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SamtheNotsoMagnificent

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Reply with quote  #1 
I notice everyone is pretty humble here about their skills and abilities, but I like hearing about people's experience as they perform. I would love to hear your stories. How about telling us the time you did something that was an improvisation, or a trick born of necessity, or a show that was turned into a real challenge but you overcame the challenge. It could even be a lesson learned or a bit of wisdom you picked up along the way.



I am still too new to have much, but I am really surprised at how well little tricks work with people. I guess I thought magic had to be like a David Copperfield show., but that ain't the case.

So, brag a little. I would love to hear your stories and I bet a lot people will be able to relate to what happened.
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Alan Smithee

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I’ve told and scribbled this bit of fluff a few times before, but for those who missed it on its original release, here’s the enhance, remixed director’s cut. At least for now anyway.


Many blue moons ago I found myself off to Leeds to inflict a measure of Close-Up Mix-And-Mingle Strolling at some boozy nosh-up. The venue was Leeds Armouries, quite a prestigious venue, even if it is Oop North. Although I have worked solo at functions at the venue on a couple of occasions, this time around I was sharing the spotlight. My co-stars were Alistair Cooke, who now calls himself Ali Cooke and is internationally famous here and there and the legendary Paul Hallas.

When chimes rang out it was time for the disco to turn the volume up to eleven. Thankfully, with that racket, the super star sorcerers were scheduled to call it a day at ten o’clock. As one does I was smiling and nodding to the guests still seated. One female asked me something or other about magic and then said: “Can you do that one where I pick a card?” Hmm. “Can you do that one where I pick a card?” A gift? I should say so.

Anyway, I could do “that one” and I did and it went well. Better than “well,” in fact, because she flashed the card and I turned the situation into a mind-reading extravaganza. She was so thrilled she almost ran round the room passing the hat. Almost.

A total fluke and a great moment, though of course you had to be there to experience and enjoy that full magnitude of the occasion.

The card was the three of hearts, incidentally.

I have it on my wall as I scribble this.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
Not my best moment but those of us fortunate to have spouses know how jaded they can get and how hard it is to get an honest reaction out of them. One night early on in our relationship we were at a swanky restaurant. There were some soft bread rolls on the table. I grabbed one and broke it open to find a silver half dollar inside. I looked at her and said "well this should help pay for it!" She was surprised and complimented me. Never will forget that moment.
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Waterman

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I was performing at one of my first walk around gigs at a New Years Eve party. It was early in the evening so things were mellow, but needless to say I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Things were going OK (despite the fact I had loaded waaay too much magic on my person) until I began a signed card routine...I lost track of the card.

Trying to think on my feet I performed a nervous in the hands shuffle. The cards fell from my trembling hands and landed on the floor in a mess...however one card jetted out from among the mess, face down. 

I thought to myself that there was no way that the separated card was the selection, but the group of onlookers were already convinced it was. A woman quickly bent over to pick it up as I realized I had no out should it not be the selection. She triumphantly raised the face to everyone to show that it was indeed the signed selection! 









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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
"Triumphantly". Apropos!
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman

Trying to think on my feet I performed a nervous in the hands shuffle. The cards fell from my trembling hands and landed on the floor in a mess...however one card jetted out from among the mess, face down. 

I thought to myself that there was no way that the separated card was the selection...……….A woman quickly bent over to pick it up as I realized I had no out should it not be the selection. She triumphantly raised the face to everyone to show that it was indeed the signed selection! 


Great story. Great moment.

The nearest I can get to that is when I forced a card and allowed the spectator to return it and shuffle. When he'd finished shuffling, I asked him to deal the cards into a face up pile. My intention was to do the old "The Next Card I Turn Over Will Be Yours" thing.

He started dealing. The first (top) card he dealt was the selection. He stopped and almost said "Flipping Heck".  Cue applause and requests for autographs.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #7 
Harry Lorayne has something similar to Waterman's experience. He describes it in "Apocalypse" somewhere. The Pack gets lost/trapped in the eaves or beams or similar of the restaurant he's working, but one card escapes. it's the selection.

When I get three or four days to spare, I'll try to track it down. I think it's one of the "ellipses".
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
OK, so I gave it some thought and one show that comes to mind was a corporate cocktail party.  It was for a fiber-optic cable company.  I did a little walk-around and and then sat at a small table and people congregated and I was able to do some more "formal" close up such as cups and balls, coins through the table, etc.  At one point, there were some people that had sat down and we began having a nice discussion about magic and I could tell they were more than casually interested.
I ended up performing for them for an extended period when one of the guys asked me if I could do something poker-related.  As I was asking him more about what he meant I did a brisk look-through my deck of cards and saw that there were a couple of kings together near the bottom of the deck and the remaining kings just a couple of cards away from each other near the top of the pack.  I was able to pretty quickly get them in position for a poker deal with a couple of faro shuffles.  After I revealed the four kings in my hand I re-assembled the pack, putting them on the bottom and then copped them as I passed them to the person to shuffle.  He shuffled them well and I added the kings back to the bottom.  A couple of overhand shuffles and I was in position to begin Marlo's Miracle Aces, except with kings.  On that night I was able to nail the last king, which for those who do the routine know, is the "iffy" one.

It felt good to be able to react to a request from the spectator in that way.  I think it ended up being way more powerful than if I had said, "Now let me show you how a gambler cheats at cards".

When my time was up and I was ready to leave, the person that had hired me walked me out, thanked me and gave me a generous tip on top of our negotiated fee.  He said that he was very pleased and that it had "gone over" even better than he had hoped.  I felt like a million bucks that night.
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