Pleasure to Burn - With Envelope Four

By Pete McCabe - Wednesday, November 20, 2019


One of my favorite routines to perform from Scripting Magic 2 is “Pleasure to Burn” (also described right here on the magic blog). It really creates an active experience for the audience—something I value more and more as I learn more about magic. And it fools everybody, partly because the presentation is so engaging, nobody thinks about how it’s done until it’s too late.

The method relies on a four way out that can produce any of the queens. I had been using Marc Oberon’s Way Out; using my laser printer I made one that looks like a folded card and unfolds to show a complete face of any queen. It works well, especially on stage, but you have to keep the face towards the audience, and your hands are concealing some varieties of thickness. When I perform in my classroom, I wanted a version where I could handle the prediction card more freely.

So I’m always on the lookout for a four-way out, and last month I found one: The Number 4 Envelope by Blake Vogt. If you’re reading this on the Vanishing Inc blog, you’ve probably seen the trailer for this, which gives away the method; it’s a black envelope that can be opened in any of four different ways.

This works perfectly for Pleasure to Burn, and is now the method I use. I can’t really give any product a better recommendation than that.

Since I use it, I wanted to get a backup in case something happens to mine. So I figured I’d write a blog post, help Vanishing Inc. sell a couple more Number 4 Envelopes and/or copies of Scripting Magic 2, and they will send me a Number 4 Envelope for free.

To prove this blog post is not just a cheap attempt to wring a free product out of Josh and Andi, I asked them to post a pdf of the “Pleasure to Burn” writeup from Scripting Magic 2 as a gift to anybody that wants it. If you’ve got a Number 4 Envelope, you might find it a good use of that item. The envelope, loaded with the four queens, is the only thing you need to do the routine, which plays huge.

In the original write up, I had the Way Out thing folded up and paper clipped to the outside of my breast pocket. With the Number 4 Envelope, I start by choosing a woman who will be “The Survivor,” which I do not explain. I hand her the envelope and ask her not to open it, but that there is a prediction for her inside.

Now go through the selection process. Spot cards—die. Male picture cards—die. Now three queens, one at a time—clubs, hearts, and spades (say).

That means the survivor is the Queen of Diamonds.

Now you do the recap with a twist section. Start by saying you made a prediction. Take the envelope from the survivor and hold it up for emphasis—you made it because you knew. Begin to review the choices, and as you do, open the (correct) flap, and hand the envelope back to her. (Make sure she doesn’t reach inside yet—say something like “hold on to this”.)

Finish the recap: the survivor is the Queen of Diamonds. Have the survivor take the prediction out of the envelope. It is the Queen of Diamonds.

If you have a Number 4 Envelope and are looking for a routine, or if you’ve read Pleasure to Burn in SM2 but didn’t have a 4-way out you like, they make a great combination.


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