Just Give Them the Damn Card!

So, the things I’ve learned are not new…just sharing my experiences. However those new to this type of entertainment may find something “new” to them.

Anyone performing for the audiences that count, (lay people) more than likely have an Ambitious Card Routine in their repertoire. Why wouldn’t you? So much magic in a short period of time. Yes, a short period of time, use discretion.
It didn’t take a lot of performing experience to realize my deck would rapidly shrink during performances. Often when performing for couples the AC routine would be followed with a Signature Fusion Effect. (The husband’s/boyfriend’s signature would be on the back of the AC.) The couples always enjoyed a cheap souvenir, and no…I am not under the impression that they keep the card for eternity.
The answer to this minor dilemma was to carry extra cards, this way your deck stays more or less intact. (Advice given by Pros since the beginning of time.)
But, and it’s a big but…saving the integrity of the deck is a bonus. My first concern is to keep my routines moving, maintaining interest for peripheral observers. There are times when the absolute free choice of a card is paramount, and at these times you may be at the mercy of the card “picker”. Certain individuals have a hard time choosing a card among 52…boring.

Solution: I carry a bunch of red number cards in a pocket…signatures show up well on a red number card. I just give them the damn card… ”Here’s a card I brought for you, it was sitting in a drawer, collecting dust. Do me a favor, sign your name as big as you can on the face of the card…now I think it’s kind of special…don’t you? (addressing the boy friend, they always agree.) Now we’re off to the races…the selection is not important to the effect/impact.

Just give them the damn card.

Some Magicians…

Some magicians worry about how much “time” they get out of a routine. I suggest you
only worry about the impact on your audience.

Everybody gets lazy now and then…not you of course, the rest of us. However, it’s
better to take a break, or rest if you are feeling tired, or less than inspired.
I’ve learned a few things thinking back at my time in school. Certainly not my glory days,
and not directly pertinent to this topic. What does apply was my attitude. Never
enjoying the journey, and too much focus on “being done.” As a child, being done meant
reclaiming time to do what I wanted…playing with friends, watching TV…all important,
but not at the cost of other things of equal importance.

I won’t name the “tricks”, but I am talking about the ones which are promoted as “time
consumers”. Time is important when putting together an act, even more important in
most competitions. Time is not important, in fact detrimental when viewed from a
perspective as “filler”.

(Caveat: Tricks advertised as time consumption may be, beginning to end, non stop laughs, magic…in
fact, top notch material. I merely suggest we keep our focus on our audience.Win/Win!)
The length of a routine is important information, inasmuch as we have timelines which
affect our clients needs, Not to fill a program with fluff! There’s just no room for
filler…you are making entertainment, not pillows.