When You Have NOTHING, Be Amazing! How to Perform Magic Without Props

As magicians, we must be ready for anything. That’s why I live by the motto: be prepared to be unprepared! Discover how to perform top-notch magic even when you have nothing on you. From coin vanishes with a napkin to prop-less mentalism, learn essential tips to amaze your audience, no matter what!

When You Have NOTHING, Be Amazing! How to Perform Magic Without Props
A single rubber band

As magicians, we're always prepared for our performances, but sometimes life throws us a curveball. That’s why I live by the motto: be prepared to be unprepared!

Right here, on this article I’ll share how you can perform high-quality magic at a paid event even if you have absolutely nothing on you. Imagine this scenario: I was driving to an event and stopped at a service station. My car was burgled, my windows smashed, and my case of magic was stolen. I was just fifteen minutes away from the event. Despite this, I performed as if nothing had happened.

Magic is an ever-evolving art form, and by learning a variety of magic, it allows you to be adaptable. The more adaptable you are, the better. Remember, your audience really doesn’t know what to expect. If things don’t go as you originally planned but still go well, they won’t notice. However, if you are unprepared, they will.

Impromptu magic is, without a doubt, a magician's ultimate secret weapon. In this article, I'll also share a solid, prop-less mentalism routine that will astound your spectators. Don't skip ahead; you’ll learn valuable techniques and ideas along the way.


It’s essential for magicians to master magic with everyday items and elevate those routines to a professional standard. After all, who knows what challenges are around the corner?

Here are a variety of routines that can save the day:

1. Coin Vanish with a Paper Napkin
Learn a coin vanish routine using a paper napkin. These can be incredibly straightforward. Use the napkin to vanish and reappear the coin. With a little creativity, you can produce a bottle from the napkin as a kicker. Best of all, this can be performed without a table.

2. PATEO Force (Pick Any Two Eliminate One)
If you’re familiar with the PATEO Force, you have a full, interactive mentalism routine with a simple reveal. You’ll need a pen and some paper, but everything else can be performed with borrowed objects.

3. Vanish Paper for Laughs and Amazement
Take inspiration from Slydini, who performed an amazing routine using paper. Vanishing and manipulating paper can be both astounding and entertaining.

4. Deck of Cards Trick
At an event, I once opened my case to find an 'Omni deck' instead of a regular deck. If you need a deck of cards, ask the venue. Say, “Do you have a deck of cards? I’m often accused of using special cards, so I’d like to perform with yours if possible. I’ll bring them back!” This not only gets you a deck but also gives you a chance to perform for the staff, leaving a memorable impression.

5.Rubber Bands
Rubber bands are an amazing tool for every magician and they are readily available. There are countless magic routines that are performable at the drop of a hat, I suggest checking out:

- Band Shark by Dan Harlan
- Extreme Rubber by Joe Rindfleisch


Free Routine: Bamboozle Your Spectators with Nothing
Here’s a routine you can use and it requires absolutely nothing but a simple system, includes some ideas by the incredible Michael Murray. This routine has always astounded my audiences.


5. Divorce by Justin Miller
One routine that has done incredibly well for me over the years is “Divorce” by Justin Miller. It’s visual, uses an everyday item, and includes vanishes, transpositions, and penetrations and it is layered with kick after kick. The best bit, if you’re not wearing a ring, borrow one from an audience member and perform Divorce with theirs. It's AMAZING!

You can pick this up with a HUGE 10% discount by clicking HERE.

Pro Tips for Being Prepared

Carry Extra Props
A smart strategy is to place additional props in various locations. I regularly place the props I perform with in my suit pockets. I carry a case with duplicate items and keep a backup in my car's glove box. This ensures I’m ready if I lose anything or if something breaks.

Stay Calm and Composed
The key to dealing with unexpected situations is to stay calm. Take a deep breath and remember that your confidence and composure will reassure your audience and help you think clearly.

Regular Practice
Make it a habit to practice impromptu tricks regularly. This will ensure that you are always ready to perform them smoothly, even under pressure.

Create a Backup Plan
Always have a backup plan for your performances. Consider what you would do if certain props were unavailable and rehearse those scenarios.

When visiting venues, you are not alone! Build good relationships with venue staff and fellow performers. They can be a great resource in times of need, whether it's lending you props or offering moral support.

Audience Perception
Remember, the audience often doesn’t know what to expect. Use this to your advantage. Even if things don’t go as planned, they won’t notice if you handle it with confidence and creativity.

By mastering these techniques and routines, you'll be prepared to deliver an outstanding performance, no matter the circumstances. Always be ready to adapt and improvise, and you’ll be able to amaze your audience even when you have nothing on you.