“Penny for Your Thoughts” – Alexander Pierce


Alexander Pierce is a talented artist in many ways, including a love for magic.  Every 10 years or so, you will find a local talent that really sticks out …  We have had some great ones from Nick St. Erne, Bill Gardner, John Born, Mark Tolland and most recently Alexander Pierce.  Alexander has true passion and respect. He’s one of those people that you meet that makes you really think about if re-incarnation is real, because he’s like an old soul, who also had an incredible respects for looking BACK into magic history for his foundation instead of in the “current” arena.  This guy is very unique, trust us, we know how to spot them when they arrive into our humble brick and mortar magic shop, and just as I stated at the start, it happens only once in about 10 years.  Thus we are happy to share with you this contribution from Alexander Pierce.

Origin: When I was experimenting with ideas to personalize the effect “Trebor’s The Electronic Rating Pen” I came across I nice handling and effect I now call a “penny for your thoughts” it in my opinion is just as strong as the original and it is a bit different. I always liked The “ERP”, If you are not familiar with it The ”ERP” is a transposition effect where the participant is shown a penny and a dime and the dime is placed in a hand then closed and turned over and a second coin the penny is place a top the turned over fist a fountain pen is shown and examined and then tapped on top of the penny and the dime then appears in place of the penny on top of the hand and when the hand is opened inside is the penny. A very strong effect and I highly recommend you give it a try ”Penny for Your Thoughts” has a mental magic touch which I like and is very fun to perform I hope you give it a try as well.

Effect: A penny is placed a top a closed fist and a fountain pen is shown and giving out to be examined. Then the participant is asked if they have heard the phrase, “penny for your thoughts”. Then the magician says well let me try something with you. Please think of a single word that would describe something they might want for the world like “happiness” or “Love”. The Magician then asks the participant to concentrate on their word as the focus their eyes on the penny. The fountain pen is then tapped twice on the back of the hand and then a third tap is on the penny which is then visually changed into a small peace symbol charm. The Participant is then asked if they may have been thinking of the word peace and if they had it is a powerful miracle and the charm is then given as a souvenir. Every once in a while they do not select the word peace, but you say that to go along with the word they had selected the peace symbol helps accompany which ever word is selected. Either way the peace symbol charm is given away as a souvenir.
Needed: What you will need is a penny shell. A peace symbol charm that is small enough to fit underneath the penny shell. A magnetic pen used in the “Electronic Rating Pen” effect. You could also use the pen-o-tration pen put out by magic makers originally developed by John Cornelius and released as “Pen Thorough Anything” which has the magnetic pen tip remove the magnetic pen tip and you now have a magnetic end of pen which can be used just as well as the “ERP” Gimmick.

Method: A pen is shown to the participant and asked if they wouldn’t mind holding on to the pen as the hold on to the pen you borrow their other hand. Ask the participant to make a fist and place their fist about heart level. Take out the penny shell and already have the peace charm loaded underneath it. At this point ask to have the pen back from the participant and place the penny on the top side of their fist ask him or her to hold the fist steady so the penny has a flat surface to rest upon (this also helps keep the gimmick from sliding off the back of the hand as to expose the secret) with the pen In hand ask the participant have they ever heard “a penny for your thoughts” if they have or haven’t just proceed to the next part of the effect now ask them to “please think of a single word that might describe something they may want for the world“ tell them this word could be “love” or even “happiness” then repeat yourself by saying “please just think of a single word, do you have one” when they say “yes” then ask them to concentrate on the word they have selected as they focus their eyes on the penny that is placed on the back of their hand. Now take the pen into writing position (however you would write with the tip of the pen) and with the magnetic end then tap to the left side of the penny then to the right side of the penny then strike the penny. As you strike the penny the magnetic end of the pen will pick up the penny showing the peace symbol charm underneath. At that moment with your 3rd and 4th fingers (ring and pinky fingers) extend them out as to grab the penny shell now attached to the magnetic end of the pen rotate the pen about ninety degrees down as you do this as to cover the action. Ask the participant what word had they selected and simultaneously take the pen and the penny shell and place them in your pocket. (You may also have the pen examined if you would like) if their word was peace you have now changed a penny into a symbol representing the word they have selected which is an amazing moment in my opinion because you have taken a word in the participant’s mind and by the tap of a pen found a way to visually communicate the idea that what they were thinking of now has appeared on the back of their hand as to reinforce the idea you may have known what they were thinking. Thus creating a powerful peace of magic (pun intended) and you may give the peace charm away as a souvenir (Often times they will select peace and you are attempting to nudge them in the direction of selecting the word peace but there is no guarantee they will select it) if they happen to not select “peace” and let’s say for arguments sake they choose “trust”(or any other word they choose) never fear just allow them to know that you have just changed a penny into a peace symbol inform them that peace and trust equivalent to each other and run hand in hand. “With trust it’s always a good idea to have peace.” And they may keep the peace symbol as a souvenir to remind them that trust and peace are always important and never forget they will always help you on your journey in life.

You ask for the help from a participant “Have you ever heard the phrase a penny for your thoughts.” “Well I would like to show you an interesting thing with a penny.” (you can now place the penny in their palm, on the back of the hand or you could also to avoid the chance of the participant feeling the charm under the penny shell you could place it on any flat surface) “I would like you to think of something you might want for the world a single word like love or happiness but not love or happiness since I have just used those single words as examples.” (Give the participant a second to do so)” Do you have a word in mind? Very good, please focus on the word you have selected.” (You may now take out your gimmicked pen and place it into writing grip on the end of the pen as described above) “As you focus on the word you have selected please also focus your eyes on the penny as you concentrate on the word you have chosen.” (You may now ask what word they have selected and then change the penny to the charm or you could also change the penny to the charm then ask what word they have selected which ever you prefer the rest of this routine describes if you ask before the change of the penny and the participant not selecting the word peace)” will you please say out loud what word you are concentrating on?”(The participant now says out loud the word trust) “Trust is a very good word and the world would be a better place if we had a little more of it in our lives. I was also thinking of word and the word I am thinking of is peace, and in my opinion peace is synonymous with trust. Please focus on the penny.”(Now make the change turning the penny into the peace charm) “I hope we can both agree that peace and trust would help make the world a better place. I would like to give you this charm and please have it as a souvenir and whenever you look at it I hope it may brighten up your day and thank you that was a penny for your thoughts.”

As I described in the origin and method this effect can also become a peace of mental magic if the participant happened to select the word peace and if they do play up to the idea you turned the penny in to the word they had thought of but even if they don’t I think it is a very visual peace of magic and it also gives a gift at the end. No matter the selection of the word don’t detour from the magic whether it be a mental miracle or just a visual one in the wise words of Werner Erhard “Ride the horse in the direction that it is going.” I am still in search of the best please to get peace charms in bulk amounts flat and small enough to fit under a penny shell but if you search out craft stores or the internet I am sure you can find something that suits you. I also think that any coin shell could be used and with any size charm as long as it fits into the patter of your routine. Find what works best to fit your personality and patter.
I do hope you like this routine and find enjoyment in performing it. – Alexander Pierce [email protected]