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KenTheriot

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Here are a few things I learned from doing some magic at one of my medieval events yesterday. These little lessons may well pertain only to me and my current ability to pull off certain tricks. But I think they might be interesting to others as well.

One card trick in particular succeeds in getting responses - even from people who have been less than impressed with my previous tricks. That trick is Eddie Fechter's "Be Honest, What Is It?" I am constantly amazed at the reactions I get from different tricks.

The other trick, one that also is a regular winner for me, is the chop cup. 

I did lots of magic. But those two tricks were standouts in terms of the intensity of audience reaction. 

One other big lesson was that I messed up a trick I usually do well - Dr. Strangetrick. Luckily I was doing this for friends. I spent some time trying to get it right. But never could. I was totally bewildered and moved on. When I got home I did it once perfectly. I still don't know what I did wrong doing it for actual people. I find this perplexing. But it does hammer home that I should rehearse EVEN those things I THINK I know well.


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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #2 
So WHY do you think they hit harder than the other magic you were doing?
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KenTheriot

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Dan - Chop cup seems clear. It's got a big unexpected final thing followed by a kicker to that. It also has a tiny bit more audience engagement than a lot of other tricks. I ask someone to blow on my hand at one point. And they guess where the ball might be, etc. BHWII has some of the same things in common - the "whaaattt?" kicker ending for sure. HOWEVER - it takes place in the spectator's hand the entire time - from start to finish. 

That's my answer. How'd I do? :-P.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #4 
You did EXCELLENT!!!

So now you can look at the other material you perform and see how they stack up to these two?

Are they still good enough to keep the crowd engaged or do they cause loss of interest at some point?
For strolling, I'm always looking for material that is engaging and keeps the interest.
Everything doesn't have to be hard hitting. I like texture and variety. I just don't want my audience to walk away because they're bored.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks Dan! Good info.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sounds like you had a good show. 
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KenTheriot

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
Sounds like you had a good show. 


Well - I had some good tricks that I did for folks. But you bring up a great point. I don't have a set "show" yet. And I know I need to do that. Just get it done. I can always do impromptu tricks in any order I want if it's informal. But yeah - I'm making it a priority now; scripted and everything.

I'll post somewhere when I've done it :-P.
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Harrisgagnon

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Reply with quote  #8 
I agree with your tricks. The be honest what is it always get me good reactions and chop cup is just outstanding!
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #9 
I meant what you did was good, and could be like a show. I think the kind of setting you had there is awesome
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes it was. I love situations like that.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #11 
What can you say about the Chop Cup?  What a GREAT trick! Well, here's something: Years ago when I worked years ago as a regular at Malone's Magic Bar in Boca Raton, FL, people who had seen me perform the night before would typically come in the next night with their friends, come up to me, and bark out: "Lemons!" (My final load was 3 of them).  I had done the routine so many hundreds times that the person(s) who had previously witnessed it would typically shake their head and say something like, "I knew it was going to happen, I was watching for it, and I still didn't see it!"  

I originally ended with two lemons, until I realized I could get away with three with the right timing.  And yes, more is better.  When I added the third, it clearly heightened (the already significant) impact.  I think it is the sheer incongruity of the final loads, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, that gives it the punch it has.  No one really remembers the vanishes etc. of the little balls in the preliminary stages of the routine.  Yet, those phases are nonetheless important to set the stage.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #12 
My wife and I perform at a haunt for the month of October.
One of the guys who works as a gatekeeper/ticket taker to one of the houses watched me perform the chop cup for 3 years in a row.
During the 4th year I flubbed a move and then he said he thinks he figured it out.
So he got the gaff right but still couldn't figure how I got the baseballs under the cup at the end.

I also have people come up to me after the show saying, "I watch you every year and still can't figure out how you get the baseballs under there."

I read a thread on the green board about the chop cup. So many people said that after 3 phases the method becomes obvious.
I think they're doing it wrong.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #13 
I agree, Dan! I had someone actually watch me load my apple one year (a friend who wanted to get into magic) and STILL couldn't see it. And he KNEW it was happening. When people are so focused on the ball and the table, as Mark James says "you could stuff a baby elephant in there and they wouldn't notice" [smile].
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