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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Some opinions on EDC and impromptu performing (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Silversleights04
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Houston, Texas
141 Posts

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So, I hear and read a lot of beginners ask what's the best impromptu magic, what should I lear or buy or always keep on me for magic on the spot, etc. Well, after about 15+ years of trial and error from studying, performing, and taking every "show me a trick" and "what can you do right now" on the chin, I wanted to share some of my own insights.

Firstly, I've refined my current everyday carry set to fit hours of entertainment (literally) into one pocket. But before I continue, I'm going to say something divisive, but echoed by many members of the Café: I don't carry cards anymore, haven't for years. I started as a card magician, I'm more than competent with a deck, I still do card magic, and I spent years with a pack of red bikes in a Porper card clip in my pocket. However, I'm at a point in my performing life where I want my walkaround impromptu magic to be different than a booked performance. I want it to look and feel more organic than what a deck I have with me can offer. I feel like playing cards are only carried by gamblers and magicians and since the spectator doesn't have any chips, they're going to be primed and expecting to see some magic. That's fine and there's nothing wrong with having the tools of your trade on you, but it's not what I want. I want to surprise people with magic; I want it to seem like magic could happen at any moment, regardless of being asked to do a trick. I feel like that's some of the strongest magic there is.

Here is a link to the contents of my right pocket at any given moment: https://imgur.com/a/sYrL5xs
The contents include:
- Traveller coin wallet by Jeff Copeland
- 4 Silver Morgan Dollars
- Morgan Silver Dollar Ring
- Tiger Tan bronze coin by Jeff Copeland
- Chinese Coin by Tango
- Sharpie
- Shrinkie Sharpie (homemade)
- Titanium shinobi finish knucklebone from aroundsquare
- Fisher space pen
- 10 - 15 billets for mentalism

With these materials and my gift of the gab, I'm confident I can perform magic and mentalism anytime, anyplace, for anyone. Sleight demonstrations and feats of mentalism come from an internal setlist I can pull from depending on the situation and the spectators. It's important to craft modular sets and routines so that you can perform as long as you want/need to and change things up as you read the room and see what's playing well. So, what's in my setlist? Well, no point in asking for the contents of a library when all you really need are some good stories. That is to say, my setlist is long, here are some good resources to piece together though: Gregory Wilson's On the Spot, Jay Noblezada's In the Beginning there were Coins, Eric Jones's Metal Vol 1 and 2, Sick by Ponta the Smith, Myles Thornton's lecture, Kainoa Harbottle's lecture, Marc Pauls ACTS of Mentalism, Bob Cassidy's Artful Mentalism Vol. 2, Zee J Yan's Itoshito, Jeremiah Zuo's Intitutes of a Coin Magic Fan, and bunch of other stuff truthfully.

Learning to Jazz and improv routines is crucial! Some helpful jazzing tips include: find ways to "work through your catalogue." If you don't know your catalogue, try practicing the sleights you know with a certain prop in alphabetical order, then do the routines you know in alphabetical order (or by which routines use the sleights alphabetically), then reverse the order and work the list backwards, that's one way to develop your catalogue. Play around to music, film yourself, find your favorite sleights, ask friends, ask strangers, find ways to string sleights together, string routines together, play with various mediums, mix mediums, try coin sleights with cards and vice versa, focus on the effects that you think best represent the type of magic you would do in a planned performance. It becomes easy and you'll probably start to do it in the back of your mind, let it happen.
Do things in unorthodox ways. I have friends that still talk about the time I bit a rock hard pepperoni, but then pulled a big coin out of my mouth, that kind of weird in the moment stuff that isn't in a formal performance, it may never happen again or ever find it's way into an act, but that makes that moment special.

Mentalism is an often sadly overlooked tool in an impromptu arsenal, don't be afraid, hesitant, reluctant to do a mentalism effect! "Well, I don't want to pretend and make people think I can read minds." Then don't. Present it in a way that feels right, but don't overlook or underestimate some of genius methods floating around since the 1800's for gaining information and revealing it with showmanship.

Don't invest in too many single effect videos. That doesn't mean don't ever buy them if you want them, but this is a big tip. Seriously, think about it like this, some single effects or 3-5 phase routines cost between $5-20 dollars. For the same money, you can get massive amount of magic insight from a book or lecture with dozens of sleights, methods, routines, insights, experiences, and nuances a 20-minute video will never capture. It makes more economic sense. Also, consider that the foundational pillar stones of most magic videos from pros are still books. Even content creators as young as Moritz Mueller are still finding immense value between covers and pages and credit the authors.

My last tip for now is, don't be afraid to not perform. A lot of guys will waste a perfectly good evening with friends waiting for their opportunity to amaze them or trying to force one. The better option is to be natural, casual, and see if an opening for magic presents itself organically. If it doesn't happen, that's ok! If you really are dying to show them something still, wait for a lull in the conversation and then get into it...

I hope this has been somewhat helpful to someone, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know, I'm very accessible!

Thanks for reading! Best of luck and go be amazing.

Remember...
Magic sees magic.
Together we make each other better.
Magic sees Magic.
Together we make each other better.
Do something amazing today.
Dougini
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Inner circle
The Beautiful State Of Maine
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Wow, Silver', you said it all! That arsenal of tools is impressive!

Doug
Silversleights04
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Regular user
Houston, Texas
141 Posts

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Quote:
On Dec 8, 2019, Dougini wrote:
Wow, Silver', you said it all! That arsenal of tools is impressive!

Doug


Thanks Doug, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to check out my post! I'm still pretty young with a lot left to learn, but I like to think that I've cultivated a little bit of experience worth sharing Smile
Magic sees Magic.
Together we make each other better.
Do something amazing today.
Dougini
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Inner circle
The Beautiful State Of Maine
6724 Posts

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I'm gonna drop a BIG secret of Mentalism for you. Go to Penguin and search for Billet Killers by Bob Cassidy. 'Nuff said... Smile
Silversleights04
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Regular user
Houston, Texas
141 Posts

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Quote:
On Dec 11, 2019, Dougini wrote:
I'm gonna drop a BIG secret of Mentalism for you. Go to Penguin and search for Billet Killers by Bob Cassidy. 'Nuff said... Smile


Thank you for that excellent recommendation and I couldn't agree more! Bob Cassidy's work is always amazing, he was an incredible character and his insights are truly gems of wisdom! I got Billet Killers last month with a bunch of Bob's work, but I haven't watched it yet, by your recommendation I'll watch it tonight Smile I'm reading the Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy Vol. 2 and Elliott Bresler's Switchcraft at the moment. Trying to prioritize my books these days. The knowledge in those two books alone is almost enough to launch a career in mentalism! That's my BIG secret to share ;-)
Magic sees Magic.
Together we make each other better.
Do something amazing today.
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