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Profile of frlane
Hey all,

Just so you know, I am normally a close-up/street magician. I was asked to come to a cub scout meetings and show the kids some tricks and talk about magic. Due to the 4 feet of snow we got, the meeting was cancelled.

They have now asked me to perform at the Blue and Gold banquet, which will be for about 100 people. I will be doing some walk-around and then performing in front of the whole crowd for 20 minutes or so (not on a stage).

Since most of my stuff is close-up, I was wondering if anyone has some good suggestions for me of things that may work, but won't require months of practice to learn.


Posted: Jan 26, 2008 12:31pm
P.S. This show is for free, so I won't be purchasing expensive props This post has not been Grammarized
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
It may depend on what you have now. Some close-up magic can be converted to play for larger audiences, just by broadening out your delivery to bring the trick up off the table and hold it up at chest level. Many magicians don't realize this, as witness by the photos shot at club meetings and conventions. There are some real good photos of the tops of magicians' heads!

Bill switches (TT) can easily play.

Some card effects, such as cards to pocket or cards across work nicely.

Coin, bill, ring, watch (or other borrowed/marked objects) to impossible location plays big enough, too. You can make a very usable nest of boxes for just a couple dollars if you look for the appropriate boxes at the dollar store. Bill in lemon, or card in orange... same thing.

Most rope tricks can be seen easily. Cut & Restored, Professors' Nightmare, 4-ended Rope, Ring & Rope (larger ring, not finger ring)... all good choices.

Torn & Restored Newspaper... very cheap to make.

Vanishing silk (again, TT).

Many other silk effects such as dye tube color changes, ungimmicked or barely gimmicked 20th Century Silks can work, too.

In keeping with the event theme, a cut and restored neckerchief can be fun with scouts. Have the scoutmaster supply you with 2 matching neckerchiefs, which they understand they won't get back (they should pay for something, right?). Make a Windsor's popcorn dye box from a couple of empty cereal boxes, get a pair of sharp scissors, and you have the props for that trick.

The necessary items to do a Benson Bowl routine can be assembled very quickly. Look around your house. You can do a basic Cups & Balls routine using Styrofoam cups, or 3 stacking plastic cups, which any Wal Mart usually has.

Just keep in mind that entertainment is not about the cost of the props, it's about what you do with what you have. With kids, like Cub Scout age, the fun is in the situations, and the process, more so than the actual outcome of the trick.

The stuff I listed above could probably give you an hour's or more worth of magic.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Terry Owens
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Inner circle
Ft. Wayne, Indiana
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Wow, I would encourage you to take to heart what Michael just shared, he's a great pro and much appreciated on the Café
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Cards up the sleeve or cards to pocket plays well on stage. Miser's dream. Paperballs over the head plays well in a group like that. Mike gave you a great list of suggestions, esp. rope tricks, generally not hard to learn.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Profile of Alan Munro
Sponge Balls, Chinese Sticks, Linking Rings, Flipstick and Egg Bag all work well in my show.

If you've never performed for a Blue and Gold Banquet before, be prepared for the kids to get unruly to the point of a psychotic frenzy. If one kid gets out of line, nip it in the bud, immediately. Never allow the kids to sit on the floor, away from their parents - you may be spending most of your time doing crowd control, if you allow it. The vast majority of magicians, who do one of these banquets for the first time, get eaten alive by the kids.
Terry Owens
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Inner circle
Ft. Wayne, Indiana
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I've worked with Kids for the last 32 years, with as many as 300 in attendance without any adult supervision except for my wife and I and had no problem. If you take command of the stage, have good stage presence, a good show, and know how to relate to children, you won't have any problems. Cub scouts are a great group to work with...
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Profile of donwaman
I have stopped at theaters concession stand and asked for a couple extra popcorn boxes for the dye box. They usually just hand you two or three.
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