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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have an idea that I’m going to use at my kids group soon. I’ll have a shoebox marked ‘World’s Greatest Magic Tricks Ever - $500’, and fill it with very non-magical, very cheap objects. When they look inside, their first impressions should be ‘underwhelment’ and concern for my sanity or amusement that I have been ripped off! Then the kids take turns choosing an object that I do magic with. Any ‘extras’, I have to steal from the box. As a creative exercise, I just started listing all the items I have used in impromptu settings..I started another list for items that I could use, but have not yet actually magicked. I thought I’d share my former list and see what else you would add (only rule: you must have used it - I have not yet used a shoelace or cigarettes). I’m starting with my absolutely latest one (thank you HL/DR): Q-tips, coins, paper money, rubber bands,rings, pens, Macca’s Paper C&B, cutlery, matchsticks, straws, handkerchief, credit card, Lifesavers (sweets), floss, sticks, stones and leaves, school tie, salt shaker, salt and sugar packs. Oh, and I can ‘cheat’ by reaching in and pulling out just my hands! What objects would you add? No need to say how you’d use them; after all, we’re all magicians!
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #2 
Paper napkins (as from a restaurant).
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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #3 
crayons, table knife (even a plastic one)
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #4 
Good one, Bill ... I forgot about crayons.  Also paper cups, newspaper.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Guinee
crayons, table knife (even a plastic one)


These are great suggestions.  The crayons can do anything cigarettes used to do.  They are a nice replacement.

The plastic table knife, especially if you can find one with a narrow handle, is perfect for paddle tricks.  A good one if the one where you cut up a napkin and make small squares and stick them onto the knife.  Most used saliva to put them on, but nowadays I think a glue stick would be more politically correct.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don't think it is on the list, but those little pom pon balls that you can get at fabric shops are always nice.  They can be used with paper cups as a C&B routine or for the old three in the hand, one in the pocket routine.  They even make larger ones you could get for loads, etc.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #7 
a shoe
an eggcup
a piece of chalk
post-it notes
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
John, another one I thought of would be a safety pin.  You can use it along with a borrowed ring and a napkin to do what I believe is one of the best "impromptu" tricks possible.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #9 
If you're proficient with thimbles, that's another thing you can add to your box.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #10 
Some great ideas, guys. The shoebox is filling impressively! Would probably have to explain thimbles to some kids - or use glue-stick caps; found they work well for me (except for stacking). And crayons instead of cigarettes; of course!!  I actually have a bunch of balsa dowels after buying Akira Fujii's 'Linking Cigarettes' download (it just looked so cool, apart from the cigarette theme) - now, crayons make sense. Oh, and another I forgot ..'Fantastic Mr Plastic' (ziplock section of ziplock bag)! 
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krolik

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Reply with quote  #11 
I don't think anyone has mentioned keys yet. Also candy, especially if you're doing something for kids.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #12 
Two sad-looking pieces of string and a nut (two actually) for the nut off string.Is it "The Spirit Nut"?

If not that, then a couple or three beads for "Grandmother's Necklace".
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
John, another one I thought of would be a safety pin.  You can use it along with a borrowed ring and a napkin to do what I believe is one of the best "impromptu" tricks possible.


Good idea. Throw in the Linking Pins if you've get a set lying around somethwere.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead
If you're proficient with thimbles, that's another thing you can add to your box.


Great idea!  And the idea about caps that fit on your finger is fine too.  I used to do a complete thimble routine on stage and none of the moves required the thimbles to stack.

I did productions, vanishes, color changes, jumbo thimble and finished with 8 thimbles.  No stacking required.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Great idea!  And the idea about caps that fit on your finger is fine too.  I used to do a complete thimble routine on stage and none of the moves required the thimbles to stack.

I did productions, vanishes, color changes, jumbo thimble and finished with 8 thimbles.  No stacking required.
Very true, Ray. I have one routine where stacking gives an interesting 'Tigers Claw', but certainly plenty of options sans stack. Just thought of another...paper bag!
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