Clown/Magic Idea Generator

Need an idea for a routine?  Here is a quick way to come up with one.

This quick idea generation technique was taught to me years ago by a magician in Iowa who has been a working pro for years and years.  His name is Ben Ulin and he always has great stories to tell with his magic tricks as well as unique props to do them with and this is how he comes up with those unique ideas.  

All good magic tricks have a good story behind them.  (Kevin James' snowstorm comes to mind.) The basis of a story is usually about a person in a location.  (1) Ben writes down as many locations as he can think of, such as: laundromat, church, baseball field, in the kitchen, in the living room, home, Wichita, etc.  (2) Then he makes a list of all the magic tricks he can do and lists them.  (I don't know his list, but he's been working in theme parks for over 25 years, with a new show every year, so I know he has a million tricks...so we'll keep this simple.)  Tricks such as linking rings, cards across, six card repeat, etc. can be used.  (3) Then he makes a list of random household items and any objects he has around.  So I'm going to look around me right now and see what I find.  A lamp, spoon, fork, plate, mason jar, mason jar lid, camera, keys, and books are all things that are right here at hand.  

After doing those steps he combines the ideas together and writes a story around which he can create an act.  Say, for example, you chose linking rings as your trick, and you picked home as your location, and then you scrub through your list of items laying around and figure out that your linking rings could be made from key chains that keep linking together as you dig through a junk drawer. It could also be great for a janitor routine where the large sets of keys keep linking together.  If you want to put the linking rings in the kitchen, then you could use Mason jar lids for example to link together.  

Another way to do this is to write all of the locations down and cut them apart and place them in one bag.  Do this with the tricks and props lists as well, each in their own bag and then you can just reach in and pull one out of each bag and let your brain spin on how to link lamps together in Antarctica and what a story that will be. 

Whatever you do, have fun with it and get out there and try something new!