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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Bill to lemon- woops (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicjackct
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I performed for an all adult Halloween party recently and one of the things I did was the bill to lemon. For the first time ever I had an overgrown child 50ish try to make a stink that it wasn't really his bill, because his had a slight tear in the side and the one from the lemon didn't.
I told him that I am so good that I fixed the dollar too.
I just wanted to share this little incident with you all. Has anyone else ever had any problems with this trick? This was the first time I ever did.
scott b.
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I know a few bill to impossible locations (Richardsons, Lesleys, Malones, Osterlinds, and a few in the Jinx) and am saving up for Scott Alexanders (WANT IT SO BAD!) But the only problem I have had (I perform Malone's BTW) Is actually getting the d#(* bill inside the lemon. I've struggled a few times and have had to milk the patter for what its worth, but so far so good.
Thanks! Scott B.

"I don't know the key to success . . . but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby
chrisrkline
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Well, one obvious solution is to do the routine so that the bill in the lemon is really their's.

A Bill to any impossible location is always going to make some people suspicious.
Chris
Bill Palmer
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Chris:

When I edit my notes, I'll put in a bit about that. I always make sure that the bill I get has no tears or obvious marks on it. Before I do the s****h, I look at the bill. If it has a tear in it or a mark on it, I ask for another one and I say, "Does anyone else have a bill that's in a little better condition. It's going to have to take a bit of a beating."
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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chrisrkline
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Bill, I am going to eventually get your notes. I am looking at Christmas.

One thing I did when I realized I like to do a bill to impossible location, but did not have the time to really work on Malone's version (that I own,) I bought Danny Archer's GI-Bill where the lemmon is used as a humerous distraction. The signed bill ends up in a differened, still impossible, location. The moves are easier and it has gotten good response with younger people and older kids.
Chris
philip tilston
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I use Mesika's Bill to lemon at tables. The spectator's (signed) bill ends up in the lemon. I can recommend this.

Phil
Open Traveller
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Quote:
On 2004-11-12 18:32, magicjackct wrote:
I performed for an all adult Halloween party recently and one of the things I did was the bill to lemon. For the first time ever I had an overgrown child 50ish try to make a stink that it wasn't really his bill, because his had a slight tear in the side and the one from the lemon didn't.
I told him that I am so good that I fixed the dollar too.
I just wanted to share this little incident with you all. Has anyone else ever had any problems with this trick? This was the first time I ever did.


I've seen various versions of bill in lemon, but if you don't really pull the signed bill out of the lemon, you're missing out big time. Torn corners, recorded serial numbers, etc. are all okay, but if you have the bill signed there's a great moment of tension when you first pull the bill from the lemon. EVERYONE is waiting for you to unfold the bill so they can see if the signature is on it, and when you do, the reactions are palpable. It's so much stronger than any other method of verification that I'm surprised anybody uses anything else.
Bill Palmer
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I'll have to be the lone voice of dissent on this. I have done the bill in the lemon using the serial number verification technique for more than 30 years. I have NEVER had anyone suspect anything other than the bill being the same one.

It's not the method. It's the sell. And the "build" that I use on reading off the number produces the biggest round of applause imaginable.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I do a serial number one as well. Bill, care to divulge a bit on your build up?

Regards,

JoJO
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Bill Palmer
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Not a problem at all. Let me preface this by saying that "traditional wisdom" states that all you need for the spectator to read off is the last couple of numbers and the last letter of the bill. According to "traditional wisdom," this saves time during the verification process and speeds up the pace.

Not believing that "traditional wisdom" is always wise, I watched a number of performers who did this, and realized they were throwing away the best possible applause build in the whole routine. So, here's how my verification sequence works --

At the beginning of the routine, I have the spectator/volunteer read off the serial number of the bill, which I record on the back of my mental epic slate. If I'm not working a period act, I'll use a whiteboard or a large piece of cardboard. I read the serial number back to them so that there is no doubt in the mind of the audience that we are talking about the same bill.

At the end of the routine, when the volunteer cuts the lemon open and brings out the bill, I say, "Unroll the bill, and read off the serial number in a loud, clear voice as we draw this to its exciting, but rather predictable conclusion."

As they read off the number, I repeat each of the letters or numerals and strike it off on the whiteboard. I actually set the pace of the reading for them. I start at a relatively low vocal frequency and as each number is read off, I repeat it at a slightly higher frequency, with a bit more volume, until I say the last letter, which I follow with "It is the VERY SAME DOLLAR BILL!!!!"

After seeing me do this, Arthur Emerson agreed that I had hit upon something that, although it was contrary to the conventional wisdom, it increased the audience response by a huge factor.

The pace of the read-off sequence is such that the reading of all the numbers and letters on a normal US dollar bill takes about six or seven seconds. The rising volume and vocal inflection causes a rise in the pulse rate of the audience.

It is completely psychological.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
swatchel-omi
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Hey Bill,

That sounds great !

I've been contemplating trying a "something" into a piece of fruit, and am torn between a bill or a card. Do you Doctor the bills at all, or is it the actual bill. (If you prefer to keep this a secret, I understand )

Joe
Harry Murphy
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Of course Bill is absolutely correct in that “It’s not the method. It’s the sell”! Now Bill has been doing the Bill to Lemon for over 30 years and never had a problem using the serial number bit.

Thanks for your routine outline Bill. It clearly gives me another version to put into my arsenal!

Now I have been doing the bill to lemon for about as long as Bill Palmer has and always used a signed bill. When I was a teenager and first learning and routining the trick I found that it was just as easy to have a signed bill as not. So I can safely say that I have never had the problem the first poster outlined. The bill is borrowed, the bill is signed, the bill is vanished, and the bill is found in a lemon (or whatever!).

I can do it on the spot and impromptu, if there is a fruit, knife, pen, and bill available (all borrowed of course).

Still, Bill Palmer is giving gold away here. What a subtle technique to get some extra miles for the routine. I plan to try his ideas the next time out! Thanks again sir!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Bill Palmer
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Thanks, Harry. I'll admit that the version I do is based on one that was published a long time ago. I have updated it quite a bit and put many of my own touches in the routine.

The whole routine is in my Renaissance Faire lecture notes.

The chief advantage of my version over most others is that at the very beginning of the "festivities" an audience volunteer is holding the lemon that the dollar bill winds up in, and he or she reads the serial number off the bill at the same time. This volunteer keeps the lemon, and cuts it open at the end of the routine. I never touch the lemon from the moment it is selected until the bill is taken out of it. And that is very strong magic, indeed.

I can't even begin to count the number of times I have performed this routine. I'm sure it is somewhere in the thousands.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
swatchel-omi
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Hello Bill,

Where can one obtain these notes ?

Joe
Bill Palmer
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Funny you should ask. Hocus Pocus has them.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Payne
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I have used eight spectators in the front row to remember the serial number for me and the audience. that way each only has to remember a single digit. You can have them stand and then each sit down as their number is read off of the reproduced bill.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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HI Bill,

Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your routine. Just a simple question if you don't mind? Is there any other things or apparatus necessary to buy to be able to perform this routine?

Thanks again,

JoJo

I'm getting close to ordering the notes, that's why I'm asking.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Werner G. Seitz
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Quote:
On 2004-11-16 01:30, Payne wrote:
I have used eight spectators in the front row to remember the serial number for me and the audience. that way each only has to remember a single digit. You can have them stand and then each sit down as their number is read off of the reproduced bill.
I think this is a great idea..

I love the way Bill Palmer does it, but there is *need* for a whiteboard or a large piece of cardboard and if one doesn't used these pieces in other routines, it is troublesome to carry.. Smile
So, the idea you outlined, that a spec not even have to write down the serialno., but a couple of specs can remember a figure each, I think is a real good one and it also gives participation and IMHO one can built this up with a lot of byplay..
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
Bill Palmer
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Since I was doing Mental Epic in another part of the act, the blackboard was already there. However, even having a piece of cardboard, posterboard or a whiteboard really isn't a problem. In fact, on those occasions when I have used the cardboard, I have left it behind, so the spectator can keep it as a souvenir.

Regarding the question about additional equipment necessary, yes, there is some. It is available at almost any arts and crafts store. And you can buy all of what you need for less than, say $30.00.

In fact, you may have some of it around the house. One item that I use, which I will tip here is a special knife which I made. Part of the strength of the routine I do is based upon two facts:
1) The spectator is holding the lemon and the borrowed bill at the same time before you go through the bill destruction sequence.

2) You never touch that lemon again -- the spectator cuts it open and removes the bill.

That second part is probably more important than any other fact, in the minds of the audience. I know this from 30 years of feedback.

In order to prevent accidents, I made a special knife. If you are familiar with "pumpkin cutters," which they sell at places like Wal-Mart for children to use when they carve pumpkins, you will know what I am discussing. These knives will not cut human skin. I took one and made a nice wooden handle for it, which leaves only enough of the blade protruding to allow the blade to go halfway into a normal lemon. They cannot cut themselves or the bill with this.

The knife is pictured in the notes.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Werner G. Seitz
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Quote:
On 2004-11-17 12:41, Bill Palmer wrote:
If you are familiar with "pumpkin cutters," which they sell at places like Wal-Mart for children to use when they carve pumpkins, you will know what I am discussing. These knives will not cut human skin. I took one and made a nice wooden handle for it, which leaves only enough of the blade protruding to allow the blade to go halfway into a normal lemon. They cannot cut themselves or the bill with this.
I think I know that type of knife..the idea is great..they can't even then cut the bill, as the lenght of the knife is restricted..
But, I suppose they still can hurt themselfes, as a such knife must have a very
sharp end (pointed) as well as being sharp?

Anyway, it is good if the lenght is restricted, so they really can do the cut themselfes..a VERY good idea!!!
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
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