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Profile of laidback
Ok, so you borrow a bill from a spectator to perform an effect (T&R, float, or whatever).

As you look at the bill, you stop talking mid-sentence. Your expression turns blank for a moment. You pause for a long moment with a troubled look on your face.

"Have you ever come across a bill with writing on it?" you ask.
"You know... one with a message like Happy Birthday, or something? Well, this is REALLY strange..." You show them the bill and it says...

Finish it however you want. Maybe THIS was the bill you got on your tenth birthday from your grandma, with a note from her written on it. Maybe it's one YOU wrote on years ago, and now it's come back to you.

I think it would be really fun to weave a story around this, and play on the synchronicity that led this bill to you at this point in time. Maybe it's a message that you really needed to hear again like "have faith" or something -- basically giving yourself advice from the past. Or a message from a beyond the grave, if that fits your persona.

Now with this "special bill" you may continue to perform your next effect.

On a practical note, if the spectator happens to look at both sides of the bill you won't be able to do this; just continue with your other bill effect. Otherwise, of course, the writing will need to appear on the side they didn't see when they handed it to you. One more thing, the bill will have an issue date on it, so keep that in mind if your message is supposed to be from the distant past.

Two obvious methods occur to me (switch or s* gimmick), but neither are really perfect. Ideally there should be a minimal amount of fussing with the bill before you notice the writing. I think this is more about the presentation and story than about the method.
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Profile of kuffs
WOW!!! That's a very cool and fresh ideas...

Thanks for sharing

Humbly Smile

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Profile of zombieboy
Jeff Sheridan has an effect similar to this.
Pakar Ilusi
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Profile of Pakar Ilusi
I like that... Smile

Good thinking... Smile

"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Roberto Gee
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Profile of Roberto Gee
VERY nice idea, since, if you ask somebody for a dollar bill, they're simply going to produce it and hand it to you without looking at it on both sides -- the only catch being if they hand you a really USED or really NEW crisp dollar bill and the one you're switching doesn't remotely match, in terms of look and feel -- which might necessitate your having a couple of prepared bills ready (one new and crisp; one somewhat used)

I would combine the switch with a "cold reading" message, like --

(taking the bill they hand me, performing whatever effect you like with it, then finishing by turning it over, discovering the "message" on the back)

"What is this? Did you see this? Did you write this?"

(off your bewilderment, they will ask, "What?")

"It says, 'Don't change jobs just yet.'" (or whatever "cold reading" statement you like).


(hand it back to them)

"I don't know -- it's your dollar. But there it is."

I think I'm gonna try this soon. Thanks for the idea!

Additionally, I would simply take their offered bill without any notice, switch it right off (say, after balling it up for a float or something) do the effect and THEN, un-balling it, "notice" the writing and read the "cold reading" message.

100 out of 100 people are thinking of changing jobs, for example.

Some other foolproof messages from the ethers (just as examples -- come up with your own):

"The move is a good idea."

"Stop procrastinating! Make that call!"

"Budget NOW!"

"Car needs checking."

"Love comes back!"

"Invest in yourself!"

"Door opens in 2 months!"

"Travel postponed."

"Love awaits your word."

Etc., etc.

When they say, "How did you KNOW that?" you simply reply, "I didn't. It was already on this dollar you handed me."

Thus, you've done a great effect with a borrowed dollar bill, then capped it off with this strange "discovery" of a psychic message written on the bill they handed you.

Yep, Laidback -- I'm absolutely gonna use your idea! It's so strong that nobody will remember it's illegal to deface currency, heh, heh.

One further thought.

Obviously, when you ask for a borrowed dollar bill, they will look at one side of it, just to make sure it's a dollar before handing it to you.

It doesn't matter which side they look at. Neither side of their bill will contain the written "message."

As long as the bill you switch reasonably matches their bill in terms of age (new/crisp or used/softer -- which you can have in separate pockets or wherever -- then I plan to use something like the following patter, which I normally do anyway.

"I never know whether this is going to work or not, but we can try."

Let's say you're going to float the bill, briefly -- for a couple of seconds.

"Now, everybody's got to concentrate, for this to work. I never know what's going to happen."

(the switched bill is crumpled in your palm. Everybody, including you, is concentrating on it.)

"See it getting lighter. Lighter."

(nothing happens)

"Like I say, this may not work. You have to be still. Even air currents can affect it. Lighter. Lighter."

(nothing happens. Shrug . . .)

"Well, it's always different every time. It may not -"

(bill begins to move in palm)

"Okay, shh . . . "

(bill slowly levitates for a second or two)

"There's something else going on here."

(unfold bill from mid-air, proceed to read message, etc.)

If they happen to have looked at the side of the bill they handed you, and say that nothing was written on it, which you will notice by the way they hand you the bill originally, so you'll know what to expect, then you act just as bewildered as they are.

And take it seriously. Just be real, and use your own words. And be as mystified as they are.

"I know. But I knew something else was going on just now. I could feel it."

(this also takes care of any "jiggling")

"But how could you KNOW I'm thinking of changing jobs, moving, etc.?"

"I didn't. I don't know WHERE that came from . . . "

When others in the group inevitably ask you to "do it again, do it for me," remain semi-serious. "Uh, uh. That was too weird. I don't know WHAT that's about . . . " and get up to go to the rest room to "compose" yourself.

That oughta do it.
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