their hand instead of just on the table.. I force the 2nd card with a cull as apposed to that generic hindu force and I do a top change followed by miss calling the card they just picked before giving it a wave and having them change places. Sorry if I'm a little vague, but you may pick up on some of that if you so desire to change it. Otherwise, another great way to go about it is with Pop Haydn's Chicago Surprise.

I also highly recommend a cards to pocket. That always plays big for me. I do it with 2 selections, signed cards and quite a bit more but I wont get in to that. You don't need a whole lot of card tricks, that's for sure.

There's a reason classics are classics.. because they're good. Explore the popular tricks and expand on them. I spent roughly a year researching different principals of magic, trying to come up with unconventional ways to perform with a deck of cards so that I could feel exceptional. However, you don't have to shine with diverse material for magicians or lay men. For both crowds, it's all about the performance and the variation which is what took me a long while to realize. Original tricks is a great thing to aim for, but you shouldn't ignore whats easiest to do. Take all of the classical tricks and expand on them. Come up with variations on method, psychology, adapt moves you know to make it even better and add your own character in to it. Trust me, you get just as much respect or sometimes MORE when you do a trick that all the magicians know but do it differently... Perhaps better than they've ever seen before. Not sure if it bothered you to use tricks that everyone does, but it certainly bothered me. I personally have not been fooled with a card trick in a long time.. I go to 5 magic clubs through out South Florida and I see people perform from all over the world every month. The card tricks rarely fool me and when they do, it doesn't necessarily impress me. What really impresses me are original plots that are expanded on, refined and personalized to someone's character. Take something classic and make it your own.

Hope you understand what I'm talking about.

-Harley
Chamberlain
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Quote:
On May 7, 2015, Montana76 wrote:

Can someone recommend a good card effect for strolling? I have quite a few under my belt but I really would like a routine that is fairly different than the afore mentioned (dr daleys, acr and triumph..).

Have a great day everybody!


Check out this card routine by kostya kimlat around half way in the vid

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP-rP1UtQvM

I perform this often at gigs and its a great combination of a brainwave style effect/colour changing deck/in hands transpo. It shouldn't be too hard to work out.
Chamberlain
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Quote:
On May 7, 2015, Zephury wrote:

The Chicago Opener is one you should definitely look in to. I personally took the original one and modified it a bit. The time the card is originally returned to the deck, I stopped doing it with a hindu. I place the indifferent card once it changes colors under their hand instead of just on the table.. I force the 2nd card with a cull as apposed to that generic hindu force and I do a top change followed by miss calling the card they just picked before giving it a wave and having them change places. Sorry if I'm a little vague, but you may pick up on some of that if you so desire to change it. Otherwise, another great way to go about it is with Pop Haydn's Chicago Surprise.


James Brown has a similiar handling of the chicago opener, you can see him perform it here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQxUaVVk8aw
Theodore Lawton
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I don't know if I'd do Chicago Opener strolling since I like using a table for this trick. Personal preference, YMMV.

One thing about working as a magician is you do the same tricks hundreds and thousands of times. So the stuff you already have and can do FASDIU is great for strolling. Why exactly do you want to change your routine? I can understand if you are performing for the same people a lot, but otherwise there's no need to switch it up. Unless you want to add variety for yourself, but keep in mind that strolling you won't have a lot of time anyway so only having a couple of card tricks is enough.

These tricks you have are great for strolling:

Dr Daley's last trick
Slop shuffle Triumph- although I like having a table for this for the dramatic final spread!
ACR to Wallet.

Other strolling tricks FASDIU without a table might include:

Twisting the Aces
Two Card Monte
Card to Forehead
The Biddle Trick
Card Warp

Gimmicked packet tricks you could also carry:

Double Back
NFW
B'Wave
Stand Up Monte

You could also stick a 3 1/2 of spades in your deck and have a lot of fun with it!

I also wouldn't ditch the one cup routine. You can get yourself a mini cup and do it all "in the hands." You could use any small cup btw and not have to spend a ridiculous amount on a "magic" prop. Just use some straight cups and balls balls and find some good final loads and you're set.

Just my 2 cents.

Theodore-

Smile
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Roy Rocha
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@ Montana76,My card opener is almost always John Guastaferro's Optical Opener, a great take on the Chicago Opener (IMHO). Worth looking into for your strolling repertoire!
Zephury
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Quote:
On May 7, 2015, Chamberlain wrote:
Quote:
On May 7, 2015, Zephury wrote:

The Chicago Opener is one you should definitely look in to. I personally took the original one and modified it a bit. The time the card is originally returned to the deck, I stopped doing it with a hindu. I place the indifferent card once it changes colors under their hand instead of just on the table.. I force the 2nd card with a cull as apposed to that generic hindu force and I do a top change followed by miss calling the card they just picked before giving it a wave and having them change places. Sorry if I'm a little vague, but you may pick up on some of that if you so desire to change it. Otherwise, another great way to go about it is with Pop Haydn's Chicago Surprise.


James Brown has a similiar handling of the chicago opener, you can see him perform it here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQxUaVVk8aw


I hadn't seen James Brown's before. I do really like the way he's done it though, it has a couple similarities with mine but still isn't quite the same. I really do like how he starts it off though, that part really made it in to something new.

As to Theodore, if you're talking to me about changing tricks... It's because I personally think that when most people take something right out of a book or DVD directly, those tricks lack the style and character of the performer. I always ask myself, if this really were magic, how would I handle the cards and how would I present it? Forgetting all aspects of someone else's performance style, how would I personally do it? It's kind of hard for me to explain but I think it's important to not only put your own character in to your magic but also to be proud of it. Revising routines and effects to fit my character and my personal preference on use of sleights, gives me a great feeling when I finally accomplish what I've aimed to do. It gives me more confidence in the tricks as well because they feel like ME. It's not something everyone has to do, but I do think it's worth trying out if it seems like these sort of feelings might apply to you. There are no set rules on how to present your magic or structure your routines, everyone is different.
Theodore Lawton
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I was speaking to Montana about changing his current set.

But I agree with you about making tricks "your own."
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
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