by John Cornelius
Speaking of magic conventions, (nice one, oh Sultan of Segue), two of the best things I saw at the recent I.B.M. convention came from John Cornelius. "Signed Bill in Pen" is a beautiful chrome ballpoint pen (which exactly matches the Cornelius "Perfect Pen"). The pen is gaffed and allows you do a routine based on John Carney's "Calligraphic Cash" (see Carneycopia, pages 241-249). Here's the effect: A bill is borrowed. The spectator is handed a pen and is asked to sign the bill. The pen is taken apart and a small gold tube is removed from inside the pen. The pen is otherwise seen to be empty. Using the ink refill, the bill is rolled into a tight cylinder, and the small gold tube is placed around it. The pen is reassembled and handed to the spectator. The bill vanishes. The pen is opened, and inside the pen is a rolled up bill. This bill is removed and handed to the spectator (at this point the magician's hands are completely empty). The bill is unrolled. It is the signed bill.
This is a very nicely made prop. Since it exactly matches the "Perfect Pen" you can begin your routine by doing a bill penetration, and then switch pens and finish by making the bill appear in the pen. John provides you with a small ten-page booklet which explains the handling (a few illustrations would have been a good idea). Some other routines are also detailed, including a clever idea for using the pen as a prediction device. Minimal technical ability is required. If you're already using the "Perfect Pen" (and even if you're not) this is well worth checking out.
If you use a magic wand in your close-up work, you'll also want to check out John's "Animated Wand." The wand is 12 inches long and about a quarter inch in diameter. It is chrome with gold tips. The wand comes apart in the middle, and there is a strong spring inside. This allows the wand to be bent in half. In this condition, the wand is placed in a small, felt carrying pouch. The wand is removed, held in the hand, and as the pressure is released the ends of the wand move away from each other as the wand assumes it straight position. This looks rather eerie. It is a simple matter to snug up the two halves, and the wand is ready for use in whatever routine you choose. There is also a magnet in one end of the wand, however no routines which use this aspect of the wand are included.
As with all of John's items, the pen and the wand are well made, and are good values for the money.
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