There are many tricks that once played great with audiences, but now in this age of super political correctness, might be frowned upon. That’s not what this article is about. Instead I have written a 300-word eulogy on tricks you can’t do anymore, because the items necessary to the trick are no longer to be found.
I’m talking about cigarettes, watches and folding money. I had loads of great routines using these borrowed items, but they have gone the way of the Monthly Day Planner. Nothings gets a close-up audiences’ attention like tearing their signed twenty-dollar bill and then restoring it. Or lifting someone’s watch and then asking them for the time. Or putting out someone’s burning cigarette in their expensive tie
I had 10 minutes of killer stuff involving lit cigarettes alone. It was perfect. It was smoking, on fire and it was obviously not a trick because it was theirs! And all of the hours spent on learning to steal different types of watches, is now all for naught. And nothing gets your audience revved up like messing with their hard-earned money. Gone… all gone.
I know we must move on and use other objects that audiences are not only likely to have on them, but have some great attachment to - like credit cards or smart phones. (Neither of which I would eagerly hand over to some strange magician type.) But move on we must. But I am here today to mourn the passing of so many great effects that time and technology have made unnecessary or obsolete.
They were good friends and they will be missed. Please tell me of some of your favorite effects that have become extinct, and I will mourn their passing with you.