The Perfect Window Envelope

PETER WARLOCK

T HE USE of a window envelope as a means of ascertaining the writing of a spectator upon a card is a subterfuge which has never been completely explored. Whilst both Bill Wagner and Jim Thompson have added their own particular quota to a first rate utility device, until we started using the method about to be described we have never been completely happy about the handling.

It was in January of this year that we hit this particular idea and its christening (in conjunction with a slate effect) was in our " Credulity of Man " lecture.

Briefly the effect from the audience's point of view is that a person writes something, unknown to the performer, upon a visiting card. This card is placed inside an envelope which is left in the same spectator's possession. The knowledge of what has been written is immediately available to the performer.

Those who have made use of window envelopes in the past will know full well that one of the most necessary things has been that the card used should exactly fit the envelope in which it is placed. In this method there is no necessity for this, and in fact whilst the size of the envelope is 4in. by 2fin. the size of the card is that of the normal small visiting card, i.e. 3in. by l|in.

Let's get down to brass tacks. First of all you will require a packet of envelopes of a size similar to that just mentioned. From one of these, out of what one might consider the address side, a window is cut. The measurements should be 3^in. by 2in. A piece of cellophane the size of the envelope is now taken. With the aid of a strong adhesive it is now stuck to that portion of the envelope surrounding the cut-out. The next step is to clip off, with a pair of scissors, the small flap of the treated envelope. Now take one of the remaining envelopes, and place it address side down on the table and bend back the flap; in it insert a blank visiting card similar to that on which the spectator will be asked to write something such as a name, etc. Place the faked envelope cellophane sidp down on top and then place both envelopes on top of those remaining and then fold down the flap of the second envelope. If this is being done some time before the show is taking place, place an elastic band round the stack of envelopes. This is removed, however, immediately prior to performance. With a visiting card at hand you are ready for that part of the trick that demands your knowledge of the information written by the spectator.

Pick up the envelopes with the left hand and the card with the right. Go to a spectator and ask him or her to write down a name, etc., on the card. As they take the card take from your pocket a pencil and hand this to them also. Tell them not to let anyone see what they are writing, but to let you know when they have finished. You now half turn away as they start to write. When they signal that they have completed the chore, turn round, take back the pencil and! drop it back into the pocket then taking the card, writing side down, flip back the flap of the envelope containing the card and slide it into the faked envelope. Let them see that it goes right inside, and in doing this handle the card in such a manner that they also see that there is no funny business going on. At this stage the left hand will be holding the envelopes almost horizontally. Immediately the card is inside, raise the left hand and as the envelopes reach an almost vertical position, the right hand takes the flap of the second envelope which contains the blank card and pulls it clear of the stack.

VOLUME SEVEN - NUMBER TWO - 1/6. - NOVEMBER 1952

(20 CENTS)

The performer folds this envelope in half and hands it to the spectator asking him to keep hold of it until such time as the performer directs.

Moving back to his table, the stack of envelopes is apparently casually placed down, actually the packet is turned over and the fingers of the hand push forward the faked envelopes so that it takes up a position at the rear of the stack shown in Figure 2.

The writing on the card is, of course, visible through the cellophane and the performer can note it immediately.

We have mentioned the placing of the envelopes on the table because at this point we pick up a couple of slates, and such an action is therefore justified. It is, of course, just as easy to turn the packet over whilst holding it, the envelope containing the information being sighted say in the course of passing the packet into the other hand.

As a further point of interest-, the slate effect that we carry on with is one described by ourselves in Best Tricks With Slates and Slates, a Learner's Course under the title of " Cohesive Colours." It is a version of Annemann's very fine " Club Slate effect" which appeared in Ssssh, It's a Secretl One point we have added to the original method outlined (mainly because most of the effects in this lecture are supposedly test condition) is that the •corner of each slate surface is initialled in -pencil, by a spectator. Quite a number of people these days have heard about flaps and this nullifies, such thoughts when the effect is concluded. The reason for using pencil becomes obvious as the trick proceeds.

If we are working the effect at close quarters, we prefer to use the method that we disclosed under the title of " Pieces of Slate " in the Phoenix.

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