Lessons from this morning's gig:
1) Look Sharp is the single best $25 I've spent in the past year. If you don't have this, you're nuts. Did it for 3 teen girls, the one who opened it called me the devil, then she tossed it onto the table and the other 2 yelped and jumped up away from the card/sharpie. Meanwhile the 4 guys at the next table who were watching gave me a standing ovation... all of this from a sharpie switch with no prep. Instant reset, requires almost no skill.
When first seeing the demo, I thought .. meh. Then I ordered it cause I wanted to give this trick a fair review. And then I performed it. Holy crap ...http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2551
2) Gregory Wilson's 3/4 Across with a jumbo coin ending caused a 9yo kid to run screaming down the hallway like he was possessed. The other 5 kids screamed too, and just kinda watched that other kid sprint away. I use the 3" half dollar from Tango magic that only costs $15. It REALLY brings a nice ending to an otherwise low-key "3/4 across" in my opinion. If you want to instantly social proof a room of 100 people, spend the $15.http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S9477
3) When using your new smoke generation device (PureSmoke, SmokeV2, whatever), give some waking hypnosis suggestions for heat generation beforehand. Have them rub hands together, concentrate on the heat from their mind down into their arms, etc. This transforms a nifty effect (oh look, smoke) to a blockbuster. I had a business lady in a suit hold my business card out, concentrate on the heat, and then she yells and screams when the smoke starts. Jumps back like 2 feet, almost tripping over a chair and is like, "OH MY GOD I COULD FEEL THE HEAT!". Again - instantly social proofing me to the room.http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2570
So don't just generate cute puffy smoke - make it hit like a truck with just a couple extra minutes of real performance.