One of the best kept secrets in magic is Nathan Coe Marsh. All of the material he does is well thought out and super solid! A year or two ago he sold a series of videos called “The Living Room Sessions“. These videos were in depth teaching videos of routines he performs around the world. I just noticed he’s got a special on them right now, and you should check them out:
All of the routines work in a stand up / stage context and don’t need someone from the audience to physically come on stage. This is going to be a very important condition for at least the next year.
Here’s a sample of one of his routines:
That’s a solid opening routine. He walks out, and gets right into the trick. The trick is good but the kicker is AMAZING!
Recently someone in a magic group posted a video of them doing a 12 minute “flash” act, which is essentially a series of tricks. The opening trick they did was show a torch a long time, then it turned into a cane. This is a marketed trick called “torch to cane” and you can watch a demo of it below:
Here’s the thing with the trick, you are taking something very interesting which is fire and turning it into something very uninteresting which is a cane. I think you’d be better off showing a torch and then doing fire eating (which is interesting) than turning it into a cane. The magician’s style of cane has been out of style pretty much my whole lifetime, so no one instantly know what it is.
A better idea would be turning fire into an animal.
The above video isn’t how I’d do it, but a dove is way more interesting than a cane. Fire is cool to look at, so make something appear that’s cool to look at. Maybe touch it to your palm, and your palm catches on fire, you toss the fire to the audience and it turns into a throw coil! That’s way more exciting than a torch to cane. Also if you think an appearing cane is really fooling anyone, think again. At best is a B- of a trick. Sure, it has it’s place in the right act, but it’s not a huge mystery.
When you are doing a transformation from one item to the other, the final item must be as interesting as the first. Torch to cane…nope. Cane to lit torch…YES!!!!
Earlier today someone in a Facebook group asked “What’s a good opener for kids that I can buy…” There are a few things wrong with this question. I also think this type of question shows what’s wrong with magic, no one wants to think or work, yes they all want to be thought of as … Continue reading “Opener?”
Earlier today someone in a Facebook group asked “What’s a good opener for kids that I can buy...” There are a few things wrong with this question. I also think this type of question shows what’s wrong with magic, no one wants to think or work, yes they all want to be thought of as “artists”.
My first problem with the post is that they are asking for advice about their show without offering us any information about their show. The opener sets the one for your show, if you do a more serious show, your opener will be a lot different from the opener of a comedy act. Just because someone says something is a good opener, doesn’t mean it’s a good one for YOU.
The next issue is that they should be learning their craft. Why aren’t they making a list of what they want to accomplish with their opener? Then do some research and find a trick that fits it, instead of asking a bunch of strangers to feed it to you.
My final problem is they are asking what to buy. I could be wrong, but that’s implying they want something that’s fully formed, and easy to do. They don’t want to work. They don’t want to write the script, or learn some sleight of hand.
My advice is to do the work when you’re a beginner, it makes doing the work later much easier!