Risky Buisness

EFFECT: Three letter envelopes are opened one at a time to show that two of them are empty but that the third one contains a £20 note. The note is replaced and the three envelopes collected into a pile which is placed out of view either below the table or behind the performer's back. The envelopes are mixed before being brought back out into view and laid out in a row on the table.

A spectator is invited to take part in a game of chance to try and win the £20. All he has to do is select the envelope containing the money, although the magician does warn him that trying to win a magician's money is never easy!

The spectator indicates which envelope he would like and it is immediately opened to reveal that it is unfortunately empty. The other two are then opened to reveal the £20 inside one of them. The performer mixes the envelopes again and having spread them out invites another spectator to have a go, but this time he gives him the opportunity to select TWO envelopes. However, when the two selections are opened they are once again empty and the remaining one is shown to have the money in it.

The magician offers to risk his money one last time. Showing one of the envelopes empty he puts it to one side commenting that perhaps having three envelopes is making life too difficult. The other two envelopes are shown, one of which is seen to have the £20 note inside, and they are then mixed out of sight.

A third spectator now has a 50/50 chance to win the money. He selects an envelope and can even change his mind - but when his final choice is opened, it is empty! The performer says that some people may have wondered what would have happened if the other envelope had been chosen. Well, as he had mentioned earlier, it is never easy to win a magician's money and the other envelope is picked up to reveal that the money is no longer in there either! So where is it? The envelope placed to one side moments before is now picked up and opened to reveal that the £20 has somehow ended up inside there!

COMMENTS: This routine is an extension of an effect called Easy Just Chance which you will find on p.41. The original routine only had one part to it, and it seemed to me that for the trick to have more impact, more spectators needed to be allowed to guess where the money is in order to prove that it wasn't just lucky that the correct envelope was not chosen.

REQUIREMENTS: 1. Three letter sized Leveridge Envelopes (these are available singly from me or you can buy the routine complete. See my website or Illustrated Catalogue).

2. Three £20 or £10 notes. These should look as alike as possible i.e. no one note should look more worn than the others or have any clear identifying marks.

SET-UP: Slip a £20 note into the real pocket of each of the three envelopes. On two of the envelope close the flaps so that when you open the upper one of the two flaps, the envelope will appear to be empty. With the third envelope have the flaps round the other way so that when the top flap is opened a £20 is seen.

Have all three envelopes flap side down in a pile, with all the upper flaps underneath being on the left side.

PRESENTATION: Show the pile of envelopes and explain that one of them has a £20 note inside. Place the bottom two envelopes down on the table (flap sides down of course), and then turn the remaining envelope over from right to left so that the upper flap is now on the right hand side.

Hold the envelope in the left hand and use the right hand to quickly open the upper flap to reveal that the envelope is empty. Once this has been seen, close the flap and turn the envelope flap side down by rotating the short edge nearest the audience over towards you. Place this envelope down on the table to one side of the two already there.

Pick up the next envelope from the pile of two, and repeat the actions above. Having shown this envelope is empty as well, revolve it as with the other one and place it on top of the first envelope. Finally pick up the third envelope and when you turn it over and open the upper flap a £20 will be seen inside. With your right hand withdraw it a little from the envelope to confirm that it really is a £20 note and then slip it back inside. Close the flap and turn it over NOT as you did with the other two, but by turning it over from right to left.

Hold the envelope in the right hand and then with your left, pick up the two tabled envelopes and place them on top of the one in the right. You now explain that you are going to mix the envelopes so that no one could know which one contains the bank note.

Take the pile of envelopes below the table (or behind your back if you prefer) and using the fingers of both hands swap the flaps of the lowermost envelope. This should mean that all three envelopes now have their upper flaps on the right. Pretend to mix the envelopes and then bring them back out into view and spread them out in a row flap side down on the table. Invite a spectator to guess which envelope contains the money.

Because you can show any envelope to either contain money or not, there is no force of any kind required with his choice. When he indicates one envelope, bring your left hand palm down over the selection and slip the thumb under the left long edge, the fingers resting on the address side. Fig.151.

Lift up the envelope and turn your left hand palm up by rotating the wrist. Immediately the left index finger comes over to hold the lower flap along with the thumb and the right hand smartly pulls the loose flap open to the right to reveal that the envelope is empty.

Close the flap and rotate the short edge of the envelope nearest the audience back towards you in order to turn the envelope flap side down. Place the envelope on the table, flaps underneath.

You now go to either of the other envelopes and pick that one up in exactly the same way to show that it too is empty. Place this envelope down on top of the first one. Now bring the left hand palm down over the final envelope but this time, instead of slipping the thumb under the left long side, you slide it

under the right long side. Fig. 152. If you now bend the envelope a little by pushing down on the centre of the envelope's address side with your fingers as you pick it up and turn it flap side upwards, you should find that the flaps automatically swap so that the one now on the right pops loose. This means that you can open it with the right hand to reveal the £20 inside.

(An alternative is to lift the envelope up so that the flap side faces you and to use the index finger to go in under the lower flap on the right hand side and pull it out from under the other one before lowering it down into view).

Having displayed the note inside, push the flap shut and turn the envelope over from right to left and lifting up the two tabled envelopes place it under them to create the pile again.

You offer to give another spectator a try. Repeat the 'mixing' of the envelopes as before either below table level or behind your back and then lay them out in a row again on the table flap side down. This time you allow a spectator to choose two envelopes, leaving you with just one. After he has made his selections, you reveal, using the same handling as before, that the two chosen ones are empty and the one he left you contains the money.

Place the envelope with the money flap side down on the table for a moment and then pick up one of the other two. Turn it over by rotating the short edge furthest away from you towards you, and open the flap to confirm that it is empty. Rotate it back flap side down again and say that you will get rid of one of the envelopes as it may be adding to a little confusion. Slip it under the top right edge of your close up mat.

Take the other two envelopes under the table and repeat the mixing and laying out handling above, so that you end up with the two envelopes on the table. Get a third spectator to select one. Give him the chance to change his mind. Once he is set on his choice, show that once again the envelope does not contain the money.

Place the envelope flap side down as you comment that some people may wonder what would have happened had he gone for the other envelope - it was, after all, a 50/50 chance! Well, that would have been wrong too - and you show that that envelope also does not contain any money either!

Place this envelope down and slide out the envelope placed aside and reveal that the £20 is in fact hidden away inside this one - a magician never takes too much risk with his money!

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