Jack The Escape
Original Author: Brett Cline
Effect: The performer tells the audience the about
Jack the Escape Artist, as described below. With the help of
the audience, the performer lays out a setup of face-down
cards. It appears that Jack is surrounded by other cards
(enemies) and is about to be attacked. The audience is asked,
"Is there any way that we can help Jack out of this
predicament without using physical force on any cards?" The
answer has to be no. With a snap of his fingers, the magician
flips the middle card, and it has "miraculously" traded places
with one of the surrounding cards.
Before the trick begins, the performer needs 13 cards. One
of these is the Jack of Diamonds; the other twelve are black
number cards (2 through 10). The Jack is put on top of the
twelve black cards, making a stack of thirteen. That stack is
in turn put on top of the deck. Now the performer can begin
*to mock shuffle, riffle shuffle the cards as you normally
would, but make sure that the top thirteen cards are not
disturbed by the shuffle. Don't worry. If you are casual about
it, no one will notice.
1. While mock shuffling, the performer begins with the
"How many of you have heard about Jack the Escape
Artist? He is a great trickster-able to get himself out of the
worst of situations."
2. At this point, the performer deals the top thirteen
cards face down on the table. Now the Jack is on the bottom of
a thirteen-card pile, underneath twelve black number cards.
After doing this, the performer puts the rest of the deck to
one side (it will not be needed anymore) and The patter
"Today we will simulate one of Jack's best escapes. I
will need some help from the audience."
3. This is where the hard part comes in. Picking up the
pile of thirteen, the performer shows the audience the bottom
card and asks:
"What card is this?"
Of course, The audience will answer, "The Jack of
Diamonds." At this point the performer replies:
"Right, and we will use this card to represent our
friend Jack The Escape Artist."
GLIDE (see description below), the performer lays down
the second card from the bottom of the deck. The viewers will
think that the Jack has been set down.
GLIDE. this is a tricky sleight-of-hand move which
requires some practice. The illusion is that the performer
appears to lay down the Jack, when he actually is laying down
the black number card that is above it in the stack. To
GLIDE, the deck must be held a certain way. From the
performer's perspective, to show the bottom card (the Jack of
Diamonds) to the audience, the performer must pick up the deck
with the thumb on one side of the deck and the other four
fingers on the other side. Show the bottom card to the
audience while holding the deck in this manner. When it is
time to lay down the Jack, the performer lowers the deck so
that the bottom card is facing the table. Using his fingers to
pull the bottom card back, the performer draws the now exposed
black number card and lays it down on the table. With
practice, this move can soon be performed undetected by
viewers, and is a stepping stone to many more tricks. ********
5. Now the performer places the bottom card (Jack) on top
of the deck. There is no need to explain why to the audience.
If you do it in a non-suspicious manner, and quickly, they
will not ask why. If they do ask, simply state "This must be
done for magical purposes." I know this is a lousy excuse, but
it is far better than saying: "...because if I don't do this,
you will soon be shown the Jack that you think I just laid
down. ") At any rate, now Jack is on top of the deck. Show the
bottom card once again, and ask, "What color is this card?"
The audience will reply "black". set the card down in the same
manner that you set down the last card, but DO NOT PERFORM
THE GLIDE THIS TIME. REALLY LAY DOWN THE BOTTOM CARD! When
you set the card down, think of the middle card as the center
of a clock. Set the card down in the 7:00 position. Once
again, casually place the bottom card on the top of the deck.
6. Repeat step 5, but place the card at 6:00
7. Repeat step 5, but place the card at 5:00
8. Repeat step 5, but place the card at 4:00
9. Repeat step 5, but place the card at 3:00
10. This time, perform the glide once again. This will put
Jack in the 1:00 position.
11. Continue the process until the setup is complete. it
should look like this (all cards are FACE-DOWN):
black# Red Jack
black# black# black#
12. Now wrap up the trick by saying: "Well, we do have
quite a problem here. Jack seems to be surrounded by enemy
cards. Is there any way that we can get him out of this
situation without using physical force on any cards?" The
audience might throw out a few ideas. No matter what, shrug
off the suggestions and say, "I've got an idea! Why don't we
all concentrate really hard on Jack and see if we can help him
teleport? I know it's a far cry, but it's worth a shot." Get
the audience to look at the middle card. Play it up. Look like
you are concentrating your hardest, and they'll play along.
Suddenly, with a snap of your fingers, turn over the middle
card. "Congratulations! With your help, Jack escaped, but
where did he go?" At this point turn over the surrounding
cards one at a time. Make sure you get to the Jack(2:00) last.
"Oh, THERE he is..."
13. Pick up the cards, Take your bow, etc. etc. etc.
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