Doing some walk around next month - help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sepharoth, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Hey everyone,

    Haven't posted on here in a while - sadly magic has taken a back seat since university started, but hopefully that should be changing soon :) I've been called upon to perform some walk around magic at a ball we're hosting on 9th Feb. Experience wise, I did some "shows" at a hospice last year, and attempted some restaurant magic which totally failed - field reports were posted on here at the time. So since this is my first time doing something big, I'm pretty worried, and was hoping some of the seasoned pros over here could give me some advice :)

    1. What to perform. This is always the big question. 3 things on my list for sure are invisible deck, french kiss and stand up monte. I'm proficient enough with a deck of cards to be able to do any and all of the basic tricks that everyone learns too (acr, sloppy triumph, 2cm etc), but tbh they're not really as hard hitting compared to ID and french kiss. Definitely something to fall back on though if necessary.

    I'm considering adding a sponge ball/sponge bunny routine to the list. I can do all the basic moves etc, and have done enough variations of sponge balls at parties for little kids, so in that regard, it shouldn't be a problem. The thing I'm concerned about is not actually having a proper routine devised. In my head I've got an idea of a flash production of the first ball, magically "split" that into two, do the usual "one in my hand, one in your hand, oh look, they're both in your hand" thing... but where do I go from there? It would be nice to end with the "2 balls in the hand, one in the pocket, how many in the hand" thing ending finally with all of them vanishing, but there's that bit in the middle where there are 2 balls in play and I need to introduce the third somehow in a reasonable fashion - if anyone does the sponge balls, any help would be much appreciated :)

    NB: I also have a set of sponge bunnies with their babies. Never really used these, but some people say that they're better than sponge balls, and if that's the case it shouldn't be too hard to perfect a routine in a month. What do you guys think?

    So that's 3 card tricks and possibly a sponge ball routine. Is this enough? I had entertained the thought of learning gypsy thread in a month because that's awesome and seems easy enough from watching Wayne Houchin's DVD - would this be worth it?

    2. Performing style and character: There have been so many posts on here, and on every other magic forum, about a performing character and creating a style for yourself etc. Sadly, I have no idea what my performing style would be, or even how to approach people at this sort of event - I was thinking something along the lines of "hey guys, hope you're all having a good time? well, we had hired a magician for the evening, but he couldn't make it, so I'm filling in doing magic tricks instead, wanna see something cool?". Sounds awful, I know, but it gives the impression that I don't take myself too seriously, and also the safety net that I'm not calling myself a "magician" in case they really don't like the magic... this isn't really a coherent question, but any help on this matter would also be lovely :)

    More info: It's a fancy black tie event, people will be between ages 18-22 mostly, with a couple of adults and children sprinkled throughout. I'll be doing walk around in the side-hall after dinner - main hall will be cleared for dancing, side hall will have chocolate fountain, drinks, snacks, sheesha, that kind of thing, for people to take a break from dancing.

    If you guys have any tips on performing, character, style, approach, what tricks to do, any new tricks worth learning in a month, or anything of the sort, then it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts.

  2. Sounds to me like you've got most things pretty much worked out and its only confidence you lack. Don't worry, that's natural.
    In terms of sponge balls i cant help you but i do have other advice you might find useful.

    First of all don't discount basic card routines like an ACR. Its true that to magicians routines of this nature are rarely that impressive (not always, just rarely) but remember that most people you perform to have not seen much, if at all, professional standard close up magic. Having a solid ACR or triumph means your always ready to perform and they DO get good reactions.

    In my opinion, one of the most important things to consider when doing strolling magic is pocket space. You need to carry everything you need to perform with on your person, knowing exactly whats in each pocket, all being easily accessible to use, and still making sure your able to ditch or switch easily and quickly (if you need to). Make sure you practice in your suit, with all your props at least once before the event so you know this will not be a problem.

    As for gypsy thread, the issue you will have walk around is that realistically you will only have a couple of performances ready at any one time (which would require two reels of thread - taking up pocket space). If you were to perform gypsy thread you would have to find time and some space to reset quite a few times during the event and it cant be done subtly. If you do really want to perform it as it is a great effect i would recommend just taking one reel with you ready to go and waiting for the 'perfect moment' to perform it. That is; if you have enough pocket space.

    Remember this is all just my opinion.

    I wouldn't worry too much about any kind of specific performance style or character right now if i were you; you will develop these over time. Right now i think that experience is your main need and i would recommend to you to just relax and be yourself (as cheesy as that sounds). You'll come across far more approachable and genuine than if you were focused on something specific.

    In terms of approaching people, i believe the most important thing is confidence. The line you quoted sound fine but dont stick to it religiously. Try different lines out if you feel like it, but try not to come across too forced. Simply saying hello and introducing yourself will work absolutely fine and dont be afraid of introducing yourself as the magician. Thats what you are, and noone is going to turn you down at and event like this. And even if they do, just shrug it off and move on. Just remember to relax and be normal. Build a rapport with a group, ask their names, ask how they are; then when it feels right show them some magic.

    Sorry for the essay, i hope your getting at least something from this.

    Oh one other thing to think about is space. Your not guaranteed perfect performance conditions so make sure your able to perform surrounded and without a table. Of course if you see an opportunity to set yourself up nicely for a routine go for it but dont rely on being able to.

    The most important thing is just to relax and enjoy it. The worst part of your first big event is the anticipation of it, once you get going im sure you'll be great.

    Hope you've found this helpful.
  3. Thanks for the great post - it was enormously helpful! I think you've got it spot on - I've been dismissing stuff like acr and triumph without really considering things from the spectators' eyes, thank you for pointing that out :)
  4. No where. That's the end. Produce a ball, split into two. One in each of your hands. One travels from one hand to other. Repeat with speccy's hand. End.

    It's a perfect, beautiful, lovely piece of magic.

    Two in the hand one in the pocket is also a good trick. Don't combine them. No need. It's like when people combine ACR with card to wallet. Two great tricks on their own. Nothing is added by combining them
  5. Actually, I must disagree with this. An ACR needs a finale and card to wallet works well for that. I dont believe card to wallet is a trick on its own, its a great add on or finale to another card routine. Magic is about creating routines not just doing single tricks. I have used card to wallet as a finale to my ACR and it always works great.
    I think others will agree with me here. Even Michael Vincent, one of the best card workers out there, uses card to wallet to end some of his routines. In particularly his Ultimate Travellers routine.
  6. Well, as has already been touched on, don't shy away from the classic card plots just because they haven't gotten the best reactions. Mayhap not for this event, but in the future this is something to think about. ID and French Kiss both kill, because they have are well thought out, well scripted effects. I use scripting to encompass every action and dialog that occurs during the effect. If you take the time to think your way through, and script out, any of the classic plots they can be absolute killers. There are endless examples of this.

    If you are looking for a good place to go with spongeball... one of my absolute favorites to watch is Gene Turner. His routine is excellent, and many of its stages are fairly basic. I am not suggesting emulating his routine, perhaps just looking there for inspiration.

    Some great advice on the approach, that has been said many times but I most recently heard from Eric Mead, is to approach them as if you were just a normal person, meeting another normal person. Walk up, introduce yourself, talk for a short bit, then move into explaining why you are there and performing. Especially considering you haven't really worked out a character, conversing with them in a casual manner and expressing yourself naturally will get you a long way in making them comfortable with you, which is a main goal for many characters.


    P.S. Congrats on the gig!
  7. I'm thinking that maybe you could other things along with sponge balls and cards? Like do stuff with borrowed bill or coins. You can even learn some rubberband magic. Crazy man handcuffs is an awesome piece of rubberband material. Maybe buy a pack of loops and do animations with a dollar bill or even a haunted deck. Also I've learned that you should have at least 2 sets of three tricks that you can perform confidently. Also in terms of performance style. Be yourself. Performing as yourself comes with practice and you'll find how you make yourself appear to others through practice. Just be confident about it. Also if you're willing to spend the money you could get T.K.O. 2.0 or Any signed card to any spectator's wallet. Those are really great utilities and the ASCTASW can be used as a way to holdout duplicate cards and gaffs which frees up some pocket space if you are worried about that.
  8. It depends on how you present the routine and who you ask. The main thing to remember is that people do not remember the entire routine. They will ALWAYS remember the end. Which is why when you do something like a ACR and have it be 12 phases, that you are just confusing and annoying people. Having it be 3 stages and the final one going to an envelope, your wallet, pocket, card to ring box, etc. Is perfectly fine. Just be aware that they will most likely primarely remember the last phase more so than the other 2.

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