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James Alan
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Toronto, Ontario
680 Posts

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I purchased the classic insurance policy card effect from a dealer and loved the idea. I felt it was a charming trick, but that the presentation didn't feel quite right for me. So I worked long and hard using some (rather frustrating) publishing software to design my own policy. The result was that I could give the policy out to any old spectator who could simply read off of it as I prompted them. I also made it so that instead of showing a giant picture of a card, a mini playing card fell out as the spectator unfolded it (meanwhile I haven't touched the policy since the beginning of the routine). That way I could switch to another card any time.

So after weeks spent designing this prop, I was ready to try it out for the first time. As luck would have it, the very next day, a friend asked me if I would show him something. So I brought out my deck of cards, and my policy. He picks his card, I say that the deck was sold to me by a dealer and that it even came with insurance. That way if I failed to find his card he could get up to $1000. I added that it was so foolproof that even he could shuffle the cards. He did, I snapped my fingers and turned over the top card...

It was his. (I have to admit, in my practicing, I hadn't planned for this) But I was quick on my feet, and said it was truly incredible, but that I could do it again. I gave him the deck to shuffle, took it back, snapped my fingers and got an indifferent card (9D). I said (unconvincingly) that was on purpose, that it was an indicator card and that his card must be nine cards down. I counted slowly and fairly to the ninth card, turned it over...

It was his.

He asked me how I did it, I can't remember what I said. I don't perform the insurance policy anymore (too scared of what might happen next).
James Alan

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