Banachek – Electronic Room Service


ON 21 Feb 97, I posted the following on another limited Network. With the recent discussion of Koran’s Medalion in the Mentalism section, I thought it might be of interest here. For a full presentation of “Room Service”, pick up a copy of T. A. Waters, Mind, Myth & Magic.

For the last few years I have been performing some version of Koran’s Medallion in my stage show. I have a back up coin in my case just in case anything happens to the first. Well, somehow, both coins were left at home while I was putting my show together, I was doing that yearly (if I am lucky), “cleaning everything out of my case. “

I arrived in Florida to showcase for some colleges via their Junior Student Government Seminar. Then I hit upon a novel impromptu idea. I had been working on a routine for Room Service to take the place of my Medallion routine for certain venues. At the desk they handed me the usual electronic (magnetic Key), with the little envelope with the room number written upon the envelope. I asked for an extra key with an envelope and told her not to write the number upon it. (Most are ahead of me now.) Since most of the routine is build up, the presentation was easy. I simply had the envelope upon the pad, double wrote the room number upon the envelope and pad. Now I palmed the small envelope and performed the empty hand card to pocket. This is a fairly new sleight, and very clean. It enables you to hold your jacket open and reach in with an empty hand and remove the card (in this case an envelope) from your pocket.

I do not know who invented this as it was shown to me by a magician friend who had it shown to him by someone else. If anyone knows, please give credit for me in this forum. Anyway, it goes as follows. If you are right handed you would palm the envelope in the right hand. This hand, with the envelope goes to your right lapel and holds the lapel open, away form your chest. In actuality the fingers go behind the lapel and thumb in front. While doing this you will find it easy to let the envelope come to the fingers and out from the palm against the inside lining of the coat. In other words the envelope is held against the inside of the jacket by the fingers on the inside and the thumb on the outside. Now with a nonobvious (no ‘look! see! my hands are empty!) gesture such as pointing to your inside pocket as you say “in my pocket!” your left hand is shown empty then goes inside the jacket, taking the envelope by the left thumb and index finger, and pretends to remove it from the inside pocket.. Keep the number side (number should be written small in the top left hand side below the flap) away from the view of the audience, remove and show the key to the audience as you patter, then lay the key on top of the envelope so it is horizontal and the the envelope is vertical and point at the key, actually pointing at the number on the envelope as you ask the spectator on stage to “read off the room number!”

Anyone who has stayed at a hotel will realize that the number on the envelope is the one to the room especially since the number says RM# before the number. The members of the audience do not realize the number is not written on the key.

Now I only wish I had one of those keys that work with the light ( the kind with the holes) with me. I could have written directly on the key with an erase wipe marker and done away with the envelope, in fact this type of key is even smaller. I have one around here somewhere and will let you know what transpires.

SInce the original posting of this, I have used the light hole keys and written directly upon the key itself, also upon the magnetic strip keys and none were the wiser. Also, since this posting, a similiar effect appeared in another magazine. The author thought his up independently. Gary Kurtz informs me that the invisible card to pocket is his idea.

In thoughts

1998 & 1999 APCA
Campus Performer of the Year