Borrowing Watches

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 12/18/02 09:29 AM

Can anyone offer some advice for borrowing watches from spectators? I've encountered some awkward moments when no one in the audience wishes to part with their watch, which is quite understandable. For those of you who do this, do you get them on stage first, then take advantage of them being on the spot? Has anyone invented any clever wording techniques/phrases which they've found helpful? This situation has led me to think of substituting my nest of boxes for a bill in lemon in my show. Any suggestions would be greatly apprecitated.

Kevin O'Neil

Postby GAMOLO » 12/18/02 05:14 PM

I have found that just about everyone has heard of the Uri Geller "business" about "stopping a watch."
So, I usually have a magnetic thumb tip in my pocket. I will first remark about ESP being able to stop watches, etc. and then ask if someone would like to see that demonstrated..... and if so, "please bring your arm with a functioning watch up to the stage".
Sometimes it actually stops the watch, sometimes it doesn't. If the latter, I immediatedly seque into my nest of boxes, watch box, etc. routine; if the former, than I got a twofer!
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/18/02 11:00 PM

Learn the pickpocket method and STEAL THE WATCH. :rolleyes: :confused: :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 12/19/02 08:59 AM

I would rather not steal the watch as my presentation necessitates borrowing. I appreciate your input, however.

I like the "bring your arm" bit, Gale; it sounds less threatening than borrowing a watch.

Thank you both.

Postby Guest » 12/19/02 10:56 AM

As you are talking, casually ask the person you want to use "what kind of watch are you wearing?" and after they reply say "Not sure if this will work or not but let's give it a try with yours...". It works in getting them to let you use it BUT always be aware that when you are borrowing an article such as a watch or a diamond ring, you are taking a risk that you may drop it, damage it or have them claim that it is not working properly anymore or that the stone is missing, regardless of whether that is true or not (inviting a potential lawsuit). Borrow with caution.

And to the fellow that uses a magnet in a thumb tip, if you knew what it costs to have a high end wrist watch demagnetized, you would never do that trick again!
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 12/19/02 11:17 AM

I'm always cognizant of a spectator's personal space and I'm absolutely chary about borrowing his PROPERTY, especially if the object has personal or sentimental value. To me, it is the equivalent of asking a woman, "May I borrow your bra for a moment."

Magicians of course have been impertinent from the beginning, knowing that personal stakes create tension. Tension equals drama. Laughter is bound to ensue.

Magicians also inspire a weird kind of trust. WE are beneign tricksters. We wouldn't harm anyone or damage their property. We are magical. The whole business is illusory. So...

"Let me borrow your watch, put it in this bag, and smash it with a hammer!"

"Please put your head in this head chopper!"

"Watch as I grind your wedding ring into fairy dust!"

"Look how your watch has just stopped!"

"Voila! Your anniversary ring has disappeared!"

"Let me borrow your $100 bill."

Of course, this only MY quirkiness.

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Postby Matthew Field » 12/19/02 11:29 AM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
Of course, this only MY quirkiness.
I worked a Christmas party last night and in looking over my repertoire, I realized there was a preponderance of card effects. Flashy revelations, but card effects nonetheless.

So I considered "Ring Flite," and I've got a real nice piece of apparatus, I've practiced the trick -- maybe I'd try it out?

I didn't do it. I thought about how I'd feel if I saw my wife's wedding ring/engagement ring dangling from a keycase.

Is that entertainment?

Not for me. I found something else.

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Postby Pete Biro » 12/19/02 01:47 PM

Has anyone worked out a trick where you borrow a ring from someone and it appears on their body hanging from a pierced object? :D :rolleyes: :D
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Postby Guest » 12/21/02 06:01 PM


However, I am working on a version of #$%^ where the folded card hangs off my magic partner's ear ring. I then tear of the card and his ear.

I also have trouble finding people to borrow rings etc. I think that the key may be to pick one person and ask them rather then the whole room.

Still need help on that though.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/21/02 08:33 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Has anyone worked out a trick where you borrow a ring from someone and it appears ...
I would suggest using a key. maybe their car key. anyway rings don't like to get scratched or whipped around.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/21/02 10:27 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
I would suggest using a key. maybe their car key.
House Key. Greater time delay...

Some years ago I suggested to a friend (Toby Wessel) that if he used a key instead of a borrowed ring that he'd find two benefits:
No chance of damaging a customers property
During the drive home they'd be wondering if "their" key would open the front door so when it DID they'd re-experience the magic

He took the idea and worked up a routine that's quite entertaining. You can find it on page 197 of Real World Magic by Jerry MacGregor.

Toby added a touch that I love. He has the key initialed with a marker... which leads to the thought that he might be using a duplicate key and from there to the spectator wondering if the key is really his...
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