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George50
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This something I just started to think about. I always start my set with Bill Malone's routine of Michael Skinners Ultimate Three Card Monte from On the Loose volume 1. It gets big laughs but each time I ask them where the ace is they are always wrong and I do it 3 times so I have Challenged them 3 times. Then I will do The Old 3 Coin Trick (I'm sure that's not what it's called but that what the man who taught it to me called it). You show 3 coins then you put one coin in your pocket then you show 3 coin's back in your hand you do that 3 times on the last time you show your hands empty so again I'm challenged them 3 time each time they answer they are wrong. I also do copper sliver brass again I'm challenging them again. My question do you think people get mad or tired of being wrong all the time? Nobody wants to be made to look like a fool and I don't want to offend anyone. But I have been doing those routines for years and I would hate to try and change them. So what so you think? And thanks for reading this long post.
Dannydoyle
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I personally would never do it at so much less so much. But it all depends on your style. There are no hard and fast rules.

I would encourage you to explore more of your own things with your own style and the question will answer itself.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
davidpaul$
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Variety: Dolly Parton states that a entertaining performance should have highs and lows. Tension and relaxation. Energy and low energy. This wave holds interest because human nature needs the variety in order to be entertained.

Dolly Parton said that if she sang all high energy songs the show would suffer. Rather mixing up the show with slow numbers as well as audience participation.

There is an obvious lesson here. If you perform all gotcha effects without a variety of effects that touches your audience in a variety of ways emotionally, then you are just a guy/girl doing tricks.
Guilt will betray you before technique betrays you!
waynet
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To add to what davidpaul$ said...
Think about how you want your spectators to feel while you are performing and after you walk away.
Chances are they will remember how you made them feel for much longer than the actual tricks you showed them.
Is there a way to change the end of the routine to leave them feeling good, or perform another trick after these ones that creates a final positive emotional experience for them?
Dannydoyle
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You’re absolutely right. If Maya Angelou Is to be believed “ I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

It is that simple.

The worst thing about these challenges for me is how they make the performer look. The smarmy “I’m smarter than you” type. Plus if you have someone on a date, who wants to be made to look like they are a chump? Do you really want to make a father look bad in front of his kids? And on and on the list goes. Why not male people feel better? It is just as easy. Instead of acting like a kid who was Picked on his whole life and now will get even with everyone because of it. It is easy to put someone in the spotlight who is not used to being there and make them look silly. I’m only proposing there is another way to go about it and still do a magic effect well.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
imgic
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I love the hopping half. Learned it young and have used it for decades. Most of that time I used the old "I've two coins...if I take the silver one away, what does that leave?" And while the routine always got looks of amazement, it did not leave folks with a good feeling. It had that smarmy "I got you" feeling.

A few years back I decided to change it. Mulling it over, scripting, revising, and finally came up with something that fits into a longer performance that I do. I talk about learning magic. I give them a demonstration of "the reverse palm"...how a magician can make it appear to take something away, but they really don't and demonstrate. I explain there's a differnce between half dollar and english penny. The ridgeds on the dollar make it easier. And I even let a spectator carefully pick up the half at one point in the routine and give it to me. Only to have it reappear in my hand. That small bit alone is priceless. As they confirm it's a really half, and THEY perform the magic! I end with taking a coin and explaining..oops, I slipped..and now both are gone.

Best of all, it's all the same physical movements. I didn't have to change anything but the patter. And it's a much better trick.

Think it over, play around...and you'll come up with something. And it will be better for it.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Jan 20, 2022, imgic wrote:
I love the hopping half. Learned it young and have used it for decades. Most of that time I used the old "I've two coins...if I take the silver one away, what does that leave?" And while the routine always got looks of amazement, it did not leave folks with a good feeling. It had that smarmy "I got you" feeling.

A few years back I decided to change it. Mulling it over, scripting, revising, and finally came up with something that fits into a longer performance that I do. I talk about learning magic. I give them a demonstration of "the reverse palm"...how a magician can make it appear to take something away, but they really don't and demonstrate. I explain there's a differnce between half dollar and english penny. The ridgeds on the dollar make it easier. And I even let a spectator carefully pick up the half at one point in the routine and give it to me. Only to have it reappear in my hand. That small bit alone is priceless. As they confirm it's a really half, and THEY perform the magic! I end with taking a coin and explaining..oops, I slipped..and now both are gone.

Best of all, it's all the same physical movements. I didn't have to change anything but the patter. And it's a much better trick.

Think it over, play around...and you'll come up with something. And it will be better for it.


Nothing short of brilliant. And as a bonus it proves my point!

What you point out so well also is the value of the “why” you are doing what you are doing. It motivates you and captivated the audience.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
George50
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Thanks for the help I should have stated that don't just do challenges I also do things like Flash, Ambitious Card, Ring in the Key Case, Pulling a Red Silk out of a Barrowed Bill using a T.T. Coins Across, Okito Coin Box and other tricks that I don't challenge so I actually only do 3 tricks using challenges I just want know if challenges are ok? I also try very hard not come off superior or smarmy just friendly. After my first trick I ask if they have eaten here before and if they haven't a lot of times they ask me for food recommendations.
imgic
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I never did the hopping half as a direct challenge...It was alwasy presented as magic coins, "if I take one, what does that leave?" I too never appeared smarmy (now my new favorite word) or superior. But it still did not come off well. Best analogy I can think of is a really great wine that has a weird aftertaste. It's good, and you'll drink it..but it's not satisfying.

Thinking about this thread, realized many challenge tricks can be turned into story-based routines. Doc Eason's three-card monte is a story.

You could also go the pure entertainment route, like Karl Heinz's Catch Up. His CSB routine is just an amazing routine of coins appearing, disappearing, and transporting, all without the challenge aspect.

As Danny's alwasys pointed out, different things work for different people. Challenge type tricks can work and be entertaining with some Performers, and not successeful with others. But fact you're asking about them, thinking about them, indicates you might want to change them. So go play around with some new ideas...have fun with it. Sounds like you've got a great repertoire of routines, so come up with something new and slip it in and see how it goes...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
warren
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I try and keep challenge type magic to a minimum personally.
George50
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Thanks for all the input! Last Friday I changed my patter line in the 3 coin trick to say "some people think that there is just 2 coins in my hand but I actually have 3 coins" the new patter line went great! I'm also working on a new patter line for c/s/b that is not a challenge. But that being said I'm still using the Bill Malone routine of the Skinner Monte it always gets a big laughs. But again thanks everyone for the help and insight! I'm going to leave you a line I use. I work in a Mexican restaurant that is known for its big Margaritas so I tell the people "that really looks good and you know when you drink of those it makes my job easy but when I drink one of those it make my job hard". that line always gets a laugh.
Dannydoyle
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It has gotten laughs for better than a century now.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
martonikus
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There are at least two "frameworks" that can be used to convert _any_ challenge trick into a non-challenging trick.

The first option is to explain the trick as something that once fooled the performer in an unforgettable way. For instance, "One day I went into a magic store and the owner showed me these coins. He put one of them in his pocket and asked me how many he still had in his hand. I said 'one, of course' and he asked me how much I was prepared to bet on it!" et cetera. Or "One day I was in New York and right there on the sidewalk was this beautiful woman sitting at a table with three cards. I thought I could follow the Queen easily. I put my hard-earned money on it and she really taught me a lesson!" et cetera. With this approach you can say (for instance) "I put a Ten Dollar Bill on this card over here and she said 'You know, nine out of ten people bet the same way, but they all come to regret it'." This can become a "repeat gag line" if you wish.

The other option is to explain the trick as one you previously used to win money, fool a friend, fool a magician or teach a lesson. For example, "I have a friend who gambles on everything - he cannot resist a bet. Do you know anyone like that? I thought he was a bit too eager so I took out these coins and showed them to him. I put one of them in my pocket and asked him how many were left. When he said "just one" I asked him how much he wanted to bet on it." et cetera

No doubt there are many other ways to change up the patter and avoid the "gotcha" moment with challenge tricks. Spectators don't like to be wrong - but they are happy to be fooled as you show them how badly you, or someone you once knew, got fooled or bet foolishly.
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