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tricks for big audiences

Mar 3, 2014
hello people i have a talent show coming up and i want to do magic so what would be good magic tricks good for big audiences?(about 300 people)


Elite Member
Mar 28, 2013
hello people i have a talent show coming up and i want to do magic so what would be good magic tricks good for big audiences?(about 300 people)

As most people here will tell you, it's not the trick it's the performance.
How long do you have to prepare?
what age group will you be performing for?


Apr 17, 2013
Also gonna throw in what type of style do you typically perform with? e.g funny, mysterious, scary. Cos thats gonna affect the type of tricks you'll be able to perform and how you can perform them
Dec 23, 2007
Fredonia, NY
For a talent show you are gonna wanna keep it brief. A very short set, i would say about 3 effects would be right. Card tricks generally aren't going to play well (there are a few exceptions) Also, having a spectator come onto stage is going to take time. An opener should be something quick and to the point. Depending on the size of the venue you could do a couple different things. Productions always hit hard, the gold standard is the appearing bowling ball. Their a few different methods for this, the classic sketch pad is by far the best but Andrew Mayne has a good one that is low budget and anybody can do with household items. It's quick, cheap and looks great on stage. Second effect should be a little more involved, Fiber Optics is a great choice, its visual, fun and just about the right time (use the abbreviated routine) You could also look into something with a bit more humor but keep it strong and building to more. The finale is gonna be important. With a short show you need to leave them wowed. Since we have done a production first and a second effect that is about size changes, i would think an impossible location would work best. For this you have a couple options. Bill in Lemon, Angle Zero, Ring Flight the options are infinite. An alternative would be Tossed out Deck. It gets involvement from the audience, it builds to a big finale and it can be done pretty easily from stage. Again, these are all just ideas for what i think would 1) Work for a talent show 2) work for the time you have 3) Easy to learn and pick up in time (fiber optics being the excepting that takes work) 4)Can be done on the cheap 5) Routine well together (you do need to work out a script and practice) 6) Will translate well to a stage and be entertaining. Any questions feel free to ask, anyone disagrees i'd love to know why.
Dec 18, 2007
Northampton, MA - USA
Josh has given you some sound information but I'm going to step things out a bit. . . I'll assume this is a school talent show and you're at least in High School which means you're young and inexperienced. But how big is your thinking? How much help do you have available?

The Mark Wilson Course or Tarbell both have everything you need for doing this, there is no reason to go buying a bunch of stuff.

If you have some helpers you could start with a Mummy Wrap or the Door Frame productions noted in the back of the Wilson Course. . . it's fast and it's flashy. . . but now YOU have to do something. . . you've magically appeared from nowhere so what do you do next?

What's the premise of your act?

Are you a traditional manipulator like Lance Burton or are you going to be obnoxious and a tad bit insane?

Are you interested and able to work with livestock such as birds, bunnies, pooches & Kitty Cats?

If that's the case you can move into a jazzed version of the Pollack type act. . . if not you need to think of other "props" and what's practical to you. The Wilson course teaches you how to make the Square Circle production prop but what do you put into it? What do you have that will "work" and more important, what can you do with it that's different? (You could produce the cheer leading squad or even the football team; why not the school Choir singing your fight song?)

We don't know your vision or persona, the style you see yourself working, whether or not you want to wear a tux or go in street cloths as a rapper. There are simply too many variables for anyone to steer you to specific things but I believe in keeping it simple and based on what you should already have access to. . . like the Wilson Course. If you don't have it and haven't been studying it or Tarbell and maybe Josh Jay's course. . . then you're not ready for a talent show. Sorry, but you don't have the basics down yet so how could you possible compete?

Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
I think one of the easiest types of magic to transition with if you're a close up kinda guy is rope magic. Something like professors nightmare is easy to do, fairly strong for a lay audience and cheap to both learn and do. You can find the explanation in most books at the library.

Something you can do with one of those roll around chalk boards like the magic square would work great. You can learn that from Joshua Jay's book of magic with a fairly simple way to do it in front of a group. This book's available at most libraries as well and at least with this version it is much simpler than the one in 13 Steps to Mentalism although not quite as deceptive.
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