The principle exploited in this routine is not new. It has been used variously and ingeniously by Sam Schartz, Ned Rutledge, Ed Mellon, Steve Skomp and Larry Becker. But as it is applied here — to automatically effect a prediction in the innocent act of picking up an object — credit goes to T.A. Waters.
Steve Dusheck has used this clever idea several times in marketed tricks. But never has he twisted, turned and squeezed so much work from this delightful principle. Where one effect is usually achieved, Steve manages three!
You will have to assemble a few simple props to perform this:
A small cardboard box — preferably an attractive one, such as a jewelry box. It must be of the type that has a lid which lifts straight up off the box. It also must be large enough for a penny, a nickle and a dime to rest on comfortably. Steve uses a long, narrow, bracelet or necklace box. On its lid he has printed "U.S. Mint Set" with dry transfer lettering. This is a nice psychological touch. Inside the box is a neat cotton pad just the size of the bottom of the box. This sort of cotton pad is commonly found in jewelry boxes.
Two shell nickles and two shell pennies — these are easily had by buying two sets of the old Adam's Nickle to Penny to Dime Trick, a standard and inexpensive dealers' item. Cement small magnets or bits of magnetic-rubber strip inside these shells. (Alternatively, you can use the examinable magnetic and steel-core coins on the market. These are more expensive, but allow a bit of extra freedom in handling during the routine, as will be explained. They can be had in various denominations.)
Three steel ("Kling") cards or steel-shimmed cards — one should be an Ace, one a Five and the third a Ten. With a broad-tipped permanent marker write, "I knew you would select the penny," on the face of the Ace; "I knew you would select the nickle," on the face of the Five; and "I knew you would select the dime," on the face of the Ten.
To set up, place one of the dimes in the bottom of the box and cover it with the cotton pad. Hold one of the magnetic nickles good-side against the underside of the lid. Place the second nickle on top of the lid, directly over the first. The visible nickle will hold the other in place beneath the lid. Position the pair of pennies similarly. Then place the remaining dime on the lid with the nickle and penny and you are set. See Figure 1.
Place the three steel cards in your pocket. They must be in a known order so any of the three may be removed quickly and without fumbling.
To perform, bring out the box with the three coins resting on its lid. Explain that the box contains a prediction. Ask a spectator to name any of the coins he wishes. Stress his freedom of choice and the fact that whichever coin he names will be the one used. You wish to avoid any suspicion of Magician's Choice procedures.
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