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ianmcrawford

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I am trying to compile a list of magic tricks that use no props. No cards, no coins, nothing.   The obvious example is Gray Elephant in Denmark, and there are some published routines (Max Maven's "Nothing" comes to mind), and I see that Jim Steinmeyer has just published a booklet that contains some.  Do any of you have any suggestions.

I am also trying to create some propels magic using Banacheks Psychological Studies as a resource.  Some success so far, but not foolproof yet.

Any advice, resources welcome.
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #2 
A good one is a progressive anagram, I do Doug Dyment's Sign Language.
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Anthony Vinson

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You can't go wrong with Steinmeyer. He has published several small books in a series called Impuzzibilities. There's a larger format book called Nothing But A Mystery that I would recommend you look into. While all of the books have some propless effects, Nothing But A Mystery contains a couple of real killers: The Three Ball Test, and The Nickel Under My Shoe. I use both effects during my training classes for adult learners and they've never failed me.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #4 
You mentioned Max Maven which brings to mind his invisible coin effect 'Positive/Negative' - it does use a coin, but it is invisible [smile]
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Paul Hallas

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There is Bill Goldman's marketed  "Mental Yarn"   (actually a Ned Rutledge effect). I recall a magician I knew using that on a local radio show when we were both guests many years ago. There are some short lists involved with that but if you memorize them it is propless. 
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Evan S.

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Reply with quote  #6 
Mark Elsdon's series of booklets "Conversation As Mentalism."
Currently 5 volumes to enjoy (also available as pdf downloads).
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luvisi

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Reply with quote  #7 
I seem to recall some tricks in 400 Fascinating Magic Tricks You Can Do, and also in Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic.

It's not magic, but I'm fond of "a dangerous stunt" from The Modern Conjuror.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #8 
Ed Balducci's Impromptu Levitation

You stand with your back to the spectators and you slowly start to rise off the floor.

See The Pallbearers Review page 755
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johnsturk

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Reply with quote  #9 
Jim Steinmeyer published a booklet on propless magic called "Nothing But Mystery"
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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsturk
Jim Steinmeyer published a booklet on propless magic called "Nothing But Mystery"


Note: Not everything in the book is propless. Some assembly is required for a couple of effects, and there's one or two that require minor props. That said, it is an excellent book filled with great ideas and effects.
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Stevie Ray

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Reply with quote  #11 
Ian,

Thank you for starting this thread.

This weekend, I carried through on a self-promise to perform the lion's share of a gig without props.

I have a routine for Twisting the Arm that works perfectly as an opener and never fails to engage the spectators.

P.K. Touches is a new experiment for me. I was pleased with the reactions and used it simply as a premise to locate the most "sensitive" and "open-mined" spectator for a thought experiment Three other spectators who received the same hovering actions from me felt nothing... ahhh but that one rare bird! This was someone whose "gift" would soon impress all.

Codebreaker does require a spectator to have an iPhone. For about a month, I have been beta testing my script on bartenders for this wonderful little miracle (the resulting free drinks more than covered the $9 purchase price). I rolled out the formal presentation on Saturday. It killed so hard I should be subject to capital punishment!

After that, I did bring out two decks of ungaffed cards to finish the show. But, opening and proceeding with 15 prop-free minutes of entertainment that astonished and got big laughs? It was intensely liberating and "something I will always carry with me!"
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