Jermay - Modern Mentalism.pdf
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MODERN MENTALISM LUKE JERMAY
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No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form of by any means, digital, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Ellusionist.com First Printing, August 2014. Co ver Design by Mike Clarke Edited by Jake Steele Printed in USA
Introduction ..................................................................... 4 Ten Person Drawing Duplication ................................... 6 Instant Memory ............................................................. 24 Touching on Divination ................................................. 38 Synch ............................................................................. 63 Everyday ESP .............................. .. ... ..... .. .. ... .. .. .. .. ....... .. 67 Goodbye ........................................................................ 76
Introduction This is a book to be read, not a book to be collected. It is my hope that within these pages you will find professional-grade material that you will be proud to present to your au~iences. The material I ha ve chosen to feature within this collection has been performed by me in front of real, ticket-buying audience members over the co urse of more than ten years. In that time I have refined the methods, presentations and approaches, as every professional perfo rmer must, to elevate tricks and deceptions into wor~y experiences for modern audiences. It is in the smallest of details that I take personal reward and pride, as it is from these small details performance-ready material is born. A professional performance of mind reading is as much about the connection between the performer and the audience as it is the wo rds that are spoken and the deceptions that create the illusion of telepathy. Mind reading; more than any other form of the mystery arts, can not exist unless it is performed and experienced by an audience of living, breathing humans. With traditional close up magic it is possible to derive reward from the pursuit of technical excellence; and while this is one of the noblest of pursuits, it is one that must be redefined when entering into the realms of mentalism. This is not to say that you should not hold yourself to the highest standards and ensure that you are able to handle the technical aspects of any given demonstration with confidence and precise technical ability, however it should be always remembered that the only thing that counts is the experience and the connection you create for your audience. This is the ultimate desire and challenge for all mentalists. It is not easy; h~wever I assure ~ou when you experience it in performance you will feel a reward hke no other. Connection with an audience; is the pures~ and most noble of pursuits for the contemporary mentalist; techmcal excellence is simply a prerequisite for the greater goal. . This .b~ok will give you the material you need to create a full exp.enence; it is not only a book of routines, but the material could easily be combined to become a full thirty-minute professional 4
show. It requires no expensive or difficult to obtain materials or props and does not take up large volumes of space; it travels easily and with the right performance skills, is capable of filling the largest of stages. I personally believe that discovering a single routine, concept or premise that I find myself excited about makes the time, investment and effort spent on exploring a book more than wo rthwhile. I am confident that by the end of these pages you will discover more than one reward for your effort. In this book you will learn a powerful double drawing duplication routine, complete with professional staging tips that elevate the demonstration to a connecting thread during the course of a performance. You will learn a powerful and easy to perform opening routine that allows your audience to connect with you as a perfo rmer and also allows you to frame mentalism in a nonconfro ntational, easy to accept style that is both contemporary and authentic. You will learn a powerful, easy-to-apply system that will allow you to effortlessly produce miracles with playing cards, as well as a demonstration that is assured to leave your spectator talking about you for a long time to come. You will learn a full telepathy demonstration to close the performance in which you appear to read the minds of many different people; specifically, in detail, with no stooges, cold reading, preshow work or props. A demonstration so baffling it has even the most skeptical audience member scratching their head and so simple to perform it requires nothing more than you, three chairs and a room full of spectators. Now you kn ow what lies ahead; it is time for your journey to begin. JERMAY
Ten Person Drawing Duplication There are few premises in contemporary mind reading that have received as much attention, thought and stage time as the humble drawing duplication. It has been featured by leading performers in live shows, television appearances and even by those claiming genuine psychic power, within the walls of scientific labs. It is easy to see why the demonstration has found such favour with professional performers worldwide. It offers a strong, simple to follow, visual proof of telepathy. The 'test conditions' history that is connected to the test also allows some interesting performance potential, with tailored scripting and it offers a visual element in not only the drawing itself, but in the manner the routine is staged and presented. Over the years I have experimented with literally hundreds of drawing duplication methods and systems running the gauntlet from classic sleight of hand techniques to state-of-the-art technology. After much experimentation and testing in front of real audiences I settled for the tried and true; non-electronic approach, as m.y personal preference. This is also true for this stage drawing dupl~cat10n rout111e. All yo u will need to perform the routine can be ob~a1~ed withi~ any office supply store, anywhere in the world. This is someth111g of which I am very proud and has rewarded me more than once, when upon arriving in a far off country my bags have been misplaced and I have had to source pro s for a ptrforman ce 111 local stores. Do not underestimate the in this a one; one day it may reward you.
I have constructed a routine that allows D h .or more t an one person to be involved; yo u could if o of ten spectators :ve: extend my entire audience participate 'th . h . er and have the wi 111 t e routme by h · h eac every person in the audience crea t e a d ra w . g The avmg . c and 111 not only the successful dupl · t. f · routme ieatures . 1ca ion o a drawing d . . ma e m secret but multiple revelations of perso 1 . c na 1111ormatwn ·th 111 · h wi t e context of t h e formal drawing duplicat'10n.
I featured this routine heavily in my 2012-2013 UK touring stage show Jermay's Psychic Cabaret' and used it as a component that ran throughout the show; delivering the setup and reveal phases as individual pieces which I then returned to. As a standalone piece I have used this routine in short performances in mixed bill shows; it plays at anywhere between 12-15 minutes and is strong enough to become an entire short performance. This versatility is, to my mind, one of its strongest virtues. I will describe the routine as a stand-alone piece for the sake of clarity. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and no routine is born within a vacuum. My drawing duplication routine was influenced and inspired by a routine created by my friend Marc Paul, who created a brilliantly economical and elegant deception in his own drawing duplication called 'The Double Blind Drawing Duplication' published in his lecture notes 'The Fleetwood Notes', which I highly recommend and are available directly from him in both hardcopy and eBook editions. I am pleased to say that after I created my version of the effect and shared it with Marc he now uses my handling and structure in his own performances. It is with great thanks to Marc that I offer this routine to you.
The Audience Experience The performer removes a small stack of blank cards around the same size as common business cards and a handful of 'golf pencils. He distributes a card and a pencil to ten different people scattered around the audience. He begins;
"I would like each of you to draw me a simple picture. Do not worry there is no prize for artistic ability. I just need some simple pictures for a 'test conditions' experiment in telepathy. You each have 30 seconds to completely fill out the cards I have given you. Please make sure you write your name at the top; so we will know who's work belongs to whom; please begin now!" Some music plays in the background as the spectators each make their drawings. As this is happening the performer approaches a woman sat close to the front and continues; 7
"I can sense that you have always wanted to be in showbiz. I can see it in your eyes. Well tonight is your lucky night. I need a mind reader's assistant and it is going to be you. I need you to collect all of the drawings; drawings facing the floor so no one can see them and bring them to the stage. Joking aside I would do this myself but it is important that I do not touch them or go near them. Please do this for me now and everyone make her feel welcome with some applause. " The performer leads in a round of applause for the spectator who then collects the drawings and brings them to the stage. The performer continues directly addressing the onstage spectator with the stack of drawings.
"I would like you to look at all the pictures and pick one that you like the best. One that resonates with you in someway...just be careful that you do not let anyone, myself included, see the image. Keep it a secret." The spectator looks at the images and picks one that she likes.
T~e. performer removes a stack of number 3 coin envelopes from his Jacket pocket and continues:
"You have found one image you like. Please seal it inside of this envelope. Now that was a decision you made consciously. Now I want you to make a decision unconsciously. Please without looking at any of the dra wings, I will hold these drawing-side down and as J drop them to the floor say stop." The performer drops the drawings, drawing-side down to the s~age , one _at.a time. The spectator calls stop and the performer has them seal.it mto a second number 3 coin envelope. The performer t en continues:
"Please hold onto both of those for me Yo h . ch.oices. One consciously and one unc~nsci:us;ve rr:ade two different with your conscious cho1·ce · Pl ease fiocus youry. First · d I want h to work the artist. The name written on th e d rawmgyo . mm on t e name of p ' kd avourite from them all." u ic e as your
The performer turns his attention to the audience at large and continues:
"Please if you contributed a drawing stand up." Those spectators who made drawings stand. The performer continues:
"Please extend your arms and act as if you are shaking my hand. In your head introduce yourself to me. Say your name only in your mind." The performer focuses his mind and after a moment or two begins pointing to various people in the audience asking them to sit. He continues to do this until only one spectator remains standing. The performer grabs his pad and writes something on the pad. He asks the onstage spectator to announce the name of the artist they picked. He then smiles. He has the person in the audience announce their name in a clear voice. It is the same name; amazingly, the performer has located the artist the spectator was focused upon. He then continues:
"That would explain this ... " The performer turns the pad around and the name is seen written in bold letters. The performer continues addressing the spectator in the audience:
"I want to introduce you to your biggest fan. It is nice knowing someone appreciates your creative efforts, isn't it?" The performer approaches the spectator in the audience and hands them a large pad and a pen. He has them follow him back to the stage. He has the spectator stand centrestage and back to back with him and focus his mind intently on his drawing. After some moments of pure silence the performer duplicates the image; as the performer makes his drawing he astonishingly, verbally reveals the spectators star sign and exact date of birth. He thanks the spectator back to their seat. He then turns his attention to the spectator who holds an unknown drawing in an envelope. He continues:
"You hold a mystery in your hands right now. You do not know what the drawing inside that envelope is. However you did pick it. Have 9
you ever heard of the law of attraction? The Secret? In essence it.is the theory that what we think about, our preferences and life experiences, will in some way be attracted to us and in some way delivered to us. I am not sure if it works, or if it is just an excellent excuse to be lazy, but nonetheless smarter men than I have said 'the universe provides'. So in theory, whatever is inside of that envelope at this moment should in some way be connected to you as a person. Now this might be a really weak link. It might be a picture of a boat and when you were a child your second cousin had a toy boat. You might have to search for what it is ... but we will see. Before you open that envelope I have a feeling I know something about you that might prove important." The performer picks up his pad and writes something on it, without allowing anyone to see what has been written. He then has the spectator open the envelope. As the spectator looks at the image they react. The performer encourages the spectator to explain how the specific image connects to them on a personal level. The spectator explains; "It is a drawing of a wolf and I want a wolf tattooed on me."
The performer continues:
"'Well that would explain why I felt this was important then." . The performer turns his pad around to reveal the word 'tatt ' wntten boldlYacross t h e page. The onstage spectator is thanked oo th off e stage under the applause from the audience.
The Performer's Experience
This routine is much stron e th h makes use of simple, elegant dg r an .t e sum of its parts. It maximum impact in perform an e;onomical technique to deliver and requires a small ance. tfuses the most simple of props amount o prep f . performance. To begin ' let's t ake a 1ook at ara ion pnor what ill to the or d er to perform this routine. you w need in To perform this routine as I currentl . to construct a simple gimmick d 1 y perform it you will need e enve ope. This will be an update 10
to the classic 'window envelope' you will fondly remember from the works of Annemann and others. The gimmick has one additional quality that is vital; the flap has been removed, thus it becomes a
'Flapless Window Envelope.' I construct my envelopes slightly differently from those you might find in the classic texts on mentalism methods. These modifications were borne from facing a series of problems with the traditional construction of the gimmick in performances namely; I found that a standard window envelope did not have enough structure intact, and felt a lot like a lifeless fish, flopping around all over the place. I also found a constant problem that needed to be overcome; when I inserted a business card sized card into the envelope, often the corner of the card would somehow snag or catch at the lowermost corner of the window, making it cumbersome to insert fully. My modified construction resolves these issues and allows for a longer lasting gimmick than the standard construction afforded. Begin by placing the envelope onto a surface with the flap extended and facing upwards. Next cut a large square from this side of the envelope. Next cut from a sheet of acetate, or overhead projection film, a square slightly smaller than the envelope itself. Insert this plastic film into the envelope. Next using some clear tape carefully stick the sides of the window to the plastic film. Finally cut along the top fold of the envelope removing the flap. This modified construction will take only moments longer than the standard, but I feel is well worth the additional effort. When you are finished you will be left with an envelope complete with a large square 'window' and no flap. In performance this will allow you to both peek and exchange anything inserted into the 'flapless window envelope' gimmick. You will also require as many business card sized blank cards as you wish to use spectators. In my preference I use ten spectators within my routine. The audience believes these cards to simply be white business card sized paper. However each of the cards is actually prepared as shown below. I prepare these cards simply by 11
h d before the show. Each card is writing on blank stoc~ by h and rner running from one to ten. numbered in the top nghtw:~el~: as an example. You could; if Cards one to three ar~ sho d these cards en masse; however I you wished, have a prmter pro uce prefer to use handwritten cards.
10YI NAHl '~ ~----
1m Drn Of i!RT4~
10Ui NAHf ~
~----10U~ DAH Of !li!H~
~----JOUI D!A~IN G ~
I Additionally, you will require two large art pads; one for your drawing and one for your spectator to draw on. These pads should be as large as you can comfortably handle. Remember that a key element to the impact of this routine will be allowing the audience fo dearly see the drawing on the pad. Using a large, white pad is a ltucial part of this. You may prefer to use a large 'flip chart' or even :alarge whiteboard surface. The largest surface you are comfortable handling is the right choice; personally I use A2 art pads, with a strong cardboard backing, as I use these for others things in my show and I personally do not care for the way flip charts look onstage. I will leave the specific choice to you; just remember to use something with as big a surface as you can comfortably handle. You will need two thick black marker pens; again ensure these are as thick and produce as bold a line as possible. I use the 'Sharpie' brand 'Magnum' marker which produces thick, crisp jet black lines; which further helps increase the visibility of the drawing on the pad.
Finally you will need enough golf pencils for the number of spectators you intend to have participate in contributing a drawing. I order these in boxes of 1500 online, as I do not collect the pencils back from the spectators during performance since this simply slows things down . However you can find these in smaller quantities in any office supply store. Now you have collected all the needed props for the routine and also created the single gimmick required for performance, you are ready to set the props for use. Begin by placing the prepared 'drawing' cards in order from one to ten in a stack. I then use a rubber band to hold these together in my pocket. The rubber band allows me an extra insurance that the cards will remain in order while they are in my pocket during the performance. I place the golf pencils into the same pocket as the cards. You will next place whatever 'personal connection' image will be used in performance. We will fully cover the manner in which we will discover a piece of information to use within the show in a separate section from the method, for the sake of clarity. For the moment to properly understand the method, on a blank card simply write the words 'personal connection' and place this into an envelope; on the back of this envelope, in pencil write the word; 'Unknown' and place this on top of a small stack of matching envelopes with the flap extended and open. On top of all of this place the 'fl.apless window envelope' with the window facing downward. When the envelopes are held in the hand, much like holding a deck of playing cards, it will appear as if there is a single envelope resting on the top of the stack of envelopes, with its flap extended and open. In reality the flap that is visible is actually the flap of the envelope containing the previously prepared 'personal connection' image (contained within an envelope with the word 'unknown' written on the back). Finally turn the packet of envelopes over and on the upper-most envelope's back write the word 'known' again in pencil. Have the marker pens and the art pads within easy reach either, in your performance case or on some easily accessed table on 13
the stage. With everything in place and ready we can now look at the manner in which these elements all come together to create a strong, professional demonstration of telepathy. In performance you will begin by distributing the prepared drawing cards to ten audience members. You will need to remember which spectator receives which number card. Rather than attempt to remember each and every person's face and which number card they receive, I opt for a much simpler solution: I always distribute the cards in the same 'pattern' in the audience. In this way I do not need to remember anything as later I will simply know where each of the cards were originally distributed thanks to the pattern always being the same. If we imagine the image below shows a small audience, each card along with a pencil is distributed in the order shown below.
By always using this pattern; no matter room I am able to easily locate h. h the style or shape of the which spectator later in the t' w ic number card belonged to . rou me Ith' k th' · '. m is is a much easier solution than attempting to memorise people and numbers. You 14
may well have a pattern than seems more logical and easy to remember than the one I use. If so it goes without saying that you should make use of this! Whatever system is the most intuitive and easy for you to remember under the pressure of live performance is the right choice. This is simply my choice and one that makes sense to me; based on the way my mind works. After the drawing cards and pencils have been distributed it is time to return to the stage and instruct the audience members who have received cards as to what they should do with them. This is a vital part of the routine; it is during these instructions you will actually create a deception in the minds of the audience members who have not received a card. The audience at large will believe that those people with cards are only making a drawing and writing their name on the card. However in reality the people who received cards will write their name, make a drawing and write their date of birth. This is a powerful deception; do not underestimate it and learn to use it well. The secret to this deception lies in the application of ambiguous language. We will give the spectators a set of instructions that will be heard by everyone and yet will be understood by the audience proper, and those with cards in different ways. Lets review the exact scripting I use to ensure those receiving a drawing card understand and fill out their papers completely including their date of birth;
"I would like each of you to draw me a simple picture. Do not worry there is no prize for artistic ability. I just need some simple pictures for a 'test conditions' experiment in telepathy. Please take a moment to look at your card; imagine your drawing in the white space. You each have 30 seconds to completely fill out the cards I have given you. Ma ke su re everything is complete; your drawing, your name, everything on the card. Make sure you write your name at the top; so we will know who 's work belongs to whom; please begin now!" Read the above paragraph a few times to yourself; then speak it aloud exactly as it is written. When you have done this; close the book and say the paragraph out loud several more times; without trying to remember my scripting; instead allow your own voice, 15
t VVhen you have tone and vocabulary express the same concep . done this; meet me back on this page. . . d'd asked· you have returned to this page Assummg you 1 as 1 ' . . h this simple scnptmg expresses two and now full y understan d ow f l Th different meanings to two different groups o _reop e. ?se . b ho received a drawing card will now be fillmg audience mem ers w . h the card out; recording their name, date of birth and also t e drawing. As this is happening you will approach _one spectator close to the staae to assist you in collecting the drawmgs. In truth you 0 will pick your spectator carefully. This spectator will be the spectator v.'ith the personal connection to the image you prepared secretly moments before the show began. VV e will learn this personal connection reveal at the conclusion of this chapter. For the moment, simply imagine you have selected the correct spectator to assist you in collecting the drawings. Be playful in the manner in which you enlist this spectator's help, however, express the reason you are having them do the 'collecting' instead of doing it yourself. We as performers understand that we are asking someone else to collect the images in order to maintain 'fairness ' however if we do not express this to the audience it can appear somewhat lazy! I use the following scripting to enlist both the help of the spectator and explain why I am asking them to collect the envelopes on my behalf;
"I can sense that you ha ve always wanted to be in showbiz. I can see it in your eyes. Well tonight is your lucky night. I need a mind ieader's assistant and it is going to be you. I need you to collect all of the drawings; drawings fa cing the floor so no one can see them, and ~/Jr.ing them to the stage. Joking aside I would do this myself but it is important that I do not touch them or go near them. Please do this jJJr me now and everyone make her feel welcome with some applause. " . Notice how the scripting is both playful and forceful. I do not give my spectator the option of not helping me; however I do this in a manner that ~ppears playful. I also immediately reward the spectator for their wo~k by instructing the audience to give them a ~oun~ of applause; which I then begin by clapping myself. Handled m this manner the spectator will find it virtually impossible to resist 16
your request for assistance as you remove every moment in which they might protest and are simply left with no other option than to do as you have asked them. When the spectator returns to the stage with the drawings you will instruct them to look at the drawings and pick one that they personally like. Instruct them to also remember the name of the 'artist' written on the card. Do not forget to ask them to remember the name of the artist. The first 'reveal' within the routine will be you apparently reading the mind of the onstage spectator in order to locate the person who made the drawing; if the onstage spectator does not know this person's name; all authenticity is lost. Be mindful to ask them to remember the name of the person who made the drawing they pick. As the spectator is selecting the image that they like from the collection of images, you will remove the prepared stack of number 3 coin envelopes from your pocket; with the 'flapless window envelope gimmick' facing uppermost. You may find it useful to place a small mark on the gimmicked envelope so you can visually check you are holding the stack of envelopes in the correct orientation during performance. Without mentioning it or feeling any guilt, you will take the selected drawing, which you have cautioned the spectator to keep drawing side down, and place it into what appears to be the top envelope of the stack you hold, extended from your body just below chest height in your left hand. In truth; thanks to the gimmick, the card is actually inserted into the window gimmick, but the extended flap from the envelope beneath completes the illusion of the drawing being inserted into the uppermost envelope. With the stack of envelopes held in the left hand, much like you would hold a deck of cards in dealing grip, turn at the wrist, as if you were 'necktie-ing' a deck of cards, this movement only need be slight. Simultaneously approach the extended/exposed flap with the right hand, gripping it between the thumb and first finger of the right hand. Finally allow the left hand to drop to your side, resting in a natural position and taking the stack of envelopes, along with the gimmick resting on top with it, leaving (gripped between the right 17
To the audience and the single enve1o Pe · ) fi thumb and mgers a h have inserted the se1ected 1·t appears t at you onstage spectator and removed this enve1ope . th uppermost enve1ope, th b . b the right first finger and um . drawing into e from the stack, gripping it hetweend the spectators selected drawing, r have now exc ange f th In rea ity you 'fl e 1 window envelope' on top o which rests safely i.n t~e d and gripped between the right stack of envelopes m t e 1e an , . h . 1 thumb and first finger is the envelope contai~m~. t e pre~10us y . . the 'personal connect10n image, with the prepared car d , containing "d I n a word 'unknown' written in pencil on the reverse s1 e. continuing action the right hand will move toward t.he onstage them to hold the envelope on their extended spectator as you as k .. . th · palm. Place the envelope, with the wntmg-s1de down, onto eir
palm. Next bring the left hand; holding the stack of envelopes back to just below chest height; you will place the entire stack of envelopes either into your pocket or onto some nearby surface. If you place the envelopes onto a table; as you do so revolve the packet so the uppermost envelope is the one with the word 'known' written on its back. If you; as I do, decide to place the stack of envelopes into a pocket I suggest using either the breast pocket of a jacket or a breast pocket of a shirt. Next take the remaining drawings from the spectator and explain that you want them to select an image without seeing it. To do this, drop the drawing cards, one at a time to the floor asking the spectator to say stop at any point they wish. This is a nice dramatic image onstage and also helps sell to the audience the fairness of the selection process. When the spectator has chosen an image place it drawing-side down onto the envelope on their flat palm. Caution them not to look at the image. Remove the stack of envelopes from the pocket, or pick it up from the table and take the uppermost envelope from the stack. This envelope has the word 'known' written on its back. You will place the selected image into this envelope and finally place the envelope on the spectator's extended palm along with the other envelope. At this point in time the situation is as follows : 18
You have secretly exchanged the drawing selected by and known to the spectator for the drawing you secretly prepared before the show. You have the known image resting in your 'flapless window envelope' gimmick, which is now on the bottom of the stack of envelopes you hold in your left hand. On the spectator's palm are two envelopes; one of which contains the secretly prepared image, and the other, which contains a random image. These envelopes each have writing on their backs: however the writing is mislabelled. The envelope, which reads 'unknown', actually contains the secretly prepared image; the envelope, which reads 'known', contains the image randomly picked moments earlier by the spectator. You will next discover the drawing as well as the artist's name, seating position and date of birth, your spectator picked from the collection of drawings. To do this; instruct your spectator to pick up the envelopes on their palm and 'hold them up to the light, to check they are opaque' in a gesture of example; take the 'flapless window envelope gimmick' which to an audience appears to simply be an envelope and hold it in the air, do this as you explain to the spectator that they should 'hold the envelope to the light' you appear to be demonstrating to the spectator what you would like them to do. However thanks to the large square window cut from the envelope; you are now looking directly at the contents inside. You will first look at and remember the number in the upper right corner of the card. This tells you where in the audience the spectator is sat. Next you look at and remember the spectator's name, then you will look at and remember the date of birth and finally you will look at and remember the drawing and as many of its specific details as possible. I know that this seems like a lot of information to remember under the pressure of performance. In truth; it is. However this is where it is worth the extra effort. I personally do not use any kind of formal memory technique; I simply look at the information, read it to myself and commit it to memory. When I first began performing this routine it seemed like a lot of information; however after performing it just a handful of times I was fully confident with my ability to read and remember 19
, 1 ti·ne a few times and I am sure . t.. . t'1on 1ry t1e rou . · b .f you are not feeling confident m the needed 111 OJ ma . c I h . ne Remem er J • • . ate a drawing and be fm1shed. yo u w11l 1ee t e sai · . d · can sunp 1Y up 1JC ' your m ~m o ry ):ou .· blanket to force yourself to push past any Use this as .i secuJ1ty d eh piece of information, place the fea rs. As soon as you have rea ea ket with the 'flapless window st·Kk of envelopes back into your poc , k f 1 ' I . , tl1e top y ou will not need the stac o enve opes enve ope on · l 11 th a t . I . . . t· · II of the secret work is compete; now a ·1g·1111 At t 11s po rn , a d' ' ' · · · ind readin to the au ience; remains is to prese nt the 11lus10n of m . g . who believe that the demonstration is only 3ust about t~ begm. you are so fa r ahead of the audience that what will follow will ~eave t~em feelin g like they have been hit by a runaway train. Now is the time to enjoy creating as many moments of mystery from the information yo u have acquired as possible. Now all of the work is complete the fun can begin; you will ask each of the audience members who contributed drawings to stand at their seat. Have the onstage spectator focus their mind on the name of the perso n who made the drawing they picked. I have the audience membe rs 'mime' shaking my hand and instruct them to each focu s on their name. As this is happening I mentally connect the number I peeked on the chosen drawing to its position in the audience. I now instruct all the audience members but the spectator who is in the co rresponding position to sit down. I pick p the art pad an d wri te the name I peeked on the selected drawing tn bold, thick letters on the art pad without letting anyone see what it is that I have written. I have the spectator in the audience say his name out lo ud. I have the in-audience spectator announce their name firs t; as this gives me one extra reaction; my onstage spectator will smile and react since this is the person who contributed the drawing th ey selected. A beat afterwards, I ask the onstage spectator to announce the name of the person who made the drawing they picked; of co urse, this will be the same name. Finally I ~urn my .pad. aro und to reveal the name written. By handling the mformat1on 111 this fashion ; I get three moments from one piece of information and really get to squeeze as much of the impact out of the situation .
Next I grab the second art pad and pen and I walk into the audience and hand this to the in-audience spectator who I ask to follow me back to the stage. As I am walking with the spectator to the stage I reveal their star sign. To do this I have memorised the corresponding dates and signs; allowing me to use the date of birth I peeked on the chosen drawing to work out the spectator's star sign. I reveal this piece of information as we walk to the stage; in order to cover any dead time. I choose to walk into the audience to meet the spectator simply because it creates an interesting tension and is an easy way to make the routine feel a little more dynamic with more movement being spread around beyond the stage. When the spectator and I reach the stage I have them stand back to back with me. In this position I instruct them to begin drawing. To ensure the spectator understands they are to make the same drawing as they did earlier I use the following scripting:
"I would like you to focus your mind on the drawing you made earlier. In a moment; when I say 'now!' I want you to make that drawing one more time; only this time you will make it as large as you can on the pad you hold; so everyone can see it clearly.. . now!" I draw quickly in an effort to finish my drawing before the spectator. As I am drawing the image I peeked on the chosen drawing card I also reveal the spectators exact date of birth; verbally. I attempt to reveal this information in such a way that it literally stops my spectator during their drawing. This heightens the visual impact of revealing the information; it appears you have literally stopped the spectator in their tracks. In truth it is somewhat easy to make this happen; since you are asking the spectator who is nervous, to make a drawing and then directly addressing him with further unexpected information. When the spectator has finished their drawing I have them hold their drawing to their chest so no one sees it. I then turn my pad around to display my drawing; to the audience proper. I then slowly turn the pad around to face my onstage audience member; this yet again creates an additional reaction. Finally I have the spectator turn their pad around to show the audience our matching drawings. 21
learning how to reveal is as muc h .. Good t 'on of info rm ation, as it is the 1 t ctu re th e reve a I th information an d s ru . I hope yo u will see that at is . of informat10n. . , y reveals and am azmg moments secret d1scovery . . . we have so man . f l I tried lots of different point m the 1outine . 1.s really power u . of information and after that the structui e . t vealing this sequence I ssure you this structure is solid. structures or re acollective effect of handling the literally hundreds of shows'th You will be very happy W t information in this fashion. I thank my onstage spectator off the stage and th~n turn my . b k t th e onstage spectator who is still holdmg both of atte ntion ac o f he onstage spectator about the concept o t h e enve 1opes. I address t , . . h' 'the secret' or 'the law of attraction explammg that w~at we. t mk about in someway is attracted to us. As I am doing this; I p1Ck up both of the envelopes from their palm; I continue to talk and i:nove the envelopes in my hand as I talk; this ensures the. spec~ator will no longer be able to keep track of which envelop~ is ~h1ch. ~ then remove the envelope that has the wo rd 'known wntten on it and
r menta ism
state to the spectator:
"This is the one you knew. It was the one you picked. We are not interested in that known drawing anymore; we are interested in the one you did not see; the one you picked with out looking at it. " As this is delivered I point at the word 'known ' so the onstage spectator sees this. I do not make a big deal of it; I simply do it. I then pocket this envelope without opening it. I then continue explaining that whatever the drawing is in the remaining; should in someway be connected to the onstage spectator. Review the script as outlined at the start of this chapter fo r more details on this. I am rel uctant to provide a strict 'script' as this is not useful; far better is fo r yo u to get the core ideas in mi nd and then allow your own voice, tone, style and vocabulary to create what is better and more suited to you. I instruct the onstage spectator to open the envelope and look for. a co n nec~io n to the image they find inside. As they do this I ~nte somethmg on the art pad. This will be a connecting piece of mformat10n that makes the image make sense to the audience and
also gives me an extra beat. For example if I had discovered that my spectator wanted to have a tattoo of a wolf; I would prepare the image inside the envelope to be a simple picture of a wolf; and on the pad I would write the word tattoo. I then have the spectator explain the connection to the audience; and finally turn the pad around to display the word I wrote; which effectively turns the situation into a reveal of something much bigger than the image itself; as now we seem to be inside their mind, personal history and desires. I am aware this explanation reads somewhat long. However this is a professional routine with many moments of amazing mind reading. It is strong enough to function as a mini act or even close a short performance. I hope you see the power that awaits in this.
The Personal Connection At this point the only thing that remains is for me to explain how I discover something that can be used for the personal connection image for the final moments of the routine. There are many possible methods; you could simply approach someone before the show and do some preshow work on them to discover a specific piece of information. However it is much stronger to find out the names of some of the people who will be at the performance; and in advance use social media to discover something about them. It is amazing how much you can learn from a Facebook account. It's simple; bold and does require some effort; but miracles do not come to those who are not willing to work hard.
~_stem£or Mental Magic With
The information in this chapter will give you an unfair advantage. Something that will set you above and be~on~ the ra~ks of the run-of-the-mill demonstrations of mental magic with playing cards. With this information you will be able to effortlessly produce miracles. I will only detail one specific uses of this system as to include more would call for a volume of epic scale; I am certain the reader will instantly see how this system could be easily and quickly applied to their existing material and I am equally certain that the reader will immediately be able to put this system to work to produce new and exciting demonstrations that previously required testing sleight of hand or complex mental and memory work. I will teach you how to make a utility gimmicked deck of playing cards that will allow you to produce miracles; whether those miracles be in the traditional style of card magic, or as I personally favour; demonstrations of coincidence. I have made these decks by hand for some of the best known card magicians in the world; until now they resided in the hands of the few; who have used them to create miraculous displays of card control, mind reading and impossible coincidence in their own performances. This is the first time I have ever discussed this tool openly and I intend to give you all of the information you need to rnak~ your own decks of cards; quickly, easily and to a professional quality. . . Before we delve into the details of the deck it is worth me e~phcitly explain~ng what this deck will allow you to do. The deck will allow you to mstantly, and easily locate the exact position of any named card; from a seemingly shuffled deck and bring it under your full ~ontrol and command. You will require no memo work any difficult sleight of hand to achieve this. The deck w11 this remarkable possibility almost automatically. . , Now it is clear exactly what this deck will allo w you to do, let s take a look at how it is gimmicked d h quickly and easily locate an named an ow to use the deck to gimmicked deck you will n:ed· cardd. In order to construct the , one new eck of playing cards and a
'Whetstone' - this is a block that is commonly used to sharpen knifes. These are available for a very low cost online and in almost all kitchen supply stores and in many of the better department stores that sell specialised knives and knife sets; a quick search online will reveal many possible vendors. Finally you will need a 'nail buffer' used by women to polish their fingernails; again this can be found easily online and in all shops carrying even limited stocks of cosmetic supplies. Begin by opening a brand new deck of playing cards. It is important the deck be new; in order to ensure that the edges of the cards will all display the same amount of wear; you will use this deck for some time before it needs replacing and starting with a fresh deck will further enhance the longevity of the deck. Next remove all of the hearts from the deck. You will carefully corner short each of these cards on the inside left corner. The best way to do this is not to cut the cards with scissors; in fact the best way to do this is to not cut the cards at all; but rather to 'wear' away a small amount of the corner of each card. It is here that the Whetstone comes into play. Place the block onto a surface that is not slippery. Next, place a rubber band around all of the hearts; make sure the tension is strong and is holding the cards as close to perfectly square as possible. Simple run the corner of the stack of hearts along the Whetstone, making a circular action with the wrist as you do so. This will take a few 'sweeps' of the block of cards on the Whetstone; monitor the progress as you continue to repeat these actions. Your goal is to remove only a small amount of the corner to construct a corner short that leaves the card with a perfectly rounded corner. Do not panic if it appears the corners of the cards are splitting; this will happen at this part of the process; we will clean this problem up once the corners have been shortened and rounded to a satisfactory amount. I will leave it to you to decide on exactly how short you wish to make these corners. I will however suggest that you make them shorter than you might think is needed; you can always remove more after testing the cards within a deck, and often it is surprising how even a slight corner short is immediately felt when riffling up the corner of the deck. 25
.th the amount of the card that has \t\Then you are 1rnppy wi . k ' . h of the cards one at a . f10 . 111 its corner· ta e eclc been wor n awa)' . • ' th · back contacting the ,·. hce and t 11en elf ' I time ' and run t 1t ll · ' J t t , five degree ang le, bac kwards Whetstone at appr oximate Y a or ) , , · 1 . . . 1 t. ,5 This will remove any of the waste that and torwarus severcl ime . l k t th has been created in sho rtening the corner. If you oo ~ e corn ers of the cards after this you will notice that what prev10usly ' l"tt · g' has no w been removed and the corners are appeareci to b e sp 1 111 perfectly rounded and short. . . This process will take some experimentation ~ut it is not diffi cult and it is something that will be well worth domg properly. Take yo ur time and really pay attention to what you are doing; no ting the most successful outcomes and what you did differently. In my ow n experience the best results are to be had when using a light to uch; resist th e temptation to speed the process of shortening the co rn ers by applying h eavy pressure; instead, use a light touch and patience. The end res ult will be worth it. Once yo u have fin ished th e second step; repeat the entire process with all of the di amonds; fin all y assemble the deck and use the nail buffer to smooth out any rough edges or corners. To do this, simply move the buffer back and fourth across the edge of the deck. The fin al preparation is to rem ove the two black Aces and make th ese short ca rds; note th is is d ifferent from a corner short but you will use the exact sam e process with the Whetstone to create a card th at has had some of its sho rt edge worn away making it shorter than all oth er cards in the deck. Rep eat the process as you did to corner short the red cards; but instead of appl ying th e corner to the Whetstone; apply the entire short edge of the black aces. Finally mark the backs of the black aces so yo u can tell th em apart; only mark these aces on one end of the card s; as these marks will also act as 'pointers' which will tell you wh ich wa y th e dec k will fa ce during performance. The next page shows an example of the manner in which I mark the backs of the black Aces in a Circle Back Tally Ho deck.
Notice the absence of the white 'dot' in the second position along the top short edge of the card. To achieve this I use a Sharpie fine line marker to colour in the white dot that appears on the card. I mark the Ace of spades as is shown in the picture and the Ace of clubs is marked by colouring in the white dots that appear in the outside corners. This allows me to tell the aces apart from one another and also allows the marks to act as 'pointers' during the performance This will all make more sense when we progress into the deck's workings. When you are finished you will have a deck of cards with all of the red cards being short on their corners. You can place the Whetstone, nail buffer and all other tools away! You have now 'constructed' the deck. All that remains before you can start working with it is to stack it. The deck is stacked in the classic Si Stebbins stack arranged with one of the two black Aces on the top of the deck. Eventually; after hundreds of uses, the deck may need replacing. Here are a few tips to keep the deck in is best condition for as long as possible. Store the deck in the box; with one Joker on top and one Joker on the bottom. This will avoid 'wear' showing on the constant top and bottom cards of the deck; from replacing and removing it from the box. Store the cards in a 'Porper Card Clip' to keep them pressed and protecting them from warping due to humidity and changing weather conditions. To get a feel for the process of locating and controlling a desired card begin with the Ace of Clubs on the top of the face down deck; use the marks to guide you to the proper orientation of the deck. Point the marks forwards; away from your body. With the deck held in left hand dealing grip; riffle up the inside left corner 27
of the deck with your right thumb. You will fee~ blocks of cards "click" past as you riffle; these are the cards contamed between :he corner shorts. From the face; each block is equal to one progress10n in a card's value; running in order: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J (11), Q (12),
K (13), A (the top card of deck). With the deck in hand attempt to locate the 6 of Clubs;
Hold the deck in left hand dealing grip; with the right thumb riffle up the inside left corner (the corner closest to your body) of the deck and allow 5 blocks of cards (corner shorts) to riffle off the thumb: stop at this point and give the deck a complete cut. On the face of the deck will be the 6 of Clubs. To begin, it is useful to mentally count the blocks/corner shorts as they riffle free from the deck and pass your thumb; beginning the count on 2. Given time and dedication; you will begin to develop a 'Zenlike' relationship with the deck; you will soon simply riffle the deck and cut. You will find you no longer consciously count the corner shorts as they pass; but instead get a feel for the needed number of cards and on a subconscious level register the corner shorts as they pass. It is important that you do not make the mistake that this process is in anyway related to traditional estimation work; this is pure muscle memory; there is no estimation or guesswork, only precise actions with predetermined results. Now the underlying mechanism is laid bare; we need to turn our attention to the system, which will bring each and every card under your total control. LOCATING ANY CLUB;
Beginning with the Ace of Clubs on top of the deck. Grip the deck in left hand dealing grip; riffle up the inside left corner of the deck with the right thumb; allowing the correct number of short cards to riffle free from your thumb; remember to start your mental count on 2. Cut and complete sending the desired Club to the bottom of the deck. LOCATING ANY SPADE;
Cut the deck at the short Ace of Spades and rotate it 90 degrees in the hands. Use the marks to check the deck is in the 28
proper position. Remember the marks need to point away from your body. Now repeat the actions described above. The desired Spade will now rest on the face of the deck.
LOCATING RED CARDS; To locate any red card called you will need to understand and apply a modified Si Stebbins system. Simply explained; the classic system is a cyclical stack with the suits arranged in Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds. The values are arranged in progressions of 3. If the top card of the deck is the Ace of Clubs; the second card will be the Three Of Hearts.
Ace (1) + 3 = 4; Club is followed by Heart. If the top card is the 10 of Spades; the second card will be the King of Diamonds.
10 + 3 =King (13); Spades is followed by Diamonds. A slightly modified version of this classic system/stack; combined with the corner short cards will allow you to locate any desired red card by making use of the black cards' positions in relation to the red cards. Simply mentally link the suits Clubs & Hearts together in your mind. Whenever a Heart is named you will set the deck to the Clubs starting position. Link the Spades and Diamond together. Whenever a Diamond is named; you will set the deck in the Spades starting position. The deck runs in reverse order to a standard Si Stebbins numeric arrangement. This means that you will always mentally subtract 3 from the desired cards value to ascertain your target corner short. At this point I'm certain this sounds very complicated; however it is not. This system is far easier to implement and execute than to describe in print. To be frank even using the word system makes this process sound more complex than it really is. You will, after just a short process of trial and error see how easy this is to apply in real world performance. With the deck in hand; follow the actions below and all will be clear.
TO LOCATE ANY HEART; To locate any desired Heart you will start with the Ace of Clubs on the top of the deck (since Hearts are linked to Clubs in the system). If needed, cut to the short Ace of Clubs and complete the cut. Look at the marks on the back of the ace to ensure the deck is oriented the correct way; remember to point the marks away from your body. Ascertain which Club is above the Heart you desire to locate and control; using the modified Si Stebbins' system. With the deck held in left hand dealing grip; riffle up the inside left edge/corner of the deck with the right thumb allowing the needed number of corner shorts to riffle free from the thumb. Cut and complete the cut at this point. You will have brought the desired Heart to the top of the deck. For example; if you desired to control the 9 of Hearts you would cut the Ace of Clubs to the top of the deck, assuming it isn't already in this position from previous uses of the deck and then orientate the deck correctly for the Clubs; using the marks on the back of the ace to check all is correct. Next, you subtract from the desired card (9 - 3 = 6) now by locating the 6 of Clubs; cutting and completing the cut you will automatically locate and control the desired Heart to the top of the face down deck. TO LOCATE ANY DIAMOND;
Begin with the Ace of Spades on top of the deck; cutting to the short card if needed. Rotate the deck to ensure it is oriented correctly to access the corner short Spades. Carry out the same p~ocess outlined above; to ascertain which Spade's short rests directly above the desired Diamond. Riffle to this corner short· cut and complete bringing the desired Diamond to the top of the' face down deck. . You now have full command over each card in the deck. At no p01?t do you need to look at your hands; your control is total and blm~. In performance you will never look at the deck as ou y d are locating the . desired card. These actions wi'll b ecome secon nature; you will appear to casually cut the deck h 'l h . the deck r h ' w i e no eat is on ;u~est aving a spectator name a card while you false h ffl s u et e ec . You then cut the deck to the t bl the cut on the table; immediately after a fals haffle and complete e s u e sequence. In
this action you have brought the desired card either to the top or bottom of the deck. In the mind of the spectatQr; the effect has not yet begun and yet you are now in a positiont9.produce a miracle. '
The ultimate effectiveness of any too.l will always be defined by its operator. The tool you have in your hands will become a direct reflection of you; the user. It is down to you to decide what to do with full command over each and every card in the deck. It is not my place to tell you what you should or should not be doing with this tool. I personally use this deck stepped, informed by the style of card magic pioneered by David Berglas. I highly recommend studying the work of Berglas; of great interest will be the techniques David makes use of when working with 'called' cards to blur the timeline of when a choice is made. For further information on the card magic of David Berglas see 'The Berglas Effects' by Richard Kaufman published by Kaufman and Company in 2011. No individual tool is at its strongest in isolation but rather becomes part of a collection of technique that together produce the impossible. It is well beyond the scope of this manuscript to teach the additional techniques I personally use in combination with the deck. It goes without saying that this tool is not a replacement for a solid understanding and ability of traditional techniques, of special value will be an intimate understanding of false shuffles, deck switches and palming. I am sure by this point you have already brought several potential effects and demonstrations to mind with this deck of cards. This deck allows for direct, instant and powerful control over any named card within the deck. In my opinion it is wise to maximise this potential by focusing your efforts strictly on the ability to produce named or thought-of playing cards in a variety of ways. I personally use the deck in this way exclusively. Here is an example routine that will provide a huge impact on anyone you perform it for. This is one of my 'go to' demonstrations with the deck and one that I believe creates an impact that is not often possible with card magic. 31
udience member name a card. He The performer h as an a . h th d k and cuts it; completing t e cut to e 1 . h h" casually shuffles th e ec table. He addresses a spectator sitting at the tab e wit im.
. t . t' e there is no way you could tell me where that "A t this momen in im card is within this pack could you?" The spectator agrees they could not. The pe,rformer smiles and quickly spreads the deck in front of the spectators eyes.
"There is no way you could have even spotted the card that quickly, is there?" The spectator agrees they did not see the card within the spread. The performer continues:
"Well you did; but not on a conscious level. However somewhere; deep down you know exactly where it is. Find it .... " The performer spreads the deck between his hands and gestures for the spectator to touch one card. Amazingly the spectator selects the desired card. This demonstration is very simple to achieve. You simply locate and control the named card to a position suitable for whichever card force you prefer. I personally make use of an under the spread cull force. This is made easier with the deck since I can control the desired card to rest in the fourth position from the top of the deck, ready and waiting to be culled and forced in the spread on my spectator. With very little technique and no memory work; this simple, straightforward demonstration will pack a strong punch.
While teaching supporting technique to use with this deck is well outside of this manuscript's intent, I feel that briefly sharing my own preferences related to techniques that I use frequently with the deck may. a~so reveal some of my current thinking, in relation to the card magic m my own professional performances. 32
- False shuffling; I perform exclusively in stand up and stage settings; while I do not present effects utilising cards in any of my stage shows; in stand up work I favour the use of the Optical Shuffle; while some will feel that there are more deceptive options available, in which the cards truly mix later to be restored to the original order, the optical shuffle is a perfect choice for my performance character. I do not wish my audience to ever consider me someone with any level of skill with playing cards. Many false shuffles appear flashy and stylised in their handling. For me, this is an immediate issue. I want my audience to feel I am unskilled with the deck and therefore would not be able to manipulate the cards easily. I wish my audience to perceive my handling of the cards as being more or less as they would handle them in a casual card game. I try my best to create the illusion of sloppy handling; in this vein I frequently combine an optical shuffle with a Greek shuffle; I also make use of the classic Charlie Shuffle. These three techniques fulfill my personal criteria and each of these techniques are deceptive in their producing the illusion of casual, sloppy mixing of the deck.
- False Cutting; With this deck there is no need to ever give the deck a false cut. Thanks to the short aces; you are able to continually cut the deck either in the hands or to the table. Equally the stack itself is a "rosary" stack and therefor the deck can be cut; providing you will bring one of the black aces to the top of the deck before you locate a desired card. I frequently mix the optical shuffle with genuine in the hands cuts; finishing the process by cutting the deck at one of the short aces and finally using a Greek shuffle in the hands. At this point I am ready to locate a card and cut the deck to the table. This process allows for a psychological "blurring" of the time line of the effect. I handle this process as if I have not yet begun whatever demonstration is to follow; with my full attention only 33
placed onto deck after it had been cut to the table. This combination produced alarmingly effective results.
- Forcing Cards; As mentioned in the effect 'Instant Memory' I favour the use of an under-the-spread Hofzinser cull force. Often I will locate the position directly above a desired card using the process detailed above; leaving the desired card ready and waiting in the 4th position from the top of the face down deck. From here I will cull the card and force it on another spectator. Typically this is the first 'effect' I demonstrate with the deck; one spectator amazingly selects the card called by another spectator. I also enjoy making use of an advanced addition to the deck; I place "negative" breather crimps into the 7 of Hearts and the 10 of Spades. This assures me that I am able to guide my spectator to cut to this crimp easily and with confidence. When either the 7 of hearts of the 10 of spades are desired I will place the deck onto the table and have my spectator directly cut to the crimp. This is a startling and effective demonstration. - Think-A-Card Procedures; Very often I spread the deck on the table in a sloppy wide arcing ribbon spread and have a spectator 'think' of a card. Later I will return to this spectator and have them announce their card; at which point I will locate and control the card. By framing the effect as a 'thought of card; rather than a named card, the audience perceives the end result differently, despite it changing nothing from a technical standpoint.
- Never Pick-A-Card; . I will ~ave audience members name cards or think of cards either from within ~~ spr~a~ deck or simply in their imagination. I c never have a card picked m the traditional style M he h vil · fl · Y pre1erence . re was ea . y m uenced by the thoughts of David Berglas who has shared his own thoughts about this topic in "Th B gl Effects" by Richard J(aufman. e er as
_Multiple Selections; In a typical performance I will have many spectators name or thi~k of p~aying ca~ds. I use this to my advantage; I always carry a card mdex m my nght pants pocket; however this index only contains the ace to king of hearts. I am confident that at some point a spectator will name one of these 13 cards. At this point I am able to palm the desired card from the index with great speed. I will leave it to your imagination as to what can be done with this kind of approach with the deck. Enough is to say that the deck itself will open up many opportunistic miracles. By combining your ability to locate any given card within the deck; with other "probable" factors; such as crimping popular choices, or indexing one suit; during the course of a performance you will be armed with unbearable flexibility.
- Jazz Approach; I feel the deck is at its best when you take a jazz approach to the sequence you will present with it. Do not mistake this to mean 'make it up as you go along'. Rather the jazz approach as I see it means to collect a series of demonstrations with the deck, based on different situations that will probably arise during a performance and then jumping on this opportunity as it arises in performance. I personally have a starting point and an ending point that always remain the same; however what happens on the journey between these points is often dictated by the choices made by spectators and the opportunities that present themselves to me throughout. This short section in no way can be considered exhaustive or complete; however it is my hope that by briefly touching upon these techniques and my own uses and preferences; you will see the wide potential that exists within and in connection with the deck in real world performances.
History and Credits
I firmly believe that all good magic is built on the shoulders of the giants who came before us. This deck is no different. I 35
sincerely believe the best investment any magician can make is a · t. t www AskAlexander org I spend hours, weeks and su b scnp ion o . · · . . . . . months exploring the history of magic usi~g this incredible resource gifted to the magic community by the tireless work of the Conjuring Arts Research Centre headed up by Bill Kalush. This deck shares direct connections with the once popular 'Instanto' deck created by Billy O'Connor, introduced to the magic market in 1919. A complete description of how to make the 'Instanto' deck was published in issue 115 of the 'Jinx' in October 1940, authored by Annemann. In this deck the cards are cut in a variety of shapes; this was a fine method for the music hall stage Billy O'Connor created the deck for, and perfected the use of, on. However, for more intimate settings the heavy modification of the deck causes problems. Additionally this deck was stacked in a manner that would not allow the deck to be shown mixed. A note of historical interest is that the first 144 decks of 'Instanto' were released by the Gamages Company in London; and were made by Richard Pitchford, the man who later called himself 'Cardini'. Cardini was often seen demonstrating the 'Instanto' deck in casual performances and used it to create great impact. Descriptions of Cardini using the deck can be found in many magic periodicals; these are a joy to read and can be found by using the search string " 'Instanto' (Cardini) "on www.AskAlexander.org. In January of 1953 Rusduck, known as the 'Cardiste' contributed his rendition of the 'Instanto' deck to volume 32, issue 11 of the Linking Ring Magazine. This rendition made use of the Si Stebbin's stack, however it retained the core concept of each card in the deck being corner shorted. This meant that the deck had to be cu~ in a variety of ways to control desired cards. Interestingly in this wnte up, ~~sd~ck t~kes much of the comment and editorial directly fr~m the . Jmx article with exact phrases and entire paragraphs bemg copied word for word. I believe it is safe to assume that Rusduck was influenced by the Annemann article published some 15 years prior. . In more r~c~nt history the original 'Instanto' deck was remterpreted by Bntish magician Marc Oberon and released as 'The 36
Master Deck' in a self published manuscript/deck combination;· His system is excellent in the fact that it reduces the number of short cards in play; however it requires that the deck be cut in a variety of styles and does not allow the deck to be shown mixed. This approach was once extremely popular with the magic community at large. It was hailed as the greatest gimmick deck in existence. Magic magazines ran competitions to find the 'greatest novel use of the deck' and returning extended columns were dedicated to interesting uses of the deck. Slowly the concept of this deck fell out of favour and became little more than a historical footnote. I would venture this is a direct reflection on the increased popularity of working with a memorised deck in combination with estimation work. I personally favour the use of this deck to a memorised deck and estimation work. This of course is a matter of personal preference; however I do not feel either of these approaches eliminate the value of the other. The memorised deck allows for miracles not possible without its use; as does any of the versions of the 'Instanto' deck. It is my hope that in releasing my personal system I may shine light on this fantastic concept once again. I feel my combination of techniques allows for the best of all of the elements discussed above. While the Si Stebbin's deck will not hold close examination it does allow the deck to be spread and displayed in a casual manner to be shown as mixed and the specific addition of using the system to locate red cards as well as black cards allows for a major improvement over all the existing systems; a consistency in the cutting action. I believe this is vital to the subtle employment of the deck in real performance. In all previous systems the deck would be cut by riffling on the inside left, inside right, outside right and outside left comers often producing odd and clumsy looking cuts with the index ~nger or thumb inserted into the extreme outer edge of the deck. This for. me is a major weakness and it was in wishing .to ~vercom~ this problem as well as being able to display the deck as mixed that gave birth to my personal system. '· 37
Touching On Divination What follows is a prop-free demonstration of 'test conditions' telepathy, immediately followed by a prop-free demonstration of divination, in which the performer answers the personal questions of random audience memb~rs; which they only 'think' about. Nothing is written down, there is no preshow work and there is no stooging. This is a true, propless demonstration of telepathy that leads to one of the most startling demonstrations of pure Questions and Answers that you will encounter. For readers who have some experience with my previously published work, or for those who have seen me present either a lecture or workshop on mentalism the title of this routine will ring a familiar bell in the memory. This sequence builds on a routine I created when I was sixteen years old, which I titled "Touching On Hoy" in my book The Coral Fang. For the first time I am revealing my current thinking on this concept within this manuscript. For those who have read "Touching On Hoy" I urge you to read this chapter in full; not simply skip to the Questions and Answers phase. I am including much information within this chapter that has previously never seen print. I will present the audience's experience in the manner in which I employ this concept to create a full twenty-five to thirty minute performance.
The Audience Experience
Phase One: Test Conditions Telepathy After some introductory remarks about the nature of te~epath:r, mind reading and divination the performer explains he will b~gm w~th a mental warm up; and to do so he must work with re~eptive mmds. He has the audience relax and remain open ~mded. He then has the entire room attempt to pick up on three simple thoughts that he explains he will 'project' to them Each r he has :ho~e audi~nce members who accurately pe~ceived i~: :ough~ mdicate this by standing at their seat in the theatre He en se ects three of the standing audience members to join. him 38
onstage. Each person . takes a seat in a eh,,.; ... lin ed up across the ......., stage. The performer mstructs the spectators to close their eyes. He then openly walks to the spectator in the chair furthest to the left from the audience's viewpoint and taps that person, several times, on the shoulder. He then addresses that spectator directly:
"If you just felt me touch you; you are player number one. I would like you to think of two simple shapes. Baring in mind; that with my artistic talent, a heart or a star would be exceptionally complex, a square is my kind of simple...go ahead and think of two simple shapes fo r me now... and lock those in your mind. From this point onwards your task is to simply focus your mind on whatever shapes you happen to have picked. Ignore what the other players are doing up here. You are player number one; focus on your chosen shapes." The performer then moves to the spectator sat in the centre of the three and touches this person on the shoulder. He then continues:
"If you just felt me touch you; you are player number two. I would like you to focus on a name, a name that you say everyday. It could be a loved one, a family member, a friend; anyone that is a part of your life... your task from this point onward is to simply focus your mind on that person's name. Ignore what the other players are doing. Simply fo cus your mind on whichever name you have decided upon. Feel free to change your mind a few times if you wish, before you settle on one; however, once you have decided; lock that in your mind and focus all of your attention on it. You are player number two; focus on your chosen name." The performer moves the final spectator sat in the chair far right and touches this person on the shoulder. He address this person directly:
"If you just felt me touch you ... you are player number three. I would like you to focus your mind on a date. A date that holds some personal significance to you. Maybe a graduation year, perhaps the year a child was born, whatever it happens to be; a year that holds some special meaning to you personally. Focus your mind on that year; you are player number three." 39
c r moves to centrestage and addresses all three th h Th e penorme d of the onstage spectators at once, clapping his han s toge er, e
"Please player one, two and three ... open your eyes for me now! All of this applause is yours." The three onstage spectators open their eyes and the performer leads in a round of applause. The performer continues addressing all three of the onstage spectators: "Please take a moment to focus your mind on your specific thoughts. You each have one concept in mind. Player number one; some simple shapes, something of a warm up. Player number two; the name of someone close to them and player number three; a year that has some significance to them." Addressing the audience at large the performer continues:
"I find telepathy is much like any learned skill. It requires a specific process for best results. Right now, this simple test will serve as my warm up. If I can successfully perceive the three thoughts of three random people we will begin to move onward... but lets not get ahead of ourselves." In silence, the performer walks behind each of the seated onstage spectators. He places his hand on each of the spectators' heads; he closes his eyes for a moment before moving to the next spectator. He repeats this with each of the three onstage spectators. When finished, he walks centrestage and instructs the onstage spectators to stand at their onstage chairs. He pauses and then dramatically continues:
"I b~l~eve I have been able to reach inside your mind and find the specific thoughts I was looking for. I have two simple shapes, a year and a name. Strangely, this evening the thoughts that were normally the easiest; the shapes, were the most difficult." The performer turns to address the onstage spectator who focused on two simple shapes:
"So get even one of the two shapes you have in mind; you will count it as a success." 40
The performer then continues, addressing both_ the audience and onstage spectators:
"The name and the year were very clear. The shapes that came to ·me were a triangle and a circle. The name, 'Tara' and the year, 1985. These were the thoughts that came to me." The performer turns to address the onstage spectators. He begins addressing 'player number one';
"If I successfully named your thought... sit down." Amazingly the spectator sits in the onstage chair; indicating the performer was indeed accurate in the thoughts he perceived. The performer addresses the audience;
"One out of three in most scientific circles would be considered highly significant, but right here and right now we are not interested in significant..." The performer then continues addressing the second spectator:
"If I successfully named your thought...please sit down" The performer finally addresses the last spectator:
''The moment of truth ... If I successfully named your thought; please take your seat." Amazingly the final spectator sits. The audience reacts with shocked silence quickly followed by intense applause.
Phase Two: Questions and Answers With the three onstage spectators sat in the onstage chairs the performer continues addressing the three spectators and the audience at once;
"I am warmed up. While I understand the need for tests of telepathy; it's not really the best use of my gift. Lets move onto what really matters the most. The past, the present and the future." The performer addresses the onstage spectators as a group. 41
ayer number one; I would like you to think "Please close your eyes. Pl . . . the kind oif question you might ask a tarot card t l ·a about a ques ton, · question about your future. P ease avoi the rea der or psychic; a . . . . · t k a silly question- silly questwns will receive silly temptatwn o as ' . answers. Player number two; I would like you to focus your mind on a question about your present and playe~, number three; please focus your mind on a question about your past. Once again the performer walks along the line of three onstage, seated spectators; briefly touching their head as he does. When he has made his way along the line he returns to stage centre and continues:
"Please, all three of you open your eyes. I have the answers you seek. Player number 3; when it comes to the past you have to be careful not to allow it to influence the present and interfere with the future. At this point in your life there is nothing more you can do to mend the situation. I believe that Joanne was not in possession of all the information she needed to make the best decisions; however now it is your job to move forward. Now is the time to let this go. Player number two: the present, I feel you asked a question literally about the present. Something here and now; something of a challenge. I believe you want me to tell you the colour of your underwear. Understand that I normally would not accept any challenge, however you seem fun; it is blue. Player number 3; the future. I believe you already know the answer to your question and I believe your own insight into this situation will prove correct; however it would be wise to adjust your time line to allow a little more time for you to get there." The performer looks to the audience and then back to the three onstage spectators and continues:
"If I have given you the answer to your question ... please return to your seat in the theatre." All three of the onstage spectators stand, and walk from the stage to. return to their seat in the theatre . The au dience aft er recovering . . from the shock of what they h ave seen app1ause h . ent usiastically. The performer then contin ues by h avmg every 42
the room focus their Jinin:~: ·. ·:.,. a p..""r· ·s·o··haI··' question ·th·ey Person in . u, .0 11 would like the answer to. He then' works ·~·.;th various · .spectat-ors . .. . n '. t dotted around the room; accurately answering questions.
The Performer's Experience Before we launch into the exact details of the method I would like .you to consider that the routine appears exactly as it has been described above. The routine makes use of no preshow work, no stooges and no props at all. Once you have processed and understood the information I am about to share; you will have ready and waiting a full demonstration of direct telepathy and pu~e Questions and Answers with nothing more than your words, mind and body. Please take a moment to consider this before you launch into the details. This is by no means a difficult routine to learn or perform; however it does require strong audience management; a fully operational mastery of the script and full understanding of the methodology and the concepts that underpin how the sequence blends together. This routine will make use of bold methodology to create a striking miracle in the minds of the audience. Understanding the sequence fully will require a shift in your thinking. This is a demonstration employing language as its main method. There will be no sleight of hand; but much sleight of mind. Much has been made, in recent years, of the notion of Dual Reality. This is the term given to an effect in which an audience member has a different experience to the performer, who each have different experiences to the audience at large. I have always been somewhat puzzled by this notion being new. It seems to me there is not a single example of a magic or mind reading demonstration, which, at its very core, is not an example of Dual Reality. In truth; for any deception to take place the performer must always manage multiple experiences and realities; this routine will highlight that fact. To begin I wish to present you with a s~ple o~erview ?f how the demonstration works; this will be terse m detail but will 43
h basic working understanding of the allow you . to ave a ss and explore the subtleties and demonstrat10n as we progre . t' sychological principles that will all play their part I~ comp.1e i~g P · · c nee The 'hardware of this routme is the deception m penorma · f h really simple. Its power is in the fact that ninety-nine percent o t e . . lete before the audience is even aware the decept1on is comp . . 11 c d demonstration has begun. The detail and attent10n is rea y 1oun within the performance script. At the very heart is a sim~le ~o~cept; one c~mm~nly credited to David Hoy for his now icomc Tossed Deck routme. Often refereed to as 'The Hoy Principle' and found explored by many performers in many different guises over the years. So central to this demonstration is the Hoy Principle that in my earlier version of the demonstration I included Hoy's name in the title. We shall use the tossed deck as a working example of this principle, which I will then transfer to the mechanisms of 'Touching On Divination'. To properly understand this routine it is important that you understand the 'Hoy Principle'; imagine you have a deck of playing cards; of which fifty-one cards are all alike. The remaining card; which is different from the fifty-one all alike cards is on the face of the deck. The complete deck is wrapped in a rubber band. Imagine you were to throw the deck to different people in the audience; accompanied by instructions for them to each break open the deck and look at one, and only one, card within and commit it to memory and then have the deck returned to you. You next would present whatever vision of mind reading process you personally favour and finally reveal that you have several cards in your mind. If you were to now announce the card used for the fifty-one alike cards; along with several other cards; and then ask the audience members to sit; if and only if, you had named their card; all the spectators would indeed sit. They have no other option; since you have announced the card that makes up all of the possible selection fields within the deck. Each person would assume that the other spectators eac? selected one of the other cards the performer named. Here is the Hoy principle in action as published b H · h' 'T d D k' Y oy m is osse ec routine. In many ways what follows is an 44
expansion and elaboration on this:~l~