FOUR QUARTERS by Magick Balay

What The Audience Sees:

“Okay, so Friday was really strange- I think we were all hypnotized! Jamie shows us an American one-dollar bill, right? Nothing crazy. But then, all of a sudden, it changed! It morphed itself inside out or something! Jamie told us that he had temporarily hypnotized all of us and that the bill should look different, and did it ever! It was like all reversed, backwardsy, split into quarters, kind of magical weirdnessness! None of us could believe our eyes! And man, did we ever have a great weekend because of it!”

How It Went:

You know, I’ve never really given the Mis-Made Bill premise a go before and I have to say, I’ve been missing out. I only wish I had been able to do it with borrowed money, which all you guys and gals in The States will be able to do. A Mis-Made Loonie just wouldn’t be the same, lol (a Loonie is a Canadian one-dollar coin). On that note, those of you in the US do have a real advantage. Up here, the smallest bill is a Five, but people are never really carrying them around because the smallest bill that most ATMs give out are Twenties. So, if you’re in the US, take advantage of it. However, I digress…

Even though I was using my own bill, and a foreign one at that, it still rocked the house. I was a bit surprised myself, actually. People were giving each other looks like, “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” The magic really played with their minds on Friday. I’ve been thinking about it all weekend and I’m still trying to dissect why it went so well, and I think it’s because, unlike normal paper, people know how impossible it is to “make” a bill. And a bill has a feel to it that can’t be faked (well, not legally, lol) so I think as soon as people touched it, they simply fully believed. There is also something more believable about it being the same denomination, I think.

And I have to say, I love Magick Balay’s handling of the switch! It has a more natural sort of feel to me than previous switches I’ve used and it went by everyone on Friday. There is something about the “turning” in Magick’s method that I really like and it seemed to help both me and my audience. I’ll talk about it more in the video portion but I just found it a more believable way of folding something. I found people weren’t burning my hands as much as when I’ve done switches before- perhaps it comes across as more casual.

The Difficulty:

This took me a while to get down and, as you’ll see, I still have to force myself to not look at my hands (when performing for real people, I find that an easier task because you have conversation going on, but it still took a while to get confident). However, this should be well within the capabilities of a solid magician. 3/5.

Best Lines:

“OMG, it’s backwards…no, it’s sideways, OMG! How did you do that?!”

~It’s always better to have someone ask, “How did you do that?” as opposed to, “Where did the other one go?”

“Holy %$^$! This is the same dollar, too!!!”

~I’m not sure what convinced them of that, but hey, I’ll take it!

Angry Bob Rating:

For those of you reading this article for the first time, Angry Bob is a co-worker who has an understanding of some magic because his uncle was a magician. Angry Bob knows that TT’s exist, for example, but he has no desire to become a magician himself. He also has an anger management problem that can be experienced first hand if he can’t figure out how a trick is done. A high rating means he has no idea.

“You %$^$%#n switched it. That’s pretty cool, though.”

3/5. I’m giving this a higher mark than you’d think after Angry Bob’s reaction, but that’s because he still has no idea how I did it. I’ve used a bill switch for a few Magic Fridays in the past, so I’m pretty sure Angry Bob has looked into how it works but I know he can’t do it himself. If you were to do this to someone with no magic knowledge, you’d fry them.

My Rating:

Magic Friday Approved!

Well, I’ve decided to switch (Ha, Ha, get it? I said…never mind) in Magick’s new handling as the one I’m going to be using in the future. When you watch the DVD and you see how fast he is with it, you can see how it will get light years better than how I’m currently performing with it. And, when it gets to Magick’s level (hopefully), I think it will be perfect. The “turning” combined with the “kickup” of the bill is just enough to make me put my old switch back on the shelf.

The JDG Tip:

Watch it here!

The iTricks Idea:

Make sure you crumple your bill up a ton before going live. What I did, was I always kept it in my pocket with another bill. It seemed like the other bills age rubs off a bit on the new one.

Closing Thoughts:

Congrats to NYMP for making such a great DVD. It was nice to watch something that just showed me the performer going through the steps. Sometimes Magic DVDs get so complicated that I want to throw myself out the window and this was a refreshingly straightforward instructional video. Very well done.

Have a Great Week Everyone!

Jamie D. Grant

  • John Booker

    Overall a nice article please keep writing.

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