(Close Window)
Topic: What are the best types of tricks and props to perform a strolling gig?
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Jul 17, 2015 11:56AM)
Just got offered my very first strolling gig. I have many props such as, chop cup, egg bag, etc. I just want some feedback as to what kinds of things work best for these types of gigs. I appreciate any and all feedback.

All I know about the gig is that, I need to wear a top hat and coat tails. Sounds like a formal adult event to me.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 17, 2015 12:59PM)
You may be there just for color. The Top Hat and tails sound like a costume.

But if you are performing, I'd suggest that you keep it unusually elegant.

Cards
$ bill effects are now $100. dollar bill effects.
Ring and Ribbon.
Coins and coin purse
napkin rose
Gypsy Thread (You can set these up on your business card by cutting a couple of notches in the card). They are better to stack a little offset from each other in a card wallet like you'd use for packet tricks (make sure it is black for this gig).

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: bigfoot (Jul 17, 2015 01:38PM)
A couple packs of cards
Four/ five half dollars plus a copper coin.
A marker
And your favorite card to impossible location ie wallet, coin purse, mystery box, etc.
I use UltraAstonish-mint it is a very good double whammy type card to small box and it is really easy to make yourself.
Plus they never see it coming.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 17, 2015 01:42PM)
Keep it simple.

Color Changing Knives - for the guys
Sponge Rabbits - so the client can hear everyone is having fun
Jumping Gems - for he ladies
Anything easy with no reset
Card on Forehead - So he client hears everyone laughing
Copper, Silver, Brass coin transposition
Finger ring on an off rope - to get several people involved by holding the rope ends
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Jul 17, 2015 02:03PM)
Thank you all for the feedback! You guys are awesome! I will be sure to use these ideas. Wish me luck!
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Jul 18, 2015 04:22AM)
Card to wallet
Stand up Monte
Bill switch
Mini brainwave
Color Monte
Card warp.
Chicago Surpise

I find that people usually gather in small groups, and many will sit at tables. I like to do a set of 2, having 3 or 4 sets with me. I also pack a chop cup for the tables.
Message: Posted by: Chamberlain (Jul 18, 2015 06:31AM)
Tricks that I regulary use at strolling gigs:

Crazy Mans Handcuffs
Blank Paper to Money Bill Switch
Blackpool Effect/Invisible Deck
Nudist Deck
Trick Shot Production
I've got a Surprise For you
Ambitious Card to wallet/Omni
Chicago Surprise
Multiple Selection
Roth Coins Across
One Coin Flurry/Coin on Shoulder
Stand Up Monte
B'Wave
Wonderland Bill
5 to 10 Transpo
Sponge Bunnies
Sharpie Card Revelation
Kundalini Rising
Ring on String
Business Card Signature Transpo
Slop Shuffle Triumph
Be Honest, What Is It?
Odds Are with Me
Peeked Card Mind Read
Business Card Prophecy
Spin Doctor
Hand Twist
Add a Number using someones iPhone
Behind My Back
Phil Deck
Ultimate Flashback (with 1 book)
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jul 18, 2015 06:51PM)
Holy cited that's a lot if tricks. Look back at some older posts here for more ideas. Most recommend 2 or 3 sets of 3 tricks. Use tricks you know and are comfortable with. Most importantly the focus should not be on the trick but the entertainment...your interaction with them. Good luck and have fun.
Message: Posted by: ZachDavenport (Jul 18, 2015 08:31PM)
I do sponge balls, a coin routine, and then a pseudo-hypnosis card routine to close.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 19, 2015 11:31AM)
I use things that can play to 1 or 30, with high visibility and can work in a loud environment
coins thru silk
ninja rings
professors nightmare
sponge bunnies/balls

I always have and use cards but prefer not to use them as an opener.
Message: Posted by: patrick1515 (Jul 20, 2015 07:17PM)
If all you know about the "gig", is that they want you to perform strolling magic while wearing a top hat and tails...then you have not asked enough questions.
It may well be that this is a elegant formal event...it could also be that they want you to "look the part" for a room full of kids.

Give them a call and find out what they truly expect.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 20, 2015 10:26PM)
I really agree with patrick1515.

I have a sheet with all the questions I feel I should be asking as I will often forget as the conversation flows.

It really doesn't sound like you are booked at all if you don't know what is expected of you. We often have a mental picture that varies greatly from the people on the other end of the phone.

You have a right and a responsibility to know what they are hoping for. How else can you know if you are the right one for the job?

If they want you to stand outside in the sun for "color" you may not wish to subject your Tux to such sweaty conditions.

Make up a booking sheet and call the client. It seems that you may have already agreed upon a price. You may have to work for that this time. We all live and learn to ask questions.

Here is a link where this is touched upon briefly.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?forum=17&topic=368980#0


-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: John T. Sheets (Jul 21, 2015 01:38AM)
One coin routine
Crazy man's handcuffs
Color changing deck
Cool cash
QB3
Energy bender
Ambitious cards
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Jul 21, 2015 07:04AM)
If you are accepting a paid performance with no idea of what is expected of you, and, you need to ask about what effects work, you have other problems to worry about!
Message: Posted by: JoshRyan (Aug 2, 2015 07:45PM)
I try to avoid any angle sensitive tricks while strolling. It's so much easier to control for angles at a restaurant. As well, I do a trick, multiple coin productions from silk ending with jumbo coin production, which is difficult to do if I'm strolling outside and it's even a little windy.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Aug 3, 2015 12:32AM)
Strolling, I believe the best rule is more with less. Pocket space will is at a premium. I often do 3-4 hours with 1 regular deck of cards, a coin purse with 3 effects in it, and my wallet. 1 regular deck will serve you much better than 3 that you can only do one thing with and they aren't examinable. Of course....only if you know what to do with a regular deck.
Message: Posted by: frankieacemagic (Aug 8, 2015 10:26AM)
Pepka's absolutely right! When I started, I carried a small apartment with me. I wanted to show the customers my skill with billions of objects. But that's when I was young and stupid :) Now that I'm old and stupid, I only carry a few things. As had been said trillions of times, it's mostly the performer and the routine. The props are just a vehicle.

My vehicles are

Chop cup
Sponge balls
Turbo Stick
Regular Deck
Extreme Burn
Mismade Bill
Sometimes I also add Cardtoon!
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 17, 2015 08:26AM)
It went as well as could be expected. I was the magician set up to greet and mingle with guests upon arrival in a lobby. This was a very ritsy upper class gig, so getting started with each group was a challenge as they didn't really want to be interrupted. I had mild resistance from some of the party, but also had great times with most other guests. I stuck to really simple effects even though I had other effects with me. I originally thought I was going to do a 3 trick set for each group and move to the next(3 sets of 3). Upon my arrival and guaging the audience, I felt this idea wasn't gonna fly well. These people were more interested in trying to get drinks and catch up with old friends than magic tricks. Since the crowd was mingling it made it extremely difficult to manage and remember who had seen effects and who hadn't. Even with all that aside, I felt I did as well as could be expected given the circumstances. Any advice on what I could have done better to keep groups more engaged? My go to great result effects were sponge balls, mentalism card trick, scotch and soda coin trick, and Dr. Daley's last trick. Those seemed to work well since they were quick and to the point.
Message: Posted by: Ross W (Aug 17, 2015 04:12PM)
Eeeeeh….to be honest, Snooganstg, it sounds to me more like they were tolerating you rather than really diggin' your magic. Don't feel bad: we've all had gigs like that and the more you do it the less frequent these type of gigs are.

The GOOD thing is that you had the sensitivity to realise that they weren't gonna love a three trick routine so you cut it back. That's fine: nothing worse than a magician who outstays his welcome.

The more relaxed you are, the more they like you, and the more they like you the more they like the magic. Make sure you ask their names, use their names, react to what they say, drop your shoulders, joke around, don't hunch over your tricks. Watch Doc Eason's stuff for tips on engaging a crowd and having fun with them.

(One day I will take all of this good advice and apply it CONSISTENTLY to my own act. Then I'll be good!)
Message: Posted by: frankieacemagic (Aug 17, 2015 05:09PM)
That's great advice Ross. I've been doing strolling for many years and would still love to do all of that consistently. You're spot on.

Snoogansgt, no matter what anyone says, it isn't easy approaching groups of people in this environment. It can get easier, but it's not EASY. One thing is for sure: the more you do it, the easier it will become. Also, perfect a KILLER opener. And I mean "perfect" it. To the point that your patter and hand movements work by themselves. It helps so much to not have to think about what you're saying or doing in the opening. Once you're in, you're in. That's when I start riffing with the crowd. But you need a fast, killer opening that shows them you're For real.

May I suggest Extreme Burn, singles to 20s?? In other words, don't give them time to get their guards up. Something visual and perfected. If they don't respond to that, smile and move on. The next group will!
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 18, 2015 08:20AM)
Thank you everyone for all your input and advice. I really appreciate every single bit of it. Looking back I felt like I was more of a prop than a hired magician. I agree that I need a stronger opener, and I am currently looking into that right now. I do have fun interactive tricks to show people, but I need them to see that I am the real deal so that they will give me the time of day to perform. Just a small window is all I need. lol. Thank you all again.
Message: Posted by: MickNZ (Aug 19, 2015 07:26AM)
Sounds like your first mistake was dressing like The Great Mumford from Sesame Street.

As well as the fact that you knew nothing about the event, the client or the audience and didn't even have any routines planned, let alone an actual act.

Good grief.
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Aug 19, 2015 08:33AM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, MickNZ wrote:

Sounds like your first mistake was dressing like The Great Mumford from Sesame Street.

As well as the fact that you knew nothing about the event, the client or the audience and didn't even have any routines planned, let alone an actual act.

Good grief. [/quote]

[quote]On Jul 21, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:

If you are accepting a paid performance with no idea of what is expected of you, and, you need to ask about what effects work, you have other problems to worry about! [/quote]

I doubt that this group would consider ever hiring another magician.

Sorry to be blunt.
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 19, 2015 10:39AM)
Kabbalah how are you so quick to criticize when you weren't even there? I had no other choice but to dress the part. It was specified in the contract. I got more details about a week before the performance, not as much as I wanted, but still better than none at all.
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Aug 19, 2015 11:52AM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:
Kabbalah how are you so quick to criticize when you weren't even there? I had no other choice but to dress the part. It was specified in the contract. I got more details about a week before the performance, not as much as I wanted, but still better than none at all. [/quote]

Where did I say anything about your manner of dress?

I criticize because you accept a paying performance (your first) without [i]any[/i] idea of what you are going to do...

[quote]On Jul 17, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:
Just got offered my very first strolling gig. I have many props such as, chop cup, egg bag, etc. I just want some feedback as to what kinds of things work best for these types of gigs. I appreciate any and all feedback.

All I know about the gig is that, I need to wear a top hat and coat tails. Sounds like a formal adult event to me. [/quote]

You have props, but no plan; and, you come here in the eleventh hour asking for advice.

What books have you studied relating to the performance of magic and how to entertain with magic?

Tricks mean nothing without a solid foundation in performance and [i]entertainment[/i] knowledge!

Sorry, that is not the way to conduct business.
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 19, 2015 12:19PM)
Kabbalah, I have nothing to prove to you. Have a nice day. I was merely asking for some advice/opinions from reputable sources as all these wonderful people have done. I thank all of them for their kind words of wisdom and for the great advice. As for the gig, I had an oppurtunity, so I took it. My area doesn't have any magicians hardly. Magic isn't very popular here so I really have very minimal resources to draw from. Hell the nearest magic store is 3 hours away from me. I have done lots of research on magic by reading books and watching many dvd's. I still have lots to learn, but you can only practice for so long. At some point you must go out there and perform. It is where you truly learn the art of entertainment, and allows you to perfect your craft. You can't learn that sitting at a desk practicing move after move all day.
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 19, 2015 12:22PM)
Also if you are so great, why not share some knowledge with others rather than criticise everyone. Offer constructive criticism to help others. Lead by example! If you have been performing for a long time, offer advice to us newer guys. Help us rather than discourage us.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Aug 19, 2015 12:22PM)
No, it isn't the way to conduct business but he is new and trying to improve.

Many Pros would cringe if they thought about some of their first forays into professional Magic.

We have to start somewhere and Snoogansgt is over his first hurtle.

Seeing what it is really like to work Close-Up is an awakening to most first timers and learning how to talk to perspective clients is a process.

Best luck and continued hard work Snoogansgt.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 19, 2015 12:25PM)
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement Mary! Thank you for all you sound advice! This is only the beginning, and I hope to improve with each and every performance.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 19, 2015 12:25PM)
Asking what tricks to do is pointless.

Asking yourself who you are and what tricks seem to fit your personality would be a far more productive use of your time. Really nobody here can answer that for you. It is in your own heart and mind that this answer resides.

You are just starting so good time to learn this. If you keep asking other magicians what they do and what they would think, then you end up looking like all of them. If you just go with what fits you and your personality then you will end up being a unique personality. Just sayin.

And don't dismiss what Kablahblah said just because it makes you mad. Having a plan and all the things he mentions will get you much further than what trick you pick to do.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 19, 2015 12:46PM)
Snoogansgt, one way to show you have something interesting when approaching a group or table, is to do a simple card fan as you approach the group. This shows you have skill and can do something they can't. I have never not had a lay person comment on fanning a deck or doing a double handed fan. Then if you have people that object, usually men, who can't stand being fooled, they will put up with it because of those that are fascinated with it. Just a suggestion, that seems to work.
Message: Posted by: Munskin (Aug 19, 2015 12:46PM)
[quote]On Jul 19, 2015, Frank Starsini wrote:
I use things that can play to 1 or 30, with high visibility and can work in a loud environment
[/quote]

If there was just one piece of advice I wish someone had told me at the very beginning, it would've been this. It's gold. :)
Message: Posted by: bigfoot (Aug 19, 2015 12:54PM)
Now that you have a list you know what everybody is doing. Sooo if you want to be noticed don't do any of it because then you'll be just like everyone else. Watch the latest magicians on TV see what they do and don't do any of it. Or wait until it is 30-40 years old and start doing it because it will be new again. Really if you want to be unique, you have to be unique.
Message: Posted by: Snoogansgt (Aug 19, 2015 01:31PM)
I actually prefer older magic to be honest. Dai Vernon is my favorite. I love everything he does. He is a big inspiration to me! I try to be as natural as possible with every effect, and also try to think out a reason for everything that I do in a routine.
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Aug 19, 2015 02:28PM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:

Also if you are so great, why not share some knowledge with others rather than criticise everyone. Offer constructive criticism to help others. Lead by example! If you have been performing for a long time, offer advice to us newer guys. Help us rather than discourage us. [/quote]

I have already shared knowledge with you, very expensive knowledge if you were a student of mine. It is up to you you to recognize it (not going to happen if your only reaction is anger and denial) and either to accept or reject it.

My advice to you and others, just starting out, is to have a solid foundation in performance...then technique...then actual effects that you have [b]mastered[/b] using those techniques; even, if they are *self-working* tricks.

I agree that there is a time that you have to get the hands-on actual performances under your belt. But, you do this with family, friends, strangers...anyone you can get to suffer through your early necessarily rank performances.

You do not unleash yourself onto an audience that someone has paid you to [i]entertain[/i] to gain that experience. It will cost you dearly in the long run, especially in an area where there seems to be little magical entertainment.

Here is another pearl for you...if you haven't studied it, beg, borrow or steal a copy of Eugene Burger's [i]Mastering the Art of Magic[/i]. There is gold in those pages!
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Aug 19, 2015 02:38PM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Mary Mowder wrote:

Many Pros would cringe if they thought about some of their first forays into professional Magic.

-Mary Mowder [/quote]

I cringe at the thoughts of my first, second, third...performances.

However, if I had had a mentor like me, the way I am today, they would have never happened.

I would never have been allowed to solicit business and accept performance fees until I was ready!

I am not very accepting of failure...all because of [b]my[/b] first one in a church basement which I will never forget!

I should have never accepted my $25 fee...46 years ago.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 19, 2015 03:09PM)
I had several mentors. Charlie Schulien and Jay Marshall among them. I never paid for a magic lesson all mentoring.

I still cringe at me first few years of performance. A good mentor is a guide. But some things you only learn from an audience.

Jay used to say "we learn our craft from each other and our art from our audience". Forgot where he heard it.

Mentor or not the beginning is tough. Just for different reasons and maybe not for as long is all.
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Aug 19, 2015 03:31PM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:

I had several mentors. Charlie Schulien and Jay Marshall among them. I never paid for a magic lesson all mentoring.
[/quote]

You are a very fortunate man!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 19, 2015 03:40PM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
Asking what tricks to do is pointless.

Asking yourself who you are and what tricks seem to fit your personality would be a far more productive use of your time. Really nobody here can answer that for you. It is in your own heart and mind that this answer resides.

You are just starting so good time to learn this. If you keep asking other magicians what they do and what they would think, then you end up looking like all of them. If you just go with what fits you and your personality then you will end up being a unique personality. Just sayin.

And don't dismiss what Kablahblah said just because it makes you mad. Having a plan and all the things he mentions will get you much further than what trick you pick to do. [/quote]

Yes! Especially, Danny's last sentence. Kabbalah knows what he is talking about!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 19, 2015 03:45PM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:

Also if you are so great, why not share some knowledge with others rather than criticise everyone. Offer constructive criticism to help others. Lead by example! If you have been performing for a long time, offer advice to us newer guys. Help us rather than discourage us. [/quote]

I have already shared knowledge with you, very expensive knowledge if you were a student of mine. It is up to you you to recognize it (not going to happen if your only reaction is anger and denial) and either to accept or reject it.

My advice to you and others, just starting out, is to have a solid foundation in performance...then technique...then actual effects that you have [b]mastered[/b] using those techniques; even, if they are *self-working* tricks.

I agree that there is a time that you have to get the hands-on actual performances under your belt. But, you do this with family, friends, strangers...anyone you can get to suffer through your early necessarily rank performances.

You do not unleash yourself onto an audience that someone has paid you to [i]entertain[/i] to gain that experience. It will cost you dearly in the long run, especially in an area where there seems to be little magical entertainment.

Here is another pearl for you...if you haven't studied it, beg, borrow or steal a copy of Eugene Burger's [i]Mastering the Art of Magic[/i]. There is gold in those pages! [/quote]

Again, YES! ABSOLUTELY, YES!

If you expect free mentoring, you had better learn how to LISTEN! And, learn how to APPRECIATE!
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 17, 2015 02:56PM)
[quote]On Aug 17, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:
... getting started with each group was a challenge as they didn't really want to be interrupted. I had mild resistance from some of the party, but also had great times with most other guests. [/quote]

If they don't want to be interrupted, don't take it personally. Just move on and look for a different group.
If you find a group that is interested and enthusiastic, you an stay longer to help generate interest from others.

I have performed for a similar party twice in the past several years and was asked back to perform this year.
The group seems basically like friends that are catching up and have not seen each other all year or in years. Watching magic is not their priority.

Being able to read your audience and doing the right thing is not easy for everyone.
Consider yourself lucky.
Message: Posted by: Matty Freakin Whipple (Oct 17, 2015 10:34PM)
Here's a good tip I stumbled on:

Pick up an "aluminum wallet." I found mine in the as seen on TV section at Walmart. These things make absolutely terrible wallets, BUT they are PERFECT for holding packet tricks and gaff cards and it keeps hem all seperate. I always keep it in my back pocket or inside jacket pocket while strolling. I'm surprised these things haven't been retooled by the magic sellers out there, but that's probably a good thing because as soon as they became a magic utility they'd probably go from $15 to $35 overnight.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 22, 2015 09:45PM)
Yes!! When in doubt, buy an aluminum wallet! Problem(s) solved!
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Nov 30, 2015 04:34AM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:
[quote]On Aug 19, 2015, MickNZ wrote:

Sounds like your first mistake was dressing like The Great Mumford from Sesame Street.

As well as the fact that you knew nothing about the event, the client or the audience and didn't even have any routines planned, let alone an actual act.

Good grief. [/quote]


[quote]On Jul 21, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:

If you are accepting a paid performance with no idea of what is expected of you, and, you need to ask about what effects work, you have other problems to worry about! [/quote]

I doubt that this group would consider ever hiring another magician.

Sorry to be blunt. [/quote]

I say fake it till you make it. Do you have to have all the experience in the world before you go get experience? I think getting on the phone, getting booked, showing up and then preforming is worthy of more than rookie bashing. I say way to go. Now he has the option to continue to improve. Most never get on the phone...
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Nov 30, 2015 06:28AM)
Actually Snoogansgt sounds, to me, a serious and reflective newcomer. His responses are showing someone who is literate, articulate and reflective. He says he has practiced his magic and studied (why assume he hasn't without asking him first?) and that his magic went well with many of the attendees. I don't accept one of the conclusions that he was 'tolerated' and a magician will never be hired again. To me it sounds like it went better than that. He simply faced what many of us would face in this type of gig... that people who just wanted to chat over a drink to old friends and acquaintances & not be interupted.

To the above incidentally Snoogansgt sounded like he was sensitive to all this and that he moved on to other guests and did well with them. He's learnt about how to handle an environment, even if this was on the spot and without thinking about it in advance, we have all learnt some aspects of our craft and how to adapt on the spot without reading about it or planning it in advance. As long as one has practiced tehir magic and done a reasonable amount of prior study (& that does include dvds these days) then this learning helps you to adapt and equips you very often to handle new, unexpected situations on the spot.

I think perhaps that the most merited feedback/criticism would have been to say (in a nice way) is please ask the client some more questions in advance. For all we know, he might have intended to the very next day after the post, if not, I'm sure he will next time. It would have been fine to add the sage words that most of us make that at the end of the day, within certain parameters, the tricks one selects are almost irrelevant, it is engaging with the audience successfully that counts.

BUT one caveat to my last point above (that asking which tricks to do is irrelevant).... It is NOT totally irrelevant! Frank's answer points to the wisdom of routines that play to 1 or 30 people whilst someone else I think - and Snoogansgt himself in a subsequent post - said that doing routines that are quick and to the point work best in these environments. In noisy environments or when you have to work fast, then short to the point and highly visual magic is needed. Or adapting & shortening current routines in this way is needed. If any tricks are inherently slow-paced or are not very visual they have to be left out in these contexts.

I kind of think Snoogansgt needed kinder, more helpful responses. And as others have said, there comes a point that we learn by actually going out there. On the other hand to the critics here I grant you tha sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is just a 'youtube' magician who has never read a book or bought any top notch dvds by master magicians. Perhaps let's try and ascertain this first with a few gentle probing questions first before jumping on people.

Good luck Snoogansgt. Keep reading, keep watching good dvds... and keeping going out there. Ask questions in advance of your clients (& that includes how many guests are expected, are they all standing or sitting, is it just drinks, are there meals & if so is it table service or buffet, will there be any background music or musicians etc etc).

Regards,
Message: Posted by: Randy Marsh (Nov 30, 2015 10:27PM)
As a hobbyist, I generally just perform magic for people who want to see magic. It's more challenging when you're being paid to perform for people who aren't interested in seeing magic. But when you find yourself in these situations, I think you need to do what you can to gain their respect and make them want to see your next trick. In these cases, I think it's almost better to open with your closer. Or just do some sort of very strong, visual, and quick magic to get their attention. If you can really astonish someone, they'll want to see more magic.

For example, I would say that my "go-to" trick is generally an ambitious card routine that I end with a card to mouth and then card to wallet (or mystery box if I have it on me). I really like my routine and it has a lot of phases and it builds upon itself, etc. But if it's a tough audience, it's almost a better idea to open with card to wallet. It grabs their attention and will make them want to watch the rest of the routine. If the spectators are barely paying attention, they don't really care that their card got on top of the deck. And they certainly don't care when it happens 3 or 4 more times. When the spectators are really into your magic, a card jumping to the top of the deck (under impossible conditions) can be the most amazing thing in the world. For someone barely paying attention, they could really care less that you got their card to the top of the deck.

So things like bill changes (eg. Extreme Burn) are great at grabbing peoples' attention and proving to them that you'll be showing them something that they're going to want to see.

Normally I would close out a set by bending a signed quarter with my QB2, but with a tough audience you might be better off opening with that. Generally, if you just bend a signed quarter in front of their eyes, even a real stick in the mud should be impressed and wanting more. There aren't too many people who see something like that and just shrug it off like it's no big deal. The one positive aspect about performing for these sorts of people is that you'll be able to get away with things very easily. If they're only half paying attention, you can do things like deck switches and all sorts of stuff that you couldn't get away with when an audience is burning your every motion. So take advantage of opportunities like that to do something bold if it will help you make a big impact.
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Apr 7, 2021 08:08PM)
In my experience, not everyone likes Magic. If you are getting no response, move on. The worst thing you can do is force your Magic on people that want to talk or just want to be left alone. As far a beginner strolling Magic, I recommend doing the things you can do in your sleep, even self-working Magic. Then you can try more involved routines. I find short, simple, fun routines make it easier to build on your presentations when you are not thinking about all the steps and sleights you need to perform. Cheers and Good Luck!