I have worked with the demonstrator in our magic store at the Grand Magic Theater and taught him how to present various simple magic tricks. These are tricks we sell to the general public, so they are not expensive nor what some might view as “high level” magic. Nevertheless, when done properly, they are still great effects.
I showed him something that can be done with the Magical Coin Slide that completely amazed him. His reaction encouraged me to play around even more with the routine concept. You are about to read the end result. It is a $5.00 prop that, when combined with something like a Rattle Box, creates an incredible mystery.
A quarter is borrowed and marked so it can be later identified. This quarter is placed into a wooden box. A small plastic box is shown that has an empty space within it just large enough to hold a coin. This plastic box is closed.
A moment later, the wooden box is shown to be empty. The quarter is gone. The plastic box is opened. Inside, in the small space designed to contain a coin, is the quarter. It is the marked quarter that vanished from the wooden box just a few seconds earlier.
This is an inexpensive way to create a great magical routine. In spite of the fact that it is a very low priced trick, the Magical Coin Slide is a clever prop. The audience only sees one space within the plastic box that can hold a coin, but actually there are two spaces. The box makes it possible for the spaces to be switched whenever the magician chooses.
The Rattle Box is an ideal way to secretly steal away a coin. You can get the Rattle Box at LaflinMagicStore.com. In my opinion, every magician should have this prop. It is the most practical and impressive way I know to make a coin disappear, even though the audience believes it is still there.
The action is that, by way of the Rattle Box, the coin is stolen away. The audience thinks it is still in the box. When reaching to get the Magical Coin Slide, the marked quarter is dropped into one coin space and then the space is switched so it can be shown as empty.
This means the audience believes the quarter is still in the wooden box and they clearly see that there is nothing in the Coin Slide. The Magical Coin Slide is closed. This automatically switches the coin spaces so the quarter will be revealed.
The magician then shows that the Rattle Box is empty and the quarter has appeared in the plastic box.
A volunteer is invited to the stage. This volunteer is given a quarter and told to mark it for identification. A marking pen such as a “Sharpie” is used for this. However, it is fun to refer to the writing instrument as a “Magic Marker” since it is a magic trick.
Once the quarter has been clearly marked, the routine begins. The magician says to the volunteer, “You are now going to do something incredible. It will be incredible because it is not possible, yet you will make it happen”.
The wooden box (Rattle Box) is shown. “Please put the quarter into this little treasure box. It is called a treasure box because it is designed to keep money safe and secure.”
Once the quarter is in the box, steal it away. Then rattle the box to suggest the quarter is still there. “You have placed the quarter into the treasure box. Now, take a look at this.”
Reach behind your table, or into a carrying case, and bring out the coin slide. As you reach into the case, drop the quarter into the slot in the slide. Close the slide so the quarter will vanish inside. Bring out the Coin Slide and show it to be empty.
“This is a strange little coin holder. It is another special place to keep money. However, right now, we do not see any money in the coin holder.”
“It is time for you to do something incredible, impossible. It is your job to make the quarter magically leave the wooden box, fly invisibly through the air, and end up in the coin holder.” (Rattle the box to give the illusion that the quarter is still there) “If you could do this, it would be amazing. It would be incredible!”
Reverse the drawer part of the Coin Slide and put it back in so the quarter will appear the next time the Coin Slide is opened. By doing this as your volunteer watches, the Coin Slide is seen empty right up until the last second.
“You may be wondering, how will you do this incredible thing? The answer is, by saying the magic words. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘My how time flies?’ You will say, ‘My how money flies!’ Those will be the magic words. The quarter will disappear from the treasure box, and will travel into this coin holder.” (Once again rattle it to indicate the coin is still there.) “And it all happens when you say, ‘How money flies.’” (Hold up the Coin Slide, which everyone believes to be empty).
“Let’s hear the magic words!” (The volunteer says them.) “Did it work? Actually, how could it work? There is no way, just by saying magic words, that we could make the quarter disappear from this wooden box. However, if it did happen, it would look like this.” (Open the Rattle Box and show it empty.) “And if the coin somehow did mysteriously travel over to the coin holder, it would look like this!” (Open the Coin Slide and reveal the quarter.)
“And the quarter would be the exact quarter upon which you put your special mark. Please take a look at the quarter. Is it the one you marked? Ladies and gentlemen, let there be no doubt about it, we have just witnessed the incredible! Let’s have some applause for our volunteer!”
An important thing to notice about this routine is that the magician is giving credit to the volunteer for doing the incredible. Obviously the magician could say, “Watch me make this quarter disappear from the box and reappear in the coin holder”. However, that would be much weaker. It would be inferior for two reasons.
- It seems the magician is showing off. He is saying, “Look what I can do that you cannot”. That is not a good way to entertain the public. People do not care much for a braggart and they do not want to encourage arrogance.
- If the magician gives himself credit for the trick, he is only doing something the audience expects him to be able to do anyway. They will think, “No big deal, he just did something sneaky when we weren’t looking”.
On the other hand, making the volunteer the one who does the incredible makes this a superior presentation. Why? Because the volunteer is right there to see and touch the props, yet the volunteer has no idea how he or she does the trick. This is impressive because the audience thinks, “That person is up close and can verify everything, even so, something amazing happened. That means that even if we all were up close, we would still be amazed!”
Yet more important is the fact that the reaction of the volunteer becomes the reaction of the audience. The volunteer is mystified and awed by the event, this carries out to everyone watching. It is also appreciated that the volunteer is the hero. As one of them, someone from the audience, this person has experienced success. When someone who is part of your group has success, the group feels the success as well.
This is a great trick. Giving the volunteer the credit for it, makes it even better!