Here are a few things that happened to me during the last few days. All are magic related.
2. Yesterday I was asked to do ten minutes of material, then the next thing was about to start. So I prepared by setting up my rope and some quick mentalism bit. As I was walking on stage it dawned on me that those two things are not ten minutes. I needed like four more minutes. I felt like a beginner, but show was about to start I had to wing it. I gained a minute by doing a warm up with the people and then going into my rope routine. I'm so happy to be able to do most of my act on autopilot. So as I was doing all the patter and the motions my mind was racing to fill three more minutes. Wasn't there a deck of cards in my back pocket? I was saved.... yeah a card trick would do. Which one? Dunno.... guessed I'll figure it out as I went there. So I reached into my back pocket "And now what you have been waiting for.... a card trick" But there was no deck of cards. But a 10 Euro bill. Fuck! But people laughed as I raised the bill in the air automatically. "A card trick that I am willing to bet 10 Euros on!" What the hell was I saying? I reached in the other back pocket. The deck of cards was there.
Then I got a stroke... a stroke of brilliance.... Years ago I did that one card trick, which is actually more a lie detector plot. Basically someone picks a card and I ask them a few questions about the card. They can lie at any point or they can decide to tell me the truth about the card at any point. It was up to me to differentiate between truth or lie and then figure out the selection accordingly. It is an okay trick but it never felt like there are any stakes about it.... until that moment where I held up the bill.
Suddenly it was about something. About me losing maybe 10 Euros. Suddenly my "reading" of the spectator's reaction to my questions became much more interesting and meaningful. And who would have thought that I had to shorten the mind reading bit a little more to fit within the ten minutes I had. This routine is now a keeper. A card trick that plays big, has stakes and is a self worker.
3. Today I did my usual show in the theater. And as usual I handed out my cards, using the usual patter. "Make sure the cards are ordinary, in the end I want you to say that the magician did it, and not the cards"
And as usual I keep an eye on the people checking out the cards. And as usual as I ask them all to toss those cards pack on the table someone "hides" a card. It is amazing how "badly" people do that sort of steal. Even when my head is turned I see it. Like a little kid hiding something behind it's back. I wanted to go through my usual out in these cases of gathering up the cards, weighing them carefully and announcing that one card is missing, which gets a good reaction. But this time I even saw the face of the card. I knew it was the 10 of Spades, but she thought I didn't even know that she had a card. So I did my weighing, "something is off" as I spread the cards face up on the table. "Look at that the 10 of Spades is missing" I looked around the table base, as it was possible that the card may have fallen down there as peopled tossed the cards on the table. She used that little time frame I gave her and secretly tossed the card back on the table. "Never mind, there it is."
I think I played that part very well. I could tell that people thought that I thought I made a mistake. But they clearly saw the card being tossed back on the table by the spectator. So my noticing of the missing 10 of Spades must have looked to them like a genuine skill.
At least I like to think so.