Technicolor Mystery

This routine combines ideas from two of close-up magic's great artists — Larry Jennings and Brother John Hamman.

WHAT THE AUDIENCE SEES: The magician removes four Kings from a blue deck and places them on the table. The magician then takes a red deck (it can be borrowed) and removes a single card, calling it the "mystery card". The "mystery card" is placed in the magician's pocket for safe-keeping. A spectator then removes any card from the red deck. The red-backed selection is then placed among the blue-backed Kings. A magic pass is made over the Kings, and the spectator's selection cleanly vanishes. When the red-backed "mystery card" is cleanly removed from the magician's pocket a moment later, it is found to be the spectator's card!

NEEDED: One blue deck, one red.

TO PERFORM: Take the blue deck, spread through it face-up, and upjog the four Kings. While upjogging the last King, make sure it is upjogged approximately one inch less than the other three Kings. As your right hand starts to strip the Kings out of the deck, secretly push the last King back into the deck with the left forefinger from beneath. The fact that this King is not upjogged as far makes this move easy and invisible.

Casually strip the supposed four Kings out, and cleanly turn them face-down in a pile on the table. It is also necessary that you briefly remember the suit of the King which was stolen back into the deck (say King of Spades).

Put the blue deck off to one side.

Now pick up the red deck, turning it face-up in your hands. Tell the audience that you will take a single card from it and use it as your "mystery card". Run through the red deck with the faces towards you, pretending to study the cards. In fact, you are looking for the King which was stolen back into the blue deck a moment before (King of Spades). When you come to this card, go one card past it, then cut the cards. Turn the red deck face-down in your left hand. This will leave an indifferent card on top followed by the red King of Spades.

Take the top card of the red deck, calling it the "mystery card" and with your left hand, place it in your left coat pocket.

Secretly Gambler's Cop this card in your left hand, and as your left hand comes out of your pocket, add the card back to the bottom of the deck (see FINAL NOTES).

Spread the red deck between your hands, have one selected, then have this card initialed with a felt pen. Take this card (say 4 of Clubs) from spectator, placing it face-up on top of the deck in the left hand. Bring the card up to your face, blowing on it as you say "This gets the ink dry." This is an excuse to get the Ten of Hearts momentarily on top of the deck. While you blow on the card, get a left pinky break beneath the second card from the top (the red King of Spades), and with your right hand take both cards in Biddle grip from the top of the red deck.

Drop the 4 of Clubs (with the hidden King of Spades beneath it) onto the three blue Kings that are lying in a face-down pile on the table. With the left hand place the red deck aside.

Your five card packet on the table should consist of the following cards from the top down: the spectator's red-backed selection (face-up), the red-backed King of Spades (facedown), and the three face-down blue-backed Kings.

With your right hand, carefully pick up the packet and drop it into your left. Casually turn the packet over, spreading the cards with the left thumb. Four face-up Kings followed by one face-down red card will show. Reverse count the Kings into your right hand, with the last (the red-backed King of Spades) being inserted second from the face of the packet. Don't attempt to hide this. With the left fingers, snap the 4 of Clubs face-up, dropping it onto the face of the Kings in your right hand. Drop the packet back into the left hand.

Make some appropriate remark about the four Kings being your "assistants", and again spread the cards, securing a left pinky beneath the King of Spades (third card from the face). Square the cards, pointing at the spectator's selection on the face. Say, "Two things distinguish your card from the Kings. The first is your initials and the other is the card's red back." While saying this, your right fingers enter the left pinky break, holding the three cards above the break as one. Use this card(s) to flip the remaining two Kings in your left hand face-down. Immediately flip the triple in your right hand face-down onto the cards in your left hand. A red back will show. Deal the top card cleanly to the table.

The situation is now this: the spectator believes her card is on the table, when in fact the card is the red-backed King of Spades. The initialed 4 of Clubs is second from the top of the four cards in your left hand.

Say, "A short time ago, I placed a "mystery card" in my pocket, and that card has a red back." While pattering, perform a spin cut in your hands (see Spin cut illustrations #1-4), cutting the top two cards to the bottom. As you square the packet, Gambler's cop the bottom card (4C) in the left hand. Move the right hand forward with its three cards in Biddle grip while the left hand moves backward toward your coat pocket. As the last part of the line "has a red back." is delivered, you should be sticking your left hand into your pocket, and removing the card in your palm with its back showing. Replace the card in the pocket.

Take the three cards in the right hand and Elmsley count them as four. Pick up the red card on the table, and without showing its face, insert it for half its length so it is third from the top of the cards in your hand. Slowly push the red card flush.

Make a magic pass, then click your fingers. Perform the first part of Brother John Hamman's Gemini Count, removing a double card (the second and third cards) from the center. This double consists of a blue King on top, and the red King of Spades beneath. Flip this double over on the cards in your left hand.

Note: a brief description of the Gemini Count. Hold the packet in left hand dealing position. Pull the top card slightly to the left with the left thumb. With the right hand, grip the bottom three cards in Biddle grip. The left forefinger buckles the bottom card slightly, allowing it to pull free from the other three cards. The right hand is now holding the two center cards of the packet. These cards are pulled to the right and flipped face-up onto the packet (see Gemini Count illustrations #1-2).

Say, "The King of Spades." With your right fingers, grip the double at the inner right corner, thumb above and first two fingers beneath. Slide the double to the right. When the left edge of the double touches the right edge of the packet (see KM move illustration #1), the left hand turns palm down. At the same time, your right thumb pulls the King of Spades to the right as the fingers push the lower card to the left and square with the packet (see KM move illustration #2-3, an exposed view).

Drop the face-up King of Spades to the table. With the right hand, move this card around on the table in a small circle, emphasizing its singularity.

Perform these exact same actions with the remaining three blue Kings. This is extremely dramatic and serves to build up to the climax.

After you have dropped the last King to the table, have a spectator remove the "mystery card" from your left coat pocket and take your applause.

ALTERNATIVE VANISH: If you are not comfortable with the Gemini Count, or the KM move, the following vanish can be substituted.

Insert the red card (the red King of Spades) third from the top of the three blue Kings. Now perform an Elmsley count, but as you count the second card (pushing off the top two as you steal back the first card in standard fashion), your left hand turns these two cards face-up. Thumb these two cards onto the table face-up one at a time. The audience will see two Kings, and they will think they have seen two blue backs.

Finish the Elmsley count, turning each card over in your left hand slowly as you do so. The spectator's red backed selection has vanished. Conclude as per the original.

FINAL NOTES: Most magicians are not comfortable using the Gambler's cop. Yet it works, and is undetectable if used with proper misdirection. Performing the Gambler's cop after a spin cut in the hands has worked very well for me under the toughest of conditions. Just remember that after performing the spin cut, move the right hand forward and the left hand back, and the cop will go unnoticed.

I often use a wonderful stratagem of Phil Goldstein's (Max Maven) at the beginning of this routine. At the point where you have removed the "mystery card" and are about to place it into your left coat pocket (and cop it out a moment later) try the following instead:

Hold the "mystery card" in the left hand, the deck in Biddle grip in the right. Now, as you begin to place the "mystery card" into your pocket, swivel the upper portion of your body to the left. Under cover of this movement, the hands come together for a brief moment, and the card in the left hand is stolen back beneath the deck in the right. In one motion, the left hand continues around the side of your body, and places the non-existent card into the left coat pocket. This is done matter-of-factly. Try it in front of a mirror, and you will see that it is undetectable.

Technicolor Mystery Spin Cut Illustration 1

Technicolor Mystery K-MMove Illustration 2

Technicolor Mystery K-MMove Illustration 3

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