Credit Scare

EFFECT: The performer brings out a small pile of envelopes and hands the top one to be examined. The envelope is taken back and a borrowed credit card slipped inside, the flap and rear of the envelope then being adorned with the spectator's initials. The envelope is sealed and left with the spectator to hold.

A small leather wallet is opened and shown to be empty. A second empty envelope is slipped inside and the wallet shut. The idea of the trick is that the spectator has to sneak up on his credit card and when it is least expecting it, frighten it so that it jumps from the signed envelope into the one enclosed in the wallet.

The spectator attempts to frighten the card. The envelope is removed from the wallet but it proves to be still empty. Replacing the envelope in the wallet, the spectator is given a second try. He still appears to have failed because he can still feel his card in his initialled envelope.

However, when he tears it open he finds, not his credit card, but a comedy message card inside! With empty hands, the performer then opens the wallet and removes the envelope which seconds ago was seen to be empty, and gives it to the spectator who then removes his own card from within.

COMMENTS: This is a really commercial close up routine which has much comedy potential, requires no re-set, and because it uses a borrowed credit card, has immediate spectator appeal. Although the method may seem simple to a magician, lay people find it quite impossible to work out. This is so strong. You just must use it!

REQUIREMENTS: 1. A pile of small pay envelopes.

2. A plastic card with a comedy message on it. I use the words 'NEVER TRUST A MAGICIAN'. You can make one of these by buying some plasti-card from a model shop, cutting a piece to the size of a credit card, and then carefully writing the words onto it with a permanent marker pen.

4. A small switch wallet. I use a Himber-Style Switch Wallet as this just has one simple open pocket in each side and is so small that one of the pay envelopes fits just neatly inside.

SET-UP: Take one envelope and place it flap side down into one of the wallet's pockets. Close the wallet. Slip the comedy message card into an envelope and place this envelope second from the top of the pile.

PRESENTATION: Ask to borrow a credit card. As one is being produced, bring out the pile of envelopes and the pen. Drop the pen on the table near the spectator.

Take the top envelope and hand it to the spectator and ask him to check that the envelope is completely empty.

Take the envelope back, and with the rest of the pile of envelopes still in your left hand, hold it with your left fingers and thumb at an angle to the pile with the flap pointing away from you. Fig. 140.

Pick up the credit card with the right hand and openly slip it into the envelope.

Grip the envelope at its rear right corner with the right hand and lift it clear of the envelope pile. At the same time tilt the top of the envelope stack towards you slightly.

You comment that you will mark the envelope with the spectator's initials. You ask him to pass you the pen which is lying in front of him on the table.

As he does so, you have the perfect misdirection to simply push the envelope held in the right hand onto the top of the pile, making sure that the top of the envelope goes UNDER the flap of the current top envelope. Fig.141.

Square the envelopes. The left thumb rests lightly on top of the envelope flaps to hold them in place as you lower the stack so that the spec-

Fig. 142

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tators can see as you write the spectator's initials on the visible flap.

Because the flap you are writing on belongs to the envelope below the top one, there will be a slight gap between the long edges of the flaps. The one you are writing on will be slightly stepped back from the one under it. Fig.142. You now use this to your advantage.

Tilting the stack towards yourself again, the left thumb strokes down over the long edges of the two flaps, allowing the top one to spring up while retaining the lower one flat. Fig.143.

The right hand grips this top loose flap and as the left wrist turns the whole stack over, the right fingers smoothly slide the envelope they hold out of the pile and straight onto the table top. This then allows you to write the spectator's initials on the address side of the envelope as well.

Place the envelope pile down, and then pick up the initialled envelope and stick the flap down. Hand it to the spectator to look after.

Fig. 143

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Bring out the wallet and open it to show it empty. You explain that you will slip a second empty envelope inside.

Lift up the top envelope (the one containing the real credit card) and slip it flap side down into the wallet. Close the wallet and leave it in view.

You now explain that the spectator is going to attempt to frighten his credit card so that it jumps in sheer terror out of his signed envelope and into the envelope in the wallet. This can be quite amusing as you urge the spectator to ham it up.

After he has 'frightened' the card, you open the wallet to the side containing the empty envelope, slip it out and open it up as if you expect the card to be in there. The spectator tells you it is not in there.

You offer to give the helper a second chance. Replace the envelope in the wallet and leave it in view. (This false attempt at passing the card is what makes the effect so strong on the spectators as they see the envelope in the wallet empty just a few moments before their card arrives inside. It is therefore essential to make sure this part of the routine is always used.)

The spectator makes another attempt to frighten his card. This time you suggest he might like to feel if the card has gone from his initialled envelope first.

He feels the envelope and will assume the card inside is his. You ask him to take his card out of the envelope. When he does he will find your message card.

You then show your hands empty, open the wallet to the side holding the credit card in the envelope, remove it and hand it over to the spectator who removes his own card from inside.

To reset you simply put your message card into the top envelope of the stack and place one empty envelope on top of it. And that's it! Ideal for table hopping.

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