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Hard hitting impromptu effects

Aug 25, 2012
32
0
Hello forumers,

I know that this is a topic that has been discussed many a time; however I would like to know some effects or ideas for impromptu street magic that hits hard. Cards, money and general magic a like, anything that causes 'wow'.

Thanks in advance :)
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,638
3,955
New Jersey
I typically use an appearing baseball bat. It hits hard, floors my audience, leaves a long lasting impression and, if done well, knocks my spectators dead.

I prefer to make my magic entertaining. To take an effect and present it in a way that does more than narrate what the props are doing in my hands.

As for anything being impromptu, that is a lie. Everything requires practice, rehearsal, set up. The key is to perform in a manner that makes your audience believe that you are just doing something on the spur of the moment. Thus, the best impromptu magic is an illusion.

As for anyone else's suggestions, you will get what people like for their style. What about what works for you? Even when I'm working with people that I've known for a while, my ideas sometimes don't quite work for their character or style. Since every effect has a video these days, go and watch a couple dozen trailers. Then ask yourself, "How would I perform this?" I'll give you a hint, the answer shouldnt be "just like the video" (which typically utilizes say-do-see patter where you say what you are going to do, do it and tell the audience to "see" what happens). The best magic is magic that you make yours.
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
14
62
Northampton, MA - USA
As for anything being impromptu, that is a lie. Everything requires practice, rehearsal, set up. The key is to perform in a manner that makes your audience believe that you are just doing something on the spur of the moment. Thus, the best impromptu magic is an illusion.

This really needed repeated. . .

I have several pieces that I rotate that allow me to know what I'm going to do if in an improvisational situation and most all of these "pre-sets" move things towards Muscle Reading in that, for a mentalist, this is the cleanest and easiest thing to move into outside of doing Readings on folks.

Most people confuse "Improvisation" with "Impromptu", the latter meaning that you have nothing but your wits and enough education and experience that allows you to see what is available and how you can exploit it. But even this course of action requires "practice" -- literally putting yourself into such positions and knowing what you can do if called upon when in a coffee shop vs. a coffee house for instance (big difference between the environment at a Starbucks vs. Denny's for an example). But this also means that you have material at the ready that incorporates the things you are regularly surrounded by, be it when in the classroom or someone's home, or when out in the local park, etc. But like I said, you have routines in mind based on each setting well in advance; material you have practiced well ahead of time and especially routines where you borrow items that belong to folk . . . they like that and it makes the magic that much more enchanting (impossible) to their mind.

When it comes to the issue of "Hard Hitting" pieces we have another issue. . . it depends on the performer, their style, confidence and skill level. The trick or effect presented has little to nothing to do with what is "hard hitting" it is just the vehicle that helps you get there. The secret to knocking the public's socks off is YOU and YOUR ABILITY to "sell" the effect . . . to create mystery and enchantment. You can put five magicians side by side doing the same exact material but only one of them will stand out int the public mind as being the "best" and most memorable. We can see this at Magic Competitions when you have the same sort of acts back to back (usually bird acts).

Sadly, there is one other thing that an audience judges us by, something we had a discussion on recently on another forum I belong to, in regards to Colin Keys on AGT -- Looks!

Our society still judges things based on sex appeal; Colin was young and cute and had a very pleasing personality which is what helped escalate him forward. Kevin James who is hands down superior performer and most unique didn't have the cuteness factor to his advantage; Kev is a big man (I don't mean his weight, I mean all the way around Kevin is a big, very commanding dude, but a gentle giant.) We've seen this with other talent on that show and how the strangest, most horrid acts manage to make it into the finals (though rarely winning, except in those music oriented shows). Understand, I'm not saying that a homely looking guy or gal can't make it, that depends on their ability to use their looks to their advantage. . . a slightly different story though a related issue. Just look at how naturally goofy so many comedians are and how they deliberately accentuate things like an odd looking nose or chin or hair, etc.

If you learn how to carry yourself, take command of a given situation and use your physical being you can do a simple French Drop and win people over. It is not the magic you do, it's a combination of things that range from discipline & command to Sex & Sensuality.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,783
2,888
My advice is that the things that really seem to hit people are things that they connect with. It's not the trick. It's the way the trick is performed. If you're doing something meaningful it will hit hard.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
anything that causes 'wow'.

A live human sacrifice. Or maybe that's just the audiences I play to.

Now... you know the topic has been discussed to death. Yet you feel the need to start a thread anyway. I'm assuming you did a search on this at some point, so you must have known what kind of answers you were going to get. It would either be useful ones like those above me, or the usual recommendations to buy more crap from people who you can tell their experience by taking the number of shows they claim to have performed and subtracting from it the number of shows they claim to have performed. And you phrased your post in a way that you seem to prefer the latter type of answer despite the overwhelming evidence that the former is the correct one.

I'm not really sure what you were hoping to get out of this, I guess that's what I'm trying to say here.
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,393
7
36
Belgrade, Serbia
Ok then, everything that needs to be said, the above people said it. So I'll give you one actual suggestion. Learn the paddle move, and learn it well. Then just find anybody that has a lighter that has some writing or a picture on one side of it, and nothing on the other side, and voila, impromtu miracle.
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
14
62
Northampton, MA - USA
Ok then, everything that needs to be said, the above people said it. So I'll give you one actual suggestion. Learn the paddle move, and learn it well. Then just find anybody that has a lighter that has some writing or a picture on one side of it, and nothing on the other side, and voila, impromtu miracle.

Excellent example, Toby!

Other bits would include doing an old bit known as Chink-ka-Chink using sugar cubes or butter patties. . . of course, there is Zombie Baked Potato, but we'll not go there. . .
 

Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
It depends on the performer, their style, confidence and skill level. The trick or effect presented has little to nothing to do with what is "hard hitting" it is just the vehicle that helps you get there. The secret to knocking the public's socks off is YOU and YOUR ABILITY to "sell" the effect . . . to create mystery and enchantment.

This is great advice and I agree wholeheartedly. The tricks you do are just like the paint on an artist's brush, it's what you do with them that creates amazement.

Regards the tricks themselves, I find that body illusions can be AMAZING for gaining strong reactions, the twisting arm illusion for instance. The best part is that you need no props whatsoever!

I always carry some business cards with me and I always have a pen, if you're into mentalism, you can create some amazing moments with just these tools. I'm also always wearing rings, so I've recently made the effort to learn a bunch of ring magic - Things like Garrett's Ring Thing and Patrick's 'pop through the finger' move from Reflex are awesome and very easy to do!

I'm definitely going to hit up the zombie-potato next time I find myself in a restaurant though! ><
 

Justin.Morris

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
2,758
871
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
Great thoughts. I love how "impromptu" (as defined above) effects assisted me in my starting years to always feel confident when asked to do a trick. (some don't like to be asked this, but I love the setup of getting asked). My favorite 'reputation maker' was the 'impromptu' effect Healed and Sealed. "Hey Justin, show is a trick!" "Oh, um, I don't have my cards one me, Sorry. Oh wait, let me grab one of these cans..." Killer.

As for a great assortment of random material, I enjoyed Wilson's On the Spot.
 
Oct 5, 2012
97
0
Verbal Control-Phil Goldstein/Max Maven: in addition to being incredibly useful reading on a larger scale, the handling of that approach done well leaves people fairly baffled. And it can be done with any objects and a piece of paper if you don't have an extra coin. I am rarely without a deck of cards, but when I am, that is a go-to for me.
 
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