Dee Christopher - The Knowledge
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THE KNOWLEDGE METHODOLOGY FOR FRAUDULENT MIND READING
THE DEE CHRISTOPHER LECTURE
5020 :: A LIE DETECTION EFFECT EFFECT: The performer removes two cards from the deck; upon one’s face he writes “Truth” and the other “Lie.” These cards are to be used in an experiment of psychological lie detection. The performer face holds the cards down. The spectators are invited to say a statement about themselves; this can be either truth or a lie. For example: “I live at house number 42.” Or perhaps, “I have a cat.” Once the statement is said, the performer selects one of the two cards and the spectator reveals if it was truth or lie. The performer is correct. This is a skill that everyone possesses; it’s just a case of tapping in. A second spectator is offered the chance to guess if the first spectator is lying or telling the truth. A statement is said and it is shown that the second spectator too was correct in their thoughts! Up to now, this has been just a 50/50 chance of success; the performer offers to turn it up a notch. The rest of the playing cards are taken out and the spectator draws a truly random card from the middle to remember. Four other random cards are dealt out also and the five are well mixed by the spectator. From here the spectator lays out the five cards face up in a row. They are asked to touch each card, one by one, saying: “This is my card” in each instance. It’s the performer’s job to guess on which occasion is the truth being told. The performer of course names the correct card, proving his lie detection skills to be second to none!
METHOD: The above describes a very impressive feat that requires minimal set up! The set up could even be done on the fly; I’ll explain how to do this in the notes section at the end. SET UP: All that’s required is that you have two cards that you can tell apart when face down. I simply put a small pencil dot in the top left corner of one. I’ve marked with a sharpie so that you can see in this image.
These two cards will be our Truth/Lie cards for the first two phases. I always tend to write yes and no on the cards during performance to emphasize the freedom, quickly glancing which of the two has the mark before writing yes upon that one, but you could have these already written on if you wish. Aside from these two cards, you’ll need to have four cards on top of the deck memorized – These play their part in the third phase. I use the jack of spades, the queen of diamonds, the nine of hearts and the ace of clubs. You are of course welcome to use any cards you prefer though.
Have your two Truth/Lie cards on top of the deck, the four memorized cards directly underneath.
STEP BY STEP: The workings of this routine are very simple, this allows you to pull it off without needing to exert any real effort and you can focus on your performance. We’ll begin by introducing the experiment. “Who here has ever told a lie? I’m sure everybody has, it’s a quirk of human nature. The worst thing is that every one of us gives away the fact that we’re lying with small tells, micro expressions and the like. If you know what to look for, you can spot a liar a mile off. Let me show you what I mean” This is a simple introduction to the experiment, it gives validity to what you’re doing – I suggest learning a little about micro expressions or other psychological tells in case you are asked about it later on. From here we’ll take out the deck of cards and casually grab the top two. One of these will be marked. Take out a sharpie and write “Truth” across the marked card and “Lie” across the unmarked card. The rest of the cards can be re-boxed and put to one side. Now is where the fun begins… “Can we use you for this miss? Perfect. I have here a card with Yes written on it and a card with No written on it. I need you to say a statement and it’s my job to tell if you are lying or telling the truth. The Truth card will say that yes, the statement is true and the Lie card will say that no, the statement is false. Clear? Great. You can say any statement you like, for example, I live at number 42 or perhaps I have a cat. Take a moment and get a statement in mind. Try not to give anything away. Ok, say it now?” From here they’ll say their statement, often they’ll take 30 seconds to decide on a statement, so you may need to give more examples! Once they say their statement you will place the Truth card on the table, pushing it away from you slightly and toward them.
Keep the other card in view at all times, I keep it at chest level, essentially, we need both of these cards to still be in play until the spectator says which is actually correct and we can use a statement to eliminate one of them. This is a take on equivoque.
“Ok, I’ve made my decision, was the statement true or false?” “Yes, the statement was true” If they say that the statement was true, then you’ll simply say: “Ok, turn it over please” Nod towards the tabled card as you do this; forget about the other card completely, all your body language needs to say that the tabled card is your prediction. “No, the statement was a lie!” If they say it’s a lie, immediately look at the face of the Lie card in you hands, forgetting completely about the tabled card – Slowly turn the card around to reveal that you were correct. That’s the first phase complete! It’s very effective, but will take a little practice to get comfortable with the equivoque if this is something that you haven’t explored before. Phase 2: Phase two is essentially a spectator as mind-reader effect – In this instance you will make it look like the spectator is subliminally reading whether the first spectator is telling the truth or a lie. This is where the marking on the back of the card comes into play. We will simply edit our script to make the outcomes match!
The first spectator will be asked to say another true or false statement, as before. The second spectator is asked to look into the first spectator’s eyes as they say this. Rather than giving them the opportunity to think too much about their decision, you say the following: “Ok, now, rather than have you think too much or take a wild guess, we’re going to let your subconscious deal with this. I’m going to flash the faces of the cards and then mix them thoroughly. You will not consciously know which is which, but your subconscious should be able to keep track. Ok? Great.” You will then mix the cards face down, and then say: “Ok, now, I want you to take one of these out of play for me and hold it in your hands please.” Because you’ve said, “take one of these out of play” it’ll make sense that the one they left you with is their selection, also they are holding the card out of view in their hands. Because that’s the card they’ve taken and are holding in their hands, it can also be turned around so that is seen as the selection. We’ll assume that the card they took was “Lie.” If the first spectator says that their statement was true then you just need to say: “It was truth? Ok, so you took one card out of play, lets see what you left me with…” Of course if they say it was a lie, you need to say: “Are you still holding the card you chose? I’d like you to slowly turn it over…” Naturally this is just if they took the Lie card, if they took the Truth card you need to reverse the above. You’ll know which card they took as you have the Truth card marked. So that’s the second phase complete. Now we just need to close off the routine…
Phase 3: You will take out the rest of the cards from the box and spread them out on the table face down. “Ok, so far everything has been a 50/50 chance, lets take things up a notch. Just choose any random card out of there, we’re going to try this with a random piece of information as you may be better at telling a lie about something you’ve had the time to think about! I’ll grab four other random cards out of here.” Simply what’s happened here is that you’ve had them grab any random card they like, they can change their mind if wished, and keep it to them selves. The performer then forces the four random cards on himself. Their selection will of course be the one not in your sequence.
To force these cards, I simply do a false cut and deal them from the top. There should be no heat on this at all as these are just random cards. You could really just deal them straight from the top, but I prefer to throw in a false cut, just in case. “Here’s another few cards, do you want to just mix yours in with those and spread them out in a row face up when you’re done – I can turn away as you do this. That’s perfect. I’d like you to take your index finger and touch each card one by one. I need you to look at the card, look at me and say ‘this is my card’ for each one. Ok?” This procedure is just to build up the reveal and make it look like you’re genuinely able to detect which one’s the spectator is lying on and which one is the statement true. Of course, you already know by spotting which card is not in your memorized sequence!
NOTES: I mentioned before that I had a way of setting up on the fly. This simply involves marking the Truth card when no one’s looking – I just put a little bend in the corner. When it’s bent straight again it leaves a little crease. It’s easy to spot, but it quite a normal occurrence, so people won’t notice. As for the four memorized cards, you just need to spread the cards face up before you spread face down to show that they’re fairly mixed. As everyone is looking to make sure that there’s no patterns or duplicates, you are memorizing the top four cards. It’s very easy, but should be practiced. If you are just performing the effect to a single spectator, you can simply show them the faces of the truth/lie cards and then mix them face down and allow their subconscious to make the decision, I’ve found that this gives just as strong a reaction as involving a third party in the effect.
LOKI :: POKER CHIP LOCATION EFFECT: The performer takes out three poker chips of different colours. Out of sight these are mixed and a spectator is asked to place each one in a different pocket while the performer’s head is turned, or he is blindfolded. The performer turns around and reveals where each chip is located through supposedly reading body tells. METHOD: This is a very simple effect to perform, though looks incredible to all those present – all needed is three different poker chips, I use a black a red and a white. In place of these folded business cards can be used for a completely impromptu presentation. The secret? You just need to keep track of the location of the chips. Told you it was simple! I use an alphabetical stack – The chips go in order, Black, Red and White. What makes this convincing is that the chips are apparently mixed out of sight. In reality, the order is just reversed. I’ll have the chips in my left pants pocket and take them out as I begin my script. I’ll casually re-order the chips in my right palm so that they are stacked (from bottom) White, Red and Black. I explain that I’ll mix up the chips and cup my hands around them and shake, apparently tossing them around and mixing the order. In reality, when I cup my hands around the chips, I flip them over so that they are in my memorized order and then just shake so that the chips rattle as they impact one another, but the order doesn’t change. I also turn my head away at this point so that I cannot see my hands – I feel that this is an important convincer and psychologically impacts on the destruction of thoughts of a pre-determined order. This is also the reason that the chips are flipped, people aren’t going to remember the order the chips were in, as you haven’t told them what you are doing yet, but they may remember if it’s the same image they are seeing. A simple flip of the chips prevents this uncertainty! After I feel that the chips are suitably ‘mixed’ I keep my head turned away and open my hands so that the chips lie spread slightly. I adjust
these casually so that the black sits on the heel of my hand, the red on the palm and the white on my fingers. I use the order and these 3 zones of my hand to identify which chip has been taken. Outstretching the left hand with the chips lain in position, in order, with the head still turned away, I will ask the spectator to pick up one of the chips. I make sure to pause so that they complete this task before moving on – if you are dealing with a trickier spectator and you immediately say take one of the chips and place it in your left pants pocket, they may try and catch you out! So, you will ask them to pick up one of the chips, say the pick up the black, you then say: “Now please place this in your left pants pocket and let me know when you are done” Now you know that the black chip is in the left pants pocket. You need to simply repeat this process for the right pants pocket and then ask them to hold the final chip in their outstretched right fist. At this point I’ll make sure that they are finished and then turn around. I use a script based around body tells, so I’ll go into the concept and then grip their fist in mine and place my hand on their shoulder. This creates a really nice frame for the rest of the audience and also breaks the contact barrier between this spectator and yourself, so it’s a perfect effect to open on. I’ll say the word ‘black’ as I look them in the eye. I pretend to read their reaction to the word and announce in a slightly unsure way: “Left pocket – Please show everyone!” I go from there to reveal the chip that’s in their hand: “Ok, lets try for the chip in your hand” I stare at them for a moment and announce the relevant colour. “Which of course leaves the white chip in your right pant pocket! – Thank you very much!”
This is such a simple and direct performance in effect and method. As mentioned, I use a body tell style presentation, which I find works very well for me as an introduction to that false explanation. If you are more of a psychic entertainer, or a bizarrist – you may find that an energy field reading or with a thumb writer, maybe a precognition routine will suit.
TURNOVER 23 The following routine is one that originally branched from the ‘cold’ routine from my first book; however, over the last few years it has been stripped down to a very simple, straightforward demonstration of precognition. The original routine would have me lay down a prediction card from an envelope to the table before I had someone think of a card from the deck – I would begin the reading and reveal their card, by which point the prediction will have been forgotten about. I would then draw attention back to this card, running over the routine for the spectator’s, allowing some exaggeration of how free their choice was, etcetera, and taking an indifferent card from the top of the deck, I would flick over this prediction at arm’s length and show it to match the chosen card adding an extra climax! I was of course placing an indifferent card from a matching deck down as my prediction, having their selection as the indifferent card to flick with and executing the Mexican turnover move to switch the cards as I turned them over. The only problem I found with this is that it is possible for the spectators at a later date to reverse engineer the effect, as it’s a card from a matching deck... So, I came about designing a variation on the Mexican turnover, which I have now been using for a number of years – It allows for a different backed prediction to be lain down on the table and for the switch to be made, increasing the strength of the deception. I called this move ‘turnover 23’ after the 23 enigma, the number fascinated me and I felt that the correlation between the 2 ideas of correlation worked awfully nicely together. Try saying that 5 times fast. METHOD: Before going further, you will need to either find from a gaff deck, or simply construct yourself a gaff prediction card for use with this move. Don’t worry, there aren’t any sophisticated moving parts or rubber bands involved, it’s merely a double backed card of different designs on each side. I myself tend to use just a simple blue/red bicycle double backer – You can pick up a whole deck of these for about £5, some companies will supply individual cards, the card collection is one such supplier in the UK or Haines in the US. Alternatively you could construct your own by simply sticking 2 cards from different decks face to face, those with gaff construction
experience might want to strip the back layer from one and use it to replace the face layer of another, to make the card of single thickness. This card is the card you will place on the table as your prediction card, it should be placed with the indifferent back facing upwards, and naturally you don’t want your spectator’s to see the matching back. The card should appear as legitimate as those being handled as a deck. In the ‘23:23’ routine, it is a named card on the table. So assuming we have the queen of hearts named, we will locate this and hold it face down in the right hand. The left hand will come down to contact the left hand long side of the card, as in the illustrations, the idea of using your other hand to steady the card is one of Max Maven on his work with the original Mexican turnover. Now, putting an amount of pressure on this left edge will cause the card to bevel slightly, making it easy to slide the left hand edge of your queen of hearts underneath the right hand edge of the double backer, again as illustrated. The motion is a fairly simple one, you slide the named card almost all the way under the double backer and begin a horizontal counterclockwise rotation, there will be a point at which the 2 right hand edges are level, this is where your grip shifts from holding the named card to holding the double backer. This all should be done fairly swiftly of course. You will allow BOTH of the cards to flip 180, as opposed to the original turnover, where just the ‘switched in’ card flips, this will allow the matching back of the double backer to be visible, creating the perfect illusion that it’s the same card you’ve been holding all along. The different coloured back vanishes and the face of their named card appears, isn’t deception a novel profession? You will bring the double backer up to the top of the deck where it will lay as one of the feather, a nice subtlety to keep attention on the face up ‘prediction’ on the table is to move it forward slightly, before bringing that (keeping the face toward the audience of course!) up to the top of the deck also, if you lay it face up on the top, you can then flip over a double (the double backer will be the 2nd card held in the pair) to show the indifferent back one more time as you place it in your pocket again. Consider yourself reset.
ROUTINE: The performer brings out a deck of cards; it could be a sealed brand new deck if you are performing at a dinner party or perhaps to your first table. I always find that using a sealed deck induces a little more confidence in the fact that you couldn’t possibly be cheating! As the cards are fairly shuffled by a spectator, you take out a small envelope and tip your gaff out onto the table, of course you want to make sure it’s the indifferent side up, otherwise you’ll have quite the situation on your hands and will have to put the card away and carry on with something else with out drawing attention to the motions. You take back the deck, and ask the audience to note the card from a different deck lain upon the table. “I have here an odd card, not in the sense that it’s unusual in texture or material, but a card which is not from the deck I hold.” You’re speaking all this while playing with your cards, spreading them face up in your hands to let everyone see and giving them a reason to be there as they really shouldn’t. “This card will act as my prediction.” You continue, “Sir, I would like to use you in this experiment if you don’t mind – could I ask your name? Peter, wonderful, Peter I’m going to count to 3 and when I hit ‘3’ I’d like you to name the first card that jumps into your head, ok?” So, here we have given the spectator clear instructions to name a card, as opposed to just think of one. However, when we recap we will emphasize the point that it is just thought of. Here comes a tremendously fun part, which you use your acting skills to really convince the spectators that you have connected with this spectator. You will look them in the eyes and slowly and methodically, say; “One...Two...THREE – Not that one go to the next one” And in saying, “go to the next one” you may move your right hand in a diagonal across their line of vision, as if you are portraying with your hands to go to the next card along in their mind.
In reality, this is a confusion technique, used a lot in suggestion to open a person to your commands, but here it’s only used to help create a slight pause and build the foundations for something more real – it’s as if you can see into their thoughts ad they’ve selected the incorrect card. They will in time wake up from the split second of uncertainty (what comes from confusing and then rushing people into decisions) and will happily blurt out whatever card comes to mind. Let’s use the four of spades. “The four of spades? Any particular reason you chose that card?” This is a great convincer for the audience, 9 times out of 10 the spectator will say something along the lines of, “I don’t know – It just came into my head” or similar, to which you will casually respond, without so much as batting an eyelid; “Perfect. Ok, let me just grab a joker out of here,” This is where you run through the cards and locate their thought of card. I will usually have already found a joker and brought it to the top by this point, but that could be done here too quite simply. Just act like it’s the natural thing to do. You want on the top of the deck to be their selection, with a joker directly underneath, so it’s easy to double lift and show the joker as mentioned earlier. “Now, you could have thought of any of the cards, correct? But you just got a feeling about one. One card stood out from all the rest, as this indifferent backed card stands out.” You will double lift during this mini speech to show the joker and place the cards back down, just picking up their selection, but holding it face down of course! “Peter, will you please name out loud the card you are thinking of?” “Ladies and gentlemen, the four of spades. Thank you.” Of course, you can see above the point where you turn over the cards, but when you do, bring the gaff card straight back to the deck and as people are clapping or reacting in which ever way is appropriate you will pick the selection up and continue with the reset procedure mentioned above.
NOTES: This is the routine the way I perform it at all my tables. It makes a great closer or a very warm opener, because of the nature of the scripting it’s predominantly using the one spectator, but everything is said out loud and nothing appears hidden from the rest of the crowd. I originally had the routine as a bolt on to my routine “Cold” but thought to myself, it wouldn’t take that much effort to discover the name of a thought of card if you knew all along and had a prediction lain. I feel that this is how I would construct a mind reading routine if I genuinely could read minds; it’s simple, direct and very natural.
SYLLACODE Many mentalists including Anneman, Cassidy and Grant have explored the two-person code and in more recent times Max Maven, who’s heavily inspired this routine with his “Burnt offerings” which is a very unique two-person code from his Blue book of mentalism. This code also requires a small extra item, a pad on which you will draw the 5 ESP symbols we’ve all come to know and love, namely the circle, cross, three wavy lines, square and five pointed star. This could of course be done on the fly if a pad is on stage, or for close up instances it could be drawn on a napkin. The reasoning for this is so that the spectator can select one of these symbols silently. The effect is as follows: EFFECT: The magician calls over his assistant, his partner perhaps, (the other half to the two people you generally require for a two-person code) to help out with this effect. The assistant is blindfolded or asked to stand back to back (or cheek to cheek to coin a Banachek phrase) with the spectator. Now, in a moment I am going to ask you (the spectator) to silently select any of the five standard Zenner symbols and my assistant here is going to attempt to divine this selection! Ok, could you please point to one of these symbols for me...That’s perfect, thank you! Assistant! (Feel free to use their real name here) Divine the thought of symbol! The assistant will of course reply with the correct choice – in this case, the star! METHOD: The code is in the script above. The reason I’ve named this effect Sylla-Code because it works on syllables. Don’t worry! It’s not a set of complex algorithms, but it could be made more complex with more than five options, I feel that the five options would be fine for a casual performance however.
So, the code it’s self. We’ve mentioned the use of syllables, but how does it work so inconspicuously? The key is the simple pleasantry you say right after they make their selection. Remember where I said: “That’s perfect, thank you!” That’s the code. Look at the number of syllables in that quick phrase, it’s five syllables, which equates to the star – the fifth symbol in the Zenner sequence. The full code for the Zenner symbols is below: 1 – Circle – “Great!” (One Syllable) 2 – Cross – “O.K!” (Two Syllables) 3 – Wavy Lines – “Fantastic!”
4 – Square – “That’s Wonderful!” (Four Syllables) 5 – Star – “That’s Perfect, Thank You!” (Five Syllables) So there you go, the basis of my Sylla-Code System. As aforementioned, you could extend this idea to have more options, though I think that it’s a very strong and direct demonstration as is. You should note that the above pleasantries are just as examples, I’ll use a variety of different phrases, depending on the people I’m performing to. The key is the number of syllables in the phrase, which is a very simple idea to adhere to. I just look forward to the day that somebody comes to me with a set of 52 phrases relevant to a thought of card effect! So, now we’ve looked at the basic concept of this system, what other ways can we achieve the means to such a clean and direct end?
MORSE I’m a fan of instant stooging. There, I said it! In my opinion, you can create a very good relationship with a member of the audience, allow them to feel special and have a great time while still retaining an amount of mystery and creating a phenomenally baffling effect for all the other spectators...When it’s done right. This is to incorporate a simple stooging technique to the routine. This could be used to play as a 2nd phase. I must add credit to Luke Jermay for this, he didn’t create instant stooging by any means, but it was his work that inspired this twist on the plot. The tapping inconspicuously goes to Banachek with his PK touches routine. You will bring 2 spectators up to the stage, your partner will stand at one edge of the stage looking after the first – she will be holding the pad with the symbols drawn upon it. You will be standing on the other side of the stage with your spectator who you explain will read the mind this time. You even blindfold them to make it impossible to catch a glimpse of anything. (I think this is quite important, I’ll explain why in a moment!) You will have the sign chosen and use the code as before, but this time, rather than you naming the sign, you will say to your spectator: “Ok, so a symbol has been selected, it could be the circle, the star, wavy lines – Any of the 5. You’ll feel something that will just tell you that this is the right symbol, you’ll just get a feeling that it’s right – The square, the circle, the wavy lines. Please tell the audience, which did you feel is the correct sign?” The reason I’ve ‘bolded’ the word circle above is that you are going to give the signal to your spectator that this is the correct sign by tapping them quickly on the back at the point that you say this word each time. I do it twice in case they miss it the first time – They usually click on the second time and will usually acknowledge what you’re doing. Don’t worry though; the audience won’t catch on to this! I tap them about 3 times quickly and just hard enough for them to notice that you’re doing it on purpose rather than just brushing off them! Don’t hit them too hard though, that would be bad.
As for angles, we all know that it’s bad manners to stand with your back to the audience, here especially as you’ll reveal what you’re doing! It should just look like you’re standing slightly behind your spectator as you gesture and talk. I mentioned the importance of a blindfold earlier; this is simply to heighten the other senses. If they can’t see, they are much more receptive to touch. So it’s just a safety net! If the spectator doesn’t quite get it, don’t worry, try again or if all else fails you can still reveal as the climax as you know what sign it is.
SYN :: DUAL COIN BEND In this instance, SYN is said, “sin” as opposed to the more accepted pronunciation “sign.” This is down to context and what the name actually means here. Of course being a devilish young fellow, to play on the word “sin” was a wonderful bonus, however that wasn’t the immediate conclusion I came. SYN is an abbreviation of the word “Synchronicity.” To be “in sync” is to work in identical motion to another, the most common example is to “synchronise” watches before a race or if you’re in a movie, before robbing a bank in the most complex and round about way. Synchronicity is also the name of a paper and effect penned by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. This paper describes things in the universe coming together to work in motion as an opposite to “coincidence.” Read it. It’s good stuff and fantastic material to base routines around! We will be causing things to work in identical motion, it may not be to rob a bank or to cause a bizarre rift in space and time, but it will cause a phenomenal effect for anyone who witnesses it. So I suppose we’d better get into it then?
EFFECT: Two coins are borrowed, or for ease of presentation, the performer can bring them out from his pocket. The coins are held fanned at fingertips; everything looks as fair as it possibly could, A coin is selected and is held in the spectators closed fist. They hold their arm out holding the fist palm side down. The other coin is gently waved over their hand and everyone sees it slowly arching and melting upwards. As this happens the spectator admits that they can feel it happening in their hand too! The coins are bending in synchronicity. With a final wave of the coin in the performer’s fingertips, one side of it violently curls inward and when the spectator’s hand is opened their coin has been effected it the very same way. DUAL REALITY AND SCRIPTING: Yes people, that’s right, there is a dual reality in place here, but it is very subtle and can turn into a very powerful and suggestive technique if you are using the right kind of person. Note the way I’ve worded the description of them apparently feeling the coin bend in their hand too. This is what really happens: “Watch, the coin is actually going to arc and bend in front of your very eyes, watch close and you’ll actually see it happen!” This is directed to the whole audience, the next sentence will be directed toward the spectator with the coin in their hand, the whole audience will of course take note of certain parts and see different meaning to what you’re actually saying! “As you watch the coin begin to bend, your coin is also going to bend. It’s slightly warm in your hand anyway and if you squeeze you’ll feel the coin against the inside of your hand. You can feel that on your hand, right? That indicates that it’s starting, you’ll feel it again and when you open your hand you’ll swear that the coin is actually bent in your hand.”
A confusing script? A little, but don’t worry, I’m going to teach you what it all means, what it does and why it works. The first line: “As you watch the coin begin to bend, your coin is also going to bend.” You are telling them exactly what will happen, there are two ways that people will generally react to this, either not at all as their belief in you as a miracle worker has already been secured, or with a coy smile that says, “Yeah, right!” Either way, you are now going to bombard them with a faster paced script to allow key words and phrases to be absorbed within the context of a reasonable script. You’ll need to deliver the following perhaps half a beat quicker than your normal pace and also put more strength behind the delivery, don’t be aggressive, but treat it as an authoritative collection of statements. “It’s slightly warm in your hand anyway and if you squeeze you’ll feel the coin against the inside of your hand.” This sentence sounds to anyone listening that you’re telling the spectator that the coin is warming up their hand and that if they squeeze it’ll bend in their hand. People tend to put together jigsaw phrases to make their own reality! What you’re saying to the spectator is just as prep for the next line, you’re telling them that it’s warm in their hand (which it will be, they’ve been squeezing a coin for the last minute!) and that if they squeeze they’ll feel the coin against their skin. They won’t notice the coin being bent as they don’t know what that feels like, so can’t recognize it – People don’t hold onto bent coins in their fist everyday like us, so don’t sweat it! If your spectator is already swinging towards the suggestible side, they will feel the coin begin to melt or bend already, if this is the case, play it up and keep it going. The next line will have them admit that they feel it happening anyway, so it’s not an issue if they don’t feel it at this point. “You can feel that on your hand right?”
Now, the big one – If they aren’t feeling the coin bend how in Jason Vorhees name am I going to get them to tell everyone else that they are? Give them something to feel. I hold the visually bending coin in my left hand with my thumb facing downwards, this allows me to bend the knuckle and gently stroke the back of their hand with it as I wave the coin and it bends. If they feel their coin bend they will be too excited to pay attention to outside their hand, but if they do not, they will be admitting to feeling you touching their hand, as it’s delivered within a longer script they’ll just say yes without thinking. Try this out, in the middle of a conversation, tap someone on the hand (or where ever is convenient) while you’re still talking and ask them if they felt you do it as a close to the sentence. They’ll say yes. It’s bizarre for them and is quite funny really if you are “the tapper.” The next line should be spoken immediately after you get a positive response from the spectator for three reasons. “That indicates that it’s starting.” Reason one is that it closes off the question swiftly, this should be done so that if they are telling you that they are feeling you touch their hand, they won’t then go on to tell you (and the audience) what they are feeling. To say a strong sentence like the above will prevent any spillage like this. Reason two is for the audience, so that they are kept in the loop – They will immediately think that this person is feeling the coin bend. Reason three is to anchor the thought that in feeling that stroke something will happen in their hand. People that haven’t felt the coin bend yet will often do so after this point. The fact is that they will be staring at the coin in your hand bending and will be reacting to that, if it’s not hit yet, it only takes an extra kick to do so. “You’ll feel it again and when you open your hand you’ll swear that the coin is actually bent in your hand.”
This is the final line of your script to be delivered to the spectator holding the coin. They will feel whatever they are feeling again when you execute the swing move to make the coin do its final curve in, this is because you will use your thumb’s knuckle to stroke the back of their hand again at this point. Bold, no? The latter statement simply says that when they open their hand they will swear that the coin is bent as it sits their in their hand, not that it’s been bending, but that it’s bent. To say that they will swear that it’s been bending induces a little uncertainty in the situation, before even looking at their hand they will doubt that the coin is bent, even if it’s just for a second. This is a useful line to help create a false memory of them holding an unbent coin at the beginning, when of course you simply loaded a pre-bent into their waiting palm.
BENDING COINS: We must begin by bending 2 coins of the same denomination. I’ll be using 20p’s through out the instructions. In the SYN routine you will want to bend your coins slightly differently, rather than an even curve, you will need to bend one side of the coin only so that if you were to hold the coin in the grip described below it can look straight. Even though this is only required for the bent coin you will display at the beginning, I tend to bend both coins like this. To bend a coin, simply wrap it in fabric and take 2 pairs of pliers and bend how you wish. The bigger the pliers, the easier the bend. The fabric is in place to prevent scratches on the coin. I personally use a superman coin bender which does just as good a job without requiring fabric. HANDLING: The handling for SYN is devilishly simple to master, as long as you have 2 pre-bent coins and one straight coin all of the same denomination you are good to go! Load 1 bent coin into your left pocket and have the other 2 (1 bent and 1 straight coin) in your right pocket. You’re now set to go. To begin you’ll need to take the 2 coins from your right pocket and hold them up in a fan at fingertips to display. (I’ve mirrored the images so you can follow directly)
You’ll note that in the picture I have the bend portion of the bent coin behind the straight coin. If you pinch the coins in this manner, they both look perfectly straight. From here you will ask the spectator if they’d like the first or second coin. Whatever they say, you will place the bent coin in their open palm by bringing the hand down and pushing it off with the fingers into their hand. (I’ve used my hand in the illustrations)
After placing the coin, you will want to hover your hand over his or hers to prevent anyone seeing the bent coin. Ask them immediately to close a fist around the coin and turn their hand over. You will now bring attention to the other coin, the straight one you have in your right hand still and as you do steal the other pre-bent from your left pocket into a left finger palm. Allow the coin in you right fingers to drop into the correct position to execute a shuttle pass, this is where you pretend to tip the coin into your left hand, but really retain it in the right fingers as the coin hidden in the left hand comes into view. I like to ‘jump’ the coin in my left hand a little as it then really looks as if it’s been dropped.
You will now immediately bring the bent coin to your left fingertips so that the bend is hidden from view, similarly to before, but rather than the coin obstructing the view, it’s just your fingers.
Bring this down and hold it over the spectator’s hand with the coin in it. You will begin to wave the coin and gently brush the back of their hand with your thumb knuckle as discussed. To achieve an optical bend technique, you should start pulling your fingers back and keeping your thumb in place to allow the coin to slowly swing forward. It very much looks like it’s bending.
This is of course all done in line with the scripting outlined above. As you bend the coin, you will brush the back of their hand and ask if they can feel it happening. This is a standard optical technique for coin bending, my addition is to rotate the coin 180 degrees in the same waving motion to bring the really bent side of the coin into view. Outstretching the middle finger easily does this and as you pull the finger back in, contact the side of the coin and rotate it, this is all done in the same waving motion. Now you have completed the script and the optical bend, so all you need to do is to have the spectator open their hand to reveal their bent coin and drop your coin into their hand with it! NOTES: This is a very simply handling of a coin bend to master as there is misdirection in built for your switches and the script is so effective that you’ll have people shouting and screaming I’m sure!
MIRROR :: SHUFFLE PREDICTION EFFECT: A boxed deck is placed on the table; the performer explains that this is a prediction. Another deck is introduced as our working deck. To keep the demonstration streamlined, only half the deck will be used. This half is offered to the spectator to shuffle as they wish. As the deck is being shuffled, the performer explains that through noticing what kind of person a participant is, you can predict to a great deal of accuracy how they shuffle a deck of cards. The prediction deck is there as proof of this. Once the spectator is done shuffling the cards, they are taken back and the prediction deck taken out of it’s box. One by one the cards are dealt from the top of each deck, matching perfectly every time! SET UP: The two decks should be set up in a random order, but mirroring one another. The easiest way to do this is simply to shuffle your working deck and then put your prediction deck in the reverse order. i.e. the top card of the prediction deck is the seven of diamonds, the bottom card of the working deck is the seven of diamonds. This means that if you deal off the top cards of the prediction deck and the bottom cards of the working deck, they will pair up. The whole decks do not have to be in a full order, we’re only going to use half of the cards to keep the effect snappy, so just the top half of the prediction deck and the bottom half of the working deck need to be in order. METHOD: The bottom deal. Well, there’s a little more to it than that, but that’s the core move you’ll need – I use a slow and slightly revised bottom deal, but any will work! Very simply, the prediction deck is brought out and handed to a spectator or placed on the table in clear view. We’ll then bring out the working deck and cut off approximately half of the cards to hand to the spectator to shuffle.
“We’ll use about half the cards for this, I’ve been watching the way you carry yourself and your reactions to what we’ve been doing so far. I think you’ll be perfect for this. I want you to shuffle these cards and when you feel like they’re thoroughly mixed, you can place them back down on top of the bottom half of the deck here. “ I tend to table the half of the deck I have at this point, so they can place their half back on top of a tabled deck. This just eliminates the thought that you could have somehow held a break and switched the packets around; it’s always good to cover your back in case of clever spectators! They will place their half back on the deck and you can then revert their attention back to the prediction deck as you pick up the working deck. “OK, so you’ve shuffled that deck completely, I don’t want to touch the prediction deck at all, so this is truly fair. Please take out the cards and deal the top card face up, like this.” As you say “like this,” you will bottom deal the first card in the sequence, I’ll teach you my slow bottom deal after we’ve gone through the whole effect. They will deal their top card and it will match the card you dealt moments before! “I said that I had an idea, that I could predict your actions, if we’re really in sync, then we should be able to deal a few more cards that match, like this.” Put down another card and ask them to deal one too, and carry on in that manner. Remember, you have approximately half of the deck you can get through, so you can speed up a bit with placing the cards, or have them put down cards first and you deal the matching card, it’s very free, but you should get excited at the fact that this has worked so well, your audience will feel this and be excited too! THE SLOW BOTTOM DEAL: The slow bottom deal is a really simple move to master, it’ll take a little practice, but it’s a lot easier than it might first appear! If you are already comfortable using a bottom deal or another variety, feel free to use that, I just like to slow it right down here. Follow the pictures below, You should out jog the top card as if this is the one you are going to take. I call this the slow bottom deal as I will have this card out jogged for some time before actually dealing the bottom card.
To make the deal, you should bring your right hand right over to cover the entire deck from view. Your middle finger should contact the bottom card, and your right thumb should lightly contact the top card. You will pull the top card back into place on the deck with the left thumb as you put pressure on the bottom card and strip it out with the right middle finger by moving the right hand forward. As soon as about half the card clears the deck, grip it with your right thumb as if you’d pulled it from the top and turn it face up. NOTES: This is a very simple effect to do method wise, but it looks truly incredible. I was inspired by tricks like OOTW by Paul Curry and Perfection by Oz Perlman when working on this, but liked the idea of having a separate deck that’s already set in a particular order, So we’re influencing the spectator to match this.
MACHINE :: A DEMONSTRATION OF AUTOMATIC WRITING EFFECT: The basic effect is that a spectator thinks of a random word, when given a blank card and a pen, a second spectator auto-writes the thought of word without it being spoken aloud behind without knowing how! The effect plays as follows; a spectator is called to stand either side of you, one to the left, one to the right. A stack of blank business cards is brought into play, alongside a pen. A list of 6 or so random words is written on the foremost card – This is shown to the first spectator, who is to memorize one word to transfer to the second spectator. The second spectator is given the pen and a blank card, they are told about auto writing, a technique used by psychics to seemingly pick up messages from the spirits. They are asked to gently move the pen over the card behind their back, allowing their arm to become a slave to the pen, letting it move it’s self. When they’re done, the first participant is asked to name aloud the word that they were thinking of. The second spectator’s card is brought to the front and shown to have the thought of word scribbled across it!
REQUIRED MATERIALS: You’ll of course need a stack of blank business or index cards. I pick them up in boxes of 500 from Staples or Rymans here in the UK. Alongside the cards, you will need to construct a special gimmick to allow the effect to work as described. The gimmick is a pen. You’ll need to collect two identical pens. Ideally one should be dry, if not, you’ll need to scribble lots until it is! You’ll also need a little hacksaw, a file and some superglue.
CONSTRUCTION: You’ll need to begin by looking at the pen and identifying where the cap of the pen covers up to when it’s on. There’s usually a definitive line so that the cap can click into place. You’ll need to saw through the pen and remove the top part, as in the image.
The bottom part of the pen can now be discarded; we only need the nib section. We do need to make sure that it’s levelly cut however as we’ll be attaching it to the bottom of the other pen and a bent pen can look suspicious! The easiest way to do this is to take a file and run the bottom of the nib along it to get rid of the excess plastic and to even out the base, as below.
We’re now going to have to pull the bottom of the second pen, I’ve chosen a pen that I can just pull the bottom cap out, with some pens you may have to saw and file this too!
Then simply put some super glue on both of the piece and stick them together! You will want to check they match up first, you may need to do a little more filing to make sure.
After leaving the pen to dry, you now should now have something that looks like the below!
You’ll notice that you can fit a cap on either end to hide the other.
That’s the entire construction of the pen. You should store it as below.
You should be able to write with the actual end of the pen, the gaff end should be out of ink. You may at worst have to scribble for a little while to run the last bit of ink out of the nib! STEP-BY-STEP: Now that you’ve constructed your gimmicked pen, you need to set up the stack of cards. This is VERY simple. All you need do is scribble the word you’d like to force across one of the cards – for the explanation, we’ll just use “Machine” as our force word.
This should be placed face down, 2nd from top in your stack of blank cards. You’re now ready to go. So lets look again at EXACTLY how the routine plays: The performer selects two participants. One is to stand either side of the magician and the concept of spirit writing is introduced.
Perhaps in reality spirit writing was just a form of synchronicity between the ‘psychic’ and the participant? Some blank cards and a pen are brought into play. A list of several words are written by the performer on one of the cards and the first participant is asked to think of one to transmit to the second participant. The second participant is then given the pen and another card that’s shown to be blank front and back to hold behind their back. They are asked to clear their mind and begin to count backwards from 300. As they do this they are to move the pen around, on and off the card, letting their arm write by it’s self. After 10-15 seconds have gone by, the performer calls to stop. The first spectator is asked which word they have thought of, “Machine” is the response, when the card is brought to the front, it too has the word “Machine” scribbled across it, showing the experiment to be a success. THE REALITY: Ok, so you know that our gimmicked pen is in use, so I’m pretty sure you’ll have figured out that the spectator isn’t really writing when they think they are, so lets look at how we get to that stage, stepby-step. I write left-handed, so you may have to reverse these instructions! You should have the cards in your right pocket and the pen with the cap on the writing end (the dead end is exposed) in your left. First, bring out the pen; covering the exposed end with your hand, I hold it in a fist. Remove the cap off the writing end and replace it on the dead end. To the spectators it just looks as if you’ve taken the cap off a pen and put it on the end, as normal. Now, you have the extra end covered, so you’re free on angles. Bring out the cards and write out the list of 6 or 7 words, as shown.
Put the word you wish to force around half way down, it’s not essential, but it makes it seem more random to the spectators.
As noted in the effect, the first spectator is asked to think of one of these words. In reality, we’re asking them to transmit a particular word, but the script creates a dual reality, appearing to the audience that there’s a choice involved. All we need to do to force the word, is to lift the card up to show the words to the first spectator and say: “I’m going to need you to think of just ONE of these words, you’re going to transmit it to the second participant (or use their name) in a moment!” Seems fair? Nope. When you say “just one of these words,” you will appear to point to the words with a pen. A normal looking motion, but you will actually underline your force word – See how the script works now?
After underlining the word, we need to do a move with the pen as we drop it to the side. We’re simply going to pull it out of the cap, and switch it around so that the cap now sits on the writing end and the dead end is exposed once more. I’ve done a series of photos as it’s a lot easier to explain that way. It’s a knacky move, but very easy.
After the first spectator has acknowledged what they need to do, you will fold up that card and put it in your pocket. We don’t want anyone else to see the line. So, up to now, we have the force word forced and the pen disabled. You’re half way there! Now we just need to get the other spectator to look like they’ve written the word! We’ll draw attention back to the packet of blank cards. You’re ready written card should now be on the top after writing the list on the first card. All we need to do is subtly double lift to show a card that is blank both sides. We then hand them the pen in their writing hand and the card in the other face down and have them place their hands behind their back. You ask them to position the nib of the pen toward the end of the card and have them count down from 300 as they start moving the pen. You should also talk to and encourage them as they are counting. This is a trick that Derren Brown describes in his effect “Reminiscence.” There’s so much going on that they won’t remember exactly how they’ve moved the pen, so you don’t get someone concentrating on doing lots of straight or curly lines and then see a word has come out of it. So, we’ve done this for maybe 10 seconds and now we should ask the spectator to stop writing and take the pen off them. Finally, ask the first spectator what word they thought of, “Machine,” have the second spectator bring out the card and let them figure it out themselves. Killer. That’s the effect Machine, very simple in methodology, but creates a devastating effect and it’s all in the hands and minds of the spectators.
THE NEW BLACK :: THOUGHT OF WORD ON THOUGHT OF CARD EFFECT: An envelope is sat on a pedestal in full view. A spectator is asked to name any ESP symbol, the circle, cross, wavy lines, square, or star. Another spectator is then asked to think of a word from a random page in a book. A spectator opens the envelope and inside is the thought of card with the thought of word written across it! SET-UP: All you need for this is 5 ESP cards, 2 books and 2 envelopes, one envelope should just fit the cards in and the other should be a little bit bigger. You should flick through one of the books and find the first word on any page that you like. Lets say your word is “Destroy” on page 101. You should write this word across the face of each of the ESP cards and then set them up in order, top to bottom; circle, cross, wavy lines, square, and star. You should cut the smaller envelope down one of the long sides and slot the cards in; this is going to be a pocket index so that you can easily pull out any of the cards very quickly.
This index should go in your left jacket pocket, or somewhere equally as easy to retrieve a card when required. If the index is in your left pocket, the prediction envelope should be positioned to the rear left of you, so that you can turn your body to the left to take out a card as you go to pick up the envelope with your right hand. The two books should just sit on your stage table, these don’t need any set up, but you DO need to remember which book contains the force word, as well as what page the word is on.
STEP-BY-STEP: First, you should draw attention to the envelope at the back of the stage. “I have sat back here a prediction in an envelope, we’ll come back to this at the end. I need first for someone to name an ESP symbol for me, sir, please name one…” I at this point pull out a massive tattoo on my arm of the five symbols, but you could have a large print out of the symbols or call each out so that people know what symbols they can choose from. “The square? Ok, great. Keep that symbol in mind and we’ll come back to it shortly – Now, on with the prediction. I have here a couple of books, Miss, which book would you like me to use for this?” Whichever book they name, you are going to throw out the book with the force word in it. If they name the force book, you simply throw that out and say; “Ok, grab that for me and we’ll use that one.” If they name the other book, say; “Ok, I’ll use this one, so you can use the other one.” It’s a simple equivoque, but works a treat. We’ve now set up for the Hoy book test, a classic in mentalism. We are going to use the Hoy test to force the word. The idea of the Hoy book test is simply a miscall of a page. The performer riffles through the book they hold and as the spectator to call stop, when they do, the performer is to look at the book and say; “Ok, that’s page 101, please, turn to page 101 in your book and look at the first word on that page.” It doesn’t matter where the riffle really stops, either way, you will call the number of your force page! As they look through their book to find the page, you will calmly put your hand in your pocket and take the relevant ESP card out of the index, in this case, it’s the square. You will take it out of the index, but leave it in the pocket. This means that you will be able to retrieve it in a split second when you turn to grab the envelope shortly. “Have you got the word? Ok, I don’t want to know what word it is just yet, but close the book and leave it on the stage. Great. At the start, I mentioned this prediction envelope. It has a single card inside. Please, hold onto this for me, I don’t want to touch it…” In that piece of script, I have loaded the card into the envelope.
I turn to grab the envelope and retrieve the card from my pocket, I hold it in a gambler’s cop and as I turn back, I bring my left hand up and pinch the card behind the envelope, so it can’t be seen by the audience. I then dip my fingers into the envelope and show the card and then put it back into the envelope as I pass it on to someone else. It’s one of the cheekiest loads of all time, but works great and plants the seed for a false memory of you not touching the envelope. Now you’re clean, so you can just reveal: “Sir, at the start I asked you to decide on an ESP symbol, what’s the symbol you were thinking of? A square, great, and miss, I asked you to think of a random word out of the book you chose, for the first time, what’s the word? ‘Destroy?’ perfect, madam can you please remove the card from the envelope and tell everyone what it is!” It is of course a square card with the word ‘destroy’ written across it! A super powerful demonstration of prediction skill!
THE TURNOVER BEND EFFECT: A spoon is borrowed and held at the magician’s fingertips. It is shown from all angles and then effortlessly droops, bending at the neck. SET-UP: There is no prep really, you do need to make sure that you can physically bend – It’s not in fact real magic! It’s a very simple bend to accomplish, as it’s a dual handed bend, so you need not worry too much about your finger strength. METHOD: The effect really is as simple as it plays. You will bend the spoon using your right hand to pinch the bowl of the spoon, your left thumb as the fulcrum point and your left first and/or middle finger to lever the bend. This is all done during the second rotation of the spoon. You will be rotating the spoon vertically, around the bowl. The following pictures should illustrate this effectively. FIRST ROTATION
SECOND ROTATION (INC BEND)
THE OPTICAL DROOP
OPTICS: The spoon doesn’t have to be rotated at a very fast speed, just a natural one. You will want to practice working in the bend as part of the regular rotation. Spoons by nature reflect light and because of this and the movement, you won’t have a problem with the spectator’s seeing anything they shouldn’t. The great thing about this is that after the bend is achieved, your right hand is blocking sight of the spoon. Then you will set the spoon up for the droop and allow it to droop by simply letting the spoon slowly continue it’s rotation as you pinch it at the bottom of the bowl, like it the photos. The key with the droop is to try and hold the spoon at spectator eye level and I like to hold my free hand up so that there is clear perspective as the spoon’s handle drops. You must try your best to keep the hand holding the spoon completely still; you can let it drop by squeezing and SLOWLY beginning a finger click motion with your first finger. Gently move it up and the big motion of the spoon’s handle will cover the little motion of your finger and the bowl.
NOTES: This is a very effective bend that I use to put a further bend into the spoon for a second optical technique in my two-spoon routine Quicksilver from the DVD “METAL.” I suggest that you practice this in-front of a mirror so that you can figure out the best angles for your optical technique, some people like to bend things in different ways, if you wished, you don’t have to droop the spoon, you could re-position and rub the spoon’s neck to reveal.
THANKS: Alan ‘BawJaws’ Rorrison, Daniel Madison, Erick Castle, Dom Reyes, Peter Nardi, Conor ‘Human Jigsaw’ Droney, Matt ‘Darkwave Art’ Vickerstaff, Rob Nekros, Daiquiri Dusk, The Ghost House Collective/Bodycraft Tattoos.