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Marc Levine
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South Florida
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Profile of Marc Levine
Anyone who masters the effects on Gregory Wilson's On the spot tapes should have no trouble pulling this off. Thanks to Greg, his material has gotten me out of a pinch on several occasions. My favorites...his coins across with 3 borrowed quarters and recap.
Great Domino
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The main rule is to befriend the audience. By making friends and gathering their names, you really stand out. Imagine, they know you probably meet 100's of people every night but yet you remember their name. WOW! That seems like a pretty good trick in itself. Quite a reputation maker too.
Review King
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Eternal Order
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Always carry a TT. Get Gary Darwin's booklet and you can perform miracles 'impromptu'.

I think we forget how powerful this device is. If done/used right, it's mind blowing.

"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Profile of WVMAGIC
Martin Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromtu Magic would be a great resource for anyone wanting to construct such a routine. All the tricks are categorized by what object is used. The book is huge and one of my favorite magic books.
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Inner circle
St. Louis, MO
1419 Posts

Profile of MacGyver
Hmmm it's really late and night and this has me thinking.

Doesn't all this improvisational magic somewhat heighten the "challenge" part of magic and not the entertainment part?

It just occured to me that a big reason that we would make an act out of borrowed items and give a improvisational show would be to increase the odds that we fail, or make it more impossible what we are doing, but not really more entertaining.

Creating an act out of this goes beyond being prepared, it just adds to the odds that you will fail, which would just turn the act into a challege type effect.

I am probably reading into it too much, but I think that if you are going to goto a show, you may as well bring props that you know 100% will be entertaining rather than risking someone doesn't have the needed thing for your closing effect. It would be much harder to routine when you don't know what you will be performing for sure.

I know i'm making a mountain out of a molehill but while you should be prepared, making an entire routine from it just seems to be ignoring a huge supply of entertaining props!
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Inner circle
MayfieldNew York
1347 Posts

Profile of djvirtualreality
I'm well known for my two card transposition, or my 2 card monte.
Life is an illusion, death is reality.
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Profile of martyk
Hands down, Mike Skinner could have. I thing today, Wilson (?) of On The Spot Video probably could; very gifted, knows every sleight around, a zillion effects, and can probably improvise like crazy.
(I hate the Caps lock)
Marty K Smile
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Profile of MagicDiva
WOW I can almost smell the brain cells burning on this topic! That would be an incredible act! The one guy I can see pulling it off would also be Gregory Wilson!

-Amelia Smile
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
3618 Posts

Profile of wsduncan
In addition to Grant's "The Challenge Magic Act" you should seek out my friend Kirk Charles "Impromptu Magic or What Can You Do With This?" which was inspired by Grant's work. I self-published a short ms. called "The Edge Of The Stage" back in the 1980s based on Kirks' work.

Not to be missed is Michael Webers "Life Savers".
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Snohomish, Washington
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Profile of irossall
Bradburt, I like your concept alot. As long as it doesn't turn into a "Challenge" type of performance. Some Magicians may like to challenge an audience (ala Houdini) but for me personaly, if I feel that someone tells me to "do a trick" I don't accept their "show me what you can do" attitude and I will show nothing, prepared or not. On the other hand if I am politely asked to show an effect and I feel that "entertainment" is the motive, then I am more than willing to show a little Magic. I don't believe that is what you had in mind, I just wanted to get this off my chest, it is something I have wanted to say for some time because I think all of us have had these challenges and I for one ONLY want to perform to entertain not prove my skills to someone who really isn't interested in Magic but is more interested in trying to expose your Magic.
-Iven Smile
Give the gift of Life, Be an Organ Donor.
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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Profile of Lee Darrow
I've actually had to do this on two occasions. One happened when my magic case was stolen from my car, the other happened when an agent called me while I was attending an event she was producing and asked if I could fill in for the performer who was scheduled - he had suddenly gotten sick.

I had to scramble, but it's amazing what you can do with some Kleenix, a martini stirrer (used like a wand for Fl!p Stick and ring on wand), a couple of rubber bands, 3 large drinking mugs, some coins, some lemons from the bar and a cloth napkin (serviette).

The blindfold using the dinner napkin played so well that the agent has booked me ever since - and that was 14 years ago!

And the Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic and Jay Marshall's Table Cr*p video (a demo of a lot of that material) covers a LOT of this ground, extremely well.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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Profile of grazza
I think the concept is a great idea, but I think the real key is in making the act look impromptu, rather than being impromptu.

Asking the audience to provide a load of random items, then constructing a series of random impromptu effects with each one would probably not be very entertaining.

Secretly manipulating the audience into providing items that fit into a pre-determined 'impromptu' act could make for an excellent theatrical presentation.
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New York City
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Profile of VinceMagicMan
One thing that I carry with me all the time is Hundy 500. I am always ready for the "hey do a trick for me/us" and money gets everyone's attention - FAST! I do it with 5 - 50s, that means I always have money in a pinch too...
Vince MagicMan
(Nuff Said)
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Profile of mrmetropolis
On 2003-07-08 21:32, MagicDiva wrote:
WOW I can almost smell the brain cells burning on this topic! That would be an incredible act! The one guy I can see pulling it off would also be Gregory Wilson!

-Amelia Smile

Those weren't brain cells... I just vanished a bowl of chili. Smile
"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, for those who do not, none will suffice".-Joseph Dunninger
Scott Wells
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Houston, TX
961 Posts

Profile of Scott Wells
I'm not one who is too keen on carrying around magic in my pockets (I did that during my early years in magic..."Ya wanna see a trick?" long before David Blaine popularized the drone-like phrase). But I do think that you can and should be prepared to do impromptu magic as the name implies...impromptu, or so it should seem.

First, as Slydini says, set your battleground. As I come into a restaurant, I instinctively look for opportunities. I might pick up some mints (usually picked up as people leave the restaurant, not when they come in) and use a mint as a load for "Two in the Hand, One in the Pocket." I have picked up extra beer mats and tucked them in my shirt pocket for a "Six Beer Mat Repeat" sort of trick I invented (I can send that idea to anyone who wants to PM me). Of course using the cocktail napkins opens a lot of doors (T&R Napkin, Starcle, etc.)

But my favorite is to ask the bartender for a small lime on your way to the bathroom. Prepare the lime as described in John Carney's marvelous book "Carneycopia" and wait until the moment is right for the "bill in fruit" trick (using a coffee cup). This is perhaps the ultimate impromptu trick, but don't force the trick if the timing isn't right. You might even have to scrap it altogether. How long might you have to wait? As Max Malini said, "You vait a veek."

But in my estimation, the best, most impressive impromptu trick is the "Time Machine" watch (or better still, the "Masters Time Machine"). As I have been quoted, this is as close to the Holy Grail of magic that I have found. It is a perfectly natural, fully functioning watch that you wear every day. But when the time is right (no pun intended), you are ready for a reputation maker. Truly.

So, given just those few things, you can enter the imaginations of your group and create a lifetime of memories in a few short minutes.

Scott Wells
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

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Profile of dynamite
I do carry coins in my pocket wherever I go, at least for park tickets. At a moment's notice, these coins come in very handy, sleights and vanishes of all sorts - no props, no gimmicks - just pure and simple coins.

All the best!

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, you can . . . Boldness has a genius, magic and power to it!"
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