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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » What are the best types of tricks and props to perform a strolling gig? (34 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Snoogansgt
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.
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3649 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
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.

$ 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
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503 Posts

Profile of bigfoot
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.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22932 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
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
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Profile of Snoogansgt
Thank you all for the feedback! You guys are awesome! I will be sure to use these ideas. Wish me luck!
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1739 Posts

Profile of jakeg
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.
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630 Posts

Profile of Chamberlain
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
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)
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Moved to Seattle to see
1224 Posts

Profile of imgic
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.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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Last time I posted I had one less than
1197 Posts

Profile of ZachDavenport
I do sponge balls, a coin routine, and then a pseudo-hypnosis card routine to close.
Reality is a real killjoy.
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13415 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
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.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
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Profile of patrick1515
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.
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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Profile of Mary Mowder
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.


-Mary Mowder
John T. Sheets
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Las Vegas, USA
1132 Posts

Profile of John T. Sheets
One coin routine
Crazy man's handcuffs
Color changing deck
Cool cash
Energy bender
Ambitious cards

See the "Quantum Bender 3.0" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkTVw9FjonE

See my Dove Act here... https://youtu.be/Ms7_u46Qpp0

See the "Energy Bender" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpJOfL0k8xA

See the "Table of Death" in Las Vegas trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YivizLAKD7I
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Profile of Kabbalah
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!
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
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Kitchener, ON, Canda
123 Posts

Profile of JoshRyan
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.
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Uh, I'm the one on the right.
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Profile of pepka
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.
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Profile of frankieacemagic
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 Smile 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!
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Profile of Snoogansgt
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.
Ross W
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Profile of Ross W
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!)
Twitter: @rosswelford
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Profile of frankieacemagic
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!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » What are the best types of tricks and props to perform a strolling gig? (34 Likes)
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