PULSE R ATE M ATT M ELLO ELLO
Copyright © 2012 by Matt Mello All rights reserved. �
Effect: By merely looking at a spectator, no contact ever involved, you can predict their pulse-rate with 100% 100% accuracy!
Introduction: Our pulse is something that we always have on us, and being a huge fan of alwaysready effects, I wanted to use it in some way. It is our direct link to life, so messing around with it can be a bit scary for some spectators, but this is why it gets such great reactions! I should clarify that this demonstration is in no way way dangerous for you or your participant—as some pulse effects can be—and once learned, can be performed anywhere with no setup! Usually I’ll use this as a lead-in to a variety of mind-reading routines, as it really helps to build a connection between yourself and the spectator. Use it well!
Presentation and Method: “Many psychics believe that our pulse is directly connected to our aura…our ‘life force’ . This suggests that by tapping into your pulse, I can cause a brief link between the two of us,” I say, turning to my spectator with a smile, �
“hopefully allowing for some fun things to happen. I just need one piece of information for this to work, something to help us both visualize. Do you have a favorite color?” I ask.
We’ll assume the spectator, hereafter called Julie, answers, “Blue.” “Perfect, can you find your pulse for me?” I say, gesturing with two fingers on my wrist. “Now I know this will sound strange, but every time you feel your pulse beat, I want you to imagine a blue liquid pulsing out of your body, starting in your center and then flowing out of your skin into the air surrounding you, over and over. Don’t move, or give anything away while you do this, just imagine it. Okay?”
Julie nods her head in understanding, closing her eyes as she focuses on the unusual task, her fingers pressed into her wrist. I take a step towards her, my eyes not focused on her but but the space around her, as if really searching for the invisible, pulsing aura. After a few more seconds of watching, I scribble “72 B.P.M.” on an index card and place it writing-side down on a table next to Julie. “When I say, ‘Now’, I’d like you to start counting your pulse aloud, continuing until I tell you to stop. Just give me a moment, please….” I stare at my watch, and after a couple of seconds, call out, “Now!”
She begins counting her pulse aloud…. “1…2…3….” And now we’re in a predicament. For me to get Julie’s pulse rate to match my prediction (72), I have to force things in my favor. This is done very simply and deceptively through a time miscall, used in a way that’s never been applied before. Nearly everyone knows that to take a pulse rate, you find the pulse, count it for fifteen seconds, and then multiply the number of beats by four to get the count for a full minute. All you have to do here is look at your watch and pretend to keep track of fifteen seconds, but really you just let the spectator count until they get to eighteen, regardless of the actual timing! Eighteen times four ALWAYS equals seventytwo, which always matches always matches the prediction! p rediction!
So Julie’s sitting there holding her wrist, counting aloud, and when she finally says, ‘Eighteen’ I instruct her to stop. Looking up from my watch, I’ll usually ask her to repeat the number as if I’d been too focused on the time to pay attention to what number she was on. When she repeats, ‘Eighteen’, I smile and nod, “That’s a healthy pulse. So in fifteen seconds, it beat eighteen times. And if we multiply eighteen by four, we’ll get your pulse rate for a full sixty seconds. Eighteen plus eighteen is thirty-six. And thirty-six and thirty-six is seventy-two. Seventy-two beats per minute. Take a look at what I wrote….” I point to the index card lying next to her and she turns it over, instantly reacting to the perfect “72 B.P.M.” match! With a connection now established to her pulse/aura, you can move on to any type of mind-reading you can do, knowing that they will be much more much more involved and engaged after this process. I usually just do a simple billet/center tear after, but any mind-reading will suffice!
Additional Thoughts Thoughts and Ideas: I deas: --The “72 B.P.M.” prediction can be altered; you just have to adjust how long you let the spectator count for. For instance, if you wanted your prediction to be “80 B.P.M.” rather than stopping the spectator at ‘Eighteen’, you stop them at ‘Twenty’, regardless of how many seconds it takes to get there. All the while you just stare at your watch, waiting for them to get to the number. Just don’t get too extreme with the rate. Stay between 68 and 80—which would mean you interrupt their count on 17, 18, 19, or 20, depending on your prediction. --As an interesting side note, this pulse prediction was actually in consideration for one of David Blaine’s shows, around the time of his Drowned Alive special. The routine I submitted involved having a spectator hold their breath for as long as they could, and then take their pulse after and see how holding h olding their breath affected �
it. I would then flip over my two index cards to show my predictions of both to be accurate. It was just a simple one-ahead, using the pulse force (72 B.P.M.) as the ahead. I would write 72 B.P.M. while the spectator held their breath, then write the number of seconds they held their breath (42 sec…etc) while apparently predicting the pulse rate. The presentation made sense after David held his breathe to challenge the world record. But, the effect never made the show—I think it was submitted a bit late. Fate must have wanted you to have it all to yourself, without it having to be that ‘David Blaine’ trick! --I’ve also predicted the color they choose for their aura and their pulse rate using the one ahead in the same way as above. Have them think of their favorite color and write “72 B.P.M.” on a card. Then when they name the color, write it down before the spectator counts out their pulse. pulse. I would then end by doing a color reading based on their color choice, using stock cold readings. --You could also pretend to take your pulse, write down 72 B.P.M., then force the spectators pulse to match yours. This way it seems like your pulses are synchronizing and beating at the same s ame time. --Alternatively, rather than sync your pulse with a spectator’s, you could sync the pulses of two spectators, pretending to take the pulse rate of spectator one, then forcing the pulse rate on spectator two. You could then go on to perform a two-person telepathy effect with the connection established between the two of them instead. --Should you, for some reason, absolutely despise wearing watches, you could use the stop watch function on your phone instead, pretending to stop and close the application at the necessary number. --Sometimes I’ll perform a liar/truth teller effect after this routine, apparently ‘seeing’ their pulse, acting as if I’m reading the pulse rate to tell if they’re lying or telling the truth. This is a very fun and interesting take on the p lot. �
--I’ll end with a warning note. There is, as with everything, a possible downside to this effect. That is if someone in the audience keeps track of the time and calls you out on it. I anticipated this being a possible problem, but in all the years I’ve used it—nearly ten—I haven’t run into it once. I assume it’s because most people are more caught up in the effect rather than trying to figure it out, but there are other factors as well. It could be that they aren’t a hundred percent sure of what’s happening and when, so that makes it hard to keep track of. But one other consideration when performing this effect close-up is to borrow a watch from a spectator, and only use your own should you need to. Usually if I’m at a table, there will be three or four people seated. I’d say on average, at least one of them will have a watch on. With the increase of cell-phones over the years, very few people need to wear watches anymore. But, if someone is wearing one, you might as well get it out of play if you can, and remove the chance of them keeping track of the time themselves. If anyone asks why you aren’t using your own, just tell them you want everything to be as fair as possible, so that they’re certain you aren’t using some type of gimmicked watch. This type of excuse always flies when you’re supposedly “thinking of the spectator”. I love these types of excuses!
Credits: Luke Jermay, Docc Hilford, Tony Andruzzi, Paolo Cavalli, Andrew Gerard, Kenton Knepper, Wayne Houchin, Bill Montana, Jerome Finley and I’m sure many others have, in some way, utilized the control of a pulse in a mentalism/magic routine. Their work is something that should definitely be looked into should you enjoy and wish to learn more about this kind of effect. Type any of their names and ‘pulse’ into Google and you’ll find more info on pulse control then you’ll ever need in your lifetime.
Aside from his pulse work, it should be side-noted that Jerome Finley also utilizes the idea of connecting auras, which is a very powerful concept. His methods are different than mine, but are very out-of-the box and clever. I know that Keith Barry specifically synchronizes his pulse-rate with a spectator too, to allow a connection to occur for mind-reading, but our methods are different as well. Further influence comes from Banachek’s, “Psychokinetic Time” in which he also uses a miscall with a watch, but in a completely different way, with a completely different purpose. I won’t go into details due to exposure. In regards to miscalls in general, I would think David Hoy deserves a huge nod, as the miscall technique has surely garnered most of its popularity due to David, and is actually where I was introduced to the idea of miscalling, in “The Hoy Book Test” and “Tossed Out Deck”. If I’ve missed anyone in this crediting, or if you have any questions, please send an inquiry to: [email protected]
and I’ll be sure to make any necessary changes or answer any questions I can. Thank you! Matt Mello