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Topic: Turning standard magic tricks into hustles
Message: Posted by: Eddie Torres (Jan 17, 2010 01:16AM)
So I have this habit of performing regular tricks with a con game patter. I actually started doing it because I wanted to put an entire set together based on old school swindles and I didn't have enough material to fill the time. So I took some other effects and turned them into games. I still do my spongeball routine as a con game and I have a routine I do based on the hot rod as a con game. Anyone else do this sort of thing?
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jan 17, 2010 03:09AM)
Why yes...yes I do!

http://www.conman.com.au

I'm happy to talk privately about some of my ideas if you'd like to PM me.

In general, I can offer the following advice.

DON'T SHOE-HORN EFFECTS
I spent years trying to make my favourite magic tricks into scam routines. However, they always felt false and forced. Rope routines in particular are a favourite of mine but they seldom feel like scams.

START WITH THE SCAM.
It's very hard to start with a specific scam and then to create a strong routine around it. However, the rewards when you succeed can be great. Visit scams.wikispaces.com for some ideas.

DEMONSTRATE A SKILL
Scams are done with a specific skill whether it be sleight of hand or psychological manipulation. 'Magic' is not a skill con artists use. It's far more enjoyable for the audience if they feel like they are 'in on' the secret. For example, When you deal yourself a royal flush in poker, its because your skill and not because of some sort of mystical secret.

PLAY THE ROLE
A magician who does scams is no where near as interesting as a con man revealing his secrets. The best shows I do are those where the audience don't know I'm a 'magician' but instead think I am a reformed or 'honest' con man.