Correct Key - Method and Ideas
EFFECT: The performer gives a spectator a padlock and seven keys, none of which will open the lock as the spectator discovers. The performer then presents an eighth key which does open the lock. The lock is closed and all keys are mixed by the spectator. The performer then correctly devines the correct key that opens the lock.
FOR STAGE OR CLOSE-UP
CAN BE TOTALLY HANDS-OFF PRESENTATION
COULD BE DONE OVER THE PHONE or ZOOM SHOW
SERIOUS OR COMEDY PRESENTATION
MADE JUST LIKE THE ORIGINIAL
METHOD: The lock works like a regular lock until it is "set". Once set, only ONE key can open the lock. After it is closed again, ALL of the keys can open the lock. Then, the lock needs to be "set" again for it to work in this manner.
Examining the keys, you'll find that one is sleightly different than the others. (this is the one with the small key ring and/or a sticker with "A") This is the "A" key. All others keys are "B" keys.
To SET the lock:
Both A and B keys can set the lock.
Hold the lock on the palm of your hand - see Figure 1
Close your hand to apply some pressure - see Figure 2
While still holding pressure, insert key and turn about 1/4 turn 'til lock clicks - see Figure 3
Continue to turn key then pull out key - lock is now set
IMPORTANT!!!! - DO THIS TEST TO CHECK LOCK IS SET -
----1. Pull up hard on shank and lock should not open
----2. The B keys will not open lock - try it.
IMPORTANT: Keep the lock in good working order by spraying a LITTLE WD-40 in the chamber once every few months or as needed.
CORRECT KEY aka Key-R-Rect
Give the lock and seven keys to various audience members. Tell them to try each key inside the lock to open it. It is found that none of the keys open the locks. These keys are sealed in envelopes. An eighth key is brought out and shown to open the lock. This key is also placed into an envelope. All envelopes are mixed by an audience member. The magician then divines the correct envelope with the key that opens the lock.
-You could invite only one person to test the seven keys in the lock.
-Don't use the envelopes. Just have all keys dropped into a glass goblet. Have spectator mix keys.
-After lock is closed, have audience members mix the keys and eight people each hold a key. Do a brief cold-reading of each person and divine the person who holds the key that opens the lock.
-Give the "power" to an audience member to divine the correct key that opens the lock.
-You don't need to use 7 keys at the begining. You can do it with 5 or 6 keys although any less would not be as amazing.
-Secure the lock around a borrowed ring, a jacket buttonhole, a woman's purse handles, etc. for dramatic or comedy impact.
-Lock a spectator's valuables in a box with a hasp. Secure the lock onto the box and have the spectator play a "game" to get his valuables back. Good comedy potential / Game show theme
ABSENTEE PRESENTATION OVER THE PHONE OR ZOOM SHOW
Mail the "set" lock and keys to host of event keeping the A key in a separate envelope. Tell host that they MUST follow all directions very carefully. Have host open the shipped box in front of the audience while you talk them through the effect. The host can then ask random viewers to elimiate keys until one is left. Or, you can simply divine which key will open the lock. As a gag, you could have a pair of latex glovees as the first item to be used by the host for pandemic "protection".
Jeff HOBSON RADIO ROUTINE:
This is to use when you are a guest on a radio show.
Before going on-air, have host test the first keys that they do not open the lock (this is to save airtime). When on-air, explain that the host tried the 7 keys in the lock. Then, present the 8th key. Have host open the lock. Then, secure the lock around the microphone arm. It will make quite a loud clanging sound that the radio audience will certainly hear. Tell the host that the lock will stay there forever unless his listening audience can divine the correct key. Have host lay out the keys on the counter in a line. Additionally, you can write numbers one through seven on Post-It Notes so each key has a plainly designated number so there's no confusion from the host. Have the listening audience call into the station and randomly choose a number from 1-8 to eventaully elimiating all keys to leave only one key that will be left for the host. That one last key opens the lock. This gives an opportunity for good audience interaction and participation.
-Many other routines have been published over the years for this effect. Two reference links: