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Profile of stolz
I'm currently reviewing my effects and how I want to progress. Is this a good idea to get me thinking straight:

Make a list of common, everyday objects that I might find around the place, or that people generally carry around with them, for example, finger ring, pen, coins, matches, etc etc. Then choose a trick to work with each of those objects, so I'm always prepared.

I'm already happy with several tricks, but not organised properly at the moment.
Any comments welcomed.

Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Profile of Father Photius
Sounds like a good start. Just be prepared with more than one effect with each object, you often find yourself being asked to "do another" or your audience calling to someone else to "come over here and see this". You don't want to be caught having to repeat the same effect to the same audience in short time.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Profile of stolz
Photius, that's true I guess. I was torn between having an effect for numerous 'objects' if you like, or more than one for a smaller number of items. I was worried about getting back into the same situation I've been in, where I skip between effects I'm working on with no real focus, having too many effects on the go at once. I'm sure you understand what I mean.
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Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6112 Posts

Profile of Jaz
I've made a list, actually MS Word tables, just like you describe.
Each object and the effects that I can do with them are in a seperate table along with reference to my books and vids.

Further more I've sorted them into
those that don't require a working surface,
those that do,
those requiring 'something extra' by using bold and different colored type.

If there is an effect using two or more props such as a spoon and finger ring then the trick is entered in both the table for spoons and the table for finger rings.

I've also used these lists to decide which tricks I feel work together best whether in short sets of 2-4 tricks or as a longer show at the table.

Doing these lists have come in handy and is still a work in progress.

Good Luck.
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Profile of wikberget
That is a really good idea Jaz. Smile

Sounds like something I should write aswell Smile
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Inner circle
In my day, I have driven
1594 Posts

Profile of airship
I'm finally starting to get organized. Here's what I'm carrying:

(1) Deck of cards in card clip.
(2) Packet wallet stuffed with various small paper-based tricks: a few gaffed cards, buddah papers, coin envelopes, pre-printed magic square grids, etc.
(3) Altoids tin with Boston Box, short length of rope, 3 trick dice, matchbox, rubberbands, bang ring, paper clips, and two small silks (yes, it all fits!)
(4) Marker pen and safety scissors in a pocket protector (yes, I'm a geek)
(5) Coin purse with coins and gaffes.
(6) A glue stick and a couple of other little 'special' items loose in my pants pockets
(7) A bandana
(8) A magnetic ring (Black's is my ring of choice).

I don't carry everything all the time, but this setup gives me 32 tricks to perform, covering everything from betchas to mentalism. They are all organized as separate routines of 2-4 tricks each, and the routines all flow together to make a complete act if I have that much time. I can pull any one of these out to perform when the time seems right. I'm actually starting to feel like a real magician!

Performance tip: Open the Altoids tin, packet wallet, or coin purse with the lid/flap towards your spectators, then carefully take out only the item you're going to use for the current trick, and close it. If they get a little peek at something else in the process, that's okay. It only makes them wonder what wonders it contains! But don't flip a container open and let them see everything inside. Keep them curious and they'll be a better audience.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1311 Posts

Profile of Yellowcustard
Hi there guys I also have a list and notes. One other thing I would like to share is were ever I go if something and I think it be good for a effect a get a couple to have at home so I can try things out. For example I learnt a trick with a book of matches and its surprising the difference between some books so I collect a few here and there.

One trick I like to do and its a good finale trick is the 2 hats and 4 marbles its on the Follers dollers DVD and you can do it with 2 napkins and 4 borrowed small objects.

The effect is you show one napkin with for objects and one empty then the objects jump over one at a time.

I did it in a kitchen with a stock cube, A finger ring, £1 coin, bottle cap and two folded t towels it was awesome response.

Keep the list going and keep exploring.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
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Inner circle
York. PA
1219 Posts

Profile of mcharisse
I recently had to do two hours of magic for passers-by at a Little League opening day. I routined 5 different sets of 5-7 minutes each, and then repeated the cycle. I think this is probably a way to organize pocket tricks as well - carry one routine with you and vary what you carry day-to-day. Oh yes, and I always carry a TT, as it lets me do more than a dozen impromptu tricks -- bill switch, salt passe-passe, water suspension, etc.
And always leave them wanting more, so don't worry too much about how many tricks you can carry....
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Profile of nboisen
Stoltz, the only potential difficulty with this approach of "listing" effects with objects found at hand is the problem of creating a properly structured routine (as opposed to just an endless string of nice tricks).

If you are making this "list" as a personal reference for putting together an act, that's fine. But to use such a list a the basis for "on the spot" improvisation runs the risk of reducing potential great effects into mere interesting puzzles ("Wait! Don't leave yet! Look! Here's another thing I can do with this rubber band!").

Photius mentioned to be sure to have more than one effect with each object. That's the first step. Next you need to combine the effects and routine them so they flow together logical and build to a strong climax.

Of course, if you are only using this list for impromput throw away effects when cornered to do something quick and dirty, fine. But what a shame to leave it there! Wouldn't it be great to do a full 10 minute routine with a borrowed cigarette or with two simple rubber bands and leave the spectator sspeechless at the conclusion?! Unless you are a seasoned pro, you probably can't achieve that on the spur of the moment from your handy list. It requires planning and routining and revising.

I, too, have such a list of effects/tricks that can be done with a particular object, but it serves only as the starting point for creating complete, multi-phase routines with borrowed props. So my advice: keep going with your list, but don't stop there. Build your routines. Then you are always ready AND can truly entertain and amaze.
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