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Magic - Developing A Small Gathering Routine
By Michael Russell

When you're a magician, you don't want to just throw a bunch of tricks together with no continuity between them. The performance will be disjointed and your audience will become restless. Each trick must flow smoothly into the next. Also, you want to mix your tricks up so that they audience doesn't get bored. In other words, you don't want to have too many similar tricks consecutively, like several card tricks one after another. So just how do you put together a routine? Well, a lot of that will have to do with where you are performing.

Let's take the small intimate gathering first. This is where you are playing something like a small birthday party at somebody's house. In this kind of setting, you're not going to have a lot of room to work, so you don't want to bring tricks with you that are going to take up a lot of space. You want to bring things that mostly can fit in your pocket and can be seen up close. At the same time, you don't want to do tricks that if people are too close they can tell how they are done. This is a very tricky balance to try and reach but it can be done.

For such a routine you may want to start out with the handkerchief that turns into a cane. This is always a great show opener. The cane can then be used during the rest of the performance as some kind of a wand. One thing you want to do, when you're performing tricks that are compact and up close, is to keep the tricks flowing. You don't want to do a trick and then stop to think about what you're doing next. You need to keep a smooth flowing performance. So immediately after the cane is produced, you may want to walk over to your magicians hat that you have set up and wave the cane over it, after showing your audience that the hat is empty. After doing this you can then begin to retrieve a number of items out of that hat that you had preloaded prior to set up. After the hat is empty, you can then put it on your head and wear it for the remainder of the performance. See how the tricks flow? You've produced a cane and a hat that are now part of your wardrobe. These are great openers.

You may then want to immediately pull out a deck of cards and ask for a volunteer from the audience. Audience participation is very important in small gatherings. After you get your volunteer, do just one card trick with that person. Then ask for another volunteer and do one more card trick with that person. Don't do more than the two card tricks. If you can tie the two together by producing the card chosen from the first trick during the second one, that is always a great tie-in trick and the audience will love it.

Other great tricks that work well in a small gathering are cups and balls, linking rings, vanishing water in a paper cone and of course mentalist tricks. For those you're going to need an assistant.

Keep the tricks varied and flowing and your audience will be in your hip pocket throughout the whole performance.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Magic

Article Source: Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author