(Close Window)
Topic: Someone asks you to "do a trick." What do you do?
Message: Posted by: deanpickles (Jun 4, 2018 11:21AM)
You've got some real money in your pockets, some billets or business cards, and a clean deck of 52. What's your go-to trick?
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jun 4, 2018 11:47AM)
HaLo Aces
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jun 4, 2018 11:57AM)
Although I don't have a deck in my pocket - done with "someone's" deck.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jun 4, 2018 04:42PM)
I carry a half-dollar for just this situation. I do a one-coin transposition followed by a vanish. I don't know what it's called, but it was taught to me by Ben Earl. It's short, hits hard, and I'm done being a dancing monkey in as little as one minute.
Message: Posted by: LarryD (Jun 19, 2018 03:11PM)
If you have nothing at all in your pockets you can still perform Invisible Dice. Best to do this for someone over 40 years old...I find younger than that usually can't accurately multiply a single digit by five without using a calculator...never learned multiplication tables!
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jun 20, 2018 12:11PM)
My "go to" impromptu/casual material is suggestion based. Generally I start by handing them an imaginary ball and jazz from there depending on the reactions.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jun 20, 2018 01:41PM)
Except LarryD, when I'm asked to "do something" --- it's "something" with cards they want to see. Always. And they usually have a deck to stick into my hands.
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (Jun 20, 2018 05:36PM)
My go to is Wikitest by Marc Kernstein. It's an amazing app.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Jun 21, 2018 12:52AM)
Force a card - reveal it in some fashion
Gemini Twins

Or from my wallet:
Spotty dot paddles
Crazy compass
B'wave
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Jun 22, 2018 10:55PM)
With cards, I do two things, depending on what I feel like. Either I use a p**k and then pretend to read body language as I divine the card chosen (Ian Rowland has some very good work on this and demonstrates it beautifully in his Penguin lecture) or I tell a fortune. Some people are bothered by fortune telling, but most find it at least interesting.

I don't do money tricks and haven't ever really worked on b*llets the way I intend to.

I do have a necklace I wear especially so I can do some ring and string stuff, but that wasn't what you were asking.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Jun 24, 2018 03:51PM)
I always carry "What tha" for impromptu situations. I also have a "mechanical" $1 to $20 bill in my billfold at all times. For cards ( with their deck) I'll do a simple force, double lift, not your card?, another wrong reveal, and finally their card is on the table under their hand. I also have a 3 card monte in my wallet, which I only do on occasion because the reveal is a little boy with his "watchamacalet" exposed. Great for a little impromptu bar magic.
Message: Posted by: Martello (Jun 27, 2018 06:26AM)
Extreme Burn. Always in my wallet.

Arthur
Message: Posted by: brandon90 (Jun 27, 2018 09:50PM)
Lately it's been Double Cross, Ambitious Card.
Message: Posted by: Adam Meier (Jun 28, 2018 12:52PM)
Do something with my peek wallet.. Allways a winner :)
Message: Posted by: Ado (Jul 4, 2018 02:53PM)
If someone asks me to do a trick, I turn down the request. I don't want to waste time doing tricks, and I perform when I decide to not when a random persons wants me to.

P!
Message: Posted by: Vater Araignee (Jul 4, 2018 07:18PM)
Ummm, I think you have mistaken me for that dude who is taller than me with the blue skin.
Message: Posted by: debjit (Aug 15, 2018 11:25AM)
My go to impromptu effect is a trick I created called The Social Prediction. It just requires a phone and I do a killer confabulation routine with it ;)

But if I were to just use billets like you said, I would perform Marc Spellman's Voqued routine.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Oct 2, 2018 06:16AM)
"Someone asks you to "do a trick." What do you do?" I don't, as I'm not a trained monkey :)

However, if I'm in the mood to perform on the spot and without my own props, I'll look for what's around to do something. There is always something I can work with like coins, bills, napkins, silverware, water bottles, cards business cards, pen and paper, whatever happens to be handy at the time.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Oct 2, 2018 08:50AM)
Mentioned this many times befor- after being asked to do a trick (too) MANY TIMES- ask for a coin- do an effect - then put THEIR coin in YOUR Pocket, if they ask for it or why - say "this may be my living - my family thanks you" -
Message: Posted by: Vitas White (Oct 2, 2018 03:20PM)
If I happen to have a deck of cards on me, which I usually do, I'll usually do some sort of ace production. I also enjoy the simple scarf through someone's cell phone trick, as long as the audience trusts me enough to hand me their smart phone!
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Oct 2, 2018 08:42PM)
I usually have Extreme Burn, Fire Wallet, bill switch, disappearing silk,bill breaker, a few coin tricks.
Anything besides a card trick.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Oct 3, 2018 05:45AM)
I carry my Grandpa's coins. He always had them with him and he played a game of 'pay attention'. So I share his game if someone wants to see something.

It's not always about being a trained monkey doing tricks or getting money for the time; when I play that game with someone, I can still hear my grandpa and that is special for me too.
Message: Posted by: gismo (Oct 22, 2018 09:55AM)
I use Rostami's "doodle" for some mentalism ...
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Nov 5, 2018 11:10PM)
I never leave my house without Sponge Rabbits. There is an unlimited amount of things you can do with them. You will not need a table. The only thing you will need is a pocket to carry them around in.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Nov 13, 2018 11:28PM)
While I kind of understand the attitude of "I'm not a monkey - don't ask for tricks," I think it is the wrong attitude for this topic. If you perform for a living, I would expect you to be able to at least show why you get paid for your work. If someone asked me to design a steel framed building (engineering student at the moment), I wouldn't do it, but I would at least show a couple of the steps that go into the initial decision making process to give them an appreciation for what I do.

In the magic world, I see no reason to give away the A material, but I also see no reason to turn someone down. I mean how often do people respond to any mention of magic with "oh, my uncle used to do a trick," or "magic is for dorks," or similar comments? If they are actually showing interest, do you want them to leave with the impression that magic is apparently for elitist snobs and nobody else?

At the very least, vanish and reproduce a coin.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Nov 14, 2018 03:46AM)
[quote]On Nov 13, 2018, Mr. Woolery wrote:
If they are actually showing interest, do you want them to leave with the impression that magic is apparently for elitist snobs
[/quote]

No I want them to go away with the impression that magic is an art form. And like other art forms, is something to be respected. Not thought of as something their uncle can do or something for dorks. Anyone can do a trick but only a magician, can do magic. That's the point of not performing, like a trained monkey.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Nov 14, 2018 08:34AM)
[quote]On Nov 14, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:

No I want them to go away with the impression that magic is an art form. And like other art forms, is something to be respected. Not thought of as something their uncle can do or something for dorks. Anyone can do a trick but only a magician, can do magic. That's the point of not performing, like a trained monkey. [/quote]

I was touring an art museum once. There hanging, were some works of Picasso and the tour guide was telling of his life. The guide said that Picasso would meet new people and sometimes take a napkin or scrap of paper and do a quick doodle or characture for them. Was he lowering or disrespecting his art? Did he cheapen it?
I can understand not doing something for someone that has seen other things you have done and says do a trick every time you see them, that does get annoying. I think one needs to take into consideration of the 'who' that is asking for something.

Since each of us is a different person, what's right or wrong for me in this aspect will be different for what's right or wrong for you. Neither of us is wrong from our own experiences and perspectives.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Nov 14, 2018 09:46AM)
Before Picasso was known for his work, I would venture to guess, that many of those napkins found there way into the trash. Besides it was his choice to do the doodle and I'm sure wasn't EXPECTED. Magic on the other hand has a connotation, that because it's fun and playful, we as magicians must want to do it? After all when uncle Harry comes over, he always wants to do a trick. This is what I have tried to combat in my refusal to do magic on command. However, if advantageous to me or my place of employment, I have been known to comply occasionally, with a proper request.

My point is simply and absolutely, for me and me alone, is that to jump through hoops on command is something I take great offense at. It is also something I try to discourage in others for the benefit of the art and all of us. But of course people are free to do tings, in the way that works for them.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Nov 14, 2018 10:13AM)
Good points - but - ou don't accept pm's????????????Hope your not too "righteous"??
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Nov 14, 2018 10:53AM)
You are able to send me a pm now Russo.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Nov 15, 2018 11:30AM)
I wonder if thereís a regional or cultural difference going on. For me, if someone asks for a trick, what I interpret is ďhow interesting it is to meet a magician! I want to share in some of what he loves doing!Ē I donít perform professionally, but I enjoy performing magic. I suppose if you donít know any impromptu material you could just say you donít have any of your props with you, but I hate to squelch any interest. It seems counterproductive.

Maybe where you live, Senor, it is a way to increase respect by refusing to do a trick. Thatís fine. I just find magic so fun and exciting that I love to share that excitement with other people. My view is that the best way to get people to respect my skills (at any sort of activity) is to show that I really do know what I am doing.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: kardistic (Dec 26, 2018 09:11AM)
I usually do ACAAN or chicago opener.
Message: Posted by: HeronsHorse (Dec 29, 2018 11:05PM)
I'm not sure of the name but I saw someone doing a trick once and went home and quelled something out. It's an ace transposition. Starting with just 4 aces. Showing the red ace and placing it in their hand, then the other red ace. Then a bit of banter and bang, the red aces have jumped over here and they've got the black ones. It really seems to hit them hard and I love it because of that. And it's technically so simple I can give the performance everything!
Paul Gordon had a version but mine is actually less difficult to do! :D
Message: Posted by: Lucas Maillard (Dec 30, 2018 03:36AM)
I'm usually doing the classic Dai Vernon's Twisting the aces with a bizarre twist (Paul Harris) for a proper ending.

I should thank Jason England for this idea he got from Derek Delgaudio.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 30, 2018 12:00PM)
From an earlier thread on the same theme --

"the fact that someone asks if you can show them a trick by no means requires you to do so -- at least not on their terms.
When Nate Liepzig quipped, "I am not an organ grinder monkey" he did not mean that he would not perform, only that he would do so when convenient to him.
There is no situation in which you are not prepared -- only the question of how to get prepared in flow with character and planned effect."

Senor adds the notion that performing magic is different than "doing a trick," yet, "a trick" may be what they want. Do you know?

I prefer doing magic rather than tricks, but might do a trick under certain conditions. I do not do "requests" of either type. I might tell a story instead.

I avoid performing unless I am reasonably certain that the conditions exist for magic to happen in the mind of the observer.
So, in any gathering I am looking for clues as to what magic effect might be appropriate in case I am asked.
Since I favor effects using "found objects" I am always able to do something incredible - but rarely do any more.

If a person interrupts our conversation to answer a cellphone, for example, I will not perform a magic effect for them. They lack the focused attention required for my effort.

Just me. The key is to be prepared before the asking. Saying, "Yes," "no" or "maybe later" should not be knee jerk response.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Dec 30, 2018 12:32PM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2018, funsway wrote:

...If a person interrupts our conversation to answer a cellphone, for example, I will not perform a magic effect for them. They lack the focused attention required for my effort... [/quote]

So very true.

It is becoming more common and what seems to be socially acceptable to have the cell phone out, texting, Snapchating, etc. other people while out, instead of enjoying the actual time with who they are with.

Perhaps the newest way for table hopping... make YouTube videos of magic tricks, walk to the table and set a card down that has the YouTube channel on it so the interruption is very brief and doesnít interfere with their texting?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 31, 2018 07:35AM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2018, Wravyn wrote:

Perhaps the newest way for table hopping... make YouTube videos of magic tricks, walk to the table and set a card down that has the YouTube channel on it so the interruption is very brief and doesnít interfere with their texting? [/quote]


I suggested something similar a decade ago on this very Cafť'. With a larger iPad or such, a whole menu of magic routines could be available.

Just discover the interest of the table, select the "best possible performance with music, etc" and turn it on. Join in the applause and gather the tips.
No practice required and no endless purchase of new items. Since most spectators will never have seen a live magic effect, they may not notice the difference --
and their attention span is limited to what is on a small screen already.

One could even sell thumb-drive "Magic Kernels" for those wishing to take the experience home.
Message: Posted by: gong (Dec 31, 2018 03:03PM)
Agree with many of the thoughts here. My goal in magic is to deliver good experiences to as many people as I can. So if someone asks me to perform, I almost always oblige.

- With the cards: Ambitious Card; Two Card Monte (the one that David Blaine performs); Search & Destroy
- With the coin: simple vanish
- With the wallet: Extreme Burn; card to wallet.
Message: Posted by: Masterallen (Dec 31, 2018 06:04PM)
If I have a deck of cards I perform ACAAN
Message: Posted by: Theo (Jan 1, 2019 07:06AM)
Dai Vernon's 'Out of Sight Out Of Mind' with a borrowed, shuffled deck is a killer.
Message: Posted by: ValeCavaliero (Jan 8, 2019 08:04AM)
Without any doubts the magic Ding-Dong! :D
Message: Posted by: kser (Jan 10, 2019 08:13PM)
Single coin vanishes with a contrived plot of virtual coin.
Message: Posted by: Masterallen (Jan 10, 2019 08:34PM)
I learned a new coin trick with any quarter and any penny, itís called spate change. This has been getting some really good reactions and is my new to go to trick
Message: Posted by: Dr Rick (Jan 19, 2019 09:32AM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2018, funsway wrote:
From an earlier thread on the same theme --

"the fact that someone asks if you can show them a trick by no means requires you to do so -- at least not on their terms.
When Nate Liepzig quipped, "I am not an organ grinder monkey" he did not mean that he would not perform, only that he would do so when convenient to him.
There is no situation in which you are not prepared -- only the question of how to get prepared in flow with character and planned effect."

Senor adds the notion that performing magic is different than "doing a trick," yet, "a trick" may be what they want. Do you know?

I prefer doing magic rather than tricks, but might do a trick under certain conditions. I do not do "requests" of either type. I might tell a story instead.

I avoid performing unless I am reasonably certain that the conditions exist for magic to happen in the mind of the observer.
So, in any gathering I am looking for clues as to what magic effect might be appropriate in case I am asked.
Since I favor effects using "found objects" I am always able to do something incredible - but rarely do any more.

If a person interrupts our conversation to answer a cellphone, for example, I will not perform a magic effect for them. They lack the focused attention required for my effort.

Just me. The key is to be prepared before the asking. Saying, "Yes," "no" or "maybe later" should not be knee jerk response. [/quote]


I suppose it is like asking a comedian to tell a joke. A crafted routine is very different to telling a gag. To say nothing of asking a singer to give you a tune. The context is important, but telling a gag or vanishing a coin are politer than refusing because it cheapens your art.
Message: Posted by: Themagicguy4 (Jan 29, 2019 07:13PM)
My go to trick right now if someone asks me to do a trick is either Audio coins to pocket, by Eric Jones, or Misbehaving by KAINOA HARBOTTLE, or if I'm lazy or pressed for time, I just eat a coin. Always get great reactions!
Message: Posted by: chosen1 (Feb 3, 2019 10:45AM)
I really love thinking about this moment and have a few ideas I hope are interesting to others.

I don't like the context for a magical effect that this question creates. It gives the audience all of the control. Feels like a challenge instead of something to share. Limits the conversation we can have afterwards to be more about me and what I do instead of about the group. And it immediately makes what I do a just a "trick." All things I would really like to avoid.

So, on instinct, my imediate reaction is always no... but; and I have a few different "buts" that I pull out depending on 1. What I want to perform and 2. What the topic was before magic came up.

Some of these include.
"Hey show show me a trick." "No you show me a trick." Then a bit of pause with a smile. That gives them time to realize they were putting me on the spot a bit. It's only a very quick pause and I then I continue. "No really I think that you could totally pull off a classic of magic right now if you really are interested in trying." Then I go into a presentation of Gemini Twins that discusses how this is a really old classic in magic written in some of our oldest card books. We have all kinds of slieght of hands ways to accomplish the effect, but I'm willing to bet that you could do it almost for real.

I really like how this takes the heat off of me and gives all the praise to the spectator. The way I peform the trick I never touch the cards at all after an initial ribbon spread so I get this fun line. "I couldn't have done any less, so this effect belongs to you."
It also puts magic into the context of an art, that has classics of its own, and old masters, and a whole history to be discovered.
Plus I'm not showing them a "trick" I'm helping them show everyone something they've never tried before which just feels more fun.
Now the post effect conversation, can be about magic as a whole, their own interest in magic, crazy moments of intuition they've had, etc and not just "wow that was cool."

Another gambit is "Show me a trick." "Not really interested in performing a trick right now, but I have been really getting into memory techniques lately and the study is really interesting." Then I can go into the first part of Rick Lax's Binary Code. I actually then show them how I did that and then let them try with a little help. They get it. Then I say "Do you think it's posible to remember something you never knew. And do a version of OOTW. With a hook of using a really strong child hoold memory to try and remember the orderof the cards.

Again it's not a trick at this point it's me sharing some cool memory hacks I've been studying and now we can have a conversation about fun memories they have instead of just "Yup I'm a magician."

So those are two effect I've pulled out often when asked to perform, and some thoughts on how I deal with that question. Would love to hear other's thoughts on how to play with that moment.

Best,
Brandon
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (Feb 3, 2019 12:05PM)
Cool ideas Brandon. Any presentation that gets a buy-in from the spectator is stronger than just "Watch this". If you haven't checked out thejerx.com I encourage you to do so. Andy's ideas on presentation are transformative for amateur magicians.
Message: Posted by: chosen1 (Feb 3, 2019 12:56PM)
Gatsby,

Thanks a lot. I really love talks of framing. As a screenwriter by trade the context of the stories we tell is as fascinating as the stories themselves to me.

Thanks also for the recommendation. I love Andyís blog and read it religiously. Gets the creative juices flowing unlike anything Iíve read before.

Do you have a particular presentation of his that you enjoyed the most?

Best,
Brandon
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (Feb 3, 2019 01:24PM)
Almost impossible to choose my favorite presentation, but one that I've been using recently which I'm enjoying is Scribold in the Jerx app
Message: Posted by: chosen1 (Feb 3, 2019 07:52PM)
Oh thatís interesting. I havenít played with the app yet. Iíll definitely check it out.

Best,
Brandon
Message: Posted by: Mad Mage (Feb 24, 2019 06:51PM)
Nothing at all, ID7 (Rick Lax), iCurveball (Oz Pearlman), Gallery (marc Spelmann), Napkins available Tossed paper balls (Slydini), Starcle (Dan Harlan) Arm Twist (Unkn) Quarter - Quick Silver (Gregory Wilson) 3/4 across (Gregory Wilson), Divorce (Justin Miller), Cards - Triumph (Dai Veron), ACCAN, The Favorite Card of my Two Friends (Rafael Benatar), ACR, Here and There, Ultimate Monte, Twins, Kanibal Cards, Twisting the Aces, Pivot Peek... etc. etc.

Yes, I know some Magicians refuse to perform at these moments. I like to show I am not that stuffy and enjoy entertaining. (No, I don't run up to people and go, "You want to see a trick?" It's a chance to audition and make someone's day. I keep it to 1-3 effects. This has lead to more bookings than telling someone "NO." You get hired because they like you. Really? some people are just too full of themselves. Again, it's a personal choice, but beware of how you come across to potential clients. As the clique goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." You never know who you are speaking to.
Message: Posted by: magicianbrady (Mar 17, 2019 06:24AM)
[quote]On Aug 15, 2018, debjit wrote:
My go to impromptu effect is a trick I created called The Social Prediction. It just requires a phone and I do a killer confabulation routine with it ;)

But if I were to just use billets like you said, I would perform Marc Spellman's Voqued routine. [/quote]

I just got SP and it's awesome! Thanks a lot :)
My go to impromptu trick is Stigmata by Wayne Houchin and Digital Force Bag
Message: Posted by: warren (Mar 17, 2019 01:04PM)
It depends on what effect I happen to be playing around with at the time, as I go through phases where I'll grab an item from the past and re-practice the effect so it could be literally anything but at the moment it would be my own ungimmicked handling of hopping halves/confusing coins and my own variation of Jay Sankeys Back In Time utilising the Jennings/Goodwin display instead of the sl*p shuffle.
Message: Posted by: padre rich (Jul 10, 2019 09:51PM)
You are not the dancing bear.get as far away from them as possible...
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Jul 11, 2019 05:36AM)
[quote]On Jul 10, 2019, padre rich wrote:
You are not the dancing bear.get as far away from them as possible... [/quote]

True, I am not a dancing bear, yet I am a hobbiest magician. I welcome the chance to perform magic for live people and not the mirror, the Mrs., or video camera.
I can understand your thoughts if I were a full time pro.
Message: Posted by: deanpickles (Jul 11, 2019 10:33PM)
I'm fascinated by all the people who took the time to jump into the topic, just to explicitly say, "I don't do magic on request." Seems so weird and proactively cold-hearted.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Jul 12, 2019 08:21AM)
I'd like to think I'd have something to show them but if I didn't, or it was an inconvenient time, then I'd throw them a quick line, depending on who they are.

"Sorry buddy, I've got a cold." before blowing a coin out of my nose.

or

"Sure, show me a bar and I'll vanish your money."

Something along those lines, said with a smile/wink, of course.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Aug 1, 2019 04:11AM)
Balducci Levitation
Message: Posted by: BradenCarlisle (Sep 26, 2019 02:48AM)
With a deck of cards, can't go wrong with a key card effect using whatever method of revelation you want.
Message: Posted by: mentaldiego (Sep 27, 2019 02:58PM)
When they ask me to do something with a simple piece of paper I read a CT thought
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 27, 2019 11:48PM)
[quote]On Sep 26, 2019, BradenCarlisle wrote:
With a deck of cards, can't go wrong with a key card effect using whatever method of revelation you want. [/quote]


I guess it depends on whether you want to do tricks or create a magic experience.

For me, having a deck of cards is not impromptu anyway. Someone handing you a deck and saying, "Show me a trick" means they are not expecting magic.

Welcome to the quagmire of discussions bogged down in definitions ;)