I don´t really know how to age your key, but here it is something you may consider: -Are both artifacts (the key and the Pandora box) supposed to be from the same period? In my mind there is no need for both to match, unless your backstory really calls for it. Why can´t the box be older, and the key newer, or vice versa? Surely, if you have been adquiring these strange artifacts, you didn´t come upon them all at once, did you? Another idea for you, is the key may have been better taken care of than the box, so, even if they are from the same period, why can´t the key be in better shape? I have an old coin from 1924 which looks brand new (I use it on a string as a pendulum) and another one exactly the same, which looks as if it survived a train accident... As you can see, just because something is old, doesn´t mean it has to look decrepit. If my point of view does not satisfy you and your needs, I suggest you try to contact prof BC. It is his creation, so, who better than the creator to know what can be done? As for your statement that you need more confidence to let it work on the spectator´s hands, that is the point of the key, to happen on their hands. You know how to make it work, right? You read the instructions on how to make it work for the participant, right? It is not supposed to be a magic trick. Magic tricks work every time. Supernatural phenomena does not. Do you get my point? Tell the story well enough that they will think something strange may happen. Then, it probably will. If not, well, as I said, supernatural phenomena is not a magic trick, and does not work every time. The story should be interesting enough without the effect. It is not about the médium, the mentalist or the magician. It is about the participant, the object and the story. If there is an effect involved, all the better, if not, well, storytellers don´t need tricks to tell their stories do they? I hope this is helpful. If you need further help, please let me know. All the best!
Francis Mortimer, The Ghost Collector
P-S- By the way, my posts on the other threads may be of interest you. They relate to backstories, presentations, theory...
Thank you Francis. Your comments helped me thinking outside the box.
The tip of the key is clearly unused. Looks like it never opened anything. I know that if a participant notice it , maybe I can say that's because the key did not opened material objects, but under certain circumstances it allows to open the invisible, the spirit world.
What do you think is the less suspiscious. An aged one or a clean one? I just want to know if you guys use your key the way it is or if you aged it with substances. Did any of you scrub sandpaper on the tip?
If I go this way and modify it, I know there is no turning back, so if I feel this is not necessary I will leave it the way it is.
Hi Fred! I´m glad my comments helped you in some way. I searched a bit on how to age metal, before posting this reply, and the most common solution seems to use vinegar to get metal to get a rust - like patina. I would advice you, however, to try this with a spare key that you can experiment on safely, without the risk of ruining an expensive prop (don´t forget the RCG key is supposedly made of bronze, not iron, brass or steel, so, it may age differently than the other metals). I would, however, try to contact Prof BC first, to see if he can help. He is the creator, and he knows a lot about aging props, so I understand. He is the one who would know best. Regarding the confidence, I hope my last post was not perceived as harsh or something, that could not be farther from my intention. We can never be fully confident, without experimenting. When I first performed this type of material, I was almost shaking. I was so insecure. I had practiced and all that, but I could never be fully prepared. That comes from experience. The more you perform, the more confident and natural you look. Back to the key again. To me an old key is less suspicious, but only because age makes it more interesting, and contributes to the story. Old objects have history, new ones don´t. However, if you tell the key was the key of someone´s coffin (insert story here), that of course justifies why the key looks new, because after the funeral the key of the coffin is delivered to one of the relatives to keep, usually in a box similar to a necklace box. As it is kept in the box, it does not age as if it was exposed to the elements. More, if you tell the key was used in some séances, and put back in the box, you further justify it´s strangeness. No need for it to be a cemetery key in the backstory. What about the idea that the key was the key to the coffin of the guy who owned the pandora box before you did? That is quite believable. That way you justify the provenance of the box and the key all at once. This idea may help you, without having to age the key further. Backstories are easier to create than props. All the best!
I agree with Francis, from my limited experience, I believe the story is key (pun intended) to making the effect believable. The props are really window dressing for the story. They help the story come alive, but the story is what the participants are buying into.