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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Paper money madness! » » Best Bill in Lemon Effect (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Scott F. Guinn
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Not sure I agree that the signature is necessarily inherently stronger than the serial number. I agree if it's the magician who reads off the serial number. However, have you ever noticed that spectators are hesitant to sign playing cards and bills? I sure have. It's just not something most people do normally. However, virtually everyone knows that a bill's serial number is like a fingerprint--no two are alike. Therefore, if the participant is convinced that it is his bill that you are using, if he reads off the serial number, which another audience member writes on a large white board in full view, if he sets it ablaze, and he reads the serial number again as it burns... Sorry, I just don't buy that a signature is stronger than that.
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Fred Johnson
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We can agree to disagree.
Scott F. Guinn
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Of course. Do what works for you.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jonathan Smith
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While it is true a pre-loaded bill with a duplicate serial number requires zero skill, I think the the use of a person's name and handwriting dramatically increases the impact of the effect. Signatures carry a profound sense of personal identification and power. In our culture, an autograph is a tiny piece of the person who wrote it. Like the individual, it is thought to be unique and irreproducible - unless one happens to be a skilled forger. In fact, some people go so far as to buy, sell and collect signatures.
smith83
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Have you tried bill in kiwi? THe softness of the kiwi aids greatly with the effectt
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2009-02-21 12:54, Jonathan Smith wrote:
While it is true a pre-loaded bill with a duplicate serial number requires zero skill, I think the the use of a person's name and handwriting dramatically increases the impact of the effect. Signatures carry a profound sense of personal identification and power. In our culture, an autograph is a tiny piece of the person who wrote it. Like the individual, it is thought to be unique and irreproducible - unless one happens to be a skilled forger. In fact, some people go so far as to buy, sell and collect signatures.

All I can tell you is that I've done it both ways, performing professionally for over twenty years, and I still disagree that the signed bill gets any more impact than the serial number. I further disagree that the signed bill takes any more skill--you can load a signed bill in a TT and shove the TT in a hole in the lemon, or shove it in a billet knife. Very little skill required. Certainly no more skill than a switch, which is required for many serial # routines.

The skill with BIL lies in the presentation and your ability to sell the impossibility and the belief that it is his bill he is seeing destroyed and then pulled out of the lemon.

Whether you do serial number, million dollar mystery, signed bill, etc doesn't matter, because unless you sell it--unless they believe it is the same bill that is really being destroyed and that there wasn't already a hole in that lemon--you don't have that impact and conviction.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jonathan Smith
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Whokebe I do Cloutier's Bill in Kiwi. Scott perhaps I shouldn't have made my "skill" comment, but it's clear you missed the point of my post regarding the value of a signature in terms of impact, credibility, and emotional subtext.

No point to discuss this with you further Scott, since your opinion counts more than mine. After all you've "performed professionally for twenty years." So has Kammar the magician, did you ever see him do the serial number lemon trick on David Letterman?

Why do think full-time pros like John Carney, Scott Alexander, Doc Eason, Billy McComb, Mike Caveney, Michael Weber, Steve Spill, Ricky Dunn, Harry Anderson, David Copperfield, Karrel Fox, Frank Garcia, Ricky Jay, Fred Kaps, Johnny Thompson, Tommy Wonder, Terry Seabrook, have always used signatures with their borrowed bill effects? Please don't bother to answer.

Like you said above, do what works for you.
Scott F. Guinn
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Never meant to imply that my opinion meant more than yours. I apologize if I came across that way--it was not my intent. I think you missed the point of my post--it is the conviction of the performer and his ability to sell the effect that makes it a miracle.

I have no problem with your preference to sign a bill. None whatsoever. I simply have a problem with a blanket statement that one way is always inherently better than another. That's what I disagree with, and in no way feel it makes you less important than me. It's after all, just a magic trick!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jonathan Smith
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Apology accepted.

Consider this. Two performances. One with signature, one with noted serial number. Both performed equally in terms of the conviction, ability to sell the effect, deceptive sleights, etc. Everything equal. You would have to agree the signature version will ALWAYS INHERENTLY be, at the very least, slightly better, more amazing/impressive to the most intelligent and discriminating members of any audience.

Here's why. In the signature version the borrowed bill is IN FACT the one in the fruit. In the copied down serial number version the borrowed bill is IN FACT NOT the one in the fruit.

End of story.
Scott F. Guinn
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I would agree except for one thing--in my version, the participant actually burns the bill, reading the serial number off it as it burns, everyone in the audience able to verify the number written on the white board. The he cuts open the lemon, and takes out the bill and reads the serial number and everyone in the audience is able to verify the number written on the white board.

You just can't do that with a signed bill, unless you use a stooge. Further, for a large group, everyone in the audience has to take his word for it that it is his signed bill--a stooge can be suspected. With the serial #, I go around to different parts of the audience and have someone read the number off the bill, so the possibility of a stooge is eliminated. So is the possibility of a switch, as everyone knows no two bills have the same number, and the borrowed bill has never left their sight. My hands are clearly seen to be otherwise empty at all rimes, and I handle the bill only to take it around to people to read the number.

It is the conviction that it is the same bill being destroyed that made me switch from signature to number, as there is not a signed method in existence that I know of, where the participant can actually burn the bill and then cut the lemon open himself.

So, while it is the end of the story for you, I have no problem continuing to prefer my version with the serial number to any version I've seen or researched with a sig.. Variety is the spice of life. If you feel the sig. is more convincing, that's definitely what you should do, and I can respect that and have no qualms about it. I simply ask reciprocation.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Donal Chayce
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Gentlemen, I hereby declare this match a draw.
:cheers:
DamastaMind
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I am with Great Scott, his Bill in lemon has served me VEEERy well!

by the way, thank you Great Scott for putting your thinking and routinig available for your fellow magic community!
Your wife was right all time: You are a Genius!

I feel happy for being able to express the way I feel about your books directly to you and in public!
The MIND is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9
Scott F. Guinn
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Look, I think that Jonathan has made some very valid points, and it is obvious that he has thought through his decision to use a signed bill. That is commendable and he should stick to his guns. it in no way bothers me or makes me dislike him.

My reason for the ongoing debate is simply to provide another side to the debate, and show my reasoning for choosing the serial number. That's all. Not to say that I think my way is better or that my opinion matters more, or that anyone who disagrees with me must be wrong.

Hopefully, this debate has caused the readers of this forum to think about which method they should use and why. Hopefully, that will extend to all of us, not just in our magic routines, but in our values and beliefs in general. But as regards magic specifically, Dai Vernon put it well when he said, "Magicians stop thinking too soon!"

I like to debate, but I don't want to fight. In the grand scheme of things, how you get a bill in a lemon doesn't mean a thing.

Enjoy your journey.

And thank you, DamastaMind. That's very kind of you and much appreciated. I'm glad you find the material useful.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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JamesinLA
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Does Malloy's method use a "force bag" for the lemon? If so, can I buy a force bag that could be used for lemons somewhere that anyone knows of? Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Oliver Ross
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You could build your own force bag, just with clear freezing bags.

Oliver.
Max Krause
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BTW.

I now have BTIL.5 which will allow you to do the Bill in Lemon effect without having to protect the bill. Just thought I would let you all know. Here is the link.

http://www.innovativedeceptions.com/id_btil2.htm

Also, perhaps Doug Malloy would sell you just the force bag. I am not sure but you could always ask.

Kind regards,
Max
doubletime
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There ar esom any different force bags on the market I wouldnt' really mind anyway.

bavli has a really great one. it's net I think.

james biss has one that you can buy or make it at home.
RiffRaff
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Three pages and not a single mention of Jarrow.
patrick1515
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In my opinion, the bill has to be signed. It just plays much stronger.
The Steve Spill/Doc Eason version is great. Straight forward with some funny comic by-play. I switched to the Malloy Lemon Game because it has more structure in the routine and greater opportunity for comic by play. The routine actually makes sense, and has structure, with a beginning, middle and end. The props are well made, but a tad pricey for what you receive. The biggest plus to the Lemon Game is that all of the dirty work is done when there is absolutely no "heat" on the bill.
Didiman Eddy Fakri
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Quote:
On 2008-10-22 18:53, MagicMikeMartin wrote:
Is it possible to have a random lemon chosen and never touch it?

you can use "clear force bag"
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