I recently traveled to Louisville to perform at a private event. I love traveling and am lucky to have a job that allows me to perform for audiences nationwide. The show was set for Saturday night, and I arrived Friday morning. I went straight to the venue from the airport in order to meet my clients and check out the performance space. I was impressed both by the hospitality of my clients and the venue itself. But, I quickly realized that I had prepared parts of my show for a smaller venue, and audiences in the back seats were not going to be able to see everything clearly.
I went back to my hotel room and began to brainstorm ideas of how to fill approximately five to ten minutes of magic. I explored the hotel room for different objects that could inspire a magic routine. I also had a briefcase full of props for my show, and some objects I took from the airplane, including a magazine and barf bag.
I eventually settled upon a cutting board, knife and napkin from the hotel room kitchenette. Combined with a deck of cards and a Sharpie, I made an impromptu routine in which I stab randomly selected and signed cards from a shuffled deck, all while blindfolded. I had performed a version of this classic routine many years ago, and was able to bring back my old script and add new-and-improved lines. This would add about six minutes to the show!
Finally, I grabbed a glass from the bathroom and the barf bag from the airplane, (which I guess came in handy after all). I practiced producing the glass, filled to the brim, from the empty bag. Since a majority of the audience was drinking during the show, this would fit perfectly with the evening’s environment. The appearing glass routine added about two minutes to the show.
And that was it. I rehearsed the entire show, paying careful attention to the two newly added routines. The new pieces had great reactions, and I filmed the entire show to analyze potential improvements. While I hope this last-minute routining does not become a regular occurrence, it certainly helped to get my creative juices flowing. The next day, I performed the new routines again at a different event in Chicago.