Routine For The Side Steal Envelope


One of the classic plots for stand up work is the 'magician-borrows-money-and-destroys-it-accidentally' one, and there have been many great routines used by performers over the years. What follows is a variation on this standard theme. It was inspired by seeing the miniature business card 'suitcases' which are currently doing the rounds in stationers' shops. If you like this, I suggest you pop out and get one of the little cases soon before they disappear from the shops!

EFFECT: The magician borrows a £5.00 note from an audience member who first writes her initials on it. The note is folded and clearly slipped into a small envelope which is sealed and placed with two other similar, but empty, envelopes.

The magician explains that he is going to mix the envelopes and ask the spectator to select two. The chosen ones will be destroyed! However, because of his expert (?) mind control, the performer says he will mentally influence the spectator to ensure that she does not choose the envelope that contains her money.

Since this trick may cause the spectator a certain amount of stress, the magician seeks to put her at her ease by putting up £5.00 of his own as collateral. He brings out a miniature suitcase, clicks open the two latches and opens it to reveal, tucked in the pocket on the inside of the lid, a folded £5.00. The money is taken out to display and is then dropped back into the case which is shut and left in view.

The envelopes are mixed and two chosen, both of which are destroyed. Unfortunately, the magician's mind control is not as good as he had hoped as the remaining envelope is empty!

Reluctantly, the magician, with empty hands, picks up the case again and opens it to remove the £5.00 from inside. The case is otherwise empty. He says that he is very reluctant to give his note away because he has had it for a long time and it is in fact unique. The reason it is unique is because it is the only one he has ever found that has the spectator's initials on it. And he opens the note to reveal the spectator's initials written on the note which is returned.

REQUIREMENTS: 1. A Side Steal Envelope.

2. Two further matching ordinary envelopes which you simply seal. The gimmicked one is left unsealed, of course.

3. One of the little suitcases mentioned above. Fig. 66. They really are neat and measure approximately 10cm x 6cm and come in a number of different colours. They have two miniature catches which actually work! On the inside of the lid there is a pocket.

4. A £5.00 note (or some other bank note that you don't mind 'sacrificing' to this trick!

5. Some Blu Tack.

Fig. 67

Fig. 68. Then, repeat the same fold again by folding the centre crease behind the note to line up with the left edges. Fig. 69.

PREPARATION: You need to prepare the suitcase pocket a little. Get two small pieces of the Blu Tack and stick them close to the top edge of the pocket and about 2cm in from each side. Fig. 67.

Next, you need to invest £5.00 in the trick! Take a £5.00 note which is in reasonable condition, and with the Queen's head facing you fold the note in half by folding the right side behind the note to line up with the left side.

Fig. 68. Then, repeat the same fold again by folding the centre crease behind the note to line up with the left edges. Fig. 69.

Now comes the painful part! With a sharp pair of scissors cut across the top of the folded note at a point 2cm down from the top edge. Fig. 70. Discard the bottom larger part, as it is only the smaller top part that you require.

Take the suitcase and push the top of the inner pocket shut by pressing on the two pieces of Blu Tack. Then insert the £5.00 gimmick at an angle into the pocket. Fig. 71. To all intents and purposes, it now looks as if there is a regular £5.00 tucked into the pocket. Close the case, and you are ready.

PRESENTATION: Borrow a £5.00 and have it initialled boldly on the reverse side to the Queen's head using your pen. Take the note and with the initials facing the audience, fold the note as in Figs. 68, 69 and 72, so that you end up with a package that will look the same as your gimmick in the suitcase.

Place the note on the table for a moment and pick up the three envelopes. Having displayed them briefly, put the two sealed ones down and retain the gimmicked one in your left hand.

Pick up the folded note in the right hand and insert it into the top of the envelope affecting the steal as described on pages 71 and 72. You then lick and seal the envelope and the other two are placed on top of it in a fan with the folded note secretly held in the left fingers underneath.

Briefly explain to the spectators what is going to happen next, and then offer to provide some financial security for the spectator who loaned you the money.

Turn to your right slightly and slide the envelopes away from the left hand with the right hand and place them down on the table. The left thumb rests on the folded note in order to keep it concealed in the left fingers.

The right hand immediately picks up the suitcase and places it into the left hand and thus on top of the note. Fig. 73. Twist so that the front of the case, which should be pointing towards the left finger

Fig. 73

tips, is facing the audience. With your obviously empty right hand snap open the two catches on the suitcase.

Take hold of the case with the right hand, fingers underneath holding the note and the thumb resting on the case handle. Fig. 74. The left hand is then freed to reach over and pull back on either short side of the lid to open it. The left hand then grips the case by the lid at the sides. Fig. 75.

The right hand slides off the front of the case taking the note with it. The left hand holds up the inside of the case for all to see as you point out that you have a £5.00 of your own inside the case to use as collateral.

The right hand turns palm down and approaches the inside of the case which is turned

The right hand turns palm down and approaches the inside of the case which is turned

so that the inside is now facing you and away from the audience. The right fingers go as if to grab the £5.00 note from the pocket, Fig. 76, but in reality the right fingertips simply push the gimmick down out of sight into the pocket and then the thumb pushes the palmed note up into view as the right hand emerges up out of the case.

You display the folded note at fingertips and at the same time turn the inside of the case towards the audience again. Because the inside pocket is seen to be empty, it completes the illusion that you have simply reached in and removed the note to display it. There's no need to make a big deal of this move, just do it casually and it will work very well.

Lay the note now down in the body of the case and shut the lid over it, securing the two catches. Place it down in view.

All the 'work' is now done. Mix the envelopes, get two chosen, destroy them (you can burn them or do as I do, tear them up, making sure to struggle a bit with one of them as if you are tearing through a bit more than just an envelope!).

Rip open the envelope which is left and 'discover' that it is empty. After suitable by-play, pick up the case and remove the note from inside slowly opening it out so that the initialled side is opened out towards the spectators to reveal that the one in the case is the actual borrowed note.

To re-set, all you need to do is open the suitcase and pull open the pocket (easy because of the Blu Tack), rescue the gimmick from inside, push the pocket closed via the Blu Tack again and slip the note at an angle in the pocket top. Close the case, get some more envelopes ready and you're away!

Understanding Mind Control

Understanding Mind Control

This book is not about some crazed conspiracy thinkers manifesto. Its real information for real people who care about the sanctity of their own thoughts--the foundation of individual freedom.

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