Effect: The magician pulls out a single half dollar, places it on the spectators hand, and she is able to feel the weight. Obviously a rather light object. It is then placed on the table, and the magician offers to try an experiment in hypnosis, one which will temporarily eliminate the spectator's physical strength. The coin will be used as the subject.
The magician looks deep into the spectator's eyes, and suddenly snaps his fingers, suggesting the spectator has just been placed into the temprary trance. The half dollar is laid flat on the table, and the magician uses a single finger to gently push the half dollar over toward the spectator. He then asks the spectator to return the favour, and use a single finger to push the coin back in his direction. She attempts and, alas, cannot move the coin at all. As much as she strains, the coin will not budge. The magician then immediately pushes it further toward the spectator with great ease, and asks the spectator to return the favour. Again, she finds it impossible to move the coin at all. With another snap of the fingers, the magician breaks the hypnotic trance and the spectator can now easily push the coin along the table.
Method: Unfortunately, this is not an impromptu effect. But what I love about it is that there is no switch required for the coin at any time in the routine... the same coin is in play from beginning to end.
To perform this effect, you will require a felt close-up pad, and a gimmick known as a Hook Coin. This is available at many magic shops and is simply a half dollar with a tiny little hooked pin on one side. This is useful for a hold out or a complete vanish of the coin, since it can easily attach itself to the magician's clothing. Buying a hook coin was, in my opinion, well worth it just to perform this little idea... I've used it a few times and it gets fantastic reactions.
First off, a test run... place the Hook Coin on your close up mat with the pin's tip facing in your direction. The pin side of the coin is facing down at this point. Use one finger, and push the coin forward. Easily accomplished, right? Now, rotate the coin 180 degrees so the tip of the pin is facing away from you. Try to repeat the pushing action. You will find it is completely impossible. This is because the tiny hook has attached itself to the felt of the close-up pad and will not detach itself unless the coin is picked up or moved back in the opposite direction. This is essentially the method. Make sure you have the Hook Coin in your pocket, and a close-up pad readily available, and you're all set to perform!
In performance, make sure the spectator sits opposite to where you are positioned. Lay down the close-up pad, and remove the half dollar. Now, with precise management and positioning, you may even place the coin flat on the spectator's hand and allow them to feel the weight of the coin. However, if you don't want to risk them feeling or seeing the tiny hook, you may start off with an ungimmicked coin and execute a switch, or simply not let them hold the coin at all. After all, they do have the general idea of how much a coin weighs.
Explain that you wish to try a simple hypnosis experiment to which there will be no dangerous effects or permanent damage. Place the coin close to the back edge of your close-up pad (the edge closest to you). When you place it down, make sure the hook side of the coin is face down, and the hook's tip is pointing in your direction.
Quickly gaze into the spectator's eyes and suddenly snap your fingers. This implies the trance has officially been placed, temprarily draining the strength from the spectator. To prove this, use your single index finger to gently push the coin toward the spectator. Stop pushing when the coin has reached the center of the mat. Ask the spectator to repeat this, using a single finger to try to push the coin back over to you. She can push as hard as she wants, the coin will never move. Trust me, no damage will come to your coin... there is not enough strength in the index finger to cause the hook gimmick any harm.
The spectator will be disoriented. When she has finished trying to push the coin, reach over and gently pick it up a few inches off the table, explaining how light it is and how she shouldn't have any trouble moving it. Place it back down flat on the pad, making sure the hook is still in the same direction it originally was in. Use your index finger and push the coin even closer to the spectator. Ask her to repeat the process, and again, she cannot. This is really a stunning and powerful moment, so allow it to sink in.
At this point, pick the coin up off the table, and with the other hand, snap your fingers, thus brining the spectator out of her trance. When doing this, secretly rotate the coin around 180 degrees so the hook's tip now points in the direction of the spectator. Place the coin back down on the table, and allow her to try pushing it toward you again. This time, she will be successful, therefore meaning the trance has been broken and the bizarre experience has come to an end.
Any thoughts, comments, questions, or possible history on this? It is greatly appreciated! Thank you!