Darwin Orrtx would work well for Brother Hamman's The Signed Card. example. ' fot

It is true that magicians sometimes do tricks that are nom. based on the themes I've suggested. But they are usually 80 ohonv they earn- no conviction and therefore arouse no n ^ m|-* interest. There is all the difference in the world between aL Rc* Here presentation of His "audition trick ■ Mike Skinner S?» his favorite "session trick . or Eugene Burger demonstrative "warm-up ritual" on the one hand and some magic bozo prattliJ ** about the "rules of the magicians" union on the other hand. Sim.,® ?n there is no comparison between presenting an effect as a seemi J serious demonstration of the role of misdirection in magic J magician telling the audience that the secret to his tricks is that hj has a trapdoor in his hand.

The difference in each case is, to borrow a phrase from Eugene Burger, sincerity of purpose. That's not to say that the things you tell the audience must be true, only that they should seem to be true, at least within the dramatic reality you create. As a magician, you should take seriously the old gag that the secret to success is sincerity; once you learn to fake that, you've got it made.


In one of Bob Nelson's books on psychic readings he states that people's three main concerns in life are money, sex, and health. You can find support for Nelson's claim in any copy of Reader's Digest, the most popular magazine in the world. Every issue I've ever seen contained at least one article on each of those three subjects. In fact, each of those subjects also has several magazines devoted entirely to it. One of those magazines is called Money. It should also come as no surprise that "money" appears in Barbara Leeds' book PowerSpeak in her list of "the twelve most persuasive words in the English language." In our culture few subjects have a more firm and universal hold on the public consciousness.

Money has such a deep attraction that performing "Card Warp" with a hundred dollar bill, floating a dollar bill, or using crumpled bills for an impromptu Cups and Balls routine will attract greater initial audience attention than using other props for the same effect. These elfects actually have nothing to do with money, but the use of money will tend to draw the eyes of the spectators in the same way that a ad t^ Wil1 draw the eyes of most men to a billboard

Strong Magic to achieve real meaning for an effect from monoy. it mu«t H°WCV^ as the theme of the effect, not just an a prop. The tnck must bc U iv use money, it must be about money. People hnve only two n0t only , _ it rnmea to money, getting more monev anil __

it thG '"Se''for them in a money trick.

,lv use • —"my t ot °n,y hcn it comes to money, getting more money and holding on concerns theV already have. These are the only themes that will ' Waning for them in a money trick.

form the "Hundred Dollar Bill Switch" by borrowing a If y°u nnd changing it into a hundred, the effect will have Htron(, dollar 01 uge y0U w ill have achieved every spectator's dream meaning____ - ------------------•

Tf you perform tne n:u..u..»1----------------- -----

dollar bill nnd changing it into a hundred, the effect will "JeZ meaning because you will hnve achieved every spectator's dre 'm making his money grow. If you perform the same trick by borrow? one-hundred dollar bill, changing it to a single, and then return to the spectator, it will have strong meaning because of the humor nf the spectator having failed in the goal of holding on to his money Torn and Restored Bill tricks also have strong meaning for the latter reason. Indeed, this effect provides a dramatic example of the power of meaning in magic. The larger the denomination of the bill you borrow, the more impact the effect will have, even though the magic remains the same.

Pseudo-demonstrations of shortchanging exploit monetary meaning from both ends: the hustler's ability to gain money and the victim's inability to hold on to it. Depending on your performing persona, you may choose to present such an effect by identifying yourself with the shortchange artist or with the victim. (Either approach can be highly effective, but they carry two different messages about the performer.) In John Carney's book Carney Knowledge he has a wonderful effect called "The Logical Bill Trick." The performer takes a dollar bill, folds it over, and produces a half dollar from the folds. He repeats this to produce a second coin. Finally, he folds the bill into a small packet and a third half dollar slides out of the packet. What makes the effect great is the kicker. When the dollar bill is unfolded it is seen to have changed to a twenty-dollar bill. This is what gives it strong meaning. It seems to me this could also be extremely effective worked in reverse. Borrow a twenty-dollar bill from a spectator. Proceed to produce the three half dollars, dropping each in his hand. Comment that since the coins came from his bill they belong to him. He may object to keeping them, but you insist that they are now his. Return the folded bill along with the halves and proceed to your next effect. This may, for example, involve asking another spectator to select a card; in any case, you completely turn your attention away from the spectator who lent you the bill.

When the spectator unfolds the bill to return it to his wallet he discovers that it is now a one-dollar bill. He will attempt to bring this to your attention, but you try to ignore him and continue with your

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