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Best opening card effect

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by 2ndhalfblood, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. i know there are other threads like best card tricks or best impromptu card tricks, but i am looking for best effective opening effect you can do with cards, so has to be short, quite visual, not too much explaining/talking - basically attention grabbing
    eg. something like card to mouth
  2. Holy Cow! Thats a tough question. There are a million awesome opening cards tricks.

    ACR is a great routine to start. Card Under Box is an amazing trick to do. Happens within 10 seconds of the start of the trick and gets amazing reactions. The list goes on and on.
  3. Josh Burch

    Josh Burch Moderator

    Chicago Opener
  4. Static by David Jade
  5. Its what feels right for you, are you going to go up to a spectator with cards in hand or are you going to introduce yourself properly first. I mean if you go up to someone introduce yourself as a magician and then you need to remove the cards and go from there. This complete introduction is your opener and requires a lot of dead time before you have done anything.

    As far as what is the best opener it should be dependent on who you are as a performer rather than what is best for me. When I was working doing close up as a magician at cocktail parties I would never open with a card trick it was always something which felt very organic usually producing something. If I was to open my set with cards I would load a deck into some ones jacket and after a brief chat I would leave to get a drink and come back only for someone to ask what I do. When I told them I was hired as a magician they ask to see a trick I inform them that I don't have my cards on me and ask to borrow the person who I loaded earlier. I then promise to return them after the performance.

    I would then use a full routine I have been using for years that is basically an ACR using four of a kind. Personally I care more about the connection with theaudience than anything else.

    It should be noted that this is my take in the environments which I was working and you need to decide in what will work for you.
  6. Card under the box seems like an actual effect and more like the climax of an actual routine. What with how you could literally end just about ANY card routine with it. ACR ends with card under box, etc etc.

    I would say that any opener should show the group that you know your stuff and be quick and to the point. Something simple like Card in hand would work, or simply even simpler by just having somebody select a card, control it to the top and to a DL, then do some transformation into their card or reveal it however you see fit. In your pocket, wallet, reversed in the deck, in your shoe, in a card box, under card box, etc etc.

    Really it's pretty much up to you and it also depends on the situation you are performing in.
  7. As D ICE R said, it depends on you. I do frequently 'open' with cards, but only after I've chatted with the audience a little bit first. I usually like to open with a quick mind read, as that fits my character. But other people can't necessarily pull it off like I can, so it wouldn't be wise for them to copy me.

    You need to look at your own character, your own skills, and your own repertoire and figure out what will work for you.
  8. usually, more often than not, i try to classic force for my opening and if they picked the card i go on mind reading but if they dont, i go to card to mouth as a opener, i was looking to expand on that
  9. I usually do not open with cards, but if I do, it's Chicago Opener. It can be done as quick or as slow as you want it to be. If you want to grab their attention right away, you can always produce a deck of cards out of thin air and go into CO, you can use flash paper, or you can just take the cards out, do some type of flourish (ie. Sybil) to "mix the cards up" and then proceed with CO.
    But, honestly, if you need anything more then your words to grab spectators attention, you're doing it wrong.
  10. The reason i put just Card Under Box. Is because i have a 4 phase card to box that is great. First the card jumps under the box. Then the deck of cards jumps under the box. Then their card jumps under the box... THen i pretend im switching tricks.. and the card jumps under the box a 4th time! : )
  11. The best is to begin with a trick that everybody will think that you missed your shot... but actually no. Always a good starter !!
  12. Invisible deck, it's incredibly quick and incredibly hard hitting. Perfect for street magic.
  13. Not always. It depends on the character.
  14. I disagree with the criteria you are setting. Why not use something that has some substance and plot to it? Something that draws the audience in. Something that has the feel of a conversation rather than a pick up line. Something that tells them about your style and your personality rather the merely focusing on what your props can do? Why not engage their intellect and emotions rather than provide some visual look-at-me trick?

    Probably the worst idea. You should be building credibility with your audience, not acting as if you screwed up. Doing a magician in trouble effect as an opener risks the audience walking away saying "you suck" before you correct it. If they do stay and you correct your alleged mistake, the audience feels that you suckered them.

    This is what the audience probably is thinking: "a guy with cards, ok, I'll go along with this, yeah I get it every card is different, pick a card how cliche, stick it in the deck - I can see where this is going, ok he's doing all these fancy cuts it looks like he spent years sitting in his bedroom playing with cards rather than developing basic social skills, what a loser, wait he is taking out one of the cards, nope not my card, what a tool, now what is he doing?, oh look it changed in to my card, I guess his screw up was planned, he probably thinks he pulled one over on me, oh crap now he's going to do another card trick, somebody make him stop..."
  15. I agree with your second point, but...

    You need a certain amount of prestige or ethos to pull that kind of opening off. If they haven't perceived you as a person that's worth giving time and attention to, they generally won't give you the time and attention needed for a properly substantial trick that involves their intellect and emotions. (This is assuming that you haven't already built rapport with the set).
  16. I agree... to an extent. You have to believe in your ability to draw them in an entertain them and then project that confidence to them through your introduction. By the time you pull out the cards, you already have their attention.

    Once you have that attention, I think you need to engage them on multiple levels and build rapport with YOU rather than your props. You need to be interesting, engaging and entertaining while showing strong magic. I'm not talking about a long and drawn out story or a 21 card like plot that takes an hour before they see the magic, but something more exciting and involved than pick a card then find a card (or pretending that you can do mind reading). You want them to think "this guy is really entertaining and is doing some really cool stuff" not just "that was a cool trick." You use the first effect to build the rapport with your spectators.

    To answer the question, I would use John Bannon's Counterpunch / Four Faces North / Watching the Detectives / New Jax / Full Circle routine from Six.Impossible.Things. Within the first phase, it has a little confusion, humor and a surprise, then it hits harder with a triumph like effect, then a mind blowing searchers turned sandwich effect, a find a card turned sandwich effect and then a closing that brings it, well... full circle. The various phases and garden path construction engage the audience intellectually.
  17. What kind of time constraints are being assumed?

    You are describing the ideal situation, but sometimes, depending on the audience and the venue, (and the varying states of sobriety), you will not actually have enough time with your introduction, regardless of your ability.
  18. I'm assuming a walk around environment or even a street magic approach. In a walk around environment, you have the prestige of being the hired magician... So you must be worth paying attention to. In a street environment, you need to establish credibility through your appearance and demeanor before you say a word. In both of those situations the introduction shouldn't take more than a minute or two.

    My opinion is that if you don't have time to do a proper introduction, then don't perform. I think that you need to be able to control the performance environment -- including the pacing of your performance-- from the beginning.

    With that said, I recognize that certain environments such as loud bars and clubs aren't conducive to that approach. In those cases the magic needs to be adapted to account for the environment and needs to be more visual, simpler and fast paced simply because the spectators can't hear you and there are numerous distractions.

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