One thing that has always bugged me are magicians that won’t do magic for people they run into who ask them to “show a trick“. There thinking is that no one else in any profession gets asked to work. That’s simply not true. Lawyers get asked legal questions, doctors get asked for medical advice, it’s not unique to magicians. It’s unique to professions that have “secret knowledge“. What I mean by that is they have knowledge or understand things that the average person doesn’t.
Looking back in time, all of the great magicians a hundred years ago made reputations doing impromptu magic. Max Malini biting the buttons off of coats or Hermann who pulled the coins out of rolls or eggs at the market. I think most magicians hesitancy is they lack the technical skills and knowledge of tricks to “do a trick” at a moments notice. I’m a huge fan of always having a trick on you. You don’t have to do it, but sometimes it makes a huge difference having something always ready.
The other night someone at the bar where I was having dinner recognized me from my show earlier in the day. They told the bartender that I was a magician and he asked if I could show him a trick. I asked if the bar had a deck of cards, and they didn’t. He handed me a pen and asked if I could do a trick with that, so I swallowed the pen by lapping it. Then I did my Splitting Image (mismade bill) trick, which was a solid end to my “impromptu” performance.
Not relying on what you can find around you, but having something on you that you are guaranteed to kill with is a huge advantage. Planning ahead and keeping a few tricks in your wallet makes a huge difference!