9813.ADIVINA by Jose Prager
Adivina de Jose Prager, magia mental...
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THE BROKEN GLASS JOSE PRAGER The moment someone spills the contents of a glass I immediately react: “I knew this was going to happen... I also knew you would not believe me…So I took a piece of paper and wrote what I saw." I take out my wallet and hand it to anyone near. “Remove the only piece of paper with a question mark from my wallet, and please read out loud what it says.” The paper describes what just happened. Jaws drop. The secret is wonderful. I just carry with me the prediction all the time. 3
The prediction describes ambiguously how someone will accidentally spill the contents of a glass. It's then just a matter of waiting for the event to happen, which eventually will and you have a miracle with zero effort. Of course, you can apply this principle to predict lots of things. Just think about the most not so common events that happen the most in your life and go ahead and predict them! Additional thoughts by Lewis Le Val: I have been using this ever since José shared it with me, I think it is brilliant. The note in my wallet reads: “At around half way through the performance, I will knock a drink over and distract everyone. I apologise.”
If I, the performer, spill a drink or knock it over, I read the note out loud myself. If somebody else knocks the drink over, I say before handing them the note: “Right on time! I knew this would happen, and I made a note of it for you, as proof. Take this and read it out loud.” I have found that these words get, as well as a reaction, a good laugh from the audience as it looks like your prediction is making them apologise for disrupting your performance. If anyone asks you why you did not stop them from spilling the drink if you knew it was going to happen, mysteriously say: “I’ve stopped it once already!” You could also write: “If I had not spilt the drink, the following miracle would not occur…”
Again, the ambiguous ‘I’ in the sentence means that it can be read by the performer or a spectator. If you use this line, you can then proceed with your performance, whether you are half way through an effect or about to begin a new one, and act as if the outcome of it would not have happened if the drink had not been spilt. You could take this a step further by keeping a nail/thumb writer in you wallet next to the note, with the note saying: “Only after the drink is spilt will the lady guess correctly.” In this case, you the performer should read the note out loud. The lady could be the person who spilt the drink, or if it was spilt by a male, have them select any female in the audience after you have read the note. Now say (to the lady): “On the back of this note is a two digit number. It is the amount of people who have 6
spilt drinks during my performances in the last few weeks. So tell me, what is the number?” Whatever number they say, use the nail writer to write it on the back or bottom of the note. You can use your wallet to lean on, like a mini clipboard. “I told you I had proof. Take a look.” Hand the note to the lady and leave it with her as a souvenir. If you carry any $5/£5 notes in your wallet, write on one of them: “Allow me to buy you another!” This can then be given to someone if you accidentally knock their drink over. Simply say: “I knew this would happen, so I wrote something on there, just for you. Take a look!” 7
THE BUZZ SUBTLETY BY LEWIS LE VAL
This is a little something that I have kept to myself for a while. What started as just a throwaway line has now become something that I use in almost every performance situation after realising what impact it can have on spectators! It is one line that you can say at any point during your performance. At the beginning, middle or end of a trick or routine or even during casual conversation. If used correctly, it will not disrupt your flow, only enhance it, especially if used before a reveal of a thought, card, name etc. When used correctly, the Buzz Subtlety will give your spectators the impression that you really can read minds or predict future events, because when it hits, there is no possible explanation! You make a quick statement about the future which moments later, comes true. Pure and simple.
The line is, “Someone’s phone is about to buzz!” 8
In this day and age people don’t just receive notifications on their phone for calls and text messages. People’s phones buzz (vibrate) for all sorts of reasons. SMS, iMessage, BBM, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Email... The list goes on! I bet your phone buzzes for at least 3 of the above. I know mine sure does! People just can’t seem to keep off their phones, and they always have them within reach. You will have no doubt noticed this if you perform at restaurants or bars. Phones are everywhere! So if you simply say, “Someone’s phone is about to buzz!” During your performance, you can bet that it won’t be long before one does. It will happen anyway, so why not take credit for it! Within five minutes of you saying this line, if someone’s phone buzzes they will be very quick to announce, “It’s mine!” to the rest of the group, and it looks like you predicted it. Yes, even if it takes five minutes for a phone to buzz you still get credit for predicting it, simply because you said it before it happened. If nothing happens, if there’s no buzz, just continue as normal. People will and do forget. As long as you don’t say another word about it 9
after casually delivering the line, they will forget you said it if there is no buzz to remind them. In the many, many times I have used The Buzz Subtlety, I can honestly say that it has hit a lot more than it has missed. People’s phones frequently buzzing is such a normal thing now that it has become one of the most predictable things about us, yet people don’t realise that, and that is why they’re so impressed when you actually predict it. Obviously choose wisely when you decide to use this. If you’re performing for a group of middle aged people or older, it is probably not a good idea to use the Buzz Subtlety here. If you’re performing for a group of younger people, people who look like they use their phones a lot, then definitely throw the Buzz Subtlety in here! If you see them using their phones a lot, if their phones are on the table, if there is free Wi-Fi in the venue, or if they look like they’re about take a selfie at any moment, these are the best people to use the Buzz Subtlety with. Obviously the more people there are in the group or at the table, the 10
better your chances are of hitting. In the few years I’ve been using this, only once has someone said to me, after no buzz, “What about the phone?” I simply put my hand on the outside of my pocket where my phone was and said, “Oh it was mine, I felt it a few minutes ago.” So although technically it didn’t hit, this line stopped it from being a miss. I still predicted a phone buzzing. This line is worth remembering in the highly unlikely event of someone asking about it after no buzz. If you ever need to say this, don’t bring your phone out to show them and over prove it, just say the above line with a smile, and move on. Here’s something fun. I haven’t done this for a while, but I used to do this if I was exiting a bar or a coffee shop etc. On your way out just stop and say to a random person, “Your phone is about to buzz!” then leave! If their phone does buzz for whatever reason, great! If not, it doesn’t matter, you’ve gone! The Buzz Subtlety shouldn’t be taken too seriously, just use it to give your performance 11
an extra kick. It creates something from nothing. If it misses, it won’t harm your performance in any way. It’s just a sentence. If it hits, then it will make you look even more awesome than you already are! ;) When you go out and use this, and you see what reactions this little line can get, I guarantee you will be using it all the time! Thank you again for your interest, have fun with this and please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or would like to share any experiences you have with this. Oh and by the way, your phone is about to buzz! Additional thought by José Prager: Search “Fake SMS” on the app store and you will find several apps which allow you to type any fake message you want to receive at any chosen moment. You can easily set up the time before approaching a group, or even right in front of them, it all depends on the situation. 12
The idea is to activate it as a “back up plan” and leave it on the table in full view before going into The Buzz script, then if someone’s phone vibrates you’ve made a really clean prediction, if not your phone will get an SMS right in front of everyone and you continue with Lewis’ original idea of just pretending it was yours’ you pick it up, pretend to read your message and simply place it back in your pocket.
You Were Missed! By Drew Backenstoss I REALLY enjoy the business side of performing. I love engaging in the "Client LifeCycle" of finding a prospective client, developing a relationship with them, booking a show, performing the show, and then maintaining a solid rapport that potentially leads to additional bookings (either repeat bookings or through word-of-mouth referrals). In all honesty I can say that I have a 100% booking rate IF I'm able to arrange an inperson meeting/consultation with a new client. Time and distance doesn't always allow for such a meeting - although I've booked SEVERAL shows over conference calls too but such an opportunity lets me demonstrate live what my show entails as well as assists the event committee in determining if I'll fit in well with their colleagues and the overall feel of the event. I'm confident that once someone has experienced the fun and mystery of having me manipulate their thoughts they will be eager to share that feeling with others. 14
The subtlety that I'm about to disclose has served me well in these meetings. Allow me to paint a clear picture of the scene: I've set up a time to meet with the committee to discuss their event and give them a taste of my special skills. I anticipate that four individuals will be present - Mary, Michael, Amanda, and Jessica. They are all from different departments with their own unique work loads - but they've found some time in their busy schedules to meet with me because they want to ensure that I'm going to help them look GREAT in front of their peers. I arrive at the office, sign in, and wait for a few minutes before being greeted by Amanda and then ushered into a conference room that has been reserved for the meeting. Once we are ready to begin it becomes apparent that Jessica has experienced some hiccups in her day and she won't be able to attend - no problem though as three of the 15
four committee members are present and they make the decision to move ahead. Before going any further I remove an envelope from my leather shoulder bag and place it on the table in full view with the comment, "This is a Thank You card - I want to give it to you now so I don't forget later! You're welcome to read it once I'm gone." We then proceed to speak about the details of their event until the discussion turns to me "showing instead of telling" what their guests will experience during my show. I invite Mary to generate a random four-digit PIN (to ensure that her ACTUAL PIN is kept secure) and demonstrate a variety of ways to seemingly pull the numbers out of her mind. Perhaps on the first digit I focus on her verbal "tells" as she recites the numbers zero through nine out loud; on another I might gently take hold of her wrist and attempt to "muscle read" her nonverbal responses as I count aloud; eventually though, we arrive at the final digit and I propose to try something that looks like "genuine" mind reading. I say, "You won't say 16
anything and I won't make any physical contact - you'll simply think a thought and I'll try to peek inside your mind." I then tell Mary that I'd like her to translate this final number into an exciting vacation destination as follows, "If, Mary, you're thinking of the number zero I'd like you to focus on Los Angeles; if you're thinking of the number one focus instead on Cancun; if its the number two think of New York; the number three will be London; four will be Paris; five will be Rome..." and I continue associating the remaining digits with different cities around the world. At the conclusion of my explanation Mary confirms that she's thinking about a specific city. I then proceed to reveal details about her city - the sights, sounds, smells, etc. - slowly at first and then building to a crescendo before correctly identifying that she's thinking of Paris. The discussion wraps up and they are eager to lock in the date of the show because they know that their group will love what I do. 17
On my way out I comment, "And be sure to read over the Thank You card that I placed on the table at the very start! It was a pleasure meeting all of you!" And with that I exit the office. A few minutes later the group opens the letter and reads: "Mary, Amanda, and Michael, I had a great time visiting with you all today thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet with me... and please tell Jessica that she was missed! I'm confident that my services are a great fit for your event and I look forward to working with you. Best, Drew Backenstoss P.S. Mary - I hope that you have a chance to REALLY visit Paris sometime soon!" 18
THE BREAKDOWN This is as simple as preparing enough Thank You notes to cover whoever might miss the meet-up last minute. While setting up the consultation I ask for the names of those who will be present and then write up one note for each person that could be absent from the group. I also write a generic note that covers the possibility that a) everyone will be present, or b) more than one person happens to miss the meeting. It just reads: "I had a great time visiting with you today thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I'm confident that my services are a great fit for your event and I look forward to working with you. Best, Drew Backenstoss P.S. I hope that you have a chance to REALLY visit Paris sometime soon!" 19
The above verbiage covers ALL angles - it reads correctly regardless if everyone is present or if you end up meeting with only one person. In this case, you do lose the "You Were Missed" prediction but the P.S. still leaves a satisfying mystery for the group to reflect on. Once you are aware of the final attendance for the meeting you simply remove the correct Thank You note and place it down on the table. I like to draw attention to it so as to increase the impact of the P.S. prediction. Even though the only logical explanation for the "You Were Missed" aspect of the prediction is to have multiple notes - lay audiences simply won't expect you to come so prepared. To top it off, the "real-time" prediction found in the P.S. line actually negates such a theory even further and strengthens the idea that you genuinely knew one member of the group wouldn't be able to attend before THEY even did! Regarding the P.S. prediction - here you are simply using any strategy to force the desired outcome. As outlined above I really like a 20
"Reverse Assignation Force" - meaning that once I force (or learn) one piece of information I can re-frame it as being associated with another and then proceed to reveal this NEW information. For those that REALLY want to know what is going on with the PIN reveal outlined in the performance description I often just use TOXiC to force a four digit number on someone. The logic of creating a random number so that the participant can keep his or her genuine PIN secure is sound and isn't ever questioned. A nice little subtlety to add here is that I'll often force a five digit number. After the calculations I'll say, "so that should give you a random four digit number yes?" The person will then respond, "It's actually five digits long..." To which I reply, "Oh...well that's okay. Just focus on the first four digits - that's all we need." If you'd prefer to reveal someone's genuine PIN or phone unlock code than I wholeheartedly recommend Michael Murray's "Calculated Risk". The "Reverse Assignation Force" is even a bit more convincing at this 21
point because you are simply adjusting the force item's location in the (verbal) list to be assigned to the final digit of the person's actual code (which you learned through Michael's diabolical handling). There are a number of routes to take depending on what you'd like to accomplish. Maybe you use a book test that forces a particular word. Or perhaps you employ Colin McLeod's "Perfect Prediction" strategy to predict SEVERAL thoughts throughout your time with the group.The options are really endless. I recognize that this takes a few minutes of preparation, it burns through several Thank You cards, and it may seem like over-kill...but I can assure you that it leaves a powerful impression in people's minds. I've done enough live consultations with clients to expect that nearly 50% of the time SOMEONE won't be able to attend as planned - so I'm happy to go through the extra work on the chance that I can blow their minds with a little extra KICK! 22
I hope this idea serves you well by enhancing your mystique and perceived abilities in the eyes of prospective clients!