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Special user
Saratoga Springs, NY
515 Posts

Profile of mysticalmike
So I am ready to take it to the next level. Been doing kids shows for almost 20 years. And ready to take it to the next I wanna wants to learn strolling magic. So I was my biggest question is what kind of stuff do you do? Where do I start?
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Special user
629 Posts

Profile of Chamberlain
You don't need to learn much, for strolling magic you could get by on:

-Extreme Burn
-Invisible Deck
-Sponge Balls/Bunnies
-Crazy Mans Handcuffs
-Shell Coins Across

-Chicago Surprise
-Twisting/Daley Aces
-Multiple Selection
-Ambitious Card
-3 1/2 Clubs
Dick Oslund
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Inner circle
8360 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
When I was working (I'm retired) I did a lot of trade show hospitality suites in Chicago. They were fun to do, and I didn't carry any different props than I used in my school assembly show (Kdg. -- Senior High). I had planned my show to be able to play almost anywhere for almost anybody.

I used what the young guys call the "Slydini Silk Knots", my golf ball routine, The Elusive Silk Vanish, 4' rope and 4" ring, + a TT & books of matches. (The G.W Hunter Impossible Knot (rope) alone, could fill 15 minutes!).

It all fit in pockets, and, nothing needed reset. All "generic" props, NO MAGIC SHOP "TOYS"!
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3652 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
The biggest difference is that you will have no 4th wall. (Although as a Kids performer you probably are not too reliant on that.)

I always come with way more Magic tricks than I need. You can work with as few as 3 tricks. The last strolling gig I did, I performed 10 different tricks but only because I get so few Close- Up gigs that I wanted to "keep my hand in" on some more tricks.

Connect with the Audience with your greetings and small talk as well as your tricks. Listen to them and laugh when they say something funny and engage the non volunteers watching.

It is all about making people feel like a part of a special experience.

You probably have all the people skills you need. You just need to remember to use them under fire.

I'll post later with some trick suggestions.

-Mary Mowder
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3652 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
"Bead and String Mystery" from Jeff McBride's "Magic from the Edge" is a wonderful trick to get everyone involved. Not an earth shaker but great fun and it is a "now do it for me" type trick. I didn't think much of this simple trick until I tried it.

Any trick where one Vollunteer finds another's card is good if you have fun with the people. I use a simple control to the bottom and a Hindu shuffle as the Volunteer drops a face up joker into the pack to come face to face with the the spectator's chosen card. Before the reveal mention that if the Volunteer misses the chosen card, this is the Vollunteer's trick and you had nothing to do with it.

I like a cash trick like Tokoyo Penetration (you can get " Clean thru Clear Thru" for a similar effect that is available today.) I also do T & R dollar but not in the same set.

If you do Ring & Rope, you can use a smaller ring and thinner rope and work smaller for Close-Up. This is particularly good for when a crowd gathers because you can perform up and out to make it bigger when needed. Don't bother with a full routine, just do one at a time with lots of interaction in between.

There is a difference in size between cocktail type Close-Up and picnic Strolling. Slight changes in your props can make your Magic look more appropriate to the venue. For instance, Ring and Ribbon looks more classy than Ring and Rope . Of course, practice with the new props first. A change in ring size can mean a change in handling.

-Mary Mowder
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3652 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
Once you have some tricks you can do, you will need a friendly audience for your first few gigs.

I'm often bemoaning my lack of Close-Up gigs (probably because my website is aimed at Birthday and Family events). One way I do get Close-Up gigs is as an add on to Family Stand-Up shows. These audiences are low stress and easy to interact with. You'll need some non-card tricks and at least a couple should allow for the Spectator to touch the props.

You will have to adjust your performance and repertoire for Adult gatherings but having some experience will make that easier.

-Mary Mowder
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Loyal user
241 Posts

Profile of vincentmusician
Probably the best advice I can give is do what works for you. Once you find the Magic and routines that work for you, stick with them, work with them and get smoother at doing them. Them you will be more comfortable and can focus on your people skills and presentation. That is just as or more important then your Magic. Like Mary said, connect with your audience. Good luck.
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Inner circle
Norfolk, UK
1244 Posts

Profile of simplymagicweb
Here’s an unedited clip of me performing at one of my residences in the UK, complete with the usual distractions of waiting staff interrupting performance! Hope you like it!!!


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Creator of The Grayle, DUO, Secret Servante, Genetics, Tick Tock, Starstruck, CelebriDate, MagiDate, Focus, SIGMA and R2R
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Inner circle
West Chester PA
1296 Posts

Profile of danfreed
If you want, you can offer strolling magic just for kids (or primarily for the kids), I do that kind of often. Often it's a combo of show(s) and strolling. Make sure to offer it if it seems like a good option for the client, even if they don't ask, not in a pushy sales way, just mention that you do it, that it works out great. With kids events they often hire balloon twisters and face painters, which is fine, but then kids often wait in line for a long time, are bored in line, and with balloons they often pop and fall apart, and kids like face painting but it's not exciting like magic, and it's very common, not unusual. So with strolling magic, no lines, and they are very entertained, and you can entertain a lot of people, so you can mention that in a helpful, not pushy way, if they are trying to decide between you and balloons/face painting.
With kids, sometimes even at big events, you will get some kids that follow you around like the pied piper, so have plenty of material, even if you leave some of it in your car as back-up. Sometimes the event will have a smaller than expected crowd so you need lots of material, or you may want to just switch to your regular show if you get swamped with kids all at once, which happens once in a while. Be prepared like 1960's Batman, he carried shark repellent around with him all the time but when he needed it, he had it. Having said that, for kids gigs, I mostly just do 2-4 tricks per group/person, and mostly end up doing around 6-8 different tricks throughout the event. I carry my stuff in a buskers pouch, which is fine for casual/kids events.
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