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ParaSailor

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Reply with quote  #1 
Since diving back in, it has impressed me how it has been the simple things that have gotten the best reactions. A coworker wanted to show me a trick so I watched and enjoyed it. He asked me to duplicate it myself which I didn't do, he had given me a true free choice but I didn't give him one in return. Part way though the trick he asks to shuffle the deck himself (he had used an index card and I guess he figured he would get me). I consented much to his surprise and changed the trick on the fly, writing a new script as I went. Once the card was truly lost by him, I turned the cards face up and slowly eliminated sections of the deck until only his card was left. He was so blown away that he went and found others to come see the trick (unfortunately for him they never quite get the same one twice).
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well done. There a few discussions here and there on impromptu tricks and whether or not to consent to being asked/challenged  to do something.
Worth checking.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Yep, 'tis true. Dan Waterman convinced me that the silly, simple stuff can kill. Lately I've been having a blast with Cameron Francis's trick, COAT. It's a silly, simple mentalism effect that I initially thought little of. Then I decided to make up a set of cards and try it out. This silly, simple little trick garners dropped jaws and squeals of delight. Seriously. Squeals. I should record them. Similarly, Evil Dan convinced me to revert to the marketed cards for Color Monte. For years I had been performing it with regular cards. After trying it again with the marketed set, I can't see myself ever going back. Simple, silly, but oh, so effective. 


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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #4 
Here's one:

http://www.themagiciansforum.com/post/selfworking-vs-sleights-9894224?highlight=self-working

 

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ParaSailor

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Reply with quote  #5 
Av, I have to agree about Color Monte.  That was one of the first packet tricks I ever purchased and even during the time that I "wasn't doing magic" I was guilty of carrying a Color Monte around from time to time.  I've gone through no less than ten sets of the marketed set and even currently have one on order to meet me at the next port to replace the set that I most recently wore out.  It is without a doubt a simple trick yet it always plays big.
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for the shout out Anthony!

Lets not forget about other genres...cups and balls...chop cups...paddle effects...sponge balls...so many, "what the &^%$" moments can happen with these props! Simple routines with limited amount of basic sleight of hand have carried me through some major gigs. PRESENTATION BEING THE CORNERSTONE!

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Magicmason

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Reply with quote  #7 
Color Monte rocks!  Learned it from Larry Kahlow at Eagle Magic around 1976 and I continue to use it all the time.  Killer simple trick.  

Blathermist, on the forum here, has helped me too in seeing how important "simple" is in magical entertainment.  
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #8 

Couldn’t agree more!  Simplicity is the key, whether it pertains to handling, patter, presentation, or all of the above.  I’m another fan of Color Monte, although for years now I’ve preferred using regular cards (since I don’t want to carry around packet tricks).


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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #9 
Good Magic is entertainment. Solid structure and performance take it to another level altogether. Even something innocuous like COAT or Color Monte can be taken to those levels. Sounds like you guys are already doing this!
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ParaSailor

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Reply with quote  #10 
You are so right Mbreggar,  It took me a long time to figure that out.  When I first started, I was so interested in the technical skill that I completely ignored the entertainment factor and the audience.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #11 
Simple effects using presentations which connect with people are key. There are an abundance of simple tricks available by authors such as Scarne, Fulves, Longe and the like, which can be presented as miracles with a little presentational knowledge. I have seen technically brilliant guitarists ignored in favor of players who know a handful of chords but know how to entertain.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #12 
In my opinion we magicians work far too hard sometimes.  Unless your audience is made up of magicians, ex-magicians or non-magicians that belong to The Magic Castle, basic magic presented well is enough.  There is certainly nothing wrong with working on knuckle-busting sleight-of-hand, but maybe that stuff is best left for when you are "sessioning" or pulling an all-nighter with a magic buddy.

Audiences love good, entertaining magic.  Whether you can do 8 tabled perfect faro shuffles is of little interest to them.  

Having said that, it doesn't hurt to aspire to greatness and if you raise the bar on your technique, even the easy sleights will likely improve.  So there is value in the pursuit.  But try not to complicate what should be simple.
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JohnnyNewYork

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Reply with quote  #13 
RayJ and other posters — you guys are spot on with your observations and it’s definitely a great point to be reminded of. Last night I watched a well-known, seasoned magician doing a short set for a room filled with magicians — every effect was very simple, nothing difficult or flashy at all, but he “killed” the audience with his entertaining and engaging style, which became the main focus of his performance.

Recently I started regularly doing Steven Youell’s “Bullet Proof”, an almost self-working spelling/lie detector type of routine (albeit with my own touches and handling), and the reactions I get are as strong as anything I’ve ever done (I’ve seen Steven open a set for magicians using this routine and receiving a similar reaction).

It’s fun to try the knuckle-busting stuff and the point about raising the bar regarding skill and technique must never be forgotten, but the genuine workers are always aware of the most important aspect of magic — entertaining the audience. I remember Shin Lim doing an almost self-working card effect to win the final competition on AGT, and obviously, he made a very conscious decision to do so as we all know what kind of “chops” he has (I THINK the great trick he did that I’m referring to was one created by Harry Lorayne, by the way — and that certainly reinforces the points made on this thread).

Thanks for the great posts, I hope everyone reads your collective thoughts on this! — johnny
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #14 
Ever read Mike Breggar's stuff? Mike really understands the concept of keeping things as simple as possible, while still creating wonder and fun.  

In his latest ebook, Dancing With the Cards - available wherever fine magic ebooks are sold - the first two tricks, The Third Attribute, and That Flippin' Contest, are combined to create a fun, magical experience for the spectator. The moves, such as they are, are easy, and I daresay a beginner willing to put in the work required to make the routine run smoothly would have no problems. And yet it rocks the minds of the average spectator. Maybe even the above average. It has become one of my favorites, and something I perform frequently. Well, as frequently as I can.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #15 
AV, I had never heard of Mike but thanks for sharing that information.  I did find one video of his for a marketed effect called Very Marked Cards.  Fun plot and easy to do.  
I'll check out his other material.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #16 
Like RayJ, I'd not heard of Mike either so here's another thanks to you Anthony.  Whilst the simple stuff is great I also agree that it is important to raise the bar, I love going through Card College once in a while and challenging myself to learn some cool sleights - it gives you a great confidence boost to know you got the chops to up your game if needs be [wink]
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #17 
Mike regularly posts here on the forum. His material is well worth any magician's consideration.  

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