What would you do if you forgot your playing cards?
So, the worst thing imaginable happens. You turn up to your gig and you open your case only to find the two crisp sealed decks of playing cards you thought were in there are nowhere to be found! You search your car for a spare deck, no luck, you are literally about to perform and you have not got your cards with you. What do you do, apart from crying!
The first thing to do is RELAX!
Take a deep breath and realise that everything will be ok, you know a huge range of magic if you just stop yourself from panicking and think about it. There are tonnes of great impromptu magic tricks that you can perform.
Get a piece of paper and a pen and start to list ideas. Here are a few options that immediately come to my mind:
- Salt shaker or glass through table.
- Coin magic such as coin under watch, coin on shoulder, vanishes and reproductions.
- Coin in Pen Cap utilising the striking vanish.
- Mentalism with your magicians business cards – Think centre tear or peek.
- Out to lunch principle
- Metal bending with cutlery
See, already with only a few moments thought you should be able to go through our own personal history of learning magic and pull out a few gems that you had forgotten about. These are all great effects that you could perform in place of your card magic set. Your list may be different from mine, but every professional gigging will have a huge list of magic tricks like this that are never performed, but are sitting there in your head waiting to be dusted off and given a try again.
There is also another option that is available to you. You can look around you and see how you can adapt some of your routines to be performed with the items around you. How about doing some of your card magic routines with items that are available to you?
- Perform any number of signed card tricks with your business cards.
- Make a packet trick up with magicians business cards or compliment slips from the venue.
- Use a spectator’s business card to your wallet routine where their business card ends up in your wallet.
You may also find that you have a plethora of magic in your case that you never use. Look for utility props like Thumb Tips, Loops, PK Rings, Peek Devices or Rubber Bands. If you have any of these props in your case then you are good to do so much cool magic with only a little bit of thought. With these few props you can make water and salt vanish and reappear, make money and small objects vanish and reappear, perform countless rubber band tricks, levitate banknotes, move common items like glasses or cutlery, read minds, stop watches and perform coin in glass or bottle
So if you ever find yourself in this position do not panic! Remember no guts no glory, you could go up to the booker and make excuses, drive off somewhere to buy a deck of cards and come back and have probably the worst gig ever, or you could keep calm, draw on your wealth of knowledge and experience and calmly put together a set list that will blow people away!
What the MoM Facebook magicians think:
Sean Mccarthy Depends on how much time I have before the show starts. If I have a few minutes Il try buy a few packs at a petrol station (most sell them). If I dont have time then I can still do a show with coins, a pen and a few pieces of paper.
Carl Chamberlain Use my invisible deck and convince them it really is there!
Col Balddaniels Daiper I have at least 2 sets without a single card in them . And guess what ? Nobody died.
Zak Millscray I don't go anywhere with out a deck! I would be more surprised than the audience!
Brian McCormack I would do coins / mentalism and hypnosis.
Kev Bee I'd be thinking if it was the right career for me…especially if card magic was a part of my routines…I always have cards on me or in the car.
Chris Wild Ask someone for a pack or go home. Can't imagine I would forget to pack my act, but you never know.
Tom Drudge Unfortunately, not yet comfortable enough to do a gig without cards. A few tricks, sure, but not a whole gig.