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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Magical impact (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
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This topic hints at how we can make things more "believable".

A long time ago I did an all day grand opening for an Ikea store. I was on my feet all day for 3 days straight, if I remember correctly.
I decided to use a "Smoke" prop that produced smoke from my fingertips.

I could have produced a large amount that was visible to many.
But I chose to produce the smallest visible amount possible that I completely ignored.
I wanted to produce just enough, when I snapped my fingers, that the spectators saw it, but then didn't, and questioned their own eyeballs.
..."did I just see smoke from his fingertips"?

that's what I was going for.
I felt anything bigger or if I drew attention to it would be very unbelievable and reek of a gimmick.

In this case, I definitely felt that less was more.
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Ironjim
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@funsway - I absolutely love your idea of having an effect set aside for just the right occasion. Like that special bottle of wine waiting to be brought out for just the right moment. You never know where or when you will use the effect, but whenever the stars align you are ready. Totally inspired me.
Dick Oslund
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I agree, Frank!

SUBTLE!!!!!!!! "UNDER PLAYED" !!!!!! LESS IS DEFINITELY MORE!!!!!!!

Too many performers invest in a new "toy", and, want to get their investment back, at their next show!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Ray Haining
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Which one of these user-name guys is Frank?
TheAmbitiousCard
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Moi
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Ray Haining
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I love that idea with the smoke.
JoeHohman
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Frank, in most situations I have tended to agree with your perspectives.

But I do carry a few things with me at all times for these very occasions you describe: I keep a few halves or English pennies, a bandana with two safety pins attached, a coiled shoestring bound together with two rubber bands, and my wedding ring. The nice thing about this set-up is I can start with the ring and string --- I pass both of them out for inspection (everything is quite ordinary -- nothing is gimmicked) --- and stop there, or continue if people want to see more and we are all having a good time. Between the ring and string, crazy man's handcuffs with the rubber bands, a linking pin routine, and a short one coin flurry, I can do a solid 10 to 15 minutes.

But the main points are:
1. Everything is examinable, and I always have them examine it BEFORE I start to use it.
2. I stop as early as I want. If all that is required is a quick one-off, I take the ring off the string, say, "Glad you liked that," put the ring back on my finger, and put the shoestring away. Boom.
3. I always save the coin(s) for last. But again, I will pass the coins out for inspection BEFORE I do anything with them.

Like the scouts always say.... Be Prepared!
Al Schneider
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I hope this little experiment sheds some light on impromptu vs prepared shows.

I have a little routine I call Sly Napkins. Get any napkin, tear it in half and go. It is totally impromptu providing you have a napkin around.

I found the routine to be very powerful. It got great reaction so much so I decided to include it in my regular close up show. There, it did not go as well.

Not sure why but perhaps is paled when compared to my set up stuff.

The point is that impromptu, it was great. In a prepared show it was just OK.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Joe I think everyone has to decide for themselves
what is acceptable. And all is ok.

For me I decided nothing was best and most exciting for me.
It pushes me to be able to do pure impromptu.

That doesn’t mean I might not have some setup once I see an opportunity tho.
The “as I recall” dvd of Slydini has a fantastic t&r napkin that I do all the time.
Requires a bit of prep but easily done.
I often combine it with coin thru the table (salt shaker) .

Using the leftover napkin after the coin trick for something else makes it even better.
Why? Because the follow up miracle is almost like an
afterthought but even more impressive.
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Ray Haining
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When asked to do a coin trick, I can think of three approaches:

(i) The coins are borrowed, and the trick(s) performed using just those borrowed coins, which are returned to the owner at the end of the trick.

(ii) The coins are borrowed, but a gaff is secretly introduced and then secretly removed, and the coins returned.

(iii) Your own coins are used.

All three are appropriate. The second, in an impromptu situation, is probably the strongest, most especially when the gaff permits effects impossible with pure sleight of hand.
Al Schneider
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I once had a contract with a company called Trane.

As part of the project I was working on, the company sent me to Pennsylvania to work with a client company. The company had their own campus. That is a number of very large buildings the company used. I was in a building that employed thousands of people. One day I borrowed four quarters and a deck of cards. I did Matrix for one of the employees there. He dragged me to another department and had me show it to people there. Then someone there dragged me to another department to do it for a friend there. There was always a rag or towel I used as a close up mat. During my three days there I probably performed the trick twenty times at the request of one person or another.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
TheAmbitiousCard
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That’s a great one.
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Ray Haining
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In approach (ii), above--borrowing the coins, but secretly introducing a gaff--the gaff can also be a secret, extra coin(s).

Approach (iii)--using your own coins--can be of two types: coins that are familiar to everyone--quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies--and coins that are not--half-dollars, silver dollars, etc.

I know of one trick where both your own coin and a borrowed coin are used: Spare Change, by David Acer. You say you are going to do the eleven-cents trick (not the Gregory Wilson one). You bring out a penny, which is gaffed, but pretend you don't have a dime and ask to borrow one. (No one asks to examine the penny, because who would ask that?) At the end of the trick, the penny is transformed or vanishes and the borrowed dime is returned to the owner.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Even something like 2 in the hand one in the pocket can use a combo
Of borrowed/ brought coins or objects.

I did an event where dice were scattered on tables.

So I would say “ somebody hand me a 3 dice”.

I already had a 4th. I picked one up once I noticed
The opportunity.

The point is that many impromptu tricks can still use secreted items.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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funsway
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The art of switching gaff coins in and out while handing or taking for a spectator is an "under-published" filed.

For decades I have had a tray of coins and other small object held by a Volunteer Assistant to explore at their will.

An object is selected and handed to me. I do something incredible with it, then drop it back on the tray/basket.
In the process a simple Utility Switch is executed. Later on another gets the gaff out of play.

One nice part is that the natural action of reaching out to the spectator with extended hand brings the other hand to your waist.

In my Medieval Camp strolling days I had a wide belt that held six gaffed coins under the bottom edge and had four pockets on top for ditches/swaps.
I used this for coins, stones, nuts and rings. A dagger used as a wand provided addition reasons to go to my belt.

I was prepared for any object selected, or objects found in a campsite.

....

the key is that "seeming impromptu" is a perception that can be sold/remembered.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Michael Rubinstein
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Wierd, I had posted about an effect of mine that seems to have vanished. I do a routine on my Penguin live 2 lecture called Three Quarters. I borrow three quarters and do an effect with each of them. I can ring in gaffs, not needing to worry about whether the coin is state or eagle, since no one knows what type were the quarters that were borrowed. This way you can do a routine with borrowed quarters, that seem impromtu but aren't Smile
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