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zapito12
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Hi,

I want to develop a new small stage act. What are the 5 BEST tricks or routines you would recommend?
Dick Oslund
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You "operate" an online magic store, and you ask a question like that???

I don't think you know much about magic! I don't think you are a magician! You appear to be just a guy who sells "package tricks".

You don't seem to understand that all a magic shop can SELL is PROPS, and/or SECRETS (in a dvd).

You want to learn how to be a magician? INVEST in TARBELL. (You could buy it wholesale!) Read Tarbell!. STUDY Tarbell! LEARN!

Then, you won't need to ask questions like this!

There are some in the Café, that will write a LIST of tricks "by" someone. They will usually be the names of tricks "by" someone.

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic

Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

It's good that you are an online store! I seriously doubt that you would last a month in a brick and mortar shop. (To operate a successful brick and mortar shop, you need to KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT MAGIC, and, by your question, it's quite obvious that you don't!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
RobertlewisIR
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1) Whatever best fits your style.
2) Whatever best fits your style.
3) Whatever best fits your style.
4) Whatever best fits your style.
5) Whatever best fits your style.

Want the proof? Watch a hack perform the most impressive "magician-fooler" in the world with poor presentation, then watch a master do something as simple as the salt shaker through the table with all the years of performing experience a master has. Guess who gets the better reaction, the higher fees, and the most rebookings.
~Bob



----------



Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
professorwhut
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Some years ago, there was a dude here on the Café who posted a video of himself performing for a rather large group of people. If my memory serves me... he did something with a TT and a mouth coil, resulting in a standing ovation!

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." WHAT A POWERFUL QUOTE.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
M. Tesla
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Tricks are only props, just like those used in a movie or play...being a magician requires knowledge of the art of entertainment and presentation...with that experience even the simplest prop can be used to entertain...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
Frosty
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Hey! Tricks are for kids! Lol
But seriously, I think his question was a valid one. Selling magic tricks and being a magician are miles apart. (one can sell medical equipment and not be a doctor etc.) I too sell magic tricks (although not online nor a brick & mortar store) and I am not a magician though I have worked as one many years ago. I won't recommend 5 but I'll recommend just my 3 favorite. 1. The Linking Rings, 2. The Misers Dream routine (similar to Al Flosso). 3. The Zombie Ball. They all play big, pack small and no re-setting is required and have a great audience reaction if performed in an entertaining way.... They are also great for kids and adults alike.
Being that magic has many rooms, maybe the original poster is new to small stage shows and a pro in another area of magic. I too would like to see recommendations from others! Best wishes!
Frosty
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One more routine that is amazing for the audience too see on stage is Losanders floating Table (if performed right). I Just wouldn't mix it with the zombie ball routine. Do one or the other... I'm sure others have their favorites and recommendations as there are so many to choose from... Best of luck!
mastermindreader
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There are no five best tricks. And why would you want to do the tricks "that every magician should have?"

Start by reading the classics of magic, such as The Amateur Magicians Handbook (IMO the best magic book ever written).
danaruns
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Quote:
On May 25, 2016, M. Tessler wrote:
Tricks are only props, just like those used in a movie or play...being a magician requires knowledge of the art of entertainment and presentation...with that experience even the simplest prop can be used to entertain...


You know what, I'm going to challenge that old saw.

First of all, I don't think "entertainment" is the goal. Magic is. A number of times in the last week, I saw Bebel perform at the Magic Castle, most recently just last night. If you haven't seen him perform, he's just a nerdy little guy from France, who speaks very little English, and who just sits at a table and plays with a deck of cards. No "art of entertainment," no discernible "presentation," no "character," no "script," no "theme," and no "act." He just sits there with a sly little smile and does sleight of hand, apparently for his own amusement. And he absolutely blows people away. Magicians at the Castle were lined up all week to get a look at him, and were turned away every show. Audiences were floored. I was actually in tears one night, so powerful was his magic. He received standing ovations every night. And it was as if he did not even care about presentation or entertainment (except his own entertainment).

Bebel led me to believe that if your magic is strong enough you don't need to worry about anything else. Conversely, without strong magic, presentation and entertainment will only get you so far. Heck, Criss Angel is fabulous at presentation and entertainment, but he couldn't shine Bebel's shoes. There is a theory of magic that I subscribe to that believes magic is only made worse by focus on the "theater" of it. Magic is its own message, and burdening it with storytelling and other theatrical elements just takes away from the message. Of course, we are not all Bebel. Most of us need some other element of entertainment. But that's our flaw, it's not inherent in the art of magic.

IMHO. Just a thought put out there for consideration.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Frosty
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I agree with danaruns. As a magician your goal should be the magic! Many magicians focus too much on entertainment and do the same lame jokes, games and boring tricks that there is very little magic, wonder and amazement in their performances... Your job as a magician is to do miracles of magic which in effect will bring entertainment and awe to those who witness...
friend2cptsolo
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Listen to Bob Cassidy ..... what a boring realm it would be if we all did the same effects.

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."
Professor Whut
Do you know where this quote came from??
Dick Oslund
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I think the professor "got it" from me! And, if so, I'm glad that he picked it up!

I got it from the (very) late S.H. SHARPE. Mr. Sharpe wrote a book or two, and I can't remember from which one, I got the quote.

My Irish friend, Quentin Reynolds, has noted that Sharpe was not an exceptionally great PERFORMER, but, he certainly understood theory and philosophy!

I have a habit instilled by a professor (or two). I quote my sources! --And, I often use Sharpe, and Fitzkee.

If you scroll up to my first response to the OP, on May 24, I quoted Sharpe, and, FORGOT to credit him!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
professorwhut
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Yes, I got it from Dick Oslund.
I too was wondering where it originated from.

Sorry for the confusion, I assumed that everyone would see that Dick Oslund used this quote right before I did, I was simply trying to reiterate it.

I really appreciate these nuggets of gold!
Thank you.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
friend2cptsolo
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Thanks. Yes I see it. Sorry Dick Oslund for missing that.

"Routines That Every Magician Should Have!!!"
Is this not the cry of every magic salesman or promo email.....

"This prop/trick/effect is what every magician should own."
Dick Oslund
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I use that quote often when someone starts telling me of "how many tricks I know"!

There are 60,000 + people registered in the Café, and, I would be willing to bet that perhaps a few more than a thousand KNOW how to define a PROP, a TRICK, or EFFECT!!!

Here's a comment by Dariel FITZKEE about some "magicians" insatiable desire to learn new tricks:

"I must insist that tricks are but tools. This eagerness to add new tools to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tools we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans." --"The Trick Brain", pp308-309
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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I've been "preaching" for eons that: MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY (note that word "inherently") ENTERTAINING. I "got" that from a guy who usta do "kid shows" (on TV). Some may recognize his name (Wilson) uhhh Mark Wilson. YES!

There was just a big "discussion" (that's a MILD term!) in the FOOD FOR THOUGHT forum. Some hobbyist with "VIP" under his name insists(ed) that ASTONISHING a spectator, was more important than ENTERTAINING him/her.

I learned when I was about 21, that MAGIC was a part of $HOW BU$INE$$! --And, if the magician doesn't ENTERTAIN "THEM", he won't be in the "biz" very long. To be considered a magician, the performer must, of course, do tricks that create MAGICAL EFFECTS in the mind(s) of the spectator(s) but, like Mary Poppins said, "A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down!"

The late Dr. A.M. WILSON, Editor of "THE SPHINX", when I was a teenager, had a "wise saying" at the head of his "op/ed" page: "MAGIC IS AN ART THAT SOMETIMES INSTRUCTS, OFTEN AMUSES, BUT, ALWAYS ENTERTAINS." I was 13, going on 14, the good doctor was an adult, and, editor of a magazine! I believed him! As I grew up and saw more and more magic shows, and, read Tarbell, Fitzkee, Maskelynne & Devant, et al, I slowly began to realize the fallacy of Dr. Wilson's statement. Just a few years ago, Kenneth WEBER wrote: "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT"! I recommend it!

There are many fine magicians who "come to dine" in the Café, There are many "magicians" (note " ")who don't know the difference between baloney, and, a filet mignon!

The ship was heading out to sea. A young man on his first cruise, and, an "old salt", were standing on deck, at the ship's rail. The lad, looking out at the vast Atlantic, exclaimed, "Man! that's a lot of water out there!" The old man smiled, and said, "What you see is only the top of it!"

When I performed for a thousand young ladies and gentlemen, in a Senior High School, I would very early in the program, explain that, "...'magic' is 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% perceptual illusion, 5% esoteric principles of science, and 85% PSYCHOLOGY."

My program didn't have any "boxes, tubes, cans, or pans, or red velvet bags on a stick" They knew that they were seeing sleight of hand skills, perceptual ilusions, and, esoteric science principles! I even "let" them do a TACTILE illusion on themselves! They knew that I was fooling them, but, I was not making fools of them! They laughed a lot. I knew that they had been entertained, when they stood up at the end, and applauded!

(They didn't stand up at every show, but, often enough that I knew I was doing something right!

I told a lot of stories in the book to hopefully help others learn how to do it, too!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On May 25, 2016, danaruns wrote:
Quote:
On May 25, 2016, M. Tessler wrote:
Tricks are only props, just like those used in a movie or play...being a magician requires knowledge of the art of entertainment and presentation...with that experience even the simplest prop can be used to entertain...


You know what, I'm going to challenge that old saw.

First of all, I don't think "entertainment" is the goal. Magic is. A number of times in the last week, I saw Bebel perform at the Magic Castle, most recently just last night. If you haven't seen him perform, he's just a nerdy little guy from France, who speaks very little English, and who just sits at a table and plays with a deck of cards. No "art of entertainment," no discernible "presentation," no "character," no "script," no "theme," and no "act." He just sits there with a sly little smile and does sleight of hand, apparently for his own amusement. And he absolutely blows people away. Magicians at the Castle were lined up all week to get a look at him, and were turned away every show. Audiences were floored. I was actually in tears one night, so powerful was his magic. He received standing ovations every night. And it was as if he did not even care about presentation or entertainment (except his own entertainment).

Bebel led me to believe that if your magic is strong enough you don't need to worry about anything else. Conversely, without strong magic, presentation and entertainment will only get you so far. Heck, Criss Angel is fabulous at presentation and entertainment, but he couldn't shine Bebel's shoes. There is a theory of magic that I subscribe to that believes magic is only made worse by focus on the "theater" of it. Magic is its own message, and burdening it with storytelling and other theatrical elements just takes away from the message. Of course, we are not all Bebel. Most of us need some other element of entertainment. But that's our flaw, it's not inherent in the art of magic.

IMHO. Just a thought put out there for consideration.


I'm sorry ma'am, Oh! and Frosty, too! But, IMO, from what you describe, you, and others, were fascinated by a DEMONSTRATION, OF SLEIGHT OF HAND SKILLS, NOT A PERFORMANCE OF A TRICK, that produced a MAGICAL EFFECT. You certainly are entitled to your opinion, (here comes the BUT:) but, your enthusiasm doesn't make an opinion, a fact.

I've lectured and performed at the Castle (and, as Jay Marshall usta say, "When I can afford it, I'll work it again!" I KNOW that many of the "attendees" are magic "afficianados", and, many are avid amateurs who appreciate skill, ("but' again:) they couldn't do an "Elmsley" or a "5 coin star) in a hundred attempts! And, a muscle pass! --not in a thousand attempts!!!!!

Professionals call this sort of demonstration: "Masturbating on stage". (...he did not even care about presentation or entertainment [except his own entertainment]

You are apparently quite new (nothing intrinsically wrong about THAT! --"When you're GREEN, you CAN GET RIPE!") I suggest that you scroll up and read my bit about "seeing just the top of it!

ENTHUSIASM is GOOD. --just "peek" under the surface! (There's a lot more than just the 'top of it')
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Jon Strum
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I can only reiterate Dick Oslund's wisdom here. Many of the magician members (although not many of the magician members who perform for a living) in a Magic Castle audience have lost the ability to evaluate another magician's act from a lay audience perspective. They have been playing "inside baseball" for so long, that they will line up to see that flawless second deal or a truly invisible pass. But a lay audience will never care about such things. They want to be amazed...in an entertaining way. So if you want to work the magic convention circuit, you learn to fool or impress magicians. If you want to work everywhere else, you learn how to entertain with your magic.
"Do you like card tricks?" he asked.
I said no. He did five.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On May 25, 2016, Frosty wrote:
I agree with danaruns. As a magician your goal should be the magic! Many magicians focus too much on entertainment and do the same lame jokes, games and boring tricks that there is very little magic, wonder and amazement in their performances... Your job as a magician is to do miracles of magic which in effect will bring entertainment and awe to those who witness...


I included you in my response to Danarus, but, I read your post again, and, decided you were "entitled" to a few words, too, since you agreed with her.

For over 50 years, as a professional ENTERTAINER AND MAGICIAN (SIMULTANEOUSLY! I never did a lame joke, played games, or did boring tricks. My audiences, from Kindergarten youngsters,thru Senior High School young ladies & gentlemen (yes!), and college folks, plus adults, and even Senior Citizens enjoyed "fabulous, fast, funny MAGIC, and, in those years, I presented about 20,000 performances. If I hadn't done that, the assemby bureaus would never have booked me for numerous return engagements.

Your last sentence: "Your job as a magician is to do miracles of magic which in effect will bring entertainment and awe to those who witness..." I already answered above. "MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTY ENTERTAINING",

If you happen to belong to the SAM, I recommend that you listen to my friend, GEORGE SCHINDLER, DEAN of the SOCIETY OF AMERICAN MAGICIANS, who says:

"The secret formula to success in our field is the same as applies to other forms of the performing arts. The purpose of mastering your skills and demonstrating them should be expressed in a single word...E N T E R T A I N M E N T."


Every magician should, IMO, be singing (to himself, if his singing voice is like MINE!) the lyrics of the song from "GYPSY:", as he walks on.....

"Let me entertain you, let me make you smile. I'll do a few tricks, some old and some new tricks, I'm very versatile."


George's motto is: "ENTERTAINMENT FIRST! MAGIC SECOND!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On May 26, 2016, Jon Strum wrote:
I can only reiterate Dick Oslund's wisdom here. Many of the magician members (although not many of the magician members who perform for a living) in a Magic Castle audience have lost the ability to evaluate another magician's act from a lay audience perspective. They have been playing "inside baseball" for so long, that they will line up to see that flawless second deal or a truly invisible pass. But a lay audience will never care about such things. They want to be amazed...in an entertaining way. So if you want to work the magic convention circuit, you learn to fool or impress magicians. If you want to work everywhere else, you learn how to entertain with your magic.



Thank you Jon!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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