Valentine's day is coming up. There is a history in magical performances of trying to make things "romantic" by adding the most blatant and obvious love symbolism to the effect: hearts and roses and stuff like that. So instead of sponge balls, they'll do a trick with sponge hearts. There is nothing romantic about the presentation, it's just sponge balls with sponge hearts. Many magicians are just dumb enough to believe that doing an effect with props laden with banal symbolism will maybe make someone fall for them, even though there is nothing warm or personal about the effect at all.
It would be the equivalent of writing someone a love poem that went like this:
Hearts and roses and love
Love and kisses and hugs
The sweet embrace of love
Doves and champagne and a fireplace
And one of those wine glass hot-tubs
And more hearts and rose petals
And the most loving love
Stars in the sky and the moon too
And roses and stuff
In the third issue of my newsletter, X-Communication, I reviewed the effect, The Souvenir by Henri White. In that review I noted a number of issues I had with the effect and then offered some alternate presentational ideas that I believe minimize or eliminate those issues.
The effect that follows is another presentation for The Souvenir that I believe also addresses those issues and would be good for Valentine's Day too. It involves a mild invasion of personal space that could be a gently intimate moment (although, knowing you, you'll likely fumble it into something creepy).
The effect is this, you have your spectator select and sign a card. You then tear a small hole out of the middle of the card. Assuming your spectator is wearing a necklace, you ask her to spin it around so the clasp is in front of her and to wrap her fist around the clasp so there's no way anything can get on or off the necklace. You then step behind her, lean in, and connect the card to her necklace the same way you would to the wine glass in the original effect. Step back in front of her and have her spin her necklace around, the card will, impossibly, be dangling from the necklace.
The method is straight from the DVD. But doing it behind your spectator gives you all the time you need to make it look right. And I just feel there's something potentially fascinating about doing something secretive, inches away from someone, and with something attached to their body.
It does lack the "impossible object" nature of attaching the card to a wine glass, but that doesn't bother me too much. Sometimes it's nice to have that magic moment that you can freeze forever, but I also think there's something to be said for a moment that only you two shared and then it was gone.
However, if you like the personal nature of this effect and do want to extend that magic moment, try this... Take your phone and turn on the video camera, do a 360 around your spectator showing that her necklace is normal. Then have her spin the clasp to the front and instead of holding the clasp she takes the camera in both hands and records herself. You go behind her, the clasp never goes out of site, and the card links on. Now you have video proof of the impossibility of the object.
Or, if you have this type of relationship with your spectator, you can retain the "impossible object" effect of the original by linking the card to her bra strap or her underwear.