Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Final Thoughts on "Bank Night"

I wanted to talk a little bit about what to place into the "loser" envelopes during the Bank Night effect. It seems that most modern versions of this effect use lottory tickets. This is a fantastic idea and I use it in my performances. The lotto tickets are cheap and there is a chance that someone could win something off of the ticket. I hope people do win so that they will remember me forever. Lee Earle shows his class by pre-signing the back of each of the lottery tickets so that if the spectator does win big he will need Earle's assistance to cash in the ticket - very classy indeed.

Other things can be used intstead of lottory tickets. In tradeshow performances why not fill the "loser" envelopes with coupons, discounts, or vouchers for the company you are working for? Instead of winning actual money the spectator wins discounts for the company. Working a night club? Why not fill the "losers" with free drink coupons? In a restaurant use coupons for free meals or appetizers insuring that the spectators will return to the restaurant in the future. In other words, fill the "losers" with something appropriate for the venue you are working.

Also, I think the Bank Night Effect gives the performer a perfect opportunity to give out his business card. Take Osterlind's handling for example. In his handling, the last spectator envelope contains four lotto tickets that are handed out to all of the players. The other three spectators only received a blank slip of paper inside their envelopes. Instead of using blank paper, why not throw a business card in there? This way, three of the spectators will walk away with your contact information after just one effect. To me, this is a great way to give out your card. It works well because the spectator still gets a prize, but he also gets your card.

Well, that is enough on Bank Night for a while. There are so many other things to discuss....

20 Comments:

Blogger Scott Ocheltree said...

I have used a version that Jim Steinmeyer published in MAGIC magazine called "Playing for Keeps".

In this version 5 volunteers each put up a $20 bill. One of the spectators puts the bills in an envelope, four other envelopes with newspaper are sealed by the volunteers. Each volunteer gets a free choice, then they get to mix them up. then they each select a set of instructions which they are free to exchange with one another. In the end, four of the volunteers destroy their envelops (the original routine calls for burning them, but I use a shredder) in the end the last envelope is opened to reveal the collective $100 they risked.

It's strong because the audience does all the handling, their money is on the line, but in the end THEY win, and it doesn't cost the magician a thing!

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Hi.

Using largely the Osterlind routine, I have gone one step further in taking the "sting" out. When I open my own envelope, I find that, instead of the $100 bill, I have an IOU from my son (he needed gas money). So ultimately I am the loser -- everyone else has lotto tickets. It shows I am not infallible, since I didn't "foresee" that the bill was removed. Of course, I can't use the actual cash to generate interest as you have proposed, but my approach seems fine to me. (Oh, and I use Max Maven's method of controlling the IOU -- the Osterlind method crunches it up too much for my taste).

jim

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