40 New Mental Mysteries by North Bigbee
40 NEW MENTAL MYSTERIES BY NORTH BIGBEE...
eBook Edition © Copyright 2016
40 NEW MENTAL MYSTERIES by North Bigbee Illustrated by Tom Palmer
PUBLISHED BY TRICKSHOP.COM
SÉANCES AND SUCH............................................. 25
NORTH’S CUMMERBUND SWITCH............................. 4 TRIPLEPIC........................................................................... 5 THOTBREAK....................................................................... 7 OTHER SWITCH SWINDLES.......................................... 8
SÉANCE SEERSHIP.........................................................25 BEAT THE RAP.................................................................26 MENTALIST’S BLUE BOOK..........................................26 IMPROMPTU DARK SÉANCE......................................27
TO THE COLORS........................................................8
BOOK NOOK........................................................... 28
COLORCAST........................................................................ 9 TELECOLOR........................................................................ 9 COLOREAD.......................................................................10 SPEL-A-COLOR................................................................11
SÉANCE BOOK CHALLENGE.......................................29 POPULAR BOOK CHALLENGE...................................30 WORDIVINO.....................................................................32
WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE..................................... 12 RECORDING ANGEL.......................................................12 EASY-MARK......................................................................13 PSYCHOMETRIX.............................................................13 CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.................................. 14 ADIVINO............................................................................14 TELE-AD............................................................................15 PROPHETS WITH HONOR..................................... 15
SLATE SORCERY..................................................... 32 GHOST SLATE..................................................................32 ANY SLATE A CLIPBOARD...........................................33 DUALEPATHY...................................................................34 ASTROLOGICAL ABRACADABRA........................... 35 HAPPY BIRTHDAY...........................................................35 ASTROLEPATHY..............................................................36 PUTTING MENTALISM ON THE MAP................... 38
BANNER PREDICTION..................................................15 BARGAIN PREDICTION CHEST...................................16
STATE OF MINE..............................................................38 DREAM TRIP....................................................................39 JIGSAW-CERY...................................................................40
MENTALISM BY DESIGN....................................... 18
MENTAL MIRTHQUAKES....................................... 41
SUPER-PREDICTO..........................................................18 CRYSTALEPATHY............................................................19 MENTA-PIX.......................................................................20 TEL-EPIC............................................................................21 ESPREDICTION...............................................................22
LOVE-CHAIN....................................................................41 POOR BOY’S SPIRIT HAND.........................................43
EXTRA SENSORY DECEPTION.............................. 23 TELEVINATION................................................................23 NIGHT-OR-DAY................................................................23 DARK DESIGN..................................................................24
MISCELLANEOUS MIRACLES................................ 44 IMPROMPTU MENTAL MASTERPIECE.....................44 NUMISMAGIC...................................................................45 BINGO BAFFLER.............................................................45 NITE-CLUB BILL READING..........................................46 TELE-MIRACLE................................................................47
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NORTH’S CUMMERBUND SWITCH This new switch can be of service in both mentalism and standard magic. After explaining it, we’ll illustrate its usefulness first with a big scale triple prediction, then demonstrate its adaptability for still larger objects in a glass-breaking baffler. Many methods for switching billets have been devised, and many fine effects developed utilizing these. However, when folded as they must be for switching, the billets are too tiny for even most club spectators, much less hall or theater audiences. Hence, instead of small billets we use easily seen rolls of paper, such as adding machine tape or the packing around wide ribbon. On such the words can be inked in letters two to three inches high for all spectators to see and most to read. The paper is rolled, rubber-banded, and held on the mentalist’s outstretched forefinger so substitution seems impossible. Yet switches can be made instantly and indetectably by taking advantage of the mentalist’s customary costume: dinner jacket (tuxedo) with cummerbund. When buckled slightly tighter than usual, the cummerbund provides a pocket as wide as your body. The top four inches of the cloth band form the pocket, with its lowest inch covering the top edge of your trousers tightly so these make a bottom. This keeps any thin light object from falling through To open the pocket, merely pull in your stomach slightly. To close it, just relax. Before using the switch, carelessly unbutton your dinner jacket. With paper tape, here’s how it works: Before performing, letter a dummy message on the right size tape, roll around your right forefinger just tightly enough so you can quickly slip your finger in and out, and rubber-band tape to hold this hole. Insert this fake roll, tilting it slightly to the right, into your cummerbund just right of the navel. Station the spectator who is to hand you the real tape upstage to your right as you stand with back to audience. Place the spectator to whom you hand the substitute fake tape downstage to your left. “Help” the first spectator by rolling his tape on your right forefinger for him to rubber-band it. With forefinger outstretched, turn left toward second spectator. As you wheel, your right forefinger sticks real tape into cummerbund just right of
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fake one. Right middle finger pushes off the real roll, being aided from outside the cummerbund by the left hand, which comes up to cummerbund as right hand goes down to it. Right forefinger then slips into duplicate tape, which is steadied to facilitate this by the left hand against the cloth. Right forefinger (with fake tape now on it) is immediately outstretched to pass roll to second spectator. Thus both spectators, as well as audience, apparently see the same roll on the same finger in the same position. With practice, discarding the spectator’s tape and picking up your fake duplicate become almost one movement. The Cummerbund Switch is as easy to learn as most billet switches, and even more useful for club and stage performers.
TRIPLEPIC EFFEC T: This big scale “billet” test is made possible by the Cummerbund Switch as explained above. On a paper tape, the mentalist letters three predictions — a word, name and number — and places this roll openly on center table. Any spectator then selects any word from unprepared dictionary and prints it on a similar tape. From any phone book, a second spectator then chooses any name, and at a blackboard, a third man totals any four historic dates, both name and number also being put onto tape by first spectator. Performer now hands this tape to second spectator to seal inside a plastic case and hold in full view. Mentalist then passes his own prediction to the third spectator, who reads and shows it to audience. Each spectator in turn verifies the mentalist’s prediction for a perfect score!
Paper tape Rubber-bands Phone Book Eraser
Paper to cover Table #1 A
Plus: Three tables and two chairs, borrowed where performing.
Rubber cement Mystik Tape Plastic Box Chalk
Yellowjacket Marker Dictionary Easel—Chalkboard
PREPAR ATION: Cover a sizable table (with a chair behind it) with wrapping paper cover, and to this rubber-cement the left end of a 3-ft. roll of adding machine tape or paper ribbon. With marker, print any word, name, and four-figure total. Roll tape comfortably around right forefinger, rubber-band it, and insert into cummerbund as above. Then rubber cement left ends of two duplicate tapes onto paper on big table, placed slightly downstage at audience’s left. On table place the marker, rubber-bands, and dictionary. Still farther left and downstage, set chair with phone book. On small table center and upstage from Table 1, place clear plastic case (a refrigerator food holder
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from Kress) with the Mystik Tape inside. At audience’s right and upstage from Table #1, place table to hold easel-type chalkboard ($1 at Kress), chalk and eraser. METHOD: After patter buildup, print any word, name and four digit total on first of two tapes now on Table #1. Roll on right forefinger, rubber-band, and put roll on center table. Then get three spectators onstage, seating the first at Table #1 to select any word from dictionary and print it on remaining tape. Second man chooses name from phone book and shows to the first to copy on tape. Third spectator adds any four historic dates on chalkboard and gives total to first man to print. Now hand plastic box to second spectator. Tell first spectator to loosen his tape’s left end (which insures its being rolled right-to-left for convenience in reading later), extending your right forefinger to “help” him roll and rubber-band it. As you turn left downstage to hand first spectator’s roll to second man, Cummerbund Switch your fake roll. Holding it on forefinger, ask second man to tape both the roll and then the box with Mystik Tape and hold up box in full view of audience.
With obviously empty hands go to center table and impale your “prediction” on forefinger, turning left and down toward first spectator. However, do NOT yet make switch, as he might recognize his own roll. Apparently change your mind, telling first man, “You’ve done most of the work so far. Let’s give our mathematician more to do.” Whereupon you complete your turn to the left, thus switching prediction for spectator’s tape. With this held high, cross stage to third man at chalkboard. Stand between him and first spectator and even with the latter so he cannot see either front or back of tape when unrolled (the marker’s ink soaks right through the paper roll. Ask mathematician to remove your “prediction”, unband, and read it aloud. Helpfully, you take its left end, unroll and show tape as the spectator reads it. Each man verifies your “prediction”, whereupon you casually crumple it into your pocket. Take plastic box from second spectator, explaining, “All of you remembered your selections, so we won’t need this for confirmation.” Put box, still sealed, aside in order to shake hands with the three, and send them offstage with thanks. Of course, you do not know what you’ve predicted (?) until you see the spectator’s tape while unrolling it for the third spectator. However, you don’t need to know sooner, and now if necessary can fake some familiarity with your forecasts. This one-man method enables you (without an assistant) to control safely and simultaneously (1) the showing of the tape (so the spectator who lettered it won’t recognize it as his own), and (2) the secrecy of the dummy tape, sealed and in a sealed box across the stage.
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THOTBREAK Breaking a glass supposedly by thought waves is a mental stunner. However, by the old method the thin cocktail glass cannot be examined and may fall to pieces prematurely — and with it, the trick. Our new way using any highball glass (or even a thick jelly glass) demonstrates how the Cummerbund Switch can be adapted for larger objects. EFFEC T: Any spectator selects, examines and marks any highball glass and ties it in a plastic bag. Assistant takes bagged glass and places on a small, thin tray. Standing across stage, the mentalist commands glass to break, which it does instantly. Performer then takes shattered glass and tray into audience for examination if desired. PREPAR ATION: At a dime store buy: Several cheap highball glasses; package of plastic bags big enough to hold one of these; two identical trays each about 4" ax 6"; and a strong rat trap (a mouse trap won’t do the job.) Remove the trap’s bait holder and its long wire trip, and trim the wood base to fit the recessed part of one tray. Drill four holes in bottom of this tray for wood screws, and two larger holes, one each at middle of rim on the long side to run half-inch black elastic tape through. Screw trap to tray, and with dead black color paint all parts of trap and tray and also the unprepared tray. Loop and knot the elastic tape through the holes in the rim, leaving slack enough below tray for assistant to insert fingers of right hand palm up. Just before going onstage, the assistant (who wears a cummerbund to make the switch) places plain tray into right side of his cummerbund. Putting right fingers into the elastic loop of the faked tray, he pulls back the trap’s spring with his left hand and holds down its wire crosspiece with his right thumb. METHOD: Any spectator chooses, marks with crayon, and bags one of the highball glasses, tying the plastic bag with colorful ribbon. Performer carries bagged glass to assistant upstage and center, standing in front of helper to prepare the audience for this same position when switch is later made. With his left hand, assistant places bagged glass on front part of faked tray in the path of its spring. Standing well away, the performer shouts, “Break”, which covers noise of trap. Assistant releases thumb, the strong spring instantly shattering the glass. Performer again stands in front of assistant. With his right hand, the mentalist takes the bagged glass from assistant’s left hand.
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Hidden by performer’s body, the assistant sticks the prepared tray into the top of his cummerbund with his right hand. Simultaneously the performer’s left hand goes under assistant’s cummerbund to pull the plain tray out from bottom of cummerbund. Mentalist shows audience glass and tray, both of which may be freely examined. T WO C AUTIONS: This method is for highball-type glasses. Do NOT use a stemmed cocktail — or wine glass, whose stem is not shattered by the trap, but merely tangles the plastic bag and gives away the secret. Also, the trap shatters the glass with such force that glass splinters sometimes shoot through a wax paper or even plastic bag for several feet. Make sure no one is nearer than six feet to the front of trap when sprung.
OTHER SWITCH SWINDLES Many other uses for the Cummerbund Switch will doubtless suggest themselves to you. You may already have some favorite small scale billet effects which this switch can blow up to stage size. Here are several suggestions for utilizing the switch in other mental effects: 1. The switch can be used to exchange the performer’s packet of all alike want-ads for the ones the spectators scissored out, in a want-ad prediction or divination. 2. For a limited number of choices, the cummerbund can serve as an index holding four rolls, each with an ESP design “predicted” on it. 3. The switch can be effectively utilized in a sensational locked box headline or news event prediction. The mentalist makes the switch as he takes his rolled “prediction” from the celebrity who opened the box, and hands it (on right forefinger) to another celebrity to unroll, read and show to the audience. As the second notable has not seen the original “prediction” before, he cannot detect any minor differences in the appearance of the substituted one. TO THE COLORS Although no mentalist wishes his presentation to look like a magic act, some bend over too far backwards to avoid any flash. A little judicious color may do much to enliven the monotonous black and white color scheme of most mental acts, made up of the mentalist’s dinner jacket, ESP and TP cards, black slate with white chalk, etc. Here are several new effects legitimately introducing the flash of color.
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COLORCAST This fool-proof audience participation opener not only gets you off to a fast start, but also simplifies the problem of recruiting spectators as assistants by making it a privilege for them to get into the act. EFFEC T: Mentalist shows five large colored cards: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Black. Explaining this is a test to find the most psychic subjects for his later experiments, the performer projects each of four colors in turn (Black is not used). Each spectator thinks of first color to come to his mind and raises his hand only if he did receive the color the performer then announces that he projected. Apologizing that he cannot use all who may wish to test their psychic powers, mentalist now asks spectators who received all four impressions to raise hands to choose participant in his next experiment. After four-color psychics are used, he asks those who got three colors to lift hands, etc. (His assistant may identify and decorate these top psychics with a colorful symbol, such as colored feathers from a novelty shop for women to stick in their hair and men in their lapels.) PREPAR ATION: At an art supply store buy five sheets of colored Board @ 25¢ each in Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Black. From each 22" x 28" sheet cut a card 11" x 14", thus leaving three-fourths for the other color effects. METHOD: This is a psychological force. Experience shows that the order of selection by lay audiences is: first, Red; second, Blue; third, Green; and fourth, Yellow. (Black is shown merely to give a possible choice from Yellow, in the last selection.) Show all five colorful cardboards first, then after each choice, display the remaining four, three or two. As some spectators will think of three and even four colors correctly, you have a ready-made supply of assistants flattered by this recognition of their psychic powers and vying to show them further before your act ends.
TELECOLOR EFFEC T: This naturally follows Colorcast, utilizing 10 jumbo-sized cards cut from the same five colors of cardboard. Performer chooses a psychic spectator, who places his set of five cards in any sequence on a blackboard’s shelf and projects their order to performer. With his back to spectator, mentalist divines and duplicates the color sequence exactly with his duplicate cards! PREPAR ATION: On two corners of each of the remaining three-quarter sheets of colored Railroad Board, place a jumbo-sized playing card (or king-size ESP card); Trace around each with pencil, cut out cards, and round their corners. At a Kress toy department for $1 each buy two children’s blackboards 24" x 18", whose shelf is just wide enough to hold five cards. (If you trace around Texas Deck cards, skip the black cardboard, as shelf holds only four of these wider cards.) At H. L. Green’s for 29¢ buy a Vogue Cabinet Knob No. 680, remove its screw, and paint with flesh color all the
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knob except its convex top. This makes any excellent reducing-type peek mirror. (If out of paint, cover knob back with flesh color Band-Aid adhesive tape.) METHOD: Place spectator’s blackboard facing audience, with his five cards on table center upstage. Put your blackboard with its back to audience on table downstage at audience’s right. Clamp the stem of cabinet knob at base of and between your left middle finger and ring finger. As soon as spectator goes to his board, spot him in knob-mirror. Ask him to think of each color as he places it on his shelf. Then just reverse his order, as what the mirror shows at your right is actually at spectator’s left. Hide mirror by holding it behind board as you turn it around (tilting it slightly backward to keep cards from slipping off shelf) to show audience that you divined the color sequence correctly.
COLOREAD EFFEC T: This may be substituted for Telecolor to simplify packing, as it uses only a single easel-type chalkboard. Any spectator clips three jumbo-size cards, with colored fronts and white backs, in any order on rod of chalkboard. Standing several feet behind cards, mentalist correctly divines their order, duplicating it with his own color cards. PREPAR ATION: For $1 at Kress get a child’s easel greenboard. Spring the two steel rods at top, remove one end, slide off counting beads, and re-insert rods. Cut out six jumbo-size cards, two each from Red, Green and Yellow Railroad Board, and three cards to match from white board. Glue a white card evenly to back of one Red, Green and Yellow card so no color is seen from back. At a stationer’s get three shiny fileboard clips (such as the 3"-wide Hunt Clip No. 4), and slip these onto greenboard’s top rod. METHOD: The secret is in the clips, the insides of whose flat metal grips serve as mirrors. When a card is clipped into each, its color is reflected by the bright metal inside clip, just above card’s top. Stand a few feet back and slightly right or left (depending on light) to spot the colors reflected in clips. In performing, first show spectator how to clip the cards, about half-way up in the clips. Then turn your back while he arranges cards in any order. Casually glance at “mirror” above each of his before handing him your cards with instructions to put this one center, next at audience’s left, and last at its right, duplicating his order.
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SPEL-A- COLOR EFFEC T: In this double-barreled baffler, a spectator blindly spells and mentalist psychically predicts the same mentally-chosen color! Showing four (jumbo color cards, the performer secretly inserts the one of the color he predicts spectator will choose, into an envelope. In four other envelopes mentalist places four cards, one of each color, and mixes these. Spectator mentally chooses one color and silently spells its name by shifting, one envelope from the face to the back of the pack for each letter. Performer removes his predicted color and spectator withdraws the card from his last envelope. Both are the mentally-chosen color! PREPAR ATION: If you have already made up Telecolor (previous effect), you will need only four more jumbo-size cards, one each of Green, Yellow, Red and Blue. Also, six manila envelopes 6-1/2" x 9-1/2", which you may already have, as it is a favorite size for dealers to pack tricks. Place two envelopes back-to-back, with their flaps open at opposite ends and also on opposite sides; that is, flap at left on top envelope, flap at right on bottom envelope. With a quarter-inch-wide strip of glue along the two long sides of the envelopes, glue them together here, leaving both ends open. The resulting double envelope thus has three compartments; one in each envelope, plus one between these, entry to which is controlled by either flap. Into middle compartment insert Green card as near the right edge as possible, then below it the Red card as near the left edge as possible. Open right flap, nail nick it for identification, and insert Yellow card into bottom envelope. Turn double envelope over, and put Blue card into the former top envelope. Now take the four other envelopes and mark them with indentations which you can feel, to read them from their faces as follows: Left edge, Green; middle of left side, Yellow; middle of right side, Red (Crimson); right edge, Blue (Cerulean.) You can use nail nicks, or our new system of indenting with an ink-less typewriter key as in Night-or-Day on Page 20. METHOD: Patter that for artists present you will use the correct names of the shades of the four color cards: Green, Yellow, Crimson (for the strong Red), and,Cerulean (for the light Blue). After showing each, put into proper envelope, and close the flaps. (If you don’t seal them, you can use the same envelopes indefinitely.) Mix the envelopes by cutting, ending with them in the same order, faces up, from top to bottom: Green, Yellow, Crimson, Cerulean. Ask any spectator to select one color mentally, and then silently spell out its name with the envelopes. Illustrate with Black (which is not used in this effect) whose five letter name keeps envelopes in proper order when one envelope is moved from front of pack to back for each letter. Upstage with back to spectators pretend to select one color card and insert in one compartment of fake envelope. Actually just hide the four color cards under the Black card from Telecolor above. Spectator then silently spells his chosen color, the last letter of its name corresponding to the color in that envelope. To learn the mentally-selected color, merely count the envelopes as spectator
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spells. If he stops with 5th envelope, color is Green (5 letters); if 6th, Yellow; if 7th, Crimson; if 8th, Cerulean (8 letters). Casually turn your fake, envelope (using nail nick as guide) to the proper side to remove the correct color. Thus, Green and Yellow are removed from under one flap, Crimson and Cerulean from under other flap. (Although the middle compartment holds two color cards, Green is nearer one edge of compartment, and Crimson nearer the other edge.) Spectator then opens his envelope to find he has spelled out his color, which you have already predicted! WANTED DE AD OR ALIV E
RECORDING ANGEL EFFEC T: Although Living or Dead tests have long been a psychic staple, they may seem a bit morbid. Also; most utilize billets, restricting their effectiveness. Here’s one big enough for club, platform or even stage, which also minimizes any morbid aspects by introducing sex appeal! Mentalist flatters a pretty young lady into acting as “recording angel”. While he turns his back, she prints name of anyone dead on a slate in any of five numbered spaces. Then, without letting performer see either the names or positions, she letters into the four remaining spaces the names of living persons dictated to her by any four spectators. Now taking the slate for the first time, the mentalist asks these four to think “Living” in connection with their names, and the young lady to think “Dead” with hers. Performer calls out four names and identifies each as living as he erases them, then shows the name of the one dead person, which all five spectators verify. No forcing, peeking, fishing, stooges or confederates, and one person prints all the names. PREPAR ATION: On a good sized slate (my 29¢ Kress slate is 14" x 10") chalk the numbers 1 through 5 evenly along left edge of slate’s short side. This enables your angel to record the names the slate’s long way in letters large enough for other spectators to read. Further to insure this, use given names plus last initials rather than full names. Wrap two sticks of dime store chalk with colored Mystik Tape, starting an inch from the small end, running up to cover blunt end, and leaving an inch of tape loose there. Sharpen each small end to a very fine point tapering this for support. Protect the points by taping the sticks inside the slate’s frame and against the slate sheet with Mystik’s loose end stuck onto the wood. Ostensibly to keep chalk dust from angel’s hands, the wrapping is actually to prevent the chalk from coming to pieces if it breaks. As chalk soft enough for our purpose probably will, the tape forces girl to still use only the pointed end. (The second stick similarly prepared is a spare for safety in case she drops the first piece before printing the first name.) METHOD: The secret is the chalk’s fine point. This makes the letters of the first or dead name slightly thinner and much “cleaner” looking. By the start of the second name, the point is blunting, and noticeably so by its end. The uniformly thicker letters of the three other names enable you to eliminate, name and erase these without difficulty. Thereupon the differences between the first and second names stand out so you can erase the second and then show the first as the dead name.
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METHOD 2: To repeat the trick immediately — or do it impromptu — DON’T turn your back. Casually spot the approximate space on slate where girl prints dead name. As she prints, count the letters, the time lag between them being slightly longer than that between parts of a letter. Also, try to pencil-read at least the first and last letters. By then you’ll have enough clues to make a more than good guess.
EASY- MARK (CIRCLE ) For those who like the billet type L-D test, here’s an easy and indetectable way to identify the slip containing the dead name: You don’t need to mark it. It’s already marked for you! METHOD: Good bond papers are watermarked with the name of brand and maker. In cutting the mill sheets into letter-size stationery, the watermarks fall into various places. However, on any 8-1/2" x 11" sheet, one watermark will be sufficiently close to either top or bottom to insure at least one line of watermark on one slip if cut sufficiently wide. If watermark falls so more than one slip includes part of it, just remember which line is on the dead name slip. Should watermark be at side where it might not show when folded by spectator, pre-fold it properly. Use slips the full width of letter size paper, and just over 2" deep (which cuts five from the 11" sheet) so the names can be printed in letters big enough to see and read. Watermarks are so faint and so long have been accepted as a sign of good paper that most spectators have no reason even to notice, much less suspect them.
PSYCHOMETRIX EFFEC T: Psychometry (the psychic reading of facts about a person from handling a personal possession) has inspired many pseudo versions going back to Annemann’s classic original. Methods of identifying the envelopes holding the possessions differ, but the effect remains the same: mentalist’s assistant collects in envelopes objects from a number of spectators. Although the performer has not seen what each spectator has enclosed, nevertheless by looking at each object he describes and even analyzes its owner. METHOD: Psychometrix is included under L-D for convenience, as its secret is similar to Easy Mark above. The envelopes are already marked for you by the manufacturer high grade envelopes are watermarked, so go to a stationer’s and try out whatever such he has by holding a few samples up to the light. With flaps closed and toward you, look for both readability and variety of positions of the flap’s watermarks. One good brand that is marketed nationally is Eaton’s Corrasable Bond Envelopes, from whose packet of 25 you should be able to make up at least two sets of five envelopes each with watermarks spaced sufficiently across their flaps to “number” 1 to 5. Watermark farthest left on flap identifies No. 1, and so on across for Nos. 2, 3 and 4, while envelope with no
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watermark on flap is No. 5. In performing, take each sealed envelope and hold it up to light “to see what’s inside” before tearing open the flap and removing spectator’s possession. This quick and unsuspected glimpse of flap’s watermark enables you to match envelope’s number with the spectator’s number as you mentally classified each spectator when assistant passed out envelopes, left to right, front to back, in audience. There are, of course, other watermarks on the envelopes, but even a small object inside may mask any mark in the body of the envelope, leaving the flaps as the safer bet. C L A S S I F I E D I N F O R M AT I O N Newspaper want-ad tests usually require substitution, via envelopes or sleights or both, of the mentalist’s ad for the spectator’s. Some magazine ad tests still sold use mathematical forces plus old gimmicked ad sheets alien to the current magazine (even of a different name) from which it supposedly is torn. Here are two easy psychic readings of classified ads unmistakably from the latest local newspaper, and involving no mathematical forces, substitutions or other sleights in performing.
ADIVINO EFFEC T: In this do-as-I-do ad test, the mentalist hands any spectator a current copy of the local newspaper, and himself uses an obviously different out of town paper. Following the performer’s example spectator similarly finds the want-ad section in his own paper, discards the others, and counts the pages containing only want-ads. Any other spectator then chooses page. Spectator counts columns on this page, and another spectator selects column. Still another calls any number 1 through 10 to choose the particular ad, counting from top of page. On a blackboard, the first spectator prints the words capitalized in the ad’s heading or top line, for audience to see. Upstage at another blackboard, the performer divines and duplicates the words. PREPAR ATION: Get two copies of the local and one of an out of town newspaper of the same page size. (If the number of columns differs, so much the better.) From the out of town paper and one copy of the local, remove the want-ad pages, and substitute the local pages in the other paper. Match the numbering, so if the local want-ads start on Page 5, retain Pages 1 through 4 of the other paper, and insert local pages there. Before discarding the unwanted out of town ads, find and memorize (or make up) an amusing ad line for later use in your patter. For example, one headed — ACE TREE SERVICE among the “Dog Care” ads. Place spectator’s chalkboard on table downstage facing audience, and your own well upstage and also facing audience, so there will be no suspicion of peeking at the spectator’s printing. Also put a wastebasket near your table. METHOD: By now the method is obvious. As you direct spectator how to proceed, utilizing your out of town newspaper to show him how, you, of course, find the same ad selected in his genuine local
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paper. Subtly emphasize any differences between the two newspapers, such as yours has seven columns and his eight. When ad has been selected, explain how to count down to it, disregarding any classification sub-heads such as Dog Care. Tell him to memorize the capitalized words in heading or first line of ad, such as “ACE TREE SERVICE”. Express surprise at this example, for both laughs and misdirection. As soon as you’ve memorized the capitalized words; crumple your fake paper into wastebasket. At the chalkboards, synchronize your printing of the words to his (by sound), for a sensational show of telepathy.
TELE-AD ( THE NEW TOPS ) EFFEC T: Showing the local newspaper’s latest edition, the mentalist takes its want-ad section and tears out all pages bearing only want-ads. He writes his prediction of ad to be chosen, seals in any envelope, and hands to any spectator. Audience selects any page shown, on which a second spectator selects an ad at random by drawing diagonal lines from the top corners. First spectator now opens and reads mentalist’s prediction, which proves the same as the ad then read by second spectator! PREPARATION: The secret is a simple force of both page and ad. Count the classified ad sheets (a sheet is two numbered pages) in the latest edition, and buy the same number of copies. In your copy, find a typical ad page with NO big ads or news copy on either side which would identify it at a distance to the audience. With yardstick and sharp red pencil draw a diagonal line from top left corner to bottom right, and top right to bottom left. If the page is seven columns wide, the lines will cross in the middle of one ad. If eight columns, the cross comes on the column-rule between the fourth and fifth. Here choose the shorter or more suitable ad, right or left. (A “Personal” may afford legitimate comedy.) Clip the ad; rubber cement it inside one cover of a double-backed notebook. Remove the selected page from all copies except the one to be used in performance, substituting these force pages for the others. After tearing out unwanted pages and inserting force pages, your classified section consists of a few pages with either news copy or display ads on one side (which you will later discard in performing), then a series of identical force pages, then a few pages with either news copy or display ads on one side (which you will also discard later.) As you require the sound of tearing, leave at least one double-size sheet to tear in removing the ad pages. METHOD: In performing, after discarding the ad pages with news or display ads (explaining it would not be fair to use these because the large type could be read at a distance), casually show your double-fronted notebook blank; turn over, and copy the ad from the paste down inside other cover. Seal prediction in plain envelope and hand to any spectator.
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Have audience vote to select any one of identical force sheets, and thereafter refer to it as the “selected page.” (Actually they choose only the sheet, whose opposite page is entirely different.) Give sheet to the second spectator, and “help” him by holding yardstick at exact corners to make sure he draws the diagonals precisely. On an eight column page, casually say, “Well, the lines cross closer to this ad”, and with red pencil outline the force ad. Have first spectator read your prediction before second spectator verifies it by reading ad aloud. For security, crumple the other pages into a convenient wastebasket. PROPHETS WITH HONOR Forecasting future headlines or the outcome of a contest is one of the mentalist’s most impressive miracles. Here are two locked box predictions where the predictionist never touches either prophecy or box after they are sealed and locked. His original prediction is the same one opened and read by any spectator, and is correct!
BANNER PREDICTION EFFEC T: At opening of show, the mentalist inks in large letters onto a paper tape his prediction of the top headline or banner of the newspaper that goes on sale that evening or matinée. Any two spectators seal, mark and lock it in an unprepared box or small safe, which remains in full view. When a newsboy comes onstage shouting the latest edition, the same spectators unlock box, open and read prediction. Across the stage the performer displays the paper’s front page confirming his prediction word-for-word. PREPAR ATION: Based upon the little known fact that there is usually a considerable time lag between writing the front page banner and sale of the edition, this relies upon cooperation of a friend on the paper. If you are on the road, the press agent for club, hotel or theater you’re playing doubtless has such. If a hometown mentalist, if you don’t have press friends, make some by giving your services for the paper’s newsboys parties, Press Club parties, Gridiron Show, etc. In a typical city, the night edition of the next morning’s paper has a copy deadline of 7 p. m., but does not go on sale until 9 p. m. The afternoon daily’s last edition has copy deadline of 2:30 p. m., but hits the street at 3:45 p. m. Moreover, unless some big story breaks at the last minute, the manin-the-slot of the paper’s copy desk writes the banner well before deadline, to lengthen the time lag. Thus you can infallibly predict the banner by getting a newspaper friend to phone you its full wording. Print each word as phoned, and verify spelling and pronunciation if doubtful — to preserve your reputation as an oracle. On ribbon paper or adding machine tape print the headline with white chalk, which will be visible to you but not the spectators. This not only assures accuracy, but also helps you later to form the letters and space them properly. If you are onstage when phone call comes, have assistant chalk the paper roll and bring out when ready.
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METHOD: At beginning of show, or as soon as you get headline, have two spectators examine box or safe. Thumbtack left end of paper roll to table and trace the chalked letters with a Yellowjacket Marker. Roll prediction from right to left (so the first word printed will show first when tape is unrolled), rubber-band it, and have one spectator stick on red adhesive seal and secretly mark it. Other spectator locks it in box and retains key. When the paper goes on sale, have a newsboy report to your assistant, or if a one-man act, wait in the wings for you. When he comes onstage shouting name of paper (but NOT the banner), make sure he hides the headline against his body. Same spectators return to stage to open box, remove and read prediction. Across the stage you then display the front page to verify your perfect prophecy. NOTE: This not only gives the newspaper some good publicity, but also affords you opportunity for some yourself, with pictures in that paper showing you predicting its headline.
BARGAIN PREDICTION CHEST EFFEC T: This is an easy and inexpensive way to approximate the effect of the $165 to $250 prediction chests — for events having only two possible outcomes. The mentalist makes a sealed prediction of who will win a world series, football championship, runoff election, etc. A local celebrity locks this in a steel box which is kept on display in a public place. After outcome is known, a police guard brings box onstage where the celebrity opens both box and envelope, and reads prediction. Across the stage the predictionist takes bows as this prophecy proves correct. PREPAR ATION: Get metal strong box, file box or even tool box (which you can gild or bronze), all of which already have locks. At H. L. Green’s get a packet of opaque Security Envelopes each 4-1/2" x 11" and a pack of 3" x 5" index cards. From a stationer’s buy a box of red adhesive seals. The secret is an adaptation of the long neglected New Prepared Envelope from Hilliard’s “GREATER MAGIC,” Page 834. By using our extra long envelopes, a spectator may run his fingers into either end when cut open without touching the glue partition. To prepare envelope, spot 5-1/2" midpoint of long side, brush a quarter-inch-wide strip of glue here inside envelope from its bottom to the base of the flap, and press down hard to insure its holding. On each of two index cards print a prediction of one of the two possible outcomes of the upcoming contest. Place one card in each compartment, remembering which goes into which. Lick flap and then stick on red adhesive seal in its center. METHOD: Before locking up prediction, have the celebrity write his name across the envelope’s flap and put any secret mark on the red seal. This makes plausible his later scissoring off the proper end of the envelope. Thus if the correct prediction is in the left end of the envelope when held normally with the address side toward him, it would tip the secret if you asked him to cut off the
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left end. So have him turn flap side of envelope to audience, hold it up, verify fact that flap has not been pried open, seal has not been broken, etc. Then give him scissors in his right hand and tell him to cut off the right end, which he then does without suspicion. If, however, the correct prediction is in the other end of envelope, have him casually show envelope’s flap side, then turn its face toward him. When handed scissors in his right hand, he automatically will cut off the right end of envelope. The card used is more likely to shake out than a slip of paper, but if it does not, he can still put his fingers inside to extract it without hitting the partition. The envelopes are so thick that the extra card is not felt, and can be seen only if held inches from a strong light. NOTE: For two spot predictions, see Super-Predicto and ESPrediction in MENTALISM BY DESIGN, just below. M E N TA L I S M B Y D E S I G N
SUPER- PREDICTO (GENII) For performers prejudiced against playing cards in a mental act, here’s a Telepathic Perception Card version of Dr. Jaks classic Supersonic Card Prediction. If, instead of Tannen’s wooden stand for this, you already own Ken Allen’s Plexiglas rack for his Outer Space, our method gives you an extra effect utilizing the Allen rack and ESP cards. EFFEC T: Any spectator mixes nine unprepared TP cards and inserts backs out in any order in slots of stand. After another spectator mentally selects any number 1 through 9, mentalist draws his prediction of the design onto a blank card, and inserts this face out so all may see. The second spectator then “tells the others” his number, to which performer genuinely counts. Momentarily hiding the face of the chosen card with the prediction card, mentalist revolves the stand to show the faces of the other cards, proving all different in this free choice. Then removing and reversing the prediction card and chosen card, he replaces each but now back out. “When he again revolves the stand to show the faces of the prediction card and chosen card, they match! PREPAR ATION: As no blank face TP cards are available, make your own by rubber cementing white paper onto the face of any TP card and trimming paper to fit. Rub magician’s wax on the back of this card at its TOP. Choose which design to force, and on this card rub wax at its BOTTOM Put force card behind prediction card on face of TP deck, face up on table, and handle the two cards as one. METHOD: In performing, any spectator genuinely mixes nine cards and inserts backs out in any order in stand. After second spectator mentally chooses number 1 through 9, glance at the cards facing you and divine which one will be the chosen design. Using the deck to draw on, crayon the
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force design onto the blank face prediction card. Insert it face out, with the force card behind it held as one, into vacant slot in stand. When the spectator reveals his number, count to it from audience’s left. Remove the prediction card (with force card), reverse, and place in front of chosen card. With this indifferent card thus masked, revolve the stand to show the faces of the other cards, proving them all different. Now remove the indifferent card, force card, and prediction card, holding the three cards as two, TURN THEM UPSIDE DOWN. This puts the force card’s wax at top, where you press it against the indifferent card. It also puts the prediction card’s wax at the bottom, making it easy to peel it loose from the force card. Now reverse the prediction card and return to its former spot in the slot. Reverse the force card and indifferent card, held as one, and place these in the indifferent card’s former position. Then revolve the stand again, and dramatically point to your prediction card which matches the chosen design. METHOD 2: The version for Ken Allen’s Plexiglas rack is similar except that you use four ESP cards (instead of nine TP cards), plus the blank face prediction card. The rack is so smooth it spins easily on a, plastic top table, and the cards already are roughed perfectly for your purpose, using a “front” card for the prediction card. (I was unable to rough the TP cards, the fluid dissolving the ink used to print their backs.)
CRYSTALEPATHY ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY ) This instant divination and duplication of anything drawn or printed by any spectator on a large unprepared piece of heavy cardboard is visible even to a theater audience. EFFEC T: Mentalist shows two large cardboards, each with a circle representing the seer’s traditional crystal ball. Any spectator at a small unprepared table gazes into his “crystal ball” and draws or prints in it any design, name, initial, number or word that then comes to his mind. He masks card with writing side against chest while performer at table looks into his “crystal ball” and prints or draws whatever he sees. When shown, the two cards prove identical! Or performer can orally divine the word or number. PREPAR ATION: The secret is a switch of the Anna Eva Fay wax impression method of reading sealed questions. The lower, or performer’s card, is paraffined to give a reverse, or mirror-type, impression on the back of the spectator’s card, so performer can read it orally. It also provides a scraped off impression on the mentalist’s card below it, so he can re-print the de-waxed lines there. Get a Venus Diploma Pressure Proofed 81 large leaded pencil, which is essential for readable impressions on the six-ply Railroad Board used. A sheet of this 22" x 28" cuts into four cards, each 11"
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x 14", just right to use on your 14" x 14" plastic top magician’s table. This forces spectator to keep your paraffin-faced card under his own. Wax only face of your card with paraffin (or spermaceti wax), scraping off any lumps. Upside down a circular bowl about 10" in diameter equidistant from top and bottom of each card, and run around its rim with the heavy pencil to make the circles.
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METHOD: In performing, show both cards casually, ending with the waxed top of prepared card next to bottom of spectator’s card, and place them this way on table. Ask spectator to draw or print “large enough for the audience to read it”, which simplifies your divination. Stand well away and have him hide writing against his chest before you approach. Then while asking if he inscribed his thoughts entirely within the crystal ball, read these right-to-left in the reverse impression. Thus you know his text even before sitting down to duplicate the de-waxed lines from left-to-right on your own card. After both cards prove identical, place his in front of yours and casually put both aside. Thus he never sees back of his card, whose markings are invisible to any other spectators even a few feet away. A TIP: In first showing the cards, move them back and forth against each other a few times. Then if they do stick a bit, blame it on static electricity.
MENTA- PIX (CIRCLE )
An easy divination and duplication of a freely chosen design is made possible by using the sequence principle with your own ESP or TP deck. EFFEC T: Mentalist mixes ESP or TP cards, which any spectator cuts to choose any design. He draws it on a slate, tablet or chalkboard while the performer across the stage and genuinely blindfolded attempts to duplicate it. When both drawings are shown, they prove identical! PREPAR ATION: Arrange the TP or ESP deck in any memorized order, which sequence is preserved by merely cutting rather than shuffling the cards. For TP cards, use the system in the instructions. For ESP cards, arrange face-to-back by number of lines or points: 1. Circle, 2. Cross, 3. Waves, 4. Square, 5. Star. The TP deck of 50 cards and ESP pack of 25 are impressive, so don’t tell the spectator there are only 10, or 5, different designs to choose from. METHOD: When spectator cuts deck and removes top cards, with the card then facing him as his design, hand him a rubber band for his “convenience” in handling this part of the deck. (This insures he won’t let the cards slip and thus get the wrong design.) To learn his design, merely note top card of bottom half of deck and add one. Having the spectator draw the design not only diverts suspicion from the cards, but also makes the effect big enough for any audience. Doing your duplication while blindfolded, hold slate with left fingers over its front, using middle finger for your guide or landmark, and moving it as needed for Waves, Double Cross, etc.
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TEL- EPIC ( THE NEW TOPS ) Using king-size ESP cards and a blackboard, the mentalist gives not one but five correct telepathic answers in succession — then repeats it for a score of ten out of ten!
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EFFEC T: Any spectator arranges five ESP cards in any order and shows first to audience to project the symbol to performer. On blackboard, mentalist draws the design, chalks a big figure 1 below it, and shows drawing to verify its correctness before clipping the card above it. This is repeated four times. Then to make the feat more difficult, performer has spectator rearrange cards and alone try to project the design, showing each to audience only briefly after performer has drawn design on board. When all five designs, have been telepathically transmitted, mentalist shows board with each drawing matching the card above! PREPAR ATION: For $1 at Kress get a child’s Masonite blackboard 24" x 12", and also five fileboard clips, chalk, eraser, small flat mirror, and red Mystik Tape. Tape mirror to back of eraser, clip the clips evenly across top of blackboard, and place board on a table (with chair behind) at audience’s left and somewhat downstage. METHOD 1: Stand the assisting spectator center stage and upstage from you. When he holds up card to show audience, spot its familiar design in the mirror on your eraser. Then turn eraser, masking mirror with left hand as you hold the blackboard with this hand above the space in which you chalk the symbol. (This builds the misdirection used in the repeat of the trick.) METHOD 2: If you have a magician friend present, seat him in the front row to signal you the symbols by the old face or head code: 1. Circle, right finger on his right temple; 2. Cross, finger on right cheek bone; 3. Waves, finger on right jaw; 4. Square, finger on middle of forehead; 5. Star, finger on nose. (Actually he signals only four designs, as you then know the fifth by elimination.) METHOD 3: For the repeat, have the assisting spectator stand closer to audience “so they can see the cards better.” Station him at audience’s right, about even with you as you sit at table with blackboard. Sit neither directly facing audience nor fully sideways, but with your right side partly toward spectators. By angling the board, your arm movements as you draw are masked. This hides the fact that this time you draw each design (except the fifth) AFTER the card is handed you. Holding blackboard with eraser in left hand above the first clip, bring right hand with chalk down to farthest left space and scrape board with fingernail to imitate the sound of chalk. Then with a
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flourish, draw a large 1 at the bottom left of board, and bring your right hand up from here. Make sure spectator cannot see this space is blank when he hands you the card to clip on board. As he concentrates on second card, move board a few inches to left and hold it with eraser hand above what is obviously the second space. Bring chalk down here, but move immediately to first space and draw symbol, on Card 1. Then move chalk to second space, chalk a large 2 below it, and bring right hand out here. This misdirection will fool even you as you practice half facing a mirror. Continue for third and fourth cards, when you know the fifth by elimination. After drawing the fourth, remark, “It’s hard to make this one look symmetrical” (which applies equally to all the designs). Erase at right edge of board, and apparently re-draw the fifth design, actually drawing if for the first time, then put a big 5 below it. After clipping the fifth card, turn board to audience to show your drawing first, then the card confirming it. In this combination of methods, one disproves the other, and the cards in the repeat are in entirely different order.
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ESPREDICTION ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY )
EFFEC T: On a slip of paper the mentalist draws the ESP design he predicts will be chosen by the spectators, folds twice, and tosses into a hat. With a spectator acting as election judge, audience votes its free choice of the five ESP symbols on king-size cards. Prediction is then removed from the hat, proving to be the design just chosen! No forcing, no palming, no pocket writing, and hat is shown empty beginning and end. PREPAR ATION: The secret is brief preparation of the hat on identical slips draw four of the five ESP designs and fold identically. Insert under the sweat band inside the hat, placing one line design of Circle under the tie, two lines of Cross under the right side, three of Waves at front, and four of Square under left side. Be sure no white paper protrudes to tip the secret while showing hat “empty”. METHOD: On the fifth slip, draw the Star, which is the most likely to be chosen. (Mask your movements while drawing to fool any pencil readers present.) Show you have nothing else in your hand when you toss this slip into hat, and nothing afterward, and keep both hands in sight during the vote to prove no pocket pad. If Star is chosen, have spectator remove the prediction. If not, patter on while removing proper slip from under sweat band and hand it to spectator to unfold, announce and show. While he does this, hold hat with other hand with thumb outside and four fingers inside, and slip extra paper under sweat band. You then casually show both hat and hand empty. A TIP: If invited to a party where you’ll be called upon to “do some tricks”, prepare four slips. In a moment alone with the guests hats, insert them under the sweat band of a hat you’ll remember. Then borrow it for the trick, which will fool even the magicians present. (You later remove the four slips before the party ends.)
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EXTR A SENSORY DECEPTION EFFEC TS: Here are three varied presentations of the divination of the five king-size ESP cards genuinely sealed in opaque envelopes. In general, any spectator inspects the cards and envelopes, inserts and seals or helps the mentalist to do so, mixes, and hands to performer. Mentalist then crayons onto the face of each the design within, which spectator verifies. This can be done in light, in darkness, or in both in the same presentation. No magnets, double cards, bent cards, trimmed cards, weighted cards, slit envelopes, flashlight or transparency methods, switches or substitutions.
TELEVINATION ( THE NEW TOPS )
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PREPAR ATION: This full light version has patter based on the ESP cards telecasting their designs to mentalist. It uses envelope markings which are almost invisible with envelopes empty but which become readable when the thick king-size cards are inserted. Hold each envelope open, with your fingers pushed clear to bottom, and with the other hand stick a common pin through the very EDGE of the bottom fold. When done accurately, the mark will not show on either front or back of envelope, but only if bottom fold is turned toward your eyes. A simple coding, with envelopes faces facing you, is: Pin hole near left edge of bottom fold for Circle; middle of left side for Cross; middle of seam for Waves; middle of right side for Square; and right edge for Star. METHOD: In performing, have spectator examine each card while you casually show its envelope front and back. As he finishes looking over a card, insert and seal in proper envelope with face of card toward the envelope’s flap side. (This removes any suspicion of your seeing design through the envelope’s face as you draw its design there.) After spectator thoroughly mixes envelopes, which handling demonstrates further that they are not marked, place each envelope in turn face up on left palm. Hold left hand high with envelopes pin-holed edge toward and only a few inches from your eyes. If you don’t spot the marker immediately, stall with a few flourishes of the crayon in your right hand.
NIGHT- OR- DAY (GENII ) PREPAR ATION: This version allows you to identify two designs in full light, then switch off lights to divine the three others in total darkness. The secret is a new way to mark the envelopes: On a
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standard typewriter (not a noiseless), switch off the ribbon as if to cut a mimeo stencil. Onto some scratch paper, print the period key repeatedly until all ink is gone from its tiny dot of type. Then insert the manila envelopes so the glue side of their flaps come up at the top of the typewriter carriage, facing you. In the beads of glue at the very tip of the flap, mark each envelope with an ink-less dot for each design as follows: Circle, right edge of flap; Cross, middle of right side; Waves, none; Square, middle of left side; Star, left edge. When envelopes are turned with faces toward you for crayoning the designs onto them, the markings reverse to the familiar left-to-right order. The colorless dots are virtually invisible, and as the type need not cut through an envelope to mark it, there’s no tell-tale light showing through as with pin holes. With flaps sealed, the slightly raised dots are instantly felt on the envelope’s backs with the left index finger as you hold faces up to draw design within. METHOD: In performing, invite any spectator to look at cards and envelopes, handing him Waves card and unmarked envelope. While he is doing it, freely show Circle card and envelope and insert. Ask spectator then to insert and seal Waves card, while you show and insert the Cross. Then hand him Square, hurrying him a bit if necessary, while you show and insert Star. To both spectator and audience it appears he freely sealed any card in any envelope. If using music with your act, you have a ready-made theme in “Night and Day.” The combination of reading two designs in light, then divining the three others in darkness, makes this a baffler.
DARK DESIGN ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY ) PREPAR ATION: This version is even more baffling, as the mentalist divines all five designs in total darkness. This makes it suitable for a simulated séance. The secret is a little known fact about luminous paint: when sufficiently charged with light, it will shine through manila envelopes so opaque that the ESP cards heavily printed designs are not even dimly discernible in full light. With fresh luminous paint and a tiny camel’s hair brush, mark the Bicycle Rider backs of the five kingsize ESP cards as follows: Circle, paint white wing, uplifted arm and white part of upper body of cupid in TOP left hand and BOTTOM right hand corners of design. Cross, paint white upper part of scroll design resembling a mermaid’s tail in upper left and lower right area of design. Waves, paint white part of upper body and arms of BOTH cupids astride bicycles. Square, paint white wing, uplifted arm, and white part of upper body of cupid in TOP right and BOTTOM left corners of design. Star, paint white upper part of scroll design resembling mermaid’s tail in upper right and lower left areas of design. Before performing, expose the backs of the cards to sunlight all day, then put under bright artificial light until just before using them. If this is not convenient, here’s a tip on another way; an ultra-violet light charges luminous paint, as well as the fluorescent paint made to be used with UV. Expose the luminous-painted backs to a 250-watt ultra-violet light bulb just before performing for NOT MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES. Caution: also observe all other of the manufacturer’s precautions in instruction sheet accompanying the bulb.
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METHOD: In performing, any spectator examines envelopes while you casually show the cards, front and back. Have him insert any card in any envelope, stressing that the design side must be against the envelope’s back or flap side. Although the luminous markings are not noticeable in the light, this focuses spectator’s attention on the card’s faces and the envelopes, the latter being totally unprepared. It also avoids placing the secret markings on the envelopes thick seams, which the Wave marks will not show through. After spectator thoroughly mixes them, receive the envelopes seated at a table — obviously the better to draw. Until lights are switched off, apply pressure by resting hands or elbows on pile of envelopes, thus speeding penetration of the luminous paint’s glow. Marking will shine through dime store manila mailers immediately, and even photographer’s thicker “light-proof” envelopes in 15 seconds. If any marking is slow coming through, press envelope’s skin against top left and top right of card within. If no signal there, try the center. If unsure of any corner markings, differentiate these by shoving the card to the envelope’s bottom, then fold its top backward over card. This shows you how close to bottom and top of card the markings are, to distinguish between Circle and Cross, Square and Star. S É A N C E S AND SUCH
SÉANCE SEERSHIP ( THE NEW TOPS ) EFFEC T: This utilizes the same new principle as Dark Design, above, but in reverse. Séance Seership is an easy divination and duplication in the dark of any design, name, initials or number crayoned onto card by any spectator, and genuinely sealed in an opaque envelope. Performer announces he will attempt feat of a famous medium. Any spectator at any table prints or draws anything on card and seals in heavy manila envelope. Across table, mentalist takes sealed envelope, and in the dark duplicates the spectator’s text on any slate, chalkboard or tablet. With lights back on, spectator verifies this by removing his card from the sealed envelope and showing it matches the performer’s slate. PREPAR ATION: This is a new use for a ghost showman’s staple: luminous-painted papers from which he cuts stars, comets, crosses, etc. Inexpensive, it sells (at Nelson’s) for 60¢ for a strip 4" x 36". Cut a yard strip into 12 cards each 4" x 3", and buy a pack of heavy manila coin envelopes which will not show in full light any design drawn on the card within. When well charged with light previously, the luminous paper glows through the envelopes. Any design or lettering drawn with a heavy crayon shows up in silhouette for easy reading in the dark. METHOD: In performing, have card and envelope on table with marking crayon. Explain that the card’s rough side is for crayon, to make the marks sufficiently heavy (the smooth side being for a
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lettering pen, which you forgot, if spectator starts to use unprepared side.) Spectator crayons ESP or geometric design, name of departed loved one, initials of famous person, number or whatnot, and seals card with drawing against envelope’s face. This keeps the text away from envelope’s flap side where the seam is too thick for the luminous glow to penetrate. As you receive sealed envelope, place it on slate or tablet, switch off table lamp, and call for other lights out. Shield any glow from spectator across the table with the top of slate as you duplicate his text. Turn on table lamp and order lights up BEFORE handing envelope back to spectator, as the glow would tip the secret in the dark. Spectator then breaks open envelope and shows card, matching your own text. A TIP: if later you perform Reilly’s Brain Echo, introduce its unprepared crayon innocently by using it in Séance Seership.
BEAT THE R AP (CIRCLE ) As girls the Fox Sisters created a sensation and started the so-called religion of Spiritualism by cracking their big toes against table legs, etc. Since boyhood, the writer has also been causing spirit (!) raps, but with both hands and feet held down by the spectators at his séances (?). The inclusion of this secret is merely for your information, and is not to be construed as suggesting that you, too, attempt rapping by this method, as some risk is involved. The secret is a simple popping of the jaw. This is not a dislocation of it, but merely a combined and simultaneous downward and sideward movement of the jaw. My jaw pops from my right to my left, so to make the raps, I press the right side of my face against the table top. The popping with the bone in contact with a fiber-board or wood table top vibrates the top, which amplifies the sound and disguises its origin. The same method can be used by placing jaw against a slate to indicate the spirits are indeed at work writing inside the tied slates, with the spirit answering questions with the usual code of one rap for Yes and two raps for No. Even if your jaw pops naturally like mine, don’t dislocate your jaw trying to rap. You want to beat the rap, not take it!
MENTALIST’S BLUE BOOK ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY ) Although mainly a myth, the medium’s blue book (containing personal information compiled about residents and sold to any other medium who later worked the town) contains a good idea for modern mentalists. For those performing mostly in their home cities, even a little personal information
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on a prominent spectator at an organization date can be made into a miracle, such as divining his birthday, place of birth, maiden name of wife or mother, number and names of children, drawing map of his native state with birthplace located and named, etc. An easy way to build a blue book of your own on your city’s leading citizens is offered by the biographical articles many newspapers publish. Often they run a series, one each week, under the name of “Builders of Midtown”, “Headliners”, “Leaders of Tomorrow”, etc. It takes only one minute a week to clip each and file alphabetically in a manila folder. Then when booked by a local organization, get a letterhead showing its officers, or a list of its best known members from its secretary. Check this against your file, supplementing it if needed by research in a newspaper friend’s biographical department, or “morgue”, or the local library. There you will find not only the big “Who’s Who in America,” but also local, regional, trade and professional “mug books” (as they are disrespectfully termed in the publishing business). Make necessary notes of data you can use. Then before your performance have secretary or program chairman point out the men selected and spot where they sit. Work one or more into an effect they’ll still remember when they again book an entertainer. Perhaps the most famous example of such preliminary research was Houdini’s before crossing the Atlantic with Theodore Roosevelt, noted as an explorer after retiring as President. When at Houdini’s shipboard séance the spirits mapped Roosevelt’s supposedly still secret explorations including his “River of Doubt”, the celebrity was utterly dumbfounded, and Houdini got world-wide publicity on his stunt. (He had previously obtained printer’s proofs of an unpublished magazine article and map detailing Roosevelt’s explorations.)
IMPROMPTU DARK SÉANCE (GENII) Remember the eerie darkroom séances where the medium, tied to his chair and in total darkness, nevertheless read the sitters questions and answered them through a trumpet? How would you like to show the guests at a party or club an impromptu version? The secret is simple, and they could search you all night without finding the light-tight fake for the trumpet, or the light proof sleeve of photographer’s cloth, or the light-proof bag (covering the upper body) which had to be removed before answering each question. The secret is to remove and reverse your black dinner jacket (tuxedo coat) and use it for a light shield, behind which to read the cards with a key-ring flashlight whose bulb is covered with red Mystik Tape or red plastic held by friction tape. You also need three short pieces of rope, some index cards, and a newspaper. METHOD: Questions are written on the cards and placed face down on a table in front of your chair. A trumpet is made by rubber-banding a section of the newspaper, using the rough edges rather than the folded side to form the small end of the paper megaphone. Rope used to tie your hands must be too short for any ambitious spectator to tie it also to the back of your chair. Use
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the Kellar Tie or Burling Hull Triumph tie where right hand steals slack for instant release by your pushing both hands, when crossed behind your back, up the back. Then sit in the chair (preferably of the Captain’s Chair type with arms coming well around its sides), and have each ankle tied to one leg of chair. The spectators sit in a semi-circle in front of you but behind the table with questions. As soon as lights go off, slip hands free, pick up questions and put these cards into left side of your cummerbund (or left pocket of vest if you still wear one). Then slip out of your dinner jacket, turn it around, and drop its “skirt” so it covers your lap, and the top edge of the roll collar comes just under your chin. A well made dinner jacket is shaped rather than flat, and further support is given its sides by the arms of the chair. Remove red gimmicked key-ring flashlight (with its chain around finger to prevent dropping it), take out card, read question and place card in right side of cummerbund. Pick up paper trumpet and pull loose a few page edges out of its roll. Talking through the sound-deadening folds of paper, as well as the megaphone made of it, helps to disguise your voice. A good broadcloth black or midnight blue dinner jacket with full black silk lining is so lightproof you can hold the strong white beam of a high powered hunting light against it without any light showing through. However, white light reflects from your shirt, so use the small red-masked flashlight. While answering the next to last question, memorize the last. Add it to the others from right side of cummerbund and place all face down again on table. Slip back into dinner jacket, and pullout the rope’s loose end from sleeve. As soon as you answer the last question, throw the paper megaphone at a skeptical spectator, slipping back into the rope tie in the ensuing excitement. A howling climax is to have your wife or other confederate to ask, “What was my dear dead aunt’s favorite song?” placing her question last on the pile. Instead of answering verbally, insert your pocket comb between two edges of newspaper and in a falsetto hum the song. (It’s what you used to do with a comb and tissue paper as a kid.) Your stooge exclaims, “It is my aunt’s favorite song! I even recognize her voice!" And indeed it is as weird a sound as you ever heard outside a horror movie. Good spooking to you! BOOK NOOK There are many book effects, but most require a planted book, duplicate book (as phone book or dictionary), or pre-performance preparation of a borrowed book. Here are two new book challenges in which you have never seen the book before and never touch it until after the page and paragraph are selected, yet you find and read them. In the first, you divine and read the passage in the dark of a simulated séance. The second is performed throughout in full light.
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SÉANCE BOOK CHALLENGE ( M - U - M & CIRCLE ) EFFEC T: Any spectator is challenged to bring any current hard cover book just as it comes from bookstore. Spectator unwraps it, picks any page at random by inserting a playing card (no two card switch), and marks dust jacket to prevent substitution. On either right or left hand page he familiarizes himself with last paragraph, which any two other spectators may also do to prevent suspicion of collusion. Book is closed and handed performer, and lights cut off. In the dark, the mentalist divines chosen page, which spectators verify, then repeats selected paragraph word-for-word. PREPAR ATION: The secret is a new use for luminous makeup from ghost show supply houses. Unlike luminous paint, which soon dries and hardens, the makeup is kept soft by the cold cream in it. With a small camel’s hair brush put a thin but even coat onto the back of a playing card just below the printed design. Do not paint the corners, where it will show, or run up into the design, as it dissolves the ink and will leave a blue or red smudge on the book page. Put deck with this card on top under strong light for as long as possible before performing. (If you use a 250-watt ultra-violet lamp to charge the luminous makeup, paint on a thick coat, as the heat from the UV bulb dries the makeup fast. METHOD: After spectator has unwrapped book, hand him card with face toward him and tell him to insert it halfway down in side of the book, then pull it across through top of book to the binding. This forces some luminous makeup onto the side edges of the chosen pages to signal you in the dark. Card is inserted into side rather than top, as hard-cover books with colored tops still have white sides. (The reason for specifying hardcovers is that most paperbacks have colored edges on three sides, where the off-white of luminous makeup is noticeable.) Pulling card across the top half of chosen page leaves a trail of luminous makeup. This is forced into paper of the right hand page when spectator marks the dust jacket front and back (preferably with a Venus Diploma Pressure Proofed #81 pencil.) Take back the card casually as spectator opens book and chooses right or left hand page. Using the last paragraph focuses attention on page’s bottom, although by then the luminous makeup is hardly visible in light. The opening and handling of the new book by three spectators serve to break its binding near, if not at, the chosen page. Note whether they read on right or left side to determine which of the two possible pages. After last spectator hands you book, let it fall open on your way back to a chair placed center stage. It may not open precisely to chosen page, but to a nearby page in the 16-page signature sewn together before gluing to the book’s spine. This gives you one or more numbers of chosen pages before you seat yourself and call for lights out. In the dark, the makeup on book's edges clues you further, and the glow then from the right hand page pinpoints the location.
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For reading, use the usual small flashlight with its tiny beam masked with red Mystik Tape, or a red cutout from the polyethylene wrapping from twin paper towels, stuck on with friction tape. Hold book tightly bottomed against your cummerbund, with upper legs together, and aim light at center of book. If in practicing you have difficulty, for $1 at a dime store get a pair of magnifying glasses. With them, you can read even the fine print!
POPUL AR BOOK CHALLENGE ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY ) EFFEC T: Any spectator is challenged to bring performer any paper back book from news stand. Spectator opens package, selects any page by inserting playing card (no two card switch), and marks both covers to prevent substitution. Choosing right or left hand page, he familiarizes himself with its last paragraph, as do two other spectators. Mentalist now takes book for the first time, placing it in full view on center table. He divines and chalks the chosen page number on his slate, then while standing at any distance from book, repeats the chosen paragraph word-for-word. PREPAR ATION: Instead of clothbound books, this uses paperbacks whose thin, cheap paper is cheaply glued to cardboard covers. To get the chosen paragraph you need a cutter, and to read it, a gimmicked slate, both easily made. After making cutters from fingertips slitted for razor blades, I improvised a better one from Bob Nelson’s Ghost-Writer. Hold its band with one pair of pliers (or in vise) while with another you straighten its curved brass chalk holder until it is perpendicular to the finger band. With tin shears, snip the straightened brass strip in half at an angle to make its front edge about 1/8" deeper than the back one. File front edge to sharpen, and replace any chipped flesh color paint. For the 10" x 14" Kress slate make a paper flap from black Kiddie Kraft Paper No. 1930 (at H. L. Green’s). Rubber cement flap at one short end and along both long sides of the slate leaving three inches of it loose at the other short end. (This loose flap end is used, in performing, as the top of the slate.) Under loose flap dab a spot of rubber cement, which is to hold the paragraph sliced with cutter, while the flap hides clipping from audience. Also at dime store get cheap book holder or plate holder to stand the book vertically. Against its base, prop the slate at an angle to hide the loose end of flap. Put the cutter into match pocket of right outside coat pocket, with a piece of chalk here and another in left pocket. METHOD: This divides into (1) learning the chosen page, and (2) cutting, hiding and reading the chosen paragraph. For (1) the “test conditions” you impose upon yourself make the page location easy. A new paperback fresh from news stand may never have been opened before, and certainly not read page-by-page. When spectator inserts playing card and then pushes it all the way to the binding, so it won’t fall out, he spreads the cheap binding. The marking of both covers with a pressure pencil further bulges the binding around the card. Spectator has to open book all the way to
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look at last paragraphs on both pages and select one, further “breaking” the book. Suggest that to save time, have two spectators sitting together on the front row read your paragraph also. To read the passage simultaneously, adjoining spectators must bend the covers way back. Tell one of these to close book with both hands and give it to you, as by then the opening in the book’s pages is so noticeable as to tip the secret. For (2), note whether spectators read right or left hand page, and slip the gimmicked Ghost-Writer onto the forefinger of the same hand. Take book from one of front row spectators, and turn left or right so the book’s spine will be toward audience and masked by your body. Thus if right hand page is chosen, turn left to climb to stage at audience’s left. For left hand page, turn right. Slip book open at selected page, glance to see where the last paragraph starts, and insert forefinger with cutter here. Slice across the page with cutter while simultaneously pulling book in the other direction with the other hand, thus minimizing the motion required. With forefinger, tear the cutting loose from top part of page and also the binding at the side. When you reach your center table (ostensibly to place the book in full view), slip the cutting out of book with your cutter hand, and under the loose flap, where the spot of cement anchors it to the slate. The other hand simultaneously places the book into its holder. The sleight, which takes only a second, is hidden by your body. If left hand page was selected, book will be back out, on the stand, which you rectify as soon as you have both hands free. Drop Ghost-Writer in pocket while picking up chalk. Holding down the loose end of flap with left hand, go into the audience to get each spectator to project one numeral of the page number, chalking it on slate as you receive it. Actually this is to show the slate as unprepared, its flap being indetectable a foot or two away. Then return to stage, reading the chosen passage merely by lifting the loose flap an inch or two with left fingers. Periodically have trouble with a word which comes through faintly, chalking what letters you do get onto the slate — to make its continued use plausible. Face the audience and stand far enough back so the lifted flap is not visible over top of slate. After reading paragraph, casually put aside book and holder to get ready for next effect. Destroy the book later so no one can spot the cut page. As you previously explained it would be ruined by marking its covers, the spectator won’t expect it back.
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WORDIVINO (CIRCLE ) EFFEC T: This dictionary test utilizes a new aide in a reversal of a standard technique. Freely choosing any word from an unprepared dictionary, any spectator prints it upon an unprepared slate so the audience may also project it to the mentalist. Spectator cleans slate, on which performer prints the letters as he divines these. He then arranges them in correct order to show the word selected! No forcing, peeking, signaling, stooge or confederate, pencil reading or pumping. So how? METHOD: The secret is a reversal of the familiar method in which performer wipes two slates clean and hands them to spectator, who finds inside a message chalked in a ghostly hand. (The previously chalked message is cleaned off with Carbona (carbon tetrachloride*), but reappears faintly in a few seconds.) Instead we use lighter fluid, which evaporates about twice as slowly as Carbona. This gives you 20 to 30 seconds to get back the slate after spectator has cleaned it with absorbent cotton soaked with the fluid, in contrast with only 10 to 15 seconds with Carbona. As spectator selects word from dictionary, suggest he choose one he can print in letters big enough for audience to read, so all may concentrate upon it. While spectator chalks the word and shows it to others, thoroughly saturate the cotton by wetting it with can of lighter fluid, to drown out his printing. Take back the slate with “deliberate speed”. As soon as letters reappear, memorize the word, but pretend to divine it by letters, as the first vowel, the last vowel, the first consonant, last consonant. Chalk these down as you receive (?) them, erasing with cotton pad as needed, then print word in heavy chalk letters to show it. A little acting can make this simple effect a dramatic divination. * Publisher's Note: Carbon Tetrachloride may be carcinogenic. See other option. S L AT E S O R C E RY In addition to the special slate effects in this section, a number of other originals in the book also use slates. In particular, see Wordivino in BOOK NOOK, and Happy Birthday in ASTROLOGICAL ABRACADABRA.
GHOST SL ATE ( THE NEW TOPS ) EFFEC T: Any slate is examined by any spectator, who inserts it with a piece of chalk in a freely shown large white envelope, and seals this. Spectator then writes a brief question (or initials or number) for the spirits to answer (or duplicate) on the slate. As performer holds slate in full view, the sound of writing is heard from within. Spectator then breaks the seal and removes slate, on which in large ghostly letters is chalked the answer (or duplicate initials or number).
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PREPAR ATION: The secret is a simple preparation of the white envelope. With the side of a piece of chalk, evenly chalk the inside of the envelope’s front from bottom to as high as top of slate to be inserted. White chalk on white paper — a switch from black art to white art — is not noticeable even when the envelope is spread open and shown empty. However, you do not rub the chalk any higher than necessary lest some may come off on your fingers and tip the secret. Chalking the inside of envelope’s front simplifies your printing or writing on slate inside, as the back seam thus does not interfere. Also, the colored seal over the flap on the backside can be held in full view. METHOD: As noted in the effect, the question is a brief one, preferably with a “Yes” or “No” answer or three initials or numbers if you do the duplication version. Obtain the information in your favorite way after you have inserted slate and sealed in freely shown envelope. The chalk put in “for the ghosts to write with” accounts for any chalkiness on the slate’s bottom when withdrawn. To print, hold the envelope chest high in front of you (with chalked side nearer you), with three fingers of both hands in front and forefingers and thumbs in back. The printing or writing on the envelope (forcing the chalk particles against the slate) is done alternately with left thumb and right thumb, while the free thumb helps hold the slate. With a little practice before a mirror, you can keep the front fingers still while moving each thumb in turn. Write with your thumbnails, twisting each as far to the side as you can to broaden the markings. You can further widen them and approximate actual chalk strokes by sticking a small wad of BandAid flesh color adhesive tape atop the middle of each thumbnail. When the left thumb can no longer reach to print or write without moving the front fingers, switch to the right thumb. By pressing strongly with thumbnails you not only make the marks on the slate inside more readable; but also can see to continue across the envelope without a noticeable break in your writing. Thus do the ghosts thumb their way!
ANY SL ATE A CLIPBOARD ( THE NEW TOPS ) In his excellent “IT MUST BE MINDREADING,” George Anderson describes a fileboard he designed and made to resemble a slate. Our version simplifies things to make a clipboard of any slate in a few minutes for a few cents.
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PREPAR ATION: At H. L. Green’s buy a package of black Kiddie Kraft Paper No. 1930. This not only resembles slate closely, but also its hard surface takes chalk perfectly, can be erased with a felt eraser, and even cleaned with Carbona, lighter fluid or alcohol for a (re) appearance of chalked writing. Cut a paper flap just smaller than the slate’s surface, and also a carbon sheet half an inch smaller each way than the flap. Brush a half inch border of rubber cement around the flap, stick carbon to flap, and then flap to slate. If merely to divine and duplicate spectator’s designs (as in Anderson’s Mental Artist effect), a black carbon gives legible markings. For writing or printing you’ll need white carbon. For a startlingly clear readable copy in dim, light, cement an extra sheet of the black paper to the slate first, then put on the flap with white carbon in it. METHOD: In performing, Anderson suggested starting forward with the 3" x 5" paper slips, then as an after thought picking up the slate for spectator to draw on. For those suspicious of anything resembling a clipboard, he recommended a clothes pin in lieu of a clip to nip each slip to the frame, with first slip at left, second in middle, and third at right. In our version, after each spectator has drawn or printed on his slip, unclipped it, folded and placed in his pocket, you take the slate with both hands. With nail of right forefinger pry up the top right hand edge of paper flap and loosen this across to the left. Then facing audience with flap toward you, push this open with thumbs of both hands sufficiently to read design or message of first spectator. Chalk this large size on other side of slate, show, and erase. Repeat for second message, but don’t erase. After learning the third, merely turn slate over and print or draw on the paper flap. This fools any who suspect a flap, as the cemented paper enables you to handle the slate as carelessly as if it had no flap at all. T WO C AUTIONS: In pulling down the flap, be sure its edge does not show over the top edge of the slate. Also do not clean flap with water, which penetrates the paper and buckles the flap. You can really have yourself a “flap” with this one!
DUALEPATHY EFFEC T: Here is a sly swindle for mentalists playing local dates. Performer prints on unprepared slate his prediction of the sum of four numbers to be called out by audience, and stands slate back out. A prominent member of the club then chalks the spectator’s figures (phone or license numbers, historic dates, or whatnot) onto a blackboard and totals them. (No force.) Performer then announces a special test: to divine this prominent member’s birthday, which mentalist then slowly prints out on slate. When it is turned, both numbers — prediction and birthdate prove correct!
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PREPAR ATION: When booked for the date, get a list of officers or other leading members. From secretary, newspaper biographical stories or “morgue” learn the birthday of one or more likely to be present. (See Mentalist’s Bluebook in SÉ ANCES AND SUCH.) Just before your performance, have the secretary point him out, and use him for this test. METHOD: Show slate blank, which you can safely do by penciling the birthdate onto the black slate if you don’t wish to memorize it. When you supposedly chalk your prediction of the numbers total, actually print the abbreviation for month, plus date, of the chosen spectator’s birthday. (Bring your hand with the chalk to the top of the slate, secretly move downward to letter this just below middle of slate, then bring hand away from its top.) After you know the actual total of numbers, announce the special birthday test, and ask the notable to project his month and date. Place hand which holds chalk at bottom of slate, move fingers up to print the number just above slate’s middle, then bring hand out at its bottom. Show and verify your number prediction first, then spectator’s birthday. ASTROLOGICAL ABRACADABRA Even though you may not believe in astrology, many persons do. It can sometimes be used to add novelty to an otherwise routine effect. Here are two presentations in which you give assisting spectators brief astrological readings without memorizing the Signs of the Zodiac and the supposed characteristics of persons born under them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EFFEC T: Any spectator secretly selects the month of his birth from a pack of large calendar cards, and circles his birthday upon it. Performer hands spectator a birthday candle with which to show his card to audience. Mentalist then divines both month and day and chalks these on a slate while casting a brief horoscope for the spectator. PREPAR ATION: The secret is that translucent calendar pages affixed with translucent rubber cement to translucent Bristol Board look opaque from the face but can be read through the back. Buy a red ink Yellowjacket Marker and a 28" x 22" sheet of 3-ply Bristol Board, which cuts 12 cards each 7" it 7-1/3". Get SEVERAL good grade calendars (with month names in black and dates in black and red) whose translucent pages can be trimmed to fit the cards. (You’ll have to replace one calendar page after each performance.) The long way of a 14" x 10" slate, pencil three rows of four or eight lines each of dates and a few key words for each of the 12 Signs of the Zodiac (from Nelson’s “NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MENTALISM,” Pages 127-30). Get a rather tall candle holder and medium-sized candle, and previously burn down the wax an inch to insure a high flame. METHOD: Stand away while spectator finds his birth month, hides the other cards, and circles his date with the red marker. Then light candle, handing it to him in his other hand to show the other
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spectators his birthday. Have him hold candle in front of card first on right, then on left, so all may see. In normal light, the candle’s flame is sufficient for you to read both month and date through the translucent card. (Both are reversed, right-to-left, but you quickly adjust to this.) If the light behind is stronger than that in front, shade the card with your body. Then spot the correct Zodiac sign penciled on your side of slate and rapidly refresh yourself on its name and characteristics. Divine spectator’s month and date, chalking them on slate and having him verify, then give him a brief astrological reading. Even if your chalk marks run into the previous pencilings, these can be preserved for repeated performances by erasing chalking gently.
ASTROLEPATHY ( THE NEW TOPS ) EFFEC T: Astrolepathy combines astrology with telepathy in a double barreled version of the one-behind system. Performer shows three colored crayons and three cardboards, each numbered with a different color. He challenges two spectators merely to think of their birthdays, predicting each on a cardboard’s back in crayon matching its number. As spectators chalk their birthdates on a chalkboard, mentalist gives each a brief astrological reading. He then predicts a playing card to be chosen by third spectator, who prints card’s name on board. When performer’s predictions are clipped above, each matches the spectator’s data! PREPAR ATION: From a 28" x 22" sheet of Railroad Board cut 21 cards each 4" x 7-1/3". For $1 at Kress get an easel chalkboard (made by Cass Toys, 200 Fifth Avenue, NYC). Bend both steel rods, slip one end of each out, slide off the counting beads, reinsert and straighten rods. Get three small fileboard clips and clip onto top rod. At H. L. Green’s for 39¢ buy a set of Cra-N-All Crayon Holders. Remove the brown, red and purple crayons, cut half-an-inch off butt end of each, and re-insert as follows: BROWN crayon into Red holder, RED crayon into Purple holder, and PURPLE crayon into Brown holder. Only barest point of crayon should show beyond the differently colored holder. Number the three cardboards: First, Red 1 on front, Brown 3 on back; Second Purple 2 front, Red 1 back; Third, Brown 3 front, Purple 2 back. On three memo cards 3" x 5-1/2" copy the dates and a few key phrases for the 12 Zodiac. Signs from Nelson’s “NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MENTALISM,” Pages 127-30. Thumb tack these three cards (each covering four Signs) on back of wooden crosspiece above chalkboard of easel. METHOD: With the three crayon holders points DOWN in your breast pocket, withdraw Red holder to print in BROWN on back of first cardboard the playing card to be forced later. When first
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spectator announces his birthdate, fold easel and hold the chalkboard while he prints this on left third of board. Thereby you peek at, and then enlarge upon the thumb-tacked astrological phrases. Take Purple holder and with RED crayon write his dates on back of second cardboard while ostensibly predicting second spectator’s birthday. Ditto above for second spectator. Then with Brown holder write in PURPLE crayon the second spectator’s date while ostensibly predicting playing card to be chosen. After forcing card, have spectator print its name in right third of chalkboard. Fan the cardboards, with the first at left front, third at right and behind first, and second in middle but behind both of the others. Close fan, reverse cardboards, and they are in proper 1-2-3 order to slip onto rod above the spectators data. One by one you show your predictions match. If you want to tell the third spectator’s fortune, use Madame LeNormand’s Gypsy Witch Fortune-Telling Cards, which also have the usual playing card symbols. To translate all birthdates and forced cards into the same number of crayon marks, to protect the one-behind, secret, use this table:
Dates: 2-digit dates: 1/1/ through 9/9/, use 2 / marks. 3-digit dates: 1/10 through 9/30, use 1 / mark. 4-digit dates: 10/10 through 12/31, use No / mark.
Cards: Abbreviate suits: S for Spades, H for Hearts, D for Diamonds, C for Clubs. Print number of card for the first nine, with the word OF between number and suit. For court cards, abbreviate J for Jack, Q for Queen, K for King, with word OF between rank and suit. Do NOT force a 10 of any suit, which requires five crayon marks.
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P U T T I N G M E N TA L I S M O N T H E M A P
STATE OF MINE ( THE NEW TOPS ) EFFEC T: State of Mine (it’s a pun, son) avoids the sameness of always copying ESP, TP or geometric designs. A fast performer can vary it still further by making this duplication a design anticipation, beating the spectator to the finish. Any spectator born outside the state finds his native state on a large colored USA map. Folding map to his state, and clipping it over a chalkboard, he outlines state and then prints its name. With back to spectator, the mentalist divines the state, names and draws it on his slate. In a race, the performer may get through first, holding up his slate for the spectator to match! Preparation: The secret, as well as principal prop, is the big colored USA map. Although there are 50 states (versus 10 TP and 5 ESP designs), A the spectator folds map to a small area with his state. This cuts the possibilities from 50 to two or three, or even one. Use a large USA map with adjoining states printed in different colors, and also a small black and white map. A flashy 50" x 38" Colorprint Map No. 9549 for $1 and a Cleartype Principal Cities Map No. 727 at a dime are published by American Map Company, Inc., whose local outlet look up under MAPS in your yellow pages. At a dime store buy two red wood-backed blackboard erasers, a small flat mirror, roll of red Mystik Tape (and tape mirror to back of one eraser) and box of wooden colored crayon pencils. Outline the printed name of each state on the small map with the pencil of the same color as that state is printed in on the big map. Trim small map to fit into your 8" x 11" Spirit Slates, and rubber cement at four corners. Cover map with the flap, hinging flap with transparent tape at bottom if desired. For $1 Kress sells a 24" x 18" blackboard, onto top of which slip a large fileboard clip. Put board on an upstage table too small to hold the map also, forcing spectator to fold map and clip above board. METHOD: In performing, unfold map completely for flash, and ask spectators born outside this state to raise hands. Choose the most prominent or popular, hand him map, and ask him to go to blackboard. Then fold map to his state, outline it, and print its name below. Casually add that for his convenience there’s a clip on the board to hold the folded map. Hand him chalk and unprepared eraser, holding your hand over mirror on prepared one. Station yourself downstage with back to spectator, and with left hand holding eraser above your slate, immediately spot him in mirror.
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Note to what region he folds map, remembering that what you see mirrored on your right is really on his left side. If only one state shows after folding, you are set. If several are fully visible, you’ll learn what one as soon as he draws a line or two. If you don’t recognize state, lift your flap, spot the correct region on your small map, and note state name outlined in the same color as the state he is drawing. Close flap, on it letter state’s name, then copy spectator’s drawing as seen in eraser-mirror. As you need only approximate state’s outline on your smaller slate, you can finish it by the time he does. Hold up your slate with the state’s name already printed at top while spectator is still lettering this under his drawing. Thus, as far as audience is concerned, you knew and drew the spectator’s native state before he did!
DREAM TRIP ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY ) EFFEC T: Alias “Around the World in 80 Seconds,” this novelty with two maps of the world as its principal props makes use of some interesting facts about translucency. Any spectator at a lighted writing table routes on a cardboard-backed map of the world his dream trip from his home to the five areas he would most like to visit, numbering these in turn. Then as he concentrates, holding up his map with its back to mentalist, this mystic duplicates the route and stopovers on his own map. When both maps are shown, the trips prove identical! PREPAR ATION: Buy a red ink Yellowjacket Marker and sheet of 3-ply Bristol Board, which even in this thickness is quite translucent. Get duplicate outline maps which clearly show their lines when reversed and held up to the light. Good ones are Cleartype Outline Map of the World No. 8236 of the American Map Company, Inc., New York City, whose local outlet is listed in your yellow pages. Trim maps to the borders, cut identical pieces of Bristol Board, and with rubber cement affix maps completely and evenly. With the light source behind, or even partly behind, the spectator’s card you easily see through to his red marked map. At the same time, his translucent card with translucent map on its face appears opaque to him. Seat your magic pal in the spectator’s chair to get the proper lighting beforehand, with a 3-way indirect bowl-type floor lamp behind his chair, or a 200-watt bulb table lamp just to his left.
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METHOD: In performing, have spectator letter an H at his home city, then draw line direct to his first stop, say France, where he draws the figure 1, then perhaps Russia and a 2, India with a 3, Japan with a 4, and Hawaii with a 5. (On this flat projection-type map, it is too troublesome and confusing for him to route himself home by drawing line to one edge, then starting this over at the other.) Although you read his routing and numbers right-to-left, this is easy: the marker’s red ink instantly penetrates the map’s paper, bringing its markings against the Bristol. The wide writing point also makes thick lines and forces spectator to print big numbers. Actually, you need only approximate the spectator’s route and numbers. This comes (after you’ve marked your map) by having spectator show and explain his map to audience. You confidently call attention to similar lines and numbers on your map, which at a few feet’s distance appears identical. A TIP: Don’t let spectator look at the back of his or your cards against the light, as he’ll see through both them and the trick!
JIGSAW- CERY Effect: Jigsaw-Cery (please pardon the pun) introduces a new prop, combining it with a standard technique to create a novelty. From a jigsaw USA map cut along state lines, any spectator picks out his favorite state. He inserts and seals the cutout in an opaque envelope and rubber-bands box containing puzzle. With envelope in full view on table, mentalist outlines state map on a slate, then letters state’s name as spectator mentally spells this. Envelope is opened and cut out removed, matching performer’s drawing. PREPAR ATION: The main prop is a jigsaw map, preferably with the states names printed in large heavy type on both the cutouts and the map on front of the box. You also need some envelopes and red stationer’s seals to stick over their flaps. A personal size envelope 3-5/8" x 6-1/4" will contain any state of the 29¢ Kress jigsaw map, and all but Texas of the $1 Milton Bradley jigsaw puzzle. The seals not only add flash but also facilitate getting the gimmick. This is a thumb tip, perforated and containing a small cotton pad saturated with Carbona, as described in Nelson’s “MIRACLES IN MENTALISM,” Page 60. Saturate pad just before coming on, and place it in match pocket of right hand coat pocket, plus several seals loose in this larger pocket and a piece of chalk. METHOD: Bring forward map in rubber-banded box along with envelope. Turn back while spectator selects his favorite state, with whose map he is most familiar, and closes box. Tell him to put cutout face down so no one can see its name. Hand him envelope with flap side up to slide cutout into it, thus insuring the state’s name going against envelope’s face. Spectator takes one seal and sticks over flap. While returning surplus seals to your pocket, stick thumb into tip. On way back to table, rub the entire envelope’s face with thumb tip, squeezing the Carbona out by pressure on pad
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inside, thus reading state’s name through envelope’s face. Casually place the map box on table and prop the envelope, with seal toward audience, against it — a good excuse for keeping box on table. Pick up slate, reach into pocket for chalk, and drop thumb tip. By holding the slate in front of your eyes while drawing, you can secretly look down to copy the state’s outline from the map printed on the box front. Then have spectator project you the state’s name, letter-by-letter, which you print. Verify name, then have spectator open the envelope (long since dry), remove cutout, and show it matches your drawing. A TIP: You probably can see all but two states on the box front well enough to duplicate them without practice. However, on both maps mentioned above, Rhode Island and Delaware are so small you had better practice these previously until you can outline them from memory. M E N TA L M I R T H Q U A K E S
LOVE- CHAIN ( THE NEW TOPS ) Effect: Finding comedy effects suitable for a mental act has been almost impossible. Love-Chain was designed to create some hilarious situation comedy by utilizing the audience appeal of young love — long the most popular staple of the slick magazines and movies — but entirely neglected by both magic and mentalism. Performer invites onstage a young couple who are engaged or going steady for an experiment in choice control. Opening a lock with one key, he shows four others which will not open it, and has the couple seal all five in identical envelopes. He proposes to force them to choose the four wrong keys, leaving him the right one. To make the test more challenging, he chains the couple together with the lock. They then stage a laughable contest to show which sex is the defter, each opening two envelopes, and trying these keys. When all four fail, the mentalist searches for his own, only to report regretfully he has lost it. After some helpful (?) suggestions which milk further comedy from the couple’s predicament, the performer finds the fifth key which indeed opens the lock! PREPAR ATION: The inexpensive props are a Siberian Transport Chain, its lock, one key which will open this, five similar-looking keys which won’t, and six small coin envelopes. Seal the real key in one envelope and insert in fold of handkerchief in your breast pocket. Thread a red ribbon through one fake key and insert this key into the already opened lock. METHOD AND PRESENTATION: After getting the young couple on stage, explain the experiment is in controlling choices, not one but four; not of one mind, but two. However, you have chosen a couple in love, or “two minds with but a single thought.” For the test you’ll use this lock, which
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only this key of the five will open. (To “unlock” the already opened lock, hold left forefinger over space between hasp and its hole, with left thumb press hasp slightly into hole, then turn key, and let hasp fly up with a click, and turn it sideways.) Have couple seal keys in envelopes BEFORE bringing out the chain (I hide it in a green silk handkerchief under the brass bowl containing envelopes, lock and keys). By then, they are in too deep to demur. Explaining the chain is used to make the test more dramatic, ask if they’ve heard of the Holy Bonds of Matrimony. Note that, “This is a sort of preview (which gets a laugh) called Bonds of Romance or Love-Chain. “Chain left wrist of man (who can more easily remove any wrist watch and pocket it) to right wrist of girl, using the second or escape proof method in the Siberian Chain instructions. (First ring at bottom of man’s wrist; chain brought under and then over girl’s wrist, and through second ring.) Have each select two envelopes, and plainly put the fifth in your right coat pocket.
Patter that it has often been argued which sex is defter with the hands, and this will prove it by showing whether the man or girl can first open the two envelopes and try the two keys. Suggest the men in the audience cheer the man on, and the ladies, the girl. (This adds to the natural comedy resulting from the couple’s frantic fumbling, with one hand of each chained to the other. Pick up each envelope as they drop it. After putting two into right coat pocket, where they get mixed with your own envelope, hurriedly place your envelope in your breast coat pocket behind the handkerchief already enfolding envelope with the real key. When the couple fail, start looking for your key, changing your expression pocket-by-pocket from bright confidence to regretful failure. When you announce, “I’ve lost the key!” It stops the show. Playing it dead-pan, you then alibi, “It’s just one of those things. After all, there are five keys. I lost only one. Percentage-wise, that’s not bad. (Laughter) “In your sympathetic reaction to the young couple’s plight (laughter), do NOT overlook the important thing: the experiment was a success!” (A howl of laughter) “I promised to make the young couple choose the four keys that would not open the lock. This I have done!” Then changing expression from triumphant obvious distaste, turn to the couple: “And now for the couple — (laughter) — I have some helpful suggestions to make. After the show, go to a telephone booth — together, that is (laughter). Phone any locksmith who may still be open, and get him to cut you apart. Or if that fails, go down to the police station. In fact, young man, if you brought your girl home like this, her father would probably take you there anyway — (laughter) — and now we must get on with our next experiment,” shooing the couple toward their seats for further laughter.
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At the last moment remember one pocket you failed to search, although you “only keep a handkerchief there, and not even a blow-er — just a show-er.” From its folds bring out the envelope with the real key, dramatically open the lock, and release the couple. Ask the audience to give them the biggest hand of the evening for being such good sports which sets you right with them and brings additional applause for you.
POOR BOY’S SPIRIT HAND (GENII) EFFEC T: While sitting at the dinner table, you tell your guests this fancy fable: “A few nights ago, I attended a séance. After the usual spiritualistic manifestations, several of the ghostly visitors even made molds of their own hands in a psychic formula of latex and ectoplasm. The most perfect hand was molded by a long dead Chinese Princess. Knowing my interest in things Oriental as well as occult, the medium gave me the hand to keep.” “Upon returning home, an unusual thing happened. I had set the hand on this very table when someone asked me a question. Before I could answer it with a “Yes”, the hand nodded once. Then when another question was asked me, before I could say “No”, the hand moved twice. Perhaps because of its psychic origin it has psychic powers. I happen to have it in my pocket. Would anyone like to try it out on some of their questions?” You know the answer to that! PREPAR ATION: Do you recognize two old friends in the above patter? No? Well, who would with such a buildup. The ingredients are two novelty shop staples: that hardy perennial, the Plate Lifter, and the more recent Spook Hand. Together, at a cost of about $1.50, you have a Spirit Hand. The latex hand is too light to cover the movement of the table cloth from the Plate Lifter, so fill its hollows with Plaster-of-Paris. Smooth this, and when hard thoroughly dry, paint with magicians flesh color paint. METHOD: As the magic catalogs say: There are no threads, wires, or balancing devices, and the performer can move freely — at least for the length of the lifter’s tube. If you want to show both hands above the table, put the bulb on your chair under your leg. To use this bargain basement oracle in an audience, get a tray, shorten the tubing to fit, and cover with a fancy foulard. Ask the hand if it is going to tell the truth to the spectators, and it answers, “No.” “Ah!” you exclaim, “that rare thing — an honest liar!” Take it on from there, and good spoofing to you.
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IMPROMPTU MENTAL MASTERPIECE ( HUGARD’S MAGIC MONTHLY ) EFFEC T: A classic of psychic magic is Ted Annemann’s Mental Masterpiece, in which any spectator thinks of any playing card, lettering its name on a slip which he keeps. From the pack the performer places one card on the table. The spectator himself turns over the card. It matches his slip! However, both Annemann’s version (in “MENTAL BARGAIN EFFECTS”) and Ralph Read’s Perfected modernization of the method require expert preparation. Here are four methods to perform the same effect: two strictly impromptu and two others requiring only seconds of simple preparation. METHOD: A card case of solid or nearly solid color, preferably blue, is needed. The dark blue case of ESP cards is perfect. A blue Fox Lake case is preferable to a blue Aviator, which has a white stripe in its center, and either is far better than a red case. The light Telepathic Perception Card case and mottled Bicycle Rider case will not work. Within these limitations, here’s how: After spectator has mentally decided upon one card, hand him slip of paper and a NON-retractable ballpoint pen to draw his ESP design or print number and suit of his playing card. As an after thought, give him the card case flap side up for him to rest the slip on. If an Aviator case, tell him to print as large as possible, first showing him what you mean by lettering a large OF on the, slip over the case’s white stripe. This prevents his printing number or suit on the white, confining these to the dark bands. The NON-retractable pen, with no give in its point, indents the card case through the paper. After spectator has folded and pocketed his slip, casually tilt the case to proper light to read these indentations as you open the case. Remove the chosen card as he mentally projects it and place on table faces down, casually putting cards back into case and case into pocket. He then turns over card, which matches slip. METHOD 2: Rub the face of the card case (with the cards inside to give it firmness) with paraffin. Two strong strokes will coat it sufficiently to give you a scratched off duplicate of the spectator’s printing. This small amount of wax will not stick to a slip of slick finished ink type writing paper. You can here use a short, hard-leaded pencil, which may be more available than the non-retractable ballpoint. METHOD 3: If borrowing the cards, excuse yourself to go to your host’s bathroom before performing. Stroke the case strongly twice with a bar of Ivory Soap, which works almost as well as paraffin. METHOD 4: This strictly impromptu method uses any card case without any preparation, but requires some skill at pencil reading. Hand spectator a long pencil and watch it carefully. Save for 7 and 9, the figures should not give you too much trouble, and the J, Q and K are easily differentiated. Have him spell out the suit, as you mentally count the letters. This tips you to Diamonds with
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8 letters and Clubs with 5. For the two six-letter suits, the two curling S’s clue you to Spades, and the H of Hearts is the only first letter of any suit requiring three separate strokes to print.
NUMISMAGIC ( THE NEW TOPS ) EFFEC T: Three silver dollars of different dates are wrapped in tissue and sealed in identical unprepared envelopes. Any spectator mixes the envelopes and passes to three other spectators. While blindfolded, mentalist is handed each envelope in turn, immediately divining the date on dollar inside. This is verified as each spectator opens his envelope. PREPAR ATION: Get three bright silver dollars of different dates, a packet of the heaviest coin envelopes, and a sheet of red tissue paper. METHOD: Numismagic utilizes the coins inside so you can nail nick only the backs of the envelopes, but not their faces where the resulting ridge is noticeable. In performing, wrap the oldest coin first, and after inserting it in envelope, turn this (as you hold it to your mouth to lick glue) so the dollar slides into the lower left corner. Then holding envelope with your left fingers in front and left thumb behind, nick the lower flap just left of the seam with your left thumbnail. The coin keeps the nick from going through to the envelopes face, where the ridge could be seen and felt by the assisting spectators. For the second oldest coin, merely drop coin into envelope and seal. For the third and newest coin, slide coin to right side of envelope as you hold it up to lick flap. With right thumbnail nick the bottom flap just right of the middle seam. The blindfold is faked enough to see down the sides of your nose. Hold each envelope flap side up in both hands within eye range before lifting to forehead to divine the date.
BINGO BAFFLER ( MENTAL-WISE ) EFFEC T: This novelty number prediction introduces a Bingo Game Set and a trick counting system so only three cards cover seven of the ten possible choices. From a popular Bingo Game box, mentalist scoops a handful of players’ cards from which he counts ten and shows them all different. He chalks a number dictated by his spirit mathematician on an unprepared slate and stands it back out in full view. After any spectator calls any number from 1 through 10, performer counts to this card and has spectator to add the numbers printed on it. (If desired, any other spectator chooses another card and totals it to prove cards are indeed different.) When first spectator announces total, performer shows slate with correct total already on it, (Second spectator’s card gives an entirely different total.)
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PREPAR ATION: The innocent-looking prop is the Milton Bradley Company No. 4002-E Bingo Game Set, sold nationally for $1. Make sure the cards are Nos. 1 through 25 and 76 through 100. Of these 50 cards, three cards (Nos. 5, 15, and 76) total the same 930. Also, No. 93 totals 931 and No. 83 runs 929. Make up a pack from BACK to FACE in this order: Nos. 5, 15, 76, 93, 83 and four indifferent cards. Four such of widely varying totals are No. 82 with 985, No. 77 with 904, No. 4 with 881, and No. 1 of 911. Place these nine cards, with No. 11 at back as a convenient back stop, atop other cards in box. METHOD: In performing, bring out a handful of cards with ten on top, then say, “We don’t need all these.” False count ten, actually retaining only nine cards and dropping No. 11 and all behind it back into box. Fan the nine to show the numbers visible are different on each. Then fold the fan and casually hold pack with BACKS up while asking anyone to name any number 1 through 10. Of the ten possible choices, seven are covered by the three 930 cards, and three others by the 931 or 929 cards, by this trick count:
If 1, 2, or 3 is named, count from BACK of pack. If 7 or 8 is named, count from FACE of pack. If 10, merely say, “That’s the last card”, and peel it off BACK. If 9, say, “That’s the next-to-last card”, and pull it out of BACK, If 4 is named, count from BACK to 931 card. If 5 is named, count from either BACK or FACE to either 929 or 931. If 6, count from FACE to 931 card.
If spectator should choose 4, 5 or 6 and add all numbers correctly, your predicted total will be 1 too low or 1 too high. Cover this by saying, “I don’t wish to reflect upon your powers of addition. However, my spirit mathematician’s total is 930. Would you like to add the figures over again — or will you accept his figure?” You know the answer to that. The simplest way to add the 24 numbers on each card is to total each vertical row, putting this sum on a memo pad; then add the five sums. If a second spectator is used to total an indifferent card, fan the pack faces out with the first four cards most prominent, and force one of these for a total different from your prediction.
NITE- CLUB BILL READING EFFEC T: Houdini used to amaze theater audiences by divining the number on a bill in the pocket of an unsuspecting spectator. The effect is still excellent, but the method won’t work at a night spot where a customer pays his tab (or signs his Diner’s Club number for it) when leaving. (Houdini had the theater ticket seller plant bills whose numbers the magician already knew, by giving them in change, then passing Houdini the purchasers seat numbers.) The night-club effect is similar except any celebrity present is used to make the test more sensational.
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METHOD: If the club has a cigarette girl who collects cash for her wares, tip her to plant one of your bills before each show while making change. If not, you, the club manager or press-agent table hop to visit any notable. Get into a discussion (about sports, politics, etc.), make a bet, then admit you were wrong and pay off. He always wins — a bill whose serial number you previously noted. Either way, during the show spotlight him and perform a special test for him — reading the number on a bill in his pocket! He probably won’t recall how he got the bill, but even if he should, he’s still flattered by the special attention — and no other spectator knows how you did it.
TELE- MIR ACLE EFFEC T: This utilizes a standard aide in a new way for a triple telepathic prediction strong enough for a closer. Any spectator thinks of the name of his first sweetheart (or wife or mother), Social Security (or license) number, and any word. With a red pencil the mentalist prints his impressions of these on a paper slip which he puts in an unprepared envelope, sealing its flap for identification. With a blue pencil the spectator now prints name, number and word on another slip which he keeps, allowing no one to see it. Performer now opens his own envelope and hands his slip to a second spectator to read aloud. All three of his telepathic predictions prove correct as first spectator verifies them! PREPAR ATION: Get a red pencil, blue pencil (with strong leads), pack of good white envelopes, three slips of paper just enough smaller to fit into these, box of red notarial seals, and a sheet of red carbon paper. Cut a piece of this a half inch narrower than envelopes, and place it inside one. With carbon’s red side toward envelope’s flap side, paste carbon’s back at its four corners. (Leave sufficient white space so no red will show in cutting off the right end of envelope ’s face. (Envelopes must be opaque enough to hide carbon’s pink back, a satisfactory brand being Kress Royalty linen-finish size 3-3/4" x 5-3/4" @ 25¢ a pack.) Insert one paper slip against carbon, lick envelope’s flap, and over tip of flap stick one of the red notary seals. Seal another but unprepared envelope identically, cut off its right end, and place with cut end UP in your coat pocket. Divide the pack of envelopes, place the halves back-to-back, and put the red carbon prepared envelope face down on the bottom of the stack. METHOD: After inviting two spectators onstage, ask the first to concentrate on the name, number, and word in turn. Using the envelope stack to write on, print anything for each item, one to a line, on the second slip. Casually show the top envelope empty, insert the slip with its lettering against the envelope’s face, and affix a red seal identically to “identify” it. Obviously replace the envelope atop the stack. Now hand the first spectator the blue pencil and third paper slip. Before giving him the stack to put his slip on while printing, secretly turn the stack over so the prepared envelope is on top.
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Whatever he then prints in blue is, of course, duplicated in red on the slip inside. Have him hide face of his slip as you take back the stack and hand him its second envelope to put his slip in. Remove the top envelope, and holding it high so all may see, take it to second spectator across the stage. Standing so neither he nor audience can see inside envelope, scissor off right end, and with an obviously empty hand withdraw your slip. Exhibit it to audience to demonstrate it is lettered in red (and also to afford you a glimpse of what you “predicted”). Hand it to second spectator to read aloud, item by item. Have, first spectator confirm each prediction orally, so neither spectator nor audience sees both slips (whose lettering is, identical save for color). Meanwhile put prepared envelope into your coat pocket with cut end DOWN. When all three predictions have been read and confirmed, take unprepared envelope (whose cut end is UP) from pocket and open it to insert your slip (thus casually showing envelope empty and unprepared). Toss both onto a table as you thank the two assisting spectators, and take your blows for a baffling finale.