generic-postmark-2Thanks for purchasing SentiMental Postcards! I hope you’ll adapt the effect and make it your own. The principle used for this feat of magic was made popular by the great Martin Gardner and it has been used by some of the biggest names in the business like Max Maven and David Copperfield.

china-postmarkIf you wish to perform my suggested routine then you’ll want to write messages on the backs of all of the postcards with the exception of Fiji which is left blank. As stated in the instructions, I suggest that you use different pen styles and colors when writing about your fictitious journeys on the backs of the cards. If you are not familiar with some of the various countries attractions, then I suggest you scour the internet to discover what each country has to offer. The countries you’ll need to research are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England, Italy and Portugal.

generic-postmarkYou will also want to cut out the stamps from the “lick and stick sheet” and put them on the cards. You’ll notice that certain stamps should be placed on specific cards (use your common sense). Authentic stamps have a jagged edge, so you might want to invest in a pair of mini-pinking shears to cut-out your stamps. You can find artistic paper-edgers at your favorite arts and crafts stores. Shop around to find some like these.

usa-postmarkOnce you’ve written your messages and stamped each card, you’ll want to postmark them as well. I’ve created some bogus postmarks that can be applied with your inkjet printer. Click on any of the provided postmarks for a hi-rez image. Then open one of the postmarks in the editor of your choice like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. Position the postmark as I have done in picture to the left. Print the postmark on a blank sheet of paper.

postmarkpositionWhen printing a postmark for the first time I suggest putting a pencil-dot on one of the page’s corners and noting its position in your inkjet printer so that when you tape a postcard over the postmark you can load the paper back the same way. Tape the proper postcard, backside showing, onto the paper so that the upper right-hand corner, the stamped corner, covers the printed postmark. Run this prepared page through your printer once more to postmark the stamped corner. If it smears, isn’t straight or bleeds off of the edge then all the better; it will look more authentic.


Carefully remove the tape from the postcard and place the card aside to let the ink dry. Obviously, you’ll want to repeat this procedure until you’ve marked all 8 cards. Since there are only 5 postmarks available, I suggest that you should only partially stamp the remaining postcards. I also “dirty-up” the cards by rubbing them on concrete, creasing some, folding some, letting some get wet and creating black streaks on some with the heel of a shoe. Basically you want the cards to look as if they’ve traveled hundreds of miles!

fijicoinThe effect has been devised so that it always works itself out and Fiji will always be the final choice. Be sure that you give good instructions to your helper before proceeding with the trick. If the spectator loses his place then the effect can go awry. This is the main reason that I had each of the countries names printed on the front of each card. I wanted to be sure that no one misspelled any of the country’s names. This is also why I suggest that you use a marker like a miniature globe or a coin. You can acquire a coin from Fiji (for a true double-whammy) by visiting your favorite coin dealer!

If you repeat this effect for the same audience Fiji will always be their final choice! Rarely do I ever repeat the same effect for the same audience. However, in some situations you are forced to do so. If this concerns you then you might want to acquire a real postcard and stamp from Cuba, Peru, etc. Your choices are limited. Logically, if you use my patter, then it makes sense that it should always be Fiji.

fiji-bottleADDENDUM: Nowadays when I perform SentiMental Postcards I will do a couple of things differently. Instead of using the pencil-marked envelope as my “crib notes”, I’ll now print my notes on a small piece of paper that can be palmed. Rather than palming it I will typically tape it upside-down onto the back of my necktie so that when my back is turned I can simply reverse my tie and read it.

Also, instead of using a coin as a marker to keep their place, I’ll suggest that they use the cap of my water bottle since it is handy. All the while I’ll drink from the bottle while delivering my patter and performing the routine. I will purposely keep the company name on the bottle hidden with the palm of the hand holding the bottle. Then at the end of the routine I’ll ask, “Do you believe in the power of subliminal suggestion?” Whatever their response I’ll reply, “I rely on it!” as I reveal the FIJI brand on the bottle.

To reset the effect quickly remember: ICC-BEF-APE. That is short for Italy-Canada-China, Brazil-Egypt-France, Australia-Portugal-England. Once you try it you’ll ask yourself, “Since there are two C’s and two E’s which is which?” Luckily, they should be placed in order alphabetically where Canada comes before China, and Egypt comes before England.