Magic Musings

The Card to Wallet | A Classic of Magic

The Birthday Card Trick

Happy Birthday Playing Card with Balloons The Best in Magic Entertainment The Happy Birthday Card Souvenir | Boston Birthday Magician
A Unique Memento on Their Birthday!

For several years, I have performed Jim Swain’s Air Mail Card for all my adult birthday shows. Since I required a method that did not require a table, I was lucky to discover a method by Shaun Robison. 

I am sharing the contrasting reactions I got in the past, compared to my present reactions. Now, I have invariably received great reactions. That’s not what I am addressing… just the contrast.

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I used to prepare the effect by writing Happy Birthday, with their name on the back of a ” blank back card.” In case you don’t know the routine, the spectator selects a card. Next, they sign their name on the face of their card. The effect continues into a “triumph” routine, with their signed selection being the only face-up card in a face-down deck. 

I then explain that I have brought them a card for their birthday, and as you would expect, in the zipped compartment of the wallet is a card with Happy Birthday [name] on the back. At this moment, I handed the card to the spectator… and more often than not; they expect that this is their signed selection. This is a shocking moment, but it is what they expected. I usually got the reaction of “No #^*N Way!” This is great. I had no complaints.

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As years went on, I started printing Happy Birthday Balloons on a blank backed card. Resulting in a “more unique Memento.” I feel this is more “professional” I now have them custom printed and you can see the back of the card in the picture above.

The next progression was to have the signed card in a sealed envelope. Years earlier, I remember Jean Jacques Sanvert, on his L&L DVD set… saying that the sealed envelope was a stronger effect. So I gave it a shot. Of course, Mr. Sanvert knows of what he speaks… my reactions went up a couple of notches.

I had no particular expectation with my altered presentation… the reactions were already over the top, but I got a surprise. The words and presentation I use now, changed the final denouement. I designed this approach for my amusement. To show myself how I could control the “moment of magic.”

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Now I’m not saying the reaction is “better”, what I am saying is this has changed “the moment” in a big way. As usual, I tell the spectator I have a birthday card for them, before I start the trick. So now they feel the trick has ended when they see their signed card as the only face-up card in the face-down deck.

 Now, I remind them I have a birthday card for them… I remove the envelope from the zippered compartment in my wallet. Tear it open and hand them their birthday card. This gets a moment of silence… I believe they are thinking, “this is nice… some Happy Birthday Balloons on a card.” So far, no one has turned the card over in expectation of seeing their signature. I have to give a little prompt, and when they do…” Boom!” Personally, I enjoy this a little more. Either way, I am sure the client is happy. See for yourself. Here is a clip showing the reaction.

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