A Routine by Richard Busch for David Roth’s Eraser Coin
Written by Richard Busch
For ease of explanation, I will assume you have purchased the late great David Roth’s wonderful Eraser Coin and treasure it as much as I do. It truly is a rare mixture of diabolical ingenuity, and equally diabolical simplicity!
As you know, right from the start, David presented the coin at the Left-Hand fingertips. We will call this “Display Position.” He then erased or rubbed away different parts of the coin three times in order to “clean it.” He ended by revealing his thumbprint as “proof that he actually erased” parts of the coin. He said the performer “must hand the coin out for people to look at.” Simply brilliant! A masterpiece!!
Looking at this from a mentalist’s or psychic entertainer’s perspective, I’ve gone a very different way with it, to a very different destination. In my presentation, I always seek to create an imaginary coin via the Power of Suggestion. My premise is to produce an imaginary coin out of nowhere, essentially do David’s routine, and then the imaginary coin – or rather what’s left of it – vanishes into nothingness. In other words, back to where it came from … a mere figment of the imagination. There never really was a real, solid coin to hand out for anyone to look at. Was there? And yet, everyone saw it. Or did they? Well, that’s the mystery as I see it, and how I perform it.
Begin in one of two ways: (1) Have the Roth coin in the Right Hand, finger palmed, heads side toward your palm, triangle facing due west towards the curled fingers. Or (2) Roth coin is in the right pants pocket. With practice, you will learn to feel with your Right Thumb that the heads side is smooth, and the tails side is rough. Learn to assume the get-ready position while your Right Hand is in your Right-Hand pants pocket. A little practice goes a long way! Then when the time will be right, you will be able to remove your Right Hand from the pocket with the Roth coin in perfect “ready” position. Either option, you are now ready to begin.
With the Roth coin concealed in a Right-Hand finger palm, point to your empty Left Hand palm. “In our lives, we’ve all had the common experience of handling change.” Point with your extended Right index finger to an invisible penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. “We’ve also occasionally held larger, more uncommon coins.” Point to an invisible half dollar, silver dollar, Sacagawea dollar, and Susan B. Anthony dollar.
Pretend to remove the invisible half dollar with your Right Thumb and index finger, and “carefully” place it in Left Hand Display Position. Pretend to rub it with your extended Right index finger. Invite your participant(s) to do exactly the same thing with their invisible half dollar. This not only creates involvement, but also provides us with a very strong redirection of attention.
Now, let’s finish the get-ready. Keeping your Right Hand still, raise your invisible coin in Left Hand Display Position to “freely display it.” With your focus firmly on the Left Hand, place your Right Thumb on the back of the Roth coin, straighten your Right fingers, and only then lower your Left Hand back near your Right Hand. Under the guise of rubbing the invisible coin with your extended Right fingers, load the Roth coin in Display Position. Yes, this is the world’s easiest one-coin Spellbound. Photo One.
When the Roth coin is briefly covered up by your straightened four fingers, assume David’s unique grip, go to a two finger then one finger rubbing motion, and then, ever so slowly, reveal the “imaginary” coin for the very first time! I promise you, properly presented, if you follow my exact handling, the Roth coin will seem to appear …out of nowhere! Photo Two.
Now you’ll perform the David Roth routine. I never use the eraser because there is nothing really there to clean! Instead, I always use my finger. Since the coin isn’t really there (thus the term: there’s no there, there), I show its ephemeral nature by making it vanish by rubbing it away, a little bit at a time, for visual impact. Such is the Power of Suggestion.
As you’re coming to increasingly appreciate, this is NOT a magician’s coin trick or vanish! I am creating a hypnotic with the Roth coin, and as a lifelong hypnosis professional, do so proudly!!
Now reason with me. I can’t logically end after David’s three surprise vanishes (brilliant as they are!), because my premise is not satisfied. Therefore, I can’t be finished. Why? Because Kennedy’s profile is still entirely visible! So, let’s go ahead and make the final vanish.
With the heads side facing the participant(s), hold the Roth coin vertically between the thumb and fingertip of the middle finger of the Right Hand. Photo Three.
Extend the middle finger of the Left Hand to rub the Roth coin a few times. Then you will pretend to remove the Roth coin with the three fingers and opposing thumb of the Left Hand, raise your Left Hand higher to apparently display the Roth coin, and continue making a rubbing sound with your Left Thumb.
As you may have surmised, what really happened is the Roth coin softly and silently dropped into a Right-Hand finger palm. Photo Four.
As you keep looking at the moving Left Hand, which is still making the rubbing sound, your Right Hand moves toward your Right ear, concealing the Roth coin in Ramsay Subtlety* (a finger palm grip, where the palm is seen quite empty as the curled fingers hide the Roth coin, see Photo Five) as you make the same rubbing sound (with your Right Thumb and index finger) near your own Right ear.
*The Ramsay Subtlety is not original with John Ramsay. He never claimed it was. It probably goes back to at least 1877 and Henri Herrmann. Amazingly, Ramsay was born in 1877!
Both hands are now rubbing, creating the energy behind the mystical powers of dematerialization from across the Seven Seas, I suppose.
Lastly, extend your Left Hand to your closest Participant’s Right ear so they can hear the rubbing sound, just as you did. To do this, they must naturally turn their head to their Left. Bring your still rubbing Right Hand back into frame near your Left Hand, both hands now in front of you. Stop the rubbing and as slowly as dramatically, open both hands. Exclaim, “Oh my G-d! I must have rubbed a little too hard!” The Roth coin is now, quite gone! “But you did see the coin both appear and vanish, little by little. Aren’t Suggestion, Hallucination, and the Power of the Mind wonderful things to behold? … Oh yes!”
Of course, the Roth coin has long been in your Right pants pocket, from whence it came. The perfect time to ditch it is when your Participant’s head is forced to turn to his Left by your extended Left Arm and Hand. The misdirection here, or as I prefer to call it, redirection of attention, is perfect!
In my approach, the Roth coin receives a strict end-over-end handling, touching only the top and bottom. Obviously, we never want to cover the gaffs once they’ve come into view and risk tipping any of David’s secrets.
When the routine calls for it, both HEADS and TAILS are clearly shown at the fingertips, at arm’s length. Since it is never handed out for people to touch, the Roth coin remains untouched by unkosher hands. During these days of Covid, that’s a plus! And since the Roth coin was only seen and never physically touched, it adds another layer of sensory doubt. Was it ever really there?
At the conclusion of your performance, I am certain that some of you with a certain twinkle in your eyes may wish to pass out some invisible coins as souvenirs. A few of you might even want to do so with great relish. Now mind you, I personally don’t recommend it. But if you do, and anyone takes one and places it in their pocket or purse, run!
I have a few more technical bits of business to add some convincing sizzle to this routine, but that’ll have to keep for a lecture or other teaching opportunity. Something to look forward to. But you now have the basic gist of the routine.
Thank you, David Roth, for a perfectly masterful routine from you… The Master! And all with one, very special coin. I consider myself fortunate just to have one in my pocket. And if you don’t already have one in your pocket, you really should. You’ll then feel just as fortunate as I do. I predict it! No, I more than predict it. I guarantee it!
N.B. As a retired Ericksonian clinical hypnotherapist for 40+ years, funnily enough, I could perform this entire routine without David’s coin, using nothing but words! Hallucination is a very powerful method for those who can evoke it. Talk about working impromptu!
Richard Busch is a multi-award-winning creator, writer, and teacher of original mentalism, psychic and hypnotic entertainment. Busch’s most mature works include: His best billet work in Peek Ovations (with the biggest, clearest peeks and heretofore undreamt-of purposes) completes the Busch Peek Trilogy. His completely hands-off, shuffled, UNTOUCHABLE ACAAN (where the participant shuffles the deck and can even deal first!) is in his Busch At Any Number… And Other Think-A-Cards: No Gimmicks, No Gaffs, No Memory, No Stacks. The IMP Technique, Invisible Dice, Invisible Wallet, Invisible Mind Probe, and more invisible and visible delights, all remain unpublished, taught only in his Teaching Master Class or private (in person or virtual) One-on-One.
Busch is the father of the Hypnotic Relationship in performance and commonly uses all his skills to create effects and methods. His “The Busch Effect” defines this creative formula.
Richard Busch and his wife Cynthia have been inseparable for almost 50 years. Richard doesn’t live his life with her… he lives his life through her!
This is his #1 secret. And most important one.
David Roth’s Eraser Coin
The eraser coin is the most devious and easiest of the many David Roth creations. It combines an optical illusion with a great premise. Many people consider it his greatest routine.
You show a coin and then using an eraser you begin rubbing the edge of the coin until it slowly starts disintegrating. You do the same to the other end of the coin until the round coin begins to look like a triangle. You then start erasing the face of the coin until it becomes blurry… except for the area that you were holding with your fingers. The unique looking coin you are left with is now examinable.
This new edition of the Eraser Coin has been modified slightly from the original to make the erased coin look more realistic and visually satisfying.
Comes complete with the special coin, an eraser, and access to an online video tutorial by David Roth.
Watch and buy your own Eraser Coin: HERE