| (Another Version)
By Mike Rogers
There is quite a turf problem with this routine, as the idea has made the rounds for years. It might have all started when Alex ElmsIey combined the use of a duplicate card with the one ahead principle to secretly, and openly, place a signed card between a spectators palms. Roy Walton was among the first to eliminate the duplicate card while retaining the same concept. Later Peter Kane, using the same notion as both Walton and Elmsley, took the idea in a slightly different direction in his routine called Kabbala Aces. Over the years several card magicians have enjoyed this concept. What follows is more of the same, and I make no claim to originality.
I am, however, laying claim to the handling about to be described. There is a logical reason for every move, every move blends nicely with what happens next, and the viewer doesn’t have to play mental gymnastics trying to remember what’s where, and what’s what.
The wallet I use is a Himber style flip-flop switch wallet. Any switch wallet will work. The secret to using a switch wallet, whether it be a Himber type, Z type, or whatever, is to be able to handle it naturally as you would any wallet, check book, or pocket secretary. Quite often we see magicians handle a switch wallet as if it were a magician’s prop (which it is), and this doesn’t go unnoticed by the viewers. I think a key might be this: If you have to think about it there’s something wrong. You need to always know where you are, which way the wallet is to be opened, when to flip it, and what’s going to be there.
I doctor up my Himber wallets to make them look like check books, or notebooks. This isn’t necessary, but it’s something I’ve always done. Even though both sides of the wallet are the same, let’s call them Side A and Side B.
OK, here’s the doin’ for a very clean and logical signed card to wallet. You need a duplicate Joker matching the Joker in the deck. (Not the Extra Joker, but a duplicate Joker). Sign your name on the duplicate Joker in a manner that you will be able to repeat later. (Not a difficult thing to do.) Place this Joker, face down, in Side A of the wallet. Place the wallet in your breast pocket in a position for Side B to show when next opened (the empty side).
The deck, containing it’s Joker, is ribbon spread face down on the table. The spectator is instructed to remove any card, but not the Joker. Naturally he can’t see the Joker, and he may in fact remove it. If he does, make a trick out of it. Take the credit. Do not have him show you the selected card. You’ll know if he takes the Joker by his reaction. Once he has his card (not the Joker) have him sign his name on the face so he will know it to be the exact same card when he next sees it. Turn away as he does this. He must be convinced that you do not know the value of the card (and you don’t).
After being signed, have the card returned to the deck and control it to the top. The brief patter logically agrees with the rather illogical move that follows. Say, “Finding your card will be easy as I will simply look for your signature.” While delivering this line execute a Braue Reversal on the top selected card. You will now be holding the deck face up with the selection face down on the bottom of the face up deck. (That’s why the line fits. The Braue Reversal suggests that you might be turning the deck face up to look for the card.) With your left fingertips pull down slightly on the right edge of the selected card so as to bend it a tiny bit. Don’t fight this, as it’s not all that important if you miss. In other words, don’t milk the bottom card trying to catch its edge. If you can put the small bend in that’s fine. If you miss, let it go. I’ll explain later.
Ribbon spread the face up deck across the table making sure the face down selection on the left end does not show. Not difficult if you shade the left end with your open left hand. If the selection is sticking out simply push it back. Patter that you are looking for the Joker, as “The Joker is not used in the trick…” Spot the Joker and slide it from the spread leaving the spread intact. Don’t break the spread while removing the Joker. Explain that it’s only fair that you get to sign a card since the spectator got to sign a card. (That doesn’t make any sense, but it flies!) Sign the Joker the same way you signed the duplicate Joker that’s in the wallet. (Not difficult.)
What you are about to do will accomplish a double lift without having to worry about it. Take the signed Joker in your left hand, face down, and insert it under the left end of the ribbon-spread deck, flipping over the entire spread in the standard flourish. Allow the Joker to coalesce with all the cards, while closing the spread at the same time. This is a standard flourish and should cause no problems. While closing the spread pick up the entire deck and hold in the left hand. The face up Joker will show on the top of the deck, hiding the also face up signed selection. The deck proper will be face down. (A double lift without having to do a double lift. Isn’t that beautiful? I call it Delivered Double.)
Flip the two cards (as one) face down. This is why I suggested putting a small bend in the selection a few paragraphs ago. Hence, for those who tend to fight double lifts all the work has been done for you. Say, “Better yet, I’ll save the Joker for another day.” Remove the wallet, open so Side B shows (the empty side), and place the top card of the deck into Side B face down. This is actually the spectator’s signed selection. Close the wallet in the manner that Side A will show when next opened. Return the wallet to your pocket.
Here’s where we are. The signed selection has been openly, yet secretly, loaded in the wallet. The top card of the deck is your signed Joker. Once again do a Braue Reversal on the top card, only this time send it to the center of the deck. Ribbon spread the deck face up. Say, “Let’s see, we each signed a card. Yours is unknown to me, and everyone knows mine is the Joker.” With this line remove the wallet and open to Side A. Remove the face down card and show it to be, in fact, the signed Joker. (In fact, it’s the Joker that has been in the wallet all along.) Now this is important. This “proving” must be done as if you are proving more to yourself rather than proving to the viewers. It’s the type thing you’d do as if you momentarily forgot, or just want to be certain. Don’t do it as if proving to the spectators, as that will really put the heat on. It should be something that they almost don’t see. After looking at the Joker, replace it in the wallet and close the wallet so Side B will show when next opened. (That’s the side with the actual selection.)
Now comes the time for acting. Tell the spectator to place his finger on his selection in the ribbon spread. As he looks for his card keep opening the spread a bit right at the reversed card. He must be made to think the reversed card is his, as if that were the intent of the trick. When he does place his finger on the reversed card you take it and turn it face up acting as if it’s the end and everyone is expected to see his card. Act surprised when it is seen to be your signed Joker. Accuse him of not playing fairly. Ask him if he stole your card from inside you wallet. Compliment him on his ability at being a pickpocket.
Remove the wallet and open it so Side B shows (the side having his selection). Remove it and show it to be his signed card.
That’s it. It’s a good routine that flows naturally. As mentioned, I do not claim the principle or the use of the switch wallet for this effect. I’m particularly fond of two points. First, I think the double lift that automatically happens is delightful. Secondly, the use of the Joker allows for two cards to be remembered while, in fact, only one card has to be remembered. No one forgets the Joker. They don’t even have to think about it. They will recall, without thinking, that one card is the Joker. Any duplicate could be used, but that would require the viewers to remember the value and location of two cards. Strangely, many people find that a difficult task. The pain is removed with the use of the Joker as one of the cards.