Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Small Addition to Osterlind's Bank Night Presentation

I have added a small new addition to Osterlind's handling of "Bank Night". As usual, this description will be vague in order to avoid exposing the method behind Osterlind's effect. However, those of you who own the effect should not have a problem following along. If, for some reason, you need clarification or don't understand my ramblings you can email me and I will be happy to elaborate.

My additional handling comes before the effect truely begins. I like to walk in front of the spectators holding a crisp $100 bill very openly for all to see. I then take out an envelope and clearly and cleanly place the bill inside the envelope and seal it up. Then I take out four other envelopes that have been pre-sealed and I mix them all together so that nobody knows which envelope contains the money. Then I number the envelopes in front of everyone and proceed with the effect as described on Osterlind's "Mind Mysteries" DVD.

At first glance this addition doesn't seem like much, but I think that it adds greatly to the effect. First, I walk in front of the audience holding money. This ALWAYS quiets the crowds and gets everyone's attention. People are drawn to money because deep down we are all greedy sons-of-bitches. Second, the audience sees the money go into the envelope so they know it is a real game. They know they could win real money and they take the game seriously (those greedy bastards). I think that one of the weakness of other Bank Night plots is that the audeince really isn't sure what is at stake. Even if they are told it is money they only half believe it because they have not seen the money. Finally, it builds a great deal of suspense. After all, it was Pavlov who taught us that the dogs don't salavate unless you ring the bell. In this case, the audience won't fully appreciate the stakes or the "real" chance they have at winning the money unless they actually see the cash being placed in an envelope. You cannot get more drama than having the entire audience know that there is real money in one of those envelopes and they will have a free choice to try and win that money.

So how do you accomplish such a feat? Well, Osterlind gives us the method in his DVD by showing us how to reveal the money in the last envelope. In other words, watch the DVD and see how Osterlind removes the 100 dollar bill from his envelope. Now, take that method and reverse it so that instead of removing the bill you are placing it inside the envelope (If that isn't clear email me I will be more specific). This method is simple and clean and VERY convincing - you place the money in the envelope and then show your hand completely empty (implying the bill must be in the envelope) then the envelope is sealed and the game begins.

This little addition has really increased the reactions I have gotten from the effect. Many times I even hand out the money for inspection prior to placing it in the envelope to prove it is real money. Give it a try and see if it makes a difference in your performances.

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