This is an effect I use to use for walk around. If you are interested in a Dr. Jaks type effect that uses a very beautiful looking prop, read on.
I’m not going to give you my exact patter but this is how the effect usually looks:
Performer starts out. “I have been reading thoughts since the age of 16. I never knew why I started using my abilities to entertain, but recently I my mother told me something interesting. She asked me if I knew who Joseph Dunninger was. Of course I did, you see, Joseph Dunninger was and is my idol.
He is the first psychic entertainer to take the stage alone. In his time he was the second best known voice on radio, the other was Theodore Roosevelt. Well my mom told me that when I was very young, about two years old, she and I met Joseph Dunninger at one of his live tapings. My mom said, that a few weeks later, on my birthday, the most amazing thing happened, Joseph Dunninger showed up on my doorstep. He did not come in but handed my mom a package. His parting words were “Your son will some day be the most famous thought reader on the face of the earth. When he is old enough to understand, give him this package.” Of course mom opened it and found this brass card case inside with these three symbol cards. Now I don’t know if it was because my subconscious that remembered meeting Dunninger or if it is just coincidence but I do know that these cards have a strange effect upon me. Let me show you.
With that, the mentalist shows the five ESP cards or symbol cards or Tarot cards or playing cards or ……. He tells the spectator that he is to mix them face down, then place one inside the brass case without looking at it or the other cards. The other cards are to be placed in a pile on the table. The case is then to be held by the spectator by a gold chain and swung back and forth. The mentalist turns around, slips the other cards inside a leather case and stares at the swinging case. He then secretly draws a symbol on a pad. Turns to another spectator and asks “name a symbol out of * * * * * . ( naming the five symbols). DO you know why you said that? I will tell you why! You chose that symbol because that is exactly what I drew. Even more amazing, I am sure that is the symbol in the case.
The case is opened and sure enough inside is the drawn symbol.
Before I tell you the method I must describe the working on the case. It is a brass business card case. Have your initials engraved since Dunninger was a mind reader and it was a gift to you or you could have his initials, J.D. These cases are available at any engravers shop for around $15 or you can find them at the dollar store for a buck. Now you will need a gold chain with a large ring (not huge, just large enough to stop it going through the hole you are going to drill in on of the ends of the case.) Now drill a hole in the end of the case just large enough for the chain to go through. When you start the effect the chain should be inside the case, you pull on the small wire ring or bead on the outside to pull the chain into swinging position.
These brass business card cases always come with a small slipcover. You will use this slipcover for the case and the symbol cards. These cards are edge marked. They should be edge marked on both long edges. This means to take a pen and put a mark on the edge. It will not be seen unless you know what to look for. If you do not know how to edge mark a card, email me! You will only have to edge mark four cards.
Now if you follow the routine you will find it easy to know which card has been removed, all you have to do is pick up the pile and look at the edge as you place them ‘fairly’ into the slipcover. Nothing could be simpler.
What about the other spectator getting the symbol you ask? Two things from my ‘Psychological Subtleties’ posting come into play here. One a voice force and two the fact that if you make it obvious the spectator will pencil read what you write, usually without realizing it. If he does not, all you have to do is show your symbol as you say, “You said ** I say it is a ** Let’s see” then when the symbol is shown you end with “that is why I am the performer” or some such.