Buying Magic

When I performed strolling in restaurants, I would occasionally borrow a dollar, transform it into a hundred, transform it back and return the one to the volunteer.

Why did I do this? Because if I didn’t, it seriously cut into my bottom line.

Occasionally I would give the hundred away (for important clients and in situations where the impact was worth the investment), but I started thinking about how to justify the change and keeping the hundred dollar bill in theatrical context.

A psychological tactic that I believe could be very effective (and to some degree logical) is to “purchase” the dollar bill from the spectator with either a paper dollar, an Ike coin, Susan B. or golden dollar. The premise is that you would like to show them something with a dollar bill, but it only works with bills that you have never touched before (or haven’t owned for any longer than three minutes). You then perform the transformation and then keep the $100… It can be even more effective, psychologically-speaking, if you then pull out your wallet and slide the newly-transformed $100 in with dozens more just like it (although this could hurt potential tipping, if this is a concern for you)…

A dodge for avoiding spectator requests to keep the bill might be something of the following:

I’d love to give it to you, but if I ever gave them away, I’d lose the ability to make more. I’ll just stuff ’em in my mattress when I get home.

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