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Topic: Commonly used Props
Message: Posted by: michaelrice (May 8, 2005 06:26AM)
Over the past few months I have been asked to do weddings, trade shows and restaurant.

I turned down all opportunity's as I am more of a kids performer. I have been only doing kids parties for the last month. I would love to take up these opportunities if they arise again. One question is what props do most of you use for these type of performances? Besides card and coin.

Like card to wallet ect. what do you use?

Message: Posted by: calexa (May 8, 2005 10:58AM)
I like Card Warp with a dollar bill

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 8, 2005 11:53AM)
Before you do anything else, think about this...

Obviously someone thinks you are good enough for them to have asked you to perform at these other venues. Unless they specifically ask if you have other, more "grown up" material, you may have reason to believe they want what they have seen. Can't hurt to ask.

Message: Posted by: michaelrice (May 8, 2005 12:32PM)
Well when I work with kids and the parents are around I do a few card or coin tricks for them, which they enjoy. At this point they take my number and thus ask me to do adult walk around at their event. The rest is word of mouth.

So what I am asking is, what do you do at these events? Like what close-up props to use for adult walk around? Besides standard card and coin tricks, like props as in what particular ''card to wallet'' to get, maybe some sort of rope trick etc. What do you use/do?
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 8, 2005 03:36PM)
You're on the right track. Cards and coins are still good, and a lot can be done with either or both. It will help you if you can meld routines, so as not to seem overly abundant with card tricks, or coin tricks. In otherwords, try to avoid start and stop a card trick, start and stop another card trick, start and stop another card trick... A longer, blended routine will seem less redundant, plus you have the advantage of having several logical stopping points if you structure it properly (Sometimes, you need to cut short). Same is true for coin work, or in fact, with many other props/themes.

Many good card to wallets on the market. I personally have used a Mullica Wallet for about 15 years. Just remember, a card to wallet is still a card trick.

By personal experience, the following have become staples in my core routine, as every one has been called a favorite by laymen. This is the stuff that works in almost every situation:

1) Sponge balls (rabbits are just as good)
2) Bubble to crystal ball (don't buy the gimmicked version... use a normal bottle of bubbles and a crystal ball that is too big to fit into the bottle)(not good for outdoors)
3) Chop cup (provided you have a surface to work on)
4) Rope routine (I use my own routine that combines Prof. Nitemare, with elements from George Sands' routine, and my own tweaks)
5) Thumbtip and silk
6) of course, coin and card work, too

This is all simple stuff, no harder to make good than any other stuff you probably already do, and every bit of it can be made extremely interactive if you get clever with your presentation. By and large, that's the most important thing. Close-up magic is almost always stronger when it's interactive, rather than as an event for voyeurs.

Make it fun and adults become child-like putty in your hands.

I've used all of this, and more in every type of venue you've named (plus a whole lot more), and have made a good living from it for over 20 years. You don't have to carry it all on you either. Three to four trick is quite fine if you are strolling. If you have a long period to work, work in phases. Carry three or four tricks, work the room for half the time, and tell everyone that you'll show them more, later. Halfway through, reset with all new stuff and go do it all again.

Where to keep the extras? Bartenders, band members, and DJs are all very accommodating if you ask nicely. They are in a service business, same as you, and will typically agree to let you store your bag out of the way, but near them. Show them a quick trick at some point during the event and don't forget to give them a business card, too! If you must carry your bag with you (some events, it's better to do so), be sure to pack light... you'll be more comfortable, and people won't think you're moving in.

Eventually, you'll be able to follow the same formula for a stand-up show, and still manage to keep it all in one bag. That way, you'll be ready at the drop of a hat, should you be asked to do something in front of the whole group (eventually, that WILL happen!).


Message: Posted by: PROFED (May 8, 2005 03:38PM)
Color changing knives, hot rod, odd ball, acrobatic chamelon, sponge balls, thumb tip with silkm all work well for me.
Message: Posted by: gareth123 (May 8, 2005 06:38PM)
Not always props but effects in itself

Ambitious card
2 card monte
card transpo
ring flite
thumb tip

if you ever get the chance to learn morgans liquid metal thets great for grown ups

Message: Posted by: michaelrice (May 9, 2005 10:28AM)
Thanks for that advice, I have most of what is recommended. Now I just have to work out a suitable presentation for adults.

If anyone else can recommend anything, please do!

And just one more question, would that material work for restaurant also?
Message: Posted by: Jaz (May 9, 2005 11:03AM)
Michael Close's "Pothole Trick".

Finger ring and cord effects.(various)

Greg Wilson's "Florida Keys".

Mark Jenest's "No 2 Pencil".
Pen/pencil thru bills. (various)
Andrew Mayne's "Ghost Bills".

Tricks w/ rubber bands:
"Pinnacle" w/ finger ring.
"Traveling Cash" w/ bill, matchbook, watch.
JC Wagner's "Bandarama" w/ cards.
Sankey's "Bound to Fool" w/ cards.

Sometimes adding as single prop like elastics, hanky, IT, etc, can add more possibilities using props from other tricks.
Message: Posted by: calexa (May 9, 2005 01:33PM)
The Pothole trick is so cool!

Message: Posted by: JT Kordesich (May 9, 2005 02:26PM)
Th only props I usually have with me are:

-Rubber Bands
-Sponge Balls
-Sharpie and a Pen
-Once I get Ninja Rings, probably those too
Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (May 9, 2005 04:28PM)
In addition, Some mentalism is good for walk around -- Center tear work, Richard Osterlind or Banachek's watch routines. torn & restored post it, It's the rules by Bob Sheets (easy to do sach's style dice routine). I'll also second Michael Close's Pot Hole Trick.
Message: Posted by: michaelrice (May 10, 2005 12:52PM)
There are a lot of great effects mentioned there. Where will I find most of these effects? Are they on Videos?
Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (May 14, 2005 12:34PM)

Take everybody’s advice about the props to use. Try to have props that you can use in ANY kind of magic show. This makes you more versatile. I would suggest the following basic props. These can be used in ANY type of magic:

Bicycle Cards for card tricks
Buy several Packet Cards tricks like: “Brainwave,” "NFW," "Color Monte," or "Twisted Sisters" There are many other GREAT packet card tricks. Packet tricks pack small and people love them!
Dice for dice tricks (they pack small and people love dice tricks!)
Coins for coin magic
Dollar Bills or paper money tricks
Newspaper for newspaper torn and restore tricks
Rubber Bands for rubber band tricks – people go nuts over rubber band tricks
Sponge balls
Rope for rope tricks
Cups and Balls
Chop Cup
The Three Shell Game
Fast and Loose (The Chain Game)
Thumb tips for money and silk disappearing tricks
Silks for silk magic tricks
Hot Rod
Color Changing Knives
Linking Rings – Another favorite
Mentalist’s props like: paper, pencils, etc.
How about an escape trick with handcuffs or a rope?

For sources, I would suggest that you read books and watch DVDs. Stick with the basic magic tricks and you will NEVER go wrong. Remember to keep it simple. Simple magic is the best magic.

You mentioned that you were you are more of a kid’s performer but even if you are more interested in kid’s or children’s magic, NEVER turn down any PAID opportunity to perform ANY type of magic. Why? Well, first of all, you could always use the money to buy magic supplies. Another reason is that, who knows, maybe by performing these other types of magic you might become more interested in other styles of magic like, close-up magic, street magic, restaurant magic, etc. Do the weddings, trade shows and restaurant work! It makes you more versatile and that means that you will have MORE work as a magician.

Message: Posted by: serge (May 14, 2005 03:36PM)
First be assured that, if you do table hopping (outside posh restaurants or ballrooms) you will have to deal with kids too.

What material? Ask colleagues and they will give you a huge list about what they do. Go and see them and you will see almost only sure fire material: sponge balls, in-hand triumph, ambitious card, money magic (which all work well with kids too, if you change patter), thimbles, wedding bands and string, thumb tip variations and a chop cup or two. What separates the boys from the men is that you must absolutely sovereign, know your material in sleep to know any possible trap, every "out" you'll need. And this, I assure you, you can only do if you have a reduced program, say a good dozen tricks that you can stretch, cut, change, end within 20 seconds if the food comes or the speech starts; not if you "know" 50 tricks.
Besides: you should be much more confident in your own abilities!