Never Break The Chain

Now for a different type of effect. The magical performer has a small LED flashlight on his keychain. He claims that, at times, people with a lot of personal power or special energy have caused the light to flicker on and off. The magical one suggests that the spectator may have such intensity, and asks her to hold out her hand.

The magical one steadies the LED light over the spectator's palm up hand - as if it were a pendulum. "Sometimes the light will begin to move, sometimes not. Sometimes it will feel warm, or suddenly cool above your hand. In fact, some people say that it dulls pain and that they feel better - if not right away - then later. I don't know why that happens, when it does, but I do know that I feel a lot of energy coming from you now, I feel your hand warming up too... Maybe you can even feel it yourself? Yes? Maybe enough energy the light will flicker"?

Nothing happens. No light flashes at all.

"Is your arm feeling slight tingles in any way, or is it becoming more like stone? What does your hand and arm feel like to you now? Really. That is not at all the usual thing..."

Suddenly, the light falls off the key ring and into the spectator's palm up hand. The chain, it would seem, has broken off.

"Whoa. That's a lot of energy. Never had that happen before. Hold on to both pieces and close your hand. Feel the warmth in your hand, the energy, going into the light. Let's see if you can make it light even when it is broken. Open your hand. Nothing. Close your hand. Keep trying. I am sorry if I am so insistent, but I am rarely wrong about a person's personal energy. I feel these sorts of things, and I bet you do at times too".

"Have you ever walked down a street at night, and had a streetlight suddenly go out? Have you had that happen more than once? Some people do - because of their personal energy. They knock lights out, or start them up suddenly. Feel the energy and warmth in your hand. Once you feel it raise or cool off, open your hand and look. Nothing. Wait! What on earth? Did you bum yourself? Feel the chain. Feel the connection... Pick it up. See? It's as if you soldered it back together. Are you sure your hands are okay? They are not too hot? Holy... Well. I don't know what to say. I'm stunned. You're okay? May I keep this? I never had anyone do that before. Do you teach classes or anything? No"?

"But you do use your personal energy to achieve good things, do you not? You should, you know. It would be a shame to waste that. I'll show you what I mean, what I do. May I have your spoon there"?

The wonder worker goes into his favorite metal bending routine - as long as it doesn't look like a magic trick.

There are of course two real methods here. One is the physical work, the other the mental work. The words create a great deal of the wonder, in effect, in meaning and in memory. If you know Wonder Words, then you'll understand how the script helps spectators feel things, and even if they do not, how that seems to be part of the effect too. Carefully study the words as an example. Then say things that are like that, but which are natural to you.

The main idea is that the effect is not about the keychain, the light, or the performer. In fact, it doesn't really look like the performer is actually performing. The effect is all about the spectator and what the spectator causes to happen. That's a big deal. The focus on the spectator as the actual magical person is an interesting shift, and a memorable one. If nothing else, keep this notion in mind.

Physically, you'll need two matching key chains with little lights on the end. These are very common now - an LED light to help you see your keys and keyhole at night. Break one key chain about in half. You can do this by prying open a link in the chain or cutting the flimsy chains carefully with a wire cutter. Keep the bottom half of the chain with the LED light attached. Toss away the top half of this same chain, as it is not used.

Get some "metal putty" at a hardware store. This plastic putty looks like metal once it is cured. Near the top third of the full keychain, mold a small amount of the putty. You want to make the putty look like it is a small glob of melted chain. This putty should be distinct when it is pointed out, but not big and obvious otherwise. This glob will be partially hidden between the thumb and first finger. Besides, all eyes naturally focus on the light as you mention the light.

Finger palm the half chain (and light) in the left hand. The right hand holds the full keychain up, between thumb and first finger to show it. Palm is turned out to the spectators as you begin to show the keychain.

The glob hides partially behind the first finger and thumb. Talk about the spectator's personal energy and your keychain light.

Move the light over to the spectator's palm up hand. As you do so, appear to steady the keychain and the light at the bottom of the chain with your left hand. The big motion of moving forward towards the spectator hides the small move you will do. Turn your right hand palm in towards you. As you do, allow the right second finger to catch the chain. Simply curling the fingers inward naturally brings the keychain and light into the right palm, as the palm turns towards you. It would be obvious that the light has disappeared, except for what you have in your left hand. As the right hand pulls the real light and chain in, the thumb and first finger also grasp the top of the half-chain in the left hand.

This sounds complicated, but in truth it is not even really a move at all. In the action of apparently steadying the light at the bottom of the keychain, the switch has taken place.

Move the left hand away entirely.

You may want to talk about pendulums and how they react over people's hands. When enough real suspense and near-boredom has kicked in, let the bottom part of the chain drop into the spectator's palm up hand. It will look as if you are holding the top half of the chain only in your right hand. Do not make any sort of move when you drop the chain. Merely allow the bottom, broken, chain to slip through your thumb and finger by slightly and slowly releasing pressure.

It's important that you be as shocked and surprised as the spectators are. BE shocked and surprised, not "over act" shock and surprise.

After a brief pause as if you are still recovering from the wonder, with your left hand pick up the light and chain in your spectator's hand. Your right hand still holds the supposed top half of the chain.

Per the effect, have the spectator apparently hold the two pieces. As you move forward, naturally bring your hands together. Don't make a move out of this either. Drop the entire light and chain from your right hand into the spectator's palm. Your left hand finger palms it's half-chain and light secretly. It should appear that you have dropped both halves from each hand into the spectator's hand. Instruct the spectator to close their hand and "see if they can still make it light up anyway".

Note that the focus is placed on the spectator lighting the keychain - not fixing it! Do not act as if this is the "big finale" to a "trick".

This is more about moving on after an odd experience has taken place. Keep this tone in mind.

Such focus also gives you ample time to drop your left hand to your side casually, and ditch the half-chain whenever you comfortably can.

Use the language as described and you may have the spectator say they feel things happening: Their hand gets warmer (or cooler), their arm is tingling (or feels like a solid iron bar) and such. If they say they feel nothing, make that part of the effect too. Finally, have them open their hand. It is best if the spectator is the one who notices the chain is "welded" back together.

Telling the spectator to open her hand to see if anything has happened yet is devious. The first time she opens her hand, you say, "Nothing yet. Close your hand". Of course, the chain is already fixed, but when you say nothing has happened, she will close her hand and think nothing has happened. She is looking for the light to go on, remember. When she opens her hand and sees the light is not on yet, she'll think nothing has happened anyway. Later, when you have her open her hand again and pick up the chain - only then does the effect take place. This is the indirection I use to suggest that the effect took place in her hand and that I never touched anything at all. I could not have done anything - as she had checked her own hands, and nothing had happened. No one had touched the chain but she since that time.

This is a very strong principle. Many spectators will take this whole affair as real. What if they don't? At worst, it is a very strong magical effect as a metaphor and symbol of the spectator's talents, power, and ability. How can they not like the idea that they are powerful, talented and have strong abilities? You really cannot lose with this approach.

If you perform this like a coin switch trick, it will be taken in that light. Presented as a weerd thing you have observed from time to time, this can be very intense and memorable. Spectators often tell their own stories about streetlights or lights at home blinking on or off. Has it ever happened to you? Have you had any unusual occurrence at all in your life ever? Sure, I thought you did. Either that, or it upset you so much, you decided to forget it. See? You can't really be wrong. More often than not, they will tell you all sorts of wild stories about them. That's fine rapport to get from one silly trick. Using this as an introduction into "metal bending" or other such mentalistic effects helps insure this effect, and vice versa.

There are too many details to go into about the patter lines as they are written. Trust us - those who know Wonder Words can tell you all about what these lines do for you. Performing them will teach you a great deal as well.

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