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World Tour Magic

Nov 3, 2018
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A hypothetical question: You're travelling around the world, via hitchhiking, backpacking or whatever comes your way. Along the way, you'd like to perform some magic (to make an extra buck or to get to know people), but obviously you can't take too many or too large props. Keep in mind that the cultures you come across will be very different (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas), and also that you might not speak every language.

Which props would you take and which tricks would you perform?
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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A friend of mine is a big traveler and last I talked to him he was putting together a whole show that fit into his motorcycle saddle bag. Linking rings, rope magic, I think he found a table that let him do cups and balls. That sort of thing.

My physical prop usage is very small - my busking set fits into a box smaller than your average shoebox with room to spare. The issue is, of course, language for me. Considering how much I do that is centered on suggestion it is fairly imperative that my audience understand English. I could do a sideshow set without worrying too much, though.
 
Nov 3, 2018
543
424
A friend of mine is a big traveler and last I talked to him he was putting together a whole show that fit into his motorcycle saddle bag. Linking rings, rope magic, I think he found a table that let him do cups and balls. That sort of thing.
That's exactly what I'm looking for. Could you elaborate on "that sort of thing", please?
Where does he perform this show? And does he travel only in countries with predominately Western influence, or does he perform in countries with a completely different cultural background as well?
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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He mostly had Southeast Asia in mind. That's where he generally ends up going when he gets the travel itch - and, actually, I think he's there now.

I don't know if he ever did fully develop the idea. It's actually been a couple years since I talked to him directly. He was focusing more on teaching martial arts for a while and I hadn't seen much about him doing shows. Most of what he came up with was while we were drinking together at a mutual friend's wedding. I think silks were going to be in there. Mostly your classic, Mark Wilson style material.
 
Nov 3, 2018
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Did he have any particular kind of venue in mind when talking about the show?

What type of effects would you recommend a non-mentalist to perform in those circumstances?
 

CWhite

Elite Member
Jul 22, 2016
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There is a show on Netflix called "The Road Trick" starring Adam Trent. A very nice guy btw. He uses small magic tricks to meet new people and trade his ability in order to get into places he wouldn't otherwise be able to. It's pretty cool and might give you some ideas.
 
Nov 3, 2018
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Jun 18, 2019
547
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West Bengal, India
Magic Mush---no wait.

I'd carry a few coins, paper, pen, a handkerchief, rubberbands and 3 decks of cards (2 duplicate). Keeping in mind that of course, other than the decks and the pen, the other props would be available pretty much everywhere. Mostly.

I'd perform visual magic mostly, like rubberbands melting sort of stuff. Or coins changing, vanishing, and so on. With cards people can do almost anything. Where I understand the language, I'll also do basic mind reading tricks, or book reading tricks, hopefully in libraries.

:)
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,783
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Did he have any particular kind of venue in mind when talking about the show?

What type of effects would you recommend a non-mentalist to perform in those circumstances?


He would have been busking mainly.

The classic 'street' tricks are really just classic parlour magic. Linking rings, cups and balls, silks (vanishes, 20th century silks, etc), ropes (professor's nightmare kind of stuff). Maybe Miser's Dream. Really depends on how much you want to lug around.
 
Nov 3, 2018
543
424
Magic Mush---no wait.

I'd carry a few coins, paper, pen, a handkerchief, rubberbands and 3 decks of cards (2 duplicate). Keeping in mind that of course, other than the decks and the pen, the other props would be available pretty much everywhere. Mostly.

I'd perform visual magic mostly, like rubberbands melting sort of stuff. Or coins changing, vanishing, and so on. With cards people can do almost anything. Where I understand the language, I'll also do basic mind reading tricks, or book reading tricks, hopefully in libraries.

:)
Thank you for the ideas! In what context would you do the trick (would you just start performing, would you walk up to somebody ...)?

He would have been busking mainly.

The classic 'street' tricks are really just classic parlour magic. Linking rings, cups and balls, silks (vanishes, 20th century silks, etc), ropes (professor's nightmare kind of stuff). Maybe Miser's Dream. Really depends on how much you want lug around.
Thank you, you've been a great help!
 
Jun 18, 2019
547
295
18
West Bengal, India
Thank you for the ideas! In what context would you do the trick (would you just start performing, would you walk up to somebody ...)?
I'd walk up to people. But I was assuming that if I have enough funds to have a world tour of magic, I'd also have a reputation already, so me walking up to people wouldn't raise walls.

Otherwise I'd try to attract attention (in a non-attention seeker way). I'd do a few springs and cuts in parks and places people have leisure time to watch magic, and THEN walk up to whoever seems most interested(ing :p ).
 
Nov 3, 2018
543
424
I was assuming that if I have enough funds to have a world tour of magic, I'd also have a reputation already, so me walking up to people wouldn't raise walls
I'm sorry, you misunderstood the scenario. I was talking about touring the world as low-budget as is possible (backpacking, hitchhiking etc.), and was thinking about what kind of magic you would do, just for fun or to make an extra Buck.
Sorry if that was unclear before.

Apart from that tiny misunderstanding, you've had some good ideas worth Thinking about, thank you!
I've got a question, though: Do you think playing cards are universally accepted as something normal? As I said, I've been thinking about tricks that would play well no matter which culture you're in, and I'm sure card tricks would play well in a lot of countries, but would they work everywhere?
 
Jun 18, 2019
547
295
18
West Bengal, India
To know whether playing cards would be acceptable in a culture or not, we need to understand and be thorough with the general cultures in the world. Primarily, though there are lots of countries (obviously) there are only a fixed number of GENERAL cultures. By this I mean (examples --> ) that the cultures of India and Pakistan or the different countries in Europe (with a few exceptions though) are vastly the same, just like the GENERAL culture of Canada and the United States would be the same.

Of course there are very significant differences, but for our understanding and ensuring that playing cards (and other such items which might have negative connotations) are welcome or not, these GENERAL cultures will do.

The culture of the Indian Subcontinent is very traditional. However, cards here have been accepted as something to do magic with, too. Hence they'll be welcome here, I'm sure it won't be a worry, unless you deliberately go to poor localities where cards have brought about large-scale destructions in families and the local economy (refer to Sean O's cardistry documentary on YouTube, it was shot in Nepal).

But yes, sizes of the cards do differ. If you come to Asia, don't be surprised if people find your cards a bit too big, because the Bridge size is the norm here (which is why those people who keep saying that magicians and cardists who practice with Bridge sized are doing the wrong, weird thing, I politely call them ''minorly ignorant'').

But that isn't a huge problem. I don't think playing cards are too unwelcome anywhere now-a-days (with the exception I mentioned above).

Just be sure to not look too seedy, and nobody will mistake you as somebody anti-social. :p

PS:- Your questions and this thread are really interesting. I can't help wonder... Is this just curiosity on your part or are you really planning a World Tour? :)
 
Nov 3, 2018
543
424
To know whether playing cards would be acceptable in a culture or not, we need to understand and be thorough with the general cultures in the world. Primarily, though there are lots of countries (obviously) there are only a fixed number of GENERAL cultures. By this I mean (examples --> ) that the cultures of India and Pakistan or the different countries in Europe (with a few exceptions though) are vastly the same, just like the GENERAL culture of Canada and the United States would be the same.

Of course there are very significant differences, but for our understanding and ensuring that playing cards (and other such items which might have negative connotations) are welcome or not, these GENERAL cultures will do.
I agree with most of what you say, and I'm glad for your first-hand perspective on the Indian subcontinent. The two main reasons why I'm still a bit averse towards card magic in this context is a) that I wouldn't want to be immediately marked as "that western foreigner" (enough other things are going to take care of that ;-)), and b) the possible language barrier. Linking Rings can be performed in silence, card magic is a bit more difficult.

Just be sure to not look too seedy, and nobody will mistake you as somebody anti-social. :p
Anti-social? Who, me? No, anybody could tell you that I'm excellent with people, just so long as I have ... my deck of ...
Oh, I see what you mean.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,638
3,955
New Jersey
So, I decided to make a video response and show you what I could fit into a backpack:


A couple of notes. I misidentified the Vanishing Bandana trick as the Yellow Bandana trick and the book for the Okito Box routine that I couldn't remember was the Aretology of Vanni Bossi.

I'm working on two more videos that would actually have the props for shows that I would perform. However, to do that I've had to rework the shows to use smaller props. That has turned out to be a very interesting exercise.
 
Nov 3, 2018
543
424

Did I mention that this is insane? It depends on how you count, but I got a final count of 58 props / tricks in there. Thank you so much for taking the time!

To stay in the spirit of the original question, since
obviously you can't take too many or too large props,
which of these props would you take around the world, considering you have to pack clothes, a sleeping bag etc.?

I'm working on two more videos that would actually have the props for shows that I would perform. However, to do that I've had to rework the shows to use smaller props. That has turned out to be a very interesting exercise.
Well, I'm glad I could provide a bit of a challenge. I can't wait for the other two!
 
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obrienmagic

Elite Member
Nov 4, 2014
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Orange County, Ca
www.obrienmagic.com
So, I decided to make a video response and show you what I could fit into a backpack:


A couple of notes. I misidentified the Vanishing Bandana trick as the Yellow Bandana trick and the book for the Okito Box routine that I couldn't remember was the Aretology of Vanni Bossi.

I'm working on two more videos that would actually have the props for shows that I would perform. However, to do that I've had to rework the shows to use smaller props. That has turned out to be a very interesting exercise.
I love this video! Thank you for sharing!
 
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