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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Paper money madness! » » How to burn (really) a dollar bill? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

KungFuMagic
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I did a search here on the Café, and got nowhere. Does anyone actually burn, immolate, destroy with actual fire a dollar bill as part of their trick, as a hard core convincer? I like the dramatic effect I get with my dollar bill to lemon, as I genuinely destroy the bill and break up the ash a bit to show it is GONE. I am not satisfied with the several things I've used. The paper does NOT like to burn, so I've used lighter fluid, lamp oil, and a couple other accelerants ... need generally low flame. Sometimes it takes a couple lightings to get full ash.

Anyone else really burn the bill, and have a reliable and reasonably fast burn method? I am thinking of using an incense charcoal disk to test (though testing eats money for no thrill).
Nick Sasso
part-time Samurai conjurer
Frank Yuen
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If you are lighting it and dropping it on a plate or pan it will burn slowly. Hold it with tongs and after lighting it, point the burning end down. This will engulf the entire bill in flames and it will burn fairly quickly. Paul Gertner did this on his That's Incredible appearance way back when.
KungFuMagic
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Holding it does make it burn faster than flat. I forgot to mention I start by tearing the bill up ... I've burned the pieces held with tongs with more speed than plain ... lighter fluid is a bit faster.

I'll try to find Mr. Gertner's performance on the video site. Do you burn bills?
Nick Sasso
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Bill Hegbli
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U.S. money is made up with a mixture of fabric and paper. Thus it will always burn slower. What you have to do is fill the time with good patter, that will get a laugh.

And yes, I have burned bills in my shows as well. I even had the lender of the bill comment he wanted the bill to burn faster. You can simply say something like, impatient are we? I think a 20 dollar bill burns faster, and hold out your hand. You should get a laugh from the audience. Before long you will have some really good gags that gets the audience laughing.

I can only suggest you lightly crumble the bill up so it sets up on the tray, that way air can get to the rest of bill faster. You are correct lighter Fluid even helps more then.
countrymaven
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I might be concerned with thinking the spectators are dummies. Why? When they see a bill burn slowly, they know IT REALLY BURNED.
So whatever "transposition or vanish" you want to suggest with this real burn and ashes to prove it, might just be ruined.

Flash paper or bills at least create a quick flash of fire and suggest a real vanish. IMHO this allows the average spectator to think it is gone vs . a real bill slowly burning.
KungFuMagic
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Quote:
On Jul 7, 2021, countrymaven wrote:
I might be concerned with thinking the spectators are dummies. Why? When they see a bill burn slowly, they know IT REALLY BURNED.
So whatever "transposition or vanish" you want to suggest with this real burn and ashes to prove it, might just be ruined.


The ashes are a huge convincer for my Dollar Bill to Lemon. Actual dollar, volunteer reads and records the serial number. I then burn that bill. Volunteer selects 1 of 3 lemons, I cut it, and the dollar is revealed with EXACT serial number recorded. I've tried successfully some other "vanishes", but this one has been really effective over the others in "removing that bill from play" and closing the door on sleight of hand. Since no two US Mint bills have the same serial number, their brains slip a gear when it appears again. It is common to get stunned silence followed by smiles and applause.


Bill's feedback is well received ... the slower burn is probably adding to the reality that this isn't some prop money going up in smoke. I'll find a way to routine it so that some other "business", exposition, and/or entertainment of the trick can be done in the smoldering time.
Nick Sasso
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countrymaven
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IF it works for you fine. But I think the strange phenomenon of burning real money will WOW most people. I invest to make money: I don't burn real money. But the WOW factor, when they can see the ashes, just proves again that you really burned a bill . Not the sort of thing that gets you into the magic mensa. Having the ashes left over to anyone who is not born with a deficit of mine, shows that you burned a real bill. very easy to back track if their mind is working. that you switched, burned a bill, and reproduced the original once again.
if you could burn it and not show ashes, I would be fine to do that.

But again, not all our audiences can think clearly, etc. but if that works for you fine.
KungFuMagic
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Quote:
On Jul 11, 2021, countrymaven wrote:
very easy to back track if their mind is working. that you switched, burned a bill, and reproduced the original once again.
if you could burn it and not show ashes, I would be fine to do that.

But again, not all our audiences can think clearly, etc. but if that works for you fine.



I am confused by this. If you are responding to me, I do NOT switch the bill. Volunteer is involved in the tear and burn. I legitimately burn the original bill with the volunteer handling it as we go. I do NOT reproduce the original, as it is ash. The rest of method is pretty darned magical from the "outside". Multiple actions to "close the door" on a switch.
Nick Sasso
part-time Samurai conjurer
Brad Jeffers
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Quote:
Does anyone actually burn, immolate, destroy with actual fire a dollar bill as part of their trick, as a hard core convincer?

What exactly are you trying to convince them of with the burning of the bill?

Bill to lemon is a strong effect.

You of course need to convince the audience that the same bill that is vanished is the one that ends up in the lemon.

Burning the bill only serves to convince them of the opposite.
Bill Hegbli
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KungFuMagic, just burning dollar bills is not magic, that is the sign you are a Pyromania problem and need counseling.

Currently you cannot burn anything where people gather.

It is magic only if you reproduce the destroyed bill in a surprising way.
andrew124C41
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I have an absolutely foolproof method to burn through any US currancy.
Just give it to my wife!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Paper money madness! » » How to burn (really) a dollar bill? (1 Likes)
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