I'm not talking the type of impromptu that doesn't require preparation or rehearsal on my part; I'm talking coming across as impromptu through the eyes of the audience. There is a distinct different between simply pulling a poker chip from your pocket (just plain weird if you want to come across as natural and impromptu) and making the chip appear out of thin air as a relevant topic arises.
It was a great evening. I showed a lot of magic to a lot of people and made a lot of meaningful connections...all without overtly introducing anything that would be considered a magic prop. I began every set with empty hands. I waited for a topic relating to my opening effect to naturally come up (Vegas, traveling, money, etc.) or for my colleague to spark this along, then went into a a naturally evolving set:
- With bare hands, I produced a Vegas poker chip from the Mirage casino. Just like a mirage, the chip disappeared, reappeared and multiplied.
- The chip changed into a deck of cards, which led naturally into some card magic. The opening effect (Truth In Advertising) is based on my day job in marketing/advertising.
- Depending on the topic of conversation, I performed any of the following card effects: Palm Reader, Lost & Found, Triumph, Homage to Homing.
- After the final effect, I made the deck vanish.
- I finished by passing out my business card. I had mine encircled with a few rubberbands, which provided a natural segue to perform one more but with the rubberbands....and move into talking business.
So, when reading magic books about so-called impromptu magic, look beyond just the lack of preparation required from your end; look at it through the eyes of your audience to ensure it comes across as being natural, off the cuff and meaningful to them.