iVanish

Where to buy it: Ellusionist.com

What it is: A way to make a coin vanish into your eyeball.

Rating: Five disturbing images

Details: There are many magic tricks that nobody in their right mind would perform. These include the Lit Cigarette Nose Vanish, Bazooka Shell Catch, Card to Blender, and Amazing Jonathan's disturbing Self Cannibalization. Here is another.

Ben Seidman has released a DVD on which he performs several stomach-churning effects involving inserting or removing silver dollars from his eyeball. It's horribly disgusting -- so much so that we can say without fear of contradiction that if he performed one of these effects at a bar mitzvah, many spectators would end up wishing they'd gone to a particularly graphic bris instead.

The key to the effects taught on the DVD is a prop that looks like a silver dollar on one side and like the magician's eyeball on the other. When held with one side toward spectators it appears to be a perfectly normal coin, but when clenched in the eye Colonel Klink style appears to be the magician's own eye. By using two of these devices, the magician can make it appear that a coin vanishes into one eye and appears from the other.

Even if you can get past the fact that the trick involves sticking a piece of metal into your eye, this effect is not for everyone. First off, it is quite expensive. The DVD itself is reasonably priced, but having a gimmick made with a close-up-inspection-perfect image of your own eye on it is not. True, the gimmicks are so accurate that they are guaranteed to fool even the highest-tech retina scan security device, but it's not clear of what benefit this is to the average magician.

The second drawback is that a great deal of practice is necessary before the effect can be performed realistically. It is more difficult than you might think to insert a picture of an eye into your eye so that it is perfectly straight. And if you don't do so, you end up with one of your eyes sideways, upside down, or otherwise skewed, and most audiences are sharp enough to notice such a discontinuity.

But even with these drawbacks, iVanish is worth recommending. It is a memorable effect, and the DVD comes with a bonus effect involving sticking a fork in your eye (which, although striking, can only be performed approximately once a year, unless you are a particularly quick healer).

Note: Despite persistent Internet rumors, iVanish is not in any way related to eyeball-magic Web site iTricks.com.End of story

The information on this site is intended for use only by those with a sincere desire to learn nothing about magic and is for entertainment purposes only (in other words, don't try this stuff, particularly the dangerous parts). The Magicians Assistance Collective (MAC) frowns upon the use of magic in the formation of religions or to attract a cult following.

Magic is not real. Reality is not magic.

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