Ted Lesley – "origami – Telekinesis"

Columnist:
Ted Lesley
(Ted Lesley)

I dedicate this routine to my friend EUGENE BURGER, from whom I learned a lot during the past ten years!

My “Teleport Envelope” is a most versatile gimmick, as you will agree after you have constructed one and tried it out before an audience. The “magic” seems to happen in the spectator’s own hands, and that makes impossible effects possible and so easy to do.

The gimmicked envelope is usable for routines, cabaret, and even close-up conditions. In fact, one of my favorite presentaions for close-up is the one which follows. As with all tricks of the “bizarre” kind, you will have to be a good storyteller and create the right atmosphere to present the trick convincingly.

The patter I use is tailored for me, since it has been developed slowly through arduous work. Therefore I have ommited my patter from this description, as I am of the opinion that borrowed presentations fit a performer as badly as a borrowed suit.

EFFECT:
A small envelope is shown to the audience for examination and they find it absolutely empty.

Next a banknote is borrowed from a member of the audience. The performer reads the number off, which is in turn written by a spectator on the back of the performer’s business card for later verification. The bill is folded twice (this depends on the size of the envelope); and the spectator, who has the envelope, puts the folded banknote in it and seals the flap. The envelope is never again touched by the performer.

The bizzarist spreads a Japanese silk handkerchief on the tabe and the envelope is put on top of at approximately its center. The four corners of the hanky are folded to the middle, covering the envelope. As the performer talks, the envelope starts to move slowly under the silk. After a while, the contortions stop, and the performer blows on the silk, uncovering the envelope.

A spectator removes the envelope from the silk and opens it with a pair of scissors. He finds that the dollar bill has folded itself into an origami figure. The performer later unfolds the bill and checks the number, finding to his/her consternation that the number matches the one which was earlier recorded.

PREPARATION:
The secret compartment of the envelope is loaded with a simple origami figure, made out of a banknote of high value. It should be at least a $10 bill, but is better if a $20 or $50 bill is used. I suggest that you make origami figures out of bills of different denominations, which you insert into the secret compartments of your “Teleport-Envelopes”. Take care, to record the numbers of the different bills with pencil on thumbtips before you fold them! Insert the thumbtips into the gimmicked envelopes in such a way that the pencilled number matches the one on the origami figure in the secret compartment. It’s obvious, that you must know also, which denomination of each bill is in which envelope. For this reason put a secret mark on the envelopes and put them in descending order into the pockets of your jacket. It is essential, that you can take the envelopes out of the appropriate pocket with your right hand!

Pencilling the numbers of the bankknotes on thumbtips saves you a lot of memory work. The idea, as far as I can remember, was invented by Mike Caveney.

I use a beautiful silk handkerchief for this trick that I bought during my last stay in Japan. I then converted it into a “Glorphy” – gimmick. In Japan’s stationary stores stencils and water colors are available to decorate your own postcards. I bought a few and decorated my “Teleport Envelopes”. The decoration shows me immediately which bill is in which envelope, so they are my “secret marks”!

The origami figures I use for the routine are very simple ones and they link with the story I tell during the presentation. Magic Inc., in Chigago, publi-shed Cerceda’s “Folding Money”-books, which contain a lot of easy-to-make origami-models; these work well for this trick.

When I hand out a business card, I usually place it into a small envelope specially made for such purposes. For this reason, I had my bookbinder make a beautiful business card wallet with two compartments. I keep my cards in the top compartment, backs showing, and envelopes in the bottom compartment. One side of the pad has a built-in holder for a pen attached to a chain. This pad is used by the spectator to write the serial number of the bill during the routine.

I suggest, that you perform this routine under “candlelight conditions”.

PRESENTATION:
You have to invent a convincing “Japanese Ghost Story”. For example, perhaps you tell about an old Japanese professor who was an origami expert.You explain that after he died some strange things were found in his house….and so on. Show the “Glorpy” silk and spread it on the table in such a way that the gimmick is at the right place to activate it later.

Ask for the loan of a banknote of high value. As soon as you see, which kind of bill the spectator takes out of his wallet, reach with your right hand into the appropriate pocket and insert your thumb into the proper envelope, slipping the thumb tip on at the same time. Simultaneously take the envelope out, open it, and allow the audience to look inside.

Immediately place the envelope in front of the spectator who loaned you the money and take the banknote from that person, holding it at a corner with your rigth thumb and forefinger. Turn it towards yourself and (seemingly) read off its serial number. Take care that the number on the bill is facing you; if not, rotate the bill to the proper position wit your left hand. Read off the serial number from the thumbtip and instruct the assisting spectator to write it on top of the first card in the pad. Fold the note once or twice in such a way that the serial number is hidden and hand it back to the spectator. Have the spectator insert it deep into the “empty” envelope. After this has been done, tell the spectator to seal the flap of the envelope. Next instruct the spectator to set the envelope on top of the middle of the silk. Fold the corners of the silk towards the middle in the time-honored manner to cover the envelope.

According to your patter, activate the gimmick of the silk to cause the envelope to seemingly perform strange contortions under the silk. This has to be done in a subtle way! Remember, you’re performing a spook effect, not a magic trick!

Finally, blow on the silk to uncover the envelope. The spectator takes the envelope and opens it at the designated area with a pair of scissors. Inside he will find that the “ghost of the professor” has folded the bank note into an origami model. Don’t tell the spectator to unfold the origami figure! Take one of your visiting card envelopes and slip the card that has the number written on it inside. Let the spectator insert the origami bill into the same envelope and to take it “as a souvenir.” Later, at home (when he needs the money), he will surely compare his written number with the one on the bill. They are the same, of course, and he will remember YOU for future engagements…..which is what time has proven since I began performing this routine.

Do NOT forget to take the used “Teleport Envelope” back, or you will lose money!