Intuition Version

COMMENTS: For several years I used Version 1 of this routine with great success, particularly when I presented it at a large table which afforded me plenty of cover as I walked around it for doing what needed to be done. However, on some occasions it was a bit intimidating if I felt that at the moment when I had to do the double lift of the two envelopes, the spectators were burning my hands. Although they might not know I was doing a double lift, I suspected that they thought I'd done something a bit 'fishy' and this I felt reduced the impact of the trick quite a lot.

This second version of the effect comes at the problem by a slightly different route and the handling is such that the one little bit of 'work' that you need to do to make the trick a success happens long before the moment of the final revelation, and so the actual ending of the routine is completely clean and hands off from your point of view which helps to substantially increase the overall impact, I would suggest. This Version 2 is now my preferred way to go, although it has meant a slight change in the plot in order to achieve it. The method has similarities with Devil's Island described on p.76. Anyway, I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide which version you think would play the best for you.

EFFECT: A pile of small envelopes is shown, each one containing one of the performer's business cards. The pile of envelope is spread and a spectator is invited to slip out any envelope. The business card is then removed from the envelope and the performer asks the spectator to write the first name of any other member of the audience on the blank back of the card.

Once this is done, the business card is slipped back into the envelope and enough envelopes are dealt on top of the chosen one so that the total matches the number of spectators round the table. This pile of envelopes is now handed to the spectator who mixes them herself before returning them to the performer.

One at a time the spectator is invited to point to various people round the table. She can select people in any order she wishes, and the magician hands out the shuffled envelopes according to her instructions. The challenge for the assistant is that somehow she has to try to give the spectator whose name she chose the envelope with the name business card inside, even though she has shuffled the envelopes and has no idea which one contains the said card.

Once all the envelopes have been distributed the performer starts to point to various people round the table requesting that they take their business cards out. As they do so, each spectator finds they have a blank backed business card in their envelope. When he finally comes to the spectator whose name was used and she removes herself the business card form the envelope given to her at random by the assistant, it does turn out to be the named business card! The performer can either now collect up the blank backed cards and envelopes or better, simply leave them with the spectators as a promotional souvenir.

REQUIREMENTS: 1. A pile of small pay envelopes inside each of which you slip one of your business cards. (You can just use double blank playing cards rather than business cards if you wish). 2. A pen to write on the back of the business card.

SET-UP: None really, just have the pile of envelopes and pen to hand. I tend to put a rubber band round the envelopes to keep them all together.

PRESENTATION: Bring out the envelopes explaining that each contains one of your business cards. As you are pattering, take the band off the pile and spread the envelopes between your two hands. Ask a spectator to choose any envelope and let her slide one out.

Get the lady to slide the business card out of the envelope and take the envelope from her handing her the pen. Ask her whether she has a particular friend sitting at the table, or a relative, or failing that just someone who she would like to nominate at random! Get her to indicate who the person is and tell you what their name is. Then ask her to write the person's name on the back of the business card.

While she is doing this, hold the envelope in your two hands flap side up and with the sealed end nearest you. With your right thumb make a crimp ion the bottom left hand corner of the envelope by bending the corner itself inwards and then straightening it out again. This will leave a crease mark across that lower left corner which will be obvious to you but not noticeable to any of the onlookers.

Once the name has been written on the business card, take it and display the name to the rest of the spectators and then slip the card back into the envelope which you place flap side up on the table. Picking up the rest of the envelope pile, deal enough further envelopes onto the tabled one so that all the spectators except the assisting one will be able to have one (if there are too many people in the group to make this practical, just use about five further envelopes making a total of six in all).

Place down the balance of the envelope pile and pick up the dealt pile. Give the envelopes an overhand shuffle and then after a couple of shuffles, you say, "Well, look, I don't have to do this, why don't you mix them up yourself," at which you hand over the pile to let the spectator do the mixing.

The reason for starting the mix yourself is so that the spectator doesn't know which envelope contains the name card when she comes to mix them. If you don't start the mix yourself, a sharp spectator may deliberately try to keep the key envelope in a position where she knows which one it is and this could give her the potential for messing you up.

With the mixing done take back the pile and hold it squared in your left hand with the envelopes flap side up. Explain that you are now going to get the spectator to point to people round the table at random and you will pass them one of the envelopes from the shuffled pile. The spectator can select any other audience members in any order she likes, but obviously at some stage you want her to point to the person whose name is written on the business card.

"Now, don't forget, we've only got 1-2-3-4-5-6 envelopes, so don't leave the person whose name you have used for too long or they won't get an envelope!"

As you count the envelopes in the above patter, you spread the pile, physically counting the envelopes across from left to right without changing their order. You use this moment to spot which envelope has the crimped corner and as you square the pile again after doing the count, you get a left little finger break ABOVE that envelope.

Now you say, "Right, so who would you like to choose first." This immediately draws all attention to the assisting spectator as everyone looks at her to see if they will be chosen. At this moment of misdirection, you quietly and casually cut the pile of envelopes at your finger break completing the cut. This puts the envelope with the name business card on top of the pile. You don't need to look at your hands as you do this, you keep your attention on the spectators round the table as well as you wait for the first one to be chosen.

Now, each time that the lady points to someone who is not her special person, you calmly use your right fingers to slide an envelope out from UNDER the pile as you move round the table to hand them the envelope. You don't make a big deal of this, it's a calm and casual action. There is no real heat on you because the spectator has mixed the envelopes and you appear to be simply handing them out in the order that the envelopes have ended up. You don't look at your hands at all, and you don't even seem that bothered who gets which envelope - after all, it's the spectator who is making all the decisions.

As soon as she points to the special person, you stop and very openly take off the top envelope of the pile and hand it over. You do this quite ostentatiously as if to show that the chosen spectator is definitely getting the very next envelope with no funny business! From now on you can take any further envelopes off the top of the pile until all of them are gone.

So, you are now in the wonderful position of having the trick over in terms of the method and yet the climax has not even begun to be revealed yet. Everything will now happen out of your hands and apparently therefore without your control.

You start to point to various people holding envelopes and ask them to slide their cards out one at a time to see if they have been given the business card with the name on the back. As more and more blank cards are shown the tension and anticipation of success will build.

When there are just two envelopes left, one with the special person, the other with the final spectator who has not looked at his card, build up the tension as you remind everyone how there was only one card with the name on the back, a name that was chosen totally at random. How the spectator herself shuffled the envelopes and how she decided who would receive which envelope. Could it be that somehow she has managed to give the special person the card with her name on the back? Get the two spectators to slide their cards out together and turn them over to reveal the spectator's success.

If you decide to leave your cards with everyone round the table (obviously a sensible thing to do in terms of publicity) all you have to do to reset is to pick up the other stack of envelopes, pop the rubber band back round them and retrieve the pen and you're all set for next time.

Knife Throwing Techniques of the Ninja

Knife Throwing Techniques of the Ninja

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