by Gregory Wilson
Greg Wilson (not that Greg Wilson, the other Greg Wilson) has released a very nice "kit" containing all the props necessary to do the ever-popular "Small Coin Grows Bigger and Finally Changes into Jumbo Coin" routine. Just recently in this column I have asked whether the world needs another routine of this type, but in this case I think Greg is offering a very worthwhile product. You get a real American penny, a half-dollar sized penny, a jumbo penny, and a small magnifying glass. The pennies all match in luster, which enhances the "growing" illusion. (In fact, Greg manufactured his own half-dollar size penny, since he could find none which fit his specifications.)
The routine which comes with the kit is very practical, and most importantly, is well within the technical abilities of the average magician. The only moves involved are the Bobo switch and the shuttle pass, and you are clean at the end. In addition, Greg has provided a great (and funny) presentation which justifies the magical transformation of the coin.
I like this a lot. If you went out and tried to track down all the props you need to do a routine of this type you would probably spend at least $15. Greg gives you everything you need, the routine is solid, and the instructions are very clear. I'm putting this routine into my walk-around repertoire. You're probably going to want to, also. Recommended.
A while back, I reviewed Mark Leveridge's version of the classic "Cigarette through Quarter," which used a poker chip. An advantage of the Leveridge version was that no switch was involved - the chip which was used for the penetration was the chip which was handed out at the end. The drawback of Mark's version was that it did not use a common everyday object. I don't know if the "New Pen through Quarter" offered by Al Lamfers and Sterling Magic was inspired by the Leveridge trick, but there are some similarities.
The title tells the effect. You borrow a quarter, and then you push a Bic ballpoint pen through it. (You must use the pen which is provided.) However, because of the design of the gaff, you can show the pen around on all sides, and the spectators can see both sides of the coin. (In fact, you could hand the pen to a spectator if you desired.) The pen is slowly withdrawn from the quarter, there is no hole to be seen, and the quarter is returned to its owner.
You should know that you must switch the gaffed coin in and out for this routine, and this will take a small bit of practice to do well. However, the method in which the coin is gaffed allows for a very nice moment: the instant the pen is withdrawn, the gaffed coin can be pivoted to show the "heads" side. There is absolutely nothing to be seen on this side of the coin. Because of this, there is no heat on the "clean-up" switch.
I think this is a very clever item. The gaff is well made, and the handling, while it will require some practice, is not too difficult. If you often find yourself working for know-it-all laymen, it may be the perfect thing to carry in your pocket.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.