1. Home

Jumbo Backstage Monte - Review

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating


Jumbo Backstage Monte - Review
Here's yet another card magic trick with a "3 Card Monte" theme. "Jumbo Backstage Monte" is based on a well known beginner's magic trick. It begins conventionally, but transforms into something of a sucker effect at its conclusion. The gimmicking is clever and the effect is a fooler, but the effect requires care so the magician doesn't come across as an annoying smart aleck. By the way, the "Jumbo" in the title refers to the large cards that make this effect suitable for platform and stage shows.
To start, you offer to teach the audience a simple card trick (something that I called "Simple Monte" - click here to formally learn this trick). In the basic trick, you display three cards in a fan and ask the spectator to remember the middle card. After turning the cards over, you remove the middle card. You ask the spectator if they can recall what the card is. And when you show it to them, it's a different card (the number card turns into a court card). This is a classic easy card trick that you can easily make and perform. At this point, the effect is traditionally complete.

"Jumbo Backstage Monte" now takes a different turn. You effectively expose the trick by showing and explaining the partial card flap and demonstrate how it hides the court card. You walk through the effect once more, but at the end, the court card turns into an ace. The gimmicking is clever and the effect itself is easy to learn and perform and requires no complicated moves. The kit, which is available for under $20, includes the jumbo cards and good instructions.

Great Idea But Great Trick?

The effect is based on a great idea, but I think that magicians have to be careful with sucker tricks to this type. In "Jumbo Backstage Monte," you're lulling audience members into thinking that they're learning a secret, and then, at the end, you fry them. The routine is similar in spirit to "What's Next," (the multiplying "dot trick" on a card).

I tried "Jumbo Backstage Monte" out at a recent restaurant gig and found that this one just doesn't work with my personality. I'm not saying that it's a bad trick - it packs a surprise and is a fooler - but in order to entertain with it, you need to have the right persona. And if you're going to perform a "jumbo monte" style effect, there are lots of great versions out there including: Royal Tonte by Bob Sheets and Sidewalk Shuffle by Martin Lewis. For more information on the tricks based on the monte, click here.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.