What We Can Learn From “Greed”

Daniel Garcia’s “Greed” is an excellent trick with one major flaw. But man is there a lot we can learn from its construction and concept. Here are some good tidbits:

Logical and Emotional Hook

“Greed” is the most requested trick by our audience. “Turn by dollar into a hundred,” is a challenge every magician has heard countless times. Offering to perform such a feat immediately grabs the attention of your audience and appeals to their intelligence and emotion. This is exactly what they would do if they were a magician!

A Twist

But Daniel Garcia doesn’t just take their bill and turn it into a hundred. No, he takes this standard plot and gives a twist- making it a sequential change from a one, to a five, to a ten, and so on. Garcia isn’t the first to do this, but it something we can take away from “Greed.” See if there is something else you can do with a plot: can you shorten it, lengthen it, etc?


One of the selling points of “Greed” is how visual it is. The changes do look like camera tricks, and is what helps set it apart from similar tricks. “Greed” appears very streamline and appeals to the audience which it is designed for.


The best part of “Greed” is the ending, where the twenty dollar bill turns into a fifty cent coin. It is logical yet surprising. It is also more amazing than the bill turning into a fifty dollar bill. The construction also leaves the magician “cleaner” than he was a second ago. All heat is on the coin, which can be examined or even kept by the audience member.


“Greed” has a moral- a lesson to teach. “Don’t get greedy,” is an awesome way to end the routine! If played right, the audience is edging the magician on and on, to make more money and to do more and more impossible magic. Finally he ends with a visual and startling transformation of a bill into a coin, exceeding all expectations for magic- while also pointing out the greed of the audience. I think this is an incredible moment for close-up magic. Can we give other routines similar commentary?

The Problem

As great as “Greed” is, it has a major problem as I alluded to earlier. It is constructed backwards! The first color change of the bill is the best. Each fold makes each transformation less and less impressive. You can barely see the change from the ten to the twenty on camera! This is an unfortunate side effet of not being a “real” magician. However, it is important as a magician to be aware of the weaknesses of our tricks so we can attempt to fix the routine, strengthen the weak parts, or cut the whole thing from our repertoire. You can’t have everything in your show. Don’t get greedy!

Know somebody who needs to hear this? Please pass it along to them!

Have your own insights? Please comment below!

Did you really read this far down? Thank you so much, you are awesome!

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